Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A. S. Kline „2003 All Rights Reserved
This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.
Again you show yourselves, you wavering Forms,
Revealed, as you once were, to clouded vision.
Shall I attempt to hold you fast once more?
Heartís willing still to suffer that illusion?
You crowd so near! Well then, you shall endure,††††††††††††††††††††††† † 5
And rouse me, from your mist and cloudís confusion:
My spirit feels so young again: itís shaken
By magic breezes that your breathings waken.
You bring with you the sight of joyful days,
And many a loved shade rises to the eye:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10
And like some other half-forgotten phrase,
First Love returns, and Friendship too is nigh:
Pain is renewed, and sorrow: all the ways,
Life wanders in its labyrinthine flight,
Naming the good, those that Fate has robbed††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 15
Of lovely hours, those slipped from me and lost.
They can no longer hear this latest song,
Spirits, to whom I gave my early singing:
That kindly crowd itself is now long gone,
Alas, it dies away, that first loud ringing!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 20
I bring my verses to the unknown throng,
My heartís made anxious even by their clapping,
And those besides delighted by my verse,
If they still live, are scattered through the Earth.
I feel a long and unresolved desire††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 25
For that serene and solemn land of ghosts,
It quivers now, like an Aeolian lyre,
My stuttering verse, with its uncertain notes,
A shudder takes me: tear on tear, entire,
The firm heart feels weakened and remote:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 30
What I possess seems far away from me,
And what is gone becomes reality.
(Director, Dramatist, Comedian)
You two, whoíve often stood by me,
In times of need, when troubleís breaking,
Say what success our undertaking††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 35
Will meet with, then, in Germany?
Iíd rather like the crowd to enjoy it,
Since they live and let live, truly.
The stage is set, the boards complete,
And they await our festivity.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 40
Theyíre seated already, eyebrows raised,
Calmly hoping theyíll be amazed.
I know how to make the people happy:
But Iíve never been so embarrassed: not
That theyíve been used to the best, you see,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 45
Yet theyíve all read such a dreadful lot.
How can we make it all seem fresh and new,
Weighty, but entertaining too?
Iíd love to see a joyful crowd, thatís certain,
When the waves drive them to our place,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 50
And with tremendous and repeated surging,
Squeeze them through the narrow gate of grace:
In the light of day theyíre there already,
Pushing, till theyíve reached the window,
As if theyíre at the bakerís, starving, nearly††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 55
Breaking their necks: just for a ticket. Oh!
Only poets can work this miracle on men
So various: the day is yours, my friend!
O, donít speak to me of that varied crew,
The sight of whom makes inspiration fade.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 60
Veil, from me, the surging multitude,
Whose whirling will drives us everyway.
No, some heavenly silence lead me to,
Where for the poet alone pure joyís at play:
Where Love and Friendship too grace our hearts,††††††††††††††††††††††† 65
Created and inspired by heavenly arts.
Ah! What springs here from our deepest being,
What the shy trembling lips in speaking meant,
Now falling awry, and now perhaps succeeding,
Is swallowed in the fierce Momentís violence.†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 70
Often, when the first years are done, unseeing,
It appears at last, complete, in deepest sense.
What dazzles is a Momentary act:
Whatís true is left for posterity, intact.
Donít speak about posterity to me!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 75
If I went on about posterity,
Where would you get your worldly fun?
Folk want it, and theyíll still have some.
The presence of a fine young man
Is nice, I think, for everyone.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 80
Who, comfortably, shares his wit,
And to their moods takes no exception:
Heíll make himself a greater hit,
And win a more secure reception.
Be brave, and show them what youíve got,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 85
Have Fantasy with all her chorus, yes,
Mind, Reason, Passion, Tears, the lot,
But donít you leave out Foolishness.
Make sure, above all, plentyís happening there!
They come to look, and then they want to stare.†††††††††††††††††††††††† 90
Spin endlessly before their faces,
So the people gape amazed,
Youíve won them by your many paces,
Youíll be the man most praised.
The mass are only moved by things en masse,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 95
Each one, himself, will choose the bit he needs:
Who brings a lot, brings something that will pass:
And everyone goes home contentedly.
Youíll give a piece, why then give it them in pieces!
With such a stew youíre destined for success.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 100
Easy to serve, itís as easy to invent.
What use to bring them your complete intent?
The Public will soon pick at what youíve dressed.
You donít see how badly such work will do!
How little it suits the genuine creator!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 105
Already, I see, itís a principle with you.
The finest master is a sloppy worker.
Such a reproach leaves me unmoved:
The man who seeks to be approved,
Must stick to the best tools for it,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 110
Think, soft woodís the best to split,
and have a look for whom you write!
See, this is one that boredom drives,
Anotherís from some overloaded table,
Or, worst of all, heís one arrives,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 115
Like most, fresh from the daily paper.
They rush here mindlessly, as to a Masque,
And curiosity inspires their hurry:
The ladies bring themselves, and in their best,
Come and play their parts and ask no fee.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 120
What dream of yours is this, exalted verse?
Doesnít a full house make you happy?
Have a good look at your patrons first!
One half are coarse, the rest are chilly.
After the show he hopes for card-play:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 125
He hopes for a wild night, and a womanís kiss.
Why then do so many poor fools plague,
The sweet Muse, for such a goal as this?
I tell you, just give them more and more,
So youíll never stray far from the mark,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 130
Just seek to confuse them, in the dark:
To keep them happy, thatís hard - for sure.
And now whatís wrong? Delight or Pain?
Go, look for another scribbler by night!
Shall the poet throw away the highest right,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 135
The right of humanity, that Nature gave,
Carelessly, so that you might gain!
How will he move all hearts again?
How will each element be his slave?
Is that harmony nothing, from his breast unfurled,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 140
That draws back into his own heart, the world?
When Nature winds the lengthened filaments,
Indifferently, on her eternal spindle,
When all the tuneless mass of elements,
In their sullen discord, jar and jangle Ė ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 145
Who parts the ever-flowing ranks of creation,
Stirs them, so rhythmic measure is assured?
Who calls the One to general ordination,
Where it may ring in marvellous accord?
Who lets the storm wind rage with passion,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 150
The sunset glow the senses move?
Who scatters every lovely springtime blossom
Beneath the footsteps of the one we love?
Who weaves the slight green wreath of leaves,
To honour work well done in every art?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 155
What makes Olympus sure, joins deities?
The power of Man, revealed by the bard.
So use it then, all this fine energy,
And drive along the work of poetry,
To show how we are driven in Loveís play.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 160
By chance we meet, we feel, we stay,
And bit by bit weíre tightly bound:
Happiness grows, and then itís fenced around:
Weíre all inflamed then comes the sorrowing:
Before you know it, thereís a novel brewing!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 165
Why donít we give such a piece!
Grasp the life of man complete!
Everyone lives, though itís seldom confessed,
And wherever you grasp, thereís interest.
In varied pictures thereís little light,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 170
A lot of error, and a gleam of right,
So the best of drinks is brewed,
So the worldís cheered and renewed.
Then see the flower of lovely youth collect,
To hear your words, and view the offering,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 175
And every tender nature will extract
A melancholy food from what you bring,
Theyíll gain now this and that from your art,
So each sees what is present in their heart.
Theyíre readily moved to weeping or to laughter,††††††††††††††††††††††† 180
Theyíll admire your verve, and enjoy the show:
Whatís finished you can never alter after:
Minds still in growth will be grateful though.
So give me back that time again,
When I was still Ďbecomingí,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 185
When words gushed like a fountain
In new, and endless flowing,
Then for me mists veiled the world,
In every bud the wonder glowed,
A thousand flowers I unfurled,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 190
That every valley, richly, showed.
I had nothing, yet enough:
Joy in illusion, thirst for truth.
Give every passion, free to move,
The deepest bliss, filled with pain,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 195
The force of hate, the power of love,
Oh, give me back my youth again!
Youth is what you need, dear friend,
When enemies jostle you, of course,
And girls, filled with desire, bend†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 200
Their arms around your neck, with force,
When the swift-run raceís garland
Beckons from the hard-won goal,
When from the swirling dance, a man
Drinks until the night is old. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 205
But to play that well-known lyre
With courage and with grace,
Moved by self-imposed desire,
At a sweet wandering pace,
That is your function, Age,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 210
And our respect wonít lessen.
Age doesnít make us childish, as they say,
It finds that weíre still children.
Thatís enough words for the moment,
Now let me see some action!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 215
While youíre handing out the compliments,
You should also make things happen.
Why talk so much of inspiration?
Delay wonít make it flow, you see.
Since Poetry gave the gift of creation,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 220
Take your orders then from Poetry.
You know whatís wanted here,
We need strong ale to appear:
So brew me a barrel right away!
Tomorrow wonít do whatís undone today,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 225
We shouldnít waste a minute, so
Decide whatís possible, and just
Grasp it firmly like a hoe,
Make sure that you let nothing go,
And work it about, because you must.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 230
On the German stage, you see,
Everyone tries out what he can:
Donít fail to show me, Iím your man,
Your trap-doors, and your scenery.
Use heavenly lights, the big and small,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 235
Squander stars in any number,††††††††††††††††††††††
Rocky cliffs, and fire, and water,
Birds and creatures, use them all.
So in our narrow playhouse waken
The whole wide circle of creation,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 240
And stride, deliberately, as well,
From Heaven, through the world, to Hell.
(God, the Heavenly Hosts, and then Mephistopheles.)
(The Three Archangels step forward.)
The Sun sings out, in ancient mode,
His note among his brother-spheres,
And ends his pre-determined road,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 245
With peals of thunder for our ears.
The sight of him gives Angels power,
Though none can understand the way:
The inconceivable work is ours,
As bright as on the primal day.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 250
And swift, and swift, beyond conceiving,
The splendour of the Earth turns round,
A Paradisial light is interleaving,
With nightís awesome profound.
The ocean breaks with shining foam,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 255
Against the rocky cliffs deep base,
And rock and ocean whirl and go,
In the spheresí swift eternal race.
And storms are roaring in their race
From sea to land, and land to sea,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 260
Their raging forms a fierce embrace,
All round, of deepest energy.
The lightningís devastations blaze
Along the thunder-crashesí way:
Yet, Lord, your messengers, shall praise††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 265
The gentle passage of your day.
The sight of it gives Angels power
Though none can understand the way,
And all your noble work is ours,
As bright as on the primal day.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 270
Since, O Lord, you near me once again,
To ask how all below is doing now,
And usually receive me without pain,
You see me too among the vile crowd.
Forgive me: I canít speak in noble style,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 275
And since Iím still reviled by this whole crew,
My pathos would be sure to make you smile,
If you had not renounced all laughter too.
Youíll get no word of suns and worlds from me.
How men torment themselves is all I see. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 280
The little god of Earth sticks to the same old way,
And is as strange as on that very first day.
He might appreciate life a little more: he might,
If you hadnít lent him a gleam of Heavenly light:
He calls it Reason, but only uses it†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 285
To be more a beast than any beast as yet.
He seems to me, saving Your Grace,
Like a long-legged grasshopper: through space
Heís always flying: he flies and then he springs,
And in the grass the same old song he sings.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 290
If heíd just lie there in the grass it wouldnít hurt!
But he buries his nose in every piece of dirt.
Have you nothing else to name?
Do you always come here to complain?
Does nothing ever go right on the Earth?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 295
No, Lord! I find, as always, it couldnít be worse.
Iím so involved with Manís wretched ways,
Iíve even stopped plaguing them, myself, these days.
Do you know, Faust?
†††††††††††††† My servant, first!
In truth! He serves you in a peculiar manner.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 300
Thereís no earthly food or drink at that foolís dinner.
He drives his spirit outwards, far,
Half-conscious of its maddened dart:
From Heaven demands the brightest star,
And from the Earth, Joyís highest art,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 305
And all the near and all the far,
Fails to release his throbbing heart.
Though heís still confused at how to serve me,
Iíll soon lead him to a clearer dawning,
In the green sapling, canít the gardener see†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 310
The flowers and fruit the coming years will bring.
What do you wager? I might win him yet!
If you give me your permission first,
Iíll lead him gently on the road I set.
As long as heís alive on Earth,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 315
So long as that I wonít forbid it,
For while man strives he errs.
My thanks: Iíve never willingly seen fit
To spend my time amongst the dead,
I much prefer fresh cheeks instead.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 320
To corpses, I close up my house:
Or itís too like a cat with a mouse.
Well and good, youíve said whatís needed!
Divert this spirit from his source,
You know how to trap him, lead him,
On your downward course,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 325
And when you must, then stand, amazed:
A good man, in his darkest yearning,
Is still aware of virtueís ways.
Thatís fine! Thereís hardly any waiting.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 330
My wagerís more than safe Iím thinking.
When I achieve my goal, in winning,
Youíll let me triumph with a swelling heart.
Heíll eat the dust, and with an art,
Like the snake my mother, known for sinning.†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 335
You can appear freely too:
Those like you Iíve never hated.
Of all the spirits who deny, itís you,
The joker, whoís most lightly weighted.
Manís energies all too soon seek the level,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 340
He quickly desires unbroken slumber,
So I gave him you to join the number,
To move, and work, and pass for the devil.
But you the genuine sons of light,
Enjoy the living beauty bright!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 345
Becoming, that works and lives forever,
Embrace you in loveís limits dear,
And all that may as Appearance waver,
Fix firmly with everlasting Idea!
(Heaven closes, and the Archangels separate.)
I like to hear the Old Manís words, from time to time,††††††††††††††††† 350
And take care, when Iím with him, not to spew.
Itís very nice when such a great Gentleman,
Chats with the devil, in ways so human, too!
(In a high-vaulted Gothic chamber, Faust, in a chair at his desk, restless.)
Ah! Now Iíve done Philosophy,
Iíve finished Law and Medicine,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 355
And sadly even Theology:
Taken fierce pains, from end to end.
Now here I am, a fool for sure!
No wiser than I was before:
Master, Doctorís what they call me,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 360
And Iíve been ten years, already,
Crosswise, arcing, to and fro,
Leading my students by the nose,
And see that we can know - nothing!
It almost sets my heart burning.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 365
Iím cleverer than all these teachers,
Doctors, Masters, scribes, preachers:
Iím not plagued by doubt or scruple,
Scared by neither Hell nor Devil Ė
Instead all Joy is snatched away,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 370
Whatís worth knowing, I canít say,
I canít say what I should teach
To make men better or convert each.
And then Iíve neither goods nor gold,
No worldly honour, or splendour hold:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 375
Not even a dog would play this part!
So Iíve given myself to Magic art,
To see if, through Spirit powers and lips,
I might have all secrets at my fingertips.
And no longer, with rancid sweat, so,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 380
Still have to speak what I cannot know:
That I may understand whatever
Binds the worldís innermost core together,
See all its workings, and its seeds,
Deal no more in wordsí empty reeds. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 385
O, may you look, full moon that shines,
On my pain for this last time:
So many midnights from my desk,
I have seen you, keeping watch:
When over my books and paper,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 390
Saddest friend, you appear!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Ah! If on the mountain height
I might stand in your sweet light,
Float with spirits in mountain caves,
Swim the meadows in twilightí waves,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 395
Free from the smoke of knowledge too,
Bathe in your health-giving dew!
Alas! In this prison must I stick?
This hollow darkened hole of brick,
Where even the lovely heavenly light††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 400
Shines through stained glass, dull not bright.
Hemmed in, by heaps of books,
Piled to the highest vault, and higher,
Worm eaten, decked with dust,
Surrounded by smoke-blackened paper,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 405
Glass vials, boxes round me, hurled,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Stuffed with Instruments thrown together,
Packed with ancestral lumber Ė
This is my world! And what a world!
And need you ask why my heart†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 410
Makes such tremors in my breast?
Why all my life-energies are
Choked by some unknown distress?
