Norma Libretto
English Translation

Cast:
POLLIONE (Tenor)
OROVESO (Bass)
NORMA (Soprano)
ADALGISA (Soprano)
CLOTILDE (Mezzo Soprano)
FLAVIO (Tenor)
TWO CHILDRERN, sons of Norma and Pollione (silent roles)

CHORUS
druids, bards, eubages, priestesses, virgins, warriors, soldiers


Overture

ACT ONE

SACRED FOREST OF THE DRUIDS

SCENE I

OROVESO
To the hills, o Druids,
To watch over the Heavens;
When the new moon reveals
Her silver disk,
With the first smile
Of her virgin face...
Let the mystic priestly gong
Sound its triple signal....

DRUIDS
Will Norma come
To cut the sacred mistletoe?

OROVESO
She will.
Yes she will. Yes. Yes.

DRUIDS
Will Norma come?

OROVESO and CHORUS of DRUIDS
Inspire her, O terrible God,
With Thy prophetic spirit;
Inspire her, O Irminsul,
With hate and anger against the Romans,
That this peace, fatal to us,
May be broken, yes.

OROVESO
Yes, God will speak in anger,
From these ancient oaks;
He will free this land
Of the hated Roman eagles.
The sound of his mighty shield,
Like the crash of thunder,

OROVESO and CHORUS of DRUIDS
In the cities of Caesar,
Shall echo at last...

ALL
O moon, hasten, rise!
Norma will come to the altar...

SCENE II

POLLIONE
The voices have died away. The path
Now is free through the awful wood.

FLAVIO
In this forest lurks Death.
Norma told you so.

POLLIONE
You have spoken a name
Which chills my heart.

FLAVIO
What are you saying? Your beloved,
The mother of your children!

POLLIONE
There is no reproach
Which you can make me that I do not
Already feel. But in my heart
The flame is dead - extinguished by a God
Who is the foe of my peace. At my feet
I see the abyss, and therein I cast myself.

FLAVIO
Do you love another?

POLLIONE
Speak softly!
Ah yes, another ? Adalgisa!
You will see her ?
Innocent and laughing with sweetness
And love. She is a priestess in the temple
Of this blood?maddened God ? yet she seems
Like starlight in a troubled sky.

FLAVIO
My wretched friend! And does she
Love you as you do her?

POLLIONE
I am sure she does.

FLAVIO
Do you not fear
The wrath of Norma?

POLLIONE
It will be terrible,
As my remorse already shows me.
In a dream ?

FLAVIO
Tell me.

POLLIONE
Even recalling it, I tremble!
Adalgisa was with me, in Rome,
At the altar of Venus,
Dressed in pure white
With flowers in her hair.
As she heard the hymns of Hymen
And breathed the holy incense,
Her senses were enraptured
With the joy of love...
Suddenly between us there descended
A horrible shadow,
And the great Druidic mantle
Enfolded her like smoke.
Lightning flashed on the altar,
And the day was veiled in darkness.
Silently, all around,
Rose a tomb?like horror.
The beloved maiden
as no longer at my side.
From afar I heard a sob,
Mingled with the weeping of my children.
Then a monstrous voice
Echoed through the temple, saying:
This is the vengeance of Norma
Upon her faithless lover!

FLAVIO
Do you hear it? Norma is coming now
From the temple to perform her rites.

VOICES
distant
The moon has risen, o Druids!
Let none stay here, unless he believe.

FLAVIO
Come...

POLLIONE
Let me be.

FLAVIO
Listen to me.

POLLIONE
Barbarians!...

FLAVIO
Let us go....

POLLIONE
I shall defeat their plans!

FLAVIO
Come, let us go.
Here they will find you!

POLLIONE
The barbarians are plotting against me,
But I shall defeat their plans.

FLAVIO
Oh, come let us go.
If found here we are both lost.

POLLIONE
A Power greater than they
Protects me, defends me.
It is the thought of her,
It is Love itself, which inflames me!
I shall burn the evil forest
Of that god who would
Take her from me,
And I shall destroy his blasphemous altars!...


