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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

The Ring of the Nibelung: "The Valkyrie", 3. act, 3. scene
(Wotan takes leave of Brunhilde, 
enclosing her in a circle of fire.)

Wotan:

Farewell, you bold, wonderful child!
You, my heart's holiest pride.
Farewell, farewell, farewell!

If I must reject you
and may not lovingly
greet you again with my greeting,
if you may no longer
ride beside me,
or bring me mead at table;
if I must lose
you whom I loved
you, laughing joy of my eyes:
then a bridal fire
shall burn for you,
as it never burned for any bride!
A blaze of flame
shall burn round the rock;
with devouring terror
let it scare the fainthearted;
let cowards run away
from Brünnhilde's rock!
For only one shall win the bride,
one freer than I, the God!

That bright pair of eyes
that often I fondled with smiles,
when lust of battle
won you a kiss,
when childlike chatter
in praise of heroes
flowed from your dear lips:
that radiant pair of eyes
that often in tempests blazed at me,
when hopeful yearning
burned up my heart,
when for worldly joy
my desires longed
amid wild weaving fear:
for the last time
let them delight me today
with farewell's
last kiss!
May their star shine
for that happier man:
for the luckless immortal
they must close in parting.

For thus the God
departs from you,
thus he kisses your godhead away!

Loge, listen!
Harken here!
As I found you first,
a fiery blaze,
as once you vanished from me,
a random fire;
as I allied with you,
so today I conjure you!
Arise, magic flame,
girdle the rock with fire for me!

Loge! Loge! Come here!
Whosoever fears the tip of my spear
shall never pass through the fire!

Richard Wagner (1813-1883), German composer

Image: "Wotan takes leave of Brunhild", detail. Author: A.Bauer, Engraver: P.Jazet (19th century)