Agnes von Hohenstaufen Libretto
English Translation

ACT ONE

PART ONE

Hall of the throne in the Imperial Palace of Mainz.
On the right, the Emperor's throne.  On the left, the richly embroidered
chair of the Countess Palatina.

SCENE ONE

The Emperor, Filippo, German Princes, the Archbishop of Mainz, high prelates,
Irmengarda surrounded by her dames, German knights, the Imperial Marshal, &
Heralds.  Later on, the Burgrave.

CHORUS
Refulgent be with the shining eagle the glory of the Sacred Empire.
Invincible the superb God-given insignia.  Death to the Volscis on the
field of battle, their castles be destroyed, no pity shown.  Be it the bearer
of misfortune to all enemies and protective shield to the faithful.
EMPEROR (Brandishing his sword)
Swear on the sound of the warrior trumpets to follow the banners of
the Sacred Empire.  Onward to conquer the throne of Sicily.
IRMENGARDA AND FILIPPO
Let us go forth united and compact to conquer the throne of Sicily.
CHORUS
Refulgent be etc., etc.
EMPEROR
May the Archbishop bless our arms!
CHORUS OF LADIES
Be your heart tender for the weak and humble, the women.  The strong of
arm protect the infants and victory will be the reward of your valor.
ARCHBISHOP
May Heaven's blessing descend on a just and righteous cause.
(Lifts his arms to the sky) Be it victory for our flag and he on the field who shall be a soldier
of Christ will triumph.
CHORUS
Refulgent be etc. etc.
EMPEROR
So be it.  Tancredi, King of Sicily, is no more and we must fight for that
throne.  The empress and our uncle, Corrado, with their armies on the other
side of the Alps already invoke the aid of our armies.  But before I do, I renew
against Enrico, Duke of the Saxons and Baverians and their entire stock of rebels, my anathema!
ARCHBISHOP
Dishonored be the banner of the Lion.
(The Burgrave rips the banner of Henry the Lion from the wall then
tears and tramples it)
FILIPPO (Within himself)
Unfortunate friend!
EMPEROR
Though he be the old chieftain of the Guelphs, having eluded the ban, that
rebel has arrived from England and has now been joined by them.
(General show of surprise)  He marshals against us and dares to challenge
us on the open field!!  Swear on this hilt.  Punishment to the traitor!!  Fight for my right!!
PRINCES
We swear the sacred right to defend the Emperor.
IRMENGARDA
Your Highness, before this blazing hate between the Hohenstaufen and
the Guelphs, you promised, as willed by your father, the hand of Agnese
to the youngest of the Guelphs, Enrico.  Must now the anathema tear it asunder?
EMPEROR
My will, not the anathema, has long ago broken it.
FILIPPO (With fire)
Do you forget that my brother in arms fought for you and helped you win your
crown?  His blood stained the walls of Naples for your rights!
EMPEROR
I also remember that he also betrayed me and armed the hand of the prisoner
Riccardo against the King of France.
IRMENGARDA
You have banished him.  He now languishes wounded and abandoned in a French
prison.
EMPEROR (Brusquely)
Enough of him!  (To the princes)  Are you aware to whom you have sworn?
PRINCES
We renew our sacred swearing.  We swear!
IRMENGARDA
Listen to a mother's anguished words!  Come, ye German heroes.  Lift up
your banners beyond the snowy peaks of Italy.  Open the frontiers of
Italy to our Emperor. And away with the spoils of victory conquered
with valor.  Glory be your prize.  Lift up your banners in sign of victory
beyond the Alps and beyond the sea.
PRINCES
To open the paths to Italy!  We are ready to fight for our Emperor!
IRMENGARDA
(Ah, daughter of mine!)  Even if in far off land, miserable and in chains,
lies one of the Princes most loved by us, he too blood of our blood.  Now
to save him I ask you with me to implore grace.
LADIES IN WAITING
Have pity, Sire, we ask you.  Fettered to the heart of Agnese is the Prince.
He is her life.  Come, be clement.  He is undeserving of such rigor.
(Trumpets on stage)
HERALD
An embassy from France has arrived.
EMPEROR
Let it be welcomed.  Go forth and admit them.
(Ascends the throne.  Irmengarda and the ladies return to their places)
SCENE TWO

Pages, Troubadours, Knights of France and the Duke of Borgogna with his
following.

PAGES AND TROUBADOURS  (Bowing to the emperor)
Powerful sovereign.  Clement monarch.  (Bowing to Irmengarda)
Gentle lady.  Graceful Queen.  Joyous songs salute you and all who are here
 in splendid gathering, proud knights, graceful ladies.  To all we give homage
 with the sweet sound of the lute.
DUKE OF BORGOGNA
The King of France, my imperial master, salutes you.
EMPEROR
We render thanks to your Master.
THE DUKE  (Presents a parchment to the Emperor)
My lord sends you by my hands this casket which I now give to your majesty.
(To Irmengarda)
This from my lord, I trust you will favor.
IRMENGARDA
With joy, my lord, from such valued hands.
DUKE
In this court reigns only grace.
IRMENGARDA
Welcome to you, my lord, and may heaven want that you like our hospitable
land and soon unite us in a tie of love.
PAGES AND TROUBADOURS
Powerful master, clement monarch, etc. etc.
PRINCES AND KNIGHTS
Dear and welcome guests to the court of our great emperor, be received in amnesty.
DUKE
Now then, in the name of the King of France, listen once more to one prayer.
When in bloody battle you defeated the warrior Enrico il Leone, his son
fell into our hands.  Disarmed, wounded, and near death he was made prisoner.
The King who honors the enemy of great valor trusts that forgiven he may return to his country.
EMPEROR  (In anger)
In vain grace be asked for the rebel.  The anathema has been pronounced.
IRMENGARDA AND FILIPPO  (Together)
Poor Enrico!!
EMPEROR  (To the princes)
I invite the noble Duke of Borgogna, his court and Princes to a feast.
(To the Duke)  Here you are the most welcome guest.
PRINCES AND KNIGHTS
Welcome, etc., etc.
(All exit)

