Poetical Tragedies

Mordred: A Tragedy in Five Acts.

by William Wilfred Campbell



SCENE IV.—Enter ELAINE and her retinue.

     A Squire.     Lady, this is the place, we will retire.

Within short space the Queen doth come this way.
[Exit all except ELAINE.


     Elaine.     They say she is all goodness, she will grant

That I may meet this noble knight and fair,
And know my love returned, or else I die.


Enter GUINEVERE and ladies.


     Guin.     Lady, what wouldst thou? (Elaine kneels.)


     Elaine.     Oh most noble lady, I am a maid,

Called Elaine, daughter unto Astolat’s lord,
Who cometh unto thee, Madam, for kind help
Upon the matter of a maiden’s love.
It rendeth me so, unless it be returned
My heart will burst in twain, and I will die.


     Guin.     Maiden, thy tale is sad, be thy quest pure,

The queen will help thee, be thy person wronged,
My Arthur’s mighty kingdom, thou art ’venged.


     Elaine.     Nay Madam, Elaine’s love is white and pure,

And he she loves is noble as any knight
In all this kingdom. Forgive my boldness, Madam,
And by that love thou bearest to the king,
Our great lord, high Arthur, help me now,
And bring me to the face of him I love.


     Guin.     Oh truth, thou hast a boldness in thy love.

(Aside.) There is an innocence in this fair maid
Doth make me pity her, so deep in love
For some false face that made a summer toy
Of her frank passion. Yea, I pity her.
(To Elaine.) Maiden, to-morrow we do hold a tourney.
Thou wilt be present with us in the Court,
And thou canst note the knights and seek thy lover,
If he be ’mid the guests of noble Arthur.


     Elaine.     Oh thank thee, noble Madam, may kind Heaven

Bless thee in thy great wifehood to the King.


     Guin.     Come, Maiden, thou wilt follow in our train.

[Exit all.