Georg Friedrich Händel

Judas Maccabäus

Kurzübersicht:
Das Libretto von Thomas Morell geht im wesentlichen auf das erste Buch der Makkabäer aus dem Alten Testament (apokryphe Schriften) zurück (1. Makk. 2-8). In ihm wird der jüdische Kampf gegen die Herrschaft der Seleukiden geschildert, die unter Antiochus IV. Epiphanes den Glauben und den Gottesdienst Israels auszurotten versuchten.

Teil I
Die Israeliten beklagen den Tod ihres Führers Mattatias. Sie bitten Gott, ihnen einen Nachfolger zu schicken, der sie aus der Unterdrückung befreit und ihnen die Freiheit wiedergibt. Simon, einer der Söhne des Mattatias und Hoherpriester, verkündet, Gott habe seinen Bruder Judas Makkabäus als neuen Heerführer auserkoren. Judas verspricht dem jüdischen Volk Frieden und Freiheit.

Teil II
Die Israeliten jubeln Judas Makkabäus zu, der die feindlichen Heere aus Samaria unter Apollonius und aus Syrien unter Seron geschlagen hat. Als ein Bote berichtet, dass König Antiochus ein ägyptisches Heer unter der Führung von Gorgias nach Judäa entsandt habe, überfällt Verzweiflung die Israeliten. Doch Simon und Judas stärken den Siegeswillen der israeliti-schen Truppen.

Teil III

Der Tempel von Jerusalem ist zurückerobert und das Fest des Lichtes soll gefeiert werden. Ein Bote berichtet, wie Judas, der Makkabäer, den Rest der feindlichen Heere unter Nikanor bei Kapharsalama geschlagen habe. Der Sieger zieht im Triumph in Jerusalem ein und gedenkt der im Kampf Gefallenen. Von einer Mission in Rom kehrt der israelitische Gesandte Eupolemus mit einem Vertrag zurück, der die Unabhängigkeit Judäas ga-rantiert. Die Israeliten danken Gott und preisen den Sieger, der ihnen die Hoffnung auf Frieden und Wohlstand zurückgegeben hat.
 

Das Stück

Overture (keine Tempoangabe) - Allegro - Lentement - Allegro
 

Teil I
Israelitische Männer und Frauen wehklagen
über den Tod von Mattahias, Vater des Judas Maccabäus.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Mourn, ye afflicted children, the remains of captive Judah, mourn in solemn strains; your sanguine hopes of liberty give over; your hero, friend, and father is no more.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
Well may your sorrows, brethren, flow in all the expressive signs of woe: Your softer garments tear, and squalid sackcloth wear, your drooping heads with ashes strew, and with the flowing tear your cheeks bedew.

RECITATIVE (Israealitish woman)
Daughters, let your distressful cries and loud lament ascend the skies; your tender bosoms beat, and tear, with hands remorseless, your dishevelled hair; for pale and breathless, Mattathias lies, sad emblem of his country's miseries!

DUETT (Israelitish man and woman)
From this dread scene, these adverse powers. Ah! whither shall we fly? Oh Solyma! thy boasted towers in smoky ruins lie.

CHORUS (Israelites)
For Sion lamentation make, with words that weep, and tears that speak.

RECITATIVE (Simon) Not vain is all this storm of grief; to vent our sorrows, gives relief. Wretched indeed! But let not Judah's race their ruin, with desponding arms embrace. Distractful doubt and despera-tion ill become the chosen nation. Chosen by the great I AM, the Lord of Hosts, who, still the same, we trust, will give attentive ear to the sincerity of prayer.

AIR (Israelitish man)
Pious orgies, pious airs, decent sorrow, decent prayers, will to the Lord ascend, and move his pity, and regain his love.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Oh Father,whose Almighty power the heavens, and earth and seas adore; the hearts of Judah, thy delight, in one defensive band unite. And grant a leader bold, and brave, if not to con-quer, born to save.