SCENE THREE

Filippo, Enrico (in disguise), and some troubadours toward the rear of
the scene.
FILIPPO  (With pain and extreme agitation)
Cruel brother!  Of a mother's tears, the entreaties of a friend you want not grant?
You have refused even the grace that the King of France has asked for
the unfortunate Enrico and wounded, he dies in a cell.
ENRICO  (Vacantly)
To whom may I confide the anguish of my heart?
To you my faithful friend of sweet consoling sound.
FILIPPO  (To himself)
Ah, what voice is this?
ENRICO
But the one I adore, where can I find her.
Where can I see the sweet girl to reveal my soul's ardent desire?
FILIPPO  (To himself)
Ah, that one who sings must be a troubadour from France.  Here he comes.
ENRICO  (Eyeing the lute)
To whom can I entrust the pain within my heart?  To your sweet consoling sound.
FILIPPO  (To himself)
Ah, what voice is that?
ENRICO
But the one I adore, etc., etc.
FILIPPO
Ah, that one who sings, etc., etc.
ENRICO
To whom can I entrust the pain within my heart?  To your sweet consoling sound.
FILIPPO
Ah, what sorrow.  Perhaps he has some news of Enrico.  Yet, this voice is
not new to me.  God! I'm beginning to doubt.  (Enrico lifts his visor)  Heavens!  It is really he!
ENRICO
Yes, it is me!
FILIPPO
Dear brother in arms, within these walls death awaits you!!
ENRICO
I seek refuge in a friend's arms.
FILIPPO  (With anxiety)
But how did you manage to escape from prison with those clothes?
ENRICO
You will learn.  Now take me to my beloved Agnese.
FILIPPO
Did not you know that your banishment was renewed?  You are lost!
ENRICO
No one will see me then again.  I fear not.  I already know all.  Let us
go to my Agnese.  Come, lead me.
FILIPPO
Don't you know that the French envoy (alas) has asked her hand for his King?
ENRICO  (In desperation)
Good heavens! For him, for the King, I should renounce my life, my dream
of love?  No!!!  I shall never renounce my love!  Never!  Never!
Never to see her adored face, should I run from her sweet looks?  Why should
I forget all the joys and delights of my youth?  No!  Never!  These eyes
had already glimpsed paradise and now I should renounce my only love,
my heart's only joy?  There is no sword , no fire in the world that can take
away from her my loving heart.  Who can divide us?  I will defend my love against all.
FILIPPO
Do not give in to desperation.  Think how to escape.
ENRICO
Let us go to Agnese.
FILIPPO
Run!
ENRICO  (Desperate)
Ah, cruel friend, you still resist me.  You want to see me die.
FILIPPO
As you wish!  Let us go to Agnese.
ENRICO
Faithful friend!  (They embrace)
FILIPPO
I swear, I remember when bloodied, surrounded by death, we swore united
faithfulness of arms.  That day I became your friend.
ENRICO
When together on that horrible field of battle we fell, our pact united
us in a sacred bond.
ENRICO AND FILIPPO
We swore together.  The knot we tied shall keep us forever.  Only death
can part us and together will find us.  Now here let us renew our pledge
that will unite us for life.

PART THREE
SCENE ONE

Agnese's lodgings.
Agnese and ladies in waiting.

AGNESE
When the breeze caressed my cheeks I asked her, "Bring to my beloved my
heartbeat and my love".  She replied, "I cannot tarry, fields and flowers
await my caresses.  I cannot carry your message to your loved one", then
flew away.
AGNESE AND LADIES
Alas to the flower she flew.
And to my love did not speak..
AGNESE
When in the sea I saw my reflected image, I asked the waves, "Take my
face and carry it to my beloved."  And the wave replied, "I have to go, I
cannot take your message.  I want to dance with the sea," and went away.
AGNESE AND LADIES
Only thought can fly to the beloved.  No one else can.
AGNESE
Fly then my thoughts to my beloved.  (Enter Irmengarda.  Motions to ladies to leave)

IMENGARDA
I heard the lute sob.
AGNESE
He cries for my most faithful friend that my eyes shall nevermore see.
IRMENGARDA
If only I could comfort you, but alas, I can only motherly share your pain.
AGNESE
Only in you do I find pity.  There is no other comfort.
Let me rest in your arms, where my desperate heart will always find comfort and peace.
IRMENGARDA
Let God inspire you, my tender child.  Abandon yourself to His will.  May He
give you sweet hope that your faith and desire be gratified.
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Mother, I want to confide in Him that comforts the weak.
Daughter of mine, have faith in Him who comforts those in misery and in pain.
I will lift my gaze to heaven.  To heaven lift your/my gaze. In heaven you/I will
find comfort to your/my heart.  May heaven conserve and fate assist our beloved
Enrico and return him to you/me.

SCENE TWO

Enrico disguised as a troubadour, and Filippo.

ENRICO  (To himself)
Agnese!  Oh God, how may I thank you?
IRMENGARDA  (Does not recognize him)
A troubadour. Who are you?
ENRICO
Do you recognize me?
IRMENGARDA
Heavens! Enrico here!
AGNESE
Enrico! Enrico! Oh God, I feel faint.
ENRICO
Agnese, angel of mine!  (To Irmengarda)  Oh, good mother, forgive me.
(To Agnese)  Agnese, my beloved, forgive me.  I could not live without you.  I've returned.
IRMENGARDA AND AGNESE
Oh, what joy!  What happiness!
FILIPPO  (Agitated)
I found you at last!  Alas, sorry fate!  There is peril on all sides!
Caution, Enrico.  A sinister menace hovers over you and all of us.
There is fear for you in my heart.
AGNESE AND ENRICO
For me, the sun again rises after the darkness of night.
IRMENGARDA
Only at the thought of you far away, a prayer wafted to heaven with the hope
of one day seeing you again.
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
How many times have I thought of you in prayer, followed you in danger,
far from me!  Beloved Enrico, I have always prayed for you!
ENRICO
Agnese, dawn of my life, my long awaited dream, vainly pursued in sleepless watches.
FILIPPO
Time flies.  Let us be gone.  Hurry!  Let us go away from here.  I feel a strong
dread.  Heaven protect your days with golden wings.  Radiant in his dreams
there is no dread.
AGNESE, IRMENGARDA, FILIPPO
Oh heart, filled with joy and placates dread.  Radiant dream of love which
inebriates the heart.
ENRICO
The happy moments already have fled.  Time has come to say farewell.
AGNESE
Abandon me again?  (Trumpets)
FILIPPO
Listen!  Hear the alarm.  Run!
ENRICO
I shall go to my father's camp.
IRMENGARDA
My God.  You as an enemy?
AGNESE
I shall die should you fall.
FILIPPO
Here they come.  Hurry!!  Farewell.
ENRICO
This disguise will save me.
IRMENGARDA AND AGNESE
Hurry, Fare thee well.
(Enrico leaves)

