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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 29 pages of information about Tristan and Isolda.

BRANGAENA.  The light of warning suppress not! 
Let it remind thee of peril!—­
Ah, woe’s me!  Woe’s me! 
Fatal folly! 
The fell pow’r of that potion! 
That I framed
a fraud for once
thy orders to oppose! 
Had I been deaf and blind,
thy work
were then thy death: 
but thy distress,
thy distraction of grief,
my work
has contrived them, I own it!

ISOLDA.  Thy—­act?  O foolish girl!  Love’s goddess dost thou not know? nor all her magic arts?  The queen who grants unquailing hearts, the witch whose will the world obeys, life and death she holds in her hands, which of joy and woe are wove? she worketh hate into love.  The work of death I took into my own hands; Love’s goddess saw and gave her good commands The death—­condemned she claimed as her prey, planning our fate in her own way.  How she may bend it, how she may end it, what she may make me, wheresoe’er take me, still hers am I solely;—­ so let me obey her wholly.

BRANGAENA.  And if by the artful love-potion’s lures thy light of reason is ravished, if thou art reckless when I would warn thee, this once, oh, wait and weigh my pleading!  I implore, leave it alight!—­ The torch! the torch!  O put it not out this night!

ISOLDA.  She who causes thus my bosom’s throes, whose eager fire within me glows, whose light upon my spirit flows, Love’s goddess needs that night should close; that brightly she may reign and shun the torchlight vain.

(She goes up to the door and takes down the torch.)

Go watch without—­ keep wary guard!  The signal!—­ and were it my spirit’s spark, smiling I’d destroy it and hail the dark!

[She throws the torch to the ground where it slowly dies out.  BRANGAENA turns away, disturbed, and mounts an outer flight of steps leading to the roof, where she slowly disappears.  ISOLDA listens and peers, at first shyly, towards an avenue.  Urged, by rising impatience, she then approaches the avenue and looks more boldly.  She signs with her handkerchief, first slightly, then more plainly, waving it quicker as her impatience increases.  A gesture of sudden delight shows that she has perceived her lover in the distance.  She stretches herself higher and higher, and then, to look better over the intervening space, hastens back to the steps, from the top of which she signals again to the on-comer.  As he enters, she springs to meet him.]

SCENE II.

TRISTAN (rushing in).  Isolda!  Beloved!

ISOLDA.  Tristan!  Beloved one!

(Passionate embrace, with which they come down to the front.)

BOTH.  Art thou mine? 
Do I behold thee? 
Do I embrace thee? 
Can I believe it? 
At last!  At last! 
Here on my breast! 
Do I then clasp thee! 
Is it thy own self? 
Are these thine eyes? 
These thy lips? 
Here thy hand? 

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