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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Death and Awakening of Hannele
By Gerhart Hauptmann (1862–1946)
 
        
From ‘Hannele’
  
  [Little Hannele Mattern, the starved and ill-used stepdaughter of a brutal workman, has been so cruelly treated by her father that the child has tried to drown herself. Rescued by the young village schoolmaster, her only friend among the villagers (a kind of allegorical type of Christ), she is brought to the squalid almshouse of the place to die. The child lies in a darkened room, watched by a Sister of Mercy. Terrible visions of her past suffering occur, and the early part of the drama largely represents what is passing in her tired and confused brain. Presently an angel enters the death chamber and soothes the child, giving her a “flower from heaven,”—a flower which none save herself can see,—and other kind spirits cheer her. After they have gone the little sufferer is left in happy surprise and expectancy.]

Everything is as it was before the appearance of the Angels.  The Sister of Mercy is seated beside the bed in which Hannele is lying.  She relights the candle, and Hannele opens her eyes.  Her inward vision seems still to be present to her.  Her features still wear an expression of heavenly rapture.  As soon as she recognizes the Sister she begins to speak with joyful eagerness.

HANNELE—Sister! angels!—Sister Martha! angels! Do you know who have been here?  1
  Sister—H’m! are you awake again already?  2
  Hannele—Just guess! do!  [Unable to contain herself.]  Angels! angels! real angels! angels from heaven, Sister Martha! Angels, you know, with long wings.  3
  Sister—Well then, if you’ve had such beautiful dreams—  4
  Hannele—There now! She says I dreamt it! But look at what I’ve got here; just look at it!  [She makes a motion, as though she held a flower in her hand and were showing it to the Sister.]  5
  Sister—What is it?  6
  Hannele—Just look at it.  7
  Sister—H’m!  8
  Hannele—Here it is; look at it!  9
  Sister—Aha!  10
  Hannele—Just smell it.  11
  Sister  [pretending to smell a flower]—H’m—lovely!  12
  Hannele—Not so close to it! You’ll break the stalk.  13
  Sister—Oh, I’m very sorry. What sort of flower is it?  14
  Hannele—Why, don’t you know? The key-of-heaven.  15
  Sister—Is it really?  16
  Hannele—Why, surely you’re— Do bring the light—quick, quick!  17
  Sister  [holding up the candle]—Ah yes, now I see it.  18
  Hannele—Isn’t it lovely?  19
  Sister—But you’re talking a great deal too much. We must keep quiet now, or the doctor will scold us. And here he has sent you your medicine. We must take it, as he bids us.  20
  Hannele—O Sister, you’re far too much troubled about me! You don’t know what has happened. Do you? do you?—do tell me, if you know. Who gave me this? Well—the little golden key? Who? say! What is the little golden key meant to open? Well?  21
  Sister—You’ll tell me all about it to-morrow morning. Then, after a good night’s rest, you’ll be strong and well.  22
  Hannele—But I am well.  [She sits up and puts her feet to the ground.]  You see, Sister, I’m quite, quite well!  23
  Sister—Why, Hannele! No, you mustn’t do that, you really mustn’t.  24
  Hannele  [rising and pushing the Sister away, makes a few steps forward.]—You must let me. You must—let me. I must—go.  [She starts in terror and gazes fixedly at a certain point.]  O heavenly Savior!  25
A black-robed and black-winged Angel becomes visible.  He is great, strong, and beautiful, and bears a long serpentine sword, the hilt of which is draped in black gauze.  Grave and silent, he sits beside the stove and gazes at Hannele calmly and immovably.  A white dream-like light fills the room.
  Hannele—Who are you?  [No answer.]  Are you an angel?  [No answer.]  Is it to me you come?  [No answer.]  I am Hannele Mattern. Is it to me you come?  [No answer.]
  26
[Sister Martha has stood by, with folded hands, devoutly and humbly.  Now she moves slowly out of the room.]
