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The Promise Of May

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The Promise Of May

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Genre: Drama
Setting: England
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely

EXCERPT:

EVA (with a wild cry). Philip Edgar!

HAROLD. The phantom cry! You–did you hear a cry?

DORA. She must be crying out ‘Edgar’ in her sleep.

HAROLD. Who must be crying out ‘Edgar’ in her sleep?

DORA. Your pardon for a minute. She must be waked.

HAROLD Who must be waked?

DORA. I am not deaf: you fright me. What ails you?

HAROLD. Speak.

DORA. You know her, Eva.

HAROLD. Eva! [EVA opens the door and stands in the entry. She!

EVA. Make her happy, then, and I forgive you. [Falls dead.

DORA. Happy! What? Edgar? Is it so? Can it be? They told me so. Yes, yes! I see it all now. O she has fainted. Sister, Eva, sister! He is yours again–he will love you again; I give him back to you again. Look up! One word, or do but smile! Sweet, do you hear me? [Puts her hand on EVA’S heart. There, there–the heart, O God!–the poor young heart Broken at last–all still–and nothing left To live for. [Falls on body of her sister.

HAROLD. Living … dead … She said ‘all still. Nothing to live for.’ She–she knows me–now … (A pause.) She knew me from the first, she juggled with me, She hid this sister, told me she was dead- I have wasted pity on her–not dead now- No! acting, playing on me, both of them. They drag the river for her! no, not they! Playing on me–not dead now–a swoon–a scene- Yet–how she made her wail as for the dead!


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