SCENE THREE

PRINCES
Make haste.  We must take you away.
KNIGHTS
These are our orders.
IRMENGARDA
Let us go with you.  We are ready.
CHORUS
In this instant we have learned alarming news!  Enrico il Leone is rapidly
approaching the Rhine!
AGNESE, IRMENGARDA, FILIPPO
What tremendous news!
CHORUS
To avenge the Emperor's offense, even having his son in chains, and in
banishment, he hopes to be victor.
FILIPPO
Could I obtain peace!  Baneful war!

IRMENGARDA
Cruel quarrel be it.
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Enrico!  My God save Enrico!  Agnese!
CHORUS
Agnese shall have to forget Enrico, nothing can save him, our arms will drive
him back!
AGNESE
Oh mother, help me.  Who can save my love from death?
IRMENGARDA
Hold your tears, hide your hurt in your heart.  Only prudence will save you both.
CHORUS
There is no pity.  Dry your tears.  By now only discretion can save you.
AGNESE
Oh mother, help me, my heart is broken.  Mother, I can no longer stand it.
IRMENGARDA
Take heart, daughter.  Do not cry...

PART THREE
Ballroom of the Imperial Palace, Mainz

SCENE ONE

CHORUS
Around like rays from falling stars, shivering with golden reflexes from
flickering flames.  From hundreds and hundreds of portals happily the crowds rush in.
Like meadows covered with lovely flowers the halls are adorned in gorgeous colors.
From calm and enchanted ancient realms elves have here arrived to dance and
fairies that seem to wander as in dreams in the myth of a golden age.
FRENCH KNIGHTS
Enlivened of sun, light and joy.  Kind of heart to us.  Star of golden light
resplends from afar.  Refulgent rays inflame our hearts and golden rays
illuminate our land.

SCENE TWO
Emperor, Irmengarda, Agnese, the Duke of Burgogna. Filippo masked.

EMPEROR
With greater intensity must joy flow.  (Pointing to Agnese)  Here you may salute
the bride of a King.  The King of France has asked her hand. I, the father, consent.
AGNESE
Oh Mother, hear that cruel sentence!
IRMENGARDA
Agnese, restrain your pain.  Who can yield to fate?
ENRICO
Cursed be he who plotted these inauspicious nuptials.
FILIPPO
Poor friend, who can deliver you from such destiny.

DUKE OF BORGOGNA
What do I see?  Astonished faces on this announcement.
EMPEROR  (Bowing to Agnese)
Agnese, Queen, we pay homage to you.
CHORUS
Oh Princess, fortunate event.
PAGES AND FRENCH TROUBADOURS
France encircles your sweet forehead with the wreath, with its gilded lilies,
with the hearts of her sons.  Adorns with flowers the crown further embellished
by your grace and virtues most dear.
EMPEROR
Let us go!  Let the feast begin!
CHORUS
Come, come.  Let us dance to the ancient rhythms, marking time to the popular
dance.  Clear waves of light now enclose the golden circle.  The songs of our
land be heard again to the vigorous stomping of rhythmical steps.  Great joy be
with us, come!  Let us dance!
(The dancers move toward the rear opposite Enrico while the Emperor exits)
ENRICO
Alas!  I'm lost!  The ban declared, if the soul be lost, life is broken.  Let the
bond that unites them be torn.  It is not eternally written in heaven.
Cruel destiny, created by mortal hand. But the hand of man can destroy that
which mortal, cruel hand created.
DUKE  (To Agnese)
Do you not want to listen?  You give me no sweet hope.
AGNESE
I pray, calm thyself.  Do not ask again.  Let me be silent.
DUKE
Cruel is your refusal if in vain I implore your kindness.
AGNESE
Do not upset my heart.  Do not make game of me.  Go back to the feast, Sir!
IRMENGARDA AND FILIPPO
Strange indeed the manners of that Knight.  Ignorant of court etiquette.
CHORUS
Hurray!  Hurray!  Let us praise the giver of so much joy, our Emperor!  May the
ancient emblem, the powerful oak of the Hohenstaufen, flourish with strong
resplendent branches that reach the sky.
FILIPPO AND IRMENGARDA
Again the mask approaches.
ENRICO
I can no longer be silent!  Who can stop me?
DUKE  (to Agnese)
You can see my heartbreak.  I am sincere.  Why do you want to flee once more?
AGNESE
I am confused and perplexed!  I do not know what I can answer to these insidious
words of love.
DUKE
Agnese, listen one more instant!  Many are the sufferings of my heart!

