By T. James Belich
King Arthur returns to life in the 20th century in this full-length drama.
Note: Part One only is included here. Part Two may be obtained by contacting the author at the addresses given at the foot of this document.
ARTHUR PENDRAGON, KING OF LOGRES
SIR BEDIVERE (FIRST KNIGHT) / FAITHFUL
SIR LUCAN (SECOND KNIGHT) / DOUBTFUL
SIR MORDRED / INDEPENDENCE
A QUEEN / LADY OF THE LAKE
SIR GALAHAD (HOLY KNIGHT) / VOICE
LADY OF THE LIGHT
LADY OF THE DARK
PART I - THE GATHERING
(An empty stage. A white curtain is stretched across the back
of the stage, illuminated from behind. The shadow of a snake appears,
preparing to strike. The shadow of a KNIGHT draws a sword,
raises it high, and kills the snake. When this happens there is a
great sound of trumpets, horses, swords being drawn, and armies
rushing to attack. The shadow of a KING appears with a drawn
KING: Alas this unhappy day!
That brings about this mortal fray.
No more doleful battle was there in Christian land,
Than this, brothers slain by brother's hand.
With this fearsome battle does my Kingdom fall,
We have fought for much and now shall lose all.
Jesu mercy, where are all my noble knights become?
(Two KNIGHTS enter.)
1ST KNIGHT: There are none but we, lord King, each our father's son.
KING: Alas that ever I should see this doleful day!
That villain Mordred shall with his life's blood pay!
(Another KNIGHT appears, a distance away, leaning on his sword.)
There yonder is the traitor who all this woe has wrought.
Give me my spear! I shall make him pay as he well ought!
2ND KNIGHT: Sir, I beg you, let him be,
No more than us hath he earned victory.
For on this field we four but stand among the slain.
Thou hath vanquished him already, further strife is but in vain.
God of His great goodness hath here preservèd you.
Therefore, my lord, leave off, let this day spare Mordred too.
Good lord, remember well of your night's dream, act not upon a whim,
If you pass this day you shall be revengèd upon him.
KING: Tide me death, betide me life, now that I see him yonder alone,
He shall never escape mine hands, for I shall smite him to the bone.
1ST KNIGHT: Then I bid God speed you well, good King,
And may bards long hence of thy noble valor sing.
(The KING sheathes his sword and takes his spear in both hands. He rushes towards MORDRED and cries out.)
KING: Traitor! Now is thy death-day come!
(MORDRED raises his sword. As the KING pierces MORDRED with his spear, MORDRED strikes the KING upon his head. MORDRED falls dead and the KING falls wounded.)
1ST KNIGHT: Alas, good brother, I fear 'tis to his death our King hath run!
(They lift the body of the KING.)
2ND KNIGHT: The good King hath, I fear, been wounded deep,
But not yet dead. That blow but put him into sleep.
Let us bring him off this thrice accursèd field,
Lest here among the slain he should his spirit yield.
(They exit with the KING. The light on the curtain fades away. The 1ST KNIGHT enters onto the stage bearing the body of the KING. He lays the KING down and rests. The KING wakes.)
KING: Now I shall have my death, it seems,
Whereof Sir Gawaine warned me in my dream.
But good Bedivere, where hath thy noble brother gone?
BEDIVERE: When we brought you forth, he fell from his wounds, no more to go on.
KING: Alas, to see this noble knight for my sake so die.
For he would have helpèd me, that had more need of help than I.
(BEDIVERE weeps for his brother.)
All this will not avail me, therefore this mourning leave.
If I might live, the death of Lucan would evermore me grieve,
Yet thou can see my time doth harken fast.
I bid thee, obey my last command, before my final moments pass.
BEDIVERE: Whatever thou bidest me do, I shall,
To avenge the deeds of this day most foul.
KING: Take thou Excalibur to yonder water side.
There I charge thee throw my sword unto that watery tide.
Then come again and tell me what thou sees.
BEDIVERE: My lord, your commandment shall be done, as thou dost please.
(The KING gives the sword EXCALIBUR to BEDIVERE who begins to exit. When he is out of sight of the KING he stops and regards the sword.)
If I this rich sword into the water throw,
Never again its likeness shall the world know.
Therefore this noble sword shall I now hide,
And return with haste to my good lord's side.
(BEDIVERE hides the sword and returns to the KING.)
KING: Now, good Knight, tell me what thou saw.
BEDIVERE: Sir, naught but waves and winds, and that is all.
KING: That is untruly said of thee, therefore go once again.
As thou art to me life and dear, spare not, but throw it in.
(BEDIVERE returns to where he has hidden the sword and picks it up.)
BEDIVERE: To throw away this sword would be but sin and shame,
Therefore I still cannot, by Jesu's Holy Name.
(He returns the sword to its hiding place and again returns to the KING.)
Sir, I saw nothing but the waters wap and the waves wane.
KING: Ah, false knight! Traitor untrue! Shalt thou be my bane?
Now hast thou betrayed me twice,
Thou that hast been to me as dear as life.
Thou would for my rich sword soon see me dead,
And so I bid thee one last time: Go and do as I hath said.
Art thou named a noble knight?
For thy long tarrying putteth me in jeopardy of life.
(BEDIVERE again removes the sword from its hiding place, but this time he exits with it. From offstage we see the shadows of an arm raise the sword and brandish it three times. The arm and the sword then vanish and BEDIVERE returns to the KING.)
Good knight, thou hast my commandment now obeyed,
Yet I dread I have tarried over long and the price may yet be paid.
(Four FIGURES in black robes enter with a funeral briar. They lift the KING unto it.)
BEDIVERE: My lord Arthur! What shall become of me?
Now that you go and leave me here, alone among mine enemies.
ARTHUR: To the vale of Avalon must I now go,
For there I must be healed, in body and in soul.
(The FIGURES exit with ARTHUR.)
BEDIVERE: My gracious lord and King, farewell.
What fate now yours I cannot tell.
Your way and mine forever now to part,
No more but sadness shall I know within mine heart.
(BEDIVERE exits. The curtain upon which the shadows earlier appeared raises to reveal a tomb upon which lies the sleeping ARTHUR. One of the FIGURES, a QUEEN, is also present.)
FIRST QUEEN: Brother, thou hast almost come too late,
Thus for thy return the world must long wait.
Here in Avalon, high in magic steeped,
Thy wounds made whole in silent slumber deep.
Drink well of the Water which never runneth dry,
For it alone doth giveth life, by all else you surely die.
(The QUEEN exits. A KNIGHT enters, dressed all in white except for a large red cross emblazoned upon his chest. A beautiful light surrounds him and his face shines with a radiant light. He carries a cup, simple in appearance, but which too shines with a holy light.)