ACCOMPANIED RECITATIVE (Simon)
I feel, I feel the Deity within, who, the bright Cherubim between, his radiant glory erst dis-played; To Isreal's distressful prayer he hath vouchsafed a gracious ear, and points out Maccabaeus to their aid:
Judas shall set the captive free, and lead us to the victory.

AIR (Simon)
Arm, arm, ye brave! a noble cause, the cause of Heaven your zeal demands. In defence of your nation, religion, and laws, the Almighty Jehovah will streng-then your hands.CHORUS IsraelitesWe come, we come, in bright array, Judah, thy sceptre to obey.

RECITATIVE (Judas Maccabaeus)
'Tis well, my friends; with transport I behold the spirit of our fathers, famed of old for their exploits in war. Oh, may their fire with active courage you, their sons, inspire: As when the mighty Joshua fought, and those amazing wonders wrought, stood still, obedient to his voi-ce, the sun, till kings he had destroyed, and kingdoms won.

AIR (Judas Maccabaeus)
Call forth thy powers, my soul, and dare the conflict of unequal war. Great is the glory of the conquering sword, that tri-umphs in sweet liberty restored. Call forth thy powers, my soul, and dare the conflict of unequal war.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
To Heaven's Almighty King we kneel,for blessings on this exemplary zeal. Bless him, Jehovah, bless him, and once more to thy own Israel liberty restore.

AIR (Israelitish man)
Oh liberty, thou choicest treasure, seat of virtue, source of pleasure! Life, without thee, knows no blessing, no endearment worth caressing.

AIR (Israelitish woman)
Come, ever-smiling liberty, and with thee bring thy jocund train. For thee we pant, and sigh for thee, with whom eternal pleasures reign.

AIR 'Tis liberty, dear liberty alone, that gives fresh beauty to the sun; that bids all nature look more gay, and lovely life with pleasure steal away.

DUET (Israelitish woman and man)
Come, ever-smiling liberty, and with thee bring thy jocund train. For thee we pant, and sigh for thee, with whom eternal pleasures reign.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Lead on, lead on! Judah disdains the galling load of hostile chains.

RECITATIVE (Judas Maccabaeus)
So willed my father, now at rest in the eternal mansions of the blest: "Can ye behold", said he, "the miseries, in which the long-insulted Judah lies? Can ye behold their dire distress, and not, at least, attempt redress?" Then , faintly, with expiring breath, "Resolve, my sons, on liberty or death!" We come! oh see, thy sons prepare the rough habili-ments of war; with hearts intrepid, and revengeful hands, to execute, oh sire, thy dread commands.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Disdainful of danger, we'll rush on the foe, that Thy power, oh Jehovah, all nations may know.

RECITATIVE (Judas Maccabaeus)
Ambition! if ever honour was thine aim, challenge it here: The glorious cause gives sanction to thy claim.

AIR No unhallowed desire our beasts shall inspi-re, nor lust of unbounded power! But peace to obtain: Free peace let us gain, and con-quest shall ask no more.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
Haste we, my brethren, haste we to the field, dependant on the Lord, our strength and shield.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Hear us, oh Lord, on Thee we call, resolved on conquest, or a glorious fall.

Teil II

CHORUS (Israelites)
Fallen is the foe; so fall Thy foes, oh Lord! Where warlike Judas wields his righteous sword.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
Victorious hero! Fame shall tell, with her last breath, how Apollonius fell, and all Samaria fled, by thee pursued through hills of carnage and a sea of blood; while thy resistless prowess dealt around, with their own leader's sword, the deathful wound. Thus, too, the haughty Seron, Syria's boast, before thee fell, with his unnumbered host.

AIR So rapid thy course is, not numberless forces withstand thy all-conquering sword. Though nations surround thee, no power shall con-found thee,'till freedom again be restored.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
Well may we hope our freedom to receive, such sweet transporting joys thy actions give.