IRMENGARDA AND FILIPPO
The mask is nearer and seems to want to listen closely.
ENRICO
Rage!  Who can curb my disdain?
DUKE
The sufferings of my heart are many and all my hopes are hidden in you, dear Agnese.
CHORUS
Up to the stars and beyond shine the refulgent songs of pure virtue.
DUKE
Do not let me despair of your grace and affection that can again give me life.
AGNESE
Please, let me not answer for now to such ardor.  Why harass me with such
insistence?  Everyone is observing us.  Be prudent.  Hurry, let us leave together.
IRMENGARDA
That strange personage is always closer to them.
FILIPPO
Get closer and listen.  (Here the dance becomes confused)
ENRICO
My destiny is clear!  I can no longer feign.
He shall answer for such behavior.  Let him know my thoughts.
(He confronts the Duke)  Duke I wish to speak to you.
DUKE  (Haughtily)
Not one word!
ENRICO  (Menacing)
For my life, you shall listen.
DUKE
Who are you?  How dare you talk to me?  (He turns again to Agnese.)
AGNESE
I implore one instant more to assuage your heart.
ENRICO  (Yells)
My misery!
AGNESE
Hurry, let us go.  Let us go.
ENRICO  (At the height of dispair)
Of the rights of the King you now abuse!
DUKE
Vile lie! Who are you?
ENRICO
I am neither French nor a seducer.
DUKE
How dare you insult a nation!
ENRICO
Shame to you!
DUKE
If I be elsewhere my hand would befall on you!
ENRICO
Dare you insult me?  Withdraw you must!
CHORUS
What daring!  Fearless knight!
DUKE  (Responding to Enrico)
No!
EMPEROR  (Enters)
What is happening?
FILIPPO  (Ripping the mask from Enrico)
His mask now off, he is revealed.
ALL
Heavens!  Enrico!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
My God, pity!
FILIPPO
My friend!
DUKE
The prisoner!
EMPEROR
The traitor!
CHORUS
What is happening?
EMPEROR
You here?
Fugitive, banned, and traitor!  Now assassin!
(Enter the Burgrave with Teobaldo, flanked by guards)
BURGRAVE
....Now enemy, here is the message of "Leone" to his son.
(Handing theEmperor a parchment)
ENRICO
Here is Teobaldo, my old faithful.
EMPEROR
What?  The fierce Leone boldly dares face the Rhine?
TEOBALDO
I swear, he knows nothing of his father's plans.
ENRICO  (To himself)
Oh father of mine, you kill your own son!
EMPEROR  (To thePrinces)
The oath I remind you of, Trabanti.  May he be placed in chains.
ALL
Ah! Ah!
EMPEROR
The ax will do justice.
PRINCES AND KNIGHTS
No!  Not the ax.  It is up to us to decide his fate!  It is up to us!
EMPEROR
No!  He is guilty.  My will be done.
ENRICO
God be my witness.  I am innocent!
EMPEROR
No longer!  You are lost!
ALL
Pity, O lord.  Have pity on him.
EMPEROR
Hear me.  It is my will.  Cloistered shall be Agnese.
PRINCES
It is our right to pass judgment!
EMPEROR
Should anyone dare affront our anger, my vengeful hand would strike him dead.
Know ye all that firm is my will, that no force ever shall oppose my power.
Merited reward for the banished traitor is the eternal night of death.
IRMENGARDA AND FILIPPO  (Toward the Emperor)
Do not cruelly punish the young man that for love dared defy death.  Be not
without pity, for he is worthy of your pardon, for his young heart, his blood,
his heroic and noble family that placed you on the throne and only now has
crossed you.
DUKE
Do not rashly punish him.  I must revenge myself and vindicate France.
I shall challenge him!  Men exile then the extreme sanction!  It is for me to
punish.  I who am France, offended in my blood and honor.
PRINCES
Who can tolerate this abuse?
To revenge the insult let us go united.  It is our duty our privilege to judge.
No one can take from us this right without losing liberty.  Sacred and intangible
freedom!
AGNESE AND ENRICO
Who can once more trust in hope that an angel in heaven protect this
innocent?  How can a poor heart that beats in anguish and love support
the fear of the specter of death that hovers inexorably over you?
CHORUS
How rapidly pain overcomes joy.  Closes in sorrow the day that began in dances
and levity.  Vanished is the joy.  The new dawn will bring new anxiety.
PRINCES
We shall meet again.  Be prepared for any event that could happen tomorrow.
ALL
So ends in sorrow the day that so happily started.  The new dawn perhaps
will give us further sorrow.

ACT TWO

PART ONE

Prison in castle of Slahleck.
Enrico, Teobaldo, and then the Burgrave.
Enrico gazes at the Rhein through a grate.
At the center of the cell, a trapdoor.

SCENE ONE

ENRICO
Placid and calm flow the waters of the Rhein unmindless of all pain.
Already the stars shine in the heavens and do not see my anguish.  Can human
agony perturb the peace of the sky?  Waves cannot feel the sorrow of the heart
that has no truce.  Ah!  There is no pity in heaven nor on earth.  There is no pity
for me, tied to a cruel destiny.  All night I sigh, and day gives me no solace.  My
thoughts are constantly of her.  I see her now in tears.  The sorrow that fills her heart
and floods her beloved eyes.  Why cannot I break the chains that tie me to my martyrdom?
Should I face death without a fight?  Run!  No!  My Princely word obliges me to remain.
(The trapdoor opens and Teobaldo emerges)  Teobaldo here?
TEOBALDO
Oh miserable master, I heard your voice and broke my chains.
ENRICO
We are both lost!  This have you done, father of mine!
CHORUS  (Internal)
Open!  Who goes there?  Ghibellines.
ENRICO
This is death's cry.  I shall no more see Agnese.
TEOBALDO  (spying through the grate)
I'll go to the Rhein, to your father.  He will save you!  He will!
ENRICO
May God help you!
TEOBALDO
By my soul!  (Goes to the grate, tears it loose, escapes, and disappears.)
ENRICO
O God, protect him.  Make him arrive safely.
(Enter the Burgrave with two Trabants and an officer)
BURGRAVE  (To the Trabants)
Be on guard!
ENRICO
Be you the messengers of my fate?
BURGRAVE
You shall chose your own fate.  (Hands him a note.)
ENRICO
What?  My banishment for ever?  Never again to see my beloved Agnese?
No!  I refuse!
BURGRAVE
Then it is death!
ENRICO
Damned be he the tyrant!  (Tears the note)  This is my choice!
BURGRAVE  (Breaking a white rod over Enrico's head)
Die then!  (To the departing officer)  Go!  The Emperor has decided.
(To Enrico)  Come with me!
ENRICO
And where?
BURGRAVE
To death!
ENRICO  (As in ecstasy)
Agnese, never shall I see in your eyes the joys of paradise.  In pain I leave
you but one day will come.  If on earth are we divided, reborn to new life in
heaven we shall be reunited.  United forever we will be.

