Birds of Rhiannon: A Grove Play

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Birds of Rhiannon: A Grove Play

Book by Waldemar Young
Music by Edward Harris



The book of this grove play
is affectionately inscribed
to Will Irwin
Author of The Hamadryads
All things fade...all but friendship



INTRODUCTION

The Twenty-Ninth Grove Play

     BIRDS OF RHIANNON is the twenty-ninth Grove Play of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, presented by members of the club in the Bohemian Grove, Sonoma County, California, Saturday night, August 2, 1930.
     The action of the play is laid in legendary Britain of the Sixth Century, A. D. This is the Britain of King Arthur; and, whilst the present play is wholly imaginative, there has been a free use of characters from both the Welsh and the French streams of the Arthurian legend. Taliessin, Adaon, Aneirin and the bardic hierarchy derive altogether from the Welsh; Dagonet, occurring nowhere in the Welsh Arthuriad, is a minor character of the French; Merlin and Kay are importantly of both. Rhiannon's fabulous birds antedate by uncounted centuries the appearance of the Arthurian motif in Welsh mythology.

     Against this enchanted background the present grove play attempts a development of the major theme of the fellowship of man. Certainly, in all literature, there is no more opulent flowering of fellowship than in the Round Table of Romance. "This Round Table was ordained by Arthur that when his fair fellowship sat to meat their chairs should be high alike, their service equal, and none before or after his comrade," to quote the earliest reference to the Table in all existing Arthurian material (Wace, Roman de Brut, A.D. 1155). "This was the same board that Britons boast of, and say many sorts of leasing, respecting Arthur the King" (Layamon's Brut, A. D. 1204).
     The Anglo-Norman poet Wace, the Saxon priest Layamon, and, of course, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who first assembled the scattered traditions of Arthur, were the immediate precursors of an amazing literary inundation. Fellowship, chivalry, became a cult; the Round Table its symbol. When the grail legend sang its way from obscure sources into the mainstream, the Round Table, always a magical object, retained its essential character, but with a new supernatural sanctity. There entered, too, with the grail, another symbol, the grail itself. The Round Table epitomized the fellowship of man; the grail expressed man's vague eternal pilgrimage in quest of something always just beyond.
     The present grove play takes these two symbols, uses them purely as symbols, and on them erects its main thematic structure. In the treatment of the Grail theme, there is a deliberate diffusion of objectives. The Knights have gone to seek the Grail. A shepherd lad follows a shining bird. Three men from Arthur's court— a singer and a harper and a fool— set forth upon a quest of their own fashioning. They come, through many nights down forest ways, to the foot of a hill. And one of them, the fool, blundering into the rich fullness of an enduring fellowship, brings at last the two symbols into perfect union. That is the play.
     An explanation of the title might not be amiss. "Three things are not often heard: the song of the Birds of Rhiannon, a song of wisdom from the mouth of a Saxon, and an invitation to a feast from a miser" (old Welsh triad). There are two slight mentions of the Birds in that exquisite fantasy, "Branwen, the Daughter of Llyr," the second tale in the Mabinogi of the Four Branches. "In Harlech you will be feasting seven years, the Birds of Rhiannon singing to you the while." . . . "And there came three birds, and began singing unto them a certain song, and all the songs they had ever heard were unpleasant compared thereto; and the birds seemed to them to be at a great distance over the sea, yet they appeared as distinct as if they were close by, and at this repast they continued seven years." Lady Charlotte Guest, in a footnote to her translation of the Red Book of Hergest, speaks of them as "marvelous birds, whose notes were so sweet that warriors remained spell-bound for eighty years together listening to them." T.P. Ellis and John Lloyd, in a preface to their recent translation of the same material, to which is added material from the earlier White Book, refer to the Birds of Rhiannon as "perhaps the most beautiful imagining of the old Welsh mind."
     From these fragmentary allusions, the title of this play has been taken. At the same time, the Birds have been given definite place in the Grail theme and in its diffusion of objectives.
     The production of the play has presented problems of peculiar magnitude. Dr. Frank Rodolph, the general stage director, has met the task with zeal, with tact, with the fine fire of devotion. Mr. Vincent Duffey has augmented his labors as Chairman of the Jinks Committee by personal direction of the lighting. Mr. Loren Ryder has devised and installed certain required mechanical sound effects. The costumes and stage setting have been designed by Mr. Ferdinand Burgdorff.      To these—and to the players, the chorus, the orchestra, and the entire production personnel-the author is deeply grateful.

WALDEMAR YOUNG.
San Francisco, June, 1930,




 
ACT ONE
At the foot of a hill

CHARACTERS IN ACT ONE

In the order of their appearance


DAGONET                Wheaton Chambers
TALIESSIN                  Raymond Marlowe
ADAON                         Austin W. Sperry
SHEPHERD LAD                   Easton Kent
ANEIRIN                           Henry L. Perry
MADOG                             Leslie Jackson
HEININ                               Erwin Holton
KAY                             Richard H. Seward
FIRST KNIGHT         F. David Mannoccir, II

Bards, knights, figures of moon beams and shadows




ACT ONE
Before moonrise, in a forest. From the tree
tops Voices are heard, vaguely


          VOICES OF UNSEEN SPIRITS

Sing] Dreams. . . Dreams. . . Dreams.

         Dreams in tumbrils, lurching along
         Forgotten roads at evensong.

         Whitherward, dreams?
         Whitherward fare ye?

         Into the dark, and no man saith
         Of where the end is, sleep or death.

         Whitherward bear ye,
         Or joy or dole,
         The thing that is man, the being, the soul,
         The infinite spark?

         Into the dark, or sleep or death,
         To fan the spark with infinite breath.

         Dreams . . . Dreams . . . Dreams . . .
          [The voices die away into a moment of complete silence.

Music starts in the orchestra, bright, eager—impetuous.

Enter swiftly SIR DAGONET, the court fool who was knighted by King Arthur; TALIESSIN, the Chief of Arthur's bards; and ADAON, a young harper. They stop, looking up at the trees, the hill.


          TALIESSIN

Sings]  O moon, O forest moon,
           O pale young prince of night,
           Come forth in beauty's name,
           Thine armor burning bright,
           Thy sword a silver flame!

           A silver flame thy sword
           And silver-sweet the wire
           That trembles on my lyre
           For one eternal chord!
           Oh, strike with sword of fire
           The one eternal tune
           Upon my lyre, O moon!
           O moon! O forest moon!
                   [The three men start briskly toward the hill.


          VOICES OF UNSEEN SPIRITS

Sing] Dreams . . . Dreams . . . Dreams . . .
                                       [The three men stop, in wonder.


          DAGONET

What voices these?


          VOICES OF UNSEEN SPIRITS

Sing] Doth Eternity know
         Of a system or plan
         That might fetter and chain,
         That might hold and restrain,
         By gyve or by thong,
         The folly of man?

         Not so, saith the rune.

         Saith the rune, not so.

         With his lute for a bow
         And for arrows a song
         Importunate man
         Pursueth the moon.


          TALIESSIN

Sings] He is fleet,
           But I follow his wild bright feet,
           Shod in silver shoon,
           I follow them long.
           Over hills have I sped me,
           Apace, apace,
           Whence his silver feet led me
           A chase, a chase,
           With my lute for a bow and for arrows a song!
                                                                  [TALIESSIN starts impetuously up the hill.


          DAGONET

Taliessin!
                                                                                              [TALIESSIN stops, turns.

              Abide ye here. We'll wait
Until the moon is come.


          TALIESSIN
                             
                                    We must go on.


          DAGONET

We'll mark how nearer is the moon tonight
From here. It may be nearer, Taliessin.
A bard's impatience will not make it so,
If it is not.


          TALIESSIN

               God's life, Sir Dagonet,
'Twas Merlin's solemn counsel that we seek
Beyond the farthest hill. We must go on!


          DAGONET

We must not leave this most amazing wood!
Not yet. From out the branches of these trees,
Strange voices sang.


          TALIESSIN

                                  'Tis so.


          ADAON
                                              
                                                The chords were these.
                                                [He strikes the chords upon his harp.


          DAGONET

But softly, softly. A bird's dropt feather,
Brushing the strings, might stir the summer night
Into an ecstasy as soft and sad,
But not your fingers, Adaon; nor yet
The voice of Taliessin, should he sing
The very distillation of a tune
And sing it thrice as sweet as ever sang
The Chief of Arthur's bards, which is himself.


          ADAON

In Jesu's name, what was it then we heard?
If not such music as my fingers make,
If not such song as Taliessin sings,
What then is music?


          TALIESSIN

                                 Ay, and what is song?


          DAGONET

With cunning fingers, Adaon, ye pluck
Thin naked waifs of rhythm from the air
And send them forth again in silken robes—
And that is music. Taliessin here
Imprisons words in gentle custody
Within the coral cages of his throat,
And then he sets them free—and that is song.


          ADAON

What was it then we heard, Sir Dagonet?


          DAGONET

One man and only one of all God's men
Could say us sooth on that, and he is dead.


          TALIESSIN

Merlin!


          ADAON

            Merlin!


          DAGONET

                       Merlin! None but Merlin,
And Merlin and his ancient wisdom now
Are with the blessed dead.


          ADAON

                                          The cursèd dead,
The pagan dead, in Annwn!


          DAGONET

                                            Mayhap.

Say what ye will. He cannot speak. He's dead.


          ADAON

He cannot speak nor say us counsel now,
When most we need his counsel. If he could—


          DAGONET

Ay, if he could?


          ADAON

                        I vow I do believe,
Or more than half believe, he'd say: "Go back!"


          DAGONET

Go back?


          ADAON

               "Go back to Camelot!"


          DAGONET

                                                   Ah, no!


          ADAON

"Go back and ask forgiveness of your King!"


          DAGONET

No, Adaon! We may not falter now.


          ADAON

'Tis four sennights since we left Camelot,
And left the bards all desolate to lose
Their chieftain, Taliessin; and left, by stealth,
Without a thought of loyalty or love,
King Arthur, noblest king in Christendom;
And left Sir Kay, King Arthur's seneschal—


          DAGONET

Sir Kay! The man's my doom! I have seen murder
In his eyes. He hates me, hates us all!


          ADAON

                                                             But Arthur
Loves us—


          DAGONET

                 Hence Kay's hate!


          ADAON

                                             And we left Arthur!
We left our King, our dwellings, lands, chattels,
Left all of life's stability—for what?