SCENE III

CHORUS
Norma comes now, her hair
Girt with the mystic verbena;
In her hand, shining like the crescent moon,
Gleams the golden sickle.
She comes: and the star of Rome
Veils itself in terror;
Irminsul courses the fields of heaven.
Like a comet, the prophet of doom.


SCENE IV

NORMA
Are there those who dare
To raise seditious voices,
Warlike voices, before the altar of God?
Who dares to question my inspired words,
Seeking to hasten the ordained fate of Rome?
That will not come through human efforts.

OROVESO
How long, then, must we remain oppressed
By Rome? Have not the Roman eagles
Sullied enough our native shores,
Our ancestral temples? Brenno's sword
Can remain no longer idle.

ALL
Let that sword, for once, be brandished!

NORMA
And broken,
If one of you should draw it
Before the destined time. Not yet
Is the moment of our vengeance.
The Roman spears are still
Stronger than the Druids axes.

ALL
What command has God given you?
What prophecy?

NORMA
In the secret books of Heaven,
On a mortal page, I read
The name of proud Rome.
One day she shall die; but not at your hands.
She will die, consumed
By her own vices, Await that hour,
That fatal hour decreed by God.
And meanwhile, peace! I cut the sacred mistletoe.

NORMA and PRIESTESSES
Chaste goddess, who dost bathe in silver light
These ancient, hallowed trees,
Turn thy fair face upon us,
Unveiled and unclouded...
Temper thou the burning hearts,
The excessive zeal of thy people.
Enfold the earth in that sweet peace
Which, through Thee, reigns in heaven....

NORMA
The holy rites are ended.
From the sacred wood
Let every unbeliever go.
When God, in his dark anger,
Shall demand the Romans' blood,
Then from the Druid temple
My voice will thunder forth.

ALL
Let it thunder, and not one of the cursed race
Shall escape the holy slaughter.
And first to fall before our wrath
Shall be the Proconsul of Rome.

NORMA
Yes, he shall fall. I can punish him -
(But my heart can never do it.
Ah! bring back to me
The beauty of our first love.
Then, against the world itself
I shall be your defense.
Ah! Bring back to me
The peace and warmth of love,
And in that love I shall find again
Life, fatherland and heaven itself!)

CHORUS
But a wrathful god is hastening
To condemn the power of Rome.

NORMA
(Ah, be once more as you were
When first I gave my heart to you!)

CHORUS
But the wrathfuI day is near,
Which will condemn the power of Rome.


SCENE V

ADALGISA
The rite is finished, the sacred wood
Is empty.
Now I can sigh, unseen
At last, here where first he came to me,
My fatal Roman whose love
Made me a traitor to my vows, my God.
Had that first time been the last!
A vain desire - for I am powerless
Before that force. My heart feeds
On the sight of him, and the breeze
Repeats to me his dear voice.
Ah, protect me, God, for I am lost -
Great God, take pity, for I am lost.


SCENE VI

POLLIONE
(There she is. Go, now: leave me.
I can no longer listen to reason.)

ADALGISA
You - you here?

POLLIONE
What is this?
Were you weeping?

ADALGISA
I was praying. Ah,
Leave me now; let me pray.

POLLIONE
You pray
To an atrocious god, foe of your desire,
And of mine. O beloved, your God
Should be the God of Love.

ADALGISA
Love! Ah, be silent.
I shall listen to you no more.

POLLIONE
You shun me? Where
Can you flee that I shall not find you?

ADALGISA
To the temple,
To the holy altar whose sworn bride I am.

POLLIONE
The altar? And our love?

ADALGISA
Ah, forgotten!

POLLIONE
Go, cruel woman, shed my blood
As offering to your heartless god;
All my blood may be spilt,
But I can never leave you,
No, no, I can never leave you.
You were but promised to your god:
Your heart you really gave to me.
Ah, you do not know what it would cost me,
Ever to have to renounce your love...

