The Castle with the terrace leading down into the garden, as in ACT I. It is night, as then.—The PRINCE OF HOMBURG, with bandaged eyes, is led in through the lower garden-wicket, by CAPTAIN STRANZ. Officers with the guard. In the distance one can hear the drumming of the death-march.
[Illustration: #STATUE OF THE GREAT ELECTOR# Sculptor, Andreas Schlueter]
THE PRINCE. All art thou mine now, immortality!
Thou glistenest through the veil that blinds mine eyes
With that sun’s glow that is a thousand suns.
I feel bright pinions from my shoulders start;
Through mute, ethereal spaces wings my soul;
And as the ship, borne outward by the wind,
Sees the bright harbor sink below the marge,
Thus all my being fades and is submerged.
Now I distinguish colors yet and forms,
And now—all life is fog beneath my feet.
[The PRINCE seats himself on the bench which stands about the oak in the middle of the open space. The CAPTAIN draws away from him and looks up toward the terrace.]
How sweet the flowers fill the air with
D’you smell them?
STRANZ (returning to him). They are gillyflowers and pinks.
THE PRINCE. How come the gillyflowers here?
It must have been some girl that planted them.
Come, will you have a bachelor’s button?
THE PRINCE. Thanks!
When I get home I’ll have it put in water.
The ELECTOR with the laurel-wreath, about which the golden chain is twined, the ELECTRESS, PRINCESS NATALIE, FIELD-MARSHAL DOeRFLING, COLONEL KOTTWITZ, HOHENZOLLERN, GOLZ, and others. Ladies-in-waiting, officers and boys bearing torches appear on the castle terrace. HOHENZOLLERN steps to the balustrade and with a handkerchief signals to CAPTAIN STRANZ, whereupon the latter leaves the PRINCE OF HOMBURG and speaks a few words with the guards in the background.
THE PRINCE. What is the brightness breaking round me, say!
STRANZ (returning to him).
My Prince, will you be good enough to rise?
THE PRINCE. What’s coming?
STRANZ. Nothing that need
wake your fear.
I only wish to free your eyes again.
THE PRINCE. Has my ordeal’s final hour struck?
STRANZ (as he draws the bandage from the PRINCE’s
Indeed! Be blest, for well you merit it!
[The ELECTOR gives the wreath, from which the chain is hanging, to the PRINCESS, takes her hand and leads her down from the terrace. Ladies and gentlemen follow. Surrounded by torches, the PRINCESS approaches the PRINCE, who looks up in amazement; sets the wreath on his head, the chain about his neck and presses his hand to her breast. The PRINCE tumbles in a faint.]