          DAGONET

For what?
            [From the tree-tops, very soft and sweetly sad, is heard the sound of viols.


          ADAON

                For what?


          DAGONET

                                  To seek—mayhap to find—
A lovely garden hid behind a hill
And gay with flight of silver-shining birds
And sweet with music in the scented dusk.


          VOICES OF UNSEEN SPIRITS

Sing]  Dreams . . . Dreams . . . Dreams . . .
                        [The VOICES blur into a murmur, and are silent.


          DAGONET

O Voices! Voices of the summer night!
We are three men from Arthur's Table Round,
A singer and a harper and a fool.
We seek the hill the moon comes over!


          TALIESSIN

Come forth, come forth, O moon!


          DAGONET

                                                    Behind that hill,
So Merlin said, we'll find what we desire,
What each of us, in all a wishful world,
Would most desire.


          TALIESSIN

                               Come forth, come forth, O moon!


          ADAON

And Taliessin, from his singing heart,
And I, the least of music's servitors,
Do most desire to hear Rhiannon's birds,
Before the thrilling wonder of whose song
Armed warriors for battle panoplied
Stand tremulous and still and cannot move
To lift a spear against their friends, the foe.
                        [From the tree-tops comes again a wistful melody, half-gay, half-sad.


          DAGONET

O Voices! Voices! A weary time ago
I stood with Merlin on a somber hill,
And we looked down the dusk on Camelot.
"I am not long for this," he said. And then:
"They are not long for that," and waved a hand
To indicate the far faint sound of laughter
Blown on a breeze from Arthur's banquet hall.
"A Light will come and they will follow it,"
He said. "Gawain will lead them forth, but he
Will fail them, and the fair young Galahad
Shall find the Light. That is the prophecy,"
Said Merlin. "They will desert the Table Round,"
He said, "and Britain's King will be bereft
Of what he prizes most, their fellowship.
The Knights will go to seek the Holy Grail;
The King will lose the very thing to him
The holiest." Merlin then was silent.
At last he turned to me and spoke again.
"Ah, Dagonet," he mused. "Mad Dagonet!
And what will ye do, pray, when they are gone?
A scheme of things so desolate will hold
No place for blazonry of cap and bells.
And what will ye do, Dagonet?" I said
I did not know, and that he might, mayhap,
Advise me on't. I was so grave, he laughed.
Then he was grave. He asked of me: "And what,
Since men are leaning toward a Great Desire,
Would ye most wish for, little Dagonet?"
                        [He pauses—a long pause; then, introspectively—

Within the inner soul of every man
A shadow-voice is crying, softly crying.
It is the voice of something lost from life,
The voice of what the man had hoped to be,
The voice of long-abandoned boyish dreams.
                                              [Again he pauses. He looks up.

I turned to Merlin and I said: "I'd like
To find my boyish dreams again, to see
The man I had so fondly hoped to be
When as a lad I used to sit and plan
A future for myself." "Ho-ho!" laughed Merlin,
And then again "Ho-ho! Ye saw yourself
A knight in armor riding bravely forth
To joust before the King! Ye saw—" He stopped.
His eyes were on this gnarled body, so inept,
Incapable. "Forgive me, Dagonet,"
He said. "Ye asked advice. So be it! So:
Ye see yon rising moon? Well, find the hill
The moon comes over, and behind that hill
Ye'll find your dream."
                                  [The music in the tree-tops dies away.


          TALIESSIN
                                 
                                    O moon!


          ADAON

                                                    O moon!


          DAGONET

                                                                    O moon!
For eight and twenty nights we've sought thy last,
Thy farthest hill! For eight and twenty nights
We've seen thy nightly changing armament
Of eight and twenty different silver shields!
O moon! O moon!


          ADAON

                             Come forth, O summer moon!
                                           [TALIESSIN runs a short distance up the hill. He stops.


          TALIESSIN

     O pale young prince of night,
     My feet are fast for thee!
     My feet are fast
     And my eyes are fast
     To follow thy light,
     And my heart is fast,
     Oh, my heart is fast
     For the long-wished sight
     Of thee!

TALIESSIN continues swiftly up the hill. After he has gone
some twenty paces , there is a crash of music from the top of
the hill, followed by
VOICES. TALIESSIN starts to back down
in fear.



          VOICES OF UNSEEN SPIRITS

Sing]     O bard with lute and song,
             The hill is death to thee!
             The hill is death,
             And thy song is death!
             The swords of the strong
             Are the swords of death,
             And thy lute and song
             Will be mute along
             With thee!

DAGONET runs up to TALIESSIN, drawing his sword as he
goes, brandishing it wildly.



          DAGONET

Come forth!
Come forth from out the dark!
Whoever ye may be,
Wherever ye may be,
How many ye may be,
I cry ye forth!
                                                        [A silence.
I cry ye forth in Arthur's name!
I, Sir Dagonet,
Made knight by Arthur's hand,
I cry ye forth!
                                                        [A silence.
Ye do not come.
Ye do not venture out from where ye hide.
Ye are afraid of mighty Dagonet!
        [He laughs, suddenly, wildly. The laughter breaks off, in fear.

Taliessin!
                                                   [He clutches TALIESSIN.
It is I that am afraid.
Fear seizes me,
Seizes me now,
Reaching out like a great hand
From the shadows of these trees,
The shadows that may not be shadows.

After a moment, in which the three men are quite motionless,
the sweet notes of a shepherd's pipe are heard from the hillside.



          DAGONET

What. . .
What now is that?


          ADAON

Someone . . .
Some thing . . .
Approaches
On the hill!

A SHEPHERD LAD comes into view on the upper hillside,
blowing a brave tune on his pipes.


          DAGONET

Who are ye?


          SHEPHERD LAD

Sings]     O sir, I am a shepherd lad,
              But now I have no sheep, sir,
              And I have nothing that I had,
              Nor anything to keep, sir.

              My sheep were grazing down the lea,
              And there was I reclining
              At ease beneath a red yew tree—
              When I saw something shining.

               It was a bird against the sky,
               A bird of silver whiteness!
               It was a shining bird, and I
               Had never seen such brightness!
 
               It was a bird against the sky
               That tore the blue asunder!
               It was a shining bird, and I
               Had never seen such wonder!

               I should have watched my sheep, I know,
               So peaceful in the hollow;
               But when I saw that bright bird go,
               What could I do but follow?


          ADAON

Come ye down, Shepherd Lad.
             [He comes quickly down to ADAON, while DAGONET, with
             drawn sword, starts up the hill, followed by
TALIESSIN.

The bird ye followed—


          SHEPHERD LAD

It was so silver-white a bird
I thought it might be flying
From the moon.


          ADAON

Rhiannon's birds are silver-white—


          SHEPHERD LAD

Rhiannon's birds!
                                      [He draws back, with a shudder.


          ADAON

They sing the dead
Into life!


          SHEPHERD LAD

They sing the living
Into the sleep of death!


          ADAON

The sleep of death!


          SHEPHERD LAD

The old men say it,
And they say
The Hounds of Annwn guard the sky.

From far off down the valley a man's voice is heard,
faintly calling.


          THE VOICE FROM THE VALLEY

Taliessin! Taliessin!


          ADAON

Taliessin!
               [TALIESSIN, now some distance up the hillside, stops and turns.
Some one is hailing ye,
From down the valley.

               [TALIESSIN comes down, quickly. DAGONET, with drawn
                sword, disappears along the hillside.



          SHEPHERD LAD

O sir, if ye are Taliessin,
Chief of Arthur's bards,
Men seek ye,
Singing men,
From Arthur's court at Camelot.
I met them back apace.
They said they bore ye news,
Tremendous news,
Anent the King.


          THE BARDS

           Sing  Taliessin! Taliessin! Taliessin!
   off-stage]  Calling through wold and mead and lea
                    Out of an olden need for thee,
                    Searching by sun and stars thy trail!
                    Chief that thou wast to us,
                    Be not now lost to us.
                    Answer our hail!
                    Taliessin!


          TALIESSIN

           Sings]  Bards! Bards!
                       I am near thee!


          THE BARDS

       Sing  Master! Master!
off-stage] We hear thee, hear thee!
                Fast we come and faster, faster.

Music starts in the orchestra—brisk, spirited.

THE BARDS, including harpers and lute-players, a picturesque
body of between sixty and seventy men, some running in.


        Sing] Taliessin! Taliessin! Taliessin!
                 Thick though the trees and hard the way,
                 Quickly thy seasoned bards obey,
                 Sped by thy fiercely fought-for hail!
                 Chief, we have found thee now,
                 Gather we round thee now,
                 Song will prevail!
                 Taliessin!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] Gramercy, bards!


          THE BARDS

      Sing]  Taliessin!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings]  And now what news?
                 What news of Camelot?


          THE BARDS

      Sing] What news! What news!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] By lowly mews and lofty tor?


          ANEIRIN

      Sings]  Much news, God wot!
                  King Arthur, brave King Arthur's gone to war!


          THE BARDS

      Sings] In Cornwall, by fair Camlan's shore,
                King Arthur, brave King Arthur's gone to war!


          ANEIRIN

      Sings] Sir Modred, Arthur's bastard son,
                 The spawn of one false hour,
                 Hath cried that Arthur's race is run,
                 That Arthur's day as king is done,
                 That Camelot must now be won
                 By fierce and bloody stour.

                 In galleys seven hundred all
                 Plow Saxons to his help—
                 Sly Cheldric, Elaf, Egbricht tall,
                 Mad Irish led by Gislafal,
                 Full sixty thousand heed the call
                 Of Arthur's bastard whelp.

                 In Arthur's host ride kings amain,
                 Fierce-fisted sons of Thor:
                 Wild Olbricht, Norway's fighting thane,
                 Borindemar, Aschil the Dane,
                 Full eighty thousand in the train
                 Of Britain's emperor.

                 He rides, he rides, that kingly sire
                 Whose fruit of love was hate.
                 In Cornwall, on a funeral pyre,
                 He'll feed his bastard to the fire,
                 The mongrel remnant of desire,
                 The whoreson whelp of fate!


          THE BARDS

      Sing] To war! To war!
               In Cornwall, by fair Camlan's shore,
               King Arthur, brave King Arthur's gone to war!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] To war! To war!
                O Arthur! O my King, my King!
                 I should have made a song to sing
                 To fare ye forth, my warrior!