Smoke and mildew hem me in,
Instead of living Nature, then,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 415
Where God once created Men,
Bones of creatures, and dead limbs!
Fly! Upwards! Into Space, flung wide!
Isnít this book, with secrets crammed,
From Nostradamusí very hand,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 420
Enough to be my guide?
When I know the starry road,
And Nature, you instruct me,
My soulís power, you shall flow,
As spirits can with spirits be.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 425
Useless, this dusty pondering here
To read the sacred characters:
Soar round me, Spirits, and be near:
If you hear me, then answer!
(He opens the Book, and sees the Symbol of the Macrocosm)
Ah! In a moment, what bliss flows†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 430
Through my senses from this Sign!
I feel lifeís youthful, holy joy: it glows,
Fresh in every nerve and vein of mine.
This symbol now that calms my inward raging,†††
Perhaps a god deigned to write,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 435
Filling my poor heart with delight,
And with its mysterious urging
Revealing, round me, Natureís might?
Am I a god? All seems so clear to me!
It seems the deepest works of Nature†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 440
Lie open to my soul, with purest feature.
Now I understand what wise men see:
ďThe world of spirits is not closed:
Your senses are: your heart is dead!
Rise, unwearied, disciple: bathe instead††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 445
Your earthly breast in the morningís glow!Ē
(He gazes at the Symbol.)
How each to the Whole its selfhood gives,
One in another works and lives!
How Heavenly forces fall and rise,
Golden vessels pass each other by!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 450
Blessings from their wings disperse:†
They penetrate from Heaven to Earth,
Sounding a harmony through the Universe!
Such a picture! Ah, alas! Merely a picture!
How then can I grasp you endless Nature?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 455
Where are your breasts that pour out Life entire,
To which the Earth and Heavens cling so,
Where withered hearts would drink? You flow
You nourish, yet I languish so, in vain desire.
(He strikes the book indignantly, and catches sight of the Symbol
of the Earth-Spirit.)
How differently it works on me, this Sign!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 460
You, the Spirit of Earth, are nearer:
Already, I feel my power is greater,
Already, I glow, as with fresh wine.
I feel the courage to engage the world,
Into the pain and joy of Earth be hurled,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 465
And though the storm wind is unfurled,
Fearless, in the shipwreckís teeth, be whirled.
Thereís cloud above me Ė
The Moon hides its light Ė
The lamp flickers!
Now it dies! Crimson rays dart††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 470
Round my head Ė Horror
Flickers from the vault above,
And grips me tight!
I feel you float around me,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 475
Spirit, I summon to appear, speak to me!
Ah! What tears now at the core of me!
All my senses reeling
With fresh feeling!
I feel you draw my whole heart towards you!††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 480
You must! You must! Though my Lifeís lost, too!
(He grips the book and speaks the mysterious name of the Spirit. A crimson flame flashes, the Spirit appears in the flame.)
Who calls me?
Faust (Looking away)
Terrible to gaze at!
Mightily you have drawn me to you,
Long, from my sphere, snatched your food,
And now Ė
†††††††††††††††††††††† Ah! Endure you, I cannot!††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 485
You beg me to show myself, you implore,
You wish to hear my voice, and see my face:
The mighty prayer of your soul weighs
With me, I am here! Ė What wretched terror
Grips you, the Superhuman! Where is your soulís calling?†††††††††††† 490
Where is the heart that made a world inside, enthralling:
Carried it, nourished it, swollen with joy, so tremulous,
That you too might be a Spirit, one of us?
Where are you, Faust, whose ringing voice
Drew towards me with all your force?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 495
Are you he, who, breathing my breath,
Trembles in all your lifeís depths,
A fearful, writhing worm?
Shall I fear you: you form of fire?
I am, I am Faust: I am your peer!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 500
In Lifeís wave, in actionís storm,
I float, up and down,
I blow, to and fro!
Birth and the tomb,
An eternal flow,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 505
A woven changing,
A glow of Being.
Over Timeís quivering loom intent,
Working the Godheadís living garment.
You who wander the world, on every hand,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 510
Active Spirit, how close to you I feel!
Youíre like the Spirit that you understand
Who then?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 515
I, the image of the Godhead!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Not even like you?
Oh, fate! I know that sound Ė itís my attendant Ė
My greatest fortuneís ruined!
In all the fullness of my doing,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 520
He must intrude, that arid pedant!
(Wagner enters, in gown and nightcap, lamp in hand. Faust turns to him impatiently.)
Forgive me! But I heard you declaim:
Reading, Iím sure, from some Greek tragedy?
To profit from that art is my aim,
Nowadays it goes down splendidly.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 525
Iíve often heard it claimed, you see
A priest could learn from the Old Comedy.
Yes, when the priestís a comedian already:
Which might well seem to be the case.
Ah! When a manís so penned in his study,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 530
And scarcely sees the world on holidays,
And barely through the glass, and far off then,
How can he lead men, through persuading them?
You canít, if you canít feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 535
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
Youíll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from otherís scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 540
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admirationís to your taste,
But youíll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heartís space.† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 545
Still, lecturing brings orators success:
I feel that I am far behind the rest.
Seek to profit honestly!
Donít be an empty tinkling fool!
Understanding, and true clarity,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 550
Express themselves without artís rule!
And if you mean what you say,
Why hunt for words, anyway?
Yes, your speech, that glitters so,
Where you gather scraps for Man,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 555
Is dead as the mist-filled winds that blow
Through the dried-up leaves of autumn!
Oh, God! Art is long
And life is short.
Often the studies that Iím working on†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 560
Make me anxious, in my head and heart.
How hard it is to command the means
By which a man attains the very source!
Before a man has travelled half his course,
The wretched devil has to die it seems.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 565
Parchment then, is that your holy well,
From which drink always slakes your thirst?
Youíll never truly be refreshed until
It pours itself from your own soul, first.
Pardon me, but itís a great delight††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 570
When, moved by the spirit of the ages, we have sight
Of how a wiser man has thought, and how
Widely at last weíve spread his word about.
Oh yes, as widely as the constellations!
My friend, all of the ages that are gone††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 575
Now make up a book with seven seals.
The spirit of the ages, that you find,
In the end, is the spirit of Humankind:
A mirror where all the ages are revealed.
And so often itís all a mere misery†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 580
Something we run away from at first sight.
A pile of sweepings, a lumber room, maybe
At best, a puppet show, thatís bright
With maxims, excellent, pragmatic,
Suitable when dollsí mouths wax dramatic!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 585
But, the world! Menís hearts and minds!
Something of those, at least, Iíd like to know.
Yes, what men choose to understand!
Who dares to name the childís real name, though?
The few who knew what might be learned,† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 590
Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show,
And reveal their feelings to the crowd below,
Mankind has always crucified and burned.
I beg you, friend, itís now the dead of night,
We must break up this conversation.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 595
I would have watched with you, if I might
Speak with you still, so learned in oration.
But tomorrow, on Easterís first holy day,
Iíll ask my several questions, if I may.
Iíve pursued my work, zealously studying:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 600
Thereís much I know: yet Iíd know everything.††
That mind alone never loses hope,
That keeps to the shallows eternally,
Grabs, with eager hand, the wealth it sees,
And rejoices at the worms for which it gropes!†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 605
Dare such a human voice echo, too,
Where this depth of Spirit surrounds me?
Ah yet! For just this once, my thanks to you,
You sorriest of all earthís progeny!
Youíve torn me away from that despair,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 610
That would have soon overwhelmed my senses.
Ah! The apparition was so hugely there,
It might have truly dwarfed my defences.
I, image of the Godhead, already one,
Who thought the spirit of eternal truth so near,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 615
Enjoying the light, both heavenly and clear,
Setting to one side the earthbound man:
I, more than Angel, a free force,
Ready to flow through Natureís veins,
And, in creating, enjoy the life divine, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 620
Pulsing with ideas: must atone again!
A word like thunder swept me away.
I dare not measure myself against you.
I possessed the power to summon you,
But not the power to make you stay.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 625
In that blissful moment, then
I felt myself so small, so great:
Cruelly you hurled me back again,
Into Manís uncertain state.
What shall I learn from? Or leave?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 630
Shall I obey that yearning?
Ah! Our actions, and not just our grief,
Impede us on lifeís journey.
Some more and more alien substance presses
On the splendour that the Mind conceives:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 635
And when we gain what this world possesses,
We say the better worldís dream deceives.
The splendid feelings that give us life,
Fade among the crowdís earthly strife.
If imagination flew with courage, once,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 640
And, full of hope, stretched out to eternity,
Now a little room is quite enough,
When joy on joy has gone, in timeís whirling sea.
Care has nested in the heartís depths,
Restless, she rocks there, spoiling joy and rest, ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 645
There she works her secret pain,
And wears new masks, ever and again,
Appears as wife and child, fields and houses,
As water, fire, or knife or poison:
Still we tremble for what never strikes us,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 650
And must still cry for what has not yet gone.
I am no god: I feel it all too deeply.
I am the worm that writhes in dust: see,
As in the dust it lives, and seeks to eat,
Itís crushed and buried by the passing feet.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 655
Is this not dust, what these vaults hold,
These hundred shelves that cramp me:
This junk, and all the thousand-fold
Shapes, of a moth-ridden world, around me?
Will I find here what Iím lacking else,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 660
Shall I read, perhaps, as a thousand books insist,
That Mankind everywhere torments itself,
So, here and there, some happy man exists?
What do you say to me, bare grinning skull?
Except that once your brain whirled like mine,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 665
Sought the clear day, and in the twilight dull,
With a breath of truth, went wretchedly awry.
For sure, you instruments mock at me,
With cylinders and arms, wheels and cogs:
I stand at the door: and you should be the key:†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 670
Youíre deftly cut, but you undo no locks.
Mysterious, even in broad daylight,
Nature wonít let her veil be raised:
What your spirit canít bring to sight,
Wonít by screws and levers be displayed.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 675
You, ancient tools, Iíve never used
Youíre here because my father used you,
Ancient scroll, youíve darkened too,
From smoking candles burned above you.
Better the little I had was squandered,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 680
Than sweat here under its puny weight!
What from your father youíve inherited,
You must earn again, to own it straight.
Whatís never used, leaves us overburdened,
But we can use what the Moment may create!†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 685
Yet why does that place so draw my sight,
Is that flask a magnet for my gaze?
Why is there suddenly so sweet a light,
As moonlight in a midnight woodland plays?
I salute you, phial of rare potion,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 690
I lift you down, with devotion!
In you I worship manís art and mind,
Embodiment of sweet sleeping draughts:
Extract, with deadly power, refined,
Show your master all his craft!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 695
I see you, and my pain diminishes,
I grasp you, and my struggles grow less,
My spiritís flood tide ebbs, more and more,†††††††
I seem to be where ocean waters meet,
A glassy flood gleams around my feet,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 700
New day invites me to a newer shore.††††††
A fiery chariot sweeps nearer
On light wings! I feel ready, free
To cut a new path through the ether
And reach new spheres of pure activity.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 705
This greater life, this godlike bliss!
You, but a worm, have you earned this?
Choosing to turn your back, ah yes,
On all Earthís lovely Sun might promise!
Let me dare to throw those gates open,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 710
That other men go creeping by!
Nowís the time, to prove through action
Manís dignity may rise divinely high,
Never trembling at that void where,
Imagination damns itself to pain,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 715
Striving towards the passage there,
Round whose mouth all Hellís fires flame:
Choose to take that step, happy to go
Where danger lies, where Nothingness may flow.
Come here to me, cup of crystal, clear!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 720
Free of your ancient cover now appear,
You whom Iíve never, for many a year,
Considered! You shone at ancestral feasts,
Cheering the over-serious guests:
One man passing you to another here.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 725
It was the drinkerís duty to explain in rhyme
The splendour of your many carved designs
Or drain it at a draught, and breathe, in time:
You remind me of those youthful nights of mine.
Now I will never pass you to a friend,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 730
Or test my wits on your art again.
Hereís a juice will stun any man born:
It fills your hollow with a browner liquid.
I prepared it, now I choose the fluid,
At last I drink, and with my soul I bid†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 735
A high and festive greeting to the Dawn!
(He puts the cup to his mouth.)
(Bells chime and a choir sings.)
Christ has arisen!
Joy to the One, of us,
Who the pernicious,
Ancestral, insidious, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 740
Fault has unwoven.
What deep humming, what shining sound
Strikes the glass from my hand with power?
Already, do the hollow bells resound,
Proclaiming Easterís festive course? Our††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 745
Choirs, do you already sing the hymn of consolation,
Which once rang out, in deathly night, in Angelsí oration,
That certainty of a new testamentís hour?††
With pure spices
We embalmed him,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 750
We his faithful
We entombed him:
Linen and bindings,
We unwound there,
Ah! Now we find††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 755
Christ is not here.
Christ has arisen!
Out of what grieved,
Tested, and healed:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 760
His trial is won.
You heavenly sounds, powerful and mild,
Why, in the dust, here, do you seek me?
Ring out where tender hearts are reconciled.
I hear your message, but faith fails me:† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 765
The marvellous is faithís dearest child.
I donít attempt to rise to that sphere,
From which the message rings:
Yet I know from childhood what it sings,
And Iím recalled to life once more.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 770
In other times a Heavenly kiss would fall
On me, in the deep Sabbath silence:
The bell notes filled with presentiments,
And a prayer was pleasureís call:
A sweet yearning, beyond my understanding,††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 775
Set me wandering through woods and fields,
And while a thousand tears were burning
I felt a world around me come to be.
Love called out the lively games of youth,
The joy of springís idle holiday:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 780
Memoryís childish feelings, in truth,
Hold me back from the last sombre way.
O, sing on you sweet songs of Heaven!
My tears flow, Earth claims me again!
Has the buried one†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 785
Raised himself, alone,
Is he, in teeming air,
Near to creative bliss:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 790
Ah! In sorrow, weíre
Here on Earthís breast.
Lacking Him, we
Languish, and sigh.
Ah! Master we†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 795
Cry for your joy!
Christ has arisen
Out of corruptionís sea.
Tear off your bindings
Joyfully free!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 800
Actively praising him,
Lovingly claiming him,
Fraternally aiding him,
Joyfully promising,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 805
So is the Master near,
So is he here!
(Passers-by of all kinds appear.)
So, then, where are you away to?
Weíre away to the Hunting Lodge.
Weíre off to saunter by the Mill.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 810
Off to the Riverside Inn, Iíd guess.
The way thereís not of the best.
What about you?
Iím with the others, still.
Come to the Castle, youíll find there
The prettiest girls, the finest beer,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 815
And the best place for a fight.
You quarrelsome fool, are you looking
For a third good hiding?
Not for me, that place, I hate its very sight.
No, No! Iím going back to town.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 820
Weíll find him by those poplar trees for sure.
Well thatís no joy for me, now:
Heíll walk by your side, of course,
Heíll dance with you on the green.
Whereís the fun in that for me, then!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 825
Iím sure heís not alone, he said
Heíd bring along that Curly-head.
My how they strut those bold women!
Brother, come on! Weíll follow them.
Fierce tobacco, strong beer,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 830
And a girl in her finery, I prefer.
They are handsome boys there, I see!
But itís truly a disgrace:
They could have the best of company,
And run after a painted face!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 835
Second Student (to the first)
Not so fast! Those two behind,
They walk about so sweetly,
One must be that neighbour of mine:
I could fall for her completely.
They pass by with demure paces,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 840
But in the end theyíll go with us.
Brother, no! I shouldnít bother, anyway.
Quick! Before our quarry gets away.
The hand that wields a broom on Saturday,
Gives the best caress, on Sunday too, I say.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 845
No, the new mayor doesnít suit me!
Now heís there heís getting cocky.
And whatís he done to help the town?
Isnít it getting worse each day?
