ISOLDA (gazing up at him in thoughtful ecstasy). O might we then together die!
TRISTAN. Each the other’s—
ISOLDA. Own for aye,—
TRISTAN. Never fearing—
ISOLDA. Never waking—
TRISTAN. Blest delights
of love partaking—
ISOLDA. Each to each be given;
in love alone our heaven.
(ISOLDA, as if overcome, droops her head on his breast.)
BRANGAENA’S VOICE (as before).
Have a care!
Have a care!
Night yields to daylight’s glare.
TRISTAN (bends smilingly to ISOLDA).
Shall I listen?
ISOLDA (looking fondly up at TRISTAN).
Let me die thus!
TRISTAN. Must I waken?
ISOLDA. Nought shall wake me!
TRISTAN. Must not daylight
dawn, and rouse me?
ISOLDA. Let the Day
to Death surrender!
TRISTAN. May thus the Day’s
evil threats be defied?
ISOLDA (with growing enthusiasm).
From its thraldom let us fly.
TRISTAN. And shall not its dawn
be dreaded by us?
ISOLDA (rising with a grand gesture).
Night will shield us for aye!
(TRISTAN follows her; they embrace in fond exaltation.)
BOTH. O endless Night! blissful Night! glad and glorious lover’s Night! Those whom thou holdest, lapped in delight, how could e’en the boldest unmoved endure thy flight? How to take it, how to break it,— joy existent, sunlight distant, Far from mourning, sorrow-warning, fancies spurning, softly yearning, fear expiring, sweet desiring! Anguish flying, gladly dying; no more pining, night-enshrining, ne’er divided whate’er betided, side by side still abide in realms of space unmeasured, vision blest and treasured! Thou Isolda, Tristan I; no more Tristan, no more Isolda. Never spoken, never broken, newly sighted, newly lighted, endless ever all our dream: in our bosoms gleam love delights supreme!
[BRANGAENA utters a piercing cry. TRISTAN and ISOLDA remain in their absorbed state. KURVENAL rushes in with drawn sword.]
KURVENAL. Save yourself, Tristan!
[He looks fearfully off behind him. MARK, MELOT, and courtiers, in hunting dress, come swiftly up the avenue and pause in the foreground in consternation before the lovers. BRANGAENA at the same time descends from the roof and hastens towards ISOLDA. The latter in involuntary shame leans on the flowery bank with averted face. TRISTAN with an equally unconscious action stretches his mantle wide out with one arm, so as to conceal ISOLDA from the gaze of the new-comers. In this position he remains for some time, turning a changeless look upon the men, who gaze at him in varied emotion. The morning dawns.]