          MADOG

      Sings] We sang, O Chief,
                 A rousing song of pennons flaunted,
                 Men undaunted,
                 Knight and bowman,
                 Wight and yeoman,
                 Lord and peer,
                 With a ringing in our singing
                      of each swinging, slinging, stinging
                      sword and spear!


          THE BARDS

      Sing] O Chief,
               He did not hear!
               King Arthur would not, could not hear
               For grief.


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] My King! My King!


          ADAON

      Sings] These mickle moons he hath been sad and wan.


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] He wore no smile when last I knelt before him,
                 Nor bade me sing.


          ADAON

      Sings] Sir Modred had not then, 'twas moons agone,
                 Unloosed his bastard's hate and cried to war him.


          TALIESSIN

      Sings]  My King! My King!


          ADAON

      Sings] 'Twas not the pall    
                 Of Modred's treachery then, my Chief,
                 That held him thrall,
                 That made him sad,
                 That gave him grief.
                 This mood he's had
                 E'er since a certain fateful feast within the kingly banquet hall.


          THE BARDS

      Sing] When Gawain rose and cried "Wassail!"
               Arthur was hale,
               Arthur was hale.
               When Gawain cried, "The Grail! The Grail!"
               Arthur was pale,
               Arthur was pale.


          ADAON

      Sings] The knife was in the meat,
                 The drink was in the horn,
                 King Arthur sat his seat,
                 The noblest monarch born,
                 His fellowship complete,
                 The truest knighthood sworn.

                 King Arthur sat him there.
                 He cried: "O knights renowned,
                 O knights, not anywhere
                 In all the world is found
                 A fellowship so fair
                 As sits my Table Round."

                 Sir Gawain rose him up.
                 Sir Gawain cried: "Wassail!
                 No more, my King, I'll sup.
                 I go to seek the Grail!"
                 Sir Gawain drained his cup.
                 Sir Gawain donned his mail.
                 An hundred best knights known
                 Uprose and loud each knight
                 Cried then unto the throne:
                 "I follow me that Light!"
                  King Arthur sat alone.
                  King Arthur's face was white.

                  King Arthur's face was wan.
                  He gazed him round the room,
                  So empty in the dawn,
                  So gray with gathered gloom.
                  "My fellowship is gone!
                   Would I were in my tomb!"


          THE BARDS

Sing] Taliessin! Taliessin! Taliessin!
         Whither thy pinions of song are spread,
         Thither thy minions belong till dead,
         Down through the years that flow'r and flail!
         Chief that thou art to us,
         Do not depart from us,
         Seeking the Grail!
         Taliessin!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings]  I follow a light—


          THE BARDS

      Sing] The Grail! The Grail!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] My fondest hopes enshrining!


          SHEPHERD LAD

      Sings] A bird of white—


          THE BARDS

      Sing] The Grail! The Grail!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] A splendor silver-shining!


          SHEPHERD LAD

      Sings] A bird so bright—


          THE BARDS

      Sing] The Grail! The Grail!


          SHEPHERD LAD

      Sings] Its splendor past divining!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] I follow a light—


          THE BARDS

      Sing] The Grail! The Grail!
               The Sangreal silver-shining!


          TALIESSIN

      Sings] Whilst the earth still clings to the sun's
                       warm fingers,
                 Whilst far in the West
                 The day on the crimson threshold lingers,
                 Fare I on my quest.
                 Madly racing the night through valleys
                      of clover,
                 By river and rill,
                 I seek me the hill that the moon comes over,
                 I seek me that hill.

                 Ah fair and fond
                 The summer night!
                 The moon's soft light
                 Appears beyond
                 A nearby hill in joyance dight.
                 I climb that hill, I scale its height,
                 Only to find the moon's soft light so white
                       and still
                 Comes from behind another hill,
                 Another and a far-off hill!
                                  [ANEIRIN points off suddenly, in excitement.


          ANEIRIN

Look ye, down the valley!
                                           [ADAON rushes over.


          ADAON

                                         How now? What's this?

Martial music, muted, starts in the orchestra as the other
bards hurry over, looking off.



          ANEIRIN

A band of Arthur's knights. They ride this way.


          MADOG

Mark ye the rhythm of their galloping!


          ANEIRIN

The rhythm breaks. They canter . . . walk . . . pull up . . .
They halt now at the roaring stream we crossed.


          MADOG

They dare not trust our footbridge with their horses.


          ADAON

God's life, but this is strange! They do not wear
The helm and mail of war.
                                           [He turns to THE BARDS, angrily.
 
                                          Ye brought us news
That Arthur was at war.


          ANEIRIN

                                       He is at war!


          MADOG

He is at war! He fights his bastard son!


          ANEIRIN

He fights Sir Modred for his life, his throne—


          MADOG

In Cornwall—


          ANEIRIN

                      Ay, 'tis so—


          ADAON

                                         But Cornwall's far!


          ANEIRIN

'Tis many leagues.


          ADAON

                               By Christ! These knights should be
At Arthur's side in Cornwall! Look ye now
Who leads them? Look!


          ANEIRIN

                                       They come afoot.


          ADAON

                                                                      Sir Kay!


          MADOG

They come afoot across the bridge.


          ADAON

                                                           Sir Kay!
None less than Kay! He leads them! Look!


          MADOG

                                                                      Sir Kay!


          ANEIRIN

Sir Kay!


          ADAON

              Sir Kay, King Arthur's seneschal!

To the martial music in the orchestra, enter SIR KAY and
twenty knights. As the music climaxes,
KAY draws his sword
dramatically, holding it aloft.


          KAY

       My soul to God,
       My life to my King,
       My honor to myself!
            [He sheathes his sword and turns, addressing TALIESSIN,
            who stands aloof, some little distance up the hill.

Taliessin!


          TALIESSIN

               Sir Kay!


          KAY

                            I've ridden England,
Endlong and overthwart, in search of ye.


          TALIESSIN

The seneschal, in sooth, doth honor me.
                                        [ADAON advances belligerently to KAY.


          ADAON

What of the war, Sir Kay, in Cornwall?


          ANEIRIN

                                                            Ay,
The war!


          MADOG

               The war!


          ADAON

                              The war!


          KAY

                                             The war is done.


          ADAON

A truce?


          KAY

             'Twas so contrived a fortnight gone.


          ADAON

'Twere news to me.

         
          ANEIRIN

                                We had not heard.


          ADAON

                                                              And now,
Sir Kay?


          KAY

              King Arthur wants his gleemen home.


          ADAON

He is not wroth with us?


          KAY

                                         He saw ye leave,
Far off, atop a hill, against the moon.
He was not wroth, but sad.


          ADAON

                                           What said he then?


          KAY

"I may not see them more," he said. "Their songs
Will haunt me now through all my days to be.
In ghostly echoes evermore I'll hear
Their lutes against the moon." That was, to me,
Ridiculous. I am a practical man.
A song is only a song, no more. A lute
Is only a lute.
                                       [Music starts softly in the orchestra.


          HEININ

                       A song is only a song!


          MADOG

A lute is only a lute!


          KAY

                                No more.


          MADOG

                                                 No more?


          HEININ

       Sings]   A song is only a song!


          MADOG

       Sings]   A lute is only a lute!


          HEININ

       Sings]   As a bird hath wings,
                    So the singer sings,
                    As a fruit tree brings
                    Forth fruit.


          MADOG

       Sings]   A lute is only a lute!


          HEININ

       Sings]   A song is only a song!

          ALL BARDS

       Sing]   For our coronal
                  Let the blossoms fall,
                  We will go singing all
                  Life long!


          TALIESSIN

Sings]   We'll make a song for summertime
             To sing in garden-closes,
             With little silver words that chime
             And music soft as roses.
             Wherever then our song may be
             On vagrant breezes blowing,
             The people listening will see
             A lovely garden growing.


          TALIESSIN AND BARDS

Sing]   Garden of song,
           With fountains flinging
           Jewels along
           The path of our singing,
           And bright-throated birds in the gay air winging.


          ALL BARDS

Sing]   And bright-throated words to our lute-strings clinging!


          TALIESSIN

       Sings]   Bright-throated words
                    Wistfully clinging
                    To the trembling wire
                    Of cithern and lute and harp and lyre;
                    Clinging and clinging wistfully
                    Till music releases them, sets them free,
                    And the bright-throated words
                    Are bright-throated birds
                    In the gay air winging
                    Their ecstasy.


          MADOG

       Sings]   A lute is only a lute!


          HEININ

       Sings]   A song is only a song!


          ALL BARDS

       Sing]   Garden of song!
                  Garden of song!
                  We will go singing all
                        life long!

DAGONET now comes into view on the hillside, advancing
cautiously, with drawn sword, from behind some brush. He
sees them below.



          DAGONET

Comrades in Arthur's name, my fellow knights!


          KAY

Dagonet!


          DAGONET

                Sir Kay forgets his courtesy.
I am Sir Dagonet, to knighthood sworn.


          KAY

The King did jest the day he dubbed ye knight.


          DAGONET

Ye lie!                                              
                                                        [He starts down the hill.


          KAY

            Enough!                                            
                                                                       [DAGONET stops.
                          Put up your sword.


          DAGONET

                                                           I say
Ye lie! And ye can run me through for that.


          KAY

I do not fight with cripples or with fools.


          DAGONET

So courteous a knight the seneschal!


          KAY

I come on business of the King. He seeks
To have his fellowship about him now
As once he had.


          DAGONET
 
                          A stirring message, Kay!


          KAY

Sir Kay!


          DAGONET

             The halls will ring as rang they erst!
We'll lift our swords again in knighthood's vow:
                                                   [He holds his sword aloft.
                         My soul to God!
                         My life to my King!
                         My honor to myself!


          KAY

Fool! Ye dare? The oath is sacred!


          DAGONET

                                                      Sacred!
                                                         [KAY draws his sword
                                                          and starts up toward

                                                          DAGONET.


          KAY

Ye go too far!
         [Three or four of the KNIGHTS step out quickly to stop KAY.


          FIRST KNIGHT

                      Sir Kay!
                                                                                    [KAY stops.


          KAY

                                   I do forget.
                                                     [KAY puts up his sword.


          DAGONET

Sacred the words King Arthur spoke to me
That day of days: "Arise, Sir Dagonet,
Most loyal and most true of all my knights."


          KAY

It was a game—


          FIRST KNIGHT

                          A comedy—


          KAY

                                              The King
Was hard put holding in his laughter.