  Hannele—Has God taken the gift of speech from your tongue?  [No answer.]  Are you a friend to me? Do you come as an enemy?  [No answer.]  Have you a sword in the folds of your garment?  [No answer.]  B-r-r-r! I am cold. Piercing frost spreads from your wings; cold breathes around you.  [No answer.]  Who are you?  [No answer.  A sudden horror overcomes her.  She turns with a scream as though some one stood behind her.]  Mother! little mother!
  27
A Figure in the dress of the Sister of Mercy, but younger and more beautiful, with long white pinions, comes in.
  Hannele  [shrinking close up to the Figure and seizing her hand]—Mother! little mother! there is some one here.
  28
  Sister—Where?  29
  Hannele—There, there!  30
  Sister—Why are you trembling so?  31
  Hannele—I’m frightened!  32
  Sister—Fear nothing; I am with you.  33
  Hannele—My teeth are chattering with terror. I can’t help it. He makes me shudder!  34
  Sister—Do not be frightened; he is your friend.  35
  Hannele—Who is he, mother?  36
  Sister—Do you not know him?  37
  Hannele—Who is he?  38
  Sister—Death.  39
  Hannele—Death!  [She looks for a while at the black Angel in awe-stricken silence.]  Must it be, then?  40
  Sister—It is the entrance, Hannele.  41
  Hannele—Must every one pass through the entrance?  42
  Sister—Every one.  43
  Hannele—Will you grasp me hard, Death?—He is silent. He makes no answer, mother, to anything I say.  44
  Sister—The words of God are loud within you.  45
  Hannele—I have often longed for you from the depths of my heart; but now I am afraid.  46
  Sister—Make you ready.  47
  Hannele—To die?  48
  Sister—Yes.  49
  Hannele  [after a pause, timidly]—Must I lie in the coffin in these rags and tatters?  50
  Sister—God will clothe you.  51
She produces a small silver bell and rings it.  Immediately there appears, moving noiselessly—as do all the succeeding apparitions—a little humpbacked Village Tailor, carrying over his arm a bridal gown, veil, and wreath, and in his hands a pair of glass slippers.  He has a comical, halting gait.  He bows in silence to the Angel, then to the Sister, and last and lowest to Hannele.
  The Tailor  [with a profusion of bows]—Mistress Johanna Katharina Mattern  [he clears his throat], his Serene Highness your most gracious Father has condescended to order your bridal dress of me.
  52
  Sister  [takes the gown from the Tailor and begins to dress Hannele]—Come, I will put it on for you.  53
  Hannele  [in joyful excitement]—Oh, how it rustles!  54
  Sister—White silk, Hannele.  55
  Hannele  [looking down in rapture at the gown]—Won’t people be astonished to see me so beautifully dressed in my coffin?  56
  Tailor—Mistress Johanna Katharina Mattern  [clears his throat],  the whole village is talking of nothing but  [clears his throat]  what good fortune death is bringing you, Mistress Hanna  [clears his throat].  His Serene Highness  [clears his throat]  your most gracious Father  [clears his throat]  has been to the Overseer.  57
  Sister  [placing the wreath on Hannele’s head]—Now bend thy head, thou bride of Heaven.  58
  Hannele  [quivering with childish joy]—Do you know, Sister Martha, I’m looking forward so to death.  [All of a sudden she looks dubiously at the Sister.]  It is you, isn’t it?  59
  Sister—Yes.  60
  Hannele—You are really Sister Martha? Oh, no! you are my mother!  61
  Sister—Yes.  62
  Hannele—Are you both?  63
  Sister—The children of heaven are as one in God.  64
  Tailor—If I might be permitted, Princess Hannele!  [Kneeling before her with the slippers.]  These are the tiniest little slippers in the land. They have all too large feet—Hedwig, and Agnes, and Lisa, and Martha, and Minna, and Anna, and Kate, and Greta.  [He has put the slippers on her feet.]  They fit, they fit! The bride is found; Mistress Hannele has the smallest feet. When you have any further orders— Your servant, your servant!  [Goes off, bowing profusely.]  65
  Hannele—I can scarcely bear to wait, little mother.  66
  Sister—Now you need not take any more medicine.  67
  Hannele—No.  68
  Sister—Now you’ll soon be as fresh and sound as a mountain trout, Hannele! Come now, and lay you down on your death-bed.  69
[She takes Hannele’s hand and leads her gently to the bed, on which Hannele lies down.]
