Elvida (1826)

The More I learn, the Less I Know

Elvida (1826)

Music Drama in One Act
Libretto by Giovanni Schmidt

ARGUMENT
[From the printed edition of the libretto]

This brief dramatic action has no historical basis. In the continual wars that shook
Spain during the Moorish occupation, it is related that a noble Castilian lady was taken
prisoner by the Moors; that a warrior prince, to whom she had been promised in
marriage, had offered the enemy peace in exchange for her freedom but in vain; that he
who kept her in custody wanted to give her as a wife to his own son, who had become
her lover; that seeing the walls of the city conquered, he hid her from the searches of
the victor, where the latter received the surrender of the vanquished; that failing in that
design, he tried to murder the lady, to avenge himself not only on the enemy but also
on the lady for scorning him; that the young Moor, as humane as his father was brutal,
saved Elvida (for that was her name) even though certain of never possessing her; and
that finally, as the price for her virtue, he succeeded in shielding his father from the
wrath of the victor.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Elvida, noble Castilian lady Soprano
Zeidar, her son Contralto
Amur, chief of a tribe of Moors Bass
Alfonso, Castilian prince Tenor
Ramiro, official of Alfonso Tenor
Zulma, slave of Amur Mezzo Soprano
Chorus of Spaniards and Moors of both sexes
Warriors of the entourages of Alfonso and Amur
Spanish military band

The scene is in a fortified piazza in the kingdom of Granada in Spain.


ATTO UNICO

Atrio nel soggiorno d’Amur.

Scena Prima
Mori frettolosi da più lati.

Primo Coro
Tutto cede al nemico feroce,
Che veloce alle mura s’avanza!
È svanita la nostra speranza,
A momenti inondar si vedrà.

Secondo Coro
Si resista…

Primo Coro
Ogni ostacolo è vano
Al guerriero furor dell’Ispano.

Secondo Coro
A lui cara costar la vittoria
Core impavido in breve farà.

Primo Coro
Vane voci d’onore, di gloria
A quel cor che più speme non ha. 1773

I due Cori
Tetro giorno, a cui féra la notte
Or succede ed accresce spavento!…
Facciam prova d’estremo ardimento;
Altro scampo per noi non si dà.

Partono in fretta.

Scena Seconda
Amur, Zeidar, guardie.
Amur
Non più: dicesti assai
Tropp’ostinato figlio.
Vil debolezza omai
Diviene in te l’amor.
Zeidar
Cedi, signor, deh! cedi:
Rifletti al tuo periglio.
A quali estremi, il vedi,
Ci guida il tuo rigor.
Amur
Punirla io voglio. 1774

Zeidar
In pria
Mi svena, o genitor.
Amur
Fomento all’ira mia
L’altera donna è ognor.
Zeidar
Rendila.
Amur
Folle! e l’ami?
Zeidar
Più di me stesso.
Amur
E brami?
Zeidar
Teco salvar lo stato.
Al comun ben m’è grato
Sacrificar il cor.
Amur
Non fia. Son oltraggiato,

Non sono all’onte usato;
Sia pago il mio furor.
Omai tant’orgoglio
Non voglio soffrir.
Vendetta m’affretta
L’indegna a punir.
Zeidar
(Ti sento mio core
D’amore languir.
Conforto non spero;
Che fiero martir!)
Amur
Ed ostinato ancor?…
Zeidar
L’ira che giova?
Padre, soltanto questa
Debol cittade resta. Elvida rendi,
Prezzo di pace; evita il comun danno.
Amur
Ma tu…
Zeidar
Ma io… (io morirò d’affanno.) 1776

Amur
No, non sarà mai ver. Costei distrutte
Vuol queste mura; l’ombra
Del genitor vuol vendicata; oltraggia
Il mio grado supremo;
Fa voti per l’amante… Eccola… Io fremo.
Scena Terza
Elvida, donne. I precedenti.
Elvida
A che mi vuoi? Che brami?
Che da sperar t’avanza?
D’Elvida la costanza
Sempre maggior sarà.
Amur
Frena l’ardire insano.
Pensa…
Elvida
Minacci invano.
Zeidar
E non ti placherai? 1777

