[As he is going out with the soldiers, six FRATRES MISERICORDIAE appear.]
Here comes the brotherhood of mercy. Room!
The victim’s slain, and now the ravens stoop.
BROTHERS OF MERCY (form a semicircle round the body, and sing in solemn tones).
Death hurries on with hasty stride,
No respite man from him may gain,
He cuts him down, when life’s full tide
Is throbbing strong in every vein.
Prepared or not the call to hear,
He must before his Judge appear.
[While they are repeating the two last lines, the curtain falls.]
A common near Altdorf. In the background to the right the Keep of Uri, with the scaffold still standing, as in the Third Scene of the first Act. To the left, the view opens upon numerous mountains, on all of which signal fires are burning. Day is breaking, and distant bells are heard ringing in several directions.
RUODI, KUONI, WERNI, MASTER MASON, and many other country people, also women and children.
See there! The beacons on the mountain heights!
Hark how the bells above the forest toll!
The enemy’s routed.
And the forts are storm’d.
And we of Uri, do we still endure
Upon our native soil the tyrant’s keep?
Are we the last to strike for liberty?
Shall the yoke stand, that was to curb our necks?
Up! Tear it to the ground!
Down, down with it!
Where is the Stier of Uri?
Here. What would ye?
Up to your tower, and wind us such a blast
As shall resound afar, from peak to peak;
Rousing the echoes of each glen and hill,
To rally swiftly all the mountain men!
[Exit STIER OF URI—Enter WALTER FUeRST.]
Stay, stay, my friends! As yet we have not learn’d
What has been done in Unterwald and Schwytz.
Let’s wait till we receive intelligence!
Wait, wait for what? The accursed tyrant’s
And on us freedom’s glorious day has dawn’d!
How! Are these flaming signals not enough,
That blaze on every mountain top around?
Come all, fall to—come, men and women,
Destroy the scaffold! Burst the arches! Down,
Down with the walls, let not a stone remain!
Come, comrades, come! We built it, and we know
How best to hurl it down.
Come! Down with it!
[They fall upon the building on every side.]