ADALGISA
And you, you do not know the pain
Which loving you has cost me.
Happy and innocent was I, destined
To the altar which I have profaned.
My thoughts rose up to heaven,
Into the very presence of God.
Now for me, guilty violator of my oath,
Both heaven and God are veiled from sight

POLLIONE
A purer heaven and holier gods
I offer you, in Rome. I am going there now.

ADALGISA
You are leaving?

POLLIONE
At dawn -

ADALGISA
You are leaving! - and l?

POLLIONE
You will come with me.
Love is more sacred than your rites ?
Yield to Love, ah, yield to me!

ADALGISA
Do not say it!

POLLIONE
I shall say it,
So many times that you will listen...

ADALGISA
Ah, leave me!

POLLIONE
No, yield,
Yield to me.

ADALGISA
Ah, I can not;
Just Heaven, protect me!

POLLIONE
Can you abandon me like this?
Abandon me like this, Adalgisa?
Come with me to Rome, O my love,
For there is love, and joy, and life;
We shall vie with each other
To know the greater joy in life.
Do you not hear a voice in your heart
Which promises eternal happiness?
Ah! Have faith in that sweet voice
And take me, as husband, to your heart!

ADALGISA
(Heavens! Thus I hear his voice
Always, everywhere, even in the temple -
His eyes, his face ? his image
I see even upon the altar.
He triumphs over my tears,
He conquers my sorrow.
God, take away from me this delight -
Or else forgive my sin.)

POLLIONE
Adalgisa!

ADALGISA
Have pity!
Spare me further pain!

POLLIONE
Adalgisa! You will not leave me?

ADALGISA
I? Oh no, I can not - I shall come.

POLLIONE
Here - tomorrow - at this same hour -
You will come?

ADALGISA
I promise you.

POLLIONE
Swear!

ADALGISA
I swear!

POLLIONE
Oh joy!
You will remember -

ADALGISA
I shall remember,
My God I shall renounce,
But to you I shall be always faithful.

POLLIONE
Your love gives me courage
And I shall dare to defy your god.

ADALGISA
But to you I shall be always faithful.


SCENE VII

NORMA
Go, now ? hide them both. I tremble
Tonight to embrace them.

CLOTILDE
What strange fear
Troubles you, that you send your children away?

NORMA
I do not know. Many passions
Torture my soul. I love and yet I hate
My children! I suffer when I see them,
I suffer when I do not,
I feel pain
Together with joy, as never before,
In being their mother.

CLOTILDE
Are you their mother?

NORMA
If only I were not!

CLOTILDE
What an evil strife!

NORMA
Which no one can imagine.
O Clotilde! Pollione has been
Recalled to Rome.

CLOTILDE
Are you leaving with him?

NORMA
He keeps
His thoughts a secret. Oh, if he tried to flee -
Leaving me here? If only I could forget
These sons of his!

CLOTILDE
Do you think he will?

NORMA
I dare not.
It is too much ?
Such a doubt is too horrible. Someone is coming.
Go ? hide them now!


SCENE VIII

NORMA
Adalgisa!

ADALGISA
(Glorious faith!)

NORMA
Come here, my child,
Come. Why are you trembling? They told me
You had a secret to tell me.

ADALGISA
Yes ? but oh, look upon me
Without this priestly austerity which shines
In your eyes. Give me courage, that I
May reveal my heart wholly to you.

NORMA
Come, embrace me
And speak. What is it?

ADALGISA
Love ?
Do not be angry - I fought long
To stifle it. It conquered all my strength,
All remorse. Ah! You do not know the oath
I swore just now! To flee from the temple,
To betray the altar to which I am sworn,
To leave my fatherland.

NORMA
Ah, unhappy girl!
The morning of your life
Is already clouded! How and when
Did this love come to you?

ADALGISA
At the first glance,
At the first sigh, in the sacred wood,
Before the altar, as I was praying.
I trembled ? my prayers fell mute
On my lips. Lost in beholding
His beauty, I seemed to find
A new heaven in his face.