Elvida
Non lo sperar giammai;
Non so che sia viltà.
Coro
(Alma di lei più altera,
Più fiera non si dà.)
Amur, Zeidar e Coro
(L’amor, l’ira, il dispetto
Combattono in quel core,
Che freno più non ha.)
Elvida
(Le smanie io sento in petto
Del più tenace affetto:
Ah! mi tormenta amore,
Quanto tremar mi fa!)
(ad Amur)
Ebben?
Amur
Elvida, ascolta,
E per l’ultima volta. Il figlio t’ama;
Per sua sposa ti brama.
A lui porgi la destra, e me qual padre
Tenero avrai. 1778

Elvida
Mio padre era Gonzalvo:
Perì per le vostr’armi!…
Fia vendicato.
Amur
Forse
Più che il padre, l’amante…
Elvida
Sì, l’adoro
Quanto abborrisco te…
Amur
Perfida! stanco
Son io de’ tuoi disprezzi.
(alle guardie)
Pel sotterraneo varco
Si guidi al carcer tetro, e, fra ritorte,
Attenda pur costei…
Elvida
Lo so, la morte. 1779

Scena Quarta
Zulma. I precedenti.
Zulma
Il terror tutto inonda;
Al riparo, o signor.
Amur
(Perverse stelle!)
Elvida
Pietoso ciel!
Amur
Per poco esulterai.
Elvida
Sempre intrepida l’alma in me vedrai.
Amur parte in fretta, Zulma e le donne si ritirano.
Scena Quinta
Zeidar, Elvida e guardie.
Zeidar
Trattienti… 1780

Elvida è in atto di partire.
Per pietà!… Per me non chiedo
Pietade: averla tu per me non puoi;
Ma per te…
Elvida
Ma per me?… Che dirmi vuoi?
Zeidar
Se geme a’ tuoi lati…
Ohimè! non sdegnarti,
Se t’ama lo sai
Quest’alma fedel.
Elvida
Mia colpa, tel giuro,
Non è il non amarti,
Ma te non misuro
Col padre crudel.
Zeidar
Ma… vedi… sovrasta
Per te cruda sorte.
Elvida
Ho core che basta: 1781

Non temo la morte.
Zeidar
Ma il padre…
Elvida
È un tiranno.
Zeidar
Ah! troppo l’offendi.
Più mite ti rendi;
Rifletti al tuo danno,
Infingiti almen.
Elvida
Zeidar, che mai spera?
Un’alma sincera
Racchiudo nel sen.
Zeidar e Elvida
(Sì grave è il tormento,
L’affanno ch’io provo,
Ch’è vero portento
Se regge il mio cor.
Oh, quanto è spietato,
Tremendo il mio stato!
Oh, quanto è fatale 1782

Lo strale d’amor!)
Elvida è scortata dalle guardie.
Scena Sesta
Zeidar, Amur e soldati.
Zeidar
Misero me!… Ma il fier nemico avanza…
Si sente strepito di guerra.
Forse il padre in periglio…
Si corra in sua difesa… È desso…
Amur
Figlio,
Invano si resiste. I passi miei
Pensa a seguir.
Zeidar
E dove?
Amur
Pel calle ascoso avventurare un colpo,
Infra ’l notturno orrore,
Co’ più scelti guerrieri, 1783

Saprò… Mi segui.
Zeidar
Troppo
Ti lusinga la speme.
Amur
Azor promise
Forte schiera inviarmi. Inosservata
Nel vicin bosco esser dovria. T’affretta.
Fido alla sorte mia la mia vendetta.
Partono.
Cresce lo strepito di guerra.
Piazza; porta e mura in prospetto.
Scena Settima
Le catapulte finiscono di smantellare le mura. I Mori, che le difende-vano, si danno alla fuga. Entra
l’armata spagnola al suono di stre-pitosa marcia. Una parte delle truppe s’inoltra nelle vie che alla
piazza conducono; altra parte rimane schierata.
Alfonso, preceduto ed accompagnato da’ primari ufiziali.
Coro
Cinto di nuovi allori 1784