  Hannele—At last I shall know what it is to die.
  70
  Sister—Yes, you will, Hannele.  71
  Hannele  [lying on her back with her hands as if they were holding a flower]—I have a pledge.  72
  Sister—Press it close to your breast.  73
  Hannele  [with a renewal of dread, looking shrinkingly towards the Angel]—Must it be, then?  74
  Sister—It must.  75
[From the far distance are heard the strains of a funeral march.]
  Hannele  [listening]—Now they’re playing for the burial—Meister Seyfried and the musicians.  [The Angel rises.]  Now he stands up.  [The storm without has increased.  The Angel moves slowly and solemnly towards Hannele.]  Now he is coming to me. O Sister! mother! I can’t see you! Where are you?  [To the Angel, imploringly.]  Quick, quick, thou dumb black spirit!  [As though groaning under an insupportable weight.]  It is crushing me—crushing me—like a—like a stone.  [The Angel slowly raises his great sword.]  He’s going to—going to—destroy me utterly.  [In an agony of terror.]  Help! help, Sister!
  76
  Sister  [interposing with dignity between the Angel and Hannele, and laying both her hands in an attitude of protection upon Hannele’s heart, speaking loftily, solemnly, and with authority]—He dare not! I lay my consecrated hands upon thy heart!  77
The Black Angel disappears.  Silence.  The Sister folds her hands and looks down upon Hannele with a gentle smile: then she becomes absorbed in thought, and moves her lips in silent prayer.  The strains of the funeral march have in the mean time continued without interruption.  A sound as of many lightly pattering feet is heard.  Presently the figure of the schoolmaster Gottwald appears in the middle doorway.  The funeral march ceases.  Gottwald is dressed in black as though for a funeral, and carries in his hand a bunch of beautiful lilies of the valley.  He has reverently taken off his hat, and while still on the threshold turns to those who follow him, with a gesture commanding silence.  Behind him appear his School-Children—boys and girls in their best clothes.  In obedience to his gesture they stop their whispering and remain quite silent.  They do not venture to cross the threshold.  With solemn mien Gottwald now approaches the Sister, who is still praying.
  Gottwald  [in a low voice]—Good-day, Sister Martha!
  78
  Sister—Mr. Gottwald, God’s greeting to you!  79
  Gottwald  [looking at Hannele, shakes his head sadly and pityingly]—Poor little thing!  80
  Sister—Why are you so sad, Mr. Gottwald?  81
  Gottwald—Because she is dead.  82
  Sister—We will not grieve for that; she has found peace, and for her sake I am glad.  83
  Gottwald  [sighing]—Yes, it is well with her. Now she is free from all trouble and sorrow.  84
  Sister  [sunk in contemplation]—How beautiful she looks as she lies there.  85
  Gottwald—Yes, beautiful. Now that you are dead, you bloom forth in all your loveliness!  86
  Sister—God has made her so beautiful because she had faith in him.  87
  Gottwald—Yes, she had faith and she was good.  [He heaves a deep sigh, opens his hymn-book and looks sadly into it.]  88
  Sister  [also looking into the hymn-book]—We must not mourn. We must be still and patient.  89
  Gottwald—Ah, my heart is heavy.  90
  Sister—Because she is set free?  91
  Gottwald—Because my two flowers are withered.  92
  Sister—What flowers?  93
  Gottwald—Two violets here in my book. They are the dead eyes of my dear Hannele.  94
  Sister—In God’s heaven they will bloom again far more sweetly!  95
  Gottwald—O God! how much longer will our pilgrimage last through this vale of darkness and of tears?  [With a sudden change, briskly and busily, producing sheets of music.]  What do you think? I thought we might begin, here in the house, by singing the hymn ‘Jesus, oh, I trust in thee.’  96
  Sister—Yes, that is a beautiful hymn; and Hannele Mattern’s heart was full of faith.  97
  Gottwald—And then out in the church-yard we will sing ‘Set me free.’  [He turns, goes to the school-children, and says:]  Number 62, ‘Set me free.’  [He intones softly, beating time:]
  “Set me free, oh, set me free,
    That I may Jesus see.”