DUET (Israelitish woman and man)
Sion now her head shall raise, tune your harps to songs of praise.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Tune your harps to songs of praise, Sion now her head shall raise.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish woman)
Oh let eternal honours crown his name; Judas! first worthy in the rolls of fame. Say, "He put on the breast-plate as a giant, and girt his warlike harness about him; in his acts he was like a lion, and like a lion's whelp roaring for his prey."

AIR (Israelitish woman)
From mighty kings he took the spoil, and with his acts made Judah smile. Judah re-joiceth in his name, and triumphs in her hero's fame.

DUET (Israelitish man and woman)
Hail, hail, Judea, happy land! Salvation prospers in his hand.

RECITATIVE (Judas Maccabaeus)
Thanks to my brethren; but look up to Hea-ven; to Heaven let glory and all praise be given; to Heaven give your applause, nor add the second cause, as once your fathers did in Midian, saying, "The sword of God and Gideon". It was the Lord that for his Israel fought, and this our wonderful salva-tion wrought.

AIR (Judas Maccabaeus)
How vain is man, who boasts in fight the valour of gigantic might! And dreams not that a hand unseen directs and guides this weak machine.

RECITATIVE (Messenger)
Oh Judas! oh my brethren! New scenes of bloody war in all their horrors rise. Prepare, prepare, or soon we fall a sacrifice to great Antiochus; from the Egyptian coast, (where Ptolemy hath Memphis and Pelusium lost) he sends the valiant Gorgias, and commands his proud, victorious bands to root out Is-real's strength, and to erase every memorial of the sacred place.

AIR (Israelitish man)
Ah! wretched Israel! fallen, how low, from joyous transport to desponding woe.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Ah! wretched Israel! fallen, how low, from joyous transport to desponding woe.

RECITATIVE (Simon)
Be comforted, nor think these plaques are sent for your destruction, but for chastise-ment. Heaven oft in mercy punisheth, that sin may feel its own demerits from within, and urge not utter ruin. Turn to God, and draw a blessing from His iron rod.

AIR (Simon The Lord worketh wonders his glory to raise; and still, as he thunders, is fearful in praise.

RECITATIVE (Judas Maccabaeus)
My arms! against this Gorgias will I go. The Idumean governor shall know, how vain, how ineffective his design, while rage his leader, and Jehovah mine.

AIR Sound an alarm! your silver trumpets sound, and call the brave, and only brave, around. Who listeth, follow: to the field again! Justice with courage is a thousand men.
CHORUS (Israelites)
We hear, we hear the pleasing, dreadful call, and follow thee to conquest; if to fall, for laws, religion, liberty, we fall.

*** Pause ***

RECITATIVE (Simon)
Enough! to Heaven we leave the rest. Such generous ardour firing every breast, we may devide our cares; the field be thine, oh Ju-das, and the sanctuary mine; for Sion, holy Sion, seat of God, in ruinous heaps, is by the heathen trod; such profanation calls for swift redress, if ever in battle Israel hopes success.

AIR (Simon)
With pious hearts, and brave as pious, oh Sion, we thy call attend, nor dread the nati-ons that defy us, God our defender, God our friend.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
Ye worshippers of God, down, down with the polluted altars, down; hurl Jupiter O-lympus from his throne, nor reverence Bac-chus with his ivy crown and ivy-wreathed rod. Our fathers nover knew him, or his hated crew, or, knowing, scorned such idol vanities.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
No more in Sion let the virgin throng, wild with delusion, pay their nightly song to Ash-toreth, yclept the Queen of Heaven. Hence to Phoenicia be the goddess driven, or be she, with her priests and pageants, hurled to the remotest corner of the world, never to delude us more with pious lies.

AIR (Israelitish man)
Wise men, flattering, may deceive you with their, vain mysterious art; magic charms can never relieve you, nor can heal the wounded heart. But true wis-dom can relieve you, godlike wisdom from above; this alone can never deceive you, this alone all pains remove.

DUET (Israelitish woman and man)
Oh! never, never bow we down to the rude stock or sculptured stone: but ever worship Isreal's God, ever obedient to his awful nod.