As always itís us who must obey,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 850
And pay more money down.
A Beggar (sings)
Fine gentlemen, and lovely ladies,
Rosy-cheeked and finely dressed,
You could help me, for your aid is
Needed: see, ease my distress!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 855
Donít let me throw my song away,
Only he who gives is happy.
A day when all men celebrate,
Will be a harvest day for me!
On holidays thereís nothing I like better†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 860
Than talking about war and warís display,
When in Turkey far away,
People one another batter.
You sit by the window: have a glass:
See the bright boats glide down the river,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 865
Then you walk back home and bless
Its peacefulness, and peace, forever.
Neighbour, yes! I like that too:
Let them go and break their heads,
Make the mess they often do:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 870
So long as weíre safe in our beds.
An Old Woman (to the citizenís daughter)
Ah! So pretty! Sweet young blood!
Who wouldnít gaze at you?
Donít be so proud! Iím very good!
And what you want, Iíll bring you.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 875
Agatha, come away! I must go carefully:
No walking freely with such a witch as her:
For on Saint Andrewís Night she really
Showed me whoíll be my future Lover.
She showed me mine in a crystal ball,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 880
A soldier, with lots of other brave men:
I look around: among them all,
Yet I can never find him.
Castles with towering
Ramparts and wall,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 885
Proud girls showing
Disdain for us all,
We want them to fall!
The action is brave,
And splendid the pay!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 890
So let the trumpet,
Do our recruiting,
Calling to joy
Calling to ruin.
Itís a storm, blowing!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 895
But itís the life too!
Girls and castles
We must win you.
The action is brave,
Splendid the pay!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 900
And the soldiers
Go marching away.
(Faust and Wagner)
Rivers and streams are freed from ice
By Springís sweet enlivening glance.
Valleys, green with Hopeís happiness, dance:††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 905
Old Winter, in his weakness, sighs,
Withdrawing to the harsh mountains.
From there, retreating, he sends down
Impotent showers of hail that show
In stripes across the quickening ground.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 910
But the sun allows nothing white below,
Change and growth are everywhere,
He enlivens all with his colours there,
And lacking flowers of the fields outspread,
He takes these gaudy people instead.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 915
Turn round, and from this mountain height,
Look down, where the townís in sight.
That cavernous, dark gate,
The colourful crowd penetrate,
All will take the sun today,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 920
The Risen Lord theyíll celebrate,
And feel they are resurrected,
From low houses, dully made,
From work, where theyíre constricted,
From the roofsí and gablesí weight,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 925
From the crush of narrow streets,
From the churchesí solemn night
Theyíre all brought to the light.
Look now: see! The crowds, their feet
Crushing the gardens and meadows,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 930
While on the river a cheerful fleet
Of little boats everywhere it flows.
And over-laden, ready to sink,
The last barge takes to the stream.
From far off on the mountainís brink,
All the bright clothing gleams.
I hear the noise from the village risen,
Here is the peopleís true Heaven,
High and low shout happily:
Here I am Man: here, dare to be!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 940
Doctor, to take a walk with you,
Is an honour and a prize:
Alone Iíd have no business here, true,
Since everything thatís coarse I despise.
Shrieking, fiddlers, skittles flying,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 945
To me itís all a hateful noise:
They rush about possessed, crying,
And call it singing: and call it joy.
(Farm-workers under the lime tree. Dance and Song.)
The shepherd for the dance, had on
His gaudy jacket, wreath, and ribbon,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 950
Making a fine show,
Under the linden-tree, already,
Everyone was dancing madly.
Hurrah! Hurray!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 955
So goes the fiddle-bow.
In his haste, in a whirl,
He stumbled against a girl,
With his elbow flailing:
Lively, she turned, and said:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 960
Mind out, you wooden-head!
Just watch where youíre sailing!
Fast around the circle bright,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 965
They danced to left and right,
Skirts and jackets flying.
They grew red: they grew warm,
They rested, panting, arm on arm
Hey! Hey!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 970
And hip, and elbow, lying.
Donít be so familiar then!
Thatís how many a lying man,
Cheated his wife so!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 975
But he soon tempted her aside,
And from the linden echoed wide:
So goes the fiddle-bow.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 980
Doctor, itís good of you today
Not to shun the crowd,
So that among the folk, at play,
The learned man walks about.
Then have some from the finest jug††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 985
That weíve filled with fresh ale first,
I offer it now and wish it would,
Not only quench your thirst:
But the count of drops it holds
May it exceed your hours, all told.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 990
Iíll take some of your foaming drink,
And offer you all, health and thanks.
(The people gather round him in a circle.)
Truly, itís a thing well done:
Youíre here on our day of happiness,
Since in evil times now gone,
Youíve eased our distress!
Many a man stands here alive,
Whom your father, at the last,
Snatched from the feverís rage,
While the plague went past.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1000
And you, only a young man, went,
Into every house of sickness, then,
Though many a corpse was carried forth,
You walked safely out again.
Many a hard trial you withstood,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1005
A Helper helped by the Helper above.
Health to the man whoís proven true,
Long may he help me and you!
To Him above bow down instead,
Who teaches help, and sends his aid.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1010
(He walks off, with Wagner.)
How it must feel, O man of genius,
To be respected by the crowd!
O happy he whose gifts endow
Him with such advantages!
The father shows you to his son, now†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1015
Each one asks and pushes near,
The fiddle halts, and the dancers there:
You pass: in ranks they stop to see,
And throw their caps high in the air:
A little more and theyíd bend the knee,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1020
As if what they worshipped was holy.
Climb these few steps to that stone,
Here weíll rest from our wandering.
Here Iíve sat often, thoughtful and alone,
Tormenting myself with prayer and fasting.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1025
Rich in hope, and firm of faith,
Wringing my hands, with sighs even,
Tears, to force the end of plague
From the very God of Heaven.
The crowdís approval nowís like scorn.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1030
O if you could read within me
How little the father and the son
Deserve a fraction of their glory.
My father was a gloomy, honourable man,
Who pondered Nature and the heavenly spheres,††††††††††††††††††††††† 1035
Honestly, in his own fashion,
With eccentric studies it appears:
He, in his adeptsí company,
Locked in his dark workshop, forever
Tried with endless recipes,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1040
To make things opposite flow together.
The fiery Lion, a daring suitor,
Wed the Lily, in a lukewarm bath, there
In a fiery flame, both of them were
Strained from one bride-bed into another,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1045
Until the young Queen was descried,
In a mix of colours, in the glass:
There was the medicine: the patient died.
And who recovered? No one asked.
So we roamed, with our hellish pills, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1050
Among the valleys and the hills,
Worse than the pestilence itself we were.
Iíve poisoned a thousand: thatís quite clear:
And now from the withered old must hear
How men praise a shameless murderer.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1055
How can you grieve at that!
Isnít it enough for an honest man
To exercise the skill he has,
Carefully, precisely, as given?
Honour your father as a youth,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1060
And receive his teaching in your soul,
As a man, then, add to scientific truth,
So your son can achieve a higher goal.
O happy the man who still can hope
Though drowned in a sea of error!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1065
Man needs the things he doesnít know,
What he knows is useless, forever.
But donít let such despondency
Spoil the deep goodness of the hour!
In the evening glow, we see†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1070
The houses gleaming, green-embowered.
Mild it retreats, the day thatís left,
It slips away to claim new being.
Ah, that no wing from earth can lift
Me, closer and closer to it, striving! †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1075
Iíd see, in eternal eveningís light,
The silent Earth beneath my feet, forever,
The heights on fire, each valley quiet
While silver streams flow to a golden river.
The wild peaks with their deep clefts,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1080
Would cease to bar my godlike way,
Already the sea with its warm depths,
Opens to my astonished gaze.
At last the weary god sinks down to night:
But in me a newer yearning wakes,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1085
I hasten on, drinking his endless light:
The dark behind me: and ahead the day.
Heaven above me: and the waves below,
A lovely dream, although it vanishes.
Ah! Wings of the mind, so weightless ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1090
No bodily wings could ever be so.
Yet itís natural in every spirit, too,
That feeling drives us, up and on,
When over us, lost in the vault of blue,
The lark sings his piercing song,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1095
When over the steep pine-filled peaks,
The eagle widely soars,
And across the plains and seas,
The cranes seek their home shores.
Iíve often had strange moments, I know,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1100
But Iíve never felt yearnings quite like those:
The joys of woods and fields soon fade
I wouldnít ask the birds for wings: indeed,
How differently the mindís raptures lead
Us on, from book to book, and page to page!†††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 1105
Then winter nights are beautiful, and sweet,
A blissful warmth steals through your limbs, too
When youíve unrolled some noble text, complete,
Oh, how heavenís light descends on you!
You only feel the one yearning at best,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1110
Oh, never seek to know the other!
Two souls, alas, exist in my breast,
One separated from another:
One, with its crude love of life, just
Clings to the world, tenaciously, grips tight,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1115
The other soars powerfully above the dust,
Into the far ancestral height.
Oh, let the spirits of the air,
Between the heavens and Earth, weaving,
Descend through the golden atmosphere,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1120
And lead me on to new and varied being!
Yes, if a magic cloak were mine, that
Would carry me off to foreign lands,
Not for the costliest garment in my hands,
For the mantle of a king, would I resign it!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1125
Donít call to that familiar crowd,
Streaming in misty circles, spreading,
Preparing a thousand dangers now,
On every side, for human beings.
The North windsí sharp teeth penetrate,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1130
Down here, and spit you with their fangs:
Then the Eastís drying winds are at the gate,
To feed themselves on your lungs.
If, from the South, the desert sends them,
And fire on fire burns on your brow,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1135
The West brings a swarm to quench them,
And you and field and meadow drown.
They hear us, while theyíre harming us,
Hear us, while they are betraying:
They make out theyíre from heaven above,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1140
And lisp like angels when theyíre lying.
Letís go on! The world has darkened,
The air is cool: the mists descend!
Man values his own house at night.
What is it occupies your sight?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1145
What troubles you so, in the evening?
Through corn and stubble, see that black dog running?
I saw him long ago: he seems a wretched thing.
Look at him closely! What do you make of him?
A dog that, in the way they do,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1150
Sniffs around to find his master.
See how he winds in wide spirals too,
Round us here, yet always coming nearer?
And if Iím right, I see a swirl of fire
Twisting about, behind his track.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1155
Perhaps your eyesight proves a liar,
I only see a dog, thatís black.
It seems to me that with a subtle magic,
He winds a fatal knot around our feet.
I see his timid and uncertain antics,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1160
Itís strangers, not his master, whom he meets.
The circle narrows: now heís here!
You see a dog, thereís no spectre near!†††††††††††††††††††
He barks uncertainly, lies down and crawls,
Wags his tail. Dogsí habits, after all.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1165
Come on! Here, now! Here, to me!
Heís a dogged hound, I agree.
Stand still and he holds his ground:
Talk to him, he dances round:
What youíve lost, heíll bring to you:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1170
Retrieve a stick from the water, too.
Youíre right: and I see nothing
Like a Spirit there, itís only training.
A wise man finds agreeable,
A dog thatís learnt its lesson well.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1175
Yes, he deserves all your favour,
Among the students, the true scholar!
(They enter the City gate.)
(Faust enters, with the dog.)
Fields and meadows now Iíve left
Clothed in deepest night,
Full of presentiments, a holy dread†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1180
Wakes the better soul in me to light.
Wild desires no longer stir
At every restless act of mine:
Love for Humanity is here,
And here is Love Divine.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1185
Quiet, dog! Stop running to and fro!
Why are you snuffling at the door?
Lie down now, behind the stove,
Thereís my best cushion on the floor.
Since you amused us running, leaping,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1190
Out on the mountainside, with zest,
Now I take you into my keeping,
A welcome, and a silent guest.
Ah, when in our narrow room,
The friendly lamp glows on the shelf,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1195
Brightness burns in our inner gloom,
In the Heart, that knows itself.
Reason speaks with insistence,
And Hope once more appears,
We see the River of Existence,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1200
Ah, the founts of Life, are near.
Donít growl, dog! With this holy sound
Which I, with all my soul, embrace,
Your bestial noise seems out of place.
Men usually scorn the things, Iíve found,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1205
That, by them, canít be understood,
Grumbling at beauty, and the good,
That to them seems wearisome:
Canít a dog, then, snarl like them?
Oh, yet now I can feel no contentment††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1210
Flow through me, despite my best intent.
Why must the stream fail so quickly,
And once again leave us thirsty?
Iíve long experience of it, yet I think
I could supply whatís missing, easily:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1215
We learn to value whatís beyond the earthly,
We yearn to reach revelationís brink,
Thatís nowhere nobler or more excellent
Than where it burns in the New Testament.
I yearn to render the first version,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1220
With true feeling, once and for all,
Translate the sacred original
Into my beloved German.
(He opens the volume, and begins.)
Itís written here: ĎIn the Beginning was the Word!í
Here I stick already! Who can help me? Itís absurd,††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 1225
Impossible, for me to rate the word so highly
I must try to say it differently
If Iím truly inspired by the Spirit. I find
Iíve written here: ĎIn the Beginning was the Mindí.
Let me consider that first sentence,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1230
So my pen wonít run on in advance!
Is it Mind that works and creates whatís ours?
It should say: ĎIn the beginning was the Power!í
Yet even while I write the words down,
Iím warned: Iím no closer with these Iíve found.††††††††††††††††††††††† 1235
The Spirit helps me! I have it now, intact.
And firmly write: ĎIn the Beginning was the Act!í
If Iím to share my room with you,
Dog, you can stop howling too:
Stop your yapping!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1240
A fellow whoís always snapping,
I canít allow too near me.
One of us you see,
Must leave the other free.
Iíve no more hospitality to show,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1245
The doorís open, you can go.
But whatís this I see!
Can this happen naturally?
Is it a phantom or is it real?
The dogís growing big and tall.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1250
He rises powerfully,
Itís no doglike shape I see!
What a spectre I brought home!
Like a hippo in the room,
With fiery eyes, and fearful jaws.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1255
Oh! Now, what you are, Iím sure!
The Key of Solomon is good
For conjuring your half-hellish brood.
Spirits (In the corridor.)
Somethingís trapped inside!
Donít follow it: stay outside!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1260
Like a fox in a snare
An old lynx from hell trembles there.
Be careful what youíre about!
Float here: float there,
Under and over,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1265
And heíll work his way out.
If you know how to help him,
Donít let yourself fail him!
Since itís all done for sure,
Just for your pleasure.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1270
First speak the Words of the Four
To encounter the creature.
Salamander, be glowing,
Undine, flow near,
Sylph, disappear,†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1275
Gnome, be delving.
Who does not know
The Elements so,
Their power sees,
And properties,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1280
Cannot lord it
Over the Spirits.
Vanish in flame,
Rush together in foam,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1285
Shine with meteor-gleam,
Bring help to the home,
Incubus! Incubus!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1290
Go before and end it thus!
None of the Four
Show in the creature.
He lies there quietly grinning at me:
Iíve not stirred him enough it seems.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1295
But youíll hear how
Iíll press him hard now.
My good fellow, are you
Exiled from Hellís crew?
Witness the Symbol†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1300
Before which they bow,
The dark crowd there!
Now it swells, with its bristling hair.
Can you know what youíre seeing?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1305
The uncreated One
With name unexpressed,
Poured through Heaven,
Pierced without redress?
Spellbound, behind the stove,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1310
An elephant grows.
It fills the room, completely,
It will vanish like mist, I can see.
Donít rise to the ceiling!
Lie down at your masterís feet!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1315
You see I donít threaten you lightly.
Iíll sting you with fire thatís holy!
Donít wait for the bright
Triple glowing Light!
Donít wait for†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1320
My highest art!
Why such alarms? What command would my lord impart?
This was the dogís core!
A wandering scholar? The fact makes me smile.
