By Richard Wagner

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CHARACTERS SIEGFRIED MIME THE WANDERER ALBERICH FAFNER ERDA BRÜNNHILDE SCENES OF ACTION A rocky cavern in a wood, in which stands a naturally formed smith's forge, with big bellows. Mime sits in front of the anvil, busily hammering at a sword. MIME [ Who has been hammering with a small hammer, stops working. Slavery! worry! Labour all lost! The strongest sword That ever I forged, That the hands of giants Fitly might wield, This insolent urchin For whom it is fashioned Can snap in two at one stroke, As if the thing were a toy! [ Mime throws the sword on the anvil ill-humouredly, and with his arms akimbo gazes thoughtfully on the ground. There is one sword That he could not shatter: Nothung's splinters Would baffle his strength, Could I but forge Those doughty fragments That all my skill Cannot weld anew. Could I but forge the weapon, Shame...


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CHARACTERS SIEGFRIED GUNTHER HAGEN ALBERICH BRÜNNHILDE GUTRUNE WALTRAUTE THE THREE NORNS THE RHINE-MAIDENS VASSALS WOMEN SCENES OF ACTION PRELUDE: ON THE VALKYRIES' ROCK The curtain rises slowly. The scene is the same as at the close of the second day, on the Valkyries' rock; night. In the background, from below, firelight shines. The three Norns, tall women in long, dark, veil-like drapery. The first (eldest) lies in the foreground, to the right, under the spreading pine-tree; the second (younger) is stretched on a shelving rock in front of the cave; the third (youngest) fits in the centre at the back on a rock near the peak. Motionless, gloomy silence. THE FIRST NORN What light glimmers there? THE SECOND NORN Is it already dawn? THE THIRD NORN Loge's host Glows in flame around the rock. It is night. Why spin we not, singing the while? THE SECOND NORN [ To the...