Vegga il nemico altero
Quel vincitor ibero
Che imprese a disprezzar.
A’ bellici furori
Tregua si ponga omai;
Di dolce pace i rai
Comincino a brillar.
(ad Alfonso)
Deh! tergi i tuoi sudori,
Ritorna a respirar.
Alfonso
Altra nube al sole intorno
Fiero giorno minacciò.
Più lucente il sol cadente
Si mostrò.
Coro
Più lucente il sol cadente
Si mostrò.
Alfonso
(Cara immagin del mio bene,
Che nel sen mi stai scolpita,
Che mi sei cagion di vita,
Ti vedrò!
Ma del fato a me tiranno 1785

Se il rigor non cesserà,
Se mai perderti dovrò,
Questo core al crudo affanno
Cederà.)
Coro
(Fra ’l timore, fra la speme
Geme, gode.
Parte del Coro
Esulta, freme.)
Alfonso e Coro
(Ad un’alma vera calma
Non si dà.)
Scena Ottava
Ramiro. I precedenti.
Ramiro
L’empio Amur si sottrasse
Alle nostre ricerche, unito al figlio.
Alfonso
Elvida? 1786

Ramiro
Elvida… in breve
Ne avrai novella.
Alfonso
Elvida io dico… Ah! dove,
Dov’è l’anima mia?
Ramiro
Calmati.
Alfonso
E il posso?
Chi sa se in vita ancora…
Ramiro
Oh, come spesso
Industre sei nel tormentar te stesso!
Scena Nona
Zulma, scortata da un drappello di soldati. I precedenti.
Zulma
Signor, se la demenza
È pregio usato d’alma grande, accogli
Un’infelice.
(in atto d’inginocchiarsi, Alfonso non lo permette) 1787

Alfonso
Sgombra il duol. Chi sei?
Zulma
Del tuo nemico schiava
Mi fe’ la rea fortuna;
Zulma è il mio nome, e nacqui in nobil cuna.
Alfonso
(ai soldati)
Libertà se le renda.
Zulma
Ah! signor…
Alfonso
Dimmi, o donna,
D’Elvida, prigioniera
D’Amur son già due lune,
Avesti mai novella?
Zulma
Sì, grata al tuo bel core,
Agevolarti io deggio a rintracciarla. 1788

Alfonso
Ah, lo volesse il ciel pietoso!
Ramiro
Parla.
Zulma
Inosservata intesi
Che per angusta e sotterranea via,
Ch’oltre le mura guida,
La sventurata Elvida
Venne scortata a carcer tenebroso.
Noto m’è il varco ascoso ove ha confine
Quell’orribile speco.
Alfonso
Deh! scorta, o Zulma, i passi miei.
Zulma
Son teco.
Alfonso e Zulma partono seguiti da un drappello di soldati. Le schiere si disfano al cenno di
Ramiro. 1789

Interno d’un’orrida spelonca; piccola porta da un lato, mezzo ascosa da’ macigni; dall’altro, debole
lume sopra un sasso.
Scena Decima
Elvida. Si avanza lentamente, siede, sospira, rimane pensierosa al-quanto, poi si alza.
Elvida
Elvida, il tuo coraggio dunque a un tratto
T’abbandonò!… Ma come,
In mezzo a tanti danni,
Può quest’anima tua frenar gli affanni?
Orfana figlia, amante sventurata,
E padre e sposo in un sol dì perdesti;
Ed or, fra questi orrori, non t’avanza,
Misera Elvida! un’ombra di speranza.
(siede di nuovo appoggiando la fronte alle mani)
Scena Undicesima
Amur e Zeidar dal fondo, preceduti da un soldato che porta una fiaccola.
Zeidar
(sottovoce)
Padre che pensi? 1790

Amur
Trarla
Da questo speco, Alfonso
Or forse ne va in traccia;
Possederla potria. L’opposto varco
Al vicin bosco guida. Azor di lei
Sarà custode; pegno ella mi fia.
L’abborrito nemico
Paventi… Eccola.
Zeidar
(nell’avvicinarsi ad Elvida)
(Misera!)
Elvida
(alzandosi a un tratto)
Ah! conosco
All’odiata voce
Il più reo fra’ viventi,
Qual altra pena, o crudo, a me destini?
Rispondi: il mio supplizio? Ecco i tuoi doni.
Amur
Forse, donna proterva, al ver t’apponi.
Invan, superba, invano
Tuoi voti al ciel porgesti.
Fremi: da questa mano 1791