HOLY KNIGHT: Good King, for but a time are all thy trials past.
I pray thee to enjoy thy peace, forever it may not last.
Sent here am I to give thee drink, such as I hath had before,
Drink deep the water from this holy cup, given from the Lord.
(ARTHUR speaks as if in a dream, his eyes remain closed.)
ARTHUR: Galahad, do I meet thee now in death?
GALAHAD: Nay, good King, thou still doth haveth breath.
Shall still be long before you earn thy final rest,
Stay true and through thy life all the world be blessed.
(GALAHAD gives ARTHUR a drink from the cup.)
With this drink thy weary life renew,
Think of whence it came in all you say and do.
(GALAHAD lights a candle which stands behind ARTHUR's head. The top of the candle stand is shaped in the form of a golden dragon.)
A flame burns true throughout the reigning night,
Long may you sleep, but always keep the Light.
(GALAHAD exits. Only the candle lights the stage. Silence. An unseen male VOICE speaks.)
VOICE: Here lies the renowned King Arthur, of which many tales sing.
Here he lies in Avalon's isle, the Once and Future King.
Yet there are those who shall not believe,
For them in dreams doth this King grieve.
His day doth end!
And with it his fellowship we rend,
That noble knights with honor bound.
Here we break the Table Round!
(There is the sound of a table cracking, like a tremendous clap of thunder.)
Broken the ring that made them one,
And with that this day is done,
Though long his memory shall endure.
Hic iacet, Rex Logrea, quondam resurrexitur.
[Here he lies, King of Logres, one day to wake again.]
(In the following silence, the stars come out, casting a faint silver light over ARTHUR. He sleeps. Slowly, after a time, the dawn begins to break. A light fades up slowly from upstage. It reaches its peak and then begins to slowly fade again, turning a deep red.)
Behold! The Death of the Year!
The dusk which wakes the King sleeping here.
One day each year to walk the earth,
On the eve of Holy birth.
A day to judge the hearts of men,
And see if time to come again.
So hath been done for centuries long,
The King choose well, the world wrong.
(The lights come up on two FIGURES standing on tall pillars. The first, on stage right and dressed entirely in white, is the LADY OF THE LIGHT. The second, on stage left and dressed entirely in black, is the LADY OF THE DARK.)
DARK: Darkness was the world's choice,
And so I charge thee, hear their voice!
Let not the Sleeper with Light align,
But to the Night his soul resign.
LIGHT: Such a choice not ours to make,
His will alone must one side take.
If, perchance, to yours he sides,
Then to that choice we shall abide.
VOICE: When he awakes then make your claim,
Upon this King so long since slain.
Now rise again, O Sleeper Gray!
And choose between the Night and Day!
Then on the earth walk in that power,
And decide if yet the Appointed Hour.
ARTHUR: So many things I see in dreams,
And yet I know not what it means.
In twilight still it seems I sleep,
And all mine dreams are dark and deep.
(He kneels at the tomb and bows in prayer.)
Your will, good Lord, is always mine,
And let your face upon me shine.
You call me from my silent rest,
And through me may thy name be blessed.
VOICE: Each year I bid thee walk and rise,
And see the world with thine own eyes.
Once again my will be so,
That through the world you shalt now go.
And whilst that day on earth reside,
One of these shall be thy guide.
DARK: Listen, King, who the world doth shun!
In all these years hath Light e'er won?
Or doth the world in Darkness reign?
Every year is it not the same?
In Day, I tell thee, never again shalt thou return!
For now and always shall hate in hearts forever burn!
The world hath nearly all thy days forgot,
Only in war shall thy kingdom ever be bought.
The Light doth your sleeping mind deceive,
Of what they promise hath thou received?
Or hast thou not in sleep been kept,
What hast thou gained whilst thou hast slept?
Naught, I tell thee! And naught shall it be!
Until thou submits thy sleeping will to me!
LIGHT: His gain be great with thee, that I shant deny,
But what good for the world if his soul should die?
Though hate may burn long within the hearts of men,
Doth it follow that love may never take root again?
It shall only grow from Light's true seed,
Of such the world hath greatest need.
But for all this King's great and willing toil,
Naught can grow in the rocky soil,
Of which many of men's hearts are made.
Of free will alone canst they be saved.
To them as well the highest choice is given,
Between your hell and holy heaven.
This King's task not to sway men's hearts by force,
But to come in peace and let Time runneth its destined course.
DARK: Then the more fool this sleeping legend be!
The world is mine, and in him shalt never again believe!
Their eyes are darkened and their hearts are blind,
The mettle of noble knights shalt nevermore he find.
This King could all the armies of the world defeat,
At the head of mine army the Night to make complete.
Then, King, would dominion forever hence be yours,
And this enforcèd sleep could never claim thee more.
LIGHT: Thou liest as thou always hath done,
Dost thou think thou can forever quench the sun?
All in Darkness shalt find defeat at Final End,
When all the deeds of Nighttime we shall breaketh down and rend.
And on that day when cometh Eternal Dawn,
Thou and all who follow shalt be banishèd and gone.
This the fate thou asks all men to share,
How with Love and Hope and Joy shalt thy bitter fruits compare?
DARK: He shalt taste them if he wishes, if your promises be true,
Let him taste and then see if he will choose me or you.
LIGHT: Deceiver, that taste alone his choice would make,
And methinks 'tis not so easily this valued soul you take.
DARK: Then in silence bide and let his choice be heard,
And thou shalt see that Dark his sword shall gird.
VOICE: Silence both and let the King his choice declare.
Which armor, King, shalt this year thee wear?
ARTHUR: Each year for fifteen hundred have I followed but one path,
The Dark knows not of what price of me it asks.
Whatever waits upon the earth, I shall have no fear,
For thy good words alone, my Lord, art always in mine ear.
War enough and blood hath I seen to fill ten lives,
The time hath come for peace and not dominion to strive.
I asketh not, and never have, for a crown to weight mine head,
For in the end that cursèd crown all my knights to death hath led.
Yet if that crown I still must wear,
I shall, and put it in my good Lord's care.
VOICE: Well spoken, King of Light!
Thou hath again well answered Night.
This year once more renewed thy vow,
Thy knee to Dark hath never bowed.
DARK: It shall, one year, whence I shall prove,
'Tis Dark, not Light, the world moves.
For now this King, shalt mine armies keep at bay,
But when to Night he turns, I shall win the day!
LIGHT: 'Tis not this King, but the peace as he doth bring,
That leads us to the victories we sing.
Peace shalt live, even if thou doth conquer all,
And by its sword shall all in Darkness fall.
DARK: My voice thou shalt hear again, King fool,
This cycle ne'er to end until thou submits to my one rule.
(The lights on the LADY OF THE DARK go out.)