NORMA
(Oh what memories! I too
Felt that when I first saw his face.)

ADALGISA
But you are not listening to me?

NORMA
Yes, go on.

ADALGISA
Secretly, alone at the temple
I often waited for him.
Every day the fire of love
Burned with a greater flame.

NORMA
(I too
Felt that: her enchantment is like mine.)

ADALGISA
"Come," he would say, "let me
Throw myself at your feet.
Let me breathe the breath
Of your sweet sighs,
Give me the curls
Of your hair to kiss."

NORMA
(Oh dear words!
So my lover spoke to me -
Opening the way to my heart.)

ADALGISA
His words were sweet to me
As the music of a harp;
In his eyes I thought to find
A new, a lovelier sun.

NORMA
(Her enchantment is like mine).

ADALGISA
I was lost, I still am lost.

NORMA
Ah, do not weep.

ADALGISA
I need your forgiveness.

NORMA
I shall have pity.

ADALGISA
Ah, you are my staff, my guide.

NORMA
Ah, do not weep.

ADALGISA
Comfort me or reproach me,
Save me from myself,
Save me from my own heart.

NORMA
Ah ' do not weep: you are not yet bound
To the altar by an eternal knot.

ADALGISA
Repeat, oh heaven, repeat
The joyous words:

NORMA
Yes ? take heart, embrace me.
I forgive you and weep for you.
From your vows I free you,
I break the sacred bonds.
You shall live happy, forever,
Close to the man you love...

ADALGISA
Repeat, oh heaven, repeat
The joyous words:
Through you is quieted
The terrible torment.
You have given me life again,
If my love is not a sin.

NORMA
You shall live happy, forever,
Close to the man you love.

NORMA
But tell me - the youth you love -
Which one of us is he?

ADALGISA
He is not a Gaul -
His country is Rome.

NORMA
Rome!
Who is he? Tell me -


SCENE IX

ADALGISA
You see him now.

NORMA
He - Pollione!

ADALGISA
Why are you angry?

NORMA
You say you love him?
Have I understood you?

ADALGISA
Ah yes!

POLLIONE
Wretched girl! What have you done?

ADALGISA
I -

NORMA
You are trembling! For whom!
For whom are you trembling?
Do not tremble, faithless man,
No, not for her -
She is not to blame,
The guilty one is you.
Tremble for yourself, traitor ?
For your children - for me -

ADALGISA
What are you saying? Ah! speak! Tell me!
You are silent. You draw back? - Alas!

NORMA
What a cruel, infamous deception
Has entrapped you!
It would have been far better
To die than ever to have known him.
The source of eternal tears,
He opened, too, to you;
The wretch betrayed your heart, as well.

ADALGISA
What a ghastly mystery
Is hidden in your words!
My heart quakes to ask you,
My heart fears to know the truth.
Heartbroken, now I understand
The full depth of my misfortune,
My boundless misery,
If he has so deceived me.

POLLIONE
Norma, do not wound me
With your scorn.
Let there be peace
For this troubled girl.
Hide from that pure soul
Our shame, as if with a veil.
Let Heaven alone be judge
Of whose is the greater fault.

NORMA
Traitor!

POLLIONE
Enough for now!

NORMA
Stop!

POLLIONE
Come!

ADALGISA
Leave me - go away -
You are a faithless husband.

POLLIONE
What I was, I have forgotten -

ADALGISA
Leave me!

POLLIONE
But now I am your lover.

ADALGISA
Go now, traitor!

POLLIONE
It is my fate to love you,
It is my fate to leave her....

NORMA
Accept your fate, then ? go!
Follow him!

ADALGISA
Ah no ? I should rather die.

NORMA
Leave me, yes, worthless man!
Forget your children, your promises, your honour.
Cursed by my disdain, you will find
No joy in your sinful love...
Over the seas, borne on the winds,
My burning hatred will pursue you.
Night and day my fury
Will rage around you...

