Tristan and Isolda eBook

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

Our journey has been swift. 
Woe is me!  Near to the land!


(KURVENAL boisterously enters through the curtains.)

Up, up, ye ladies! 
Look alert! 
Straight bestir you! 
Loiter not,—­here is the land!—­
To dame Isolda
says the servant
of Tristan,
our hero true:—­
Behold our flag is flying!
it waveth landwards aloft: 
in Mark’s ancestral castle
may our approach be seen. 
So, dame Isolda,
he prays to hasten,
for land straight to prepare her,
that thither he may bear her.

ISOLDA (who has at first cowered and shuddered on hearing the message, now speaks calmly and with dignity).  My greeting take unto your lord and tell him what I say now:  Should he assist to land me and to King Mark would he hand me, unmeet and unseemly were his act, the while my pardon was not won for trespass black and base:  So bid him seek my grace.

(KURVENAL makes a gesture of defiance.)

Now mark me well, This message take:—­ Nought will I yet prepare me, that he to land may bear me; I will not by him be landed, nor unto King Mark be handed ere granting forgiveness and forgetfulness, which ’tis seemly he should seek:—­ for all his trespass base I tender him my grace.

Be assured,
I’ll bear your words: 
we’ll see what he will say!

(He retires quickly.)


ISOLDA (hurries to BRANGAENA and embraces her vehemently). 
Now farewell, Brangaena! 
Greet ev’ry one,
Greet my father and mother!

What now? what mean’st thou? 
Wouldst thou flee? 
And where must I then follow?

ISOLDA (checking herself suddenly).  Here I remain:  heard you not?  Tristan will I await.—­ I trust in thee to aid in this:  prepare the true cup of peace:  thou mindest how it is made.

What meanest thou?

ISOLDA (taking a bottle from the coffer). 
This it is! 
From the flask go pour
this philtre out;
yon golden goblet ’twill fill.

BRANGAENA (filled with terror receiving the flask). 
Trust I my wits?

Wilt thou be true?

The draught—­for whom?

ISOLDA.  Him who betrayed!

BRANGAENA.  Tristan?

ISOLDA.  Truce he’ll drink with me.

BRANGAENA (throwing herself at ISOLDA’S feet).  O horror! 
Pity thy handmaid!

ISOLDA.  Pity thou me, false-hearted maid!  Mindest thou not my mother’s arts?  Think you that she who’d mastered those would have sent thee o’er the sea without assistance for me?  A salve for sickness doth she offer and antidotes for deadly drugs:  for deepest grief and woe supreme gave she the draught of death.  Let Death now give her thanks!

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