Les Pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) Libretto
English Translation

The Pearl Fishers


Prelude

ACT I

An arid and wild beach on the island of Ceylon.
There are a few huts made of bamboo and palmleaves; in the distance, on a rock overhanging the sea, the ruins of an old pagoda and the ocean sparkling under a dazzling sun. Some pearl fishers are busy setting up their tents while others are dancing and drinking to the sound of Hindu instruments.


Chorus

THE PEARL FISHERS
On the burning sand
where the blue sea sleeps
we set up our tents;
dance until evening,
black-eyed lasses
of the flowing tresses.
With your songs, drive away,
drive away the evil spirits.
nobly
This is our domain!
This is where Fate
brings us back every year
to defy Death!
Under the deep wave,
boldly diving,
we find the yellow pearl
hidden from other eyes.
It's ours, ours, ours!
On the burning sand, etc.


Scene and Chorus

Zurga walks in.

ZURGA
Friends, pray interrupt your dances and your games,
the time has come to choose a leader
who shall command, protect and defend us;
a leader beloved by all, watchful and brave.

THE PEARL FISHERS
The master whom we want
and choose as our king
is you, dear, dear Zurga!

ZURGA
Who? I?

THE PEARL FISHERS
Yes, yes, be our leader,
we accept your rule.
Friend, be our leader,
we accept your rule.

ZURGA
Do you swear to obey me?

THE PEARL FISHERS
Be our leader!

ZURGA
I alone shall be in power?

THE PEARL FISHERS
Be our king!

ZURGA
Very well, let it be so!

THE PEARL FISHERS
Be our leader,
you alone shall be in power,
be our leader and our king!

ZURGA
Let it be so, let it be so!

Nadir appears and comes down through the rocks.

THE PEARL FISHERS
Who is coming?

ZURGA
running up to Nadir
Nadir, Nadir, friend of my youth,
can this really be you?

THE PEARL FISHERS
It is Nadir, the hunter of the woods.

NADIR
Yes, Nadir, your former friend;
let my happiness revive among you, comrades!
I have probed into the darkness and mystery
of the savannahs and forests
where the hunters set up their nets,
of the savannahs and forests.
I have followed, with my knife between my teeth,
the wild tiger with his burning eyes
and the jaguar and the panther.
nobly
What I did yesterday, my friends,
you would do tomorrow, yes, tomorrow.
Comrades, let us shake hands!

THE PEARL FISHERS
Friends, friends, let
us shake his hand!

NADIR and ZURGA
Let us shake hands!


Recitative and Repeat

ZURGA
Stay with us, Nadir, and be one of us.

NADIR
Yes, henceforth, my wishes and pleasures will be yours.

ZURGA
Well then, come and join in our games!
Friend, drink with me, dance and sing with them.
to the others
Before they start diving,
let us greet the sun, the air and the vast ocean.

The dances start again.

THE PEARL FISHERS
On the burning sand, etc.


Recitative and Duet

ZURGA
So, I see you again at last.
After so many days, after so many months
which we spent far apart,
Brahma brings us together again, how happy we are!
But, tell me, have you faithfully kept your promise?
Do I now see a friend or a traitor?

NADIR
I have been able to overcome my deep love.

ZURGA
Let us forget the past and celebrate this sweet hour,
let us be brothers, let us remain friends for life;
my heart has banished its madness.

NADIR
Yes, you have found peace...
but oblivion will never come!

ZURGA
What are you saying?

NADIR
Zurga, when we both reach the age
in which the dreams of past days
have vanished from our souls,
you will remember our last journey
and our halt at the gates of Candi.

ZURGA
The evening had come!
Through the air, made tepid by the breeze,
the Brahmins, with their brows bathed in light,
were calling the crowd to prayers

NADIR
At the back of the holy temple,
decorated with flowers and gold,
a woman appears...
I can still see her.

ZURGA
A woman appears...
I can still see her.

