Act Two

Prelude and Scene One

(The curtain rises.)
(A wild rocky place. In the background a gorge
slopes from below to a high ridge of rocks, from
which the ground again sinks to the front.)

(fully armed, carrying his spear, before him
Brünnhilde, as a Valkyrie, likewise fully armed)

Now bridle thy horse, warrior maid;
soon will blaze furious strife.
Brünnhilde, haste to the fray
to shield the Wälsung in fight!
There let Hunding go where he belongs;
in Walhall want I him not.
Then, ready and fleet, ride to the field.

(springs shouting from rock to rock up
the height on the right)

Hojotoho! hojotoho! heiaha! heiaha!
hojotoho! hojotoho! heiaha! heiaha!
hojotoho! hojotoho! hojotoho! hojotoho!
heiaha ha! hojoho!
(On a high peak she stops, looks into the gorge at
the back, and calls to Wotan.)

Take warning, Father, look to thyself;
storm and strife must thou withstand.
Fricka comes to thee here,
drawn hither in her car by her rams.
Hei! how she swings the golden scourge!
The wretched beasts are groaning with fear;
wheels furiously rattle;
fierce she fares to the fray.
In strife like this I take no delight,
sweet though to me are the fights of men;
then take now thy stand for the storm:
I leave thee with mirth to thy fate.
Hojotoho! hojotoho! heiaha! heiaha!
hojotoho! hojotoho! heiaha! heiaha!
hojotoho! hojotoho! hojotoho! hojotoho!
heiaha ha!
(Brünnhilde disappears behind the mountain
height at the side.)

(Fricka, in a car drawn by two rams, comes up
from the ravine to the top of the pass, where she
stops suddenly and alights. She strides impetuously
toward Wotan in the foreground.)

(seeing Fricka approaching him; aside)
The wonted storm, the wonted strife!
But firm here must I hold me!

(as she approaches, moderates her pace and
places herself with dignity before Wotan)

Where in mountain wilds thou hid'st,
to shun the eyes of thy wife,
lonely here seek I thee out,
that help to me thou may'st promise.

What troubles Fricka freely be told.

I have heard Hunding's cry,
for vengeance called he on me,
and wedlock's guardian gave ear to him:
I made oath to punish the deed
of this infamous pair
who rashly wrought him a wrong.

What so evil wrought the pair
whom spring united in love?
'Twas love's enchantment enraptured them;
I rule not where love doth reign.

Thou feign'st to be foolish and deaf,
as though thou knew'st not, in sooth,
that now for wedlock's holy oath,
profaned so rudely, I call thee!

Unholy hold I the oath
that binds unloving hearts;
from me, prithee, do not demand
that by force I hold what withstands thy power:
for where bold spirits are moving,
I stir them ever to strife.

Deemest thou praiseworthy wedlock's
then prate thou yet farther and call it holy
that shame now blossom forth
from bond of a twin-born pair!I shudder at heart,
my reason doth faint,
brother embraced as bride his own sister!
When was it e'er known
that brother and sister were lovers?

Known 'tis now to thee!
Then learn thou so what unhelped may happen,
though never before it befell.
That love has enslaved them, clearly thou seest;
then words of wisdom now hear:
that sweetest bliss for thy blessing reward thee,
with loving laughter bless thou
Siegmund's and Sieglinde's bond.

(breaking out in deep indignation)
Is all, then, at end with the glory of godhood
since thou begatt'st the riotous Wälsungs?
I now speak it; pierced is thy thought?
Nought worth is to thee the race of eternals!
Away thou castest what once thou didst honor;
thou breakest the bonds
thou thyself hast ordained,
loosest laughing all heaven's hold
that in wanton freedom may flourish
this insolent twin-born pair,
of thy falseness the unholy fruit.

O why wail I o'er wedlock and vows
which thyself thou first hast profaned.
The truest wife thou still hast betrayed;
never a deep and never a height
but there turned thirsting ever thy looks,
as thy changeful humor allured thee,
and stung my heart with thy scorn.
Saddened in spirit, must I behold thee
fare to the fight with the graceless maidens,
whom lawless love hath given to thee:
for thy wife still fearedst thou so,
that the Valkyries' band
and Brünnhild' herself,
thine own wish's bride,
to the goddess as handmaids thou gav'st.
But now, when unwonted names have ensnared thee,
as "Wälse" wolfish in woods thou hast wandered;
now that to deepest disgrace thou hast fallen,
to foster mortals begot of thy falseness:
shamed by whelps of a wolf thou
fling'st at thy feet, too, thy wife!
Then finish thy work! Fill now the cup!
The betrayed one trample beneath thee!