LIGHT: My voice shalt thou also hear,
But far more welcome to thine listening ear.
VOICE: Listen well to this voice, with all my words therein,
It shalt not always be so clear in all the world's din.
Wake and to the world go,
And through you may my Light they know.
ARTHUR: Grant me strength for all the tasks ahead,
And by your will alone shall be my tired spirit fed.
O, my knights, all my sacred brothers lost,
How highly for my failure hath thou all paid dear the cost!
Yet through all these centuries here I still remain,
I alone to bear all our suffered pain.
Forgive me, O my brothers, what atonement can I make?
How to heal our circle that so long ago did break?
And thou, my Queen, how I did betrayeth thee!
Can I ask thy departed soul to now forgiveth me?
I thank God thou art now from all hurts beyond,
I knoweth now thou didst never do me wrong.
(ARTHUR opens his eyes and rises.)
LIGHT: Now, King, doth your presence the world await,
Go forward now, and fulfill thy heavenly Fate.
(ARTHUR comes forward and the curtain descends again behind him.)
ARTHUR: Then here shall I tarry no more,
And thus begin my yearly chore.
(The lights fade up onto a figure sitting alone in the center of the stage. The figure is DOUBTFUL. DOUBTFUL has the look of one who has lost something. The lights suggest an air of sadness and despair.)
Good friend, I seest signs of trouble on thy face,
What brings thee all alone to this cold and dismal place?
DOUBTFUL: Stranger, thy concern thou surely offers truly and sincere,
But I bid thee let me be and dwell alone in sadness here.
Forgive me for the courtesies that I show thee not,
But past is the day when man's company I sought.
ARTHUR: I have no wish to on one's privacy intrude,
But I canst not pass one by who doth so deep in anguish brood.
I pray thee, tell me all that troubles deep thy soul,
And I shalt do all in mine power to make thy wounds be whole.
DOUBTFUL: Kind stranger, forgive me for my kindless words,
Your voice carries a compassion that never hath I heard.
If my despairs you wish of me to tell,
Then I shall to thine ears unfold how to these depths I fell.
(ARTHUR sits next to DOUBTFUL.)
ARTHUR: Then speak, good friend, and every word shall I well heed,
I thank God that I could come to thee in this, thy hour of need.
DOUBTFUL: Thou hast done so, and for that am I in thine debt,
And I hope that of thine company I shalt be glad I met.
Ever since the days when I was but a child,
And life with all its hopefulness still my mind beguiled,
Tales was I told of when legends walked the earth,
And all the world was filled with wondrous knights and deeds of worth.
Days when the sun didst shine its face on man,
And the codes of highest chivalry still reigned across the land.
ARTHUR: Such tales well I know, and all the glory of,
'Twas great indeed those glorious days when all served God in love.
DOUBTFUL: So hath I thought for most of my earthly life, would it but were true!
Once did I hold that such dreams were as real as I see you.
Those tales in the depths of mine heart didst I believe,
And the passing of those days did I long and deeply grieve.
For above all the noble knights who the stories of are told,
Reigned the King of Logres, the highest King of old.
And to this foolish hope didst my blinded spirit cling,
That one bright and dawning day wouldst return this King.
Each day my face I turned towards the rising sun,
Watching and waiting until each day was done.
Day upon day didst this vigil I repeat,
And day after day didst this faith the world cheat.
ARTHUR: Have faith, good friend, even still, that day is still to rise,
Stand strong within the one true Light, and see through doubtless eyes.
DOUBTFUL: Such talk hath I too often heard and there my ruin dwelt!
The world's cold and brutal mocks hath I painfully felt.
The day did come when nevermore I for kings would wait,
The sun turned dark within mine eyes, now despair mine only fate.
The world spoke true, I fear, when they callèd me a fool,
'Tis folly to believe that hope and love this world could rule.
ARTHUR: Such a saddened tale, methinks, I never hence shall hear,
That all thy pure and noble faith couldst be slain by fear!
Why carest thee for what the ignorant may say?
What words can ever stop the sun or holdeth back the day?
DOUBTFUL: Your words but fall like arrows on the remnants of my faith,
My life with once the angels dwelt, now haunted by cruel wraiths.
Doubtful are my every waking thoughts, and by that name men calleth I,
My soul shall fill with emptiness, no more until I die.
So say no more of hopeful days that men shalt never see,
The Sleeping King, if ever he was, hath most wrongly betrayèd me.
ARTHUR: Good brother, thy tale does grieve my soul and make me sad,
But perchance my words may yet here make thee glad.
DOUBTFUL: Blessèd would I call thee if thou that task could do!
I would kneel to thee and call thee lord and ever follow you!
ARTHUR: Then list me, for I tell thee true, the King thou seeks am I.
The day for which thou long did wait may welleth now be nigh.
DOUBTFUL: How couldst thou do me such a villainous wrong?
To strike the final blow against a spirit no longer strong?
I knoweth now, as to thee I just have said,
That King and all my hopes therein are long and truly dead!
Thou mockest me to come in Arthur's name,
And with this foolish ploy try my crushèd hopes to claim.
Hath I not fallen deep enough into despair,
That thou must add to the cloak of shame I doth already wear?
ARTHUR: Dost thou not believe that I am truly who I say?
Come with me and follow Light, and join the coming day.
DOUBTFUL: Such things no longer come to pass, if indeed they ever did,
>From all the world's lies I wish that I were rid.
I knoweth not, Stranger, what I ever did to thee,
For thou to come and call me friend, but play cruel jests with me.
Fare thee well, spread thy tales of deceit elsewhere,
For all thy myths and lofty words I do no longer care.
(DOUBTFUL stands and exits before ARTHUR can say another word.)
ARTHUR: Good friend, hath the world done thee such grievous wrong?
To spurn now the very thing that once thy soul did long?
Those who lacketh faith against the Light hath always spoke,
But vile indeed to find a soul who foes his faith hath broke!
(ARTHUR stands and would have drawn his sword, if he had had one.)
Cursèd be those spiteful fiends who on the innocent prey!
Upon such no mercy shown in my forgotten day.
But I come not as a King to judge or mine enemies smite,
Nevertheless, I shall surrender not to those who conceal Right.
Doubtful, for thy shattered faith I promise thee I grieve,
Shall I find even one who still in Light believes?
(ARTHUR sits back down, and bows in prayer.)
Knights I seek to fill the Table Round anew,
Each and every one, dear Lord, to serve and worship you.
(The figure of WARRIOR enters, dressed as such. A sword hangs at WARRIOR's side.)
WARRIOR: Noble sir, of such would I gladly be the first,
Knight hath I always wished to be, for that desire my heart doth burst.
Long hath I searched through all this world and wide,
To find a King and pledge myself forever to his side.