CHORUS (Israelites)
We never, never will bow down to the rude stock or sculptured stone. We worship God, and God alone.

Teil III

AIR (Israelitish man)
Father of Heaven! from Thy eternal throne, look with an eye of blessing down, while we prepare with holy rites, to solemnize the feast of lights. And thus our grateful hearts employ; and in Thy praise this altar raise, with carols of triumphant joy.

ACCOMPANIED RECITATIVE (Israelitish man)
See, see yon flames, that from the altar bro-ke, in spiry streams pursue the trailing smo-ke. The fragrant incense mounts the yielding air; sure presage that the Lord hath heard our prayer.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish woman)
Oh grant it, Heaven, that our long woes may cease, and Judah's daughters taste the calm of peace;sons, brothers, husbands to bewail no more, tortured at home, or havocked in the war.

AIR So shall the lute and harp awake, and sprightly voice sweet descant run, seraphic melody to make, in the pure strains of Jes-se's son.

RECITATIVE (Messenger)
From Capharsalama, on eagle wings I fly, with tidings of impetuous joy: Came Lysi-as, with his host, arrayed in coat of mail; their massy shields of gold and brass, flas-hed lightning over the fields, while the huge towerbacked elephants displayed a horrid front; but Judas, undismayed, met, fought, and vanquished all the rageful train. Yet more, Nicanor lies with thousands slain; the blasphemous Nicanor, who defied the living God, and, in his wanton pride, a public monument ordained of victories yet ungained.

RECITATIVE (Messenger)
But Io! the conqueror comes; and on his spear, to dissipate all fear, he bears the vaunter's head and hand, that threatened desolation to the land.

CHORUS (Israelitish youths)
See, the conquering hero comes! Sound the trumpets, beat the drums. Sports prepare, the laurel bring, songs of triumph to him sing.

DUET (Isrealitish virgins)
See the godlike youth advance! Breathe the flutes, and lead the dance; Myrtle wreaths, and roses twine, to deck the hero's brow divine.

CHORUS(Israelites)
See, the conquering hero comes! Sound the trumpets, beat the drums. Sports prepare, the laurel bring, songs of triumph to him sing.

MARCHSOLO (Israelitish man/woman, Israelites)
Sing unto Got, and high affections raise, to crown this conquest with unmeasured praise.

RECITATIVE (Judas Maccabaeus)
Sweet flow the strains, that strike my feasted ear; angels might stoop from heaven, to hear the comely song we sing, to Israel's Lord and King. But pause awhile: due obsequies prepare to those who bravely fell in war. To Eleazar special tribute pay; through slaughtered troops he cut his way to thedistinguished elephant, and, whelmed be-neath the deep-stabbed monster, triumphed in a glorious death.

AIR (Judas Maccabaeus)
With honour let desert be crowned, the trumpet never in vain shall sound; but, all attentive to alarms, the willing nations fly to arms, and conquering or conquered, claim the prize of happy earth, or far more happy skies.

RECITATIVE (Eupolemus)
Peace to my countrymen; peace, and liber-ty. From the great senate of imperial Rome, with a firm leaque of amity, I come. Rome, whatever nation dare insult ur more, will rouse, in our defence, her veteran power, and stretch her vengeful arm, by land or sea, "To curb the proud, and set the injured free".

CHORUS (Israelites)
To our great God be all the honour given, that grateful hearts can send from earth to Heaven.

RECITATIVE (Israelitish woman)
Again to earth let gratitude descend, prai-seworthy is our hero and our friend. Come then, my daughters, choicest art bestow, to weave a chaplet for the victor's brow; and in your songs for ever be confessed the valour that preserved, the power that bles-sed, blessed you with hours, that scatter, as they fly, soft quiet, gentle love, and bound-less joy.

DUET (Israelitish woman and man)
Oh lovely peace, with plenty crow-ned,come, spread thy blessings all around. Let fleecy flocks the hills adorn, and valleys smile with wavy corn. Let the shrill trumpet cease, nor other sound, but nature's songsters wake the cheerful morn.