Nought learnedst thou
when I would teach thee
what never canst thou discern,
till day has dawned on the deed.
Wonted things only canst thou conceive,
but what ne'er yet befell,
thereon broodeth my thought.
This thing hear thou! Needed is one
who, free from help of the godhead,
fights free from the godhead's control.
So alone were he meet for the deed
which, tho' the need of our godhood,
to achieve is denied to a god.

With darksome meanings
wouldst thou mislead me:
was aught of worth to heroes e'er granted
which to their gods themselves was denied,
by whose grace alone they may work?

Their own spirit's freedom count'st thou for nought?

Who breathed their souls into men?
Who lightened their purblind eyes?
Behind thy shield bold is their mien,
spurred on by thee they strive to arise:
thou stirr'st them alone whom to me, thy wife,
thou dost laud.
With new deceit wilt thou now delude me?
by new devices wouldst thou escape me?
but not this Wälsung from me shalt thou win;
in him find I but thee,
for through thee dares he alone.

In sorest sorrow
(with emotion) he wrought for himself:
my shield sheltered him not.

Today, then, shield him not!
Take back the sword that thou hast bestowed.

The sword?

Aye, the sword,
the magical, glittering sword,
that thou, god, didst give thy son!

(violently) Siegmund has won it himself
(with tremulous voice) in his need.
(From here Wotan's whole demeanor expresses
ever-increasing uneasiness and gloom.)

(continuing vehemently)
Thou brought'st him the need,
and the conquering sword.
Wouldst thou deceive me
who day and night in thy footsteps have fared?
For him struckest thou the sword in the stem,
thou didst promise him the sacred blade;
wilt thou deny, then, that thy craft alone
had lured him where it lay hid?
(Wotan makes a wrathful gesture.)
(more and more confident, as she sees the
impression she has made on Wotan)
The gods do not battle with bondsmen,
the free but punish transgressors.
Tho' against thy might war have I waged:
yet Siegmund shall fall as my slave.
(Wotan makes another vehement gesture, then
appears overcome by the feeling of his powerlessness.)

He who as bondsman bendeth before thee,
shall he outbrave thy eternal bride?
Shall in my shame the basest one scorn me?
to the forward a spur, a scoff to the free!
That can my husband not wish me,
not so shall a goddess be shamed.

(gloomy) What demand'st thou?

Shield not the Wälsung!

(with muffled voice)
His way let him go.

But thou shelter him not,
when to arms the avenger calls!

I shelter him not.

(more animatedly)
Seek not to trick me, look in my eyes:
the Valkyrie turn, too, from him!

The Valkyrie free shall choose.

Not so;
for alone thy command she obeys:
give order that Siegmund fall.

(breaking out, after a violent inner struggle)
I cannot o'erthrow him,
he found my sword.

Destroy then its magic,
be shattered the steel!
Shieldless let him be found!
(Brünnhilde's call is heard from the heights.)

Heiaha! heiaha! Hojotoho!

There comes now thy valiant maid:
shouting hither she fares.

Heiaha! heiaha!
Heiohotojo hotojoha!

I called her for Siegmund to horse!
(Brünnhilde appears with her horse on the rocky
path to the right. On seeing Fricka she breaks off
suddenly and, during the following, she slowly and
silently leads her horse down the mountain path and
hides it in a cave.)

Thy eternal consort's holiest honor
her shield shall guard today!
Derided by men, deprived of our might,
surely we gods were o'erthrown,
were today my right, resplendent and pure,
not avenged by thy valorous maid.
The Wälsung falls for my honor:
Doth Wotan now pledge me his oath?

(throwing himself onto a rocky seat in deep

Take the oath!
(Fricka strides toward the back: there she meets
Brünnhilde and pauses a moment before her.)

Warfather waits for thee:
let him now tell thee how the lot is decreed.
(She drives quickly away.)
(Brünnhilde comes forward with wondering and
anxious mien to Wotan, who, leaning back on the
rocky seat, is sunk in gloomy brooding.)

