Tristan and Isolda eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 39 pages of information about Tristan and Isolda.



[A pavilion erected on the deck of a ship, richly hung with tapestry, quite closed in at back at first.  A narrow hatchway at one side leads below into the cabin.]


Isolda on a couch, her face buried in the cushions. —­Brangaena_ holding open a curtain, looks over the side of the vessel_.

The voice of A young sailor (from above as if at the mast-head).

Isolda (starting up suddenly). 
What wight dares insult me?

(She looks round in agitation.)

Brangaena, ho! 
Say, where sail we?

Brangaena (at the opening).  Bluish stripes are stretching along the west:  swiftly sails the ship to shore; if restful the sea by eve we shall readily set foot on land.

Isolda.  What land?

Brangaena.  Cornwall’s verdant strand.

Isolda.  Never more! 
To-day nor to-morrow!

Brangaena.  What mean you, mistress? say!

(She lets the curtain fall and hastens to Isolda.)

Isolda (with wild gaze). 
O fainthearted child,
false to thy fathers! 
Ah, where, mother,
hast given thy might
that commands the wave and the tempest? 
O subtle art
of sorcery,
for mere leech-craft followed too long! 
Awake in me once more,
power of will! 
Arise from thy hiding
within my breast! 
Hark to my bidding,
fluttering breezes! 
Arise and storm
in boisterous strife! 
With furious rage
and hurricane’s hurdle
waken the sea
from slumbering calm;
rouse up the deep
to its devilish deeds! 
Shew it the prey
which gladly I proffer! 
Let it shatter this too daring ship
and enshrine in ocean each shred! 
And woe to the lives! 
Their wavering death-sighs
I leave to ye, winds, as your lot.

BRANGAENA (in extreme alarm and concern for ISOLDA). 
Out, alas! 
Ah, woe! 
I’ve ever dreaded some ill!—­
Isolda! mistress! 
Heart of mine! 
What secret dost thou hide? 
Without a tear
thou’st quitted thy father and mother,
and scarce a word
of farewell to friends thou gavest;
leaving home thou stood’st,
how cold and still!
pale and speechless
on the way,
food rejecting,
reft of sleep,
stern and wretched,
wild, disturbed;
how it pains me
so to see thee! 
Friends no more we seem,
being thus estranged. 
Make me partner
in thy pain! 
Tell me freely
all thy fears! 
Lady, thou hearest,
sweetest and dearest;
if for true friend you take me,
your confidant O make me!

ISOLDA.  Air! air!
or my heart will choke! 
Open! open there wide!

Project Gutenberg
Tristan and Isolda from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.