ARTHUR: Good friend, I pray thee, tell me of thy name,
And what through this endeavor dost thou hope to gain?
WARRIOR: Warrior am I called, for glory and honor do I seek,
I shall fear no foe, however strong, and always uphold the weak.
ARTHUR: Well in chivalry I deem thou art of learned,
And perchance the name of knight thou shalt most well and truly earn.
None shall I turn back who wish to follow me.
I thank thee honored friend for thy welcome company.
But I must warn thee, goodly brother, my path is never one of ease,
Thou art bound to my service not, but may depart when thou doth please.
WARRIOR: I thank thee for thy honest words which I know art most sincere,
But for an easy path I never asked, in battle hath I no fear.
ARTHUR: Thou lackest not in bravery, that canst I surely tell,
But how doth thou fare in peace? Dost thou bear that just as well?
WARRIOR: For peace, I shall confess, I hath never longeth much,
I find no glory ever in it, no thrill of death's close touch.
But knights were never bred for peace, that thou cannot deny,
Peace I bear but for the time I may look in mine enemy's eye.
ARTHUR: War. Why some seek it so never shall I grasp.
Our hands not meant for wielding swords, but for our brother's hand to clasp.
If thou follows me, glory can I promise not,
For such too many knights with their life's blood hath dearly bought.
No wrong shall come, believeth me, from what chivalry doth teach,
But the only gift that war can bring is the gift of future peace.
I hath fought long and hard, and of every strike repent,
That God's good gift of human life must be so poorly spent.
Fight not for the battle's sake, or seek war as its own end,
But fight thine enemy with the hope thou shalt one day be his friend.
War, 'tis sure, shalt ever of this world form a part,
I shall yet see more, I deem, and that dost wound me to the heart.
(The WARRIOR draws his sword and presents it to ARTHUR, kneeling before him.)
WARRIOR: And when thou dost, at your side I'll stand, and never thee forswear,
My unyielding oath I give to thee, whatever trials we may bear.
(ARTHUR stands and takes the sword from the WARRIOR. He touches the WARRIOR with it on each shoulder.)
ARTHUR: Rise, good knight, for that title thee I give,
And do all thou can for God and man so long as thou dost live.
(ARTHUR gives the sword back to the WARRIOR who then rises.)
WARRIOR: To thy self and lordship but alone allegiance I bestow,
What God above you serve in turn I hath no wish to know.
I shall serve you in this world as my one and only lord,
But any faith in powers above is more than I can afford.
The world I see is filled with but great sufferings and strife,
What signs are there that point to any greater good or life?
The greatest goal to strive for, at least that I can see,
Is to earn what glory that one can ere death claims victory.
ARTHUR: Dost thou fight for naught but the glory to be thine?
And not to see the Lord's true Light upon the world shine?
And yet as I hath promised thee, none I turn away.
May God reveal Himself to thee ere thy final day.
If thou still dost wish, then follow me, and let this truth you know,
The good Lord is in turn my King, and the keeper of mine soul.
The path I walk is one of Light, shown from heaven above.
A true knight knows more than worldly arms, but hope and truth and love.
WARRIOR: Forgive me, King, that the faith you hold is one I cannot share,
To trust in powers yet unseen is more than I do dare.
Yet a Light I that hath never seen, surely walks with you,
I can see thou cares for fellow men more than most kings do.
If there is a God above, may I see with mine own eyes,
Until that time the world alone my one and only prize.
ARTHUR: I pray thine eyes be opened ere our ways must rend,
May God to your immortal soul His grace and mercy tend.
All willing souls from sinfulness hath he promised to deliver,
Of blessings, joy, eternal life hast He proclaimed Himself the giver.
WARRIOR: Wondrous words, I grant you that,
But as for faith, that I lack.
ARTHUR: "Ask, it shall be given, seek and ye shall find."
If you wish to meet the Lord, you shall doeth so in time.
WARRIOR: Thou art indeed a caring friend, as well as goodly King.
Perchance one day this faith you hold the Fates to me shall bring.
But for the present moment, what errand ours to take?
Shall we seek for other knights our fellowship to make?
ARTHUR: Indeed we shall, for such purpose am I here,
To call forth knights in Jesu's name, and let come all those who hear.
WARRIOR: Good King, might I ask the name of whom I serve?
ARTHUR: My knight, such an answer would I ne'er from thee reserve.
I am Arthur, King of Logres, who long hath been asleep,
Sent into the world to see if the harvest time to reap.
(The figure of GOOD WORKS enters, dressed as a medieval priest.)
GOOD WORKS:The Good and Holy book doth tell us true,
"The harvest plenty, the workers few."
Gentle sirs, most humbly do I greeteth thee,
And grant me pardon if my presence an intrusion now may be.
ARTHUR: Good sir I bid thee welcome, sit yourself and rest,
You are indeed most welcome here, a dear and honored guest.
(The three sit together.)
What brings thou this way to meet my goodly knight and I?
How is it that upon we two you haped to passeth by?
GOOD WORKS:No chance, forsooth, that by your way I came,
And as I passed I could not help but overhear thy name.
If Arthur thou dost truly be, then let rejoice my soul!
Of your glory I hath heard, of your works hath I been told.
ARTHUR: Rest assured good friends, I am who I hath said.
GOOD WORKS:And to think that all the tales we hear long since proclaimed thee dead!
Truly 'tis good fortune to come across thy way,
And if you would be willing, by your side I wish to stay.
ARTHUR: Few things could please me more! For I hath a fellowship to fill.
WARRIOR: I myself have made this pledge: By this King to stay through good and ill.
GOOD WORKS:Then indeed in good company I myself hath found,
The gathering of a second, noble Table Round.
This is most certainly the very thing that I have sought,
A chance to do the holy deeds the good Lord knows I ought.
ARTHUR: We shall do whatever the Lord may ask of us,
But all those deeds mean nothing without the faith which have we must.
For what good are works if they are done not in Jesu's name?
GOOD WORKS:But through good works may we our share in heaven claim.
And though my tasks of righteousness are surely far from done,
I take comfort that in knowing God has counted every one.
ARTHUR: Good friend, by what name shall I calleth thee?
GOOD WORKS:Good Works am I called, and good I hope to be.
ARTHUR: Methinks thou too are aptly named, for I will confess,
The motives for thy actions may not be the best.
If thy works a trade for heaven, then what master dost thou serve?
We should all be thankful God gives more than we deserve.
Judgment shall not fall on sinful merits of our own,
But on the mercy and the grace of our Lord Jesu's throne.
By faith we are sanctified, by faith we are saved,
Through nothing of our own shall we be rescued from the grave.
GOOD WORKS:Good King, thou dost surprise me with thy shocking words!
I should think that thou would quake with fear if the good Lord heard.