I bow to the learned lord!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1325
You certainly made me sweat, in style.
How are you named?
†††††††††††††† †††††† A slight question
For one who so disdains the Word,
Is so distant from appearance: one
Whom only the vital depths have stirred. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1330
We usually gather from your names
The nature of you gentlemen: itís plain
What you are, we all too clearly recognise
One whoís called Liar, Ruin, Lord of the Flies.
Well, what are you then?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1335
†††††††††††††† ††††††† Part of the Power that would
Always wish Evil, and always works the Good.
What meaning to these riddling words applies?†††
I am the spirit, ever, that denies!
And rightly so: since everything created,
In turn deserves to be annihilated:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1340
Better if nothing came to be.
So all that you call Sin, you see,
Destruction, in short, what youíve meant
By Evil is my true element.
You call yourself a part, yet seem complete to me?
Iím speaking the truth to you, and modestly.
Even if Manís accustomed to take
His small world for the Whole, thatís his mistake:
Iím part of the part, that once was - everything,
Part of the darkness, from which Light, issuing,†††††††††††††††††††††††† 1350
Proud Light, emergent, disputed the highest place
With its mother Night, the bounds of Space,
And yet won nothing, however hard it tried,
Still stuck to Bodily Things, and so denied.
It flows from bodies, which it beautifies,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1355
And bodies block its way:
I hope the dayís not far away
When it, along with all these bodies, dies.
Now I see the plan you follow!
You canít destroy it all, and so††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1360
Youíre working on a smaller scale.
And frankly itís a sorry tale.
Whatís set against the Nothingness,
The Something, Worldís clumsiness,
Despite everything Iíve tried,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1365
Wonít become a nothing: though Iíd
Storms, quakes, and fires on every hand,
It deigned to stay as sea and land!
And those Men and creatures, all the damned,
Itís no use my owning any of that crew:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1370
How many Iíve already done with too!
Yet new fresh blood is always going round.
So it goes on, men make me furious!
With water, earth and air, of course,
A thousand buds unfurl††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1375
In wet and dry, warm and cold!
And if I hadnít kept back fire of old,
Iíd have nothing left at all.
So you set the Devilís fist
That vainly clenches itself,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1380
Against the eternally active,
Wholesome, creative force!
Strange son of Chaos, start
On something else instead!
Truly Iíll think about it: more†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1385
Next time, on that head!
Might I be allowed to go?
I see no reason for you to ask it.
Since Iíve learnt to know you now,
When you wish: then make a visit.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1390
Thereís the door, hereís the window,
And, of course, thereís the chimney.
I must confess, Iím prevented though
By a little thing that hinders me,
The Druidís-foot on your doorsill Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1395
The Pentagram gives you pain?
Then tell me, you Son of Hell,
If thatís the case, how did you gain
Entry? Are spirits like you cheated?
Look carefully! Itís not completed:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1400
One angle, if you inspect it closely
Has, as you see, been left a little open.
Just by chance as it happens!
And left you prisoner to me?
Success created by approximation!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1405
The dog saw nothing, in his animation,
Now the affair seems inside out,
The Devil canít get out of the house.
Why not try the window then?
To devils and ghosts the same laws appertain:††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1410
The same way they enter in, they must go out.
In the first weíre free, in the second slaves to the act.
So you still have laws in Hell, in fact?
Thatís good, since it allows a pact,
And one with you gentlemen truly binds? ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1415
Whatís promised youíll enjoy, and find,
Thereís nothing mean that we enact.
But it canít be done so fast,
First weíll have to talk it through,
Yet, urgently, I beg of you ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1420
Let me go my way at last.
Wait a moment now,
Tell me some good news first.
Iíll soon be back, just let me go:
Then you can ask me what you wish.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1425
I didnít place you here, tonight.
You trapped yourself in the lime.
Who snares the devil, holds him tight!
He wonít be caught like that a second time.
Iím willing, if you so wish,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1430
To stay here, in your company:
So long as we pass the time, and I insist,
On arts of mine, exclusively.
Gladly, youíre free to present
Them, as long as theyíre all pleasant.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1435
My friend youíll win more
For your senses, in an hour,
Than in a whole yearís monotony.
What the tender spirits sing,
The lovely pictures that they bring,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1440
Are no empty wizardry.
First your sense of smellís invited,
Then your palate is delighted,
And then your touch, you see.
Now, I need no preparation,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1445
Weíre all here, so letís begin!
Vanish, you shadowy
The friendliest blue††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††† 1450
Of aether, down here.
Would that shadowy
Clouds had gone!
Milder sun††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1455
In lovely confusion,
Swaying and bending,
Drifting past.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1460
Their garments flowing
With fluttering ribbons,
Cover the gardens,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1465
Cover the leaves,
Where with each other
In deep conversation
Lover meets lover.
Leaves on leaves!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1470
Crushed in a stream,
Pressed to extreme,
Crushed to fountain,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1475
Of foaming wine,
Through rocks divine,
Leaving the heights,
Spreading beneath,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1480
Broad as the seas,
Valleys it fills
Round the green hills.
And the wings still,
Blissfully drunk,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1485
Fly to the sun,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Fly to the brightness,
Towards the islands,
Out of the waves
Magically raised:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1490
Now we can hear
The choir of joy near,
Over the meadow,
See how they dance now,†††††††††††††
All in the air††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1495
Some of them climbing
Over the mountains,
Others are swimming
Over the ocean,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1500
Others take flight:
All towards Life,
All towards distant,
Love of the stars, and
Approvalís bliss.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1505
Heís asleep! Enough, you delicate children of air!
Youíve sung to him faithfully, I declare!
Iím in your debt for all this.
Heís not yet the man to hold devils fast!
Spellbind him with dream-forms, cast†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1510
Him deep into illusionsí sea:
Now, for the magic sill I must pass,
I could use ratís teeth: no need for me
To conjure up a lengthier spell,
Oneís rustling here that will do well. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1515
The Lord of Rats and Mice,
Of Flies, Frogs, Bugs and Lice,
Summons you to venture here,
And gnaw the threshold where
He stains it with a little oil -††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1520
Youíve hopped, already, to your toil!
Now set to work! The fatal point,
Is at the edge, itís on the front.
One more bite, then itís complete Ė
Now Faust, dream deeply, till we meet.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1525
Am I cheated then, once again?
Does the Spirit-Realmís deep yearning fade:
So a mere dream has conjured up the devil,
And only a dog, it was, that ran away?
††††††† Ah, now, you please me.
I hope weíll get along together:
To drive away the gloomy weather,
Iím dressed like young nobility,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1535
In a scarlet gold-trimmed coat,
In a little silk-lined cloak,
A cockerel feather in my hat,
With a long, pointed sword,
And I advise you, at that,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1540
To do as I do, in a word:
So that, footloose, fancy free,
You can experience Life, with me.
This life of earth, its narrowness,
Pains me, however Iím turned out,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1545
Iím too old to play about,
Too young, still, to be passionless.
What can the world bring me again?
Abstain! You shall! You must! Abstain!
Thatís the eternal song†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1550
That in our ears, forever, rings
The one, that, our whole life long,
Every hour, hoarsely, sings.
I wake in terror with the dawn,
I cry, the bitterest tears, to see††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1555
Day grant no wish of mine, not one
As it passes by on its journey.
Even presentiments of joy
Ebb, in wilful depreciation:
A thousand grimaces life employs††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1560
To hinder me in creation.
Then when night descends I must
Stretch out, worried, on my bed:
What comes to me is never rest,
But some wild dream instead. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1565
The God that lives inside my heart,
Can rouse my innermost seeing:
The one enthroned beyond my art,
Canít stir external being:
And so existence is a burden: sated,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1570
Deathís desired, and Life is hated.
Yet Deathís a guest whoís visitís never wholly celebrated.
Happy the man whom victory enhances,
Whose brow the bloodstained laurel warms,
Who, after the swift whirling dances,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1575
Finds himself in some girlís arms!
If only, in my joy, then, Iíd sunk down
Before that enrapturing Spirit power!
Yet someone, from a certain brown
Liquid, drank not a drop, at midnight hour.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1580
It seems that you delight in spying.
I know a lot: and yet Iím not all-knowing.
When sweet familiar tones drew me,
Away from the tormenting crowd,
Then my other childhood feelings †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1585
Better times echoed, and allowed.
So I curse whatever snares the soul,
In its magical, enticing arms,
Banishes it to this mournful hole,
With dazzling, seductive charms!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1590
Cursed be those high Opinions first,
With which the mind entraps itself!
Then glittering Appearance curse,
In which the senses lose themselves!
Curse what deceives us in our dreaming,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1595
With thoughts of everlasting fame!
Curse the flattery of Ďpossessingí
Wife and child, lands and name!
Curse Mammon, when he drives us
To bold acts to win our treasure:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1600
Or straightens out our pillows
For us to idle at our leisure!
Curse the sweet juice of the grape!
Curse the highest favours Love lets fall!
Cursed be Hope! Cursed be Faith,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1605
And cursed be Patience most of all!
Choir of Spirits (Unseen)
Youíve destroyed it,
The beautiful world,
With a powerful fist:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1610
It tumbles, itís hurled
To ruin! A demigod crushed it!
Fragments into the void,
And sadly†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1615
Lament the Beauty thatís gone.
For all of Earthís sons,
Build it again,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1620
Build, in your heart!
Lifeís new start,
With senses washed clean,
And sound, then,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1625
A newer art!
Theyíre little, but fine,
These attendants of mine.
Precocious advice they give, listen,
Regarding both action, and passion!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1630
Into the World outside,
From Solitude, thatís dried
Your sap and senses,
They tempt us.
Stop playing with grief,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1635
That feeds, a vulture, on your breast,
The worst society, youíll find, will prompt belief,
That youíre a Man among the rest.
Not that I mean
To shove you into the mass.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1640
Among Ďthe greatsí, Iím second-class:
But if you, in my company,
Your path through life would wend,
Iíll willingly condescend
To serve you, as we go.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1645
Iím your man, and so,
If it suits you of course,
Iím your slave: Iím yours!
And what must I do in exchange?
Thereís lots of time: youíve got the gist.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1650
No, no! The Devil is an egotist,
Does nothing lightly, or in Godís name,
To help another, so I insist,
Speak your demands out loud,
Such servants are risks, in a house.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1655
Iíll be your servant here, and Iíll
Not stop or rest, at your decree:
When weíre together, on the other side,
Youíll do the same for me.
The Ďother sideí concerns me less:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1660
Shatter this world, in pieces,
The other one can take its place,
The root of my joyís on this Earth,
And this Sun lights my sorrow:
If I must part from them tomorrow,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1665
What can or will be, that Iíll face.
Iíll hear no more of it, of whether
In that future, men both hate and love,
Or whether in those spheres, forever,
Weíre given a below and an above.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1670
In that case, you can venture all.
Commit yourself: today, you shall
View my arts with joy: I mean
To show you what no man has seen.
Poor devil what can you give? When has ever†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1675
A human spirit, in its highest endeavour,
Been understood by such a one as you?
You have a never-satiating food,
You have your restless gold, a slew
Of quicksilver, melting in the hand,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1680
Games whose prize no man can land,
A girl, who while sheís on my arm,
Snares a neighbour, with her eyes:
And Honourís fine and godlike charm,
That, like a meteor, dies?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1685
Show me fruits then that rot, before theyíre ready.
And trees grown green again, each day, too!
Such commands donít frighten me:
With such treasures I can truly serve you.
Still, my good friend, a time may come,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1690
When one prefers to eat whatís good in peace.
When I lie quiet in bed, at ease.
Then let my time be done!
If you fool me, with flatteries,
Till my own selfís a joy to me,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1695
If you snare me with luxury Ė
Let that be the last day I see!
That bet Iíll make!
†††††††††††††††††††††† † And quickly!
When, to the Moment then, I say:
ĎAh, stay a while! You are so lovely!í†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1700
Then you can grasp me: then you may,
Then, to my ruin, Iíll go gladly!
Then they can ring the passing bell,
Then from your service you are free,
The clocks may halt, the hands be still,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1705
And time be past and done, for me!
Consider well, weíll not forget.
You have your rights, complete:
I never over-estimate my powers.
Iíll be a slave, in defeat:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1710
Why ask whose slave or yours?
Today, likewise, at the Doctorsí Feast
Iíll do my duty as your servant.
One thing, though! Ė Re: life and death, I want
A few lines from you, at the least.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1715
You pedant, you demand it now in writing?
You still wonít take Manís word for anything?
Itís not enough that the things I say,
Will always accord with my future?
The world never ceases to wear away,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1720
And shall a promise bind me, then, forever?
Yet thatís the illusion in our minds,
And who then would be free of it?
Happy the man, who pure truth finds,
And whoíll never deign to sacrifice it!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1725
Still a document, written and signed,
Thatís a ghost makes all men fear it.
The word is already dying in the pen,
And wax and leather hold the power then.
What do you want from me base spirit?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1730
Will iron: marble: parchment: paper do it?
Shall I write with stylus, pen or chisel?
Iíll leave the whole decision up to you.
Why launch into oratory too?
Hot-tempered: you exaggerate as well.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1735
Any bit of paperís just as good.
And you can sign it with a drop of blood.
If it will satisfy you, and it should,
Then letís complete the farce in full.
Blood is a quite special fluid.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1740
Have no fear Iíll break this pact!
The extreme I can promise you: it is
All the power my efforts can extract.
Iíve puffed myself up so highly
I belong in your ranks now.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1745
The mighty Spirit scorns me
And Nature shuts me out.
The thread of thought has turned to dust,
Knowledge fills me with disgust.
Let the depths of sensuality††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1750
Satisfy my burning passion!
And, its impenetrable mask on,
Let every marvel be prepared for me!
Letís plunge into timeís torrent,
Into the whirlpools of event!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1755
Then let joy, and distress,
Frustration, and success,
Follow each other, as well they can:
Restless activity proves the man!
No goal or measureís set for you.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1760
Do as you wish, nibble at everything,
Catch at fragments while youíre flying,
Enjoy it all, whatever you find to do.
Now grab at it, and donít be stupid!
Itís not joy weíre about: you heard it.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1765
Iíll take the frenzy, pain-filled elation,
Loving hatred, enlivening frustration.
Cured of its urge to know, my mind
In future, will not hide from any pain,
And what is shared by all mankind,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1770
In my innermost self, Iíll contain:
My soul will grasp the high and low,
My heart accumulate its bliss and woe,
So this self will embrace all theirs,
That, in the end, their fate it shares.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1775
Believe me, many a thousand year
Theyíve chewed hard food, and yet
From the cradle to the bier,
Not one has ever digested it!
Trust one of us, this Whole thing†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1780
Was only made for a godís delight!
In eternal splendour he is dwelling,
He placed us in the darkness quite,
And only gave you day and night.
But, I will!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1785
†††††††††††††† Thatís good to hear!
Yet Iíve a fear, just the one:
Time is short, and art is long.
I think you need instruction.
Join forces with a poet: use poetry,
Let him roam in imagination,†† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1790
Youíll gain every noble quality
From your honorary occupation,
The lionís brave attitude
The wild stagís swiftness,
The Italianís fiery blood,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1795
The Northís persistence.
Let him find the mysterious
Meeting of generous and devious,
While you, with passions young and hot,
Fall in love, according to the plot.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1800
Iíd like to see such a gentleman, among us,
And Iíd call him Mister Microcosmus.
What am I then, if itís a flight too far,
For me to gain that human crown
I yearn towards with every sense I own?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1805
In the end, you are Ė what you are.
Set your hair in a thousand curlicues
Place your feet in yard-high shoes,
Youíll remain forever, what you are.
All the treasures of the human spirit†††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††† 1810
I feel that Iíve expended, uselessly.
And wherever, at the last, I sit,
No new power flows, in me.
