ISOLDA (with trembling voice). Tristan!
TRISTAN (overpowered). Isolda!
ISOLDA (sinking upon his breast). Traitor beloved!
TRISTAN. Woman divine!
(He embraces her with ardor. They remain in a silent embrace.)
ALL THE MEN (without). Hail! Hail!
Hail our monarch!
Hail to Mark, the king!
BRANGAENA (who, filled with confusion and horror, has leaned over the side with averted face, now turns to behold the pair locked in their close embrace, and rushes to the front, wringing her hands in despair). Woe’s me! Woe’s me! Endless mis’ry I have wrought instead of death! Dire the deed of my dull fond heart: it cries aloud to heav’n!
(They start from their embrace.)
TRISTAN (bewildered). What troubled dream
of Tristan’s honor?
ISOLDA. What troubled dream
Of Isolda’s shame?
TRISTAN. Have I then lost thee?
ISOLDA. Have I repulsed thee?
TRISTAN. Fraudulent magic,
BOTH. Languishing passion,
longing and growing,
love ever yearning,
rides in each breast!
World, I can shun thee
my love is won me!
Thou’rt my thought, all above:
highest delight of love!
[The curtains are now drawn wide apart; the whole ship is covered with knights and sailors, who, with shouts of joy, make signs over towards the shore which is now seen to be quite near, with castle-crowned cliffs. Tristan and Isolda remain absorbed in mutual contemplation, perceiving nothing that is passing.]
BRANGAENA (to the women, who at her bidding ascend
the royal robe!—
(Rushing between TRISTAN and ISOLDA.)
Up, hapless ones!
See where we are!
(She places the royal mantle on ISOLDA, who notices nothing.)
ALL THE MEN. Hail! Hail!
Hail our monarch!
Hail to Mark the king!
KURVENAL (advancing gaily). Hail, Tristan, knight of good hap! Behold King Mark approaching, in a bark with brave attendance. Gladly he stems the tide, coming to seek his bride.
TRISTAN (looking up in bewilderment). Who comes?
KURVENAL. The king ’tis.
TRISTAN. What king mean you?
(KURVENAL points over the side. TRISTAN gazes stupefied at the shore.)
ALL THE MEN (waving their hats). Hail
to King Mark!
ISOLDA (bewildered). What is’t,
What are those cries?
ISOLDA. Where am I! living?
What was that draught?