Scene Two

Ill surely closed the strife;
Fricka laughs at its ending.
Father, what woe hast thou to tell me?
Gloomy seem'st thou and cheerless!

(drops his arm helplessly and lets his head
sink on his breast)

I lie in fetters forged by me,
I, least free of all living!

Ne'er saw I thee so:
what gnaws at thy heart?
(From this point Wotan's expression and gestures
grow in intensity, culminating in a fearful outburst.)

O infinite shame!
O shameful distress!
Gods' despair! Gods' despair!
Unbounded rage! Unending grief!
Most joyless am I of all living!
(Terrified, Brünnhilde throws shield, spear and
helmet from her and sinks at Wotan's feet in anxious

Father! Father! Tell me what ails thee?
Why so fill'st thou thy child with dismay?
Have trust in me, to thee aye true!
See, Brünnhild' entreateth.
(She lays her head and hands with loving concern
on his knees and breast. Wotan looks long in her eyes;
then he strokes her hair with unconscious tenderness.
As if coming to himself out of deep brooding, he at
last begins.)

(very softly)
If I now tell it,
shall I not loosen my will's o'ermastering hold?

(very softly)
To Wotan's will thou speakest,
when thou tell'st what thou wilt;
what am I, if not thy will alone?

(very softly)
What in words to none other I utter,
still will remain unspoken forever:
1 speak in secret, speaking to thee.
(with a muffled voice)
When youthful love's delight from me fled,
my spirit yet longed for sway:
by force of wildest wishes impelled,
I won myself the world;faithless, I wrought in unknowing falseness,
binding by bargains what hid mishap;
craftily guided by Loge,
who wandered then afar.
Yet the passion of love would not loose me,
in my might for love was my longing.
The child of night, the craven Nibelung,
Alberich, broke from its bonds;
for love he foreswore and so won by his oath
the glist'ning gold of the Rhine,
and with it unmeasured might.
The ring that he wrought I craftily won me,
but to the Rhine gave it not again:
with it I paid the price of Walhall,
the home the giants had built me,
wherefrom I now ruled all the world.
She who doth know all things that were,
Erda, the wisest holiest Wala,
spoke ill redes of the ring,
told of eternal disaster.
(more vehement)
Of the downfall I craved yet more tidings;
but voiceless she vanished from sight.

(with animation)
Then was saddened my lightsome heart,
to know then became all my need:
to the womb of earth wended I my way,
by love's enchantment forced I the Wala,
troubling her wisdom's calm,
and constrained her tongue to speak.
Counsel I won from her words;
from me yet she harbored a pledge:
the world's wisest of women gave me,
Brünnhilde, thee.
With eight sisters fostered wert thou;
that ye Valkyries might forfend
the doom that the Wala's dark words foretold:
the shameful defeat of the great ones.
That foes might find us strong for the strife,
heroes I bade you to bring me:
the slaves we had held by our laws in bondage,
the mortals whom in their might we defied,
whom, enthralled by darksome,
treacherous bargains,
we bound in obedience blindly to serve us
(becoming more animated, but with moderate power)
these ever to storm and strife should ye kindle,
their hearts rouse up to ruthless war,
that valiant hosts of heroes
should gather on Walhall's height!

And thy halls filled we with heroes:
many I brought to thee there.
If we ne'er have failed thee,
whence cometh thy fear?

(with more suppressed voice)
Another ill, heed thou it well!
darkly the Wala foretold.
Through Alberich's host threatens our downfall:
with envious rage burneth the Niblung,
(becoming animated)
but no more I dread now
his dusky battalions,
by my heroes safe were I held.
Yet, if e'er the ring were won by the Niblung,
(more suppressed)
then lost were Walhall forever:
for to him alone, who love forswore,
is it given to use the runes of the ring
to the endless shame of the gods;
(becoming animated)
my heroes' faith from me would he turn,
and stir to strife my fighters themselves,
and with their might give battle to me.
Urged by fear then I thought
to rob the ring from the foe-man.
The giant Fafner,
who from my hand the accursed gold as wage did win:
he now guardeth the hoard
for which his brother he slew.
From him must I wrest the ring,
that myself I gave him as guerdon.
But the bond I have made,
forbids me to strike him;
mightless my force would fall before him:
these are the fetters that now hold me:
I, who by bargains am lord,
to my bargains eke am a slave.