Chi mai sottrar ti può?
Elvida
Quel ferro tuo m’uccida.
Barbaro! a che t’arresti?
Né ancor conosci Elvida?
Io paventar non so.
Zeidar
Amato genitore,
Pietade in te si desti.
(ad Elvida)
Confida in questo core:
Tutto per te farò.
Elvida
Di miglior padre degno,
Zeidar, tu sei.
Amur
Ritegno
Più l’ira mia non ha.
Zeidar
(Dolente a questo segno
Un’alma non si dà!) 1792

Amur
(ad Elvida)
Seguimi.
Elvida
Andiam. Si mora.
Zeidar
No. Vita avrai.
Amur
(al figlio)
T’affretta;
Servi alla mia vendetta,
Che in breve scoppierà.
Elvida
Del cielo la vendetta,
Sul capo tuo cadrà.
Zeidar
(Vorrebbe, amor, vendetta,
Ma sente il cor pietà.)
Nell’atto che Amur vuol condurre fuor dell’antro Elvida, si sente un improvviso strepito, e vedesi
atterrare la piccola porta indicata. 1793

Scena Dodicesima
Alfonso, preceduto e seguito da’ soldati con spada nuda, e recando molte faci. I precedenti.
Amur
Stelle!… che veggio!
Zeidar
Sogno!… vaneggio!
Amur e Zeidar
Oh, inaspettato,
Tremendo fato!
Elvida
(nel riconoscere le armi spagnuole)
Pietoso ciel!
Alfonso
Qual tetro speco!
Elvida
Oh voce! oh sorte!
Amur e Zeidar
Barbara sorte! 1794

Alfonso
Antro di morte!
Amur e Zeidar
Sorte infedel!
Elvida
Mio ben! son teco…
Alfonso
Elvida mia!
Mentre Alfonso corre a lei, Amur la prende per un braccio, e la tira in disparte.
Elvida
Sei tu!
Alfonso
Sì…
Amur
Pria
Per questa mano…
(impugnando uno stilo) 1795

Zeidar
Ferma!
Alfonso
Inumano!
Alfonso, Amur, Zeidar e Elvida
(Destin crudel!)
Alfonso
Deh! ti placa… Amur, mi rendi
L’idol mio che tanto adoro;
Deh! mi rendi il mio tesoro;
Pace… tutto avrai da me.
Amur
Stolto amante, invan pretendi
Ch’Amur ceda a’ tuoi desiri,
Benché oppresso tu lo miri,
Sempre fia maggior di te.
Zeidar e Elvida
(Tremo… palpito… all’affanno
Non resisto… Fier momento!
Far a brani il cor mi sento…
Pena eguale, oh Dio, non v’è!) 1796

Alfonso
(minaccioso)
E persisti ancora? Cedi.
Amur
No… Tu a morte mi precedi.
(in atto d’uccidere Elvida, Zeidar trattiene il colpo)
Alfonso, Elvida e Zeidar
Giusto ciel!
Alfonso e Zeidar
T’arresta!…
Amur e Zeidar
Indegno!
Zeidar
Ecco il petto: in me lo sdegno,
Padre, tutto puoi sfogar.
S’inginocchia ad Amur, e questi, mentre lo respinge, vien circondato dalle guardie.
Amur
(al figlio)
Va’, ti togli al mio cospetto; 1797

Nato sei per mio rossore.
(ad Alfonso)
Vil nemico, il tuo furore
Non può l’alma in me cangiar.
Alfonso e Elvida
L’empio cor che chiudi in petto
A chi mai non desta orrore!
Trema iniquo, traditore,
Dovrà il fulmine piombar.
Zeidar
(D’atra stella trist’oggetto
Fosti, o misero mio core!
Morte sol da un rio dolore
Può quest’anima involar.)
Scena Tredicesima
Ramiro, soldati. I precedenti.
Ramiro
Ti conforta signor,
(ad Alfonso)
D’Azor la schiera,
Dal vicin bosco uscita,
Piombò poc’anzi su di noi: ma tale
Fu l’ispano valor, che in un momento 1798

