Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT III - Aida by Antonio Ghislanzoni, music by Giuseppe Verdi
ACT III - Giuseppe Verdi, Aida by Antonio Ghislanzoni, music by Giuseppe Verdi 
Aida by Antonio Ghislanzoni, music by Giuseppe Verdi, edited with an introduction by W.J. Henderson (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1911).
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The banks of the Nile—Granite hills covered with palm trees.—On the summit a temple of Isis, half hidden by the foliage.—Night full of stars and the splendor of the moon.
- (Within the temple.)
- O thou, who art of Osiris
- Mother immortal and wife,
- Goddess, who all chaste desires
- Hath placed in the heart by thy might,
- Bend o’er us in pity exceeding,
- Mother of love and of light.
- [From a boat which approaches the bank, descend Amneris and Ramphis, followed by women closely veiled, and guards.]
Come to the temple of Isis, on the eve before thy marriage, and pray for the goddess’s favor. To Isis are all hearts open. To her thy inmost thoughts are known.
Yes, and I will pray that Rhadames may give me all his heart, as my heart to him has e’er been wholly given.
Pray thou until dawn. I shall be near thee.
[All enter the temple.—The chorus repeat their hymn.]
- (Enters cautiously, with her head veiled.)
- Rhadames will come—what will he tell me?
- My heart is troubled! If thou com’st to me,
- O cruel one, a last farewell to speak,
- The rushing waters of the Nile shall hide me;
- Oblivion there—and dreamless peace—I’ll seek.
- O pleasant skies, O breezes softly blowing,
- Where the calm morning of life seemed so bright,
- O grassy hills, O sweet rivers flowing,
- Blest native country, lost is thy light!
Amonasro and Aïda
Heavens! My father!
The weightiest reasons have brought me to thy side, Aïda. Naught escapes my eye. For love of Rhadames thou art dying. He loves thee, thou awaitest him. A daughter of the Pharaohs is thy rival.
O race accursed, abhorred and fatal to us! And I am in her power! I, Amonasro’s daughter!
In her power! No! If thou wishest, thou shalt conquer thy powerful rival; and country and throne and love, all shall be thine. Thou shalt see again our balmy forests, our verdant vales, our temples built of gold!
I shall see again our balmy forests, our verdant vales, our temples built of gold!
- The happy bride of him for whom thou’rt panting,
- Exultant joy, thou’lt feel, with rapture sigh.
- A single day of sweetness so enchanting,
- An hour of such delight—then let me die!
- Ah, but recall how Egypt’s host descended,
- Daring our homes, our altars to profane,
- Loading with chains the maidens undefended,
- Leaving the aged and the helpless slain.
- Yes, I remember that heart-crushing sorrow,
- Remember the strife in my bosom it woke.
- Ah! That they grant us a brighter to-morrow,
- All of the gods, in their mercy, invoke!
- Lose not a moment! Our people, undaunted,
- Ready in arms are preparing the blow.
- Vict’ry is sure, and but one thing is wanted,
- What is the path they have chosen—the foe?
- Who will discover that path? Dost thou know?
- Rhadames, whom thou await’st, will tell thee.
- He leads the Egyptian forces—and he loves thee!
- Thou promptest me to this? No! No! I cannot!
- (With savage violence.)
- Up, then, and plunder,
- Egypt’s band!
- Rending asunder
- Our native land.
- Scatter wild terror,
- Confusion and error,
- Give reins to your fury,
- Let nothing stand!
- (Repulsing her.)
- Thou call’st thyself my daughter!
- (Terrified and supplicating.)
- Have mercy!
- Torrents of blood shall crimson flow
- O’er the city of the vanquished,
- Seest thou? From death’s dark gulf below,
- They raise their bosoms anguished,
- And with accusing finger show
- Thee as their cause of woe!
- A phantom terrible
- From that gulf dread,
- Withered hands stretched
- Over thy head.
- Thy mother’s hands—O see!
- She curses thee.
- (With the utmost terror.)
- Ah, no!—father!
Go, misbegotten, thou art not my daughter. Thou art the Pharaohs’ slave.
- Father, no more I’ll be their slave,
- Ah, thy curses dread appal me!
- Still thy daughter thou may’st call me,
- For I will my country save.
- Think of thy race, conquered, effaced,
- Restored by thy grace, to freedom and place.
- O my country, my country, at how great cost!
- Courage! He comes! I’ll hide me here.