But one may dare what to me is denied:
a hero never helped by my counsel,
to me unknown and free from my grace,
unaware, forced by his need,
without command, with his own right arm,
doeth the deed that I must shun,
the deed my tongue ne'er told,
though yet my deepest desire.
He, at war with the god, for me fighteth,
the friendliest foe. O, how shall I find
or shape me the free one, by me ne'er shielded,
in his firm defiance the dearest to me?
How fashion the Other who, not through me,
but from his will for my ends shall work?
O, godhead's distress! Sorest disgrace!
In loathing find I ever myself
in all my hand has created;
the Other whom I have longed for,
that Other I ne'er shall find:
himself must the free one create him;
my hand nought shapeth but slaves.

But the Wälsung, Siegmund?
works for himself?

Wildly roaming with him in woodlands,
ever against the gods, then his spirit I stirred:
now 'gainst the godhead's vengeance
guarded is he by the sword,
(slowly and bitterly)
that thro' the grace of a god was bestowed.
Why would I trick myself with my cunning?
So lightly my falsehood Fricka laid bare:
before her glance I stood in my shame!
To her will I now must yield me.

Then tak'st thou from Siegmund thy shield?

When my hand touched Alberich's ring,
greed was mine for the gold.
The curse that I fled now flies not from me:
What I love best, must I surrender;
slay him whom most I cherish,
basely betray who in me trusts!
(Wotan's gestures change from the expression of
terrible pain to that of despair.)

Fade then away, splendor and pomp,
glory of godhood's glittering shame!
Let fall in ruins what I have raised!
Ended is my work, but one thing waits me yet:
the ending, the downfall!
(He pauses in thought.)
And for the downfall works Alberich;
now I grasp all the secret sense,
that filled the words of the Wala:
"when the dusky foe of love
grimly getteth a son,
the doom of gods delays not long."
Of the Niblung late a rumor I heard,
that the dwarf had won a woman,
by gold gaining her grace:
the fruit of hate beareth a wife;
the child of spite grows in her womb;
this wonder befell the loveless Niblung;
yet, tho' I loved so truly,
the free one I never might win.
(rising up in bitter wrath)
Then take thou my blessing, Nibelung son!
What I have loathed now may'st thou inherit;
the empty pomp of the gods
thy envious greed shall consume!

(alarmed) O say! tell me,
what task must be mine?

(bitterly) Fight truly for Fricka;
ward for her wedlock's oath!
(dryly) What she doth choose,
that too be my choice:
what good can my will e'er gain me?
for the free one can it not fashion:
for Fricka's servants fight thou alone!

Ah! repent thee, take back thy word!
Thou lov'st Siegmund; knowing thy love,
to serve thee, safe will I shield him.

Siegmund shalt thou vanquish,
and Hunding as victor shall strike!
Ward thyself well, and hold thyself firm;
bring all thy boldness and skill to the strife:
a sure sword swings Siegmund;
faint heart wilt thou not find!

He whom thou still hast taught me to love,
who in glorious valor was ever thy dearest,
for his sake now thy wavering word I defy!

Ha, darest thou? Floutest thou me?
Who art thou, who but the fettered,
blind slave of my will?
In that I have spoken, such is my shame
that e'en thou, my creature, dost meet me with scorn?
Know'st thou, child, my wrath?
Thy spirit were crushed if on thee lighted
its fierce withering flash!
Within my bosom fury lies hid,
that in woe and waste layeth a world
that in my joy on me laughed:
woe to him whom it strikes!
Sad in sooth were his fate!
I warn thee then, wake not my wrath!
With heed fulfill my behest:
Siegmund strike thou!
Such be the Valkyrie's task!
(He storms away and quickly disappears among
the rocks to the left. Brünnhilde stands for a long time
confused and alarmed.)

Ne'er saw I Warfather so,
though stirred to anger oft by strife.
(She stoops down sadly and takes up her
weapons, with which she arms herself again.)

Why irks me my weapon's weight?
Ah, how light they lay when freely I fought!
A hateful fight drags me hence today.
(She gazes thoughtfully before her.)
(sighing) Woe! my Wälsung!
In sorest sorrow the true one must falsely forsake thee!
(She turns slowly toward the back.)