NADIR
The prostrate crowd
looks at her amazed
and murmurs under its breath:
look, this is the goddess
looming up out of the shadow
and holding out her arms to us.

ZURGA
Her veil parts slightly;
what a vision, what a dream!
The crowd is kneeling.

TOGETHER
Yes, it is she, it is the goddess,
more charming and more beautiful;
yes, it is she, it is the goddess,
who has come down among us.
Her veil has parted,
and the crowd is kneeling.

NADIR
But through the crowd
she makes her way.

ZURGA
Already, her long veil
hides her face from us.

NADIR
My eyes, alas, seek her in vain.

ZURGA
She flees!

NADIR
She flees!
But what is this strange flame
which is suddenly kindled within my soul!

ZURGA
What unknown fire is destroying me!

NADIR
Your hand pushes mine away.

ZURGA
Your hand pushes mine away.

NADIR
Love takes our hearts by storm
and turns us into enemies.

ZURGA
No, let nothing part us!

NADIR
No, nothing!

ZURGA
Let us swear to remain friends!

NADIR
Let us swear to remain friends!

TOGETHER
Oh yes! Let us swear to remain friends!
We have seen her, she is the Godness
who today led you to me,
and from now I'll keep you my promise,
close as brothers we shall be!
Great Godness, Heaven descended,
she today has led you to me!
Now we shall tread one single path,
never again to part till death!


Recitative, Chorus and scene

ZURGA
What do I see?
A canoe is coming
aground nearby!
I was expecting it. O holy Brahma, be thanked!

NADIR
Whom were you expecting?

ZURGA
An unknown woman, as beautiful as she is wise,
whom the oldest of us, according to an ancient custom,
every year, go and fetch, far away from here!
A long veil conceals her face from us
and no-one must see her or come near her.
But while we are at work, standing on that rock,
she prays, and her chant, hovering above our heads,
keeps away evil spirits and protects us.
She is nigh, my friend, celebrate her coming with us!

Leila, her face hidden underneath a veil, enters followed by Nourabad.
Nadir, wrapped up in his own thoughts, is the only one who does not look at her.


THE PEARL FISHERS
Here she is, she is coming;
they are bringing her, here she is!


Chorus

CHORUS
Surrounding Leila and giving her flowers:
Be welcome,
unknown friend,
please accept our gifts.
Sing and let the wrath
of the storm be appeased,
friend, by your sweet tones.
Let the dismal troop
of water sprites
fly away at your voice!
Ah! come, let your chants drive away
the spirits of the water,
the fields and the woods.
Unknown friend,
accept our gifts,
be welcome.
Protect us!
Ah! watch over us!


Scene and Chorus

ZURGA
Alone amongst us, pure and unsoiled virgin,
do you promise to keep the veil that hides you?

LEILA
I promise!

ZURGA
Do you promise to remain true to your oath,
to pray, night and day, on the edge of the dark abyss?

LEILA
I promise!

ZURGA
To keep away with your chants the dark spirits of night,
to live friendless, without a husband or a lover?

LEILA
I promise!

ZURGA
If you remain loyal and obey my law,
we shall keep for you the finest pearl
and then the humble girl will be worthy of a king.
But if you betray us, if your soul weakens
before the accursed snares of love, woe unto you!

CHORUS
Woe unto you!

ZURGA
Your last day has come!

CHORUS
Woe unto you!

ZURGA
A grave yawns before you!

CHORUS
Woe unto you!

ZURGA
Death awaits you!

CHORUS
Yes!

NADIR
standing up and going towards Leila
Ah! terrible fate!

LEILA
aside as she recognizes Nadir
Ah! it is he!

ZURGA
grabbing Leila 's hand
What is wrong with you? Your hand shivers and trembles;
your heart is moved by a gloomy foreboding.
Well then, leave this shore where Fate has brought us together,
take back your freedom!

CHORUS
Speak! Answer!