BURGRAVE
Come!  To death!  To death!
CHORUS  (Internal)
To arms!  To arms!  Soldiers here!
BURGRAVE
Hurry!  To your destiny!  These are the princes.
(Enrico, flanked by guards, exits from the trapdoor)
I have done my duty.
PRINCES  (Internally)
Hurry, let us enter.  Make a break.  Knock down the door.
Hurry, break the locks.  Broken are the ties of tedium, we now
want blood.  Should violence overcome justice?  Who can stop our disdain?
(They rush on scene)

SCENE TWO

The Burgrave, Princes, then the Emperor and Filippo, followed by the Duke of
Borgogna

BURGRAVE
O princes, to whom does your rage direct?
PRINCES
Where has the tyrant hidden your prey?  We want to know!  We want to see!
BURGRAVE
I know nothing!
PRINCES
What!  Has death perhaps seized his life?  We want to see!  We want to Know!
BURGRAVE
I cannot tell.
PRINCES
Speak if you want to save your life, despicable executioner.  Speak!  Where is he?
BURGRAVE
I do not know.
PRINCES
Turn the prince over to us!
BURGRAVE
Justice is done.
PRINCES
This misdeed requires justice.  All is broken.  All is in pieces.  Broken are the
bonds of faith.  Now we want blood.  We want revenge!
(Enter the Emperor and Filippo)
EMPEROR
Cease your noise, rebels!
FILIPPO
Stop!  Is this a rebellion?
EMPEROR
What?  Is this the way you maintain your fealty sworn to me with such vigor,
seditious princes?

PRINCES
Not rebels, but offended princes that too late arrived to prevent a death
which shall be avenged.  Heaven wills it.
BURGRAVE
The madman chose death.  Refused exile.
EMPEROR
It was his choice.
FILIPPO
Heavens, what do I hear!  Enrico is dead.  My faithful friend.
(Noise of clashing arms)
EMPEROR
What is happening?  Clashing of arms?  Who dares here assail?
(Enter the Duke of Borgogna, followed by Enrico)
DUKE
It is I.  Sentenced to death I myself bring here to you.
(Turning to the princes)
And he is mine.
ALL
Enrico!  He still lives!
EMPEROR
Curses!
BURGRAVE
O evil destiny!
ENRICO
I have been taken by this stranger who annuls the imperial sentence.
EMPEROR
How dare you Duke!
DUKE
Yes, he must not die if not by my hand, for my revenge.  The people and King
of France await.  He must clash with me.  Here is the gauntlet that I throw to you.  
(Throws his glove to Enrico)  Now consent and gather it.
PRINCES  (aside)
Too daring is the knight.
DUKE
I can to all give reason.
PRINCES  (aside)
He tolerates no one and we are all on his side.
PRINCES AND FILIPPO  (Loudly to the Duke)
You shant miss an adversary.
EMPEROR
So be it.  (To himself)  To me remains the victim
(loud)  I allow the challenge.  May this tournament close the great feast to which
tomorrow, O great Duke, I invite you.  (To Filippo)  I entrust the prisoner to you.
You will answer for him with your life.  (Undervoice to Filippo)  He is in your hands,
may I not see him again.
FILIPPO  (To himself)
What?  Have I heard well?  Must I save him?
EMPEROR  (Undervoice tto the Burgrave)
Certainly he will escape and you will catch him at Triefels...
PRINCES  (Who are listening)
At Triefels?
EMPEROR
There you will kill him.
PRINCES
Kill?
BURGRAVE
Will do.
DUKE  (To knights of his following)
To you, Enrico survey.
EMPEROR
O Duke, come let us tie our pact.  (To the princes)  After the encounter you
will learn what is our right to judge this fellow.  It is time. Gather the armies
the imperial highness calls to conquer Sicilia.  (To Filippo)  And you, brother
with the vanguard, fall on the Lion and his savage hordes and vanquish them in the field.
(Leaves, accompanied by the Duke.)

SCENE THREE

FILIPPO
Adverse fate!  What destiny you have given me!
PRINCES  (To Enrico)
Death to you reserved the tyrant.  If you flee, the assassin will meet you.
ENRICO
The assassin?  Who would dare so much?
PRINCES
The Emperor himself!  We heard Triefel's death! That was the verdict.
Flee!  Save your life!
ENRICO
My honor prevents me from fleeing.
PRINCES
You shall never see Agnese again.  In a cloister she will be hidden.
ENRICO
In a cloister?  Torn will be victory from the Duke of Borgogna!
FILIPPO
Defer all your father's revenges.
PRINCES
The liberty of princes betrayed claims vengeance of blood and honor.
ENRICO  (In desperation)
Agnese in a cloister!
FILIPPO
Refrain your fury, hold the rage of your heart!  Hear!  Listen to me.
ENRICO
I will have revenge!  Bloody revenge!
PRINCES
Then let us go vindicate with blood the affront!

PART TWO
Down in a chapel. At the main altar Agnese and the Archbishop
NUN'S CHORUS (in Latin)
Enclarescit oriens luce matutina nox effugit innocens gratia divine.
(Morning light from the east drives away the night, by the grace of God.)
AGNESE
Oh King of the heavens, how can my broken heart invoke thee?
Much as my soul desires, my prayer does not have wings nor strength to fly
to you. My life is without hope.  Vanished is the joy that filled my
soul.  Darkened is the light of my pure love.  I have no more tears to shed.
May my poor heart find peace.
ARCHBISHOP
Do not despair.  Day always follows night.  Fulgid light always conquers darkness.
AGNESE
What does it matter if he will not see the light of day?
ARCHBISHOP
To Him who sees all you must pray.  You again must pray!
Confide in Him eternal love.  He is omnipotent, do not despair my daughter!
Have faith in Him!
NUN'S CHORUS (in Latin)
Curam a mortalibus arceas Anxiiis gementibus praesta sancte pacem
AGNESE
You who are all powerful illuminate our hearts with refulgent light.
You who are comforter of the afflicted, save my love.  Come, save him!
ARCHBISHOP
Do not despair.  Have faith in Him.  Have faith in his power.  One alone of his
rays can illuminate his way.

