Tilbake

Peer Gynt

by Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen

ACT 2

SCENE THIRD

(Low, treeless heights, close under the mountain moorlands; peaks in the distance. The shadows are long; it is late in the day.

PEER GYNT comes running at full speed, and stops short on the hillside.)

PEER

The parish is all at my heels in a pack!
Every man of them armed or with gun or with club.
Foremost I hear the old Hegstad-churl howling.-
Now it's noised far and wide that Peer Gynt is abroad!
It is different, this, from a bout with a smith!
This is life! Every limb grows as strong as a bear's.

(Strikes out with his arms and leaps in the air.)

To crush, overturn, stem the rush of the foss!
To strike! Wrench the fir-tree right up by the root!
This is life! This both hardens and lifts one high!
To hell then with all of the savourless lies!

THREE SAETER GIRLS

(rush across the hillside, screaming and singing).

Trond of the Valfjeld! Bard and Kare!
Troll-pack! To-night would you sleep in our arms?

PEER

To whom are you calling?

THE GIRLS

To the trolls! to the trolls!

FIRST GIRL

Trond, come with kindness!

SECOND GIRL

Bard, come with force!

THIRD GIRL

The cots in the saeter are all standing empty!

FIRST GIRL

Force is kindness!

SECOND GIRL

And kindness is force!

THIRD GIRL

If lads are awanting, one plays with the trolls!

PEER

Why, where are the lads, then?

ALL THREE
(with a horse-laugh).

They cannot come hither!

FIRST GIRL

Mine called me his sweetheart and called me his darling.
Now he has married a grey-headed widow.

SECOND GIRL

Mine met a gipsy-wench north on the upland.
Now they are tramping the country together.

THIRD GIRL

Mine put an end to our bastard brat.
Now his head's grinning aloft on a stake.

ALL THREE

Trond of the Valfjeld! Bard and Kare!
Troll-pack! To-night would you sleep in our arms?

PEER
(stands, with a sudden leap, in the midst of them).

I'm a three-headed troll, and the boy for three girls!

THE GIRLS

Are you such a lad, eh?

PEER

You shall judge for yourselves!

FIRST GIRL

To the hut! To the hut!

SECOND GIRL

We have mead!

PEER

Let it flow!

THIRD GIRL

No cot shall stand empty this Saturday night!

SECOND GIRL
(kissing him).

He sparkles and glisters like white-heated iron.

THIRD GIRL
(doing likewise).

Like a baby's eyes from the blackest tarn.

PEER
(dancing in the midst of them).

Heavy of heart and wanton of mind.
The eyes full of laughter, the throat of tears!

THE GIRLS

(making mocking gestures towards the mountain-tops, screaming and singing).

Trond of the Valfjeld! Bard and Kare!
Troll-pack!-To-night will you sleep in our arms?

(They dance away over the heights, with PEER GYNT in their midst.)


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