growing weary; seven years so sweet and shining, the gods would be hard set to give us seven days the like of them. It's for that we're going to Emain, where there'll be a rest for ever, or a place for forgetting, in great crowds and they making a stir. NAISI -- very softly. -- We'll go, surely, in place of keeping a watch on a love had no match and it wasting away. (They cling to each other for a moment, then Naisi looks up.) There are Fergus and Lavarcham and my two brothers. [Deirdre goes. Naisi sits with his head bowed. Owen runs in stealthily, comes behind Naisi and seizes him round the arms. Naisi shakes him off and whips out his sword. OWEN -- screaming with derisive laughter and showing his empty hands. -- Ah, Naisi, wasn't it well I didn't kill you that time? There was a fright you got! I've been watch- ing Fergus above -- don't be frightened -- and I've come down to see him getting the cold shoulder, and going off alone. [Fergus and others come in. They are all subdued like men at a queen's wake. NAISI -- putting up his sword. -- There
he is. (Goes to Fergus.) We are going back when the tide turns, I and Deirdre with your- self. ALL. Going back! AINNLE. And you'll end your life with Deirdre, though she has no match for keeping spirits in a little company is far away by itself? ARDAN. It's seven years myself and Ainnle have been servants and bachelors for yourself and Deirdre. Why will you take her back to Conchubor? NAISI. I have done what Deirdre wishes and has chosen. FERGUS. You've made a choice wise men will be glad of in the five ends of Ireland. OWEN. Wise men is it, and they going back to Conchubor? I could stop them only Naisi put in his sword among my father's ribs, and when a man's done that he'll not credit your oath. Going to Conchubor! I could tell of plots and tricks, and spies were well paid for their play. (He throws up a bag of gold.) Are you paid, Fergus? [He scatters gold pieces over Fergus. FERGUS. He is raving. . . . Seize him. OWEN -- flying between them. -- You won't. Let the lot of you be off to Emain, but I'll be off before you. . . . Dead men, dead
men! Men who'll die for Deirdre's beauty; I'll be before you in the grave! [Runs out with his knife in his hand. They all run after him except Lavar- cham, who looks out and then clasps her hands. Deirdre comes out to her in a dark cloak. DEIRDRE. What has happened? LAVARCHAM. It's Owen's gone raging mad, and he's after splitting his gullet beyond at the butt of the stone. There was ill luck this day in his eye. And he knew a power if he'd said it all. [Naisi comes back quickly, followed by the others. AINNLE -- coming in very excited. -- That man knew plots of Conchubor's. We'll not go to Emain, where Conchubor may love her and have hatred for yourself. FERGUS. Would you mind a fool and raver? AINNLE. It's many times there's more sense in madmen than the wise. We will not obey Conchubor. NAISI. I and Deirdre have chosen; we will go back with Fergus. ARDAN. We will not go back. We will burn your curaghs by the sea.
FERGUS. My sons and I will guard them. AINNLE. We will blow the horn of Usna and our friends will come to aid us. NAISI. It is my friends will come. AINNLE. Your friends will bind your hands, and you out of your wits. [Deirdre comes forward quickly and comes between Ainnle and Naisi. DEIRDRE -- in a low voice. -- For seven years the Sons of Usna have not raised their voices in a quarrel. AINNLE. We will not take you to Emain. ARDAN. It is Conchubor has broken our peace. AINNLE -- to Deirdre. -- Stop Naisi go- ing. What way would we live if Conchubor should take you from us? DEIRDRE. There is no one could take me from you. I have chosen to go back with Fergus. Will you quarrel with me, Ainnle, though I have been your queen these seven years in Alban? AINNLE -- subsiding suddenly. -- Naisi has no call to take you. ARDAN. Why are you going? DEIRDRE -- to both of them and the
others. -- It is my wish. . . . It may be I will not have Naisi growing an old man in Alban with an old woman at his side, and young girls pointing out and saying, "that is Deirdre and Naisi had great beauty in their youth." It may be we do well putting a sharp end to the day is brave and glorious, as our fathers put a sharp end to the days of the kings of Ire- land; or that I'm wishing to set my foot on Slieve Fuadh, where I was running one time and leaping the streams, (to Lavarcham) and that I'd be well pleased to see our little apple- trees, Lavarcham, behind our cabin on the hill; or that I've learned, Fergus, it's a lonesome thing to be away from Ireland always. AINNLE -- giving in. -- There is no place but will be lonesome to us from this out, and we thinking on our seven years in Alban. DEIRDRE -- to Naisi. -- It's in this place we'd be lonesome in the end. . . . Take down Fergus to the sea. He has been a guest had a hard welcome and he bringing messages of peace. FERGUS. We will make your curagh ready and it fitted for the voyage of a king. [He goes with Naisi. DEIRDRE. Take your spears, Ainnle and Ardan, and go down before me, and take your
horse-boys to be carrying my cloaks are on the threshold. AINNLE -- obeying. -- It's with a poor heart we'll carry your things this day we have carried merrily so often, and we hungry and cold. [They gather up things and go out. DEIRDRE -- to Lavarcham. -- Go you, too, Lavarcham. You are old, and I will follow quickly. LAVARCHAM. I'm old, surely, and the hopes I had my pride in are broken and torn. [She goes out, with a look of awe at Deirdre. DEIRDRE -- clasping her hands. -- Woods of Cuan, woods of Cuan, dear country of the east! It's seven years we've had a life was joy only, and this day we're going west, this day we're facing death, maybe, and death should be a poor, untidy thing, though it's a queen that dies. [She goes out slowly.
Tent below Emain, with shabby skins and benches. There is an opening at each side and at back, the latter closed. Old Woman comes in with food and fruits and arranges them on table. Conchubor comes in on right. CONCHUBOR -- sharply. -- Has no one come with news for me? OLD WOMAN. I've seen no one at all, Conchubor. CONCHUBOR -- watches her working for a moment, then makes sure opening at back is closed. -- Go up then to Emain, you're not wanting here. (A noise heard left.) Who is that? OLD WOMAN -- going left. -- It's Lavar- cham coming again. She's a great wonder for jogging back and forward through the world, and I made certain she'd be off to meet them; but she's coming alone, Conchubor, my dear child Deirdre isn't with her at all. CONCHUBOR. Go up so and leave us. OLD WOMAN -- pleadingly. -- I'd be well pleased to set my eyes on Deirdre if she's coming this night, as we're told.
CONCHUBOR -- impatiently. -- It's not long till you'll see her. But I've matters with Lavarcham, and let you go now, I'm saying. [He shows her out right, as Lavarcham comes in on the left. LAVARCHAM -- looking round her with suspicion. -- This is a queer place to find you, and it's a queer place to be lodging Naisi and his brothers, and Deirdre with them, and the lot of us tired out with the long way we have been walking. CONCHUBOR. You've come along with them the whole journey? LAVARCHAM. I have, then, though I've no call now to be wandering that length to a wedding or a burial, or the two together. (She sits down wearily.) It's a poor thing the way me and you is getting old, Conchubor, and I'm thinking you yourself have no call to be loitering this place getting your death, may- be, in the cold of night. CONCHUBOR. I'm waiting only to know is Fergus stopped in the north. LAVARCHAM -- more sharply. -- He's stopped, surely, and that's a trick has me thinking you have it in mind to bring trouble this night on Emain and Ireland and the big world's east beyond them. (She goes to him.)