Restò dispersa come nebbia al vento.
Amur
(Saziati, o sorte!)
Elvida
Lode al ciel!
Alfonso
Soldati,
Costui si tragga altrove.
Amur è condotto via.
Scena Quattordicesima
Alfonso, Elvida, Zeidar, Ramiro e seguito.
Zeidar
Ah, padre!… Alfonso,
Deh! pietà…
Alfonso
Generoso
Meno di te mi credi, alma ben nata?
La mia vita hai serbata
In quella del mio ben; serbarla io voglio
Al crudo padre tuo. Libero sei, 1799

Ed attendi da me nuova mercede.
Zeidar
Tanto sperar mi lice?
Dunque meno infelice
Son di quel ch’io credei? Mi salvi il padre,
Che più sperar degg’io?
Elvida!… (Alma resisti.) Alfonso, addio.
(parte)
Scena Quindicesima e Ultima
Elvida, Alfonso, Ramiro e seguito.
Elvida
Magnanima virtù!
Alfonso
Sei mia! Ci veda
Congiunti in sacro nodo il nuovo sole.
È tempo, cara, omai,
Che lieto esulti il cor.
Elvida e Alfonso
Penammo assai.
Alfonso
Il cielo, in pria sdegnato, 1800

Si mostra alfin placato;
Ritorna a noi la pace
Sui vanni dell’amor.
Ramiro e Coro
Ritorna a voi la pace
Sui vanni dell’amor.
Elvida
Felici miei tormenti
Soavi miei lamenti,
Se di piacer verace
Ora mi balza il cor.
Ramiro e Coro
Ritorna a voi la pace
Sui vanni dell’amor.
Alfonso
Per te, bell’idol mio,
Tutti gli affanni oblio,
Elvida
Per te di tanti affanni
Più non rammento i danni, 1801

Elvida e Alfonso
Se d’Imeneo la face
Disgombra ogni dolor.
Ritorna a noi la pace
Sui vanni dell’amor.
Tutti gli Altri
Ritorna a voi la pace
Sui vanni dell’amor.
FINE 1802

ONE ACT

Atrium in the residence of Amur

Scene I
Moors rush in from all sides

First Chorus
All yields to the ferocious enemy,
Who advance with speed to the walls!
Vanished is our hope;
In moments it will be overcome.

Second Chorus
There is resistance . . .

First Chorus
Every obstacle is futile
Against the warlike fury of the Spaniard.

Second Chorus
A fearless heart will soon make
The victory cost him dearly.

First Chorus
Vain voices of honor and glory
For this heart that has no more hope.

Both Choruses
A dark day, followed by night
And growing terror!
Let prove our extreme daring.
There is no other recourse for us.

They rush off.

SCENE II
Amur, Zeidar, guards

Amur
No more: you have said enough,
My too obstinate son.
Love has now become
In you base weakness.

Zeidar
Yield, my lord, oh! Yield:
Consider your peril.
You see to what extremes
Your severity leads you.

Amur
I will punish her.

Zeidar
But first,
Take my blood, father.

Amur
The haughty woman is now
Incitement to my warth.

Zeidar
Give her up.

Amur
Madman! And you love her?

Zeidar
More than myself.

Amur
And you desire her?

Zeidar
To save the state with you.
I am happy to sacrifice my heart
For the common good.

Amur
It shall not be. I am affronted,
I am not accustomed to shame;
My anger will be requited.
Such arrogance
I shall never suffer.
Vengeance impels me
To punish the offender.

Zeidar
(I hear you languish
With love, my heart.
I hope for no comfort;
What cruel torture!)

Amur
And obstinate still?

Zeidar
What use is anger?
Father, only this
Weakened city remains. Give up Elvida,
As a price of peace; avoid the common destruction.

Amur
But you . . .

Zeidar
But I . . . (I shall die heartbroken.)