[The children have joined in softly.]  Children, are you all warmly dressed? It will be very cold out in the church-yard. Come in for a moment. Look at poor little Hannele once more.  [The children crowd in and range themselves solemnly round the bed.]  Just see how beautiful Death has made the poor little girl! She was huddled in rags; now she wears silken raiment. She ran about barefoot; now she has glass slippers on her feet. Soon she will dwell in a golden palace and eat roast meat every day. Here she lived on cold potatoes, and often she had not enough of them. Here you always called her the beggar princess; now she will soon be a princess in very deed. So if any of you have anything that you want to beg her pardon for, do it now, or she will tell the dear God all about it, and then it will go ill with you.
  98
  A Little Boy  [stepping forward]—Dear Princess Hannele, don’t be angry with me, and don’t tell the dear God that I always called you the beggar princess.  99
  All the Children  [in a confused murmur]—We are all so very, very sorry!  100
  Gottwald—So! Now poor Hannele has already forgiven you. Now go into the other room and wait for me there.  101
  Sister—Come, I’ll take you into the back room, and there I’ll tell you what you must do if you want to become beautiful angels, as beautiful as Hannele will soon be.  [She leads the way; the children follow her; the door is closed.]  102
  Gottwald  [now alone with Hannele.  He lays the flowers at her feet, with emotion]—Hannele dear, here I’ve brought you another bunch of beautiful lilies of the valley.  [Kneeling by her bed with trembling voice.]  Don’t quite, quite forget me in your glory!  [He sobs, with his face buried in the folds of her dress.]  It breaks my heart to part from you.  103
[Voices are heard; Gottwald rises and covers Hannele with a sheet.  Two old women, dressed for a funeral, with handkerchiefs and gilt-edged hymn-books in their hands, enter softly.]
  First Woman  [looking around]—I suppose we’re the first.
  104
  Second Woman—No, the schoolmaster is here already. Good-day, Mr. Gottwald.  105
  Gottwald—Good-day.  106
  First Woman—Ah, this’ll be a sore trouble to you, Mr. Gottwald! She was such a good pupil to you; always industrious, always busy.  107
  Second Woman—Is it true what people are saying? Surely it can’t be true: they say she took her own life.  108
  A Third Woman  [who has entered]—That would be a sin against the Holy Spirit.  109
  Second Woman—A sin against the Holy Ghost.  110
  Third Woman—And the pastor says such a sin can never be forgiven.  111
  Gottwald—Have you forgotten what the Savior said?—“Suffer the little children to come unto me.”  112
  A Fourth Woman  [who has entered]—O good people, good people, what weather! It’s enough to freeze the feet off you! I only hope the pastor won’t be too long about it. The snow is lying a yard deep in the church-yard.  113
  A Fifth Woman  [entering]—The pastor is not going to bury her, good people! He’s going to refuse her consecrated ground.  114
  Pleschke  [also appearing]—Have you heard? have you heard? A grand gentleman has been to see the pastor—has been to see the pastor—and has told him—yes, told him that Hannla Mattern is a blessed saint.  115
  Hanke  [entering hastily]—Do you know what they are bringing? a crystal coffin!  116
  Several Voices—A crystal coffin!—A crystal coffin!  117
  Hanke—O Lord! It must have cost a pretty penny!  118
  Several Voices—A crystal coffin!—A crystal coffin!  119
  Seidel  [who has appeared]—We’re going to see fine things, that we are! An angel has passed right through the village, as tall as a poplar-tree, if you’ll believe me. And two others are sitting by the smithy pond; but they’re small, like little children. The girl was more than a beggar-girl.  120
  Several Voices—The girl was more than a beggar-girl.—They’re bringing a crystal coffin.—An angel has passed through the village.  121
Four white-robed Youths carry in a crystal coffin, which they set down near Hannele’s bed.  The mourners whisper to each other, full of curiosity and astonishment.
  Gottwald  [raising the sheet a little from Hannele’s face]—Look at the dead child too.