LEILA
looking at Nadir
I shall stay!
forcefully
I shall stay, even though I should die here!
Let my fate follow its course, whether glorious or fatal,
I shall stay, my friends, my life is yours!

ZURGA
Very well, you shall remain veiled to all eyes,
you shall sing for us under the starry vault.
You have promised...

LEILA
I have promised.

ZURGA
You have promised!

LEILA
I have promised!

ZURGA and NOURABAD
You have promised!

CHORUS
Brahma, holy Brahma, may your hand protect us,
come and dispel the snares of the nightly spirits!
O holy Brahma we are all prostrate in front of you!
O Brahma, etc.

At Zurga 's word, Leila climbs up the path leading to the temple, followed by Nourabad; they soon disappear into the temple; the men go down to the seashore. Zurga joins Nadir, who has been gazing after Leila. Only once, has she turned round to look at him. Zurga holds out his hand to Nadir and goes away with a last group of pearl fishers. The light is gradually fading.


Recitative and Romance

NADIR
What a turmoil within my whole being, at the sound of her voice!
What mad hope is this! How could I think I had recognized?...
Alas, before my poor insane eyes, already,
this same vision has too often floated by.
No, no, this is remorse, fever, madness!
Zurga must know everything! I should have told him all!
Breaking my troth, I tried to see her again;
I discovered her trail and I followed her;
hidden in the night and sighing under my breath,
I listened to her sweet chants borne away into space...

I think I can still hear,
hidden under the palm-trees,
her tender and sonorous voice
singing like a dove's.
O bewitching night,
exquisite rapture,
O delightful memory,
mad elation, sweet dream!
Under the light of the stars
I can almost see her
slightly opening her long veils
to the tepid evening breeze.
O bewitching night, etc.

He lies down on a mat and goes to sleep.


Finale

CHORUS
in the distance
The sky is blue!
The sea is motionless and clear!
The sky is blue, the sky is blue!

Leila following Nourabad appears on the rock overhanging the sea.

NOURABAD
You shall remain standing on this lonely rock.

Some priests light a huge fire, Nourabad kindles the flames after drawing a magic circle in the air with the tip of his wand.

By the glow of the burning tire,
amid the fumes of incense
floating up to God,
sing, sing, we are listening to you!

NADIR
half-asleep
Farewell, sweet dream, farewell!

LEILA
standing on the rock
O holy Brahma,
O sovereign master of the world!

CHORUS
in the distance
O holy Brahma! O holy Brahma!

LEILA
O fair Siva,
O golden-haired queen!

CHORUS
as above
O fair Siva! O fair Siva!

LEILA
Air sprites and water sprites,
spirits of the rocks, fields and woods!

NADIR
awakening
Heavens! That voice again!

LEILA
Hear my voice, hear my voice!

CHORUS
Air sprites and water sprites,
spirits of the woods!

LEILA
In the cloudless sky,
studded with stars,
in the dead of night,
as transparent and pure
as in a dream,
bent towards the beach,
my eyes, yes,
my eyes follow you;
through the darkness,
my voice beseeches you,
my heart adores you,
my nimble song
seems to flit about
like a bird.

CHORUS
in the distance
Ah! keep singing, keep singing!
Yes, let your voice ring out,
Ah! let your nimble song
drive sway every peril!

LEILA
Ah!

Nadir slips along to the foot of the rock.

NADIR
God, it is she!
Leila! Leila!

Leila bends towards him and her veil momentarily opens.

You need no longer fear!
Here I am! I have come,
ready to lay down my life and shed my blood
to defend you!

CHORUS
Ah! Keep singing, keep
singing, etc.

LEILA
He is here! He is listening to me!
For you, for you I adore,
Ah! I shall keep singing,
I sing for you I adore!
He is here! He is listening to me!
Ah!

NADIR
Ah! keep singing, keep singing,
O you I adore!
You need fear no danger,
I have come to protect you.
Have no fear, I am here!
Leila, have no fear!
Leila, I am here!