SCENE TWO
Irmengarda enters, then Enrico

AGNESE  (Throws herself in her mother's arms)
Let me hold you tight.  I live only in your arms.
IRMENGARDA
Oh daughter of mine, all hope is vanished!  Myself I threw at the sovereign's
feet and implored grace for that loved one, but he repulsed me in rage.
I can do no more than share your anguish.
AGNESE
I can only die in despair.
ENRICO  (Enters)
I see you for the last time!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Heavens, you are free?  Thanks be to the Lord in heaven!
ARCHBISHOP
Let us give thanks to God in heaven for his goodness.
ENRICO
It is not the horror of a prison that I see, but the celestial eyes that at
last I see.  Those eyes that stolen from me would be!  I owe all to a friend
who stands guard!  Faithful and to me dear!
AGNESE
Oh dear Enrico, my love, flee, run!  You are in great peril.  The ruffians may
arrive and steal you from me.
IRMENGARDA
Divine powers.  Hope is propitious now, much as it lacked in hour of pain.
ENRICO
Again, I'm given the joy to be with you.  My heart does not believe my eyes.
And so much joy I owe to a friend!  God, my heart breaks with joy!
AGNESE
Now an obscure menace invades my heart!  And yet my heart is happy with you, I
shall never leave you Enrico, never again!
IRMENGARDA
Do not dally.  Peril is about.  Go save yourself.  Sweet will be her pain if you
far be because of cruel fate.
AGNESE AND ENRICO
Only death can part us.  It is beautiful to die together.  Even should we die,
our love, ever more beautiful, ever more pure in heaven, will flower.
Come, let us forget all fears, distress, and pains.  Now at last we fear not
adverse destiny.  We shall no longer fear!  If at last I've found you, sweet
treasure, I no longer fear adverse destiny.
IRMENGARDA
Merciful God, save them.  Have pity on them. Only one word of  life pronounce,
and give them peace and joy.  Save them from all the adversity of a cruel fate.
Watch over them!  Do not forsake them!  Listen to my prayer!  Do not permit
cruel fate to befall them.
AGNESE
Go!  Go!  Do not tarry!  (Enrico leaves)
IRMENGARDA  (Lunges after him)
Stop!  A sudden thought from heaven sent.  Stay, no further renounces will you have to suffer.
(Moves toward the altar with the Archbishop)
AGNESE AND ENRICO
What does she mean?  What does she intend doing?
IRMENGARDA
(Returns and comes between Enrico and Agnese)
I want to dare.  I want to avail myself of the sacred God-given right I have.
Let motherly love do away with caution.  A sacred rite unite your
hearts.  With fortitude you will have to support separation as long as
danger persists.
AGNESE AND ENRICO
Upon us descend heaven's saintly joy.  May our separation weigh lightly.
(Irmengarda leads both to a side chapel and kneels to one side. The
Archbishop leads Agnese and Enrico to the altar)
IRMENGARDA
From your source of grace, O God, descend on these dearest that they be
joined in the oath of sincere faithfulness and love!  Listen to my prayer, O
God, and gratify my vow!
AGNESE AND ENRICO
Dear mother, celestial joy invades my soul and lifts it to heaven, to pure
golden dreams!  Good Lord, you are my witness that pure is my love!
ENRICO
Agnese!  Sweet bride, farewell.  An oath unites our hearts.  You are mine forever.
AGNESE
Enrico!  Sweet husband, farewell.   An oath unites our hearts.  You are mine forever.
Beloved husband, I will be faithful to you forever, dearest angel of my
heart.  I will never forget my spouse.  United are we in heaven.
ENRICO
Beloved wife!  I shall always be faithful to you, never will I forget my
wife.  United are we in heaven.
IRMENGARDA
Now my anxiety is placated.  Already calm and confident is my heart.
(Toward the newlyweds)  Good luck forever.  May heaven grant you peace
brought to the anguished heart.  Wherever your paths may lead you may the
blessing of God that I invoked upon you, and that never may cloud darken your
deserved peace.  This is the ardent wish I make to you.
ARCHBISHOP
May God, source of all good, be always with you to protect and fill you with all
grace.  Infuse your hearts with courage and wherever your paths may lead you
may heaven be propitious and concede forever peace.  I join you in the sacred
knot of matrimony!

SCENE THREE

Filippo, the Duke, then all the populace behind the gates of the chapel.  A storm is brewing.

FILIPPO  (In a hurry, to Enrico)
Too late now.   A storm is brewing.  The irate waves of the Rhein already close your way to
 your father's camp.  Who can stop the arms of the "Leone"?  All the people are in flight!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Flee!
ENRICO
Farewell, sweet bride!
FILIPPO
His bride?  What do I hear?
IRMENGARDA
Yes, by my will.
FILIPPO
What imprudence.  Misfortune it will bring.  Ah, quick run!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Farewell!  Hurry, make haste!
ENRICO
Adieu, my sweet bride!
DUKE  (Enters and blocks Enrico's way)
So! You are here!  (To Filippo, with rage)
Is this how you do your mandate?
FILIPPO
Guarantor am I!  Who do you want?
DUKE
Mine enemy that was to you entrusted.  I here find, near the wife of my King.
PEOPLE"S CHORUS  (Kneeling behind the chapel gates)
From the death dealing storm, O Lord, defend us!
NUN'S CHORUS (from inside)
Rex misericordae Clemens vel irate, clemens nobis Domine sis in tempestate!
Salve nos a fulgure et tempestate.
(Our God king of mercy, calm the raging waves.  Be clement with us in the
storm and save us from lightning and tempest.)
PEOPLE'S CHORUS
In anxiety and pain be our protector!
Lightning flashes fill the sky.  In the horror of the storm the fury of the
wind and the sound of thunder.  It's the hurricane that menacing advances.  The
universe trembles in the horrible storm.  God save us!  Of you we mercy
implore.  Save us from the fury of the storm.
ENRICO  (Drawing his sword)
Now I shall measure with you!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Heavens!  A duel!  O height of misfortune!
ARCHBISHOP
O chasm of pain.  A duel in a cloister, in a sacred place!
DUKE
I do not believe in your vaunted courage!
FILIPPO  (With furor)
Vaunted?  Then stronger is the insult!
DUKE
Revenge I long.  I await the challenge.
FILIPPO
Which one do you await?
ENRICO
It is too late! To us!!
ARCHBISHOP
Must you profane this cloister?  Stop!  Stop!  Don't you hear!!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Help us, O Lord!  Pity Lord!  Unheard-of outrage!  Oh what rank misfortune!  
A duel in the cloister!
DUKE
(To the French)
Catch him, take him away far from me and my eyes.
ENRICO
Who dares?  Let no one come near.  Who wishes death come here!
ARCHBISHOP
Be calm, friends!  Listen to the Word of God!!
DUKE
I order, I command you!  Catch him!
FILIPPO AND ENRICO
We are here ready to die.  Come, if you have heart!
ARCHBISHOP
Detestable sacrilege!  For heaven's sake, don't do it!  Lower your swords together.  
Together, united, refrain your anger.  Indignation!
PEOPLE'S CHORUS
Hail, Hail, O Lord, not to decree our death!  Pity us!
(At a sign of the Archbishop the gates are thrown open and the people crowd
in and kneel before the altar of the side chapel.)
DUKE
Soon will I have revenge!  Blood shall flow!  I have sworn it in my heart!
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
Listen to our prayer, O Lord!  We thee invoke.  Do not let your house be profaned.
(The archbishop takes from the hands of two altar-boys a large cross and
elevates it)
ARCHBISHOP
Look!  He is here!  He judges your actions.  Peace in his name and peace between
you.  The Lord of forgiveness asks it!  (All present are kneeling except the Duke)
ENRICO AND FILIPPO
The tempest that from far away had slowly approached is now retreating.
Still heard is the thunder and lightning still flashes.
(Enrico, Filippo, the Duke, and some knights remain still with their swords lowered.)
AGNESE AND IRMENGARDA
O Lord, give us peace!  Have pity on us!  Remove their rage!  Save us with Your
forgiveness.  Do not be pitiless towards them, O God of mercy.
NUN'S CHORUS
Omnibus Domine praesta pace.  Amen
(Lord of all, give peace.  Amen)
ARCHBISHOP
Peace!  Listen to the words that from on high recall you to the true and
holy love.
PEOPLE'S CHORUS
Grace!  Grace! Lord, placate the anguish of the heart, O God.  Dispel the
anxiety and make that peace and calm return to our hearts.