- [Conceals himself among the palms.]
Rhadames and Aïda
- Once more, my sweet Aïda, I behold thee.
- Arrest thee! Hence! What hope is thine?
- That thou wert here, love told me.
- I to another must thy hand resign,
- Betrothed of Amneris.
- What hast thou said?
- Thee only, sweet Aïda, can I love,
- Be Heaven my witness, for thee I shall wed.
- Invoke not falsely, the great gods above.
- The brave, not the forsworn I love.
- Thou doubt’st my love, Aïda?
- But how
- Thinkest thou to efface
- The love of thy Princess, the will of the King,
- The wrath of the priests and the hopes of thy race?
- Hear me, Aïda,
- Again, the torch of war, with zeal untiring,
- To a new blaze the Ethiop has fanned,
- Our country to invade once more aspiring,
- And all of Egypt’s armies I command.
- When me their shouts and songs proclaim victorious,
- The grateful King a new reward will give
- And thou shalt be my crown of triumph glorious,
- With thee in endless peace and love to live.
- Nay, but Amneris you should fear,
- Her rage, her envious fury
- Like Heaven’s thunder-bolt would fall
- On me, my father, on us all.
- In vain thou would’st attempt it.
- Yet—if thou lov’st me—there is still a way,
- To safety for us.
- Ah, fly these treacherous heats that burn,
- The land beneath them blighting,
- To a new country let us turn,
- Our faithful love inviting.
- There where virgin forests rise,
- And amid sweet-scented flowers,
- In this ecstasy of ours,
- The earth we’ll ne’er regret.
- To another land, a stranger,
- With thee thou bid’st me fly,
- My country leave in danger,
- Its sacred claims deny?
- Land these arms have ever shielded,
- Land whose conquering sword I’ve wielded,
- Land, the sight of thee that yielded,
- All this can I forget?
- In my pleasant land abiding,
- There our hearts to love confiding.
- Never will thy gods be chiding,
- For them we’ll honor yet.
Not love thee! Ne’er god nor mortal burned with such devouring passion.
- Go, go, thy Amneris awaits thee at the altar.
In vain, thou sayest? Then fall the axe on me and on my father!
- Ah, no! Let us fly!
- (With passionate resolution.)
- Yes, we’ll fly these walls now hated,
- In the desert hide our treasure:
- Here the land to woe seems fated,
- There the skies are bright with love,
- Boundless deserts naught can measure,
- Soon our bridal couch shall spread,
- And the stars their radiance shed,
- Our canopy above.
- In that land all grief allaying,
- There shall balmy skies await thee,
- And the gentle breezes straying,
- Flowers to shed their fragrance move.
- Verdant vales and pleasant meadows,
- There our bridal couch we’ll spread,
- And the stars their radiance shed,
- Our canopy above.
AÏDA AND RHADAMES
- Come with me, and together let us flee,
- From the land where spectres rove,
- Come with me—I love thee, love thee,
- And our guide shall be but love.
- [They are hastening away when suddenly Aïda stops.]
Nay, tell me by what path we may avoid their rising army?
By the path that we have chosen to fall upon the Ethiopians. It will be deserted until morning.
And what path is that?
The passes of Napata!
Amonasro, Aïda and Rhadames
The passes of Napata! There I’ll post my troops.
Oh! Who has overheard us?
Aïda’s father, Ethiopia’s King.
(In great surprise.)
Thou! Amonasro! Thou, the King! Heavens! What sayest thou? No! ’Tis false! I dream, I rave in madness!
- Ah, no! Be calm and hear me,
- True love thy steps are guiding.
- In Aïda’s love confiding,
- A throne thy prize shall be.
For thee I have betrayed my country, lost my honor!
- No! Of guilt thou’rt wholly blameless,
- For it was the will of Heaven.
- Come, beyond the Nile await thee
- Loyal troops thy name to cherish,
- Joys that tarnish not, nor perish,
- Crowning thee with love.
(Enter Amneris from the temple, then Ramphis, priests, guards, as above.)
(Rushing toward Amneris with a dagger.)
Thou comest to mar my plans! Die, then!
Nay, strike not, madman!
Guards, advance there!
(To Aïda and Amonasro.)
This instant! Fly!
(Dragging Aida away.)
Come thou, my daughter!
(To the guards.)
Quickly! Follow them!
Holy priest, to thee I yield.
end of the third act