Iím not a hairís breadth taller, as you see,
And Iím no nearer to Infinity. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1815
My dear sir, you see the thing
Exactly as all men see it: why,
We must re-order everything,
Before the joys of life slip by.
Hang it! Hands and feet, belong to you,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1820
Certainly, a head, and a backside,
Yet everything I use as new
Why is my ownership of it denied?
When I can count on six stallions,
Isnít their horsepower mine to use?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1825
I drive behind, and am a proper man,
As though Iíd twenty-four legs, too.
Look lively! Leave the senses be,
And plunge into the world with me!
I say to you that scholarly fellows††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1830
Are like the cattle on an arid heath:
Some evil spirit leads them round in circles,
While sweet green meadows lie beneath.
How shall we begin then?
†††††††††††††† From here, weíll first win free.
What kind of a martyrsí hole can this be?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1835
What kind of a teacher of life is he,
Who fills young minds with ennui?
Let your neighbours do it, and go!
Do you want to thresh straw forever?
The best things you can ever know,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1840
You dare not tell the youngsters, ever.
I hear one of them arriving, too!
Iíve no desire to see him, though.
The poor ladís waited hours for you.
He mustnít go away un-consoled.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1845
Come: give me your cap and gown.
The mask should look delicious. So!
(He disguises himself.)
Now Iíve lost what witís my own!
I want fifteen minutes with him, only:
Meanwhile get ready for our journey!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1850
Mephistopheles (In Faustís long gown.)
Reason and Science you despise,
Manís highest powers: now the lies
Of the deceiving spirit must bind you
With those magic arts that blind you,
And Iíll have you, totally Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1855
Fate gave him such a spirit
It urges him ever onwards, wildly,
And, in his hasty striving, he has leapt
Beyond all earthís ecstasies.
Iíll drag him through raw life,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1860
Through the meaningless and shallow,
Iíll freeze him: stick to him: keep him ripe,
Frustrate his insatiable greed, allow
Food and drink to drift before his eyes:
In vain heíll beg for consummation,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1865
And if he werenít the devilís, why
Heíd still go to his ruination!
(A student enters.)
Iím only here momentarily,
Iíve come, filled with humility,
To speak to, and to stand before,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1870
One whoís spoken of with awe.
Your courtesy delights me greatly!
A man like other men you see.
Have you studied then, elsewhere?
I beg you, please enrol me, here!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1875
I come to you strong of courage,
Lined in pocket, healthy for my age:
My mother didnít want to lose me: though,
Iíd like to learn what itís right for me to know.
Then youíve come to the right place, exactly.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1880
To be honest, Iíd like to go already:
Thereís little pleasure for me at all,
In these walls, and all these halls.
Itís such a narrow space I find,
You see no trees, no leaves of any kind,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1885
And in the lectures, on the benches,
All thought deserts me, and my senses.
It will only come to you with habit.
So the child takes its motherís breast
Quite unwillingly at first, and yet it†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1890
Soon sucks away at her with zest.
So will you at Wisdomís breast, here,
Feel every day a little zestier.
Iíll cling to her neck with pleasure:
But only tell me how to find her.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1895
Explain, before you travel on
What faculty youíve settled on.
I want to be a true scholar,
I want to grasp, by the collar,
Whatís on earth, in heaven above,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1900
In Science, and in Nature too.
Then hereís the very path for you,
But donít allow yourself to wander off.
Iíll be present heart and soul:
Of course Iíll want to play,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1905
Have some fun and freedom, though,
On each sweet summer holiday.
Use your time well: it slips away so fast, yet
Discipline will teach you how to win it.
My dear friend, Iíd advise, in sum,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1910
First, the Collegium Logicum.
There your mind will be trained,
As if in Spanish boots, constrained,
So that painfully, as it ought,
It creeps along the way of thought,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1915
Not flitting about all over,
Wandering here and there.
So youíll learn, in many days,
What you used to do, untaught, as in a haze,
Like eating now, and drinking, youíll see††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1920
The necessity of One! Two! Three!
Truly the intricacy of logic
Is like a master-weaverís fabric,
Where the loom holds a thousand threads,
Here and there the shuttles go ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1925
And the threads, invisibly, flow,
One pass serves for a thousand instead.
Then the philosopher steps in: heíll show
That it certainly had to be so:
The first was - so, the second - so,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1930
And so, the third and fourth were - so:
If first and second had never been,
Third and fourth would not be seen.
All praise the scholars, beyond believing,
But few of them ever turn to weaving.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1935
To know and note the living, youíll find it
Best to first dispense with the spirit:
Then with the pieces in your hand,
Ah! Youíve only lost the spiritual bond.
†ĎNatural treatmentí, Chemistry calls it††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1940
Mocks at herself, and doesnít know it.
Iím not sure that I quite understand.
Youíll soon know it all, as planned,
When youíve learnt the science of reduction,
And everythingís proper classification.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1945
After all that, I feel as stupid
As if Iíd a mill wheel in my head.
Next, before all else, youíll fix
Your mind on Metaphysics!
See that youíre profoundly trained†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1950
In what never stirs in a human brain:
Youíll learn a splendid word
For whatís occurred or not occurred.
But for the present take six months
To get yourself in order: start at once.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1955
Five hours every day, lock
Yourself in, with a ticking clock!
Make sure youíre well prepared,
Study each paragraph with care,
So afterwards youíll be certain††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1960
Only whatís in the book, was written:
Then be as diligent when you pen it,
As if the Holy Ghost had said it!
You wonít need to tell me twice!
I think, myself, itís very helpful, too†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1965
That one can take back home, and use,
What someoneís penned in black and white.
But choose a faculty, any one!
I wouldnít be comfortable with Law.
I couldnít name you anything more††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1970
Vile, I know how dogmatic itís become.
Laws and rights are handed down
Itís an eternal disgrace:
Theyíre moved round from town to town
Dragged around from place to place.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1975
Reason is nonsense, kindness a disease,
If youíre a grandchild itís a curse!
The rights we are born with,
To those, alas, no one refers!
That just strengthens my disgust.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1980
Happy the student that you instruct!
Iíve nearly settled on Theology.
I wouldnít wish to guide you erroneously.
In what that branch of knowledge concerns
Itís so difficult to avoid a fallacious route,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1985
Thereís so much poison hidden in what you learn,
And itís barely distinguishable from the antidote.
The best thing hereís to make a single choice,
Then simply swear by your masterís voice.
On the whole, to words stick fast!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1990
Through the safest gate youíll pass
To the Temple of Certainty.
Yet surely words must have a sense.
Why, yes! But donít torment yourself with worry,
Where sense fails itís only necessary†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1995
To supply a word, and change the tense.
With words fine arguments can be weighted,
With words whole Systems can be created,
With words, the mind does its conceiving,
No word suffers a jot from thieving.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2000
Forgive me, I delay you with my questions,
But I must trouble you again,
On the subject of Medicine,
Have you no helpful word to say?
Three years, so little time applied,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2005
And, God, the field is rather wide!
If only you had some kind of pointer,
You would feel so much further on.
Iím tired of this desiccated banter
I really must play the devil, at once.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2010
To grasp the spirit of Medicineís easily done:
You study the great and little world, until,
In the end you let it carry on
Just as God wills.
Useless to roam round, scientifically:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2015
Everyone learns only what he can:
The one who grasps the Moment fully,
Heís the proper man.
Youíre quite a well-made fellow,
Youíre not short of courage too,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2020
And when youíre easy with yourself,
Others will be easy with you.
Study, especially, female behaviour:
Their eternal aches and woes,
All of the thousand-fold,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2025
Rise from one point, and have one cure.
And if youíre half honourable about it
You shall have them in your pocket.
A title first: to give them comfort you
Have skills that far exceed the others,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2030
Then youíre free to touch the goods, and view
What someone else has prowled around for years.
Take the pulse firmly, you understand,
And then, with sidelong fiery glance,
Grasp the slender hips, in haste,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2035
To find out whether sheís tight-laced.
That sounds much better! The Where and How, I see.
Grey, dear friend, is all theory,
And green the golden tree of life.
I swear itís like a dream to me: may I†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2040
Trouble you, at some further time,
To expound your wisdom, so sublime?
As much as I can, Iíll gladly explain.
I canít tear myself away,
I must just pass you my album, sir,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2045
Grant me the favour of your signature!
(He writes and gives the book back.)
Student (Reading Mephistophelesí Latin inscription which means: ĎYouíll be like God, acquainted with good and evilí.)
Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum.
(He makes his bows, and takes his leave.)
Just follow the ancient text, and my mother the snake, too:
And then your likeness to God will surely frighten you!†††††††††††††††† 2050
Where will we go, then?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † Where you please.
The little world, and then the great, weíll see.
With what profit and delight,
This term, youíll be a parasite!
Yet with my long beard, Iíll†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2055
Lack lifeís superficial style.
My attempt will come to nothing:
I know, in this world, I donít fit in.
I feel so small next to other men,
It only means embarrassment.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2060
My friend, just give yourself completely to it:
When you find yourself, youíll soon know how to live it.
How shall we depart from here, then?
I see not one servant, coach, or horse.
Weíll just spread this cloak wide open,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2065
Then through the air weíll take our course.
For a daring trip like this weíre on,
Better not take much baggage along.
A little hot air Iíll ready, first,
To lift us nimbly above the Earth,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2070
And as weíre light weíll soon get clear:
Congratulations on your new career!
(Friends happily drinking.)
Will none of you laugh? Nobody drink?
Iíll have to teach you to smile, I think!
Youíre all of you like wet straw today,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2075
And usually youíre well away.
Thatís up to you, you bring us nothing.
Nothing dumb, or dirty, nothing.
You can have both!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Rotten swine!
You wanted them both, so you got mine!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2080
Out the door, whoever fights! Get out!
Letís sing a heart-felt chorus, drink and shout!
Up! Hurray! Ha!
†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Ah! Iím in agony!
Earplugs, here! This fellowís deafened me.
Itís only when it echoes in the tower,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2085
You hear a bass voiceís real power.
Right, out with him who takes offence!
Ah! Do, re, me!
Ah! Do, re, me!
Our throats are tuned: commence.
ĎDear Holy Roman Empire,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2090
How do you hold together?í
A lousy song! Bah! A political song -
A tiresome song! Thank God, every morning,
It isnít you who must sit there worrying
About the Empire! At least Iím better for†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2095
Not being a King or a Chancellor.
But we should have a leader, so
Weíll choose a Pope of our own.
You know the qualities that can
Swing the vote, and elevate the man.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2100
ĎSing away, sweet Nightingale,
Greet my girl, and never fail.í
Donít greet my girl! Iíll not allow it!
Greet and kiss her! Youíll not stop it!
ĎSlip the bolt in deepest night!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2105
Slip it! Wake, the lover bright.
Slip it to! At break of dawn.í
Yes, sing in praise of her, and boast: sing on!
Iíll laugh later when it suits:
She leads me a dance, sheíll lead you too.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2110
She should have a dwarf for a lover!
At the crossroads, let him woo her:
An old goat from Blocksberg, galloping over,
Can bleat goodnight, as it passes by her.
An honest man, of flesh and blood,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2115
For a girl like thatís far too good.
Iím not bothered even to say hello
Except perhaps to break her window.
Brander (Pounding on the table.)
Quiet! Quiet! Or you wonít hear!
I know about life, you lot, confess.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2120
Besotted persons sit among us,
As fits their status, then, I must
Give them, tonight, of my very best.
Listen! A song in the newest strain!
And you can shout out the refrain!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2125
ĎOnce there was a cellar rat,
Who lived on grease, and butter:
He had a belly, round and fat,
Just like Doctor Luther.
The cook set poison round about:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2130
It brought on such a violent bout,
As if heíd love inside him.í
ĎAs if heíd love inside him!í
ĎHe ran here, and he ran there,
And drank from all the puddles,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 2135
Gnawing, scratching, everywhere,
But nothing cured his shudders.
In torment, he leapt to the roof,
Poor beast, soon heíd had enough,
As if heíd love inside him.í††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2140
ĎAs if heíd love inside him!í
ĎFear drove him to the light of day,
Into the kitchen then he ran,
Fell on the hearth and twitched away,
Pitifully weak, and wan.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2145
Then the murderess laughed with glee:
Heís on his last legs, I see,
As if heíd love inside him.í
ĎAs if heíd love inside him.í
How pleased they are, the tiresome fools!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2150
Spreading poison for wretched rats,
To me, thatís the right thing to do!
Youíre in sympathy with them, perhaps?
That fat belly with a balding head!
Bad luck makes him meek and mild:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2155
From a swollen rat, he sees, with dread,
His own natural likeness is compiled.
(Faust and Mephistopheles appear.)
First of all, I had to bring you here,
Where cheerful friends sup together,
To see how happily life slips away.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2160
For these folk every dayís a holiday.
With lots of leisure, and little sense,
They revolve in their round-dance,
Chasing their tails as kittens prance,
If the hangovers arenít too intense,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2165
If the landlord gives them credit,
Theyíre cheerful, and unworried by it.
Theyíre fresh from their travelling days,
You can tell by their foreign ways:
Theyíve not been back an hour: you see. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2170
True, youíre right! My Leipzigís dear to me!
Itís a little Paris, and educates its people.
Who do you think the strangers are?
Let me find out! Iíll draw the truth,
From those two, with a brimming glass,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2175
As easily as youíd pull a childís tooth.
It seems to me theyíre of some noble house,
They look so discontented and so proud.
Theyíre surely strolling players, Iíd guess!
††††† Watch me screw it out of them, then!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2180
These folk wouldnít feel the devil, even
If heíd got them dangling by the neck.
†††††††††††††††††††††† Thank you, and greetings.†††††
(He mutters away, inspecting Mephistopheles side-on.)†††††††
Whatís wrong with his foot: whyís he limping?
Allow us to sit with you, if you please.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2185
Instead of fine ale that canít be had,
We can still have good company.
You seem a choosy sort of lad.
Was it late when you started out from Rippach?
Perhaps you dined with Hans there, first?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2190
We passed straight by, today, without a rest!
We spoke to him last some time back,
When he talked a lot about his cousins,
And he sent to each his kind greetings.
(He bows to Frosch.)
He did you, there! Heís smart!
†† A shrewd customer!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2195
Wait, Iíll have him soon, Iím sure!
If Iím not wrong, we heard
A tuneful choir singing?
Iím sure, with this vault, the words
Must really set it ringing!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2200
Are you by any chance a virtuoso?
No! Though my desire is great, my skill is only so-so.
Give us a song!
If you wish it, a few.
So long as itís a brand-new one!
Well, itís from Spain that weíve just come,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2205
The lovely land of wine, and singing too.
ĎThere was once a king, who
Had a giant fleaí Ė
Listen! Did you get that? A flea.
A fleaís an honest guest to me.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2210
ĎThere was once a king, who
Had a giant flea,
He loved him very much, oh,
He was like a son, you see.
The king called for his tailor,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2215
He came right away:
Now, measure up the lad for
A suit of clothes, I say!í
Make sure the tailorís sharp,
And cuts them out precisely,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2220
And, since his sonís dear to his heart,
Make sure thereís never a crease to see.
ĎAll in silk and velvet,
He was smartly dressed,
With ribbons on his coat,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2225
A cross upon his chest.
He was the First Minister,
And so he wore a star:
His brothers and his sisters,
He made noblest by far.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2230
The lords and the ladies,
They were badly smitten,
The Queen and her maids,
They were stung and bitten.
They didnít dare to crush them,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2235
Or scratch away, all night.
We smother them, and crush them,
The moment that they bite.í
ĎWe smother them, and crush them,
The moment that they bite.í†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2240
Bravo! Bravo! That went sweetly!
So shall it be with every flea!
Sharpen your nails, and crush them fine!
