Instant Monologues
Ibsen Peer Gynt Instant Monologue

by Henrik Ibsen



(dizzy and bewildered)

Tower over tower arises!

Hei, what a glittering gate!

Stand! Will you stand! It's drifting

further and further away!

High on the vane the cock stands

lifting his wings for flight;-

blue spread the rifts and bluer,

locked is the fell and barred.-

What are those trunks and tree-roots,

that grow from the ridge's clefts?

They are warriors heron-footed!

Now they, too, are fading away.

A shimmering like rainbow-streamers

goes shooting through eyes and brain.

What is it, that far-off chiming?

What's weighing my eyebrows down?

Hu, how my forehead's throbbing-

a tightening red-hot ring-!

I cannot think who the devil

has bound it around my head!

(Sinks down)

Flight o'er the Edge of Gendin-

stuff and accursed lies!

Up o'er the steepest hill-wall

with the bride,-and a whole day drunk;

hunted by hawks and falcons,

threatened by trolls and such,

sporting with crazy wenches:-

lies and accursed stuff!

(Gazes long upwards)

Yonder sail two brown eagles.

Southward the wild geese fly.

And here I must splash and stumble

in quagmire and filth knee-deep!

(Springs up)

I'll fly too! I will wash myself clean in

the bath of the keenest winds!

I'll fly high! I will plunge myself fair in

the glorious christening-font!

I will soar far over the saeter;

I will ride myself pure of soul;

I will forth o'er the salt sea waters,

and high over Engelland's prince!

Ay, gaze as ye may, young maidens;

my ride is for none of you;

you're wasting your time in waiting-!

Yet maybe I'll swoop down, too.-

What has come of the two brown eagles-?

They've vanished, the devil knows where!-

There's the peak of a gable rising;

it's soaring on every hand:

it's growing from out the ruins;-

see, the gateway is standing wide!

Ha-ha, yonder house, I know it;

it's grandfather's new-built farm!

Gone are the clouts from the windows;

the crazy old fence is gone.

The lights gleam from every casement;

there's a feast in the hall to-night.

There, that was the provost clinking

the back of his knife on his glass;-

there's the captain flinging his bottle,

and shivering the mirror to bits.-

Let them waste; let it all be squandered!

Peace, mother; what need we care!

'Tis the rich Jon Gynt gives the banquet;

hurrah for the race of Gynt!

What's all this bustle and hubbub?

Why do they shout and bawl?

The captain is calling the son in;-

oh, the provost would drink my health.

In then, Peer Gynt, to the judgment;

it rings forth in song and shout:

Peer Gynt, thou art come of great things,

and great things shall come of thee!

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