(PEER GYNT is heard beating and slashing about him with a large bough.)
Answer! Who are you?
Clear the way!
Go roundabout, Peer! The hill's roomy enough.
(tries to force a passage at another place, but strikes against something). Who are you?
Myself. Can you say the same?
I can say what I will; and my sword can smite!
Mind yourself! Hu, hei, now the blow falls crushing!
King Saul slew hundreds; Peer Gynt slew thousands!
(Cutting and slashing.)
Who are you?
That stupid reply
you may spare; it doesn't clear up the matter.
What are you?
The great Boyg.
The riddle was black; now I'd call it grey.
Clear the way then, Boyg!
Go roundabout, Peer!
(Cuts and slashes.)
There he fell!
(Tries to advance, but strikes against something.)
Ho ho, are there more here?
The Boyg, Peer Gynt! the one only one.
It's the Boyg that's unwounded, and the Boyg that was hurt,
it's the Boyg that is dead, and the Boyg that's alive.
(throws away the branch). The weapon is troll-smeared; but I have my fists!
(Fights his way forward.)
Ay, trust to your fists, lad, trust to your body.
Hee-hee, Peer Gynt, so you'll reach the summit.
Forward or back, and it's just as far;-
out or in, and it's just as strait!
He is there! And there! And he's round the bend!
No sooner I'm out than I'm back in the ring.-
Name who you are! Let me see you! What are you?
Not dead, not living; all slimy; misty.
Not so much as a shape! It's as bad as to battle
in a cluster of snarling, half-wakened bears!
Strike back at me, can't you!
The Boyg isn't mad.
The Boyg strikes not.
Fight! You shall
The great Boyg conquers, but does not fight.
Were there only a nixie here that could prick me!
Were there only as much as a year-old troll!
Only something to fight with. But here there is nothing.-
Now he's snoring! Boyg!
What's your will?
The great Boyg conquers in all things without it.
(biting his own arms and hands).
Claws and ravening teeth in my flesh!
I must feel the drip of my own warm blood.
(A sound is heard like the wing-strokes of great birds.)
Comes he now, Boyg?
Ay, step by step.
All our sisters far off! Gather here to the tryst!
If you'd save me now, lass, you must do it quick!
Gaze not adown so, lowly and bending.-
Your clasp-book! Hurl it straight into his eyes!
We have him.
Sisters! Make haste!
Too dear the purchase one pays for life
in such a heart-wasting hour of strife.
Boyg, there he's fallen! Seize him! Seize him!
(A sound of bells and of psalm-singing is heard far away.)
(shrinks up to nothing, and says in a gasp:)
He was too strong. There were women behind him.