Long live freedom, and long live wine!
Iíd love to drink a glass, in freedomís honour,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2245
If only the wine were a little better.
Not again, we donít want to hear!
I fear the landlord might complain
Or Iíd give these worthy guests,
One of my cellarís very best.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2250
Just bring it on! Heíll accept it: Iíll explain.
Make it a good glass and weíll praise it.
But donít make it so small we canít taste it.
Because if Iím truly going to decide,
I need a really big mouthful inside.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2255
Theyíre from the Rhine, as I guessed.
Bring me a corkscrew!
†††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††† ††What for?
Is it outside already, this cask?
Thereís one in the landlordís toolbox, for sure.
Now, what would you like to try?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2260
What? Is there a selection, too?
Thereís a choice for every one of you.
Altmayer (To Frosch.)
Ah! You soon catch on: your lips are dry?
Good! When Iíve a choice, I drink Rhenish.
The Fatherland grants those best gifts to us.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2265
Bring me a little wax, to make the seals, as well!
Ah, thatís for the conjuring trick, I can tell.
Mephistopheles (To Brander.)
†††††† Champagne for me is fine:
Make it a truly sparkling wine!
(Mephistopheles bores the holes: one of the others makes the wax stoppers and stops the holes with them.)
We canít always shun whatís foreign,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2270
Things from far away are often fine.
Real Germans canít abide a Frenchman,
And yet they gladly drink his wine.
Siebel (As Mephistopheles approaches his seat.)
I must confess I do dislike the dry,
Give me a glass of the very sweetest!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2275
Mephistopheles (Boring a hole.)
Iíll pour an instant Tokay for you, yes?
Now, gentlemen, look me in the eye!
I see youíve had the better of us there.
Now! Now! With guests so rare,
That would be far too much for me to dare.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2280
Quick! Time for you to declare!
Which wine can I serve you with?
Any at all! Donít make us ask forever.
(Now all the holes have been stopped and sealed.)
Grapes, they are the vineís load!
Horns, they are the he-goatís:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2285
Wine is juice: wood makes vines,
The wooden board shall give us wine.
Look deeper into Nature!
Have faith, and hereís a wonder!
Now draw the stoppers, and drink up!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2290
All (Draw the stoppers, and the wine they chose flows into each glass.)
O lovely fount, that flows for us!
But careful, donít lose a drop!
(They drink repeatedly.)
ĎWeíre all of us cannibals now,
Weíre like five hundred sows.í
The folk are free, and we can go, you see!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2295
Iíd like to leave here now.
Watch first: their bestiality
Will make a splendid show.
Help! Fire! Hell burns bright!
Friendly element, be quiet!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2300
(To the drinkers.)
For this time, just a drop of Purgatory.
Whatís that? You wait! Youíll pay dearly!
It seems you donít quite see us right.
Try playing that trick a second time, on us!
I think we should quietly send him packing.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2305
What, sir? You think youíre daring,
Tricking us with your hocus-pocus?
Be quiet, old wine-barrel!
You broomstick! Youíll show us youíre ill bred?
Just wait, itíll rain blows, on your head!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2310
Iím burning! Burning!
†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Itís magic, strike!
The manís a rascal! Kick him as you like!
(They draw knives and rush at Mephistopheles.)
Word and Image, ensnare!
Alter, senses and air!
Be here, and there!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2315
(They look at each other, amazed.)
Where am I? What a lovely land!
Vineyards? Am I seeing straight?
And, likewise, grapes to hand!
Deep in this green arbour, here,
See, the vines! What grapes appear!
(He grasps Siebel by the nose: the others do the same reciprocally, and raise their knives.)
From their eyes, Error, take the iron band,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2320
And let them see how the Devil plays a joke.
(He vanishes with Faust: the revellers separate.)
†††††††††††††††††††††† And how?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Was that your nose?
Brander (To Siebel.)
And Iíve still got your nose in my hand!
It was a tremor, that passed through every limb!
Pass me a stool: Iím sinking in! ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2325
Tell me: what happened there, my friend?
Where is he? When I catch that fellow,
He wonít leave here alive again!
I saw him myself fly out of the cellar
Riding on a barrel Ė and then Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2330
I feel thereís lead still in my feet.
(He turns towards the table.)
Ah! Does the wine still flow as sweet?
It was deception, cheating, lying.
Still, it seemed that I drank wine.
And what about all those grapes that hung there?††††††††††††††††††††††† 2335
Tell me, now, we shouldnít believe in wonders!
(A giant cauldron stands on a low hearth, with a fire under it. Various shapes appear in the fumes from the cauldron. A She-Ape sits next to it, skimming it, watching to see it doesnít boil over. The He-Ape, with young ones, sits nearby warming himself. The ceiling and walls are covered with the Witchesí grotesque instruments.)
These magical wild beasts repel me, too!
Are you telling me I can be renewed,
Wandering around in this mad maze,
Demanding help from some old hag:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2340
That her foul cookery will spirit away
Thirty years from my age, just like that?
Itís sad, if you know of nothing better!
The star of hope has quickly set.
Hasnít some noble mind, or Nature,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2345
Found some wondrous potion yet?
My friend, what you say, again, is intelligent!
Thereís a natural means to make you younger:
But itís written, in a book quite different,
And in an odd chapter.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2350
Iíll know it, then.
Fine! Youíve a method here that needs
No gold, no doctor, no magician:
Take yourself off to the nearest field,
To scratch around, and hoe, and dig in,
Maintain yourself, and constrain †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2355
Your senses in a narrow sphere:
Feed yourself on the purest fare,
Be a beast among beasts: think it no robbery,
To manure the fields you harvest, there:
Since thatís the best of ways, believe me, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2360
To keep your youth for eighty years!
Iím not used to it, canít condescend,
To take a spade in hand, and bend:
That narrow life wouldnít suit me at all.
So you must call the witch then, after all.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2365
Why is that old witch necessary!
Why canít you, yourself, make the brew?
What a lovely occupation for me!
And build a thousand bridges, meanwhile, too.
Itís not just art and science that tell,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2370
Patience is needed in the work as well.
A calm mindís busy years in its creation,
Only time strengthens the fermentation.
And everything about it
Is quite a peculiar show! †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2375
Itís true the Devil taught it:
The Devil canít make it though.
(Seeing the creatures.)
See what a dainty race I hail!
This is the female: this is the male!
(To the creatures.)
The mistress isnít home, I say?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2380
The Chimney way!
How long will she be swarming?
As long as our paws are warming.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2385
Mephistopheles (To Faust.)
What do you think of these tender creatures?
As rude as any I ever saw!
Ah, but to me this kind of discourse
Shows the most delightful features!
(To the creatures.)
Accursed puppets, tell me true,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2390
What are you stirring in that brew?
Weíre cooking up thick beggarsí soup.
Then thereíll be thousands in the queue.
The He-Cat (Approaches and fawns on Mephistopheles.)
O, throw the dice quick,
And let me be rich!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2395
Iíll be the winner!
Itís all arranged badly,
And if I had money,
Iíd be a thinker.
Why does the ape think heíd be lucky,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2400
If heíd only a chance to try the lottery!
(Meanwhile the young apes have been playing with a large ball, and they roll it forward.)
The worldís a ball
It lifts to fall,
Rolls without rest:
Rings like glass,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2405
And breaks as fast!
Itís hollow at best.
Itís shining here,
Here, whatís more:
ĎI am living!í†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2410
A place dear son,
To keep far from!
You must die!
Its clay will soon
In pieces, lie.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2415
Why the sieve?
The He-Ape (Lifting it down.)
If you were a thief
Iíd know you this minute.
(He runs to the She-Ape, and lets her look through the sieve.)
Look through the sieve!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2420
Can you see the thief,
But darenít name him?
And this pot?
What a silly lot!
Not to know a pot,
Not to know a kettle!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2425
Take this brush here,
And sit on the settle.
(He invites Mephistopheles to sit down.)
Faust (Who all this time has been standing in front of a mirror, alternately approaching it and distancing himself from it.)
What do I see? What heavenly form
Is this that the magic mirror brings!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2430
Love, lend me your swiftest wings,
Then bear me to fields she adorns!
Ah, if I do not stand still here,
If I dare to venture nearer,
I see as if through a mist, no clearer Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2435
The loveliest form of Woman, there!
Is it possible: can Woman be so lovely?
Must I, in her outspread body, declare
The incarnation of all thatís heavenly?
Can any such this earth deliver? †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2440
Naturally, if a God torments himself six days,
And says to himself, Bravo, at last, in praise,
He must have made something clever.
See, this time, what will satisfy you, forever:
Iíll know how to fish that treasure out for you,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2445
Happy, the one who finds good fortune in her,
And carries her home again, as his bride, too.
(Faust gazes endlessly in the mirror. Mephistopheles stretches himself on the settle, plays with the brush, and continues to speak.)
Here I sit like a king on his throne,
The sceptreís here, but whereís the crown?
The Creatures (Who up till now have been making all kinds of grotesque movements together, bring Mephistopheles a crown, with great outcry.)
Oh, with sweat and with blood,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2450
If youíll be so good,
Glue on this crown, sublime!
(They are awkward with the crown, and snap it in two pieces, with which they leap about.)
We see, and we say,
We hear, and we rhyme -†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2455
Faust (In front of the mirror.)
Ah! Iíll go completely mad.
Mephistopheles (Pointing to the creatures.)
Now my headís almost spinning.
If our luckís not bad,
If thereís sense to be had,
We must be thinking!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2460
Faust (As before.)
My heart pains me with its burning! Quick,
Letís leave this place, forego it!
Well, at least one must admit
That theyíre honest poets.
(The cauldron that the She-Ape has forgotten to keep a watch on, now boils over: a great flame flares from the chimney. The Witch comes careering down through the flames, with horrendous cries.)
Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2465
Damned creature! Accursed sow!
You left the kettle: youíve singed me now!
(Seeing Faust and Mephistopheles.)
What have we here?
Who are you, here?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2470
What do you want?
Who creeps unknown?
The fireís pain own
In all your bone!
(She plunges the skimming-ladle into the cauldron, and scatters flame towards Faust, Mephistopheles and the Creatures. The Creatures whimper.)
Mephistopheles (Reversing the brush he holds in his hand, and striking among the jars and glasses.)
One, two! One, two!
There lies the brew!
There lies the glass!
A joke at last,
In time, she-ass,
To your melody, too. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2480
(As the Witch starts back in Anger and Horror.)
Do you know me? Skeleton! Scarecrow!
Do you know your lord and master?
What stops me from striking you, so,
Crushing you, and your ape-creatures?
Have you no respect for a scarlet coat?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2485
Donít you understand a cockerelís feather?
Have I hidden my face, you old she-goat?
Have I to name myself, as ever?
Oh sir, forgive the rude welcome!
I donít see a single foot cloven.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2490
And your two ravens - are where?
This once, you get away with it:
Itís truly a good while, isnít it,
Since weíve been seen together.
And Civilisation makes men level,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2495
It even sticks to the Devil:†††††††††††††
That Northern demon is no more:
Who sees horns now, or tail or claw?
As for the feet, which I canít spare,
That would harm me with the people.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2500
So like many a youth, now, I wear,
False calves and false in-steps, as well.
Sense and reason flee my brain,
I see young Satan here again!
Woman, I forbid that name!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2505
Why? What harm is caused so?
Itís written in story books, always:
Men are no better for it, though:
The Evil Oneís gone: the evil stays.
Call me the Baron: that sounds good:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2510
Iím a gentleman, like the other gentlemen.
Perhaps you doubt my noble blood:
See, hereís the crest I carry, then!
(He makes an indecent gesture.)
The Witch (Laughing immoderately.)
Ha! Ha! Thatís your way, as ever.
Youíre the same rogue forever!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2515
My friend, take note: learn that this is
The proper way to handle witches.
Now, gentlemen, say how I can be of use.
A good glass of your well-known juice!
But I must insist on the oldest:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2520
The years double what it can do.
Gladly! Hereís a flask, on the shelf:
I sometimes drink from it myself,
And it doesnít really stink at all:
Iíll gladly give him a glass or so.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2525
If he drinks it unprepared, recall,
He wonít live a single hour, though.
Heís my good friend: itíll go down well:
Donít begrudge the best of your kitchen.
Draw the circle: speak the speech, then††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2530
Offer him a glass full!
(The Witch draws a circle with fantastic gestures, and places mysterious articles inside it: meanwhile the glasses start to ring, and the cauldron to echo, and make music. Finally she brings a large book, sits the Apes in a ring, who serve as a reading desk and hold torches. She beckons Faust to approach.)
Faust (To Mephistopheles.)
Tell me, now, whatís happening?
These wild gestures, crazy things,
All of this tasteless trickery,
Is known, and hateful enough to me.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2535
A farce! You should be laughing:
Donít be such a serious fellow!
This hocus-pocus she, the doctorís, making,
So youíll be aided by the juice to follow.
(He persuades Faust to enter the circle.)
You shall see, then!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2540
From one make ten!
Let two go again,
Make three even,
Youíre rich again.
Take away four!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2545
From five and six,
So says the Witch,
Make seven and eight,
So itís full weight:
And nine is one,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2550
And ten is none.
This is the Witchís one-times-one!
Iím in the dark, the hag babbles with fever.
Thereís still more sheís not gone over,
I know it well, the whole bookís like this:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2555
Iíve wasted time on it before, though,
A perfect contradiction in terms is
Ever a mystery to the wise: fools more so.
My friend, the artís both old and new,
Itís like this in every age, with two†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2560
And one, and one and two,
Scattering error instead of truth.
Men prattle, and teach it undisturbed:
Who wants to be counted with the fools?
Men always believe, when they hear words,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2565
There must be thought behind them, too.
The Witch (Continuing.)
The highest skill,
The science, still
Is hidden from the rabble!
One who never thought,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2570
To him itís brought,
He owns it without trouble.
Why talk this nonsense to us?
My headís near split in two.
It seems I hear the chorus,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2575
Of a hundred thousand fools.
Enough, enough, O excellent Sibyl!
Bring the drink along: and fill
The cup, quick, to the very brim:
The drink will bring my friend no harm:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2580
Heís a man of many parts, and him
Many a noble draught has charmed.
(The Witch, ceremoniously, pours the drink into a cup: as Faust puts it to his lips, a gentle flame rises.)
Down it quickly! Every time! Itíll
Likewise, warm your heart, entire.
Youíre hand in hand with the Devil:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2585
Will you shrink before the fire?
(The Witch breaks the circle. Faust steps out.)
Now, quick, away! You may not rest.
Much good may that potion do you!
Mephistopheles (To the Witch.)
On Walpurgis Night you can tell me best,
What favour I can return to you.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2590
Hereís a song! Sing it sometimes, and you,
Will feel a peculiar effect: donít ask me how.
Mephistopheles (To Faust.)
Come on, quickly, run about now:
You need to sweat, that will allow
The power to penetrate, through and through.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2595
Later, Iíll teach you to value leisure,
And soon youíll find with deepest pleasure,
How Cupid stirs, and, now and then, leaps, too.
Let me look quickly in the glass, once more!
How lovely that womanís form, I descried!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2600
No! No! The paragon of all women, youíre
About to see before you, personified.
With that drink in your body, well then,
All women will look to you like Helen.
(Faust. Margaret, passing by.)
Lovely lady, may I offer you††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2605
My arm, and my protection, too?
Not lovely, nor the lady you detected,
I can go home, unprotected.
(She releases herself and exits.)
By Heavens, the child is lovely!
Iíve never seen anything more so.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2610
Sheís virtuous, yet innocently
Pert, and quick-tongued though.
Her rosy lips, her clear cheeks,
Iíll not forget them in many a week!
The way she cast down her eyes,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2615
Deep in my heart, imprinted, lies:
How curt in her speech she was,
Well that was quite charming, of course!
