[I was bored and began writing a funny little poem and a short, rather clumsy ‘Elizabethan-esque’ play making a melodramatic mockery of that most rediculous phenomenon 'teenage dating' emerged…so read and enjoy.]
Martin - the young ‘wounded lover’. Loves Hannah
Samuel - the white-haired old elder, wise. Friend of Martin
Kyle - the ‘cur’. A foolish young man, hates Martin, lusts after Hannah
Hannah - ‘that fair maid’, loved by Martin, lusted after by Kyle.
Scenes: A Forest – Samuel’s camp and another clearing.
THE LOVER'S TALE
Scene 1: Samuel’s Camp – Enter Samuel and Martin
Martin: I conceived a tale, nobly spun
and hoped with all mine deepest heart
that the love of a maid it might have won
but ere this winsome tale, I could start
another came barging in
cried he, ‘Enough of thy speech
thou fool! See’st thou not ‘tis sin?
So back thee down, foul leech,
the maid is mine not thine to win!’
Alas, thought I, who is this churl
who thought with arrogant and artless act
to win the heart of that fair girl
whose heart had so won mine,
this fool felt sure within his right
– dost prove he is a swine –
he wouldst discard after a night
the one he claimed to love.
Yet ‘neath the sun I’ve seen his kind
who swear troth by Heaven above,
no sooner runs off another to find
and to his bed, her lure.
Samuel: ‘Tis wise of thee, aye, ‘tis sure
to discern the wicked one’s intent,
there’s not a maid as can ask for more
nor with more in a lover rest content.
Pray tell me son, who hast her won?
Martin: Nor I nor he has yet won she,
yet rages fierce the feud,
my love is pure, my motive good,
yet he with morals skewed,
doth ever think that she will sink
into his loathsome arms,
but I perceive, there she’ll receive,
from him not love but harms.
Samuel: This tale doth move a man to thought,
yet I question thee, why dost thou love her?
why in all that thou art taught,
should she choose thee before the cur,
who, though untrue, seeks her to woo?
Martin: Why ‘tis not plain before thy eyes?
I love her not for form or face,
as does the cur, whose love is lies,
but for her heart’s most heavenly grace
is my deepest love for she,
I love her happiness before all else,
and that is best, I’m sure you see
my love for her is purest love,
why, dost thou not agree?
Samuel: By my beard, ‘tis to me made clear:
If thou art thus before the maid,
then thou hast naught to fear,
for I discern, by Heaven’s flame,
that thou art sincerely pure,
so set aside thy fear of shame,
and do not this wicked one endure!
Martin: What shouldest then now be done,
I confess that I know not,
at present, that foul fool I shun,
so pray tell, pray tell me what
thou dost advise, for thou art wise
wiser, by far, than I.
Samuel: If for her thou dost sincerely care,
then take that wicked man’s foul plan
and before her eyes lay it bare,
that she may see what faulty stuff
this lustful loon is made.
Say thus to her, “Dost thou not see?
Why, this cur’s love will fade,
for wishing only to use thee, he
strives for thy hand with a diamond band
yet of an ill-intent he woos,
behold he comes, a wolf a lamb,
thou, he seeks only to abuse –
for ere long thy wedding song
is old upon thy lips,
he’ll thee discard, without regard,
behold, another cup he sips!”
Martin: I thank thee, sir, for thy wise advice,
yea, I thank thee from my heart
this wisdom of thine, shall me suffice,
but I beg thy leave, for I must start,
to do what thou hast said.
Scene 2: A Forest Clearing – Enter Kyle, Hannah and Martin
Kyle: Why, come with me, my maiden fair,
pay not a thought to the wretched man,
who in his heart of hearts doth only care
to grasp and take hold of what he can.
Why he would ne’er thee gratify,
a more poor soul there never was,
how can thee he ever satisfy?
But come away, my lusty love,
for I am strong and sure,
I’ll fill thee with Heaven above,
and thou shalt ne’er be poor.
Only to my bed be quickly sped
and soon thereafter, I’ll thee wed!
Hannah: Nay! How couldst thou such propose?
I confess to thee I’m drawn,
but ne’er would I, yea Heaven knows,
be defiled with such scorn.
Perhaps thou art young in faith,
perhaps in youth thou art misled,
perhaps not knowing what thou saith.
But I so swear by my virgin head
I’ll ne’er do as thou thus request.
Why ‘tis a most shameful thing,
a worse thou couldst not suggest!
If in ignorance thou dost speak,
for in thy faith art young,
if love thou dost earnestly seek,
then take heed to watch thy tongue.
Kyle: Pray do forgive me, have mercy I pray,
for I to thee meant no such disgrace,
meaning only to innocently say,
that I am captivated by thy face.
Why, such beauty ne’er was there,
such a beautiful maid,
with thy piercing eyes and royal hair
such beauty I’m sure, shall never fade,
pray do forgive my bashful stare.
