[The Preceding. THORGJERD with a harp in his hand has during the foregoing mingled with the people.]
THORGJERD. Aye, see, see! A multitude of people in the valley today!
THE PEASANTS. Thorgjerd, the fiddler!
ALFHILD. [Throws herself in his arms.] My father!
ALL. Her father!
OLAF. Yes, yes, old man! There are people and merriment in here today, and hereafter it shall always be thus. It is your daughter’s wedding we are celebrating; for love has she chosen her betrothed, of love have you sung for her,—you will not stand in our way!
THORGJERD. May all good spirits guard you well!
ALFHILD. And you will remain with us! THORGJERD. No, no, Alfhild! A minstrel has never a place to rest, His soul fares afar, he forever must roam! For he who has music deep down in his breast, Is never in mountains or lowlands at home; In the meadows green, in the sheltering bower, He must touch the strings and sing every hour, He must watch for the life that lives in the shower, Beneath the wild fjord, in the rushing stream, Must watch for the life that beats in the soul, And clothe in music what people but dream, And give voice to its sorrow and dole! OLAF. But sometime you will surely visit us here! Now shall 'mid the birches a hall be erected; Here, my Alfhild! shall you be protected. I and my love will always be near, No more shall your eye be dimmed with a tear! ALFHILD. Yes, now I see,—life is precious and kind! Rich as the fairest dream of the mind! So dreary and black is never our sorrow,— 'Tis followed sometime by a bright sunny morrow! ALFHILD. [Kneels.] O angels of God! you have led me aright, Again you have granted me solace and bliss! You guided my wandering past the abyss, You steadied my foot that was weak and slight! O, if with my mind I cannot understand,— With my heart I'll believe to the last! Yes, heavenly powers! You still watch o'er the land! Clear is the sun when the dark storm is passed;— From death and destruction my love did you save: So now then let happen what may! For now I am cheerful, now am I brave, Ready for life and its motley affray!
ALFHILD. [With a glance at OLAF.] And when we at length—
[She pauses and stretches her arms above her head.]
ALFHILD. by the angels of love Are borne to our home in the heavens above!
[The rest have formed a group around her; the curtain falls.]