CHORUS
Ah! keep singing, keep singing,
yes, let your voice ring out,
ah! let your song tonight
drive every danger tar away!
Ah!
ACT TWO

The ruins of an Indian temple.
At the back, a high terrace, overlooking the sea. Thesky is full of stars, the moon is shining brightly. Leila, Nourabad and the fakirs come in at the back.

Interlude, Chorus and Scene

CHORUS
in the distance

La, la, la, la, la!
Darkness is descending from heaven,
night is spreading its veils
and the white stars
are bathing in the azure
of the silent waves!
Darkness is descending from heaven,
night is spreading its veils, etc.

NOURABAD
going up to Leila
The boats are back on the beach,
our task is over for tonight, Leila!
You can sleep here.

LEILA
Alas, will you leave me alone?

NOURABAD
Yes, but you need not quake,
have no fear!
Over there, inaccessible rocks
are guarded by the roaring waves.
On that side is the camp, and there, terrifying sentinels,
with rifles on their shoulders and daggers between their teeth,
our friends will keep watch!

LEILA
May Brahma protect me!

NOURABAD
If your heart remains pure, if you keep your promise,
sleep peacefully under my protection and fear no snare!

LEILA
In the face of death itself,
I was once strong enough to keep
the promise I had made!

NOURABAD
You? How?

LEILA
I was still a child one night, I remember,
a man, a fugitive, begging for my help,
took refuge in our humble dwelling;
and I, my heart moved by his prayer, promised
to hide him from everyone and to protect his life.
Soon, a wild horde ran in and began to threaten me.
I was surrounded, a dagger was raised over my head...
I kept silent!
Night came, he fled, he was saved.
But before he escaped to the distant savannah:
"O brave child," he said, "here, take this chain
and keep it always, in remembrance of me!
And I shall remember!"
I had saved his life and kept my promise.

NOURABAD
Very well! Bear this in mind,
Zurga may hold you responsible for all our ills.
Bear this in mind, think of God!

Nourabad leaves with the fakirs.

CHORUS
in the distance
La, la, la, la, etc.


Recitative and Cavatina

LEILA
Here I am, alone in the night.
Alone in this lonely place where silence reigns!

She looks towards the terrace.

But he is here, my heart can feel his presence.
As he used to, in the dark night,
hidden under the thick leaves,
he is watching near me, in the darkness,
I can sleep and dream in peace.
It is he, my eyes recognized him,
it la he, my soul is soothed.
O happiness! Unhoped for joy!
He came to see me again!
O happiness, he came, he is here
near me, ah! as he used to be, etc.

She lies down.

Song

A gurla can be heard in the distance and then Nadir's voice.

NADIR
I saw in the deep, clear water,
at the bottom of the silent lake,
the merry brow and the sweet eyes of my friend,
sleeping flower, sparkling!

The voice comes nearer.

My beloved is locked away
in a palace of gold and azure;
I hear her laugh and I see her pure gaze
shining over the crystal
of the dark abyss!

LEILA
God! The voice is coming nearer,
a sweet attraction is drawing me!
Heavens! Ah, it is he!


Duet

Nadir appears on the terrace, and comes down through the ruins.

NADIR
Leila! Leila!

LEILA
Almighty God, here he is!

NADIR
Here I am, by her side!

LEILA
How could you come
along this narrow path
bound by a dark chasm?

NADIR
A god was leading me,
a tender hope burns within me.
Nothing, no, nothing could have kept me.

LEILA
What do you seek here?
Flee, death threatens you!

NADIR
Calm your terror, forgive me!

LEILA
I have promised, I must not listen to you,
alas, I must not look at you!

NADIR
Ah! have mercy on me!

LEILA
Death is following you!

NADIR
Do not repulse me!

LEILA
Ah! go away!Nadir
Ah! daylight is still far away,
nobody can find us!
Ah! Leila, grant me what Ihope for!

LEILA
No, let us part!
There is still time.
Ah! go away, death is following you!
Ah! for pity's sake, go away!

