Free: The Parsifal Libretto Retold As Epic Poem - Oliver Huckel

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 3 October 2014 | 5:59:00 pm


PARSIFAL: A DRAMA BY WAGNER
RETOLD BY OLIVER HUCKEL

Oliver Huckel's poetic rendition in English of the libretto of Richard Wagner's opera 'Parsifal'. This book was originally published in 1903 by T.Y. Crowell & Co. The original illustrations by Franz Stassen as reproduced below - along with the opening of the poem.


THE COMING OF PARSIFAL

Within a noble stretch of mountain woods,
Primeval forest, deep and dark and grand,
There rose a glorious castle towering high,—
And at its foot a smiling, shimmering lake
Lay in the still lap of a verdant glade.
'T was daybreak, and the arrows of the dawn
Were shot in golden glory through the trees,
And from the castle came a trumpet blast
To waken life in all the slumbering host,—
Warriors and yeomen in the castle halls.


And at the trumpet Gurnemanz rose up,—
Ancient and faithful servant of the Grail,—
Who sleeping lay under a spreading oak,
And called aloud to two youths sleeping yet:
"Hey! ho! ye foresters, loving the woods,
Loving your sleep as well. Wake with the day!
Hear ye the trumpet! Come, let us thank God
That we have power to hear the call of life,
And power to answer as the duty calls!"
And up they started, knelt in prayer with him,
And offered unto God their morning praise.


Then Gurnemanz: "Up now, my gallant youths,
Prepare the royal bath, and wait the King!…
Behold, his litter now is coming forth,
I see the heralds coming on before….
Hail, royal heralds! Hail and welcome both!
How fares my Lord Amfortas' health to-day?
I hope his early coming to the bath
Doth presage nothing worse. I fain had thought
The healing herb that Sir Gawain had found
With wisest skill and bravest deed might bring