DAGONET has held the picture, sword aloft, until this last
jibing, during which he has lowered it. He is shaken.


          DAGONET

                                                              No!
He would not trick me so! He is my King!
My life is his to order as he wills.
And if he makes me knight, I am his knight.


          KAY

Ye are his fool. Naught else.


          DAGONET

                                             I am his fool
And proud to be because I know he loves
His fool.


          KAY

              He loves his dog!
                       [KAY laughs. The KNIGHTS join in the laughter.


          DAGONET

                                          I am his dog.
I will go back and gnaw a bone. I'll wear
The collar of my loyalty so he
And all the knights will know me as I am.
I'll whimper at his feet. I'll beg for food,
On my hind legs, before the Table Round.
I'll shake my shaggy coat and growl. And he—
And he will pat me on the head and say:
"Arise, Sir Dog!" Betimes, o' summer nights,
I'll bark beneath his window at the moon.
                             [He stops, staring; a change comes over him.

The moon! The moon! Ah, God!
                  [He sinks to his knees, burying his face in his hands.


          TALIESSIN

                                                 Come forth, O moon!


          KAY

What's now? What ails ye, Dagonet? Arise!
                                             [DAGONET gets to his feet, slowly.
We leave for Camelot.


          DAGONET

                                    I cannot go.
Not back to Camelot. I must go on.
I must go on the way of my long seeking.
I must go on until I find—
                                                                   [He hesitates.


          KAY

                                         Speak, fool!


          DAGONET

The hill the moon comes over!


          KAY

                                               Fool! What's this?
What folly's here?
                                                           [KAY turns to ADAON.
                             Another jest of Arthur's?


          ADAON

This was by Merlin's counsel, not the King's.


          KAY

A mighty jest!


          ADAON

                        I thought as much.


          DAGONET

                                                        Adaon!
                                                        [ADAON looks at DAGONET
                                                         for an instant, then addresses KAY.


          ADAON

We will go back.


          DAGONET

                         No, Adaon!
                                                [KAY turns to the KNIGHTS.


          KAY

                                           A fool,
Even a fool, should know the hopelessness
Of such a quest.


          FIRST KNIGHT

                           Even a fool.


          KAY

                                               The moon,
No matter what far hills the fool might climb,
Would always be beyond a farther hill.


          FIRST KNIGHT

Certes!


          KAY

              This may account for Merlin's death.
The red fox laughed himself into his grave.


          DAGONET

He would have laughed to hear the seneschal's
Ingenuous profundities. And yet,
Within the scope of his intelligence,
The seneschal is right. The moon, to him,
Would always be beyond a farther hill.


          KAY

Enough of this! We leave for Camelot!
Come, bards!
                                       [ADAON and some of the BARDS start.


          DAGONET

                      No! No!
                                 [DAGONET rushes down to intercept them.

                                  No! No! Ye must not go!
                                   [They stop, DAGONET barring the way
                                    in great excitement.



          KAY

We leave at once! And if the fool remains,
He'll be a dead fool, by my vow!


          DAGONET

                                                   O Bards!
We may be near the very hill we seek!
This is no common wood! Gaze on these trees!
This night, midmost their branches, Voices sang!


          KAY

Taliessin! Bards! We leave for Camelot!


          DAGONET

Not Taliessin! He will go with me!
And where he goes, go all these singing men!


          THE BARDS

Ay! Ay! Ay!


          ANElRIN

                  We go with Taliessin!
                   [They all turn to TALIESSIN, who has remained aloof
                    from the discussion, up the hill, awaiting the moon.



          MADOG

O Chieftan, speak!
                                 [There is a silence as TALIESSIN turns.
                                  He speaks slowly, with precision.


          TALIESSIN

                             We'll wait within this wood
Until the moon, with silver key, unlocks
These shadows. Then—


          ADAON

                                      To Camelot!


          DAGONET

                                                          No! No!


          ADAON

To Camelot and to our King!


          DAGONET

                                             No! No!
The hill!


          HEININ

              The hill!


          THE BARDS

                            The hill! The hill! The hill!


          DAGONET

And ye shall find, one night, ye singing men,
A little silver-shining world and hear
Rhiannon's birds—


          HEININ

Sings] Oh, speed the night—


          EIGHT BARDS

Sing] Oh, speed the night on silver-shining wings!


          HEININ

Sings] O world of white—


          SIXTEEN BARDS

Sing] O world of white and silver-shining things!


          HEININ

Sings] O night, be near!


          SIXTEEN BARDS

Sing] O night, be near!


          HEININ

Sings] O night, so soft and still!


          SIXTEEN BARDS

Sing] Give us to hear—


          HEININ

Sings] Give us to hear the vagrant tunes,
                        the fragrant tunes,
                        behind the moon's
                        last hill!


          THIRTY-TWO BARDS

Sing] Behind the moon's last silver-shining hill!

These THIRTY-TWO BARDS are the FIRST SECTION of the
chorus. The remainder of the chorus are the SECOND SECTION.


          ADAON

Sings] Hear me! Hear me! Men of rhyme!


          SECOND SECTION

       Sing] Hear Adaon ! Hear Adaon!


          ADAON
      
       Sings]
'Tis the folly of man,
                  The eternal buffoon,
                  To have struggled to span
                  Down the reaches of time
                  The chasms that yawn
                  'Twixt him and the moon.


          FIRST SECTION

       Sing] 'Tis thus that we try—


          SECOND SECTION

       Sing] And thy trying shall fail!


          ADAON

       Sings] With a lute for a sail
                  And for compass a song,
                  Man would venture to fly
                  A course to the moon!


          ANEIRIN

       Sings] We go to Camelot!
                  To Camelot and to our King!
                  In his castle strong
                  King Arthur waits,
                  And his bards are not
                  At his castle gates!


          SECOND SECTION

       Sing] We go!
                To our King, our King!


          FIRST SECTION

       Sing] No, no!
                To follow beauty—


          SECOND SECTION

       Sing] No, no! No, no! The call o' duty—


          FIRST SECTION

       Sing] We go to follow beauty and bright birds
                       upon the wing!


          ANEIRIN

Sings] We'll make a song,
           Not of birds, not of birds,
           But the words that trip on each lyric lip
           They shall sing of thy strong staunch
                 fellowship—


          SECOND SECTION

Sing] Arthur! O my Arthur!


          ANEIRIN

        Hand in hand
        Through the years to be,
        Thus we stand
        Till eternity!


                                    ALL BARDS

          FIRST SECTION                      SECOND SECTION

Sing] Garden of a song!          Sing] Men that are strong!
         Garden of a song!                   Men that are strong!
         We will go singing                   God and our kingdom
              all life long!                             all life long!

[The music stops. There is a pause; DAGONET breaks it.


          DAGONET

This is man's tragedy: that he should be
Thus torn between a duty and a dream,
Always and forever.


          ADAON

                                Which way we go
Our Chief must say. Let Taliessin speak!
Let him decide!


          ANEIRIN

                        We go with Taliessin,
Whither he goes.


          HEININ

                            It is agreed.


          BARDS OF BOTH SECTIONS

                                                 Ay! Ay! Ay!


          HEININ

It is agreed.


          DAGONET

                     O Taliessin, speak!
Comrade adventurer, who sought with me
To cross the borderland of fancy—-speak!
Your duty is with Arthur, with your King!
But off beyond some subtle hill, alight
With silver lanterns of the summer moon,
There is a garden where ye'll find your dream.
Ye'll hear Rhiannon's birds! They sing the dead
Into life! They sing, O Taliessin,
And the blessèd dead arise and are not dead.
                                                                          [A pause.
It is for ye to choose for all these men.
Speak! My heart is in thy answer . . . Speak!


          TALIESSIN

       Sings] I'll make a song, a song to sing
                  At the feet of my King!


          ALL BARDS

       Sing] Arthur! O my Arthur!
                          [DAGONET is crushed utterly; he stands
                           with bowed head, a hopeless figure.



          TALIESSIN

       Sings] The song I make shall be
                  A simple melody,
                  A song for its own sake;
                  And it shall wear a dress
                  Of lyric loveliness;
                  And it shall be a part
                  Of my own singing heart—
                  The song that I shall make
                  To sing, to sing, to sing
                  At the feet of my King!


          ALL BARDS

       Sing] Arthur! O my Arthur!
               
               Hand in hand
               Through the years to be
               Thus we stand
               Till eternity!
    
               Arthur! O my Arthur!
                              [The music continues, triumphantly,
                                with full orchestra.


TALIESSIN runs down from the hill; he and ADAON lead the
BARDS and the KNIGHTS in a joyous march off. Remaining
on the stage are
SIR KAY, DAGONET and the SHEPHERD LAD.
The music in the orchestra grows fainter and fainter, with
a feeling that the men are getting farther and farther aw a y.


                                [KAY steps over to DAGONET.


          KAY

Ye dare to flout the King?


          DAGONET

                                        I have seen murder
In your eyes before.


          KAY
     
                                  Fool!


          DAGONET

                                          I see it now.


          KAY

Fool! Ye die!


          DAGONET

                     On guard, Sir Kay!

They draw their swords. DAGONET is a twisted, pathetically
incapable figure.
KAY laughs, as they fence for just a moment.
Then
KAY strikes the sword from DAGONET'S hand,
draws back his own sword, and runs DAGONET through.
DAGONET crumples to the ground. KAY laughs and goes out,
after the
BARDS. The SHEPHERD LAD hurries to DAGONET'S
side, leaning over, lifting the fool's head and shoulders,
resting them on his knee. After a moment,
DAGONET speaks,
slowly, with a sense of futility.



          DAGONET

There is silence now.
They have gone.
Taliessin has gone.
Adaon has gone.
There is no sound now of singing men.
They have gone.
There is no sound now of anything.
All about us trees,
Monstrous trees,
Making no sound.
It is as though the world had died
And there was no sound anywhere
In all the world.
                               [A VOICE speaks clearly, distinctly,from an
                               unseen source on the hill.



          VOICE FROM THE HILL

No sound but the voice of a fool!


          DAGONET

Jesu defend!
'Twas Merlin spoke.


          SHEPHERD LAD

Merlin!


          DAGONET

Merlin!
I know that voice.
I know its tone, inflection, every syllable's caress.
'Twas Merlin!
And Merlin is dead!
                                   [DAGONET tries to rise. Suddenly he
                                    throws up his arms with a cry.