NADIR
Ah! why do you repulse
a beseeching friend?
Leila! Leila! Alas!
Your heart did not understand mine:
in the thick of the fragrant night,
as I listened, with ravished soul,
to the tones of your beloved voice,
your heart did not understand mine!

LEILA
I remember, as well as you:
in the thick of the fragrant night,
my soul, then free and bewitched,
was not yet closed to love.
I remember as well as you!

NADIR
I had promised to keep away from you
and to be silent for ever!
But, alas, the might of love is fatal,
how could I have fled from the beautiful eyes I loved?

LEILA
Despite the darkness, despite your lengthy silence,
my heart had read into your heart.
I was expecting you, awaiting your presence,
your sweet voice brought me happiness.

NADIR
Is this true? What are you saying?
Sweet avowal! O rapture!
Yes, your heart had understood mine:
in the thick of the fragrant night,
as I listened, with ravished soul,
to the tones of your beloved voice,
ah! yes, your heart had understood mine!

LEILA
Ah! I remember as well as you:
in the thick of the fragrant night,
my soul, then free and bewitched,
was not yet closed to love.
I remember, as well as you!

TOGETHER
O sweet moment!

A Storm is heard in the distance.


Finale

LEILA
Ah! come back to your senses, go, go quickly, I am afraid!

NADIR
May love, every night, bring us together in the dark!

LEILA
Yes, yes, tomorrow, I shall wait for you!

NADIR
Yes, tomorrow, I shall see you again!

They part. The storm is approaching. Some shots are heard. Leila screams and falls to her knees. Nourabad strides in, followed by some guards who set off in pursuit of Nadir.

NOURABAD
Woe unto them! Woe unto them!
Quickly, come, all of you! Quickly, come!

In his turn he rushes off in pursuit of Nadir.
The pearl fishers appear on the threshold of the temple and come forward in the darkness, listening to the roar of the tempest.)


CHORUS
What voice is calling us?
What dismal news is this?
What deathly omen awaits us here?
O night of terror!
The foamy sea
with a roar tosses its furious waves!
She stands pale and quivering,
speechless and trembling,
whence such terror and such dread?
O dreadful night, night of horror,
my terrified heart is pounding,
Brahma, have mercy, have mercy!

Nourabad returns with some guards bearing torches.
Other guards drag in Nadir.


NOURABAD
To this sacred sanctuary,
to this baleful spot,
a man, a stranger,
under cover of the night,
has stealthily crept.
Here he is!

CHORUS
What is he saying? Is this true?

NOURABAD
Here are the two culprits!

CHORUS
Here are the two culprits!
Ah! Nadir! O treachery!

They threaten Nadir with their daggers and cry in muffled voices.

No mercy for them, no!
Neither pity, nor mercy! No!
Death, death, death!
No mercy for them, etc.

LEILA
O dire threat, O terrible fate!
O dire threat, alas, terrible fate!

NADIR
I had rather die than beg for mercy!
I had rather die than beg for mercy!

CHORUS
Despite his threats, let them share the same fate!
Spirits of darkness
waiting to punish us,
your funeral abyss
will open for them!

LEILA
My blood is frozen with terror!
We are doomed to die!
Alas! I tremble! O heavens!
Death threatens us, terrible fate!

NADIR
Their insane threat
strengthens my arm!
jHave no fear,
my arm protects you,
l shall defy their blows.

CHORUS
Neither pity, nor mercy, etc.

LEILA
Terrible fate, etc.

NADIR
I had rather die!
Come, I defy you!
Come, yes, I defy the heavens, etc.

CHORUS
Yes, let us punish their crime,
they must die,
yes, they must both die!

LEILA
Brahma, protect us!
I am faint with terror, protect us!

NADIR
Their wrath makes me laugh!
I shall defy their fury!
Come, I am ready for you!

The pearl fishers are about to strike them. Nadir throws himself in front of Leila to protect her.
Zurga suddenly appears at the back


ZURGA
Stop! Stop!
I am the one who must decide their fate!