How could one poor mortal hope to stand before God's face,
If nothing he has done to earn our holy God's good grace?
WARRIOR: I know little of thy God, still less about thy faith,
But seems folly that on one's mortal works should paradise be based.
Much hath I seen of mankind and his ways,
And most of what I see hath filled me with dismay.
How could any of corrupted men heaven hope to buy?
A better chance would all men have to climb beyond the sky!
GOOD WORKS:Dost thou truly think God would His grace just simply give?
What then would be the purpose of this earthly life we live?
ARTHUR: To do for others, and not for thy own gain.
To serve our God for His glory's sake, and not for our own fame.
"Faith without works is dead,"
This thou hast surely read,
But what good are works if faith cannot be found?
They would ring indeed with a false and hollow sound.
The smallest act done in the name of God above,
Is worth ten thousand goodly acts that have no ounce of love.
GOOD WORKS:Dost thou presume to judge another's heart?
That belongs to God alone and not, methinks, thy part.
ARTHUR: Thou speaketh true, pray forgive me friend,
God indeed will judge thy heart come thy final end.
What lies within our hearts He dost surely know,
I pray before you reach thy death faith in thee shall grow.
GOOD WORKS:God shall receive me when I come before His throne,
My works shall journey with me, I shall not stand alone.
ARTHUR: Dost thou still wish to join my cause and take what quests we may receive?
GOOD WORKS:Good King, from thy service I shall ask no reprieve.
ARTHUR: You may in time, for the path I walk is long,
To follow 'til the end you shall need faith that God makes strong.
WARRIOR: Yours indeed must still be strong to follow all these years,
To see so little of pure joy and plenty much of tears.
ARTHUR: My life thou dost well divine,
I would have left it long ago if strength in God I did not find.
GOOD WORKS:Then where shall we three begin?
What works shall we accomplish to wash away our sin?
ARTHUR: Have patience, for our numbers yet are few,
I hope to have my knights number more than two.
(ARTHUR takes the sword again from the WARRIOR and knights GOOD WORKS.)
And a knight I make of thee.
What with that title thou shalt do we shall in time soon see.
GOOD WORKS:I shall use it always for good and right.
ARTHUR: That indeed is the beginning of a knight.
(The figure of INTELLECT enters, dressed as a scholar.)
INTELLECT: Pardon me friends, I seem to have lost my way.
Would thou mind if I did sit awhile and stay?
ARTHUR: We welcome all who may chance to passeth by.
These are Warrior and Good Works, and Arthur the King am I.
INTELLECT: Arthur, King of Logres? Is that what thou hast said?
Surely thou dost know that long hath he been dead!
Those are tales handed down from ages dark and past,
Most amazed am I at how long such stories last.
WARRIOR: Thou dost not believe in Arthur, so it seems.
INTELLECT: Stories, mere fancies, legends built on dreams.
They hath no substance, no fact upon to rest,
>From imagination was Arthur born, that thou must confess.
ARTHUR: I may do no such thing, the truth not mine to change.
Why do such "tales," as thou hath said, seem to thee so strange?
INTELLECT: How could such legends possibly be true?
Perhaps if there were solid facts of Arthur that we knew,
Then one could say that perchance he did exist,
But all we have is a shadowy man enshrouded in the mist.
ARTHUR: Few facts of me, I grant, shall you find within this age,
But 'tis the heart, and not the mind, that is the body's truest sage.
Wisdom comes not from facts alone, for they may oft deceive,
But 'tis the heart and spirit in God and King that must believe.
(INTELLECT speaks to WARRIOR and GOOD WORKS.)
INTELLECT: And doth you two follow this factless King?
Belief alone shall not legends into the real world bring.
WARRIOR: I know nothing of what history may say,
But I shall follow this King until the death of day.
One has only to look to see he is a King of worth,
One to follow unto the very end of all the earth.
I believe what stands before my very eyes,
Lack of facts cannot the visible truth disguise.
INTELLECT: And thee, Good Works, what may your reasons be,
That the fully obvious you cannot see?
GOOD WORKS:I do not know why against this goodly King you rave,
But with him I hope to do the works my soul may save.
INTELLECT: I am amazed! Their minds to facts thou hast made blind,
Such a lack of reason did I never think to find!
Why, Stranger, may I ask, doth these good folks fool?
I call such deceptions most heartless and cruel.
ARTHUR: It is not I who lacks a feeling heart,
As for Arthur, King of Logres: That is indeed my part.
To believe or not is the choice that all must make,
Do not try that choice from other men to take.
Why their choice in me do you seek strongly to dissuade?
Shall their belief your lack thereof threaten and cause to fade?
INTELLECT: I hath no fear their fancies shall undermine what facts I know,
But I certainly hath no desire to helpeth them to grow!
I seek here only to objectively view,
This case concerning Arthur's myth and you.
How could one man over fifteen centuries hope to survive?
It is clearly absurd to think today one could find Arthur alive!
And history has shown us that it is most unlikely he ever did,
These persisting rumors I seek the world to rid.
ARTHUR: History is writ by men, who oft are known to lie.
Canst thou not at least trust the witness of thine eye?
INTELLECT: It may be enough for these gentle knights, whose positions I hath heard,
To believe based on mere sight and thy well spoken words,
But I must trust in Intellect, for such my given name.
The facts of history have before eyes and ears the prior claim.
I will not and cannot surrender them to the heart's idle notions,
Or abandon my mind to some blind devotion.
ARTHUR: Your choice you must make, willing and free,
Thou I confess, yours does me grieve.
But let not your mind the rest of you blind,
Or naught shall you ever the impossible find.
INTELLECT: I shall admit my curiosity you have here inspired.
I wish to remain and more of this matter I inquire.
GOOD WORKS:You would allow this heathen to be a knight?
Who does not even know the wrong from the right?
ARTHUR: Whosoever asks to come will do so unencumbered.
Whoever wants to be shall amongst the Table Round be numbered.
Intellect, come before me now and kneel.
Receive the honor of knighthood from this noble piece of steel.
INTELLECT: I shall take no such title, though your company I follow,
For I know it to be false and utterly hollow.
WARRIOR: Thou joins halfheartedly if such an honor thou can refuse,
Why canst thou not believe? What hath thou to lose?
INTELLECT: Nothing to lose, yet nothing to gain,
I follow from interest of this said "Arthur's" claim.
ARTHUR: If thou willst be no knight, then call yourself our brother,
Though I had hoped thou would have taken the other.
Follow, and may you all be with me come the end,
On your faith alone shall that depend.
WARRIOR: Your side I shall ne'er forsake,
Whatever trials we may undertake.
GOOD WORKS:Nor I, for the stakes are far too great,
I shall not endanger my eternal fate.
INTELLECT: I shall come for a time,
But only until the truth of thee I find.