Jesu mercy!
Christ Jesu!
                                   [DAGONET falls back, limp, lifeless.


          SHEPHERD LAD

Sir Dagonet! Sir Dagonet!
       
             [There is a pause. The
SHEPHERD LAD lowers the body gently
              to the ground. Ouerhead, in the trees, there is a long-drawn wail,
              as of anguish.


The Hounds of Annwn ride the sky!
                                                         [The SHEPHERD LAD runs out in terror.

The stage is now empty, except for the crumpled figure of
DAGONET, lying very lone and very still. In the orchestra
begins a lovely melody, with a feeling in it of expectancy.
The top of the hill begins to grow lighter. The music is a cry
now of gladness. Great shafts of silver light shoot aslant
the trees. Plunging down the hill pell-mell come figures in
diaphanous robes of silver-white. At the same time, run-
ning out from deep pools of purple shadow, come figures in
flowing black. They dance the Dance of the Moonbeams and
Shadows—a mad, merry dance in which the moonbeams
capture and destroy one by one the shadows. At the exact
moment that the dance finishes, and the music stops, the
first rim of the full moon appears between the tree-trunks

at the top of the hill. The silence is broken by the shrill,
clear, penetrating song of birds.

         
[DAGONET, who has been lying quite still, raises his head and
           listens. He gets to his feet.



          DAGONET

The Birds—
The Birds of Rhiannon!
                                         [He starts quickly up the hill.
At last—at last—
                         [As he nears the moon, becoming a silhouetted figure against
                          the rim of the moon, alll lights go out.


The bird-song continues in the darkness, being heard now
in the tree-tops at the foot of the hill, then in a group of

trees some distance up the hill—and the birds are gone.
—There is silence.



                               END OF ACT ONE



                                       ACT TWO
                          The other side of the hill



                           CHARACTERS IN ACT TWO

                       In the order of their appearance


            DAGONET                         Wheaton Chambers
            THE FIGURE IN GRAY        Harry F. Budd
            EINIGAN GAWR                Charles F. Bulotti
            TEIRTU OF ARVON            James McDonald
            GWYN AB NUDD               Timothy Healy
            MERLIN                            M. E. Harlan
            KING ARTHUR                   Harry E. Borchert
            SIR PERCEVAL                  Frederick E. Keast

            Spirits of Poetry, Spirits of Music, Spirits of Philosophy, Knights




                                   ACT TWO
         The lone figure of Dagonet is coming slowly
                  down the other side of the hill.

 
 
          DAGONET

Merlin!
                                    [He advances; pauses again.
Merlin!
                                    [He comes still nearer.
Merlin!
                              [From a beautiful castle at one side comes a robed
                               and hooded figure in gray.

Who art thou?


          THE FIGURE IN GRAY

Thou spakest a name!


          DAGONET

But not thy name!
I spake the name of Merlin.
Back there—
The other side this hill—
I heard his voice.


          THE FIGURE IN GRAY

Gods come, gods go . . . and what endures?
The imagination that created them.


          DAGONET

Who art thou?


          THE FIGURE IN GRAY

A god, a man, a name—these pass.
There is no Merlin more.
 

          DAGONET

I heard his voice!
Out of a silence Merlin spake.
Out of a grim and ghastly silence
Merlin spake!
There was a moment terror rode the world.
I swooned. I knew no more.
Then . . .
Light!
Light,
And the song of birds.


          THE FIGURE IN GRAY

Brave echoes holding tryst with substance.
Shadows folding in a garb of dream
Substantial things.


          DAGONET

It was a light that filled the world!
It was the light that all men seek
Who grope in darkness for a light.
It was a song that filled the world!
It was the song that sleeps unsung
Within the mind of man.
                              [A VOICE, with power beyond a human voice,
                               is heard from the hillside.



          THE VOICE

It was the dream!


          DAGONET

Merlin!
                 [DAGONET, in awe, staggers back to one side; THE
                  FIGURE IN GRAY follows him.

He spake again!

There is a crash of music from the orchestra; at the same
instant, a shaft of white light picks out a great white-thorn
bush, center, on the hill.

Enter the SPIRITS OF POETRY, led by EINIGAN GAWR; the
SPIRITS OF MUSIC, led by TEIRTU OF ARVON; the SPIRITS OF
PHILOSOPHY, led by GWYN AB NUDD. They face the white-thorn
bush. The music stops.


                        [The three leaders step forth, each standing a little
                         apart from his group.



          EINIGAN

O Father of Gods—


          TEIRTU

O Mind of Man—


          GWYN

O Father of Gods,
O Mind of Man,
We are thy servants!
 

          EINIGAN

Poetry!


          TEIRTU

Music!


          GWYN

Philosophy!
We are thy servants and we kneel to thee—


          EINIGAN

O Father of Gods—


          TEIRTU

O Mind of Man!
                                                       [All kneel in unison.


          EINIGAN

We are thy servants, and we hold aloft
The bardic symbol.
We hold aloft
The three diverging rays of light,
For thy honor and thy glory!


          TEIRTU

We are thy servants, and we bring to thee
The triple harp.
We bring to thee
The three diverging rays of light
Suspended on three rows of golden wire,
For thy honor and thy glory!


          GWYN

We are thy servants, and we offer thee
Blodueda, the flower-born.
We offer thee
The Bird Blodueda,
Which sees in darkness,
Hears beyond all silences,
And blinks not in the three diverging rays of light.
In thy honor and thy glory,
O Mind of Man!


          EINIGAN

O Father of Gods—


          TEIRTU

O Mind of Man—


          GWYN

O Father of Gods,
O Mind of Man—
Appear!
 

          EINIGAN

Appear!
                [There is another crash of music from the orchestra. The spotlight
                 on the white-thorn bush changes colors, growing brighter
                 with each change.



          TEIRTU

Appear!
                [Now the white-thorn bush parts slowly, and MERLIN steps
                 forth into the full glory of the light. The music stops. DAGONET
                 starts forward with a cry.


          DAGONET

Merlin!
           [THE FIGURE IN GRAY seizes DAGONET, drawing him back.


          MERLIN

Einigan Gawr, stand forth!
                                                [EINIGAN stands forth.
Thou art the Spirit of Poetry,
Einigan Gawr!


EINIGAN

I saw descending unto earth
The three diverging rays of light.
I cut three rods of mountain ash
And didst upon them there inscribe
That which the three diverging rays of light
Revealed to me.
And people marveled, and they gave a name
To that which I didst there inscribe.
They named it Poetry.


          MERLIN

What was it that thou didst inscribe,
Einigan Gawr?


          EINIGAN

All knowledge!
All knowledge,
In the warm supernal light of beauty.


          MERLIN

Stand forth,
Teirtu of Arvon!
                                              [TEIRTU stands forth.
Thou art the Spirit of Music,
Teirtu of Arvon!


          TEIRTU

Within the three diverging rays of light
Man lives in three distinct and separate worlds:
The world of sense;
The world of thought;
And a higher world where sense and thought are one,
The world of music.


          MERLIN

What gainest man
In this high world, Teirtu of Arvon?


          TEIRTU

All knowledge!
All knowledge,
In the warm supernal light of beauty.


          MERLIN

Stand forth,
O Gwyn ab Nudd!
                                                     [GWYN stands forth.
Thou art the Spirit of Philosophy,
Gwyn ab Nudd!


          GWYN

I am Gwyn, the son of Nudd,
And I was king in Annwn
Until thou madest of me thy servant,
Mind of Man!
My castle was atop that hill
Where I could gaze down either side.
I sat upon a golden throne.
My scepter was the wand of Math,
Cut from the wood that grows beside
The spectral waters.
I sat upon a golden throne
And gazed far off
And saw men stumble blindly in the dark.
I saw men struggle, fight and die.
I touched them with the wand of Math,
And each man clasped the other's hand
And knew the other as a man.


          MERLIN

O Gwyn ab Nudd,
What was the magic of the wand of Math?


          GWYN

All knowledge!
All knowledge,
In the warm supernal light of beauty.


          MERLIN

Now wit ye well, my vavasours; give heed!
A King will come this night to Annwn,
And he shall rule eternally. Prepare!


          EINIGAN

       Sings] Who rules eternally must wear
                  A crown of stars—


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] Prepare! Prepare!


          EINIGAN

       Sings] Go borrow from the Seraphim
                 The shining Galaxy for him.
                 Go place upon his kingly head
                 The crescent moon thus diamonded.
                 No less a crown than this shall be
                 For him who rules eternally.


          TEIRTU

       Sings] Who rules eternally must wear
                  A regal robe—


          ALL SPIRITS
 
       Sing]
Prepare! Prepare!


          TEIRTU

       Sings] Ay, he must be forthwith arrayed
                  In blue empyrean brocade,
                  Enbelted with the Pleiades,
                  The girdle of night's mysteries.
                  If such a king ye'd glorify,
                  Upon his shoulders drape the sky!


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] Prepare! Prepare! Let comets fling
                Across the night, to greet this King,
                Their caravan of star-dust white,
                For King and right, for King and man!
                           [The music stops. There is a fanfare of trumpets.


          GWYN

Who rules eternally must bear
The wand of Math,
Cut from the wood that grows beside
The spectral waters.
Who rules eternally must rule
In warmth of human fellowship.
          [There is another fanfare. The music resumes in the orchestra.


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] Prepare! Prepare! Let cry a throng!
                Let each man bring a lute and song!
                Let each man bring a rousing air
                To greet his King! Prepare! Prepare!
                       [Exeunt ALL SPIRITS to the music. THE FIGURE IN
                        GRAY moves off into castle, leaving MERLIN on the
                        hill and DAGONET below him. The music stops.


          DAGONET

Merlin!


          MERLIN

            Are they gone, quite gone?


          DAGONET

                                                          They are gone.
                                                                 [MERLIN chuckles to himself.


          MERLIN

I'll come down.
       [MERLIN descends. He puts his arms on DAGONET'S shoulders.
                   
                        Ah, little Dagonet!


          DAGONET

Word came to Camelot that ye were dead.
                                                                  [MERLIN laughs.
'Twas said ye died in far Broceliande.
                                                                   [Again MERLIN laughs.
The news went round the court, swift traveling:
"Merlin is dead in far Broceliande!
The red fox and his ancient wisdom died
Of too much beauty."


          MERLIN

                                    My tomb a white-thorn bush!


          DAGONET

But ye look younger.


          MERLIN

                                 So? I am not young
Nor old. But come, my little Dagonet;
About yourself—the news!