  122
  First Woman  [peering curiously under the sheet]—Why, her hair is like gold.  123
  Gottwald  [drawing the cloth right away from Hannele, who is illumined with a pale light]—And she has silken garments and glass slippers.  [All shrink back as though dazzled, with exclamations of the utmost surprise.]  124
  Several Voices—Ah, how beautiful she is!—Who can it be?—Who can it be?—Little Hannla Mattern?—Hannla Mattern?—No, I don’t believe it!  125
  Pleschke—The girl—the girl—is a—a saint.  126
[The four youths with tender care lay Hannele in the crystal coffin.]
  Hanke—They say she isn’t to be buried at all.
  127
  First Woman—Her coffin is to be set up in the church.  128
  Second Woman—I believe the girl isn’t really dead. She looks as alive as ever she can be.  129
  Pleschke—Just give me—just give me—a down feather. Well try—we’ll try—holding a down feather to her mouth,—yes, and we’ll see—and we’ll see if she’s still—if she’s still breathing,—we will.  [They give him a down feather and he holds it to Hannele’s mouth.]  It doesn’t stir. The girl is dead! She hasn’t a breath of life in her!  130
  Third Woman—I’ll give her my bunch of rosemary.  [She lays it in the coffin.]  131
  Fourth Woman—She can take my bit of lavender with her too.  132
  Fifth Woman—But where is Mattern?  133
  First Woman—Yes, where is Mattern?  134
  Second Woman—Oh, he! he’s sitting over there in the alehouse.  135
  First Woman—Most like he doesn’t know a word of what has happened.  136
  Second Woman—He cares for nothing so long as he has his dram. He knows nothing about it.  137
  Pleschke—Haven’t you—haven’t you told him then—told him—that there’s death—in his house?  138
  Third Woman—He might know that without any telling.  139
  Fourth Woman—I don’t say anything, Heaven forbid! But every one knows who has killed the girl.  140
  Seidel—You’re right there! The whole village, as you might say, knows that. There’s a lump on her as big as my fist.  141
  Fifth Woman—No grass grows where that fellow sets his feet.  142
  Seidel—I was there when they changed her wet clothes, and I saw it as plain as I see you. She has a lump on her as big as my fist—and that’s what has killed her.  143
  First Woman—It’s Mattern must answer for her, and no one else.  144
  All  [speaking all at once and vehemently, but in a whisper]—No one else, no one else.  145
  Second Woman—He’s a murderer, he is.  146
  All  [full of fury, but in a low tone]—A murderer, a murderer!  147
[The harsh voice of the tipsy Mattern is heard:]
  “A con—science from all trou—ble free,
What so—ofter pil—low can there be?”
  148
[He appears in the doorway and shouts:]
  Hannele! Hannele! You brat! where are you hiding?  [He staggers in, leaning against the door-jamb.]  I’ll count up to five, and I’ll wait not a moment longer. One, two— Three and one are— I tell you, my girl, you’d better not make me wild. If I have to search for you and find you, you hussy, I’ll pound you to a jelly, I will!  [Starts as he notices the others who are present, and who remain as still as death.]  What do you want here?  [No answer.]  How do you come here? Was it the Devil sent you, eh? Just clear out of this, now! Well, are you going to stop all night?  [He laughs to himself.]  Wait a minute— I know what it is. It’s nothing but that. I have a little too much in my noddle— That’s what brings ’em.  [He sings:]
  “A con—science from all trou—ouble free,
What so—ofter pil—low can there be?”