Martin: Enough of thy poison words, cur,
such artful discourse thou make!
Why, get thy filthy eyes off of her,
I know thou art a fake!
I know where thy heart truly lies,
this so-called love of thine
is merely the lust of wicked eyes,
craving beauty’s shine.
Away with thee, thou unclean thing,
I’ll not suffer her harm,
for that is all thou hast, a sting,
in place of thy right arm!
Kyle: What know you of this, fool?
What business is’t of thine?
Thou sayest my tongue is my only tool,
thou sayest my words are wine,
to woo sweet maids unaware,
but truthfully thou knowest naught!
Thou art simply in despair,
‘tis not uncommon, I’m taught,
for lovesick men to sink so low,
and think of others ill
to out of their minds, completely go
when thy can’t have their will.
Heed him not, my love!
Martin: Think not my words of madness born,
nay, ‘tis not the case,
I came here, this fair maid to warn,
and thy wicked ways deface!
Hannah: What is this? I fear I am confused,
wherefore dost thou say such things,
why hast thou this man accused?
Unless past action, of this sings,
I shall not hear a word of it!
Martin: Aye, madam, thou art wise,
but did he not just now confess
the evil of his eyes?
Or am I just of hearing poor,
but did he not contrive,
to bring you to his bed, what’s more,
thee of thy purity deprive?
Hannah: Forsooth, I am aghast!
Why have I been so deceived,
these few short days past,
I would, I fear willingly have received
the love of this false youth,
but now young man, ‘tis plain to me,
thou speak’st the very truth!
Why his falsehood I failed to see,
I confess that I know not,
yet I thank thee kindly, sir,
thou hast revealed a lot:
aye, the cunning of the cur!
Kyle: I must most ardently protest!
Thou dost me wanton wrong,
and against me falsely do attest!
Why, in deed, in word, in song,
ne'er did I cause thee strife,
only did I, a modest man,
desire thee as my wife!
Hannah: Thou dost lie most uncouth,
with wicked words of honey seeming,
yet lacking any truth,
I see beyond thy lips, once beaming
into thy blackest heart,
the veil’s been pulled back –
and what I see doth truly make me start!
Kyle: Nay, nay! Pray judge again!
Reconsider, free of passion,
and when you do, only then,
thou shalt see me in true fashion,
with burning heart of love for thee!
Hannah: Thy heart, thou sayest, of love?
Why, I look and I see lust,
the former comes from Heaven above,
yet the latter is born of the dust!
Martin: [to Kyle] Behold, thou art made pale,
for thou knowest she speaks true,
thou at the thought doth quail,
that she should truly see you!
Kyle: [to Martin] Thou art with emotion overcome,
aye, ‘tis clear to me as day,
that only a man whose wits are numb
could rave on in thy way!
Hannah: [to Kyle] I think not, nay, not at all!
for ‘tis thy face as has been taken,
with that most sickly pall,
pray tell, how art thou now thus shaken?
Kyle: What makes thou so surely think,
that he is different from I,
he captures you with subtle wink,
yet in the end he’ll fly!
Martin: [to Kyle] Ah! So thy true nature is revealed,
where is the fine façade now gone
that thy wicked heart, once concealed,
where is the mask, thou once did don,
to leech the love of lasses?
Thou think’st of me, what’s true of thee
and in thus, thy nature show,
for evil, other than itself conceive
cannot, for evil’s heart is black and low.
Aye, deception thinks that all deceive,
for it cannot comprehend truth,
likewise thou lustful, thinks me lust-filled
as thou, for thou art thus uncouth.
Kyle: Ah! Come, come, see!
‘tis naught thou sayest
but bitter hypocrisy,
all gotten up in good intent,
to mask the meanness, deep,
but no more wilt thou prevent,
me from my errant chore –
thy words thyself alone condemn,
before any fair and honest law.
Thou call my suspicion as thy proof
that I am what thou sayest,
yet suspicion of me under thy roof
first was, so ramble as thou mayest!
Martin: Just so, I am afraid
thou thinkest not aright,
or was my message ill conveyed,
if ‘twas, I’ll amend it, quite.
My suspicion was by thee provoked,
and by thine own actions past,
thy own innocence, thou hast choked,
with words and deeds done fast.
Thy ill-intent was evidenced well
in thy tongue, quicker than thy tact,
thou spoke wishes born of hell,
dost thou deny that fact?
I heard you speak, for spoke thou oft,
of thy evil motives, hard
cunningly, with words, made soft
for beauty thou hadst no regard,
but only for thyself!
Kyle: Alas, I am undone and thou hast won,
if only with thy subtle words
and thy ever subtler tongue,
thou makes me food for yonder birds,
that thou wouldst leave me here to rot,
bereft of love, bereft of life,
yea, I doubt it not.