          DAGONET

                                            The three of us—
Taliessin, Adaon, myself—set out
One night afoot. For eight and twenty nights
One hill was like another hill; but we
Kept on.


          MERLIN

               I knew ye would.


          DAGONET

                                            King Arthur's bards,
Who followed us, caught up with us tonight.
Then came Sir Kay and all his retinue!


          MERLIN

No man may venture into unknown fields
But that he leaves a path for other men!


          DAGONET

"Turn back, ye Bards, to Camelot," cried Kay.
"King Arthur wants his fellowship once more."


          MERLIN

And all but little Dagonet turned back!
                                                            [MERLIN laughs.
A jest! A mighty jest!


          DAGONET

                                   A jest?


          MERLIN

                                                A jest!
Arthur is dead.


          DAGONET

                          Dead?


          MERLIN

                                      Dead! Arthur is dead!
He met his bastard son by Camlan's shore.


          DAGONET

There was no truce?


          MERLIN

                                 They met to sign the truce.
Sir Modred slew him, slew his sire, the King!
                            [DAGONET sinks to his knees, crossing himself.


          DAGONET

O Arthur! O my King!
                                  [MERLIN looks at him, amused.


          MERLIN
                                 What loyalty
Is this, that comes too late? Ye did not go
With Kay to Camelot. And now ye cry:
"O Arthur! O my King!"


          DAGONET

                                     My King! My King!


          MERLIN

Ye coveted his throne!
                                     [DAGONET rises, staggering back.


          DAGONET

                                       No, no! No, no!
                                           [MERLIN laughs. He goes to DAGONET.


          MERLIN

Ah, little Dagonet, ye have not yet
A sense of values.
                                                                  [He leads DAGONET to a bench.
                              Sit ye down. Be calm.
                                                                  [DAGONET sits down.
Your history is the simple history
Of every man.
                                                                   [A pause.
                       What of your dream?


          DAGONET

                                                           I saw
Myself a man, another man, not like
The thing that I became—not this, not this—
                                              [He points to his costume of cap and bells.


          MERLIN

No man becomes the man he hoped to be.
No man who looks within his heart can say
He is that man. And yet, since ye would not
Be turned aside from your stout purpose, not
By loyalty, by duty, or by death,
And since ye found the hill that no man finds,
So shall ye see the man that no man sees,
The man ye hoped to be.


          DAGONET

                                          I saw myself
A King! Was that too much to hope for?


          MERLIN

                                                               Too much?
Ah, little Dagonet, I saw myself
A being greater than all kings, a being
Greater than all gods, a personation
Of the mind of man, which fashions gods at will,
To its own liking.
                                                                    [A pause.
                           Now!
                               [MERLIN claps his hands three times. THE FIGURE IN GRAY,
                                entering, crosses to a platform enclosed in golden curtains.

                                      Prepare to see
The man ye hoped to be!


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing,             Prepare! Prepare! A king shall be
       a cappella,     And he shall rule eternally!
       off-stage.]     A scepter, crown, and robe we'll bring
                            For him, our King! Prepare! Prepare!

                             [THE FIGURE IN GRAY draws the curtains at the platform,
                              disclosing a king seated on a golden throne.



          DAGONET
 
                                                                            King Arthur!


          MERLIN

                                                                                                Nay!
Ye see yourself in Arthur's image!


          DAGONET

                                                      Nay!
I see King Arthur! What mighty jest is this,
O man of mighty jests?


          MERLIN

                                      This is no jest.
Ye see yourself as ye had hoped to be,
On Arthur's throne—


          DAGONET

                                 Then ye spake truth—then I—


          MERLIN

Ye coveted his throne—a dream so secret
Ye did not dare confess it to yourself.


          DAGONET

But look ye, Merlin, look! He moves! He breathes!
This is no re-creation of a dream,
No mirrored fantasy! This is the King
Himself! This is King Arthur!


          MERLIN

                                             Ay, this is
King Arthur.


          DAGONET

                     And he has found the moon's last hill!
                                                                [ARTHUR rises, unsteadily.


          ARTHUR

I may not stand, my head works so.
                                           [He sits again. He looks around.

                                                           Sir Kayl


          MERLlN

Kay is not here, nor ever will be here!
Thou hast another seneschal.


          ARTHUR

                                                   Sir Kay!


          MERLIN

Thy seneschal is at thine elbow now.
                         [ARTHUR turns and looks at THE FIGURE IN GRAY.


          ARTHUR

Ah! Who art thou?


          THE FIGURE IN GRAY
                    
                                I am thy friend.


          DAGONET
                               
                                  [To
MERLIN, puzzled.

                                                             Ye said
That Arthur died—


          MERLIN

                               A way of speaking, a word
We do not use before the seneschal.


          ARTHUR

I am stung with spears; I am weary and forspent.


          DAGONET
                                                                   [To MERLIN.
He does not see us yet; he does not know
The where he is.


          MERLIN

                             Dost thou?


          ARTHUR

                                                 Gawain! Gawain!


          DAGONET

He calls upon Gawain, who is not here,
Who led the knights that went to seek the Grail.


          ARTHUR

Gawain! Gawain! Ye have set me in great sorrow.


          DAGONET

Ah, see! He suffers so!


          MERLIN

                                      Old habits hold.


          ARTHUR

How now? What's here?
                                                                             [He rises, pointing.
                                        What apparition's this
That floats across my banquet hall? What burst
Of silver light? I have not seen the moon
So bright before. 'Tis coming through that window.
It shines upon my Table Round, its light
A radiance that glorifies. What is
This light? The moon? It cannot be the moon.
It cannot be the silver-shining moon!
Sir Gawain would not lead my knights away,
As now he leads them, for the moon!
                                                                            [He sits , slowly.
                                                           Alas,
That ever I bare crown upon my head.
                           [He bows his head. There is a silence. He looks up.

Gawain! Gawain! I love these noble knights
As I have loved my life. And never more
I'll see them whole together!
                                   [DAGONET rushes to him, kneeling at his feet.


          DAGONET

                                                O Arthur!
O Arthur! O my King!


          ARTHUR

                                   My head works so!


          DAGONET

Speak to me, Sire!
                                            [ARTHUR does not hear.


          ARTHUR

                                What seek these knights?
If not the moon, what is this light they follow?
                     
                       [MERLIN takes a step toward him. ARTHUR looks at him, as
                       though seeing him for the first time.


What is this light?
                                              [ARTHUR stares at MERLIN.
                              Merlin!


          DAGONET

                                          My King! My King!


          ARTHUR

Sir Dagonet!


          DAGONET

                      O Sire, I kneel, thy fool,
And ask forgiveness.


          ARTHUR

                                    Arise, Sir Dagonet,
Most loyal and most true of all my knights.


          DAGONET

No, no, my King! I coveted thy throne!


          ARTHUR

Was that your dream, the light ye followed?


          DAGONET

                                                                         Yes—
I did not know—but deep within myself—


          ARTHUR

I understand. I see it openly.
Arise, Sir Dagonet. I understand.
I've had a dream like that, a hope so secret
I have never spoken it. For all my life
I've wished that I—But no! But no!


          MERLIN

                                                         Speak it!
Speak your dream! It shall be granted unto ye!


          ARTHUR

But no! Strange shadows mock me. Here I sat,
A moment since, within my banquet hall,
And now a forest of amazing trees
Encircles me. They are not real! Nor ye—
Nor ye—ye are not real! I am again
In Cornwall. Modred rides a soft pace toward me.
My son rides toward me, Modred, Modred.
I smile a welcome, crying out: "My son!"
And Modred strikes! . . . Christ!
                                    [He buries his face in his hands, against the memory.
                                    
MERLIN puts an arm over ARTHUR'S shoulder.


          MERLIN

                                Now! . . . The shadow fades,
The apparition is behind ye, gone.
Look up! Your eyes are clearer now. They gaze
Untroubled. They are not sad. They must not be.


          ARTHUR

I feel that I am close to earth. I feel
A majesty I have not felt before.
I do not have remembrance now of sorrow.
I am one with earth, the majesty of earth.


          MERLIN

It is written:
"Our soul is escaped as a bird
Out of the snare of the fowlers.
The snare is broken
And we are escaped."


          ARTHUR

Ah, Merlin, it is good to hear your voice,
To have ye by my side in fellowship.
And Dagonet—Sir Dagonet!


          DAGONET

                                             My King!


          ARTHUR

Now peace is mine. The world is far away.
That hill shuts off the world. I am at peace.


          MERLIN

So must ye be.


          ARTHUR

                          Arise, Sir Dagonet.
Give me your hand; and, Merlin, yours; the hand
Of fellowship. I treasured most of all,
In my proud days, the fellowship that stood
About my throne, that sat about my board.
They brought me happiness; I felt a warmth
Around my heart; and I became, through them,
A better and a kinder King. And now—
For I see with a clearer vision now—
I realize the fellowship of man
Is one of Earth's high purposes.


          MERLIN

                                                     'Tis true.


          ARTHUR

They went away. I'll never see them more—
Gawain, Gaheris, Gareth, Lamorak,
Tristram, Ector, Griflet, Perceval—these
And fair young Galahad, the shining Knight—
And Lionel, and Bors—

            [KNIGHTS, led by PERCEVAL, appear at the top of the hill.
                                   
                                    God's life! The hill!

Down the hill in triumphal procession, to a march being
played by the orchestra, come the
KNIGHTS. The music
brings them into formation before
ARTHUR. PERCEVAL steps
out, draws his sword.



          PERCEVAL

       My soul to God,
       My life to my King,
       My honor to myself!
                     [PERCEVAL holds his sword aloft.


          ARTHUR

Sir Perceval!
                     [PERCEVAL turns to the KNIGHTS.


          PERCEVAL

                      His Majesty the King!


          ALL KNIGHTS

The King!
                  [In unison they draw their swords, hold them high,
                  then lower and sheathe them.



          ARTHUR

                Now have I here my fellowship
As once I had in Camelot.
                                [He glances down the line of KNIGHTS.

                                         Gawain!
Where is Gawain?


          PERCEVAL

                              Gawain turned back.


          ARTHUR

                                                                Turned back?


          PERCEVAL

The practical Sir Kay persuaded him
'Twas all a mighty jest of Merlin's.


          MERLIN

                                                        So?


          PERCEVAL

A fool's errand.


          MERLIN

                          So?