AIR (Simon)
Rejoice, oh Judah! and, in songs divine, with Cherubim and Seraphim, harmonious join.

CHORUS (Israelites)
Hallelujah! Amen.Recoice, oh Judah! and, in songs divine, with Cherubim and Seraphim, harmonious join.Hallelujah! Amen.ENDE
       
Georg Friedrich Händel
Samson

Teil I

Overture


Recitative (Samson)
This day, a solemn feast to Dagon held
Relieves me from my task of servile toil;
Unwillingly their superstition yields
This rest, to breathe heav'n's air,
fresh blowing, pure, and sweet.

Chorus (Priests and Worshippers of Dagon)
Awake the trumpet's lofty sound;
The joyful sacred festival comes round,
When Dagon king of all the earth is crown'd.

Air (Philistine Woman)
Ye men of Gaza, hither bring
The merry pipe and pleasing string,
The solemn hymn, and cheerful song;
Be Dagon prais'd by every tongue.

Chorus
Awake the trumpet's lofty sound;
The joyful sacred festival comes round,
When Dagon king of all the earth is crown'd.

Recitative (Samson)
Why by an Angel was my birth foretold,
If I must die betray'd, and captiv'd thus,
The scorn and gaze of foes? O cruel thought,
My griefs find no redress; they inward prey,
Like gangren'd wounds, immedicable grown.

Micah
Matchless in might! once Israel's glory,
now her grief!
We come (thy friends well known) to visit thee.

Samson
Welcome, my friends!

Micah
Which shall we first bewail,
thy bondage or lost sight?

Samson
Oh, loss of sight! of thee I most complain.
Oh, worse than beggary, old age, or chains!
My very soul in real darkness dwells!

Air
Total eclipse! no sun, no moon,
All dark amidst the blaze of noon!
O glorious light! no cheering ray
To glad my eyes with welcome day!
Why thus depriv'd thy prime decree?
Sun, moon, and stars are dark to me. Chorus IsraelitesO first-created beam, and Thou, great Word,Let there be light! and light was over all;One heav'nly blaze shone round this earthly ball, to Thy dark servant life by light afford.ManoahBrethren and men of Dan, say where's my son Samson, fond Israel's boast? Inform my age.MicahAs signal now in low dejected state,As in the height of pow'r: see where he lies; Recitative (accompanied) ManoahThe good we wish for often proves our bane;I pray'd for children, and I gained a son,And such a son, as all men hail'd me happy;But who'd be now a father in my stead?The blessing drew a scorpion's tail behind:This plant, select and sacred, for awhileThe miracle of men, was in an hourEnsnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound,His foes' derision, capitve, poor and blind.AirThy glorious deeds inspir'd my tongue,Whilst airs of joy from thence did flow;To sorrows now I tune my song,And set my harp to notes of woe.Recitative (accompanied) SamsonJustly these evils have befall'n thy son.Sole author I, sole cause.My grief for this forbid mine eyes to close, or thoughts to rest:But now the strife shall end; me overthrown, Dagon presumes to enter lists with God; Who thus provok'd will not connive, but rouse His fury soon, and His great Name assert. Dagon shall stoop, ere long be quite despoil'd.Of all those boasted trophies won on me.AirWhy does the God of Israel sleep?Arise with dreadful sound,With clouds encompass'd round,Then shall the heathen hear Thy thunder deep.The tempest of Thy wrath now raise,In whirlwinds them pursue.Full frought with vengeance due,Till shame and trouble all Thy foes shall seize. Chorus IsraelitesThen shall they know that He, whose Name Jehovah, is aloneO'er all the earth, but One,Was ever the Most High, and still the sameRecitative ManoahFor thee, my dearest son - must thou meanwhile lie, thus neglected, in this loathsome plight.SamsonIt should be so. Why should I live?Soon shall these orbs to double darknessyield.My genial spirits droop, my hopes are fled;Nature in me seems weary of herself;My race of glory run, and race of shame,Death, invocated oft, shall end my pains,And lay me gently down with them that rest.Air MicahThen long eternity shall greet your bliss -No more of earthy joys, so false and vain!Joys that are pure, sincerely good,Shall then o'ertake you as a flood:Where truth and peace do ever shine,With love that's perfectly divine.Chorus IsraelitesThen round about the starry throneOf Him who ever rules alone,Your heavenly guided soul shall climb;Of all this earthly grossness quit,With glory crown'd for ever sit,And triumph over Death, and Thee, O time!

