There, face to face, I met the Viceroy. He
Alone with me—and I myself alone—
Mere man to man, and near us the abyss,
And when his lordship had perused my face,
And knew the man he had severely fined
On some most trivial ground, not long before,
And saw me, with my sturdy bow in hand,
Come striding toward him, his cheek grew pale,
His knees refused their office, and I thought
He would have sunk against the mountain side.
Then, touch’d with pity for him, I advanced,
Respectfully, and said “’Tis I, my lord.”
But ne’er a sound could he compel his lips
To frame in answer. Only with his hand
He beckoned me in silence to proceed.
So I pass’d on, and sent his train to seek him.
He trembled, then, before you? Woe the while
You saw his weakness; that he’ll ne’er forgive.
I shun him, therefore, and he’ll not seek me.
But stay away today. Go hunt instead!
What do you fear?
I am uneasy. Stay!
Why thus distress yourself without a cause?
Because there is no cause. Tell, Tell! stay here!
Dear wife, I gave my promise I would go.
Must you—then go. But leave the boys with me.
No, mother dear, I go with father, I.
How, Walter! will you leave your mother then?
I’ll bring you pretty things from grandpa.
[Exit with his father.]
Mother, I’ll stay with you!
HEDWIG (embracing him).
Yes, yes! thou art
My own dear child. Thou’rt all that’s left to me.
[She goes to the gate of the court and looks anxiously after TELL and her son for a considerable time.]
A retired part of the Forest.-Brooks dashing in spray over the rocks.
Enter BERTHA in a hunting dress. Immediately afterward RUDENZ
He follows me. Now, then, to speak my mind!
RUDENZ (entering hastily).
At length, dear lady, we have met alone
In this wild dell, with rocks on every side,
No jealous eye can watch our interview.
Now let my heart throw off this weary silence.
But are you sure they will not follow us?
See, yonder goes the chase! Now, then, or never!
I must avail me of this precious chance—
Must hear my doom decided by thy lips,
Though it should part me from thy side forever.
Oh, do not arm that gentle face of thine
With looks so stern and harsh! Who—who am I,
That dare aspire so high, as unto thee?
Fame hath not stamp’d me yet; nor may I take
My place amid the courtly throng of knights,
That, crown’d with glory’s lustre, woo thy smiles.
Nothing have I to offer but a heart
That overflows with truth and love for thee.