POLLIONE
Hate me if you will. Let your fury
Invoke eternal anguish upon me!
The love which is now my master
Is greater than you or I.
No god could ever fashion
Greater suffering than mine.
Cursed was I that day
When fate gave me to you.

ADALGISA
Never allow that I may be
The cause of such pain in your heart.
Seas and mountains forever
Will divide me from the traitor.
I shall stifle my cries
And swallow my anguish;
I shall die to bring back
This cruel man to his children, to you.
ACT TWO

SCENE I

NORMA
They are both asleep. They will not see
The hand which strikes them. No remorse
O my heart;
They must not live. Anguish here ? in Rome,
Abuse far worse than anguish ?
Slaves of a stepmother. Ah no, never!
They must die. I cannot go nearer:
A chill seizes me, my hair
Stands with fright. To kill my children!
Tender babies, until now
The joy of my life ? they, in whose smile
I seemed to see Heaven's pardon,
Can I kill them? What guilt have they?
They are the children of Pollione:
That is their crime! For me, they have already died;
Let them die for him, too.
May his anguish be greater than any other.
Strike -
Ah no! They are my children, mine!
Oh, Clotilde! Come - quickly!


SCENE II
Enter Clotilde

NORMA
Bring Adalgisa to me.

CLOTILDE
She is nearby,
Walking alone, weeping and praying.

NORMA
Go ? let my sin be mended ? and then, to die.


SCENE III

ADALGISA
Were you calling me, Norma? How pale
And sad your face!

NORMA
The pallor of death
I must confess my shame to you. I ask
One thing, which you will do
If my present grief and my grief to come
Deserves pity.

ADALGISA
I promise to do anything.

NORMA
Swear!

ADALGISA
I swear!

NORMA
Then hear me. I have resolved
To cleanse this earth
Of my existence. I cannot take these poor children
With me: I entrust them to you.

ADALGISA
Oh Heaven!
To me?

NORMA
Take them to the Roman camp.
To him whom I dare not name.

ADALGISA
What are you asking?

NORMA
May he be
Less cruel a husband to you. I forgive him,
And now I shall die.

ADALGISA
Husband! No, never!

NORMA
For his children's sake, I beg you.
Ah, take them with you,
Succour them, protect them.
I do not ask for glory and Honours ?
That will be for your own sons.
I ask only that my children
Be not abandoned to wretchedness and slavery.
Remember that it was for you
That I was betrayed and cast aside!

ADALGISA
Norma, ah Norma! for me
You will always be a beloved mother.
Keep your children. May I never
Leave this land.

NORMA
You swore -

ADALGISA
Yes I swore ?
But only to do good for you.
Now I shall go to the Roman camp
And assail him with your laments.
The compassion you have stirred in me
Will speak out in sublime tones.
Do not despair ? you will see
Love and nature reawakened in him.
I am sure I know his heart ?
And Norma, there, shall reign again!...

NORMA
I should beg him? Ah no ? never.

ADALGISA
Norma ? do not resist.

NORMA
I no longer hear you ? go now, go!

ADALGISA
No, never!...

ADALGISA
See, o Norma, at your knees,
These dear, dear children.
Let pity for them move you,
If you feel no pity for yourself...

NORMA
Ah, why do you try to weaken me
With such soft feelings?
Such illusions, such hopes
Are not for one about to die...

ADALGISA
Relent, ah yield!

NORMA
Ah, leave me.
He loves you.

ADALGISA
And already he repents

NORMA
And you?

ADALGISA
I loved him ? now I feel
Nothing but friendship.

NORMA
Child ? what will you do?

ADALGISA
Return to you what is yours,
Or hide myself, with you, from God and man.

NORMA and ADALGISA
You have won ? embrace me.
I have found my friend again.
For the rest of my life
I shall always stay with you.
The earth is big enough
To shelter us both from love.
Together with you, courageously,
We shall fight outrageous Destiny,
As long as in our breasts
Our loving hearts shall beat...