          ARTHUR

                                 It matters not.
Who else is missing?
 

          PERCEVAL

                                 Galahad.


          ARTHUR

                                                  But no,
Not Galahad! The shining Galahad,
The fair white knight. Not he!


          PERCEVAL

                                                 I was with Bors
In Sarras, the last we saw of Galahad.
There were the three of us. A mighty voice
Spake from a hill. There was the song of birds.
A light shone from the hill. And Galahad,
Ascending in that light, was seen no more.


          MERLIN

So now must I ascend in my own light.
The servants of my tenancy approach.
I must be seen as they envision me.

MERLIN goes quickly up the hill, to a position in front of
the white-thorn bush.


Enter the SPIRITS OF POETRY, MUSIC, and PHILOSOPHY.
EINIGAN carries a crown of gold, surmounted by a golden
owl;
TEIRTU has a robe of blue, decorated with gold figures
of the owl surmounting a harp;
GWYN bears a golden scepter,
on the end of which is the head of an owl.



          EINIGAN

O Father of Gods—

    
          TEIRTU

O Mind of Man—


          GWYN

O Father of Gods,
O Mind of Man—
 

          EINIGAN

We bring the crown—


          TEIRTU

We bring the robe—


          GWYN

We bring the scepter
For him who is to rule eternally.


          MERLIN

Upon that golden throne there sits a King
Whose reign has been the glory of the world.
No king, of all the kings since Time began,
Has better right to rule eternally.
There is no higher king; there is none else;
In Arthur's image is all majesty.
But in his heart he nourishes a dream,
A secret dream, that he has never spoken.
'Tis now his curious destiny to choose
Between the throne of all Eternity
And that fond dream!


          GWYN

                                    Direct his choice for him,
O Mind of Man!
                                        [ARTHUR rises and draws his sword.


          ARTHUR

                           This sword has swung a stroke
From Norway down to Spain! There was a time
No man might have this sword. But I see now
With clearer vision. I have made my choice.
I step down from the throne. This sword is his
Who now ascends to rule us as our King.


          MERLIN

King Dagonet, the throne!


          DAGONET

                                           No, no—no, I—
I cannot—no—'tis Arthur's throne! 'Tis his
By every right!


          MERLIN

                       King Dagonet, the throne!


          DAGONET

'Tis Arthur's—his—I coveted his throne—
I cannot take it from him! No! 'Tis his
By every law!


          MERLIN

                       Thou madest thy choice back there,
The other side this hill. Thou madest the choice
All men within their capabilities
Must make, between a duty and a dream.
So now, King Dagonet, ascend thy throne!
                                           [ARTHUR steps over to DAGONET.


          ARTHUR

I offer ye the hand of fellowship.
And we stand eye to eye and heart to heart
And I say: "Dagonet, the throne is thine!"


          MERLIN

King Dagonet, ascend thy throne!
                                            [DAGONET mounts the platform.


          ARTHUR

                                                        My sword,
O King!


          MERLIN

              King Dagonet, cast off those trappings,
The cap and bells of an old humility!
Assume the height and stature of a king!
                       [DAGONET looks down at his gnarled, twisted figure.


          DAGONET

I cannot.


          MERLIN

                Be the man ye hoped to be.


          DAGONET
 
I cannot.


          MERLIN
           
                 Try! Try! And ye shall not fail!
                                      [Music is heard softly in the tree-tops.

DAGONET, with a sense of great struggle, straightens up and
stands at his full height, no longer crippled.


EINIGAN steps over to the throne bearing the crown.


          EINIGAN

King Dagonet, I crown thee with
The crown of Poetry.
         [He places the crown on DAGONET'S head, then turns to the hill.

For thy honor and thy glory,
Mind of Man!
                    [He steps down, as TEIRTU comes up with the robe.


          TEIRTU

King Dagonet,
I wrap thy regal form within
The robe of Music.
          [He throws the cloak over DAGONET and turns to the hill.

For thy honor and thy glory,
Mind of Man!
                                  [GWYN comes up, as TEIRTU withdraws.


          GWYN

King Dagonet, I place within thy hand
The scepter of fellowship.
             [Handing DAGONET the scepter, GWYN addresses the hill

For thy honor and thy glory,
Mind of Man!

                                        [PERCEVAL and the KNIGHTS move up.
                                        
PERCEVAL draws his sword.


          PERCEVAL

       My soul to God,
       My life to my King,
       My honor to myself!
                            [He holds his sword aloft.

His Majesty the King!


          ALL KNIGHTS

The King!
                         [They draw swords in unison and hold them
                           aloft. The tableau is held.



          ARTHUR

No man was ever more the King,
No king was ever more the man!


          ALL KNIGHTS

The King! The King! The King!
                  [They lower their swords and sheathe them, in unison.
                   DAGONET seats himself on the throne.


          DAGONET

The time is come for Arthur's secret dream!
                                  [ARTHUR crosses to the throne and kneels.


          ARTHUR

My King!


          DAGONET

               Arise, Sir Arthur.
                                         [ARTHUR rises.

                                           Speak thy dream!


          ARTHUR

It is a wish so small and yet so great
I may not choose my words nor say it right,
Nor give it due importance. It is as if
A song had nestled in my heart and I,
In all humility, had kept it there.
How may I free it now? Mayhap I might—
I might prepare the way by saying this:
My bards were always my chief joy, and I,
Who sat and listened reverently, have thought:
''I'd give my kingdom could I sing like that!"


          DAGONET

Your dream, then, Arthur, was to sing?


          ARTHUR

                                                               To sing!
All of my life I've wished that I might sing!


          EINIGAN

Sings] Not all may sing, but all may hear
          What songs are sung.


          TEIRTU

Sings] The singer's gift is from some rift
           The clouds among.


          EINIGAN AND TEIRTU

Sing] From some clear silver-shining sphere
         A levin-brand by Heaven's hand
         Is flung!

 
          EINIGAN

Sings] Out of the haunted night,
           Over the mist-hung sea,
           A single star's lone light
           Burns on eternally.
           Deep in the forest fen
           Unto the farthest dawn,
           Over the haunts of men,
           A single star burns on!


          TEIRTU

Sings] The night is shaken, the sea is tossed, the
                forest fen by fury torn;
           There's a madness hurled down the wind-
                worn world
           And out of the dark a swift-flung spark,
           An infinite spark,
           And a singer is born!


          ALL SPIRITS

Sing] In the star's white gleam,
         A singer is born!


          ARTHUR

Sings] In the star's bright gleam,
           My dream! My dream!
           O light, my dream!
           O light, tonight
           I sing, I sing!
           I who was a king,
           I sing! I sing!
 
Deep in my heart my whole life long
I've wished I had the gift of song.
I've heard men sing and sat apart
And wished to sing, deep in my heart.
Stronger than scepter, crown or throne,
This is the dream their songs have sown.
This is my dream: that I might bring
Song into being, that I might sing!

O Star of Song—


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] O Star of Song-


          ARTHUR

       Sings] My bright star be!


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] His bright star be!


          ARTHUR

       Sings] My whole life long
                  Till Eternity!
                  Hark ye, minstrels all;
                  I sing and I was mute!
                  Heed ye now my call,
                  And bring me song and lute!


          EINIGAN

       Sings] A song is only a song!


          TEIRTU

       Sings] A lute is only a lute!


          EINIGAN

       Sings] As a bird hath wings,
                  So the singer sings,
                  As a fruit tree brings
                  Forth fruit.


          TEIRTU

       Sings] A lute is only a lute!


          EINIGAN

       Sings] A song is only a song!


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] For our coronal
                Let the star-dust fall;
                We will go singing all
                Earth-long!


          ARTHUR

Sings] We'll make a song of fellowship,
           To sing in forests olden,
           With little silver words to sip
           From goblets gay and golden.
           Wherever after men may meet,
           In any sort of weather,
           Our cup of song will help them greet
           Eternity together.


          EINIGAN AND SPIRITS

       Sing] Friendship and song,
                With forest flinging
                Fragrance along
                The path of our singing,
                And bright-throated birds in the gay
                     air winging!


          ALL SPIRITS

Sing] And bright-throated words to our lute-strings clinging!


          ARTHUR

Sings] Bright-throated words
           Wistfully clinging
           To the trembling wire
           Of cithern and lute and harp and lyre;
           Clinging and clinging wistfully
           Till music releases them, sets them free,
           And the bright-throated words
           Are bright-throated birds
           In the gay air winging
           Their ecstasy.


          ALL SPIRITS

       Sing] Friendship and song!
                Friendship and song!
                We will go singing all
                Earth-long!


          ARTHUR

Sings] O Mind of Man,
           No light may fling a quest too far
           For thee to span,
           Unto the farthest star!
           No birds may wing a flight too high
           For thee to span,
           Unto the ultimate sky!
           No night so dark but thou'lt bring on
           The dawn!

           O Mind of Man,
           We face the dawn
           With song on lip
           In fellowship!


          ALL SPIRITS

Sing] Hand in hand
         Down the years to be,
         Thus we stand
         Through Eternity,
         Ever and forever!
                      [The music stops. DAGONET rises from his throne.


          DAGONET

By virtue of the power vested in me,
By my crown,
By the robe I wear,
By the scepter that I hold,
I dedicate this grove of trees
To the fellowship of man
Down all the years to be!

Now from the tree-tops throughout the entire grove is heard,
in tremendous outcry, the song of birds. At the same instant
the hill becomes a glory of red and green fire.



                             END OF THE PLAY






                                           THE MUSIC

Dedicated to Robert C. Newell, Bohemian, friend, and artist.

       THE book of Birds of Rhiannon is so constructed that the composer has been called upon to make the music an integral part of the development and action of the play. For that reason, instead of the customary separate solos and choral pieces, most of the music is contained in five numbers for soloists and chorus. In some of these scenes are more or less extended arias for the soloists, but these are part of the general musical progression rather than separate entities. In most of these numbers, the music moves swiftly along without interruption through choruses, recitatives, solos, andgeneral ensembles, as befits the character of the words.
       Since detailed discussion of the musical construction of the play would entail the use of too much space, and serve no necessary purpose, the composer will content himself with enumerating the musical numbers in their proper order.
       Much of the music is operatic in style, and throughout the composer has tried to faithfully reflect in the music the spirit of the lyrics.
       The orchestral score calls for strings, three flutes and piccolo, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, tuba, and percussion.