Teil II
Samson, Manoah, Micah and IsraelitesAir ManoahJust are the ways of God to man,Let none his secret actions scan;For all is best, though oft we doubt,Of what his wisdom brings about.Still his unsearchable dispose,Blesses the righteous in the close.Recitative SamsonMy evils hopeless are, one pray'r remains,A speedy death to close my miseries.MicahRelieve Thy champion, image of Thy strength,And turn his labours to a peaceful end.AirReturn, O God of Hosts! beholdThy servant in distress,His mighty griefs redress,Nor by the heathen be they told.Chorus IsraelitesTo dust his glory they would tread,And number him amongst the dead.Recitative MicahBut who is this, that so bedeck'd and gay,Comes this way sailing like a stately ship?Tis Dalila, thy wife.SamsonMy wife? my traitress! let her not come near me.DalilaWith doubtful feet, and wav'ring resolution, I come, O Samson, dreading thy displeasure;But conjugal affection led me on, Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt.Glad if in aught my help or love could serve to expiate my rash, unthought misdeed.Air DalilaWith plaintive notes and am'rous moan,Thus coos the turtle left alone.AirMy faith and truth, O Samson, prove;But hear me, hear the voice of love;With love no mortal can be cloyed,All happiness is love enjoyed.Chorus VirginsHer faith and truth, O Samson, prove,But hear her, hear the voice of love.Air DalilaTo fleeting pleasures make your court,No moment lose, for life is short!The present now's our only time,The missing that our only crime.How charming is domestic ease!A thousand ways I'll strive to please.Life is not lost, though lost your sight;Let other senses taste delight.Recitative SamsonNe'er think of that, I know thy warbling charms,Thy trains, thy wiles, and fair enchanted cup. Their Force is null'd. Where one I have been caught,I shun the snare. These chains, this prisonhouse,I count the house of liberty to thine.Duet DalilaTriator to love, I'll sue no moreFor pardon scorned, your threats give o'ver. SamsonTraitress to love, I'll hear no moreThe charmer's voice, your arts give o'er.Recitative SamsonFavour'd of heaven is he who finds one trueHow rarely found! - his way to peace is smooth.Chorus IsraelitesTo man God's universal lawGave pow'r to keep his wife in awe;Thus shall his life be ne'er dismay'd,By female usurpation sway'd.*** 20 Min. Pause ***In der Pause versorgt Sie vor dem Eingang zum Paradiesder Partner der Klosterkonzerte, Hotel Klosterpost,mit Speisen und Getränken.Recitative MicahNo words of peace, no voice enchanting fearA rougher tongue expect, - here's Harapha,I know him by his stride and houghty look.HaraphaI come not, Samson, to condole thy chance;I am of Gath, men call me Harapha:Thou know'st me now; of thy prodigious mightMuch have I heard, incredible to me!In this displeas'd, that never in the fieldWe met, to try each other's deeds of strenght:I'd see if thy appearance answers loud report.SamsonThe way to know, were not to see, but taste. HaraphaHa! dost thou then already single me?I thought that labour and thy chains had tamed thee.Had fortune brought me to that field of death,Where thou wrought'st wonders with an ass's jaw,I'd left thy carcase where the ass lay dead.SamsonBoast not of what thou would'st have done, but do.HaraphaThe honour certain to have won from theeI lose, prevented by thy eyes put out;To combat with a blind man I disdain.AirHonour and arms scorn such a foe,Tho' I could end thee at a blow,Poor victory, to conquer thee,Or glory in thy overthrow:Vanquish a slave that is half slain!So mean a triumph I disdain.SamsonCam'st thou for this, vain boaster! yet take heed;My heels are fettered, but my hands are free.Thou bulk of spirit void, I once again,Blind, and in chains, provoke thee to the fightHaraphaO Dagon! can I hear this insolence,To me unused, not rendering instand death!Duet SamsonGo, baffled coward, goLest vengeance lay thee low;In safety fly my wrath with speed.HaraphaPresume not on thy God,Who under foot has trodThy strength and thee, at greatest need. Recitative MicahHere lies the proof;- if Dagon be thy god,With high devotion invocate his aid.His glory is concerned; let him dissolveThose magic spells that gave our hero strength;Then know whose god is God; Dagon of mortal make,Or that Great One whom Abram's sons adore.Chorus IsraelitesHear, Jacob's God, Jehovah, hear!O save us, prostrate at Thy throne!Israel depends on Thee alone;Save us, and show that thou art near.Recitative HaraphaDagon, arise, attend thy sacred feast;Thy honour calls, this day admits no rest. Chorus PhilistinesTo song and dance we give the day,Which shows thy universal sway.Protect us by thy mighty hand,And sweep this race from out the land.Israelites and PhilistinesFixed in His everlasting seat, Jehova / Great Dagon - rules the world in stateHis thunder roars, heaven shakes, and earth's aghast.The stars, with deep amaze,Remain in stedfast gaze;Jehova / Great Dagon - is of Gods the first and last.