Scene Three

(Arrived at the rocky pass, Brünnhilde, looking into
the gorge, perceives Siegmund and Sieglinde: she
watches them for a moment and then goes into the
cavern to her horse, disappearing from the audience.)

(Siegmund and Sieglinde appear on the pass.
Sieglinde comes hastily forward. Siegmund tries to
restrain her.)

Stay thou but here, rest thee a while!

Farther! Farther!

(embraces her with gentle force)
No farther now! (He clasps her firmly to him.)
O linger, sweetest one, here!
From blissfullest rapture break'st thou away,
with frenzied haste fleeing afar:
scarce could I o'ertake thy flight;
through wood and field over rock and fell,
speechless, silent flying along,
my voice called thee in vain!
(Sieglinde stares wildly before her.)
Take now thy rest: speak but a word!
End all this speechless dread!
See, thy brother holdeth his bride:
Siegmund's heart is thy home!
(She gazes with growing rapture into his eyes,
then throws her arms passionately round his neck
and so remains.)

(She then starts up in sudden terror.)

Away! away! fly the profaned one!
Unholily holds thee my arm;
disgraced, dishonored, dead is this form:
cast it from thee, flee from the corpse!
let winds waft her away
who, graceless, herself gave to thee!
When in his loving embrace,

when blissful delight she found,
when all his love was her own,
who all her love had awaked
from the holiest height of sweetest rapture,
that all her soul and senses o'erflowed,
loathing and horror, for hateful dishonor,
filled with dismay the traitorous woman,
who once a bridegroom obeyed,
and loveless lay in his arms!
Leave the accurst one, far let her flee!
Dishonored am I, bereft of grace:
the purest hero must I abandon
to thee, the most glorious, ne'er may I give me.
Shame would fall on the brother,
scath on the rescuing friend!

Whate'er shame has been wrought
be paid by the sinner's blood!
Then flee thou no farther;
wait for the foe-man;
fall must he before me:
when Nothung's point doth pierce his heart,
vengeance then wilt thou have won!

(starts up and listens)
Hark! the horns call, hearest thou not?
All around cries of revenge,
from wood and vale, swell on our ears.
Hunding has wakened from heavy sleep!
Kinsmen and bloodhounds calls he together;
goaded to rage, dogs are howling,
loud baying to heaven,
against breaking of wedlock's oath!
(She gazes madly before her.)
Where art thou, Siegmund? still art thou here?
fervently loved one, radiant brother!
Let thine eyes' bright beams fall yet once more
upon me:
do not disdain the accursed woman's kiss!
(She throws herself sobbing on his breast:
presently she starts up again in terror.)

Hark! o hark! that is Hunding's horn!
All his pack pursue in mighty force:
no sword helps thee against the hounds:
let it go, Siegmund! Siegmund, where art thou?
Ha, there! I see thee now! Terrible sight!
Dogs are gnashing their teeth after flesh;
no heed they take of the hero's glance;
by thy feet they seize thee with fast-holding fangs.
Thou fall'st; in splinters the sword hath sprung:
the ash-tree sinks, the stem is rent!
Brother! my brother!(She sinks senseless into Siegmund's arms.)
Siegmund, ha!

Sister! Beloved!
(He listens to her breathing and convinces himself
that she still lives. He lets her slide downward so that,
as he himself sinks into a sitting posture, her head
rests on his lap. In this position they both remain until
the end of the following scene.)

(A long silence, during which Siegmund bends
over Sieglinde with tender care, and presses along
kiss on her brow.)

Scene Four

(Brünnhilde, leading her horse by the bridle, comes
out of the cave and advances slowly and solemnly to
the front. She pauses and observes Siegmund from a distance.)

(She again slowly advances.
She stops, somewhat nearer.)

(She carries her shield and spear in one hand,
resting the other on her horse's neck, and thus, in
grave silence, she watches Siegmund for some time.)

Siegmund! Look on me!
I come to call thee hence.
(Siegmund raises his eyes to her.)

Who art thou, say,
who dost stand so beauteous and stern?

Death-doomed is he who looks upon me;
who meets my glance
must turn from the light of life.
On the war-field alone I come to heroes;
those whom I greet
with me needs must go hence!
(Siegmund looks long, firmly and searchingly into
her eyes, then bows his head in thought and at
length turns resolutely to her again.)