CHORUS
They must die, etc.

ZURGA
stepping forward
You have given me the sway,
you must obey me!
Comrades, you gave me your word,
obey, such is my will!

The pearl fishers hesitate and whisper among themselves.

CHORUS
Let them go, then, we absolve the traitor,
Zurga wants us to, Zurga is the master!

ZURGA
aside to Leila and Nadir
Go, go away!

NOURABAD
tearing off Leila 's veil
Before you flee, let everyone see you!

Zurga recognizes Leila.

ZURGA
in a choking voice
Ah! what have I seen? It was she! O fury!
Avenge yourselves, avenge me, woe, woe!
Woe unto them, woe!

CHORUS
No mercy for them, etc.

LEILA
O dire threat, etc.

NADIR
I had rather die, etc.

ZURGA
Neither pity, nor mercy!
They must both die!
No pity, they must die, etc.

The storm breaks out deafeningly.

NOURABAD
Ah! we shall all be thunderstruck!
Brahma!

They all fall to their knees.

LEILA and NADIR
Brahma, holy Brahma, let
your hand protect us!
O holy Brahma, we are
all prostate before you!

ZURGA, NOURABAD and CHORUS
Brahma, holy Brahma, may
your hand protect us!
We swear to punish their
sacrilegious love!
O holy Brahma, we are
all prostrate before you!

At an imperious gesture from Zurga, Nadir is dragged away.
Leila is taken away by the priests.

ACT THREE

FIRST SCENE
An Indian tent, closed by drapes. It is still night. In the distance, the storm is calming.


Interlude, Recitative and Aria

Zurga appears before the tent.

ZURGA
The storm has quietened down,
the winds are already silent.
And like them, tempers are cooling down.

He lets the drapes fall back.

I alone seek in vain
appeasement and sleep.
I am burning with fever
and within my crushed soul
there is only one thought...
Nadir, Nadir,
Ah! Nadir is to die
at sunrise!
desperately
O Nadir, tender friend of my youth,
O Nadir, when I delivered you up to death,
O Nadir, alas, by what blind rage,
by what blind and insane rage
was my heart torn asunder?
He stands up, grief-stricken.
No, no, it cannot be!
I have had a ghastly dream!
No, you cannot have betrayed your faith!
And, alas, I am the culprit!
O remorse, O regrets!
Ah! what have I done!
O Nadir, tender friend of my youth!
O Lei!a, radiant beauty!
O Nadir, O Leila, forgive the blind rage,
please forgive the passion of an angry heart!
In spite of myself, remorse is crushing me!
Nadir! Leila! Alas!
I am ashamed of my cruelty!
Ah! forgive the passion of an angry heart!
Ah! forgive!

He falls back, overwhelmed. Leila is brought in by two pearl fishers, who threaten her with their daggers.


Scene and Duet

ZURGA
What do I see? O heavens, what turmoil!
All my love revives at the sight of her!
What brings you to my side?

LEILA
I want to speak with you... with you alone!

ZURGA
to the pearl fishers
Very well! Go out!

They withdraw.

LEILA
aside
I quiver, I falter, alas, alas!
What will his cruel soul grant me?
Under his gaze, terror grips me,
what will his cruel soul grant me, etc.?

ZURGA
aside
I quiver before her, Leila, how lovely she is!
Yes, even lovelier in front of death.
Yes, God led her here, to punish me,
yes, I quiver, ah! how lovely she is!
to Leila
Have no fear, come nearer, I am listening!

LEILA
throwing herself at Zurga 's feet
Zurga, I have come to beg you for mercy,
by Brahma, by the heavens, by your hands I am kissing!
Spare an innocent and strike no-one but me!

ZURGA
What! He's innocent! He, Nadir? Ah, how? Quick, tell me!
Were you not waiting for him in the holy sanctuary?

LEILA
It was purely by chance that his steps led him towards me.