Teil III
Recitative MicahMore trouble is behind; for Haraphacomes on amain, speed in his steps and look.SamsonI fear him not, nor all his giant brood.HaraphaSamson, to thee our lords thus bid me say:"This day to Dagon we do sacrificeWith triumph, pomp, and games; we know thy strengthSurpasses human rate; come, then, and showSome public proof, to grace this solemn feast."SamsonI am an Hebrew, and our law forbidsMy presence at their vain religious rites. HaraphaThis answer will offend; regard thyself.SamsonMyself! my conscience and internal peace!Am I so broke with servitude, to yieldTo such absurd commands? to be their fool,And play before their god? I will not come.HaraphaMy message, given with speed, brooks no delay.AirPresuming slave! to move their wrath;For mercy sue,Or vengeance dueDooms in one fatal word thy death:Consider, ere it be too lateTo ward'th unerring shaft of fate. Recitative MicahConsider, Samson, matters now are strain'dUp to the height, whether to hold or break.He's gone, whose malice may inflame the lords.SamsonShall I abuse this consecrated giftOf strength, again returning with my hair,By vaunting it in honour to their god,And prostituting holy things to idols?MicahHow thou wilt here come off surmounts my reach;Tis heaven alone can save both us and thee.Chorus IsraelitesWith thunder armed, great God, arise;Help, Lord, or Israel's champion dies;To Thy protection this Thy servant take,And save, O save us, for thy servant's sake.Recitative SamsonBe of good courage; I begin to feelSome secret impulse, which doth bid me go.MicahIn time thou hast resolved, again he comes.HaraphaSamson, this second message send our lords;"Haste thee at once, or we shall engines findTo move thee, though thou wert a solid rock."SamsonVain were their art if tried; I yield to go.MicahSo may'st thou act as serves His glory best.SamsonLet but that Spirit (which first rushed on me In the camp of Dan) inspire me at my need: Then shall I make JEHOVAH'S glory known:Their idol gods shall from His presence fly,Scattered like sheep before the God of Hosts.AirThus when the sun in's watery bed,All curtained with a cloudy red,Pillows his chin upon an orient wave!The wandering shadows, ghastly pale,All troop to their infernal jail,Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave.Recitative MicahWith might endued above the sons of men,Swift as the lightning lance his errand execute,And spread his name among the heathen round.Air and Chorus Micah and IsraelitesThe holy One of Israel be thy guide,The angel of thy birth stand by thy side:To fame immortal go,Heaven bids thee strike the blow:The Holy One of Israel is thy guide.Recitative MicahOld Manoah, with youthful steps, makes haste To find his son, or bring us some glad news.ManoahI come, my brethren, not to seek my son,Who at the feast doth play before the lords;But give you part with me, what hopes I haveTo work his liberty.Chorus PhilistinesGreat Dagon has subdued our foe.And brought their boasted hero low:Sound out his power in notes divine,Praise him with mirth, high cheer, and wine. Recitative ManoahWhat noise of joy was that? it tore the sky.MicahThey shout and sing to see their dreaded foeNow captive, blind, delighting with his strength.ManoahCould my inheritance but ransom him,Without my patrimony, having him,The