Thou wouldst then, with jocund jest
win the heart within the breast
of the fair maid, I am afraid
of what will come of this:
know this, I lay a curse,
that ere thy nuptial kiss,
neither shall have a coin in purse,
nor clothes, nor shelter nor food,
you shall weep, and the rain will seep,
into thy dwellings, crude.
Hannah: Thou miserable man, who sink’st so,
come, repent, amend thy ways,
don’t wallow in thy hollow woe,
there’s hope for thee in future days
just look outside thy narrow self,
and to needy others lend a hand,
then to you I’ll toast good health.
Seek not solely thy pleasures bland,
and bland for sure they are,
and thou shalt find, the love you seek
is never from thee far.
But love ‘tis not for which you yearn,
not in the slightest, as I have guessed,
rather ‘tis lust doth boil and burn
within thy wanton chest,
to cook thee in an oily broth,
prepared of sinners, for sinners served,
that much I say in troth!
Martin: [to Kyle] Aye, thou speakest true,
‘twas once my goal,
this lovely maid to woo,
yet now that I have played my role,
and in the course of this discourse,
I am made of different mind.
I’ll let my love alone for now,
that her love she may find,
so here I part, with farewell bow
to go about mine way,
so fare thee both well,
perhaps we’ll meet, upon another day.
Kyle: O wretched man, wretched man am I,
I’d might as well go to the yard,
there to lay my head and die,
for this bitter life, is just too mighty hard!
Hannah: Why, art thou still a fool?
Dost thou still in self-pity wallow?
This life is joy, thou stubborn mule,
yet thou makest thyself to swallow,
contrived wrongs and nonexistent woe,
to suck sympathy from my heart,
I ne’er have known one so low,
I say to thee, ‘tis a futile art!
Kyle: Now even thy beauty my loss doth mock,
I who offered you all happiness,
surely thy heart is but a rock,
not moved by my distress.
Hannah: I hope not to mock you thus,
But only out of thy selfishness draw
thy soul and stop thy foolish fuss,
but thy wicked heart will not thaw,
and there’s naught that I can do.
Ah, if only all the tragic folk
would to their graves a’ go
or else by way of joyful joke
take on a grinning glow,
then would this world by far
become a happier place,
if we false sorrow didst debar,
with cheery heart and face.
Scene 3: Samuel’s Camp – Enter Samuel and Martin
Samuel: ‘Tis wondrous good, my son,
to see thee here again,
tell me now, what has been done,
who hast the maid chosen?
Thee or he that sought her hand,
or both has she declined,
didst the cur against thee stand
or has he his heart refined?
Martin: I thank thee greatly for thy advice,
for now the matter’s resolved,
I do admit there was a price,
but the cur’s plan is dissolved.
Samuel: A price, you say, well in what way?
I ne’er had thought of this,
who was, this price, obliged to pay,
was’t hers, yours or his?
Martin: ‘Twas simply to let the matter be,
though the cur has been revealed,
I thought it best for me
to leave the maid until she’s healed,
and recovered from the cur,
for now she knows the wicked way
he tried to seduce her.
Samuel: That was of thee well-thought,
or else thy efforts, though sincere
would all have come to naught.
For the cur’s not finished, I fear,
and like heretical elders who accused
beautiful Susanna, when she
their invite to sin, solemnly refused,
so the cur might cunningly,
attempt her name to mar,
‘twere well for you and the maid,
for now at least, to be apart, by far.
Though tell me, dost thou not love her?
Martin: Aye, aye, Heaven knows I do!
Yet like I said, I love her happiness best,
in this my love for her rings true,
perhaps this time apart is meant our love to test.
Still, I thought ‘twere well to leave
that place, allow her to recover,
and, I do earnestly believe,
her own love to discover.
Samuel: A wise decision, to be sure,
beleivest thou her love to have,
or is’t simply longing for
that makes you think you do?
Martin: I know not, I do confess,
I did not ask the maid,
not wishing her to press,
I admit I’d been afraid
of what had come should the cur
succeed in his plot
to deceive and so seduce her,
I thought to win her not,
until, of course, the cur was beat,
yet by then I saw I knew not how,
to woo her, should I the cur defeat.
So thinking best to put in hands of time,
I came back to thee, with this my rhyme.
But look! She cometh hither –
Hannah: Ah! There thou art,
I wondered where thou hadst gone,
so let me tell thee from my heart:
Ere the cur had I yet come upon,
I loved thee, ‘twas plain to see,
yet with wicked wiles that uncouth fool
sought to me distract,
yet no more am I ‘neath his rule,
thou canst be sure that ‘tis fact!
So now the cur’s lies are broke,
come my love, let us be merry folk!
Samuel: Ah, so that brings this matter to an end,
and if you two wouldst now be wed,
my priestly powers I happ’ly extend,
so when all is done, when all is said,
I think you’ll make a merry pair,
now that over is this nasty strife,
let me now most joyfully declare
thou husband, and thou his wife!
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