chapter  IV
58 Pages

The Modern Period

Masefield's version, Tristan and !solt: A Play in Verse (1927), attempts to give new life to the legend by combining elements from various sources. As he does in his collection of Arthurian poetry, Midsummer Night and Other Tales in Verse (1928), Masefield tries to get close to the historical origins of his subject at the same time that he acknowledges the medieval literary tradition. He devotes a major portion of his play to reenacting an event described in the Welsh Triads, which tells of "Three Powerful Swineherds of the Island of Britain," one of whom was "Drystan son of Tallwch, "who kept watch over the swine of "March" (the Mark of later legend) while the swineherd delivered a message from him to "Essyllt. "