ARTHUR: May you indeed find Truth, that I pray.
But peace, friends, who is this who comes our way?
GOOD WORKS:I know not, but he seems not well,
Yet what may be wrong, I cannot tell.
(The figure of INDEPENDENCE enters, dressed as a knight. INDEPENDENCE looks very pale, and has a wound in his side. ARTHUR and WARRIOR help INDEPENDENCE to a place to sit.)
ARTHUR: Good friend, how came you to this dreadful state?
Rest, and if you have the strength, tell us of your fate.
INDEPENDENCE: Who art thou? My friend or mine enemy?
Whoever thou art, I beg you, do not hinder me.
I must be off, mine enemies to pursue.
(INDEPENDENCE tries to get up, but is restrained by ARTHUR and WARRIOR.)
ARTHUR: Gentle sir! Sit, lest your wounds be the death of you.
Friends are we, of that you need have no doubt,
I implore you to remain and of your troubles tell about.
INDEPENDENCE: Your kindness shall do me precious little good,
If you will not allow me to go and do the tasks I should.
My enemies escape me, a deadly shame for any knight!
Let me go and pursue them, I shall put them all to flight.
ARTHUR: Good knight, where is thy King?
Cannot thy fellow knights the victory bring?
INDEPENDENCE: I am my own lord, all enemies I fight alone,
I follow my own path, the wide world to roam.
ARTHUR: What foolish pride brings you to this?
Is the glory in this death act truly worth the risk?
WARRIOR: What glory can there be when thou hast no King to serve?
The title of knight I doubt thou doth deserve!
INDEPENDENCE: Glory is not the motive for my solitary stand,
'Tis only that I shall not submit to any overlording hand.
My own will I serve, from none shall I orders take,
A willing follower I shall never make.
Now, I beg of thee, let me pass,
I shall not yield so long as life doth last.
ARTHUR: Let us first our help to thee lend,
You may depart once your wounds we tend.
GOOD WORKS:Thou art indeed very ill,
Pardon us if we keep you here against your will.
(ARTHUR, WARRIOR, and GOOD WORKS tend to INDEPENDENCE's wounds.)
INDEPENDENCE: You give me no choice but here to remain,
But blame me not if no thanks I give thee for thy pains.
Though as a friend thou didst me greet,
My staying here I count as defeat.
I ask help from no man alive,
By mine own strength, and nothing else, shall I survive.
ARTHUR: I understand we do this against thy willing choice,
I do not expect for our services thou shalt rejoice.
But in all good conscience I could not let thee pass on by.
Not when thou were so like to die.
INDEPENDENCE: Then your rightful captive I shall be,
Until, O King, thou sets me free.
INTELLECT: Have they deluded thee as well?
How many more shalt be taken in I swear I cannot tell!
This man doth spread his baseless lies again,
What makes thou think he is a King of men?
INDEPENDENCE: I am not such a fool I cannot see with mine eyes,
If he is no King then the sun does not rise.
But that doth no true difference make,
I submit to no King be he real or fake.
WARRIOR: Then for what purpose are all thy deeds done?
For who or what has thy journey begun?
INDEPENDENCE: For none, I tell thee true, but for myself,
I am Independence, with faith in no one else.
GOOD WORKS:Of that I am appalled, hast thou no shame?
That thou serves nothing but thine own sinful name?
May the Lord in heaven upon thee rain fire!
If thou dost not do for Him the works He requires.
ARTHUR: We are not here, Good Works, to judgment pass on others.
Treat all men with kindly words as thou wouldst a brother.
Let holy love in all our actions show.
God will plant the seed of faith, and He shall make it grow.
INDEPENDENCE: Preach not, for such sayings I hath too often heard,
And been given naught but judgment from the Holy Word.
Do not talk to me of love, for such I hath not seen.
Though thou dost think that this is some, or so I deem.
I asketh for it not!
If thou be men of honor, let me go as thou well ought.
INTELLECT: Why dost thou against his will holdeth him?
What is it to you if he wishes to risk his life and limb?
I thought thou didst vow to let each their choice decide.
ARTHUR: So I did.
INTELLECT: And now it seems thou lied.
GOOD WORKS:It is our task to help all those in need,
And by such works our souls from purgatory be freed.
ARTHUR: Wouldst thou rather I left him to die alone?
Where in that heartless act would compassion e'er be shown?
WARRIOR: I cannot in all good heart leave a fellow knight for dead,
A knight must heal those in hurt, those in hunger shall be fed.
INTELLECT: Noble as this action may appear at one's first sight,
I still must ask if such forcèd help is well and truly right.
If he hath his freedom, as thou doth say,
Then let this gentle knight alone, let him be upon his way.
ARTHUR: For your hurts, Independence, we can do no more.
Now I beg of you, for awhile, to abstain from arts of war.
INDEPENDENCE: You hath here detained me far too long,
Now I shall speed myself to where the fighting still is strong.
Yonder methinks mine enemy I see,
And so I shall pursue him if thou indeed doth set me free.
ARTHUR: I do, having done what I could to sustain your very life.
I can do nothing to prevent thee from returning to the strife.
Thou art not, and hath never been, a prisoner of mine,
Your life is yours to lead, and your choices, they are thine.
(INDEPENDENCE stands and prepares to return to battle.)
INDEPENDENCE: Then of you all shall I take my leave,
And with this trusty sword may mine enemies be cleaved.
(INDEPENDENCE rushes in the direction of battle. The others, except for ARTHUR, all watch in the direction INDEPENDENCE has exited. Silence.)
ARTHUR: Warrior, my friend, how dost our rash knight fare?
Methinks that for his life he hath not a single care.
WARRIOR: He fights well for one so injured deep.
(Pause as they continue to watch. They turn away sadly.)
And so he is sent unto his final sleep.
Fool that he was, he had a bravery hard to find.
ARTHUR: I would say not, only that he was blind.
What meaning had his death unto so willingly he ran?
What purpose in his futile, though glorious, final stand?
He is cut off forever from the almighty God above,
Never to know eternally of His everlasting love.
His death and life deserve our most ever heartfelt tears,
For what hath he accomplished in all his many years?
Naught, without God to lead his way,
But to shed another's sacred blood upon this bloody day.
WARRIOR: Shall we not now avenge his death most wrong?
So he may be remembered in at least a victory song?
ARTHUR: His fight is not ours, it is but a battle of the world.
This is not to the time for our banner to be unfurled.
WARRIOR: It seems a shame that so alone he had to die,
In such a pointless death with no single reason why.
ARTHUR: While men live but for themselves it always shall be so,
Life hath no meaning unless our God you know.
INTELLECT: More tales! More fancies! How many more shalt thou spread?
Thou would better know if thou were but better read.
