bor, and Lavarcham will tell you stories of Maeve and Nessa and Rogh. AINNLE. We'll ask Lavarcham to tell us stories of yourself, and with that we'll be well pleased to be doing your wish. [They all go out except Deirdre and Naisi. DEIRDRE -- sitting in the high chair in the centre. -- Come to this stool, Naisi (point- ing to the stool). If it's low itself the High King would sooner be on it this night than on the throne of Emain Macha. NAISI -- sitting down. -- You are Fed- limid's daughter that Conchubor has walled up from all the men of Ulster. DEIRDRE. Do many know what is fore- told, that Deirdre will be the ruin of the Sons of Usna, and have a little grave by herself, and a story will be told for ever? NAISI. It's a long while men have been talking of Deirdre, the child who had all gifts, and the beauty that has no equal; there are many know it, and there are kings would give a great price to be in my place this night and you grown to a queen. DEIRDRE. It isn't many I'd call, Naisi. . . . I was in the woods at the full moon and I heard a voice singing. Then I gathered up my skirts, and I ran on a little path I have
to the verge of a rock, and I saw you pass by underneath, in your crimson cloak, singing a song, and you standing out beyond your brothers are called the Plower of Ireland. NAISI. It's for that you called us in the dusk? DEIRDRE -- in a low voice. -- Since that, Naisi, I have been one time the like of a ewe looking for a lamb that had been taken away from her, and one time seeing new gold on the stars, and a new face on the moon, and all times dreading Emain. NAISI -- pulling himself together and be- ginning to draw back a little. -- Yet it should be a lonesome thing to be in this place and you born for great company. DEIRDRE -- softly. -- This night I have the best company in the whole world. NAISI -- still a little formally. -- It is I who have the best company, for when you're queen in Emain you will have none to be your match or fellow. DEIRDRE. I will not be queen in Emain. NAISI. Conchubor has made an oath you will, surely. DEIRDRE. It's for that maybe I'm called Deirdre, the girl of many sorrows . . . for it's a sweet life you and I could have, Naisi.
. . . . It should be a sweet thing to have what is best and richest, if it's for a short space only. NAISI -- very distressed. -- And we've a short space only to be triumphant and brave. DEIRDRE. You must not go, Naisi, and leave me to the High King, a man is aging in his dun, with his crowds round him, and his silver and gold. (More quickly.) I will not live to be shut up in Emain, and wouldn't we do well paying, Naisi, with silence and a near death. (She stands up and walks away from him.) I'm a long while in the woods with my own self, and I'm in little dread of death, and it earned with riches would make the sun red with envy, and he going up the heavens; and the moon pale and lonesome, and she wasting away. (She comes to him and puts her hands on his shoulders.) Isn't it a small thing is foretold about the ruin of our- selves, Naisi, when all men have age coming and great ruin in the end? NAISI. Yet it's a poor thing it's I should bring you to a tale of blood and broken bodies, and the filth of the grave. . . . Wouldn't we do well to wait, Deirdre, and I each twilight meeting you on the sides of the hills?
DEIRDRE -- despondently. -- His mes- sengers are coming. NAISI. Messengers are coming? DEIRDRE. To-morrow morning or the next, surely. NAISI. Then we'll go away. It isn't I will give your like to Conchubor, not if the grave was dug to be my lodging when a week was by. (He looks out.) The stars are out, Deirdre, and let you come with me quickly, for it is the stars will be our lamps many nights and we abroad in Alban, and taking our journeys among the little islands in the sea. There has never been the like of the joy we'll have, Deirdre, you and I, having our fill of love at the evening and the morning till the sun is high. DEIRDRE. And yet I'm in dread leaving this place, where I have lived always. Won't I be lonesome and I thinking on the little hill beyond, and the apple-trees do be budding in the spring-time by the post of the door? (A little shaken by what has passed.) Won't I be in great dread to bring you to destruction, Naisi, and you so happy and young? NAISI. Are you thinking I'd go on living after this night, Deirdre, and you with Con- chubor in Emain? Are you thinking I'd go
out after hares when I've had your lips in my sight? [Lavarcham comes in as they cling to each other. LAVARCHAM. Are you raving, Deirdre? Are you choosing this night to destroy the world? DEIRDRE -- very deliberately. -- It's Con- chubor has chosen this night calling me to Emain. (To Naisi.) Bring in Ainnle and Ardan, and take me from this place, where I'm in dread from this out of the footsteps of a hare passing. [He goes. DEIRDRE -- clinging to Lavarcham. -- Do not take it bad I'm going, Lavarcham. It's you have been a good friend and given me great freedom and joy, and I living on Slieve Fuadh; and maybe you'll be well pleased one day saying you have nursed Deirdre. LAVARCHAM -- moved. -- It isn't I'll be well pleased and I far away from you. Isn't it a hard thing you're doing, but who can help it? Birds go mating in the spring of the year, and ewes at the leaves falling, but a young girl must have her lover in all the courses of the sun and moon. DEIRDRE. Will you go to Emain in the morning?
LAVARCHAM. I will not. I'll go to Brandon in the south; and in the course of a piece, maybe, I'll be sailing back and forward on the seas to be looking on your face and the little ways you have that none can equal.
[Naisi comes back with Ainnle and Ardan and Old Woman.
DEIRDRE -- taking Naisi's hand. -- My two brothers, I am going with Naisi to Alban and the north to face the troubles are foretold. Will you take word to Conchubor in Emain? AINNLE. We will go with you. ARDAN. We will be your servants and your huntsmen, Deirdre. DEIRDRE. It isn't one brother only of you three is brave and courteous. Will you wed us, Lavarcham? You have the words and customs. LAVARCHAM. I will not, then. What would I want meddling in the ruin you will earn? NAISI. Let Ainnle wed us. . . . He has been with wise men and he knows their ways. AINNLE -- joining their hands. -- By the sun and moon and the whole earth, I wed Deirdre to Naisi. (He steps back and holds