Act II, scene 2. In soliloquy, the Templar knight, Brian de Bois Guilbert, dismisses his companion De Bracy's infatuation with the Saxon maiden, Rowena, whom they have captured, preferring his own mad passion for their other prisoner, the exotic Jewish girl, Rebecca. Blue words appear only in the printed libretto and red words appear only in the printed score, both Chappell & Co., 1891.
Woo thou thy snowflake till she melt for thee;
Another and a wilder bliss be mine!
My lovely Jewess!
Oh she has drawn a spell about my heart
And whelm’d my soul with love!
Her southern splendour, like the Syrian moon,
Draws the full tide of my rebellious blood!
Though Death should clasp me close ere set of sun,
This hour is mine, and mine the tyrant’s mood,
And I shall woo her as the lion woos
To bring his wild mate docile to his side;
And I shall win her as the lion wins
That in the desert leads seeks his tawny bride.
I will woo her, I will win her,
I will woo and win her, as the lion woos and wins!
O maid of Judah, trembling in my arms,
Proud is thy fate to own my conquering sword!
Though Hell oppose with all its dire alarms,
This hour is mine and I thy ruthless lord.
If Death be host, I’ll drain his cup for wine!
Come night, come Death, so this wild hour be mine!