She spared me nothing! People have seen it!
She did the best she could! You did not deserve to have her act succeed!
Or she did not!
CARL. They are coming with her!
[Starts to go.]
ANTONY (immovable, as to the end; calls after him).
Into the back room, where your mother stood!
Away to meet her!
[He attempts to rise, but falls back.]
CARL (helps him up and leads him away).
I no longer understand the world!
* * * * *
A TRAGEDY IN FIVE ACTS
By FRIEDRICH HEBBEL
BRUNHILDA, Queen of Iceland
FRIGGA, her nurse
Warriors, Populace, Maidens, Dwarfs
SIEGFRIED’S DEATH (1862)
TRANSLATED BY KATHARINE ROYCE
Iceland, BRUNHILDA’S castle. Early morning.
Enter BRUNHILDA and FRIGGA from opposite sides.
From whence so early? Dewy is thy
And blood-stained are thy garments.
I have made
A sacrifice unto the ancient gods,
Before the moon was gone.
The ancient gods!
The cross rules now, and Thor and Odin dwell
As devils in deep hell.
And dost thou fear
Them less for that? Their curses still may fall
Upon us, though their blessings are withheld,
And willingly I sacrificed the ram.
Oh, wouldst thou kill one too! Thy need is great
Above all others.
I long had meant to tell thee, and today
At last the hour has come.
I’ve always thought
That at thy death the hour would come to me,
So did not importune thee.
Mark me now!
From our volcano came there suddenly
An aged man and left with me a child,
A tablet, too, with runes.
[Illustration: Peter Cornelius Title Page of the Nibelungenlied]