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Published by: aravindpunna on Mar 01, 2013
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Harold: A DramaIntroduction and Dramatis Personae
TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE RIGHT HON. LORD LYTTON, VICEROY AND GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA.My Dear Lord Lytton,After old-world records--such as the Bayeux tapestry and the Roman de Rou,--EdwardFreeman's History of the Norman Conquest, and your father's Historical Romance treating of thesame times, have been mainly helpful to me in writing this Drama. Your father dedicated his'Harold' to my father's brother; allow me to dedicate my 'Harold' to yourself.A. TENNYSON.SHOW-DAY AT BATTLE ABBEY, 1876.
A garden here--May breath and bloom of spring--The cuckoo yonder from an English elmCrying 'with my false egg I overwhelmThe native nest:' and fancy hears the ringOf harness, and that deathful arrow sing,And Saxon battleaxe clang on Norman helm.Here rose the dragon-banner of our realm:Here fought, here fell, our Norman-slander'd king.O Garden blossoming out of English blood!O strange hate-healer Time! We stroll and stareWhere might made right eight hundred years ago;Might, right? ay good, so all things make for good--But he and he, if soul be soul, are whereEach stands full face with all he did below.
DRAMATIS PERSONAE
 
KING EDWARD THE CONFESSOR.STIGAND, created Archbishop of Canterbury by the Antipope Benedict.ALDRED, Archbishop of York.THE NORMAN BISHOP OF LONDON.HAROLD, Earl of Wessex, afterwards King of England, Son of GodwinTOSTIG, Earl of Northumbria, Son of GodwinGURTH, Earl of East Anglia, Son of Godwin
 
LEOFWIN, Earl of Kent and Essex, Son of GodwinWULFNOTHCOUNT WILLIAM OF NORMANDY.WILLIAM RUFUS.WILLIAM MALET, a Norman Noble.[1]EDWIN, Earl of Mercia, Son of Alfgar of MerciaMORCAR, Earl of Northumbria after Tostig, Son of Alfgar of MerciaGAMEL, a Northumbrian Thane.GUY, Count of Ponthieu.ROLF, a Ponthieu Fisherman.HUGH MARGOT, a Norman Monk.OSGOD and ATHELRIC, Canons from Waltham.THE QUEEN, Edward the Confessor's Wife, Daughter of Godwin.ALDWYTH, Daughter of Alfgar and Widow of Griffyth, King of Wales.EDITH, Ward of King Edward.Courtiers, Earls and Thanes, Men-at-Arms, Canons of Waltham, Fishermen, etc.
[Footnote 1: ... quidam partim Normannus et Anglus Compater Heraldi. (Guy of Amiens, 587.)]
Act I
SCENE I.--LONDON. THE KING'S PALACE.(A comet seen through the open window.)ALDWYTH, GAMEL, COURTIERS talking together.FIRST COURTIER. Lo! there once more--this is the seventh night!Yon grimly-glaring, treble-brandish'd scourge Of England!SECOND COURTIER. Horrible!FIRST COURTIER. Look you, there's a star
 
That dances in it as mad with agony!THIRD COURTIER. Ay, like a spirit in Hell who skips and fliesTo right and left, and cannot scape the flame.SECOND COURTIER. Steam'd upward from the undescendableAbysm.FIRST COURTIER. Or floated downward from the throneOf God Almighty.ALDWYTH. Gamel, son of Orm,What thinkest thou this means?GAMEL. War, my dear lady!ALDWYTH. Doth this affright thee?GAMEL. Mightily, my dear lady!ALDWYTH. Stand by me then, and look upon my face,Not on the comet.Enter MORCAR.Brother! why so pale?MORCAR. It glares in heaven, it flares upon the Thames,The people are as thick as bees below,They hum like bees,--they cannot speak--for awe;Look to the skies, then to the river, strikeTheir hearts, and hold their babies up to it.I think that they would Molochize them too,To have the heavens clear.ALDWYTH. They fright not me.Enter LEOFWIN, after him GURTH.Ask thou Lord Leofwin what he thinks of this!

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