Listen, you must get that girl for me!
†††††††††††††† The girl who just went by.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2620
That one, there? Sheís come from the priest,
Absolved of all her sins, while I
Crept into a stall nearby:
She is such an innocent thing,
Sheís no need to sit confessing:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2625
Iíve no power with such as those, I mean!
Yet, sheís older than fourteen.
Now youíre speaking like some Don Juan
Who wants every flower for himself alone,
Conceited enough to think thereís no honour,††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2630
To be plucked except by him, nor favour:
But thatís never the case, you know.
Master Moraliser is that so?
With me, best leave morality alone!
Iím telling you, short and sweet,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2635
If that young heart doesnít beat
Within my arms, tonight - so be it,
At midnight, then our pact is done.
Think, what a to and fro it will take!
I need at least fourteen days, to make†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2640
Some kind of opportunity to meet her.
If Iíd seven hours at my call,
Iíd not need the Devil at all,
To seduce such a creature.
Youíre almost talking like a Frenchman:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2645
But donít let yourself get all annoyed:
Whatís the use if sheís only part enjoyed?
Your happiness wonít be as prolonged,
As if you were to knead and fashion
That little doll, with every passion, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2650
Up and down, as yearning preaches,
And many a cunning rascal teaches.
Iíve enough appetite without all that.
Now, without complaint or jesting, what
Iím telling you is, with this lovely child,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2655
Once and for all, you mustnít be wild.
She wonít be taken by storm, I said:
Weíll need to use cunning instead.
Get me a part of the angelsí treasure!
Lead me to where she lies at leisure! ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2660
Get me a scarf from her neck: aspire
To a garter, thatís my heartís desire.
So you can see how I will strain
To help you, and ease your pain,
Weíll not let an instant slip away,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2665
Iíll lead you to her room today.
And shall I see her? And have her?
No! She has to visit a neighbour.
Meanwhile, you can be alone there,
With every hope of future pleasure,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2670
Enjoy her breathing space, at leisure.
Can we go?
††††††† ††† Her roomís not yet free.
Look for a gift for her, from me!
A present? Good! Heís sure to work it!
I know many a lovely place, up here,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2675
And many an ancient buried treasure:
I must have a look around for a bit.
A small well-kept room.
(Margaret, plaiting and fastening the braids of her hair.)
Iíd give anything if I could say
Who that gentleman was, today!
Heís brave for certain, I could see,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2680
And from some noble family:
That his face readily told Ė
Or he wouldnít have been so bold.†
(She exits.) (Mephistopheles and Faust appear.)
Come in: but quietly, I mean!
Iíd ask you, now, to leave me be!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2685
Mephistopheles (Poking about.)
Not every girl keeps thing so clean.†
Welcome, sweet twilight glow,
That weaves throughout this shrine!
Sweet love-pangs grip my heart so,
That on hopeís dew must live, and pine!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2690
How a breath of peace breathes around,
Its order, and contentment!
In this poverty, what wealth is found!
In this prison, what enchantment!
(He throws himself into a leather armchair near the bed.)
Accept me now, you, who with open arms †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2695
Gathered joy and pain, in past days, where,
How often, ah, with all their childish charms
The little flock hung round their fatherís chair!
There my beloved, perhaps, cheeks full, stands,
Grateful for all the gifts of Christmas fare,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2700
Kissing her grandfatherís withered hands.
Sweet girl, I feel your spirit, softly stray,
Through the wealth of order, all around me,
That with motherliness instructs, each day,
The tablecloth to lie smooth, at your say,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2705
And even the wrinkled sand beneath your feet.
O beloved hand, so goddess-like!
This house because of you is Heavenís like.
(He lifts one of the bed curtains.)
††††††† †What grips me with its bliss!
Here I could stand, slowly lingering.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2710
Here, Nature, in its gentlest dreaming,
Formed an earthly angel within this.
Here the child lay! Life, warm,
Filled her delicate breast,
And here, in pure and holy form,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2715
A heavenly image was expressed!
And I! What leads me here?
Why do I feel so deeply stirred?
What do I seek? Why such a heavy heart?
Poor Faust! I no longer know who you are.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2720
Is there a magic fragrance round me?
I urged myself on, to the deepest delight,
And feel myself melt in Loveís dreaming flight!
Are we the sport of every lightest breeze?
And if she appeared at this instant,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2725
How to atone for being so indiscreet?
The great man, alas, of little moment!
Would lie here, melting, at her feet.
Quick! I see her coming, there.
Away! Away! Iíll not return again.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2730
Hereís a casket fairly loaded, then,
Iíve taken it from elsewhere.
Put it just here on the chest,
I swear itíll dazzle her, when she sees:
Iíve put in some trinkets, and the rest,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2735
For you to win another, if you please.
Truly, a childís a child, and play is play.
I donít know, shall I?
†††††††††††††††††††††† ††† Are you asking, pray?
Perhaps youíd like to keep the treasure, too?
Then Iíd advise your Lustfulness,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2740
To spare the sweet hours of brightness,
And spare me a heap of trouble over you.
I hope that youíre not full of meanness!
I scratch my head: I rub my hands Ė
(He places the casket in the chest, and shuts it again.)
Now off we go, and go quickly!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 2745
Through this youíll bend the child, you see,
To your wish and will: as any fool understands:
Yet now you seem to me
As if you were heading for the lecture hall, and see
Standing there grey-faced, in front of you,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2750
Physics, and Metaphysics too!
(Margaret with a lamp.)
Itís so close and sultry, here,
(She opens the window.)
And yet itís not warm outside.
It troubles me so, I donít know why Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2755
I wish that Mother were near.
A shudder ran through my whole body Ė
Iím such a foolish girl, so timid!
(She begins to sing, while undressing.)
ĎThere was a king in Thule, he
Was faithful, to the grave,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2760
To whom his dying lady
A golden goblet gave.
He valued nothing greater:
At every feast it shone:
His tears were brimming over,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2765
When he drank there-from.
When he himself was dying
No towns did he with-hold,
No wealth his heir denying,
Except the cup of gold.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2770
He gave a royal banquet,
His knights around him, all,
In his sea-girt turret,
In his ancestral hall.
There the old king stood, yet,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2775
Drinking lifeís last glow:
Then threw the golden goblet
Into the waves below.
He saw it falling, drowning,
Sinking in the sea,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2780
Then, his eyelids closing,
Never again drank he.í
(She opens the chest in order to arrange her clothes, and sees the casket.)
How can this lovely casket be here? Iím sure
I locked the chest when I was here before.
Itís quite miraculous! What can it hold in store?†††††††††††††††††††††††† 2785
Perhaps someone brought it as security,
And my motherís granted a loan on it?
Thereís a ribbon hanging from it, thereís a key,
Iím quite determined to open it.
Whatís here? Heavens! What a show,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2790
More than Iíve ever seen in all my days!
A jewel box! A noble lady might glow
With all of these on high holidays!
How would this chain look? This display
Of splendour: who owns it, itís so fine?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2795
(She puts the jewellery on and stands in front of the mirror.)
If only the earrings were mine!
At once one looks so different.
What makes us beautiful, young blood?
All thatís fine and good,
But itís discounted, in the end,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2800
They praise us half in pity.
To gold they tend,
On gold depend,
All things! Oh, poverty!†
(Faust walking about pensively. Mephistopheles appears.)
Scorned by all love! And by hellfire! Whatís worse?††††††††††††††††††† 2805
I wish I knew: I could use it in a curse!
Whatís wrong? Whatís pinching you so badly?
I never, in all my life, saw such a face!
Iíd pack myself off to the Devil, in disgrace,
If I werenít a Devil myself already!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2810
Is something troubling your brain?
Itís fitting that youíve a raging pain.
To think, the priest should get his hands on
Jewellery that was meant for Gretchen!
Her mother snatched it up, to see,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2815
And was gripped by secret anxiety.
That womanís a marvellous sense of smell,
From nosing round in her prayer-book too well,
And sniffs things, ever and again,
To see if theyíre holy or profane:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2820
And about the jewels, she felt, thatís clear,
Thereís not much of a blessing here.
ĎMy child,í she said, Ďill-gotten goods
Snare the soul, and dissipate the blood.
Weíll dedicate it to the Virgin,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2825
Sheíll repay us with manna from Heaven!í
Margaret, grimacing wryly, was quite put out:
Thinking: ĎDonít look a gift horse in the mouth,
Heís not a godless man, nor one to fear,
He who left these fine things here.í††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2830
Her mother let the parson in:
Heíd scarcely let the game begin
Before his eyes filled with enjoyment.
He said: ĎSo we see aright, we sinners,
Who overcome themselves are winners.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2835
The Church has a healthy stomach, when,
It gobbles up lands, and donít forget,
Itís never over-eaten yet.
The Church alone, dear lady, could
Always digest ill-gotten goods.í†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2840
Thatís a universal custom, too, my friend,
With all those who rule, and those who lend.
Then he took the bangles, chains and rings,
As if they were merely trifling things,
Thanked her too, no less nor more†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2845
Than if it were a sack of nuts, one wore.
Promised them their reward when they died,
And left them suitably edified.
†††††††††††††† †††† Sits there, restlessly, still
Not knowing what she should do, or will,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2850
Thinks of the jewels night and day,
But more of him who placed them in her way.
The dear girlís sadness brings me pain.
Find some jewels for her, again!
Those first were not so fine, Iíd say.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2855
Oh yes, to gentlemen itís childís play!
Fix it: arrange it, as I want you to,
Attach yourself to her neighbour, too!
Donít be a devil made of clay,
Get her fresh jewels straight away!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2860
Yes, gracious sir, gladly, with all my heart.
Such a lovesick fool would blow up the Sun,
High up in the air, with the Moon and Stars,
To provide his sweetheart with a diversion.
God forgive that man I love so well,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2865
He hasnít done right by me at all!
Off into the world heís gone,
And left me here, in the dust, alone.
Truly I did nothing to grieve him,
I gave him, God knows, fine loving.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2870
Perhaps, heís even dead! Ė Yet, oh!
If Iíd only his death certificate to show!
My little Gretchen, whatís happened?
My legs are giving way beneath me!
Iíve found another box of jewellery††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2875
In the chest: itís of ebony, fashioned,
Full of quite splendid things,
And richer than the first, I think.
Youíd better not tell your mother:
Sheíll give it to the Church, like the other.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2880
Ah, See now! See what a show!
Martha (Dressing her with jewels.)
O youíre a lucky creature, though!
I canít wear them in the street, alas,
Nor be seen like this, at Mass.
Come often then, to me, as before:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2885
You can put them on, here, secretly:
Stand, for an hour, in front of the mirror,
Weíll take delight in them privately.
Then give us a holiday, an occasion,
When people can see a fraction of them.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2890
A chain first, then a pearl in the ear: your
Mother wonít know, say youíd them before.
Who could have left the second casket?
Thereís something not proper about it!
Good God! Is it my mother, then?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2895
Martha (Looking through the shutter.)
Itís a stranger, a gentleman Ė Come in!
In introducing myself so freely,
I ask you ladies to excuse me.
(He steps back reverently on seeing Margaret.)
Itís Martha Schwerdtlein I seek!
Iím she, what do you wish with me?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2900
I know you now: thatís enough for me:
Youíve a distinguished visitor there, I see.
Pardon the liberty Iíve taken, pray,
Iíll return this afternoon, if I may.
To think, child: of all things: just fancy!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2905
The gentleman takes you for a lady.
Iím a poor young thing heíll find:
Heavens! The gentlemanís far too kind:
The jewels and trinkets arenít mine.
Ah, itís not just the jewellery, mind:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2910
The look: the manner: she has a way!
Iím pleased that Iím allowed to stay.
What brings you here? I wish that you Ė
I wish I brought you happier news! Ė
This news I hope youíll forgive me repeating:††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2915
Your husbandís dead, but sends a greeting.
Heís dead? That true heart! Oh!
My man is dead! Iíll die, also!
Ah! Dear lady, donít despair!
Hear the mournful tale I bear!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2920
Thatís why Iíll never love while Iíve breath,
Such a loss would grieve me to death.
Joy must have sorrows: sorrow its joys, too.
Tell me of his last hours: ah tell me!
Heís buried in Padua, close to††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2925
The blessed Saint Anthony,
In a consecrated space,
A cool eternal resting place.
Have you brought nothing else, from him?
Yes a request, itís large and heavy:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2930
For you to sing a hundred masses for him!
Otherwise, no, my pocketís empty.
What? No piece of show? No jewellery?
What every workman has in his purse,
And keeps with him as his reserve,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2935
Rather than having to starve or beg!
Madam, itís a heavy grief to me:
But truly his money wasnít wasted.
And then, he felt his errors greatly,
Yes, and bemoaned his bad luck lately.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2940
Ah! How unlucky all men are! Iíll
Be sure to offer many a prayer for him.
Youíre worthy of soon marrying:
Youíre such a kindly child.
Oh, no! That wouldnít do as yet.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2945
If not a husband, a lover, while you wait.
Itís heavenís greatest charm,
To have a dear one on oneís arm.
Thatís not the custom of the country.
Custom or not! It seems to be.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2950
Go on with your tale!
††††††† †††† †† I stood beside his death-bed,
Hardly better than a rubbish-tip, poor man,
Of half-rotten straw: yet he died a Christian,
And found that he was even further in debt.
ĎAlas,í he cried, ĎI hate myself, with good reason,†††††††††††††††††††††† 2955
For leaving, as I did, my wife and my occupation!
Ah the memory of that is killing me,
Would in this life I might be forgiven, though!í
The dear man! I forgave him long ago.
ĎAlthough, God knows, she was more to blame than me.í†††††††††††††††††††† 2960
The liar! What! At deathís door, lies he was telling!
In his last wanderings, he was rambling,
If Iím any judge myself of the thing.
ĎI had,í he said, Ďno time to gaze in play:
First children, then bread for them each day,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2965
And I mean bread in the wider sense:
And couldnít even eat my share in silence.í
Did he forget the love, the loyalty,
My drudgery, night and day!
Not at all, he thought of it deeply, in his way.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2970
He said: ĎAs I was leaving Malta
I prayed hard for my wife and children:
And favour came to me from heaven,
Since our ship took a Turkish cutter,
Carrying the great Sultanís treasure.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2975
There was a reward for bravery,
And I received, in due measure,
The generous share that fell to me.í
What? And where? Has he buried it by chance?
Who can tell: the four winds know the circumstance.†††††††††††††††††† 2980
A lovely girl there took him on,
As he, a stranger, roamed round Naples:
She gave him loyalty, and loved the man,
And he felt it so, till his last hour fell.
He stole from his children, and his wife!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2985
The rogue! All the pain and misery he met,
Couldnít keep him from that shameful life!
Ah, but: now heís died of it!
If I were truly in your place,
Iíd mourn him quietly for a year,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2990
And look, meanwhile, for a dear new face.
Ah, sweet God! Iíll not easily find another,
In all the world, such as my first one was!
There never was a dearer fool than mine.
Only he loved roaming too much, at last,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2995
And foreign women, and foreign wine,
And the rolling of those cursed dice.
Well, that would have still been fine,
If, with you, heíd followed that line,
And noticed nothing, on your side.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3000
I swear that, with that same condition,
Iíd swap rings with you, no question!
O, the gentlemanís pleased to jest!
I must fly from here, swift as a bird!
She might hold the Devil to his word.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3005
How does your heart feel? At rest?
What does the gentleman mean?
Mephistopheles (To himself.)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sweet, innocent child!
†††††††††††††††††††††† Oh, speak to me yet, a while!
Iíd like a witness, as to where, how, and when
My darling man died and was buried: then,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3010
As Iíve always been a friend of tradition,
Put his death in the paper, a weekly edition.
Yes, dear lady, two witnesses you need
To verify the truth, or so all agree:
Iíve a rather fine companion,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3015
He can be your second man.