ACT THREE

The large square in front of the Royal Palace.

GENERAL CHORUS
The world in joyous songs is feasting.  Happy hymns and songs in happy
exultation rise to the heavens.  So much splendor lifts and binds the event
 that here joyfully receive in the feast of valor and virility every knight,
be he French or German champion.
EMPEROR  (Majestically seated on his throne)
Warriors of my realm, with you tomorrow the eagle of Germany will take
flight and the banners will shine in the sky.
IRMENGARDA
Come! Pardon Agnese.  On her knees at the altar she implores your mercy.
EMPEROR
The bride and Archbishop always oppose my will.  Now!  Without delay!
IRMENGARDA  (To herself)
Already the dear ones are far away.
FILIPPO  (To himself)
Now mine is the challenge.
EMPEROR
Now then!  Let the dances begin!  Then the games of war, and let them be a
sample of what shortly we will have to face.
(The dancing begins)
Ballet
EMPEROR
Let the dispute between the Princes of Borgogna and Brunswik end.
The field of battle is opened according to the customs and rules!
Where is the adversary?
DUKE OF BORGOGNA  (Comes forward with six knights)
Advance to one I have challenged !
FILIPPO  (Advances with six knights)
O noble Duke, here is your pledge (shows the glove).  I have gathered it and
mine is the test.
DUKE
I did not challenge you!
FILIPPO
I am the warrantor.
EMPEROR
Are you raving?  By my anger!  Where is the prisoner I entrusted to you?
FILIPPO
A pious duty delays him.  Your Grace, permit me to fight the Duke
EMPEROR
No!  Never!
EMPEROR  (To himself)
Unworthy brother!  (aloud)  If you want, so be it!
(Two judges mark out the field)
GENERAL CHORUS
What black cloud now advances and darkens the sky.  A veil of darkness
descends on the joy.  Be it propitious to one or the other victory will not
shine.  Spent already is the splendor of the feast.  What so happily began
now ends in sorrow.
TWO JUDGES
The wind has risen and the sun has gone.
Swear you will not use bewitched arms!
FILIPPO AND DUKE
We swear!
TWO JUDGES
Swear you will not make use of forces of darkness or sorcery.
FILIPPO AND DUKE
We swear on our honor!  We swear!
TWO JUDGES
Fight then, as knights, and may to the just, God grant victory.
IRMENGARDA
Let us escape from such a horrible sight!
LADIE'S CHORUS
Lord, stop this horrible engagement!  Suspend it!  Hurry!
(Agnese and Enrico enter in the company of a few French knights)
GENERAL CHORUS
'Tis him!  Enrico!

LADIE'S CHORUS
The Princess!
FRENCH KNIGHTS
We caught these lovers escaping on a boat.
ENRICO
I, run away!  You lie!  (Draws his sword, runs to Filippo and takes his place.)
Only mine is this challenge!
DUKE
Ah, finally!  (Oh fate, I'm still in time!)
EMPEROR
Treason!
LADIE'S CHORUS
Stop this cruel fight!
AGNESE
Oh mother of mine!  Help!
IRMENGARDA
 Oh daughter of mine!
FRENCH KNIGHTS
Take care of our lord!  Use your steel!  He is in great peril!
(The French knights draw their swords)
GERMAN KNIGHTS
The Guelph is winning!  The French are enraged!
Look about!  Treason!  To us!
(The Duke's sword is broken.)
DUKE
A sword!  A sword!
ENRICO
You shall die!
FRENCH KNIGHTS
Withdraw!  He is the King of France!
GENERAL CHORUS
The King of France be he?
EMPEROR  (Leaves the throne, followed by the princes.)
How can I have faith in the ambassador?  I see the King in person!
DUKE  
Yes, 'tis I!
Forgive me.  I wanted unbeknownst to conquer the princess.
ENRICO
He who saved my life I was about to wound!
DUKE
Ungrateful, how could you have forgotten?
ENRICO
On my knees, I beg your pardon, august lord.  I never met you and did not know
you were the King!
EMPEROR
How to repair this fault?
AGNESE  (To the Duke)
Forgive him my lord.  Pronounce please only one clement word of goodness.

