A monologue from the play by Alfred Noyes

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Sherwood. Alfred Noyes. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1921.

ELINORE: Robin, your heart is hard, both to yourself and me. You cannot go, rejecting the help which I can give as if I were a leper. Oh, come back. Are you so unforgiving. God forgives! Did you not see me praying for your sake? Think, if you think not of yourself, oh, think of poor Marian. Can you leave her clinging arms yet for the cold grave? I have risked much, life itself, to bring you help. I have some skill in wounds. Do you know how slowly, how insidiously death creeps, coil by tightening coil, around a man when he’s as weak as you are now? Do you know how the last subtle coil slips round your throat? How the flat snake-like head lifts up and peers with cruel eyes of cold, keen inquisition, riveting your own? How the blunt mouth sucks your breath with one slow, poisonous kiss? You stare at me as if you saw that snake. Ha! Your nerves are shaken. You are weak. Rest here upon this couch. Your blood runs cold. It needs the pricking of a vein to make the heart beat and the sluggish rivers flow. I have brought a lance for it. I’ll let a little blood. Not much. Enough. Enough to set the pulses throbbing. Yes. Yes. Trickle down, sweet blood. Grow white, fond lips–lips that have kissed Marian. Yet she shall not boast you kissed her last, for I will have you wake to the fierce memory of this kiss in heaven or burn with it in hell.

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