Amur
No, it shall never be true. She wants
These walls destroyed; she wants
To avenge the ghost of her father. She insults
My supreme station;
Make wishes for your lover . . . Here she is . . . I tremble.

SCENE III
Elvida, ladies, Amur and Zeidar

Elvida
Why do you want me? What do you wish?
What do you gain by hoping?
Elvida’s constancy
Will always be greater.

Amur
Stifle your insane passion.
Think . . .

Elvida
You threaten in vain.

Zeidar
And you will not be placated?

Elvida
Never hope for that.
I know not what baseness is.

Chorus
(There is no soul more haughty,
More proud than hers.)

Amur
(Love, wrath, scorn
Battle in this heart,
Which has not restraint.)

Elvida
(I feel in my breast the ravings
Of the most unrelenting feeling:
Ah! Love torments me.
How it makes me tremble!)
(to Amur)
Well, then?

Amur
Elvida, listen,
And for the last time. My son loves you;
I want you for his wife.
Offer him your hand,and you shall have
In me a gentle father.

Elvida
My father was Gonzalvo:
He perished by your arms!
May he be avenged.

Amur
Perhaps
More than the father, the lover . . .

Elvida
Yes, I adore him
As much as I detest you . . .

Amur
Wicked woman! I am weary
Of your scorn.
(to the guards)
Conduct her by the underground passage
To the dark dungeon, and under torture,
Let her wait . . .

Elvida
I know–for death.

SCENE IV
Zulma and the above

Zulma
Terror engulfs everything:
Hide yourself, o Sire.

Amur
(Perverse stars!)

Elvida
Merciful heaven!

Amur
You are almost exultant.

Elvida
You will see in me a soul ever resolute.

Amur hurries off, Zulma and the ladies withdraw.

SCENE V
Zeidar, Elvida, and guards

Zeidar
Stay . . .

Elvida is about to leave.

Please! I don’t ask pity for myself:
That you cannot have for me;
But for you . . .

Elvida
But for me? . . . What do you wish to say?

Zediar
If in your presence it sighs . . .
Alas! Do not take offense,
If you know this loyal soul
Loves you.

Elvida
My fault, so I swear,
Is not not loving you,
But I cannot weigh you
With your cruel father.

Zedar
But . . . see . . . a brutal fate
Hangs over you.

Elvida
I have courage enough:
I do not fear death.

Zeidar
But my father . . .

Elvida
He is a tyrant.

Zeidar
Ah! You offend too much.
Be more temperate;
Reflect on the harm to you,
At least pretend.

Elvida
Zeidar, what are you hoping for?
I carry a sincere heart
In my breast.

Zeidar and Elvida
(So severe is the pain,
The torment that I feel,
which is a true marvel
If it rules my heart.
Oh, how merciless
Is my terrible condition!
Oh, how lethal
Is love’s arrow!)

Elvida is escorted away by the guards.

SCENE VII
Zeidar, Amur and soldiers.

Zeidar
How miserable I am! But the fierce enemy advances . . .

Noise of warfare is heard.

Perhaps my father in danger . . .
Hurry to his defense . . . It is he . . .

Amur
Son,
Resistance is hopeless. Think
To follow my steps.

Zeidar
Whither?

Amur
Through hidden alleys, during the horror of night,
With the most select warriors,
I can venture to strike a blow.
Follow me.

Zeidar
Hope
Too much deludes you.

Amur
Azor promised
To send me a strong host. It should be
In the nearby wood unobserved. Make haste.
I entrust my verngeance to my fate.

They leave.
The noise of battle grows louder.

SCENE VII
The square, the gate and walls in the distance.

The catapults finish demolishing the walls. The Moors defending them take flight. The Spanish
army enters to the sound of a clamorous march. One part of the troops enter on streets leading to
the sqaure; another part remains in formation. Alfonso, preceded and accompanied by the high
officials.

Chorus
Let the haugty foe see
Garlanded with new laurels
That Spanish victor
Whom they ventured to despise.
Let a truce now be declared
To hostile furies;
Let the rays of sweet peace
Begin to shine.
(to Alfonso)
Oh! Wipe away your sweat,
Breathe again.

Alfonso
Another cloud around the sun
Has menaced a violent day.
More brightly shines
The setting sun.