ALL  (Except the Duke and Enrico)
Yes, forgive, Imperial Highness!
Failure was not fault of his!  He deplores it with all his soul and heart!
EMPEROR
(How can he be forgiven?  I shall have revenge!  His misdeed shall be
punished!  Yes!  Blood shall flow!)
DUKE  (To himself)
If it should not be too much meekness I would willingly pardon the
offender.  Yes, I will!  My heart commands it!
EMPEROR
Come!  Away with you.
AGNESE
Hear my prayer.  (The Emperor stops her)
EMPEROR
How dare you!  Dishonored!
AGNESE
My God!
IRMENGARDA, FILIPPO, AND THE DUKE
Ah, no!
FILIPPO
Cruel fate!
ALL
Dishonored?  What does he say?
DUKE
You are too severe.
IRMENGARDA
Immaculate, (I cannot be silent.) hear ye, all. Married are they!
ALL
Married?
IRMENGARDA
Yes, married!
ENRICO
True, before God.
EMPEROR
These are lies, for me to cheat.
DUKE
'Tis true!? I cannot believe it.
ARCHBISHOP
Heaven has blessed the sacred knot.  Enrico was her chosen one.
EMPEROR
You impudent priest, tremble before me!
ARCHBISHOP
'Tis in the hands of God he who to God is consecrated.
IRMENGARDA  {With vigor)
Only a tyrant can think it easy for a mother to have her daughter abducted!
To think that a mother could let her only God given child in dire peril
fall.  How could a mother permit her daughter be abducted?
EMPEROR
Never more!  Let her be cloistered!
IRMENGARDA
What do I hear?  You want to kill the daughter of he that far from here is in danger for you?
CHORUS AND PRINCES
He is in Italy for the throne of Sicily.
EMPEROR
Enough!  Silence!
FILIPPO, ARCHBISHOP, AND THE DUKE
Curb your anger and scorn.
PRINCES
We will not tolerate such injustice.
Rather, we will shed blood.  Yes, let blood run.
EMPEROR
Tremble you rebels!  As scorn for you let Enrico receive his just
punishment.  Death!  Go!  Go!
ALL
Oh, cruel fate!
PRINCES CHORUS
You yourself have condemned.  Withdraw your bloody decree.  We do not
tolerate.  We will not support such brutal injustice.  Now then withdraw the edict.
EMPEROR
You yourselves have decreed his death!  Trabants!  Put him to death!  Carry out!
ALL
Come let us stop this insane deed.
(The Princes try to rush the throne.  Enrico shields the Emperor with his body
while the trabants try to hold Enrico and disarm him. Agnese faints.)
ENRICO
He who dares approach will have to first taste my sword.
GERMAN KNIGHTS
You mean to defend he who has condemned you to death!
We do not tolerate brutal injustice!
ENRICO
To him you have sworn fealty and fealty to him you owe!  If any one of you
should dare menace.  (Lifts his eyes to the sky.)  Oh father, dear father, adored
wife, farewell forever!  I go to death!  (Enters Enrico il Leone and stops his son.  Teobaldo follows.)
ENRICO IL LEONE
No, not to death. . . . Remain!  (Lifts his visor)
ENRICO  (Throws himself in his father's arms)
O father!
EMPEROR
Foul rebel!
ENRICO IL LEONE  (Declaiming with force)
You see here the faithful messenger that to our camp would deliver the fatal decree that
my son to the executioner would go.
TEOBALDO AND ENRICO
Saved me has God!  Saved him has God!
ENRICO IL LEONE
Had you doubted that paternal affect did not beat in my heart and like a
hurricane, with his heroes be here at this feast.  Now then I am here to
persuade you of the trick.  The gates of Mainz are already open.  You are in
my hands!
EMPEROR
Ah!  Die you bold!
BURGRAVE  (Entering)
Flee, flee, my lord!  Save yourself!  By vile deceit the Guelphs have entered.
(Sounds of trumpets within)
ENRICO IL LEONE
Listen to the formations of the Lion.
EMPEROR
Traitors!  (Moves toward the throne, Tries to mount the steps and falls)
Ah, my throne!
GERMAN KNIGHTS
Finally he is defeated!  Bowed is the tyrant that has always despised our
rights and trampled our faith.  Oppressor of the innocent, harasser of the weak.
The wrath of God has descended.  Only love, goodness, valor, and innocence have
triumphed.
EMPEROR  (As awakening from a dream)
Far from me are my braves.  As enemies, I'm betrayed, deposed from the
throne.  An Hohenstaufen!
ENRICO IL LEONE  (Advances toward the throne, bends his knee and
deposes his sword at the Emperor's feet)
With loyalty my lord.  The victor now places our swords at your feet.
His beloved son he meant to redeem, now he is mine.  Now you may have him.
Down in Italy in a new war our arms to yours be united.
ENRICO  (To his father, indicating the Duke)
The noble sovereign, King of France, and my lord.
(To the King of France)
To exorcise cruel battle between my father and the emperor, I escaped
from prison.  I am now satisfied!  I am your prisoner and will again
follow you.  (Lowering his sword at the feet of the Emperor)
I am ready to accept my punishment.
ALL
Oh great heart!  Generous example!
DUKE  (Opens his arms to Enrico)
Upon my heart!  I have long time forgiven you, and with me your Emperor.
He absolves you and consents your union with Agnese.  He opens his arms to
you and your father.
PRINCES
What?  Hard and contrary is his heart?
ALL
The grace of God from Heaven descend upon us!
EMPEROR  (With energy)
If I listen to this voice my throne is saved!
So be it then!  Let there be amnesty and peace!
ALL
This pardon touches the hearts.  We fervently give thanks to heaven!
EMPEROR  (Placing the hands of Agnese and Enrico together who kneel at his feet)
Now, our will ratify what the Lord has already united!

ALL
Long live the great Emperor!!!
EMPEROR
Now in Italy you shall give proof of your faith in me.
PRINCES
Come!  Lift up your banners!!  We are ready!
GENERAL CHORUS
Let the glory of the sacred empire rifulge with the resplendent eagle!
Unconquered, raise the superb God given insignia!  Let in the sun with
vivid splendor triumph the imperial emblems of our warriors!  A shout
raise to heaven!  Hail!  Hail!!  Hohenstaufen of Swabia, ancient honor!

THE END