ZURGA
Can I believe you?

LEILA
Ah! may I be accursed
If I am deceiving you and lying!
Ah! Zurga, by your hands I am kissing, etc.

ZURGA
And so, his promise and our sacred friendship...
O rapture, Nadir, you were no traitor,
no, Nadir, you were no traitor!
O rapture! Innocent, he, Nadir, Ah!

LEILA
For myself, I have no fear, Zurga,
but I tremble for his sake!
Ah! do not turn a deaf ear to my lament,
come to our aid!
He has given me his soul,
he is my only love...

ZURGA
Her only love!...

LEILA
O blazing flame, alas, this is his last day!

ZURGA
His last day!

LEILA
Ah! have mercy, Zurga, ah! have mercy!
Ah! may my beseeching voice make you relent!
Grant me his life, Zurga, I beg of you,
grant me his life, and so help me to die!

ZURGA
What do I hear?

LEILA
Ah! you must relent!
Grant me his life and so help me to die!

ZURGA
And so help you to die?
Ah! Nadir! I might have forgiven him
and saved him, for we were friends,
but you love him, you love him, you love him!

LEILA
Almighty God! I shudder!
God!

ZURGA
That word alone has revived my hatred and my rage,
in your effort to save him, you've destroyed him for ever!

LEILA
Have mercy, have pity...

ZURGA
Spare your idle prayers!

LEILA
Have mercy, have pity!

ZURGA
I am jalous!

LEILA
Jealous!

ZURGA
As he did, Leila, as he did, I loved you!

LEILA
Ah!

ZURGA
You were begging me for his life,
but by rekindling the flame
of my jealousy,
you have destoyed him for ever!
Let the sentence be carried out
and may a dual sacrifice
avenge me and unite
your guilty loves!
Yes, unite your guilty loves!

LEILA
Do you dare reproach me for having loved him!

ZURGA
I reproach him for being loved when I am not!

LEILA
Ah! at least, do not dip your hands in his blood!

ZURGA
In your effort to save him, you destroy him for ever.

LEILA
Ah! let me be the only victim of your rage!

ZURGA
You love him...

LEILA
Have mercy!

ZURGA
You love him...

LEILA
By heaven!

ZURGA
He must die!

LEILA
Very well, take your revenge, cruel man!
Take it, cruel man, and take my life as well,
but once your rage has had its way, remorse, infamy
will haunt you for ever!
Let the sentence be carried out
and let a dual sacrifice
unite for ever
in heaven our tender loves!
Go on, take my life, I defy you!
Yes, infamy, etc.

ZURGA
O rage! O fury! O atrocious torture!
O jealousy! Beware! Ah! fear my wrath!
Fear my vengeance! O fury! O jealousy!
Let the sentence be carried out!
There will be no mercy, no pity,
you shall die with him!
Yes, death for both of you!
There will be no mercy!

LEILA
Ah! barbarous man!

ZURGA
There will be no pity!

LEILA
Ah! cruel man! Zurga, be accursed,
I hate you and I love him for ever!

ZURGA
O fury! O fury!

Nourabad comes in at the back followed by some of the pearl fishers. Shouts of joy are heard in the distance.


Scene

NOURABAD
Do you hear these festive sounds in the distance?
The time has come...

LEILA
The victim is ready!

ZURGA
Go!

LEILA
The heavens open up before me!
To a young pearl fisher
My friend, take this necklace
and when I am dead,
let it be returned to my mother!
Go, go, I shall pray to God on your behalf!

Leila is dragged away.
Zurga takes the necklace, gives a surprised exclamation and runs off
after Leila.



SECOND SCENE

The forest.
Nadir is seated at the foot of Brahma's statue on a pyre which has been set up in the middle of the stage. Two armed fishermen are standing watch. Drunken Indians are dancing menacingly. Beakers of palm wine are passed round; a number of small bonfires cast a sinister light on the scene.