SCENE IV

GALLIC WARRIORS ? CHORUS I
Has he gone?

CHORUS II
He is still in the camp.
To judge from the signs: the warlike chants,
The noise, the clang of arms,
The banners waving in the breeze.

ALL
Let us wait. This slight delay
Must not disturb us nor hold us back....
In silence let our hearts prepare
Fulfillment of our mighty task...


SCENE V

OROVESO
Warriors! I had hoped to come,
Bearer of better news.
The unselfish ardour,
The anger seething in your breasts,
I had hoped to second ? but God's will is different.

CHORUS
What! The hated Proconsul
Still does not leave our land?
He is not returning to Rome?

OROVESO
A fiercer, crueler Roman
Will succeed Pollione
In command.

CHORUS
Does Norma know this? Does she still
Speak to us of peace?

OROVESO
In vain
I studied Norma's thoughts.

CHORUS
What must we do now?

OROVESO
Submit
To Fate ? disband, without revealing
To anyone the failure of our plan.

CHORUS
Always to pretend?

OROVESO
Cruel law! I feel it too.
Ah! I too chafe beneath the Roman yoke
And long from battle.
But Heaven is against us.
We must pretend docility.

CHORUS
Yes ? pretence if pretence serves us,
But keep our anger burning in our breasts.

OROVESO
Let us keep our hatred covered
Until the Romans think it dead.
The day will come when it will blaze forth
To burn with a fiercer flame.

CHORUS
We shall pretend, for the pretence serves us...


SCENE VI

NORMA
He will return. Yes, I have faith
In Adalgisa. He will return, repentant,
Suppliant, my lover again. This thought
Cleaves the black cloud
Which weighted upon me, and the sun
Breaks through, bright as on the first day of love.
Clotilde!

CLOTILDE
O Norma! Be brave!

NORMA
What are you saying?

CLOTILDE
Alas!

NORMA
Speak!

CLOTILDE
It was in vain
That Agalgisa spoke to him and wept.

NORMA
Why did I trust her?
She left me and, made lovelier by her grief,
She went to him.
She betrayed me!

CLOTILDE
She is coming to the temple.
Sad and anguished, she begs
To offer up her vows.

NORMA
And he?

CLOTILDE
And he
Has sworn to carry her off,
Even from the altar of God,

NORMA
The traitor would go too far.
But my vengeance will strike first ?
And blood ? Roman blood ? shall flow like water!


SCENE VII

CHORUS
The sacred gong has sounded!

OROVESO and CHORUS
Norma, what has happened?
The shield of Irminsul has sounded.
What meaning does it have?

NORMA
War,
Plunder and death.

CHORUS
But only a few hours ago
Your lips bound us to peace.

NORMA
And now to anger -
To rage, to battle, to their death!
Raise your voices, o brave men,
In the hymn of battle!

ALL
To battle! to battle! In the forest of Gaul
Brave warriors outnumber the trees.
As hungry wolves fall upon the flock,
We shall strike at the soldiers of Rome.

Blood! Blood! The Gallic axes
Are bathed in the blood of the Roman...
Over the impure waters of the Liguri
It gushes with deathly sound.

Slaughter, extermination and vengeance
Already begin and will soon be fulfilled.
Like grain mowed down by the sickle,
The Roman legions shall fall.

With proud wings clipped with talons drawn,
Behold the mighty eagle on the ground!
And God will come on the rays of the sun
To behold the triumph of his men.

OROVESO
Will you not fulfil the rite now, o Norma?
Will you not tell us who the victim is to be?

NORMA
The victim
Will be here. The awful altar has never lacked its victims.
But what confusion!


SCENE VIII

CLOTILDE
Our temple has been desecrated
By a Roman: he has been captured
In the sacred cloister of the virgins.

ALL
A Roman?

NORMA
Who can it be?
If it were he?

ALL
They are bringing him here.


