KING HEROD.POTZ-TAUSEND! Himmel-sacrament!
|Filled am I with great wonderment|
| At this unwelcome news!|
|Am I not Herod? Who shall dare|
|My crown to take, my sceptre bear,|| 5|
| As king among the Jews?|
Here he shall stride up and down and flourish his sword.
|What ho! I fain would drink a can|
|Of the strong wine of Canaan!|
| The wine of Helbon bring|
|I purchased at the Fair of Tyre,|| 10|
|As red as blood, as hot as fire,|
| And fit for any king!|
He quaffs great goblets of wine.
|Now at the window will I stand,|
|While in the street the armèd band|
| The little children slay;|| 15|
|The babe just born in Bethlehem|
|Will surely slaughtered be with them,|
| Nor live another day!|
Here a voice of lamentation shall be heard in the street.
RACHEL.O wicked king! O cruel speed!
|To do this most unrighteous deed!|| 20|
| My children all are slain!|
HEROD.Ho seneschal! another cup!
|With wine of Sorek fill it up!|
| I would a bumper drain!|
RAHAB.May maledictions fall and blast
|Thyself and lineage, to the last|
| Of all thy kith and kin!|
HEROD.Another goblet! quick! and stir
|Pomegranate juice and drops of myrrh|
| And calamus therein!|| 30|
SOLDIERS, in the street.Give up thy child into our hands!
|It is King Herod who commands|
| That he should thus be slain!|
THE NURSE MEDUSA.O monstrous men! What have ye done!
|It is King Herods only son|| 35|
| That ye have cleft in twain!|
HEROD.Ah, luckless day! What words of fear
|Are these that smite upon my ear|
| With such a doleful sound!|
|What torments rack my heart and head!|| 40|
|Would I were dead! would I were dead,|
| And buried in the ground!|
He falls down and writhes as though eaten by worms. Hell opens, and SATAN and ASTAROTH come forth, and drag him down.