If death be his,
whither lead'st thou the hero?

To Wotan, who casteth the lot,
lead I thee: to Walhall wend with me.

On Walhall's height,
Wotan alone shall I find?

The fallen heroes' hallowed band
shall greet thee there
with high welcome and love.

Dwelleth in Walhall
Wälse, the Wälsung's father?Brünnhilde
His father there will the Wälsung find!

(tenderly) Gladly will woman welcome
me there?

Wish-maidens wait on thee there:
Wotan's daughter friendly there filleth thy cup!

Fair art thou,
and holy before me stands Wotan's child:
yet one thing tell me, immortal!
Go brother and sister to Walhall together?
shall there Siegmund Sieglinde find?

Here on earth must she still linger:
Siegmund will find not Sieglinde there.
(Siegmund bends softly over Sieglinde, kisses her
gently on the brow and again turns quietly to

Then greet for me Walhall,
greet for me Wotan,
greet for me Wälse and all the heroes,
greet too the beauteous wish-maidens:
(firmly) to them I follow thee not!

Thou sawest the Valkyrie's withering glance;
with her must thou now fare!

Where Sieglinde lives in weal or woe,
there will Siegmund too linger:
thy withering glance served not to fright me,
nor shall it e'er force me hence.

While life is thine,
force were in vain;
but death shall vanquish thee, fool:
death-doom to bring thee I am here.

Whose hand, then, shall strike,
if I must fall?

Hunding striketh the blow.

Bring threats more dire
if thou wouldst daunt me.
Lurkest thou here lusting for strife,
choose thou him for thy prey:
methinks he will fall in the fight!

Thine Wälsung, hearken to me:
thine is the death decreed.

Know'st thou this sword?
From him it came who holds me safe:
through his sword thy threats I defy!

(with emphasis)
He who bestowed it sends thee now death:
for the spell he takes from the sword!

Still and fright not the slumberer here!
(He bends tenderly, in an outburst of grief, over

Woe! woe! Sweetest wife!
Thou saddest among all thy faithful!
'Gainst thy peace rages the world now in arms;
and I, who alone am thy friend,
for whom thou the world hast defied,
may I not shield, may I not defend thee,
betray thee must I in the fight?
0 shame on him who bestowed the sword
and tricks me with trustless blade!
If I must fall then,
to Walhall I fare not:
Hella hold me her own!
(He bends low over Sieglinde.)

So lightly prizest thou bliss everlasting?
(slowly and hestitatingly)
All to thee is this hapless wife
who, faint and care-worn,
helplessly hangs in thine arms.
Nought else deemst thou good?

(looking up to her bitterly)
So young and fair thou shinest to me,
yet how cold and hard now knows thee my heart!
Canst thou but mock me,
then take thyself hence,
thou cruel, merciless maid!
Or if thou dost hunger for my distress,
then freely feast on my woe;
let my grief quicken thy envious heart:
but of Walhall's loveless raptures
speak not, prithee, to me!

I see the distress
that doth gnaw at thy heart,
1 feel all the hero's holiest grief!
Siegmund, to me give thy wife,
let her safeguard be my shield!

No other than I,
while she lives, shall safeguard the pure one;
if death be my doom,
I will slay the slumberer here!

(with increasing emotion)
Wälsung! Madman! Hearken to me!
to me trust thy wife, for the pledge's sake,
that in rapture from thee she received.Siegmund
(drawing his sword)
This sword,
though by traitor to true man decreed;
this sword,
that fails me in face of my foe:
serves it not then against foe,
right well it shall serve against friend!
(He points the sword at Sieglinde.)
Two lives now laugh to thee here:
take them, Nothung, envious steel!
take them with one fell stroke!

(in a passionate outburst of sympathy)
Forbear! Wälsung!
Hearken to me! Sieglind' shall live then,
and, Siegmund, live thou with her!
'Tis thus decreed;
recalled the death-doom: thine, Siegmund,
thine be triumph and bliss!
Hear'st thou the call?
Prepare thyself now!
Trust to the sword, and strike without fear:
sure striketh the blade,
as the Valkyrie's shield is sure!
Farewell, Siegmund, hero most blest!
On the field once more shall I find thee!
(She rushes away, and disappears with her horse
in a ravine on the right. Siegmund looks after her
with joy and exultation.)

