Pleading to the Gods

A One Act Play by James A Graves, Jr.


Baird, a teenaged boy, minstrel to the king, stood in a cold, moonlit meadow on the outskirts of his hamlet, looking up and shaking his fist at the bright full moon.


“Oh! Cold wicked orb, stealing night’s cloak and hiding yon stars.” The tortured waif shouted. “Why hath providence doomed me to love a precious gem I cannot possess?”

Baird suddenly paused, stroked his chin pensively and whispered, “Perhaps I, by some dreadful error, have offended the gods…” 

Then, returning his gaze toward the moon, “But pray tell how?”


He paused again, as if waiting for an answer, then, taking a few steps, he bent down and picked a small wildflower growing at his feet.  He pondered the flower for a moment, as if trying to discern its color in the pale moonlight, then turned his gaze forward and began slowly strolling through the lush grass.


“I am but a lowly minstrel to the king.” Baird continued, speaking to no one in particular.  “How have I offended?  I, for certain, know not.  However, my crime revealed, I would surely offer amends.  And, penalty decreed, I would most willingly pay, doubly even if it pleased the Gods to remove my bonds and free my troubled heart.”


Baird stopped, looked up at the cold stars and held out his hands with palms upturned, “But no such revelation hath come forth… least, not to these weary eyes.  Instead, I stand here beneath the heavens convicted and sentenced to heartache and despair with no hope of reprieve, whilst my love is forced to choose another lest she trod her uncertain future alone, an old maid.”


Raising his hands higher, he pleaded, “Could this tragic news not have waited?!  The messenger, faithful Jacob, my own blood, was urgent in the telling, as if the news could not have waited.  Could my cousin not see the pain in my eyes upon hearing this dreadful news?  The night is not that dark.  Why did he not keep it to himself?”


Baird dropped his arms to his side, breathed deeply and sighed, “Alas, poor Jacob has not the grace to keep his mouth shut.”

“She cannot be mine?!” Baird yelled.  “Nor I hers?  Oh! Some evil curse revealed, our love in vain because she is my kin?!  This is cruel madness; some dark wickedness conjured to vex us.  Damned evil conundrum!”


His looked in the direction of the home of Jacob and spoke in a softer voice, “Yet, the source of this cursed news a good and trusted friend, I doubt him not.  But how could this be?”


Baird looked at the moon again and spoke louder, “Could the revealing of this abomination not have waited until the end of our lives instead of the beginning?  Oh! Would that the news have fallen on deaf ears for all concerned.”


“What have I done?!”  He screamed at the sky as he turned in a circle. “For pity sake reveal my crime and set us free!” 


Baird’s voice dropped to a pleading whisper. “Surely this is not true.  Why doth she suddenly become my kin, marriage forbidden?  Marriage forbidden!  We have loved freely and deeply since childhood.  The ache within my breast causes a desire to rip it open and pluck out my offending heart.”


Baird dropped to his knees and, reaching up, screamed at the sky, “Oh! Great Zeus.”  Then, his voice falling to a tearful whisper, he pleaded, “Great Zeus, king of the gods and god of justice, sway Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, command Apollo, god of knowledge and healing, persuade Athena, goddess of wisdom and reason, compel Hera, goddess of marriage.  Please, show mercy.  I am but an insect, a speck of dust, insignificant to heaven and earth, meaningless to your mighty purposes.  I beg you to pardon my witless sin and restore my love to me.  Lovely Alena awaits this very hour.  And whilst I stand before you to beg forgiveness, no doubt my cousin has delivered his cursed message.  Surely she now suffers as I.  I must comfort her, else she abandon all hope.  I beseech thee, pluck this black veil from my heart and reveal to me a solution.”


Baird wiped away his tears. 

“All is lost.” He whispered. “How can I go on...?” 

Then he slowly fell onto his side, sinking into the deep grass of the meadow, and covered his face with his hands.


The curtain falls.


©2017 James A Graves, Jr.


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