Ivanhoe

 
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Act 3 Scene 1

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A Room in Torquilstone. IVANHOE is alone. He leans on his bed, pale and weak from his wound.

IVANHOE:
Happy with winged feet,
Comes the morning softly stealing in;
And to my darling's chamber sweet
This happy light will win!

Happy with winged feet,
Comes the morning softly stealing in;
And to my darling's chamber sweet
This happy light will win!

O, fair procession of the morning hours,
Go, bid my love awake with all the flowers.
O, fair procession of the morning hours,
Go, bid my love awake with all the flowers.
Bid my love awake with all the flowers.

But let me sleep awhile,
And dream my only wound is from love's dart,
And cunningly my thought beguile,
To deem that thou, fair Queen, my gaoler art;

So prison bars and wounds more dear shall be,
Than all the world!
Shall dearer be, shall be,
Than all the world,
More dear than all the world if there I find not thee.

Come, gentle sleep! come, gentle sleep!
Come, gentle sleep!

IVANHOE falls asleep. Presently ULRICA steals into the room, followed by REBECCA.

ULRICA:
Tend thou the Knight thou lovest,
Another and a nobler work be mine!
Look for thy bridal torches!

Exit ULRICA.

REBECCA:
Aye, she speaks truth; I love him.
Now, in this hour of doubt and danger,
To my weak heart I say, "Be still, I love him."

Ah, would that thou and I might lead our sheep
Amid the folded hills!
The winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The singing birds are come beside the rills.
Arise, beloved one!
I love thee, I love thee; O my love,

My Asahel, O! swift as the wild roe,
And terrible as armed hosts
That go with banners onward waving.
How fair and pleasant art thou, O my love!
A shadow of the rock, a happy fountain springing;
A bird his glad song winging
Up to high heav'n in a maze of light!
In a maze of light!
To Heav'n, to heav'n in a maze of light,
A maze of light!

Sleep fountain, bird, and love, for surely sleep is best;
Sleep, while I guard thy rest
By day or night;
For only in thy sleep art thou my love.
Ah me, for many waters
Quench not the fire of love; and, when he wakes,
His eyes are not for me.
Rest, rest, beloved!
Rest, rest, beloved!

IVANHOE wakes. He raises himself on his bed.

IVANHOE:
And is it thou, dear maiden? My gentle nurse!
Now is all well with me since thou art near.
But hark! what sound is in mine ear?
I dreamed, but dream no more.
And now our friends renew their onset.

REBECCA:
Peace, be still!
I hear no sound of combat.

IVANHOE:
'Tis but the pause before the onset,
The stillness ere the thunder break in the air.
Anon 'twill break in fury. (He rises from the bed.)
I pray thee, gentle maiden,
Help me to yonder window.

REBECCA:
Nay, rest, I pray thee! I will stand
At yonder window, and will tell
How flow the tides of war. Fear not for me!

IVANHOE:
Nay, gentle heart, it must not be,
That thou dare danger for my sake.
My whole life long should I go mourning thee,
Wert thou to sleep in death and I to wake.

REBECCA:
Thy shield then! Proudly will I bear
The glorious shield of Ivanhoe!

She takes his shield upon her arm, and mounts to the window. IVANHOE sinks back upon the bed.

REBECCA:
I see them now; the dark wood moves with bows.

Far off the bugle sounds assault. The Norman trumpets answer.

REBECCA:
O God of Israel, shield us in this hour!
On, on they come with bended bows triumphant;
On, on they drive, and now the quiver rattleth;
The noise of the captains and the shouting!

TENORS: (in the distance)
De Bracy, De Bracy!
On, Free Companions, on!

BASSES: (in the distance)
The Temple, the Temple!
Strike for the Templar! strike!

IVANHOE:
And I must lie like palsied monk
While the great game is playing!
What of the sable knight?
Does he ride forth
Like one who goes a-maying,
With joy of battle and the pride of war?

REBECCA
With giant blows he hews the palisade;
A mighty axe swings in his mailed hand,
His black plume floats afar,
A raven o'er the stormy fight!
The palisado falls; he enters in
Onward he drives, a Joab in the battle!
Lion of war now fall his foes before him,
Bending like corn that bends before the whirlwind.
They fly, they fly across the moat,
And hurl the plank away; the outwork's won!
Ah woe! The poor men left o' the other side!
They fling them down! they pierce them through!
O God of Israel, pardon in this hour
The men whom thou hast made.

She lets fall the shield, and comes from the window, her hands before her eyes. IVANHOE rises to meet her.

IVANHOE:
How canst thou know what pain it is to lie
All helpless here, while deeds of chivalry
Are done so near and yet so far away?
What life is there but in the battle brave,
And who would live one day of sloth and shame,
That in the clash of fight,
The battle's fierce delight,
Might find 'mid warriors bold the glory and the grave?

REBECCA:
Ah me! not thus did Judah's warriors go
Forth to the fight, but breathing prayer and praise;
Not in the shield nor sword
They trusted, but in Him whose mighty arm
Roll'd back the flood, till Pharaoh's hosts of war
Were whelmed in rushing waters.
But now, alas! Judah's star
Is sunk in vasty night.

ENSEMBLE.

REBECCA:IVANHOE:
And yet be witness, heav'n,
with what delight,How canst thou know what pain
What rapture would I giveWhat pain it is to lie
My life-blood drop by dropAll helpless,
so I might live
But for one hour to see Judah redeemedWhile deeds of chivalry are done so nearTENORS:BASSES:
her captivity.What lifeThe Temple!
Would I give my life-blood,is there but in the battle brave,The Temple! Strike for the Templar, strike!Saint George! Saint George!
my life-blood, drop by drop,the battle's fierce delight,
the battle's,
Strike for the Templar,
strike!
On for Saint George, on!
On for Saint George, on!
my life-blood drop by drop,the battle's fierce delight,Strike for the Templar!
Strike for the Templar!
On for Saint George!
On for Saint George!
My life-blood, drop by drop!The battle's fierce delight!Strike!Saint George!

REBECCA:
But see! What angry redness
Flushes the heaven above us?
The castle burns with fire.
Now do I know thee, Fiend,
with thy wedding torches!

The door is thrown open. Enter BRIAN.

BRIAN:
The castle burns. Away with me!

IVANHOE seizes a sword, but BRIAN strikes it from his hand. IVANHOE falls fainting. BRIAN seizes REBECCA, and drags her away.

Abduction of Rebecca
 
The Abduction of Rebecca
(Eugène Delacroix)
 
REBECCA:
Wilfred! Wilfred!
In mercy save him!

BRIAN:
Away with me! Away with me!

Exit BRIAN, with REBECCA.
The walls begin to burn and fall.
Enter through the ruins
KING RICHARD and YEOMEN.

IVANHOE: (on his knees)
The King! The King!
Long live the King!

The Outlaws fall back in amazement,
then uncover.

OUTLAWS:
The King! It is the King!
The Black Knight!
Pardon! Pardon!
Long live the King!

More ruin falls, and on high is seen ULRICA, a burnt-out torch in hand.

ULRICA:
Far...

ALL:
    Ha!

ULRICA:
     .... leaps the fire-flame, render of forests;
Far floats the smoke-wreath, wings of the eagle;
Whet the bright steel, then,
Sons of the Dragon!
Kindle the torches,
Daughters of Hengist!
I come, O Zernebock, I come in glory, I come! I come!

CHORUS:
Ah!

She leaps down and disappears.

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