It is late. In an hour the great gates of the
castle will be closed. Pelleas tells her that
it is perhaps the last time he shall see her, that
he must go away forever. She asks him why it
is that he is always saying that. “Must
I tell you what you know already?” rejoins Pelleas.
“You know not what I am going to tell you?”
“Why, no; I know nothing,” says Melisande.
“You know not why I must go? You know not
that it is because [he kisses her abruptly] I love
you?” “I love you too,” says Melisande
simply, in a low voice. “You love me? you
love me too?” cries Pelleas. “Since
when have you loved me?” “Since I saw
you first,” she answers. “Oh, how
you say that!” cries Pelleas. “Your
voice seems to have blown across the sea in spring!...
You say it so frankly—like an angel questioned.—Your
voice! your voice! It is cooler and more frank
than the water is!—It is like pure water
on my lips!—Give me, give me your hands!—Oh,
how small your hands are!—I did not know
you were so beautiful! I have never before seen
anything so beautiful!—I was filled with
unrest; I sought everywhere; yet I found not beauty.—And
now I have found you!—I do not believe there
can be upon the earth a woman more beautiful!”
Their love-scene is harshly interrupted. “What
is that noise?” asks Pelleas. “They
are closing the gates!—We cannot return
now. Do you hear the bolts?—Listen!—the
great chains!—It is too late!” “So
much the better!” cries Melisande, in passionate
abandonment. “Do you say that?” exclaims
her lover. “See, it is no longer we who
will it so! Come, come!” They embrace.
“Listen! my heart is almost strangling me!
Ah! how beautiful it is in the shadows!” “There
is some one behind us!” whispers Melisande.
Pelleas has heard nothing. “I hear only
your heart in the darkness.” “I heard
the crackling of dead leaves,” insists Melisande.
“A-a-h! he is behind a tree!” she whispers.
“Who?” “Golaud!—he has
his sword!” “And I have none!” cries
Pelleas. “He does not know we have seen
him,” he cautions. “Do not stir;
do not turn your head.—He will remain there
so long as he thinks we do not know he is watching
us.—He is still motionless.—Go,
go at once this way. I will wait for him—I
will hold him back.” “No, no, no!”
“Go! go! he has seen everything!—He
will kill us!”
“All the better! all the better!”
“He is coming!—Your mouth! your mouth!”
“Yes! Yes! Yes!”
They kiss desperately.
“Oh, oh! All the stars are falling!”
“Upon me also!”
“Again! Again!—Give! give!”
“All! all! all!”
Golaud rushes upon them with drawn sword and kills
Pelleas, who falls beside the fountain. Melisande
flees in terror, crying out as she goes, “Oh!
oh! I have no courage! I have no courage!”
Golaud pursues her in silence through the forest.