Mona: An Opera in Three Acts (Classic Reprint)
A month later. Evening. The Cromlech in the forest: A huge oak tree in the centre: at its foot an altar graven with the Sign of the Name: behind that, a crumbling stone wall in the form of a semicircle: and behind this, deep forest, through which appear the great standing stones of the outer circle. Nial alone, dancing with his shadow. In monologue he declares himself happier, being a Changeling with no soul, brother to all the wild things of the earth, than his wise friends whose souls torment them. The Governor, entering at the head of a scouting party, captures him and questions him as to_the evident signs of a recent gathering there: but Nial, fearless through sheer ignorance of harm, refuses to answer. As he is about to be tortured, Gwynn-suddenly appears and interposes. The Governor questions him about the reported rebellion, adding that Gwynn is freely accused of treason in siding with the Britons. Gwynn, refusing to break his oath by revealing their plans, yet claims as his own work the peace of the past years, and promises that through Mona and his own inﬂ:u ence as a Bard the threatened uprising shall be averted. The Governor is for crushing the conspiracy by immediate force, but is at length brought to refrain on condition that Gwynn shall hold the tribes from any overt act of war. On this Gwynn stakes everything and sets out to guide his father back to the Roman town. After a momentary soliloquy by Nial in' the gathering darkness, Mona and Gloom enter together. They have been going about the country preparing universal rebellion: and on that night they themselves are to lead the attack upon the Roman town', whose ﬂ:ames will be the signal for a general uprising. Mona, inspired with the ecstasy of her mission, yet dreads their own opening battle, upon which all depends. In the enthusiasm of his reassurance, Gloom throws off the mask of priesthood and brotherliness, avowing open love of her. She silences him by turning against him his own teaching that she is not woman but. A sword. After a short colloquy with Arth and Enya, in which Mona relates her triumphant progress among the tribes, the others go to prepare for the sacrifice which is to initiate the battle, leaving Mona praying alone in the mooncyj, auu lciiiihud uncm Llldl. In: 15 a. Tl'a whose person 18 sacrea: tnen, maamg them make him prisoner unhurt, she hurries on the preparations for the attack. Men and women bring torches, weapons, and materials of war. The Bards and Druids gather about the altar, where Mona, Gloom and Caradoc, to the music of a barbaric chant, perform the ceremony of blessing and distributing the swords. As they receive their weapons the priests rush out to lead the onslaught, followed by the tribesmen until the stage is left empty and dark but for Enya, who throws herself sobbing at the foot of the altar as the sound of the singing dies away in the forest.
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