[ALFHILD. Shortly afterwards THORGJERD from the background.]
(Has observed in silent and childlike amazement the preceding scene without however heeding the action; when they are gone she suddenly comes to herself as from a dream.) They are gone! Can I trust my eyes;—is it true? Yes, here in the moonlight they stood in full view! There I see them again down the mountain side, And I must go with them, for I am the bride! [Starts as if to rush out to the left.]
THORGJERD. [In the background.]
Alfhild! my child! And how come you here? I have told you before—
O my father dear! Now must I be free—as free as the wind, No longer can I in the hills be confined!
THORGJERD. [Comes nearer.] What has befallen you?
ALFHILD. [In ecstasy.] Now is he come!
THORGJERD. But who?
The fair knight! He will carry me home! Now first do I grasp all the restless desire, That long has been smouldering in me like fire! We often have sat, as the river rushed by, While you sang of the princess enthralled in the hill! The princess, my father! the princess am I; But he, the fair knight, bent the troll to his will!— And now I am free to do what I may; I will hence into life and its motley affray! His words were like song! I am free as the wind; No power can stay me or hold me behind!
Poor child! You would down to the village below; It will cost you your happiness; stay, do not go!
But, father, I must! Your sweetest lays Will seem to me now like a misty haze!
Then go, my Alfhild! and dream while you may, Your father will guard you alway! But look you take care of the crafty young swains With words so cunning and free!
Away in the distant and sunny domains,— Where Olaf is, there must I be! There stands his castle with golden hall! From the ballads you sang his face I recall; The king's son is he, the knight who can ride, And I, the poor Alfhild,—I am his bride! Poor, did I say,—no, the princess on high, O, more than the princess,—his sweetheart am I!
[The wedding chorus is heard far down the mountain side.]
ALFHILD. Listen, he calls with his trumpet and horn! Farewell now, forest and flower and thorn! Farewell, my valley; you have cramped me too long, The whole world is calling with laughter and song! Tomorrow attired in gold I shall ride Away to the church as Olaf's bride! We shall sit on the throne of honor within— Ah, now shall my life in its fulness begin!
[She rushes out to the left. THORGJERD gazes after her thoughtfully. The chorus dies away in the distance as the curtain falls.]