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Collected Plays and Short Stories

Part Two

The House of Brut

Fragment of a Play

Dramatis Personae

Brutus, Prince of Britain.

Assarac, his brothers.

Devon, son of Corineus.

Cambre, Prince of Cambria,
Albanact, Prince of Albany,
Locrine, Prince of Leogrys: Sons of Brutus.

Humber, King of Norway.

Sigfrid, Norwegian leaders.

Guendolen, daughter of Corineus.

Estrild, A Pictish princess, concubine of Humber.

Act Two

Scene I

The camp of Humber.

Humber, Offa, Norwegians.


Drinkhael, dragons and storm-winds of the sea!


Spare not to drain this sweetened juice1 of earth,

You Vikings! How it bubbles to the lips

Vigorous as newspilt blood. Drink deep, and shout

“Glory to Thor and Humber!” With the sun

Upon the force of Albanact we march.

Shout, Norsemen! Let the heavens hear your menace.




Washael! Glory to ancient Thor

And Humber.


I am the hammer old of Thor

When he would crush the nations. He is merry

With wine and smites the world with me.


Or wherefore

Should I derive my glory? Have I not

Rushed through the angry waters when the whale

Was stunned between two waves and slain my foe

Betwixt the thunders? Have not the burning hamlets

Of Gaul lighted me homeward for a league?

Erin has felt me, Norsemen.


Glory to Humber.


Have I not slain the Alban hosts and bound

The necks of princes? Yea, their glorious star

And wonder for whom three kingdoms strove, Estrild,

Led to my ships? The queens of the Orcades

Are slaves and concubines to private Norsemen.


Glory to Humber, Thorís hammer! Humber! Humber!


Have I not harried Ireland, Denmark, Orkney?

Shattered the Pictish wheels, broken their scythes,

Unpeopled living tracts? Why then prefer you

Thorís self to me? Has he filled up your ships

With gold and wines of France, rich rings and jewels,

Metals untold and beautiful sharp steel?

Who has enriched and aggrandised2 you all

Till you are gods, to each hand a countryís wealth,

To each sword a centuryís glory? Who has given

The commonest men3 beauty divine to sleep with,

Made queens your slaves and kings your thralls, you Norsemen?


Humber, Humber! Not Thor, but mightier Humber.


Drink, Norsemen. Ye shall all be kings. Scotia

And Albany and Ireland shall be mine.

Iíll have as many kingdoms as the year

Has moons. Do you doubt me, Vikings? Do you mutter?

But you shall see my glory. Call Estrild,

You thralls of Humber.


Glory to great Humber!

Humber shall now be Thor. He shall new-make

The bones of Heimir in his hands. Cry “Humber!”


This river we ascend, shall now no more

Bear its old name but mine; and all this region

Be Albany no more but Humberland:

The worldís name changed shall be my monument.

Enter thralls with Estrild.


Gods, if you be, protect me!


Glory to Humber.


Lo she whose mystic4 eyes enthral the nations,

Comes to do reverence to Humber, glad

To be his gloryís meanest satellite.

Kneel down, daughter of princes, favoured more

Than Freya or Gudrun; for these were wives

Of gods or demigods, but thou the slave

Of Humber. Lo whose pleasure kingdoms strove

To do, is made my footstool. I have slain

Nations to win her and have ravished her

Before her fatherís eyes, not yet made blood

And faces of a hundred warlike lovers.

Yet all these could not help her cries.




The strong, the noble Humber!


Girl, arise

And serve me. Thou shalt do it royally.

This is thy fatherís skull



Later edition of this work: The Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo: Set in 37 volumes.- Volumes 3-4.- Collected Plays and Stories.- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1998.- 1008 p.

1 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: force


2 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: aggrandized


3 1998 ed. CWSA, volumes 3-4: man


4 starlike