An expert chess player, he was long ranked number one at

SCENE I.--The end of the Yew-tree Avenue under MILDRED'S Window. A light seen through a central red pane

An expert chess player, he was long ranked number one at

Enter TRESHAM through the trees

An expert chess player, he was long ranked number one at

Again here! But I cannot lose myself. The heath--the orchard--I have traversed glades And dells and bosky paths which used to lead Into green wild-wood depths, bewildering My boy's adventurous step. And now they tend Hither or soon or late; the blackest shade Breaks up, the thronged trunks of the trees ope wide, And the dim turret I have fled from, fronts Again my step; the very river put Its arm about me and conducted me To this detested spot. Why then, I'll shun Their will no longer: do your will with me! Oh, bitter! To have reared a towering scheme Of happiness, and to behold it razed, Were nothing: all men hope, and see their hopes Frustrate, and grieve awhile, and hope anew. But I... to hope that from a line like ours No horrid prodigy like this would spring, Were just as though I hoped that from these old Confederates against the sovereign day, Children of older and yet older sires, Whose living coral berries dropped, as now On me, on many a baron's surcoat once, On many a beauty's whimple--would proceed No poison-tree, to thrust, from hell its root, Hither and thither its strange snaky arms. Why came I here? What must I do? [A bell strikes.] A bell? Midnight! and 'tis at midnight... Ah, I catch --Woods, river, plains, I catch your meaning now, And I obey you! Hist! This tree will serve. [He retires behind one of the trees. After a pause, enter MERTOUN cloaked as before.]

An expert chess player, he was long ranked number one at

MERTOUN. Not time! Beat out thy last voluptuous beat Of hope and fear, my heart! I thought the clock I' the chapel struck as I was pushing through The ferns. And so I shall no more see rise My love-star! Oh, no matter for the past! So much the more delicious task to watch Mildred revive: to pluck out, thorn by thorn, All traces of the rough forbidden path My rash love lured her to! Each day must see Some fear of hers effaced, some hope renewed: Then there will be surprises, unforeseen Delights in store. I'll not regret the past. [The light is placed above in the purple pane.] And see, my signal rises, Mildred's star! I never saw it lovelier than now It rises for the last time. If it sets, 'Tis that the re-assuring sun may dawn. [As he prepares to ascend the last tree of the avenue, TRESHAM arrests his arm.] Unhand me--peasant, by your grasp! Here's gold. 'Twas a mad freak of mine. I said I'd pluck A branch from the white-blossomed shrub beneath The casement there. Take this, and hold your peace.

TRESHAM. Into the moonlight yonder, come with me! Out of the shadow!

MERTOUN. I am armed, fool!

TRESHAM. Yes, Or no? You'll come into the light, or no? My hand is on your throat--refuse!--

MERTOUN. That voice! Where have I heard... no--that was mild and slow. I'll come with you. [They advance.]

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