richest of my tribe.MicahSons care to nurseTheir parents in old age; but you, your son.Air ManoahHow willing my paternal loveThe weight to shareOf filial care,And part of sorrow's burden prove!Tho' wandering in the shades of night,Whilst I have eyes, he wants no light.Recitative MicahYour hopes of his delivery seem not vain,In which all Israel's friends participate.ManoahI know your friendly minds, and - (A symphony of horror and confusion)Heaven, what noise?Horribly loud, unlike the former shout.Chorus Philistines (at a little distance).Hear us, our god! O hear our cry!Death! ruin! fallen! no help is nigh:O mercy, heav'n, we sink, we die!Israelitish MessengerWhere shall I run, or which way fly the thoughtsOf this most horrid sight? O countrymen,Your're in this sad event too much concerned. MicahThe accident was loud, we long to know from whence.MessengerLet me recover breath; it will burst forth.ManoahSuspense in news is torture: speak it out.MessengerThen take the worst in brief. Samson is dead.ManoahThe worst indeed!MessengerUnwounded of his enemies he fell,At once he did destroy, and was destroyed.The edifice (where all were met to see)Upon their heads and on his own he pulled.ManoahO lastly over strong against thyself!A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge,Glorious, yet dearly bought.Air MicahYe sons of Israel, now lament:Your spear is broke, your bow unbent!Your glory's fled;Amongst the deadGreat Samons lies;For ever, ever closed his eyes.Chorus IsraelitesWeep, Israel, weep a louder strain;Samson, your strength, your hero's slain.Recitative ManoahProceed we hence to find his body,Soak'd in vile Philistine blood;With the pure stream, and cleansing herbs,Wash off his cloddes gore;Then solemnly attend him to my tomb,With silent obsequies, and fun'ral train. A Dead MarchRecitative MicahThe body comes; we'll meet it on the wayWith laurels evergreen, and branching palm;Then lay it in his monument, hung roundWith all his trophies, and grat acts enroll'dIn verse heroic, or sweet lyric song.ManoahThere shall all Israel's valiant youth resort,And from his memory inflame their breastsTo matchless valour, whilst they sing his praise.Soli and Chorus Manoah and IsraelitesGlorious hero, may thy gravePeace and honour ever have;After all thy pains and woes,Rest eternal, sweet repose.Israelitish WomanThe virgins, too, shall on their feastful days,Visit his tomb with flowers, and there bewailHis lot, unfortunate in nuptial choice.VirginsBring the laurels, bring the bays,Strew his hearse, and strew the ways. Israelitish WomanMay every hero fall like thee,Thro' sorrow to felicity.IsraelitesGlorious hero, may thy gravePeace and honour ever have;After all thy pains and woes,Rest eternal, sweet repose.Recitative ManoahCome, come: no time for lamentation now!No cause for grief; Samson like Samson fell,Both life and death heroic. To his foesRuin ist left; to him eternal fame.Air Israelitish WomanLet the bright Seraphim in burning row,Their loud uplifted Angel-trumpets blow:Let the Cherubic host, in tuneful choirs,Touch their immortal harps with golden wires.Chorus IsraelitesLet their celestial concerts all unite,Ever to sound His praise in endless morn of light.

 

G.F.Händel
( 1685-1759 )

Judas Maccabäus
Samson

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