Chorus
More brightly shines
The setting sun.

Alfonso
(Dear image of my love,
Which is graven in my heart,
You who my reason for living,
I shall see you!
But tyrant fate does not cease
Her harshness to me,
If I must ever lose you,
This heart will give way
In brutal torment.)

Chorus
(Between fear and hope
He sighs and rejoices,

Part of the Chorus
Exults and trembles.)

Alfonso and Chorus
(True peace is not given
To one soul.)

SCENE VIII
Ramiro and the above.

Ramiro
Impious Amur has evaded
Our searches, together with is son.

Alfonso
Elvida?

Ramiro
Elvida . . . soon
You shall have news.

Alfonso
Elvida I say . . . Ah! Where,
Where is my spirit?

Ramiro
Calm yourself.

Alfonso
Can I?
Who know whether she is still alive . . .

Ramiro
Oh, how often
You insist on torturing yourself!

SCENE IX
Zulma, escorted by a group of soldiers. The above

Zulma
My lord, if clemency
Is a usual virtue of a great soul, receive
An unfortunate.
(Starts to kneel, but Alfonso does not permit it)

Alfonso
Dry your tears. Who are you?

Zulma
Evil fortune made me
A slave of your enemy;
Zulma is my name, and I was born to nobility.

Alfonso
Ah, might merciful heaven will it!

Ramiro
Speak.

Zulma
Unobserved I heard
That poor Elvida
Was escortedThrough narrow tunnels
That lead beyond the walls,
To a dismal prison.
Known to me is the hidden passage
That ends in that horrible cavern.

Alfonso
Oh! Guide, O Zulma, my steps.

Zulma
I am with you.

Alfonso and Zulma leave, followed by a squadron of soldiers. At a signal from Ramiro, the armies
disperse.

SCENE X
Elvida. She comes forward slowly, sits, sighs, remains pensive for a moment, then rises.

Elvida
Elvida, your courage then has abandoned you
In a trice! But how,
Amid so much destruction,
Was this your soul able to dampen its anxiety?
Orphan daughter, ill-fated lover,
You lost both father and husband in a single day.
And now, midst these horrors, wretched Elvida,
There is no ray of hope in sight.
(sits down again leaning her head on her hand)

SCENE XI
Amur and Zeidar from the rear, preceded by a soldier carrying a torch.

Zeidar
(whispering)
What are you thinking, Father?

Amur
To take her
From this cave, Alfonso
Now perhaps is on her track;
He could capture her. The passage opposite
Leads to the nearby wood. Azor will
Will take charge of her; she will be my token.
Let the hated enemy
Be afraid . . . Here she is.

Zobeida
(Advancing a few steps)
Ah! I recognize
That haded voice,
The most wicked among the living,
What further agony, brute, do you plan for me?
Answer: my torture? These are your gifts.

Amur
Perhaps, haughty woman, you will face the truth.
You offer your prayers to heaven
In vain, proud woman, in vain.
Tremble: who can ever
Free you from this hand?

Elvida
Let that blade of yours slays me.
Savage! What stops you?
Do you not yet know Elvida?
I know no fear.

Zeidar
Beloved father,
Let mercy spring forth in you.
(to Elvida)
Trust in this heart:
I shall do everything for you.

Elvida
You are worthy, Zeidar,
Of a better father.

Amur
My wrath
Has no more restraint.

Zeidar
(A soul does not give itself
In sorrow at such a sign???!)

Amur
(to Elvida)
Follow me.

Elvida
Let us go. We delay.

Zeidar
No. You shall live.

Amur
(to his son)
Make hasate:
Serve my vengeance,
Which will shortly burst forth.

Elvida
The vengeance of heaven
Will fall upon your head.

Zeidar
(He wishes for vengeance, my love,
But his heart feels pity.)

As Amur begins to lead Elvida out of the cave, a sudden noise is heard, and the small gate
aforementioned is seen to fall to the ground.

SCENE XII
Alfonso, preceded and followed by soldiers with drawn swords and holding many torches. The
above.

Amur
Stars! . . . What do I see!

Zeidar
I’m dreaming! . . . I’m raving!

