Date: 13 March 1949
CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.
(SEVEN SECONDS SILENCE)
CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.
(MUSIC ... THEME ... FADE FOR)
ANNOUNCER: The American Broadcasting Company presents "Quiet, Please!" which
is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper and which features Ernest Chappell.
"Quiet, Please!" for today is called "Dark Rosaleen."
(MUSIC ... THEME ... END)
WAYNE: There was a time when I loved the rain at night on the streets of New
York, but that is a time long gone and I remember the wet dark of a March
evening only dimly now. And I find I have no desire now to return to it,
though there was a time when I loved it.
I remember the night I thought was to be my last night on this Earth, and the
streets were wet with the bitter rain of a waning winter that night.
And I remember the sounds of New York that night.
I remember the sound of tires on the asphalt like the long drawn out sound of
striking a kitchen match.
I remember the skirl of whistles in the subterranean bellow of the subway.
I remember the horns sounding wetly in the north and south traffic on Sixth
Avenue and the empty echo of voices between the buildings on 44th Street.
I remember the unperturbed traffic lights, red and green beacons in the cold
rain. And there was a red glow in the sky from Times Square behind me.
And lonely yellow windows, dim above me in the murk, where other lonely souls
toiled the night away.
And now I gaze on ragged rocks, drenched in the spindrift of the sea. And
beyond them, landward, the wholesome green hills lie peaceful on the breast of
the land and the sound of the pipe comes sweetly across the downs to me.
And here the rain is a living thing, a great gray beast that comes from the
sea to fling its fury against the ragged rocks, and hasten inland to the hills
as did the dark men who first came to these shores so many years ago.
Thus, have the remembrances of the place that was once my home, faded away.
And it is only when the Ides of March return that I sit here on the shore
above the furious waters, and remember the spires of the cathedral closed
about with the towering buildings of the city, and hear again the clamor of
the kerry pipes above the searching winds of the avenue.
(MUSIC ... IN AND UNDER)
WAYNE: And now I think of the men who march to the greater glory of Holy
Patrick on his day in the morning, and the banners that wave above the gay
paraders fly for me in my heart -- for I have found Dark Rosaleen.
(MUSIC ... A BRIDGE, THEN UNDER)
WAYNE: It was such a weary time ago that I sat in that room in New York, and
heard those fatal words that sullen night of Friday the 13th. Their very
memory has blurred now -- but I remember them.
SOUND: (DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES IN AGREEMENT)
WAYNE: The door opened and Arnold closed it again quietly, and stood for a
moment silently against it. I remember how he did not look at me, how he stood
there a moment in the thick, sickroom silence. I remember I could not rise
from my chair even when his voice trod on the silence of that ghastly place.
ARNOLD: "We must be brave, it's a terrible thing."
WAYNE: And I knew what he was saying, but his voice seemed to come from a
long way off and his face was unclear in the dim light.
ARNOLD: "We did everything we could, Wayne."
WAYNE: And the pulse began to beat in my temples and it was the dreadful
truth that beat upon my head. But I would not believe what he was saying.
ARNOLD: "Elizabeth is dead."
WAYNE: I would not acknowledge it.
ARNOLD: [repeats in background behind Wayne's voice] "Elizabeth is dead.
Elizabeth is dead. Elizabeth is dead. Elizabeth is dead."
WAYNE: Still the pulse hammered in my temples and I said to myself 'He's not
saying it!' And I said 'I will not believe it!'
(MUSIC .. BUILDS TO AN ACCENT UNDER THE FOLLOWING)
WAYNE: [after a pause] And there was silence again. And in the silence I heard
a little small sound. And at last I knew it was my own voice, and the keening
of the women in the farther room rose above my own voice. For many hours
after, I was alone, and there was no light.
ARNOLD: "There is small comfort in speaking to you of the hereafter at this
WAYNE: "Let me alone."
ARNOLD: "There is some comfort perhaps to remember that her last hours were
peaceful. There was no pain, and she died in her sleep, unknowing."
WAYNE: "Next Saturday was to be our wedding day."
ARNOLD: "I am sorry for you, Wayne."
WAYNE: "I am beyond sorrow."
ARNOLD: "It will pass. Time is a great healer, Wayne. Time will--"
WAYNE: [interrupts] "Time will not heal these wounds, time nor anything. This
is the end of my life."
ARNOLD: "You mustn't talk that way."
WAYNE: "This is the end. I was a fool to think it was the beginning."
ARNOLD: "I know how you feel, Wayne."
WAYNE: "You know how I feel? How can you know?! You didn't love Elizabeth.