Of your Kingly nature I still am not convinced,
But I shall stay to see what more may happen hence.
Now, unless by mine eye I am deceived,
Here comes another to in this company be received.
ARTHUR: May he also wish to join our Holy Quest.
(The figure of IDOLATRY enters, dressed as a medieval pilgrim.)
Welcome, gentle Pilgrim, may the Lord on High thee bless.
IDOLATRY: Welcome, goodly sirs, long miles hath I come,
I wonder, could I lodge with thee until the rising of the sun?
ARTHUR: With us you may remain as long as thou doth need.
Might I ask what quest thine own path doth lead?
IDOLATRY: It is to find the resting place of Arthur that I strive,
And there, the tales say, he shall return one day alive.
ARTHUR: Then search no more, for thy destination hath been found.
I am Arthur, and these my fellows of the second Table Round.
(IDOLATRY falls to his knees before ARTHUR.)
Why dost thou fall so prostrate before me?
I am no one to be worshipped. I am mortal, as are thee.
IDOLATRY: You are the greatest King on earth!
All the nations should assemble to praise thy noble worth!
Thou deserves no less than I to fall upon my knees,
Though I shalt quickly stand if mine action does not please.
ARTHUR: Thou makes too great a matter of what thou thinks I like.
Stand, I humbly ask of thee, this worship shown me is not right.
IDOLATRY: I shall do as thou commands.
But I am not worthy to before thee stand.
ARTHUR: Thou art, as are all men,
I implore thee not to kneel to me again.
INTELLECT: But if thou art a King, should not subjects to thee bow?
ARTHUR: So was it before, but such it is not now.
I am a King, but a kingdom I have not.
Now tell me, gentle Pilgrim, why my person thou hast sought.
INTELLECT: Methinks through the stories he hath been fooled,
Into thinking Arthur he would find with a mighty kingdom that he ruled.
ARTHUR: Peace, and let this fellow tell his tale.
Continue on, friend, and omit no detail.
IDOLATRY: Your friend is right in that the stories I hath heard,
But methinks that he could tell you so in less than scathing words.
My life and all I hath known I have been forced to leave,
To come and seek the one behind the stories I believe.
For thou always hast been and always shalt be,
A King, and yea, a savior unto me!
I hath searched long and hard to find thee now at last,
To be thy faithful subject is all that I do ask.
ARTHUR: Faithful subjects I shall never deny,
But do not think that a savior am I!
Blasphemy alone would be that claim,
For Christ alone is Jesu's name.
I am merely mortal man,
Though resting always in the good Lord's hand.
INTELLECT: A man he most certainly is, and little else.
WARRIOR: Keep thy skeptic speech to thyself!
A man may Arthur be, but he is indeed one of noble worth,
None shall you find like him elsewhere upon the earth.
IDOLATRY: If thou are but a man, then how dost thou liveth still?
Does not death even the greatest of mortal men kill?
No mere man could live all these fifteen hundred years,
Unless thou dost as a ghost appear.
(ARTHUR grasps the hand of IDOLATRY.)
ARTHUR: No ghost am I, of that you may be sure,
But may not our God above allow a man to all these years endure?
It is not natural, that I grant,
But do not say that no mortal shant.
The Lord preserves me for a purpose that He alone doth know,
And until it comes to pass, in agèd years I shall not grow.
GOOD WORKS:It is the Lord, and not this King, we should serve first of all,
To serve a man before our God is to from glory fall.
IDOLATRY: But who else besides this King deserves our praise?
Who with all his mighty feats the peoples hath amazed!
I know naught of gods that I hath never seen,
Thou, O King, art more real than they, I deem.
(ARTHUR looks grave.)
ARTHUR: If thou wishes to my person well obey,
Then listen to what our God in His commandments dost say.
"Thou shalt have no other gods beforeth me,"
It is unto the Lord, not I, that thou should bend thy knee.
IDOLATRY: What hath I done that this scorn I hath earned?
To harshly away from thy glory be turned?
ARTHUR: I welcome all who wish to join me on my quest,
But your faith should not alone in my sinful person rest.
Follow me, but follow first the Lord,
Then when thy life is through, great be thy reward.
IDOLATRY: I am not sure I can do what thou dost ask,
But let me come with thee, whatever is thy task!
I shall be thy subject, thou shalt be my King,
And ne'er a day shall pass when I shalt not thy praises sing!
GOOD WORKS:Thou needest not to tell us of thy name,
Idolatry it is! And this the very same!
To worship a man before the Lord thy God,
Thou follows the world on the deadly road most broad.
WARRIOR: Even I would say this behavior is not seeming for a knight.
To serve a king, yes, but to worship him? I do not think 'tis right.
INTELLECT: Methinks that thou follows far too much thy heart,
And lets not thy intellect play its rightful part.
ARTHUR: You have asked to join this company, this fellowship of brothers,
And indeed I will accept as I would of any other.
(IDOLATRY kneels before ARTHUR. ARTHUR knights IDOLATRY.)
But I charge thee to remember who in turn I serve,
And who it is alone that thy praises doth deserve.
Welcome, all, this new-made knight unto our Table,
Treat him with peace and friendliness as best as thou art able.
IDOLATRY: I shall serve thee all the very best I can,
But in esteem I hold this King above all mortal man.
WARRIOR: Indeed, we haveth here no two faiths of the same kin,
And though with yours I shant agree, I welcome you herein.
(WARRIOR offers a hand to IDOLATRY who accepts it.)
IDOLATRY: I thank thee, and welcome thee as friend,
And may we be always so, until the very end.
(GOOD WORKS and INTELLECT merely nod to IDOLATRY.)
ARTHUR: And now our noble company doth number up to five,
Closer to the number where to which I strive.
But two more is all I ask,
Then may we begin our task.
Enter! Thou who watches from afar,
Come forth and tell us who thou are.
(The figure of GREED enters, dressed as a rich merchant.)
GREED: Gentle sirs, rest assured I meant no wrong,
I was only wondering to who this company did belong.
ARTHUR: This is the second Table Round which my duty is to gather,
But it belongs to God above, our dear and Heavenly Father.
I am Arthur, King of Logres, and thee I warmly greet.
GREED: It is indeed an honor to your noble person meet.
Thou art truly most worthy fellows all,
And I am glad that in thy company I had good luck to fall.
ARTHUR: Where is it thou were traveling to,
When paths did cross 'tween we and you?
GREED: I go to make my fortune in the world and wide,
Though perhaps would be mine benefit to with thee to abide.
What is the purpose that for which this company did form?
To gather riches?
ARTHUR: That is the worldly norm.
But it is not ours, we strive towards the cause of Light,
Against evil and injustice shall always be our fight.
It meaneth nothing to chase after worldly gain,
To do so profits nothing, such a quest would be in vain.