Chorus and Dance


CHORUS
men
As soon as the sun
pours out its flame
in the rosy sky,
our arms will strike
and be immersed
in their foul blood!

CHORUS
women
When the sun
pours out its flame,
we shall shed
their foul blood.

ALL
Fiery liquor,
pour a sacred ecstasy
within our hearts!
May a gloomy transport,
forerunner of death,
suddenly seize them!
Brahma! Brahma! Brahma!

CHORUS
men
As soon as the sun, etc.

CHORUS
women
Brahma! Brahma! etc.

The dances come to a halt.

NADIR
Alas! What became of Leila?
If I can save her by laying down my lite,
may their fury be sated by my death.
I deliver myself up to their blows,
I am ready, here I am!
Alas! What became of Leila?
Alas! Alas! Leila!

CHORUS
Everything is ready for the sacrifice!
Let the dark forest
ring with our shouts!
Brahma! Brahma!
Fiery liquor, etc.


Scene and Duet

Leila is brought in by Nourabad and the fakirs.

NOURABAD
Ye gods of darkness,
Zurga delivers her up into your angry hands!

CHORUS
Ye gods of darkness,
Zurga delivers her up into your angry hands!

NADIR
Ah! Leilal

LEILA
rushing into Nadir's arms
Nadir, I have come to die by your side!

NADIR
Come!

TOGETHER
Ah! I shall die happy by your side!
O sacred light,
O divine embrace,
O sacred light,
my fearless heart
defies their anger
and laughs at Death.
A God sets us free
and brings us back to life.
Yes, I shall follow you,
I serenely await
death in your arms!

NOURABAD and THE MEN
Do you hear, they are blaspheming!

NADIR
In the boundless space
a purer day is shining.
Our souls soar up
into the azure skies.

LEILA
A sumptuous palace
opens itself to our gaze,
our rapid flight
carries us off to heaven.

CHORUS
Darkness still surrounds us,
daylight does not come!

NADIR and LEILA
Come, I defy your rage! Ah!
O sacred light, etc.

CHORUS
The dawn shall soon light up the sky! etc.

NADIR
Farewell, Leila, farewell!

LEILA
Farewell, Nadir, farewell!


Finale

A red glow suddenly lights up the back of the stage.

NOURABAD and BASSES
At last daylight has broken through the clouds!
The sun is shining, the hour has come!
Let us strike! Yes!

WOMEN and TENORS
Yes! Yes! Let us strike! Yes!

ZURGA
comes in, bewildered, an axe in his hand
No, no, it is not daylight yet!
Look, it is the fire, the fire of heaven,
which God has sent down on us.
The flames are spreading and destroying your encampment,
Run, all of you, there is still time
to wrest your children from death!
Run, run, may God guide your steps!

The Indians run off in disarray. Zurga turns towards Nadir and Leila.

My own hands lit the terrible fire
which threatens their lives and saves yours!
For I shall now break your fetters!

NADIR
God!

With his axe Zurga breaks the chains which hold the lovers captive and shows Leila her necklace.

ZURGA
Leila, remember, once you saved my life!

LEILA
O heavens!

ZURGA
Now, I shall save you both!

LEILA and NADIR
God!

ZURGA
That path is till clear, go away, go away!

NADIR
What about you, Zurga!

ZURGA
God alone can see the future, go, go!

ALL
Farewell!

Nadir and Leila run off. At the same moment, Indian women enter from the opposite side and run away, carrying their children, followed by Nourabad and the terrified Indian men.

LEILA and NADIR
in the distance
Fear no more,
O sweet embrace,
happiness is at the end of our journey!
Holy ecstasy,
no more sadness,
on the ocean, I shall sleep in your arms!
Ah! come! Ah! come!
Happiness is at the end of our journey!

ZURGA
I have done my duty,
I have kept my promise!
He is alive, she is safe!
Farewell, dreams of love!

The whole stage is lit by the glow of the fire.
Zurga remains standing in the middle of the stage, leaning against the statue, his axe in his hand.