You knew her and she was another woman, another patient to stand over and
to give medicine to. And to let die as you let her die."
WAYNE: [sigh] "I didn't mean that, Arnold. You did all you could, but she
died. Elizabeth died. Oh, no. No, no, no!"
ARNOLD: "Wayne, you mustn't."
WAYNE: "Shall I tell you about Elizabeth? Shall I tell you of the dark hair
of her flung wild in the wind of a summer's afternoon when we stood on the
hill together? Shall I speak of her laughter like minted gold in the long
morning light beside the sea? Did you know her blue eyes in the candle flame
at midnight in the old high house where the road turns? I have held her hands
in mine and marveled at her voice in the gloaming. And Elizabeth has said she
loves me. And you say to me 'you must not'? What is there left for me without
ARNOLD: "But, Wayne, you--"
WAYNE: "How shall I live without her?"
ARNOLD: "Life goes on--"
WAYNE: "I will not live without her!
WAYNE: "No. You can't hold me here, Arnold!"
(MUSIC UP AND UNDER)
WAYNE: And the streets were wet, and the streets were dark, and the sounds of
New York I still remember. For what man is there could not remember his last
day on Earth? I heard the muted roar of the town and the dark hurrying
figures of people were in my consciousness, too. But it was not the night to
care for earthly things and the cold rain descended, and the sodden streets
gave back the echo wetly of my aimless footsteps.
Say to me, man, if you have ever loved, and remember the black emptiness of
your own heart if your mind was ever crossed with the thought of losing
forever that dear one of yours. Say to me, woman sitting there, what you would
have done in your own bright youth if the skinny hand of Death had snatched
your lover away. Or you two: Look at your wife, you man. Woman, look at your
husband. Should the curtain of Death descend between the two of you, what
would your first thought be? Would you not say first in your grief: "Death,
take me, too"? And so it was with me that bitter, bitter night. And I sought
the arms of Death, even as you would do.
SOUND: (Fog horns BLOW, continuing behind Wayne's voice.)
WAYNE: Do the oily ripples of the ebbing tide still finger the timbers of the
ancient piers along the river? Does the mournful sound of the fog horn haunt
your dreams of a rainy night in March, when the rain and the fog conspire to
teach us what blackness there was once on all the Earth? Do all the sad boats
still ply across the bay in the night and all the people on them huddle into
the lighted places and think uneasily of what lies deep in the waters below?
SOUND: (Fog horns BLOW, filling a pause.)
WAYNE: I stood there at the side of the water. And there I made my peace with
the city that lay behind the swirling fog and the rain -- the tall backdrop
against which I played my final scene. And, presently -- as I stood composing
myself, thinking sad last thoughts, all but forgetting lost Elizabeth in the
grandeur of my own final gesture -- presently, a figure came away from the
shadows and walked slowly toward me. And I, like an actor who has lost his
cue, paused irresolutely on the rain-soaked edge of the dock. And when he came
closer I turned impatiently and my footing was insecure in the wet and the
dark and I all but fell into the swirl below.
PATRICK: "Have a care, man!"
WAYNE: "Let me be."
PATRICK: "You'd have fallen into the water."
WAYNE: "Let go of me!"
PATRICK: "The tide being at the ebb, you'd have struggled in vain and there'd
be no one about to hear you chokin' and screamin' in the dark. You'd be
drowned, you see?"
WAYNE: "Will you let me alone?!"
PATRICK: "Come away from the water's edge, man. It's not safe."
WAYNE: "Get away from me!"
PATRICK: "Drowning yourself in the river will not bring Elizabeth back."
(MUSIC .. AN ACCENT)
WAYNE: "What did you--? Who are you?"
PATRICK: "Don't pull so. You'll fall."
WAYNE: "What do you want?"
PATRICK: "I want you to come with me."
WAYNE: "I haven't done anything, I--"
PATRICK: "You were gonna down yourself."
WAYNE: "Is it any of your business?"
PATRICK: "Come with me, Wayne. Come on with me."
WAYNE: "How do you know my name?"
PATRICK: "I know your name, Wayne -- and I knew Elizabeth. Come with me."
WAYNE: "You're a policeman."
PATRICK: "No. No, I'm not a policeman."
WAYNE: "You - said you knew Elizabeth?"
PATRICK: "Come with me."
WAYNE: "I-- Where?"
PATRICK: "Well, wherever it is, it's better than a watery death, son."
PATRICK: "Son, I'm an older man than you, and I tell ya it's no good."
WAYNE: "You're not older than I."