[Starts in fear.]  Are you still there?  [In a sudden outburst of fury, looking around for something to attack them with.]  I’ll take the first thing that comes handy—
  149
A Man has entered, wearing a threadbare brown cloak.  He is about thirty, has long black hair, and a pale face with the features of the schoolmaster Gottwald.  He has a slouch hat in his left hand and sandals on his feet.  He appears weary and travel-stained.  He touches Mattern lightly on the arm, interrupting his speech.  Mattern turns sharply round.  The stranger looks him straight in the face, gravely and quietly, and says humbly:
  150
  Stranger—Mattern, God’s greeting to you!  151
  Mattern—How have you come here? What do you want?  152
  Stranger  [in a tone of humble entreaty]—I have walked till my feet are bleeding; give me water to wash them. The hot sun has parched me; give me wine to drink, and to refresh me. I have not broken bread since I set forth in the morning; I am hungry.  153
  Mattern—What’s that to me? What brings you tramping round here? Go and work. I have to work too.  154
  Stranger—I am a workman.  155
  Mattern—You’re a tramp, that’s what you are. A workman need not go about begging.  156
  Stranger—I am a workman without wages.  157
  Mattern—You’re a tramp, you are.  158
  Stranger  [diffidently, submissively, but at the same time impressively]—I am a physician. It may be that you have need of me.  159
  Mattern—I’m all right; I don’t need any doctor.  160
  Stranger  [his voice trembling with inward emotion]—Mattern, bethink you! You need give me no water, and yet I will heal you. You may give me no bread to eat, and yet, God helping me, I will make you whole.  161
  Mattern—You get out of this! Go about your business. I have sound bones in my body; I need no doctor: do you understand?  162
  Stranger—Mattern, bethink you! I will wash your feet for you; I will give you wine to drink; you shall eat white bread; tread me under foot, and yet, God helping me, I will make you whole and sound.  163
  Mattern—Now, will you go or will you not? If you won’t get out of this, I tell you I’ll—  164
  Stranger  [in a tone of earnest admonition]—Mattern, do you know what you have in your house?  165
  Mattern—All that belongs there; all that belongs there; all that belongs there: you don’t belong there. Just get out, now!  166
  Stranger  [simply]—Your daughter is ill.  167
  Mattern—Her illness doesn’t need any doctor. It’s nothing but laziness, her illness isn’t. I can knock that out of her without your help.  168
  Stranger  [solemnly]—Mattern, I come as a messenger to you.  169
  Mattern—As a messenger, eh? Who from?  170
  Stranger—I come from the Father, and I go to the Father. What have you done with his child?  171
  Mattern—How am I to know what’s become of her? What have I to do with his children? He’s never troubled about her, he hasn’t.  172
  Stranger  [firmly]—You have death in your house.  173
  Mattern  [now notices Hannele lying there; goes in speechless astonishment up to the coffin, and looks into it; then murmurs:]  Where have you got the beautiful clothes? Who has bought you the crystal coffin?  174
[The mourners whisper to each other vehemently but softly.  The word “Murderer!” is heard again and again, uttered in a threatening tone.]
  Mattern  [softly, trembling]—I’ve never ill-used you; I’ve clothed you; I’ve fed you.  [Turning insolently upon the Stranger.]  What do you want with me? What have I to do with all this?
  175
  Stranger—Mattern, have you anything to say to me?  176
[The muttering among the mourners becomes ever more vehement and angry, and the word “Murderer!” becomes more frequently audible.]
  Stranger—Have you nothing to reproach yourself with? Have you never torn her from her bed by night? Has she never fallen as though dead under your blows?
  177
  Mattern  [beside himself with rage]—Strike me dead if she has—here, on the spot! Heaven’s lightning blast me if I’ve been to blame!  178
[A flash of pale-blue lightning, and distant thunder.]
  All  [speaking together]—There’s a thunder-storm coming! Right in the middle of winter!—He’s perjured himself!—The child-murderer has perjured himself!
  179
  Stranger  [impressively but kindly]—Have you still nothing to say to me, Mattern?  180
  Mattern  [in pitiable terror]—Who loves his child chastens it. I’ve done nothing but good to the girl. I’ve kept her as my child. I’ve a right to punish her when she does wrong.  181
  The Women  [advancing threateningly towards him]—Murderer! Murderer! Murderer!  182
  Mattern—She’s lied to me and cheated me. She has robbed me day by day.  183
  Stranger—Are you speaking the truth?  184
  Mattern—God strike me—  185
[At this moment a cowslip, “the Key-of-Heaven,” is seen in Hannele’s folded hands, emitting a yellow-green radiance.  Mattern stares at it as though out of his senses, trembling all over.]
  Stranger—Mattern, you are lying!