SCENE IX

NORMA
(It is he!)

OROVESO and CHORUS
It is Pollione!

NORMA
(Now I am avenged.)

OROVESO
Blasphemous enemy ? who led you
To violate the fearful threshold,
To challenge the wrath of Irminsul?

POLLIONE
Kill me!
But do not question me.

NORMA
It is I who must strike.
Make way.

POLLIONE
Whom do I see?
Norma!

NORMA
Yes, Norma.

ALL
Strike with the holy dagger,
Avenge our God!

NORMA
Yes, I shall strike.
Ah!

ALL
You tremble

NORMA
(Ah, I cannot!)

OROVESO
What is it? Why do you hesitate?

NORMA
(Can I feel pity now?)

CHORUS
Strike him!

NORMA
I must
Question him ? to know what accomplice,
What insidious priestess, spurred
This infidel to the worst of crimes.
Leave me for a moment.

OROVESO and CHORUS
(What is her plan?)

POLLIONE
(I am trembling.)


SCENE X

NORMA
At last you are in my hands.
No one else can break your bonds.
I can.

POLLIONE
But you must not.

NORMA
I shall.

POLLIONE
How can you?

NORMA
Listen to me:
For the sake of your God, your children,
You must swear that forever
You will avoid Adalgisa -
You will not take her from the altar -
Then I shall grant you life -
And I shall never see you again.
Swear it!

POLLIONE
No: I am not such a coward!

NORMA
Swear it, swear it!

POLLIONE
First I shall die.

NORMA
Do you not know
My fury is greater than yours?

POLLIONE
I am waiting for it to strike.

NORMA
Do you not know that I, with this dagger,
Your children -

POLLIONE
Oh God! What are you saying?

NORMA
Yes: I raised it over them -
See, see what I have become!
I did not strike ? but soon ? now ?
I shall commit the fearful excess,
Forgetting I am a mother.

POLLIONE
Cruel woman, it is into the father's breast
That you must plunge the dagger.
Give it rather to me.

NORMA
To you!

POLLIONE
Then I
Alone shall die.

NORMA
No ? all
The Romans, by the hundreds,
Shall be mown down, destroyed ?
And Adalgisa ?

POLLIONE
Alas!

NORMA
Having violated
Her vows -

POLLIONE
Yes, cruel woman?

NORMA
Adalgisa shall be punished;
She will die in the fire...

POLLIONE
Oh! Kill me, kill me,
But on her have pity...

NORMA
At last you are pleading? Too late ?
I'll strike your heart through hers...
Already, in your eyes, I feed upon
Your anguish for her death;
I can, at last I can make you
As unhappy as I myself am!...

POLLIONE
Be satisfied with my terror:
I am weeping at your feet...
Vent your fury on me,
But spare an innocent girl.
Let it suffice, for your vengeance,
That I kill myself now before you ....

NORMA
I'll strike your heart through hers ...
Already in your eyes I feed upon
Your anguish for her death!
I can, at last make you
As unhappy as I myself am!...

POLLIONE
Be satisfied with my terror!
Cruel one, vent your fury on me,
But spare an innocent girl!
Cruel woman!
Let it suffice, my tragedy,
That I kill myself before you.
Give me the dagger!

NORMA
How dare you?
Stand back.

POLLIONE
The dagger, the dagger!

NORMA
There!
Priests, come here now!


FINAL SCENE

NORMA
To appease your wrath,
I announce a new victim. A perjured
Priestess has broken her holy vows,
Has betrayed her nation and our fathers' gods.

ALL
A crime! Oh, what wrath! Tell us all.

NORMA
Yes ? but prepare meanwhile the pyre.

POLLIONE
Again I beseech you,
Norma ? have pity!

ALL
Who is she?

NORMA
Hear me! (Shall I,
So guilty, accuse her of my own sin?)

ALL
Speak: who is she?

POLLIONE
Do not tell them.

NORMA
It is I!

CHORUS
You, Norma!

NORMA
Yes, I. Build the pyre.