PATRICK: "Ah, yes, I am, Wayne."
WAYNE: "You knew Elizabeth?"
PATRICK: "Elizabeth wouldn't want you to do this."
PATRICK: "Elizabeth wants you to live, Wayne."
WAYNE: "Live. What's there to live for?!"
PATRICK: "Why... will you come with me then and - maybe I'll show you".
(MUSIC UP AND OUT)
WAYNE: I cannot say now what was the compulsion that led me to follow his
steps down the dockside and out to the end of the wharf in the darkness. I
cannot say. But I am glad this day that I heeded his words. And the soaking
cold rain along the dockside in the dark, to a ladder at the end. And he
paused and took my arm again. And pointed down.
PATRICK: "You were not afraid of the water a moment ago, Wayne."
WAYNE: And I looked at him. And in the gloom it seemed that I could see the
glow of the little lantern at the end of the dock, though he stood between me
and the light.
PATRICK: "Uh. down the ladder to the boat, Wayne."
WAYNE: The ladder was wet and clammy to my hands and I could hear the wooden
rungs creak beneath my weight. I did not know why I followed him for I could
see no boat in the water below. But I have spoken of a compulsion. And
though he spoke quietly enough in the night, I followed him.
PATRICK: "Will you sit in the stern then, Wayne, while I row?"
(MUSIC IN AND UNDER)
WAYNE: Now, was there ever such a scene? The bereaved man, the lorn lover,
the grief-stricken man about to take his own life for a lost love and foiled
at it by an utter stranger in the dark - and setting off in a cockle shell
of a coracle in the windy waters of a March night with the same total
stranger? I said to him:
"Where are we going?"
And I could feel that he was smiling although he didn't answer. I said again
"Do you know where you're going?"
PATRICK: "Well, for a young man that was about to take his own life a few
minutes ago, you show overmuch concern."
WAYNE: "We'll be run down by a boat!"
PATRICK: "We will not. But if we do, you will drown and die, and - is that not
what you want?"
WAYNE: "Well, I--"
PATRICK: "You want to choose your own way of dying, is that it?"
WAYNE: "Where are we going?"
PATRICK: "You're forgetting Elizabeth in your concern for yourself, Wayne."
WAYNE: "I've not forgotten Elizabeth."
PATRICK: "Do not forget her, Wayne. For if you forget her..."
PATRICK: "Do not forget her."
WAYNE: "Where are we?"
PATRICK: "What do you care?"
WAYNE: "Well, I..."
PATRICK: "Be silent -- and think of Elizabeth."
(MUSIC ... FILLS A PAUSE. WILD, STORMY MUSIC UNDER THE FOLLOWING:)
WAYNE: And the waves rose higher and higher, and the wind came down about my
ears and we seemed to be going faster and ever faster through the night. And
always the silent man sat over against me in the little boat, and though the
waves grew mountain high in the wild night still he plied his oars and still
we traveled on upon the face of the deep. For now there was no light to be
seen and the flying scud all but smothered me. And I grew desperately cold in
the open boat. And again I asked him:
"Where are we going?"
PATRICK: "Be still."
(MUSIC GROWS EERIER)
WAYNE: And my thoughts would not compose, and at last I fell into a kind of
restless sleep, cold and wet, entirely unhappy there in the boat along upon
the ocean. And through my sleep I seemed to hear strange music, and the voice
of my companion in the boat. And there was poetry in his words.
PATRICK: "Out of the glowing West, as the sun was dyin' behind them, up from
the sea in the night by the light of the moon, dark were the boats, and dark
were the men in the darkness. Seeking the shore of the sea, as they chanted
their song in the night. Seekin' the Shan Van Vocht, the undying Sorrowful
Mother. Seeking the Shan Van Vocht, on the shore where the Shannon descends."
(MUSIC ... POETIC, FILLS A PAUSE)
"Stretch out your arms, oh, Shan Van Vocht!
Stand on the headlands, and show us the way.
Weep for your sons, oh, Sorrowful Mother.
The black boats are sailin', bring us the day."
(MUSIC UP TRIUMPHANTLY AND OUT)
WAYNE: And when I opened my eyes, the first rays of the sun sped across the
waters to me. And the broad land lay before us and there was a great lazy
river that came down out of the hills, and a fresh wind was blowing at our
backs and we rushed along on the calm breast of the sea, and I rubbed my eyes
and I asked my companion in amazement:
"Where are we?"
And he smiled and shook his head and did not answer. And the shore drew nearer
and nearer, and I remember the poetry in my dreams and I leaned over to him
and I said:
PATRICK: "You haven't asked me anything yet, Wayne."