                                     Act One

       There is no Overture. The PRELUDE is short and atmospheric, merely setting the mood for the opening of the play. Two themes are stated — the first, given out by the bassoon, is later used in connection with characters or situations concerning Arthur's court at Camelot; the second, first announced by the horns and later taken up by the strings and wood-winds, is in general employed in connection with the "Quest" motive of the play.
       The Prelude drifts into the FIRST CHORUS OF UNSEEN SPIRITS, a vague, mysterious number, suggested by the opening phrase, "Dreams ... Dreams ... Dreams."
       Taliessin's lyrically impassioned address, "O FOREST MOON," which immediately follows, makes use of the "Quest" theme, first announced in the Prelude.
       The SECOND CHORUS OF UNSEEN SPIRITS, which comes without interruption, is of the same character as the first chorus.
       Taliessin's solo,"HE IS FLEET," which breaks into this chorus, is a variation of the theme of his previous song.
       The incidental INTERMEZZO, played during Dagonet's recounting of the genesis of his quest, is written for string octet. It is wistful, whimsical music—the poetic soul of the poor fool searching with timid determination for
happiness.
       The SHEPHERD'S SONG, properly pastoral, is introduced by a flute solo which forms the basis of the accompaniment after the entrance of the voice part. The music is influenced by the naive character of the shepherd.
       The BARDS' SCENE, which tells of the war with Modred, incidents in Camelot which led to the war, and ends with Taliessin's reaffirmation of his vow to quest for the magic garden where sing the birds of Rhiannon, is somewhat lengthy, and contains music of varied character, according to the spirit of the poetry. Aneirin's solo, which describes the war with Modred, is dramatically robust in style. Adaon's, which tells of Arthur's first forebodings of doom, becomes ominous and tragic in nature. Taliessin's remains lyric in expression, as suits his character. The choruses are of presumably bardic simplicity. In this number, the "Quest" theme and Arthur's Court theme are utilized in various guises.
       "A SONG Is ONLY A SONG," for Taliessin, Heinin, Madog, and chorus, is a musical reflection of the spirit which actuates the bards. In their words: "As a bird hath wings, So the singer sings . . . We will go singing all life long."
       The FINAL CHORAL SCENE of the act falls into two parts. At the end of the first, during which the bards' faithfulness to Arthur disputes with the desire to follow Dagonet on his quest, Aneirin first announces the Fellowship Hymn. At the end of the second part, after Taliessin proclaims his decision to relinquish his quest and return to Arthur, who needs his "singing men," the Fellowship Hymn is taken up by the full chorus. As the
bards leave for Camelot, the hymn becomes a march, commencing with the full orchestra and growing fainter as the bards move into the distance.
       The WAIL, heard in the tree-tops after Dagonet's death, is an eerie cry. "The hounds of Annwn ride the sky."
       The DANCE OF THE MOONBEAMS AND SHADOWS is fantastic and slightly less conservative in style than the remainder of the music of the play. The dance falls into three sections. The Prelude begins in a subdued fashion, growing brighter in spirit as the stage becomes lighter with the first rising of the moon. The Entrance of the Moonbeams and Shadows alternates between capricious and grotesque phrases, sometimes shimmering and mysterious, sometimes cacophonic. The Dance proper begins with a sharp pizzicato of the strings against a note held by muted trumpet. The Moonbeams are characterized by a lilting, dancing figure; the Shadows, by a threatening phrase furiously proclaimed by the brass. Twice the Shadows menace the Moonbeams; twice the Moonbeams engulf them. Before the Moonbeams' final triumph, one weary shadow grunts a feeble threat with the aid of thetuba, but the Moonbeams, with the aid of the rest of the orchestra, answer it with victorious rejoicing.


                                  Act Two

       The PRELUDE to the second act is based on a phrase sung by Taliessin at the commencement of the second part of the Final Choral Scene of the first act. This Prelude, like the first one, is short, merely setting the mood for Dagonet's descent on "the other side of the hill" into the magic garden.
       The MARCH OF THE SPIRITS is constructed from a fanfare introduced in the Spirits' "Prepare! Prepare!" chorus, which follows shortly after.
       "PREPARE! PREPARE!" —for Einigan, Teirtu, and chorus—is of simple harmonic structure and majestic in style, adapting itself in feeling to the ritualistic scene of which it is a part.
       THE KNIGHTS' PROCESSION is built from the Arthur's Court theme used in the first act.
       In the FINAL CHORAL SCENE, Arthur's lifelong ambition to sing is realized. His first musical utterance is joyous in character. His apostrophe to the Mind of Man is impassioned and exalted. In this number, most of "A SONG Is ONLY A SONG" is utilized. The music ends with a restatement of the Fellowship Hymn.

                                                                 EDWARD HARRIS.



                                  THE PRODUCTION

THE play is produced under the stage direction of Frank E. Rodolph. The members of the Production
Committee in charge of the entire presentation of the play, and their individual contributions in detail,
are
as follows:


Chairman Production Committee                                Vincent E. Duffey
Production Manager                                                  Henry Eickhoff, Jr.
Costume and Scenic Designer                               Ferdinand Burgdorff
Lighting Directors                           Vincent E. Duffey, Lawrence Lewis
Properties and Sets                                     Ernest Weihe, assisted by
                              Laurance Cone, Clarence Mayhew, Paul Denivelle,
                              Alex J. Young, Jr.
Sound Reproduction                                       Loren Ryder, assisted by
                               Wallen Maybeck, C. L. Bowman, Harrison Holliway
Budget Manager                                                        Kendrick Vaughan
Personnel Manager                                                  Gregory A. Harrison
Assistant to Director                                                      Edward Murphy
Stage Managers                                   James M.Hamill, McClure Kelly, Jr.

Valuable assistance has been rendered the Production Committee by Miss Betty Horst
in the direction and rehearsals of the Dance of the Moonbeams and Shadows.


                                   The Chorus

The Bohemian Club Chorus, appearing as Bards in the
first act and as Spirits of Poetry, Music, and Philosophy
in the second act, is comprised of the following:

First Tenor: Maurice Anger, Neal Begley, David Bell,
W. W. Davis, Malcolm Donald, Harold Freeman, Ed-
win P. Gerth, Edwin G. Imhaus, Robert I. Lynas, Stan-
ley W. MacLewee, William A. Mitchell, Paul J. Mohr,
Frank Mueller, Meredith Parker, Neil H. Peterson,
George Purlenky, Wilson Taylor.

Second Tenor: Lawrence A. Bailey, Elmer G. Beckstrom,
Ralph J. Bidwell, George W. Booth, Gilbert H. Chick,
Robert A. Glenn, C. Stanley Dimm, J. Mark Hale,
Frederic F. Janney, Francis J. Knorp, C. A. Kulmann,
Bert F. McKibben, Kenneth M. Morse, M. H. O'Brien,
Ramsey Probasco, Andrew Y. Wood, Melville A.
Yetter.

Baritone: Frank D. Andrews, Walter Bunker, R. B.
Coons, Clarence E. Engvick, Eric Gerson, Charles E.
Greenfield, Stanley C. Kerk, W. R. Kneiss, Oris R.
Marston, E. C. Morck, J. S. Selfridge, Alex H. Still,
Carl F. Volker, P. H. Ward, F. S. Warford, Ralph E.
Wastell, G. R. Williams.

Bass: A. R. Angell, J. K. Bell, Melville A. Creswell,
Charles J. Evans, Harold S. Dover, Elliott Guild, Fred
Herrington, George B. Koch, Ralph H. Lachmund,
Richard Lundgren, Charles L. McVey, John T. Moss,
William Olney, Walter Petterson, Eugene W. Roland,
Cuthbert P. Tibbe, William Tomlinson, Percy Warren.


                              The Orchestra

The Bohemian Club Symphony Orchestra is conducted
by the composer, Edward Harris, with James H. Todd
serving as concert master in the absence of Dean Don-
aldson. Those participating are:

Violin: Philip H. Aldrich, George S. Arnold, W. O. At-
water, Arthur E. Bachrach, C. E. Best, George R.
Chambers, Jr., Victor Du Gand, Scott Elder, Arvid A.
Erickson, John V. Gifford, R. A. Holt, Forest La
Barre, Armand J. Leport, Sidney T. Maar, Donald Mc-
Kee, G. F. Putzke, C. P. Scholz, Dwight E. Shepardson,
Louis C. Thynnes, Edward H. Towler, G. H. Van Sen-
den, J. G. Weinman.

Viola: D. W. Day, W. B. Garthwaite, Nelson Kinell,
Clinton Lewis, F. P. Spinks, Egbert Van Doorn, W. L.
Waterhouse.

Cello: Harry Arnold, James de Fremery, Hamilton R.
Howells, Albert W. Larson, Harold P. Nachtrieb, Thomas
Rieger, W. R. Riese, Gustave Stahl, W. F. G. Swann.

Bass: Albert G. Biehl, Amos R. Marty, C. J. Sthol.

Flute: Ernest L. Chapman, William G. Corlett, B. T.
Sweney.

Oboe: George Utschig, H. H. Utschig.

English Horn: H. H. Utschig.

Clarinet: Emil Stern, W. K. Strickland, Lloyd E.Wasson.

Bassoon: A. T. Case, Elmer Dearborn.

French Horn: Ray G. Gibbons, G. E. Oxley, Jr., Her-
bert V. Stockton, Ralph O. Wagner, Carroll W. Wholey.

Trumpet: Myres Dubbin, Lawrence Holbrook, M. P.
Mohr, A. E. Powell.

Trombone: R. B. Davis, Edward F. Jake, J. H. Kitchen,
C. B. Musante, Charles A. Solter.

Tuba: Arthur Dubbin.
 
Percussion and Tympani: B. A. King, George S. Pome-
roy, G. C. Shervey, Jr.

Celesta and Piano: George F. Keil.

Librarian: Karl Fuhrman.


                              Other Bohemians

       In addition to the principals and the chorus of sixty-nine, there are those other loyal Bohemians who are necessarily gathered together at the last moment, the supernumeraries who complete the stage picture. These, to the number of twenty, appear in the second act as King Arthur's knights. There are also seventeen other Bohemians taking part in the Dance of the Moonbeams and Shadows.
       This makes one hundred and twenty-two Bohemians taking part upon the stage. In addition, there are seventy-three in the orchestra; making a total, exclusive of the production staff, of one hundred and ninety-five participants, in this, the Twenty-ninth Grove Play, Birds of Rhiannon.