GREED: Then on what dost thou thy earthly life base?
Something as fleeting and invisible as some spiritual faith?
Such hath no substance but passes like the breeze,
But in gold and silver can one trust with ease.
GOOD WORKS:If that is what doth interest thy soul,
Then what dost thou see in our spiritual goal?
GREED: I see great gain in joining with King Arthur here,
For another richly Camelot must surely now be near!
A piece of that fortune I do wish to stake,
If a part of thy company thou wouldst me make.
INTELLECT: Now his motive to follow thee can I most understand,
Who would not believe in falsehoods to win riches grand?
But how in him you see a key to world's success,
In more than I with all my mind could ever hope to guess!
IDOLATRY: Why Arthur is indeed a King to rule all Kings!
Soon the mountains once again shall with his praises ring.
ARTHUR: I would not that so quickly say,
I do not even know if this is to be my day.
Do not join me on the basis of what thou hopes to earn,
I cannot give the promise of any good return.
GREED: In any good endeavor there is an ounce of risk,
But this is far too good a chance for me to ever miss.
Whatever challenges we may march toward,
I am certain that riches shall be our reward.
For what else awaits the victorious side?
But the spoils and plunder of those who hath died?
So great and renowned be your honor and fame,
That thy enemies shall run at the sound of thy name.
ARTHUR: Am I right in supposing thou art namèd Greed?
Then well would you do to my wasted words heed!
I promise no jewels, no silver or gold,
Nor anything worldly for thy hands to take hold.
I know not myself of our quest or our road,
Or even an glimmer of how our future may bode.
It depends on this world and what therein we find,
And how close to the Lord our faith to Him binds.
If thou doth wish to follow me, then knowest of all that,
And if you choose to follow, I shall not turn thee back.
GREED: Then do not and with thee I shall come,
To see if there shall be any worldly sum.
If thou knowest not what soon is to be,
Can thou sayest for certain no wealth shall come to we?
ARTHUR: No, I cannot say if we shall be rich or poor,
I shall leave all such matters unto the Holy Lord.
Join us for as long as thou dost please,
If thou dost wish to do so now, then bend upon thy knees.
(GREED kneels before ARTHUR.)
GREED: I shall follow thee unto the riches to be ours,
To Camelot, may it rise again with all its ivory towers.
(ARTHUR knights GREED.)
ARTHUR: Arise, O Knight, and of that title make good use.
Defend the weak, uphold the good, those in need never refuse.
WARRIOR: I welcome thee, though of riches I wish none,
Only to know the glory of the battles to be won
GOOD WORKS:Methinks, Sir Greed, thou hast the wrong desire.
I pray before our quest is through some faith thou shalt acquire.
ARTHUR: Of that may we all have more before our final days be through,
But of that no other man may help, 'tis 'tween the Lord and you.
IDOLATRY: Faith in thee is all I seek,
And may it never groweth weak.
ARTHUR: Thou all hath faith in different things,
Does none still serve the King of Kings?
(The figure of FAITHFUL quietly enters.)
FAITHFUL: I do, gentle King, in the best way that I can,
Which, I fear, is seldom much for I am only mortal man.
ARTHUR: As are we all, which indeed may not be much,
But what we lack we can be given through the power of God's touch.
You look tired, friend, I bid thee sit and rest,
And know that thou art well indeed a truly welcome guest.
FAITHFUL: Who art all these gentle folk who in thy company do dwell?
They seem to me a noble lot, I prithee thee, do tell.
WARRIOR: Knights are we, fair friend,
Who to the King of Logres our services do tend.
INTELLECT: Knights are they, but not so I,
I watch with but a skeptic's eye.
FAITHFUL: King of Logres, did thou say?
Does indeed he live unto this day?
INTELLECT: Indeed not! Let facts, not fancies, thy simple mind guide.
GOOD WORKS:Hush! And let him his own choice decide.
FAITHFUL: Canst it truly be Arthur standing there?
A miracle, no doubt, and one most truly rare.
Welcome, King, back to the earth,
And may thy coming foretell a day of mirth.
ARTHUR: I dearly hope so it shall be,
But such depends on all men's faith in He who sendeth me.
FAITHFUL: Thou needs not tell me who that is,
For know that I am also His.
A perfect servant I cannot say I always am,
But such blemishes are covered by the True and Only Lamb.
Faith in Him to me He gave,
And that alone shall my spirit save.
ARTHUR: Of all I met today, I welcome thee the most!
Thou knowest in thy sinful self thou hast no cause to boast.
But God above in goodly grace did His own Son's blood shed,
Without it would all human souls eternally be dead.
May all here note the words you hath here spoke,
Through them may a sleeping faith within their souls be woke.
FAITHFUL: Thou gives me greater praise than I know I doth deserve.
ARTHUR: Thou most humbly doth thy Lord and Master serve.
Join us, in the cause of Holy Light.
Together shall we show the world the glory of God's might.
FAITHFUL: In me, I fear, thou wouldst no mighty Knight acquire,
But perchance I could serve thee as a poor and lowly squire.
ARTHUR: Knights are what I need, fair friend, and I hope thou shall be one,
I ask thee in the name of Heaven to with this company come.
FAITHFUL: If such may serve thy cause, then I will not say no.
ARTHUR: I think that our good Lord above would truly wish it so.
(FAITHFUL kneels and is knighted by ARTHUR.)
Rise, Sir Faithful, for such thou are,
And let your faith no evil mar.
To know you are not worthy is the start of a knight true,
The rest to let the Lord be seen in all you say and do.
FAITHFUL: I shall serve both Lord and King as best as I am able.
ARTHUR: Then such completes the new Round Table.
Our company doth number seven,
The number complete, the mark of Heaven.
GOOD WORKS:Then shall our journeys now begin?
I long to start the deeds that my salvation are to win.
ARTHUR: Now 'tis time to fast and rest,
Before we start our Holy Quest.
But remember: All we do is done unto the Cross.
This the only road, all others lead to loss.
Keep vigil friends, and bow and pray,
That the Lord through us shall win the day.
(The lights upon ARTHUR and the others dim as they begin their vigil.)
LIGHT: Gathered your Table, the circle of men,
Whose faith shall decide if you may come again.
Those who believe in the good Lord above,
And look to their brothers with unceasing love,
They are the ones who the future do keep,
To one day awake the King Lost in Sleep.
Arthur did once warring kingdoms unite,
And brought the fair Logres into the One Light.
Now shattered the world which started as one,
When so 'tis again, then Arthur may come.
(End Part I - The Gathering.)
Part II may be obtained by contacting the author at the addresses below.
© T. James Belich 1998
All rights reserved
Use of this script is free for non-profit organizations.
For more information about this play, including Part II, contact the author at email@example.com