WAYNE: "I said, 'Where are we?'"
PATRICK: "You'll know in a moment."
WAYNE: "And what is the Shan Van Vocht?"
PATRICK: "Ask rather, 'Who is the Shan Van Vocht?'"
WAYNE: "Who is she?"
PATRICK: "Why, Wayne, she has many names. But the name we know best is the
Sorrowful Mother, the Weeping One, who does not always weep for grief, but
sometimes for joy."
PATRICK: "Ah, she has many names, and of all the women of all the world, she
is the fairest, my son. And she is the one that the Fir Bolgs, the very dark
men sang to as they sailed their black boats across the sea from beyond
the settin' sun."
WAYNE: "I heard you in my dreams, I think."
PATRICK: "I spoke of them. I spoke of the song they sang, and it may be I even
sang it. Eh, she and I are old, old friends, the Shan Van Vocht and I."
WAYNE: "And what is this place we're coming to ourselves?"
PATRICK: "Oh, have you forgotten Elizabeth in all your curiosity then?"
WAYNE: "I - I've not forgotten Elizabeth. Where are you taking me?"
PATRICK: "Why, to a certain place, Wayne... Wayne Shamus Callum O'Fallon."
WAYNE: "I... don't understand."
PATRICK: "You will."
WAYNE: And shook his head and laid on the oars again, and the little black
boat headed toward the mouth of the great, gentle river. And there grew higher
land on either side and the green hills stretched away beyond... and I saw a
woman standing on the beach at the estuary as we drew closer. And for a
moment my heart leaped in me for her hair was dark like Elizabeth's and she
had the figure that I remembered so well -- and then I knew sharp despair
again, for Elizabeth was dead.
(MUSIC ... A SOMBER ACCENT, THEN UNDER)
WAYNE: But I think my companion must have seen the gathering tears in my eyes,
for he spoke very gently.
PATRICK: "You remember Elizabeth again."
WAYNE: "I have not forgotten Elizabeth. I will not forget Elizabeth."
PATRICK: "That is well, my son."
WAYNE: "But, tell me, what is this place?"
PATRICK: "Look about you."
WAYNE: And we were in the very mouth of the river, and the blue of the sea
had turned now to a kind of golden green from the silt that the river brings
down from the hills far beyond. And I looked and the low hills stretched away
as far as I could see, and the sun shone on a scene of peace, and I fancied I
could hear birds singing.
PATRICK: "Ah, you'd know where you are then, Wayne, abou'?"
PATRICK: "Look, on your left hand, that is Clare. And on your right is the
land of Kenmare. Is it not a beautiful sight, then, in the morning?"
WAYNE: "It is that."
PATRICK: "I've always loved it."
WAYNE: And we drew nearer to the shore. And I looked on the shore and the
woman was standing there by the waterside, and she was dressed in a green
flowing gown and her hair was dark like I've heard is the wing of a raven.
And her face was peaceful to look upon, though ravaged with tears. And I
looked from her to my companion in the boat, and he spoke to me.
PATRICK: "Er, that is the Shan Van Vocht."
(MUSIC IN AND UNDER)
WAYNE: And the keel of the little boat graded to the shore, and I stood up,
and the woman spoke to me. And her voice was like my mother's voice as I
remembered it, although the words she spoke were in a strange tongue.
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "Cead mile failte!"
WAYNE: And she took my hand and I stepped out of the boat, and she turned to
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "And cead mile failte to you, Patrick. You've been away
WAYNE: And I said:
And when I turned to look at him again, he had vanished from my sight. And I
turned back to the lovely woman who had greeted me, and she was smiling on me.
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "Welcome home, Wayne Shamus Callum O'Fallon."
(MUSIC UP AND OUT)
WAYNE: Now, I thought perhaps that I had come to those isles of the blessed
that are spoken of in the old, old books. And I thought perhaps this place was
Heaven, for it was very fair. And I thought in my heart for a moment: "Perhaps
I shall find Elizabeth here," for I was not sure what this place was and it
seemed the Heaven I had heard of could not possibly be fairer. And I may say
to this day that as yet I have had no foretaste, no view of Heaven yet
vouchsafed to me. Yet if Heaven shall be fairer than this land set down in a
shining sea, then it will be Heaven indeed.
And in the long days -- which were the days of spring -- I wandered by myself
along the shore and the sun was good and the sea was endless. And when the
night came, there were the stars, and the night breeze was sweet, and then the
thoughts of Elizabeth came back again to haunt me. And always my wonder grew.
