The Valkyrie: Act One, Scene Three - Hunding's hut: Siegmund and Sieglinde
Siegmund, left alone, contemplates his moment of truth. His destiny (i.e., Wotan’s influence) has brought him to Hunding’s hut and his twin-sister Sieglinde, though Siegmund will never become conscious of the role which Wotan’s (i.e., mankind’s religious longing for transcendent meaning) influence has had upon his personal history. Siegmund – in a rapturous meditation of great lyrical profundity – contemplates the meaning of the events which have brought him to this moment of decision about newfound love, and invokes the promise made by his father Waelse (Wotan in disguise as known to his Waelsung children Siegmund and Sieglinde; “Wolfe” is how Wotan is known to others) to grant him a sword in his time of direst need (“Noth”):
(#67 rhythm. Siegmund alone. It is completely dark outside; the room is lit only by the faint glimmer of a fire in the hearth. Siegmund settles down on the couch near the fire and broods silently for a while in a state of great inner turmoil: #57).
Siegmund: (#58a:) my father promised me a sword (:#58a): (#58b:) I’d find it in direst need [“hoechster Noth”] (:#58b)! (#67:) Unarmed I chanced upon my enemy’s house; in pawn to his vengeance I rest here now (:#67): - (#40 or #64 vari?:) I saw a woman, winsome and fair; exquisite terror consumes my heart (:#40 or #64 vari?): - (#67) she to whom yearning draws me now and who wounds me with sweet enchantment is held in thrall by the man who mocks me, weaponless as I am. – (#57a:) Waelse! Waelse! (:#57a)! Where is your sword? The mighty sword that I’d wield in the fray (#5 varis:) when forth from my breast breaks the furious rage yet harboured within my heart (:#5 varis)
(The fire collapses, causing a fierce glow to flare up and strike the spot on the ash-tree’s trunk indicated by Sieglinde’s eyes, where the hilt of a buried sword can be clearly seen. #57)
Siegmund: What glints there so bright in the glimmering light? What blaze breaks forth (#57) from the ash-tree’s bole? A blind man’s eyes are lit by its flash: (#57) gaily his gaze lights in laughter. – How the heavenly glow sears this heart of mine! (#57) Is it the glorious woman’s glance, which she left behind her, clinging there, when she passed out of the hall? (#57: From this point on, the fire in the hearth gradually dies out.) Nighttime’s shadows shielded my eyes; the flash of her glaze then