(The stage has gradually darkened; heavy storm
clouds sink down and cover the background, grad-
ually veiling the cliffs, ravine and rocky pass
completely from view.)

Scene Five

(Siegmund again bends over Sieglinde, listening to
her breathing.)

Slumber charms with soothing spell
the fair one's pain and grief.
When the Valkyrie hither came,
brought she then this blissful repose?
Should not the furious fight
wake fear in her sorrowing heart?
Lifeless seems she who yet hath life:
her sorrow is soothed by a smiling dream.
So slumber still on
till the fight be fought,
and peace to thee bring joy!
(He lays her gently on the rocky seat and kisses her
forehead as farewell.)

(He hears Hunding's horn-call and starts up with

Thou who dost call, arm thyself now;
whate'er is due take thou here:
(He draws his sword.)
Nothung payeth the debt!
(He hastens to the background and, on reaching
the pass, disappears in the dark storm cloud, from
which a flash of lightning immediately breaks.)

(begins to move restlessly in her dreams)
Would now but father come home!
With the boy he still roams in the woods.
Mother! Mother! I quake with fear,
with eyes unfriendly glower the strangers!
Misty darkness fills all the air ...
fiery tongues are flaming around ...
they burn the house . o, help us, brother!
Siegmund! Siegmund! (She springs up.)
(Violent thunder and lightning.)

Siegmund! Ha!
(She stares about her in growing terror: nearly the
whole of the stage is veiled with black thunderclouds.
Hunding's horn-call sounds near.)

(in the background, from the mountain pass)
Wehwalt! Wehwalt! Stand there and fight,
else with the hounds must I hold thee.

(from farther off in the ravine)
Where hidest thou,
that I can find thee not?
Stand, that I may face thee!

(listening in fearful terror)
Hunding! Siegmund! Could I but see them!

Fly not, thou traitorous wooer!
Fricka striketh thee here!

(now likewise from the pass)
Still ween'st thou me weaponless, craven wight?
Threat not with women, thyself do battle,
lest Fricka fail thee at last!
For see! from thy house-tree's blossoming stem,
I drew undaunted the sword;
and its edge right soon shalt thou taste!
(A flash of lightning illuminates the rock for an
instant, during which Hunding and Siegmund are
seen in mortal combat.)

(with her utmost force)
Hold your hands, ye madmen!
murder me first!
(She rushes toward the pass: but suddenly, from
above the combatants on the right, a flash breaks
forth so vividly that she staggers aside as if blinded.)

Strike him, Siegmund!
trust to the sword!
(In the glare of light Brünnhilde appears, floating
above Siegmund, and protecting him with her shield.
Just as Siegmund aims a deadly blow at Hunding, a
glowing red light breaks from the left through the
clouds, in which Wotan appears, standing over
Hunding, holding his spear across in front of

Go back from the spear!
In splinters the sword!
(Brünnhilde, in terror before Wotan, sinks back
with her shield: Siegmund's sword snaps on the
outstretched spear. Hunding plunges his spear into
the disarmed Siegmund's breast. Siegmund falls
dead to the ground: Sieglinde, who has heard his
death-sigh, falls with a cry, as if lifeless, to earth.)

(With Siegmund's fall the two lights disappear;
dark clouds cover all but the foreground; through
them Brünnhilde is indistinctly seen, as she turns in
haste to Sieglinde.)

To horse! that I may save thee!
(She lifts Sieglinde quickly onto her horse, which is
standing near the side gorge, and immediately dis-
appears with her.)

(At this moment the clouds divide in the middle, so
that Hunding, who has just drawn his spear from the
fallen Siegmund's breast, is clearly seen.)

(Wotan, surrounded by clouds, stands on a rock
behind, leaning on his spear and sadly gazing on
Siegmund's body.)

(to Hunding)
Go hence, slave! Kneel before Fricka:
tell her that Wotan's spear avenged
what wrought her wrong. Go! Go!
(Before the contemptuous wave of Wotan's hand,
Hunding sinks dead to the ground.

(suddenly breaking out in terrible rage)
But Brünnhilde! Woe to the guilty one!
Dire wage shall she win for her crime,
if my steed o'ertake her in flight!

(He disappears with thunder and lightning. The
curtain falls quickly.)