  186
  All  [in the greatest excitement]—A miracle! a miracle!  187
  Pleschke—The girl—the girl—is a—a saint. He has—he has—sworn away—body—body and soul.  188
  Mattern  [shrieks]—I’ll go and hang myself!  [Clasps his head between his hands and rushes off.]  189
  Stranger  [goes up to Hannele’s coffin, and turns so as to face the others, who all draw back reverently from the Figure which now stands in full majesty, addressing them]—Fear nothing.  [He bends down and takes hold of Hannele’s hand.  He speaks with the deepest tenderness.]  The maiden is not dead, but sleepeth.  [With intensity and assured power.]  Johanna Mattern, arise!  190
[A gold-green radiance fills the room.  Hannele opens her eyes, and raises herself by aid of the Stranger’s hand, but without daring to look in his face.  She steps out of the coffin, and at once sinks to the ground at the feet of the Awakener.  Terror seizes upon all the others, and they flee.  The Stranger and Hannele remain alone.  The brown mantle has slipped from his shoulders, and he stands in a golden-white robe.]
  Stranger  [tenderly]—Hannele!
  191
  Hannele  [in an ecstasy, her head bowed as low as possible]—He is there.  192
  Stranger—Who am I?  193
  Hannele—Thou!  194
  Stranger—Name my name.  195
  Hannele  [whispers, trembling with awe]—Holy! holy!  196
  Stranger—I know all thy sorrows and thy sufferings.  197
  Hannele—Thou dear, dear—  198
  Stranger—Arise.  199
  Hannele—Thy robe is spotless. I am full of stains.  200
  Stranger  [laying his right hand on Hannele’s head]—Thus I take away all baseness from thee.  [Raising her face toward him with gentle force, he touches her eyes.]  Behold, I bestow on thine eyes eternal light. Let them be filled with the light of countless suns; with the light of endless day, from morning-glow to evening-glow, from evening-glow to morning-glow. Let them be filled with the brightness of all that shines: blue sea, blue sky, and the green plains of eternity.  [He touches her ear.]  Behold, I give to thine ear to hear all the rejoicing of all the millions of angels in the million heavens of God.  [He touches her lips.]  Behold, I set free thy stammering tongue, and lay upon it thy soul, and my soul, and the soul of God in the highest.  201
[Hannele, her whole body trembling, attempts to rise.  As though weighed down by an infinite burden of rapture, she cannot do so.  In a storm of sobs and tears, she buries her head on the Stranger’s breast.]
  Stranger—With these tears I wash from thy soul all the dust and anguish of the world. I will exalt thy feet above the stars of God.
  202
To soft music, and stroking Hannele’s hair with his hand, the Stranger speaks as follows.  As he is speaking Angelic Forms appear in the doorway, great and small, youths and maidens; they pause diffidently, then venture in, swinging censers and decorating the chamber with hangings and wreaths.

  The City of the Blessèd is marvelously fair,
And peace and utter happiness are never-ending there.
[Harps, at first played softly, gradually ring out loud and clear.]
The houses are of marble, the roofs of gold so fine,
And down their silver channels bubble brooks of ruby wine.
The streets that shine so white, so white, are all bestrewn with flowers,
And endless peals of wedding bells ring out from all the towers.
The pinnacles, as green as May, gleam in the morning light,
Beset with flickering butterflies, with rose-wreaths decked and dight.
Twelve milk-white swans fly round them in mazy circles wide,
And preen themselves, and ruffle up their plumage in their pride.
They soar aloft so bravely through the shining heavenly air,
With fragrance all a-quiver and with golden trumpet-blare;
In circle-sweeps majestical forever they are winging,
And the pulsing of their pinions is like harp-strings softly ringing.
They look abroad o’er Sion, on garden and on sea,
And green and filmy streamers behind them flutter free.
And underneath them wander, throughout the heavenly land,
The people in their feast array, forever hand in hand;
And then into the wide, wide sea filled with the red, red wine,
Behold! they plunge their bodies with glory all a-shine—
They plunge their shining bodies into the gleaming sea,
Till in the deep clear purple they’re swallowed utterly;
And when again they leap aloft rejoicing from the flood,
Their sins have all been washed away in Jesus’s blessèd blood.
  203
 
 
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