ALL
(I am frozen with horror!)

POLLIONE
(My heart fails me.)

ALL
You ? a traitress!

POLLIONE
Do not believe her.

NORMA
Norma does not lie.

OROVESO and CHORUS
Oh, what shame!

NORMA
The heart you betrayed,
The heart you lost,
See in this hour
What a heart it was.
In vain you sought
To flee from me;
Cruel Roman, at last
You are with me.
A god, a fate
Stronger than you,
Wills us together
In life and death.
On the same pyre
Which consumes me,
And in the earth,
I shall be with you.

POLLIONE
Too late, too late
I have known you -
Sublime woman,
What a heart it was.

NORMA
The heart you betrayed,
The heart you lost,
See in this hour
What a heart it was.

POLLIONE
With my remorse,
Love is reborn,
A madder,
More desperate love.
Let us die together,
Yes, let us die:
My last word will be
That I love you.
But you, in dying,
Must not hate me.
Before you die,
Forgive me.

ALL
Oh, be your true self again, reassure us:
An aged father beseeches you.
Say you were speaking false, it is not true.
That the words you spoke were wild.
The austere God who hears you now
Is silent and holds back his thunder.
This is a sign, the clearest sign,
That He will not punish,Ah no, that God will not punish you!

CHORUS
Norma, ah Norma, vindicate yourself!
You are silent? You scarcely heed us!

NORMA
Heavens! And my children?

POLLIONE
Poor children! What anguish!

NORMA
Our children?

POLLIONE
What anguish!

CHORUS
Norma ? are you guilty? Speak!

NORMA
Yes ?
Beyond any mortal power to say.

OROVESO and CHORUS
Sinner!

NORMA
Do you hear me?

OROVESO
Away!

NORMA
Ah, hear me!

OROVESO
What sorrow is mine!

NORMA
I am a mother.

OROVESO
Mother!

NORMA
Be calm ?
Clotilde has my children.
Take them - save them -
Together with her ? from the barbarians ?

OROVESO
No, now go ? leave me.

NORMA
Ah, father! One last request ?

OROVESO and CHORUS
Oh, what horror!

NORMA
Oh, do not let them be victims
Of my cruel mistake ?
Oh, do not cut them down
In the innocence of childhood.
Remember that I am your blood,
Have pity on my children.
Oh father, have pity,
Have pity on my children.
Father, oh father ?

OROVESO and CHORUS
My heart is oppressed!

NORMA
Love conquered me!

OROVESO and CHORUS
Love conquered, yes!

NORMA
Ah, forgive me, your tears have told me.
I ask no more ? I am happy,
And gladly I shall ascend the pyre!

CHORUS
She weeps! She prays ? but what hope has she?
Her prayers will be rejected.
Tear from her brow the sacred wreath,
Place upon her the veil of death!

POLLIONE
I ask no more of you!

NORMA
Father, ah father!

OROVESO
No more, wretched girl!

NORMA
You promise me?

OROVESO
I promise you, yes.

NORMA
Ah, you forgive me! Your tears have told me, etc.

OROVESO
Go, wretched child!

NORMA
Father ? goodbye!

POLLIONE
Your pyre, o Norma, is mine.
There beyond, purer, holier,
Begins eternal love!

OROVESO
Break forth, at last, o tears!
You are a father's right.

CHORUS
Go now to the pyre and may your sacrifice
Cleanse the altar and the temple,
O you who shall be cursed in death!

NORMA
You promise me?

OROVESO
I promise you, yes.

NORMA
Ah, you forgive me! Your tears have told me, etc.

OROVESO
Go, wretched child!

NORMA
Father ? goodbye!

POLLIONE
Your pyre, o Norma, is mine.
There beyond, purer, holier,
Begins eternal love!

OROVESO
Break forth, at last, o tears!
You are a father's right.

CHORUS
Go now to the pyre and may your sacrifice
Cleanse the altar and the temple,
O you who shall be cursed in death!