Had I indeed taken my life, and was this the Elysian field, was this the Limbo
for unjudged souls? Was I dead myself? And wandering till the Judgment Day?
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "It is a true land, Wayne. Feel the grass beneath your feet,
hearken to the sound of the waves, and be sure it is all real."
WAYNE: "I'm lost."
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "You weep for your lost Elizabeth."
WAYNE: "I shall never cease to weep for her, Shan Van Vocht."
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "A day'll come, Wayne."
WAYNE: "No day for me."
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "A day comes when grief is forgotten."
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "When you know Dark Rosaleen."
WAYNE: "No. Who is Dark Rosaleen? Who are you? Who - who is Patrick?"
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "We would none of us live save for Patrick. Patrick brought
the Word to us. Patrick came from the lands far beyond yonder sea. Patrick
brought the cross to us all here."
WAYNE: "He is a young man."
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "Patrick led us all from the dark mysteries of the pagan
hills, and it was Patrick's hand that has kept us safe for all these years of
our life. I have not always been fair, Wayne -- this place has not always
been fair. Great dragons breathing fire, and dire serpents were in the hills,
'till Patrick banished them.
(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN UNDER)
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "And I have found much to weep for, wherefore they call me the
Sorrowful Mother, the Shan Van Vocht. But, as Patrick says, in these latter
days, I do not always weep for grief."
WAYNE: "Tell me, Shan Van Vocht. I was about to die for the love of a lost
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "I know."
WAYNE: "Is she here? Is Elizabeth here?"
SHAN VAN VOCHT: "Dark Rosaleen is here."
(MUSIC ... A GLORIOUS HYMN-LIKE IRISH MELODY)
WAYNE: And then, when I looked up at her from the ground, there was another
woman standing where she had stood. And this one was young and fair and her
hair was dark and her eyes were blue, and she smiled upon me. And for a moment
my heart stopped, for she spoke in Elizabeth's voice.
DARK ROSALEEN: "Cead mile failte, my love."
WAYNE: And I sprung to my feet and my voice shook as I took her hand in mine,
for the hand was the hand of my lost love, Elizabeth.
DARK ROSALEEN: "I am Rosaleen. Dark Rosaleen."
WAYNE: "Elizabeth. My lost Elizabeth!"
DARK ROSALEEN: "You look on me, and you find in me whatever love you have
lost. I will be in your heart forever, and you will never cease to love me. I
am Dark Rosaleen, and you will die for me if the time comes, my lover, as so
many have died for love of me before. I will never die, I live forever, and
you are mine, you will be faithful to me forever."
WAYNE: "Who are you, who are--?"
DARK ROSALEEN: "I am called Dark Rosaleen... and sometimes ..."
SHAN VAN VOCHT: [voice merging with Rosaleen's] "... I am called Shan Van
Vocht. But, I have another name."
DARK ROSALEEN: "I am called Erin, and by that name am I loved in every quarter
of the globe. It is my harp that you hear in the night. It is my kisses that
the soft breeze of midday brings to you. In me is Elizabeth, and Helen, and
the blood of Martha sings in my veins. And I am every woman every man of Erin
has ever loved."
WAYNE: "You are my lost love. You are--"
DARK ROSALEEN: "I am Dark Rosaleen."
WAYNE: And, Holy Patrick, hear my vow: When the sun rises up on the day that
is yours, whether I walk the sands of the desert, or whether I shall sail the
seven seas, whether I prosper or whether I beg in the streets, whether I be
living or though I die -- I swear I will remember Dark Rosaleen, to her
(MUSIC UP AND OUT)
(MUSIC ... THEME FADE FOR)
ANNOUNCER: The title of today's "Quiet, Please!" story is "Dark Rosaleen." It
was written and directed by Wyllis Cooper and the man who spoke to you was
CHAPPELL: And Patrick was played by Ed Latimer. Leora Thatcher was the
Shan Van Vocht. Dark Rosaleen was played by Charita Bauer, and Mark Forbes
played Arnold. As usual, music for "Quiet, Please!" is by Albert Buhrmann.
Now, for a word about next week's "Quiet, Please!", here is my very good
friend and our writer-director, Wyllis Cooper. Bill?
COOPER: Thank you for listening to "Quiet, Please!" Next week, my story's
called "The Smell of High Wines."
CHAPPELL: And so, until next week at this same time, I am quietly yours,
(MUSIC ... THEME ... END)
ANNOUNCER: And now a listening reminder. Predictions of your future and of
events in the world's future are coming your way soon over this ABC station.
Drew Pearson will be heard in just a moment. This is ABC, the American