Amur and Zeidar
Oh, unexpected
Terrible fate!

Elvida
(recognizing the Spanish arms)
Merciful heaven!

Alfonso
What a dismal cavern!

Elvida
Oh, the voice! Oh, what fortune!

Amur and Zeidar
Cruel misfortune!

Alfonso
Cave of death!

Amur and Zeidar
Faithless fortune!

Elvida
My love! I am with you . . .

Alfonso
My Elvida!

While Alfonso runs to her, Amur takes her by one arm and draws her apart.

Elvida
It’s you!

Alfonso
Yes . . .

Amur
First,
By this hand . . .
(holding a knife)

Zeidar
Stop!

Alfonso
Monster!

Alfonso, Amur, Zeidar and Elvida
(Cruel destiny!)

Alfonso
Oh! Calm yourself . . Amur, return to me
My idol whom I love so much;
Oh! Return my treasure to me;
Peace . . . You will have everything from me.

Amur
Foolish lover, you beg in vain
For Amur to yield to your desires,
Although you think him subjugated
He will always be greater than you.

Zeidar and Elvida
(I tremble . . . I quake . . . I cannot bear
The terror . . . brutal moment!
I feel my heart torn to shreds . . .
There is no pain, Oh God, equal to this!)

Alfonso
(threatening)
You persist still? Yield.

Amur
No . . . You will be dead before I will.
(Moves to kill Elvida, but Zobeida prevents the blow)

Alfonso, Elvida and Zeidar
Just heaven!

Alfonso and Zeidar
Villain!

Zeidar
Here is my breast. You may fent all your hatred,
Father, on me.

He kneels before Amur, and the latter, while pushing him away, is surrounded by guards.

Amur
(to his son)
Go, get you from my sight.
You were born for my shame.
(to Alfonso)
Vile enemy, your fury
Cannot change my soul.

Alfonso and Elvida
In whom does the impious heart
that you bear in your breast not inspire horror!
Tremble, villain, traitor,
The thunderbolt must fall.

Zeidar
(You were the sad object of a black star,
O my miserable heart!
Only death can wrest this soul
From the pain of guilt.)

SCENE XIII
Ramiro, soldiers, the above

Ramiro
(to Alfonso)
Be comforted, sire.
The host of Azor,
Emerging from the nearby wood,
Fell upon us a short time ago; but such
Was the Spanish valor, that in a moment
It was dispered like a cloud in the wind.

Amur
(Be satisfied, o fate!)

Elvida
Praise heaven!

Alfonso
Soldiers,
Take this man away.

Amur is led off.

SCENE XIV
Alfonso, Elvida, Zeidar, Ramiro and the above.

Zeidar
Ah, Father! . . . Alfonso,
Oh! Mercy . . .

Alfonso
Do you think
Me less generous than you, well born soul?
You saved my life
In that of my love: I wish to save
That of your savage father. You are free,
And expect new mercy from me.

Zeidar
May I hope for so much?
Then am I less unfortunate
Than I thought? You save my father,
What more should I hope for?
Elvida! . . . (Forbear, O my soul.) Alfonso, farewell.
(Exit)

SCENE XV the Last
Elvida, Alfonso, Ramiro and entourage

Elvida
Magnanimous virtue!

Alfonso
You are mine! May a new sun
See us here joined in holy bonds.
It is time, my dear, now
For the heart to exult in joy.

Elvida and Alfonso
We have suffered enough.

Alfonso
Heaven, formerly hostile,
At last shows itself appeased;
Peace returns to us
Under the wings of love.

Ramiro and Chorus
Peace returns to you
Under the wings of love.

Elvida
Happy my torments
Sweet my lamentations,
If now my heart leaps up
With real pleasure.

Ramiro and Chorus
Peace returns to you
Under the wings of love.

Alfonso
For you, my fair idol,
All terrors are forgotten,

Elvida
For you I do not remember
The depredations of so much terror,

Elvida and Alfonso
If the torch of Hymen
Erases every pain.
Peace returns to us
Under the wings of love.

All the Others
Peace returns to you
Under the wings of love.

END
[1801 12/15 /16 5:15]

lation here.

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