Iíll bring him here.
†††††††††††††††††††††† Oh yes, please do!
That young lady will be here, too?
Heís a brave youth! Travelled, yes,
And with ladies heís all politeness.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3020
Iíd be shamed before the gentleman.
Not before any king on earth, madam.
Behind the house, then, in my garden,
Tonight: weíll expect you gentlemen.
How goes it? Will it be? Will it soon be done?††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3025
Ah, bravo! Do I find you all on fire?
In double-quick time youíll have your desire.
Youíll meet tonight, at her neighbour Marthaís home:
Thereís a woman, whoís the thing,
For procuring and for gipsying!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3030
††††††† But, she needs something from us, too.
One good turn deserves another, true.
We only have to bear a valid witness,
That her husbandís outstretched members bless
A consecrated place in Padua.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3035
Brilliant! We must first make the journey there!
Sacred Simplicity! Thereís no need to do that.
Just testify, without saying too much to her.
If you canít do better than that, your pact Iíll tear.
O holy man! Now I see you there!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3040
Is it the first time in your life, come swear,
That youíve ever born false witness?
Havenít you shown skill in definition
Of God, the World, whatís in it, Men,
What moves them, in mind and breast?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3045
With impudent brow, and swollen chest?
And if you look at it more deeply, oh yes,
Did you know as much now - confess,
As you do about Herr Schwerdtleinís death?
You are, and youíll remain, a Liar and a Sophist.††††††††††††††††††††††† 3050
Yes when no oneís the wiser for it.
The coming morn, in all honour though,
Wonít you beguile poor Gretchen so:
And swear you love her with all your soul?
From my heart.
†††††††††††††††††††††† Well, and good!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3055
And will your eternal Truth and Love,
Your one all-powerful Force, above Ė
Flow from your heart, too, as it should?
Stop! Stop! It will! If I but feel,
For that emotion, for that throng,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3060
Seek the name, that none reveal,
Roam, with senses, through the world.
Seize on every highest word,
And call the fire, that Iím tasting,
Endless, eternal, everlasting Ė ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3065
Does that to some devilís game of lies belong?
Yet, Iím still right!
†††††††††††††††††††††† Hear one thing more, †
I beg you, and spare my breath Ė the one
Who wants to hold fast, and has a tongue,
Heíll hold for sure.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3070
Come, chattering fills me with disgust,
And then youíre right, especially since I must.
(Margaret on Faustís arm, Martha and Mephistopheles walking up and down.)
I know the gentleman flatters me,
Lowers himself, and shames me, too.
A traveller is used to being†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3075
Content, out of courtesy, with any food.
I know too well, so learned a man,
Canít feed himself on my poor bran.
A glance, a word from you, feeds me more,
Than all the worldís wisest lore.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3080
(He kisses her hand.)
Donít trouble yourself! How could you kiss it?
Itís such a nasty, rough thing!
What work havenít I done with it!
My motherís so exacting.
(They move on.)
And you, sir, youíre always travelling?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3085
Ah, work and duty are such a bother!
Thereís many a place oneís sad at leaving,
And darenít stay a moment longer!
In youth itís fine, up and down,
Flitting about, the whole world over:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3090
Then harsher days come round,
And lonely bachelors small joy discover,
In sliding towards their hole in the ground.
I view the prospect with horror.
Then take advice in time, dear sir.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3095
(They move on.)
Yes, out of sight is out of mind!
Politeness comes naturally to you:
But youíll meet friends, often, who,
Are more sensible than me, youíll find.
Dearest, believe me, what men call sense,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3100
Is often just vanity and short-sightedness.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† How so?
Ah, that simplicity and innocence never know
Themselves, or their heavenly worth!
That humble meekness, the highest grace
That Nature bestows so lovingly Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3105
Itís only for a moment that you think of me,
Iíve plenty of time to dream about your face.
Youíre often alone, then?
Yes, our householdís a little one,
Yet it has to be cared for by someone.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3110
We have no servant: I sweep, knit, sew,
And cook, Iím working early and late:
And in everything my mother is so
Strict, and straight.
Not that she has to be quite so economical:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3115
We could be more generous than others:
My father left a little fortune for us:
A house and garden by the town-wall.
But now my days are spent quietly:
My brother is a soldier: Iíd††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3120
A younger sister who died.
The trouble I had with that child:
Yet Iíd take it on again, the worry,
She was so dear to me.
†††††††††††††††††††††† An angel, if like you.
I raised her, and she loved me too.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3125
After my father died, she was born,
We gave mother up for lost, so worn
And wretchedly she lay there then,
And slowly, day by day, grew well again.
She couldnít think of feeding††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3130
It herself: that poor little thing,
And so I nursed it all alone,
On milk and water, as if it were my own,
In my arms, in my lap,
It charmed me, tumbling, and grew fat.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3135
You found your greatest happiness there, for sure.
But also truly many a weary hour.
The babyís cradle stood at night
Beside my bed: and if it hardly stirred
I woke outright:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3140
Now I nursed it, now laid it beside me: heard
When it cried, and left my bed, and often
Danced it back and forth, in the room: and then,
At break of dawn stood at the washtub, again:
Then the market and the kitchen, oh,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3145
And every day just like tomorrow.
One sometimes lacks the courage, sir, and yet
One appreciates oneís food and rest.
(They move on.)
Women have the worst of it: itís true:
A bachelor is hard to change, you see.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3150
That just depends on the likes of you,
The right teacher might improve me.
Say, have you never found anyone, dear sir?
Has your heart never been captured, anywhere?
The proverb says: A hearth of your own,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3155
And a good wife, are worth pearls and gold.
I mean: have you never felt desire, even lightly?
Iíve everywhere been treated most politely.
I meant to say: were you never seriously smitten?
With ladies, one should never dare to be flippant.††††††††††††††††††††††† 3160
Ah, you wonít understand me!
††††††† † ††††I am sorry! Yet youíll find
I understand Ė that you are very kind.
(They move on.)
And, Angel, did you recognise me again,
As soon as I appeared in the garden?
Didnít you see my gaze drop then?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3165
And you forgive the liberty Iíve taken,
The impertinence of it all,
Just as you were leaving the Cathedral?
I was flustered, such a thingís never happened to me:
ĎAhí, I thought, Ďhas he seen, in your behaviour,††††††††††††††††††††††† 3170
Something thatís impertinent or improper?
No one could ever say anything bad about me.
He seems to be walking suddenly, with you,
As though he dealt with a girl of easy virtueí.
I confess, I didnít know what it was, though,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3175
That I began to feel, and to your advantage too,
But certainly I was angry with myself, oh,
That I could not be angrier with you.
Wait a moment!
(She picks a Marguerite and pulls the petals off one by one.)
†††††††††††††††††††††† Whatís that for, a bouquet?
No, itís a game.
†††††††††††††††††††††† †† No, youíll laugh if I say!††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3180
(She pulls off the petals, murmuring to herself.)
What are you whispering?
Margaret (Half aloud.)
††††††† ††† He loves me Ė he loves me not.
You sweet face that Heaven forgot!
Loves me Ė Not Ė Loves me Ė Not
(She plucks the last petal with delight.)
He loves me!
Yes, my child! Let this flower-speech
Be heavenís speech to you. He loves you!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3185
Do you know what that means? He loves you!
(He grasps her hands.)
†††††††††††††††††††††† Donít tremble, let this look,
Let this clasping of hands tell you
Whatís inexpressible:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3190
To give oneself wholly, and feel
A joy that must be eternal!
Eternal! Ė Its end would bring despair.
No, no end! No end!
(Margaret presses his hand, frees herself, and runs away. He stands a moment in thought: then follows her.)
Martha (Coming forward.)
Night is falling.
†††††††††††††† Yes, and we must away.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3195
Iíd ask you to remain here longer,
But this is quite a wicked place.
Itís as if they had nothing to do yonder,
And no work they should be doing
But watching their neighboursí to-ing and fro-ing,†††††††††††††††††††††† 3200
And whatever one does, insults are hurled.
And our couple, now?
†Flown up the passage, there.
Wilful little birds!
†††††††††††††††††††††† He seems keen on her.
And she on him. Itís the way of the world.
(Margaret comes in, hides behind the door of the garden-house, holds her fingers to her lips, and peeps through the gaps.)
Ah, rascal, you tease me so! Iíve got you!†††††††††††††††† 3205
(He kisses her.)
Dearest man! With all my heart I love you!
Faust (Stamping his foot in frustration.)
††††††† A dear friend!
†††††††††††††† A creature!
†††††††††††††††††††††† †† †††††††††††† Itís time to go.
Yes, sir, itís late!
May I keep company with you, though?
My mother would tell me, Ė Farewell!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† ††††††††††† Must I go, then?
†††††††††††††† Goodbye, now!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† And soon to meet again!†††††††††††††††††† 3210
(Faust and Mephistopheles exit.)
Dear God! That one man, by thinking,
Knows everything, oh, everything!
I stand in front of him, ashamed
And just say yes to all he says.
Iím such a poor, ignorant child, and he -††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3215
I canít understand what he sees in me.
Sublime spirit, you gave me all, all,
I asked for. Not in vain have you
Revealed your face to me in flame.
You gave me Natureís realm of splendour,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3220
With the power to feel it, and enjoy.
Not merely as a cold, awed stranger,
But allowing me to look deep inside,
Like seeing into the heart of a friend.
You lead the ranks of living creatures†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3225
Before me, showing me my brothers
In the silent woods, the air, the water.
And when the storm roars in the forest,
When giant firs fell their neighbours,
Crushing nearby branches in their fall,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3230
Filling the hills with hollow thunder,
You lead me to the safety of a cave,
Show me my own self, and reveal
Your deep, secret wonders in my heart.
And when the pure Moon, to my eyes,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3235
Rises, calming me, the silvery visions
Of former times, drift all around me,
From high cliffs, and moist thickets,
Tempering thoughtís austere delight.
Oh, I know now that nothing can be†††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††† 3240
Perfect for Mankind. You gave me,
With this joy, that brings me nearer,
Nearer to the gods, a companion,
Whom I can no longer do without,
Though he is impudent, and chilling,
Degrades me in my own eyes, and with†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3245
A word, a breath, makes your gifts nothing.
He fans a wild fire in my heart,
Always alive to that lovely form.
So I rush from desire to enjoyment,
And in enjoyment pine to feel desire.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3250
Havenít you had enough of this life yet?
How can you be happy all this time?
Itís fine for a man to try it for a bit,
But then you need a newer clime!
I wish youíd something else to do,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3255
Than plague me on a good day.
Now, now! Iíd gladly ignore you,
You donít really mean it anyway.
Youíd be little loss to me,
A rude, mad, sour companion.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3260
Oneís hands are full all day, and see,
What pleases you, or what to let be,
No one can tell from your expression.
So thatís the tone he takes!
Iím to thank him, for boring me.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3265
Poor Son of Earth, how could you make
Your way through life without me?
Iíve cured you for a while at least
Of your twitches of imagination,
If I werenít here, youíd certainly†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3270
Have walked right off this earthly station.
In rocky hollows, in a hole,
Why sit around here, like an owl?
From soaking moss and dripping stone,
Sucking your nourishment, like a toad?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3275
Spend your time sweeter, better!
Your bodyís still stuck there with the Doctor.
Do you understand the new power of being
That a walk in the wilderness can bring?
But then, if you were able to guess,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3280
Youíre devil enough to begrudge my happiness.
An other-worldly pleasure.
Night and day, mountains for leisure.
Clasping heaven and earth, blissfully,
Inflating yourself, becoming a deity.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3285
With expectant urge burrowing through earthís core,
Feeling all that six daysí work, in yours,
To taste who knows what, in powerís pride,
Overflowing, almost, with the joy of life,
Vanishing, the Earthly Son,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3290
And into some deep Intuition Ė
(With a gesture.)
I canít say how Ė passing inside.
Fie, on you!
†††††††††††††† †Ah, you donít like it from me!
Youíve the right, to say Ďfieí to me, politely.
Before chaste ears men darenít speak aloud,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3295
That which chaste hearts canít do without:
Short and sweet, I begrudge the pleasure you get
From occasionally lying to yourself, about it.
But you wonít hold out for long, Iím sure.
Youíre already over-driven,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3300
Sooner or later youíll be given
To madness, or to fear and horror.
Enough! Your lover sits inside,
All is dull, oppressive to her,
She canít get you out of her mind,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3305
Her deep love overwhelms her.
First your loveís flood round her flowed,
As a stream pours from melted snow:
Youíve so filled her heart, and now,
Your stream again is shallow.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3310
Instead of enthroning yourself in the wood,
Let the great gentleman do some good,
To that poor little ape of flesh and blood,
And reward her, I think, for her love.
Her days seem pitifully long:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3315
She sits at the window, cloud drifting
Over the old City wall, sees it lifting.
ĎWould I were a little bird!í runs her song,
All day long, and all night long.
Sometimes lively, mostly not,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3320
Sometimes crying out, in tears,
Then quiet again, it appears,
And always in love.
You snake! You snake, you!
A touch! That caught you!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3325
Wretch! Be gone from my presence:
Donít name that lovely girl to me!
Donít bring desire for that sweet body
Before every half-maddened sense!
Well, what then? She thinks youíve flown away,††††††††††††††††††††††† 3330
And, half and half, you already have, Iíd say.
Iím near her, and were I still far,
I canít lose her or forget her,
I even envy the body of our Lord,
When her lips touch it at the altar.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3335
Quite so, my friend! My envy often closes
On that pair of twins that feed among the roses.
Away from me, procurer!
††††††† ††† Fine, you curse and I must smile.
The god who made both man and woman,
He likewise knew the noblest profession,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3340
So made the opportunity as well.
Go on, itís a crying shame!
Since youíre bound, all the same
For your loverís room, not death.
Where is the heavenly joy in her arms?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3345
Let me warm myself with her charms!
Do I not always feel her absent breath?
Am I not the fugitive? The homeless one?
The creature without aim or rest,
A torrent in the rocks, still thundering down,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3350
Foaming eagerly into the abyss?
And she beside it, with vague childlike mind,
In a hut there, on a little Alpine field,
So, her first homely life youíd find,
Hidden there in that little world.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3355
And I, the god-forsaken,
Was not great enough,
To grasp the cliffs, and take them,
And crush them into dust!
I still must undermine her peaceful life! 3360
You, Hell, must have your sacrifice.
Help, Devil, curtail the anxious moment brewing.
What must be, let it be, and swiftly!
Let her fate also fall on me,
And she and I rush to ruin! †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3365
Again it glows: again it seethes!
Go in and comfort her, you fool!
When a brain, like yours, no exit sees,
It calls it the end of all things, too.
Praise him who keeps his courage fresh!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3370
Or youíll soon get quite be-devilled, there.
I find nothing in the world so tasteless,
As a Devil, in despair.
(Gretchen alone at the spinning wheel.)
ĎMy peace is gone,
My heart is sore:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3375
Iíll find it, never,
When heís not here,
My grave is near,
The world is all,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3380
A bitter gall.
My poor head
Feels crazed to me.
My poor brain
Seems dazed to me.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3385
My peace is gone,
My heart is sore:
Iíll find it, never,
Only to see him††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3390
I look out.
Only to meet him,
I leave the house.
His proud steps,
His noble figure,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3395
His smiling lips,
His eyes: their power.
And all his speech
Like magic is,
His fingersí touch,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3400
And, oh, his kiss!
My peace is gone,
My heart is sore:
Iíll find it, never,
Oh, nevermore.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3405
My heart aches
To be with him,
Oh if I could
Cling to him,
And kiss him,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3410
The way I wish,
So I might die,
At his kiss!
Promise me, Heinrich!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† If I can!
Say, as regards religion, how you feel.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3415
I know that you are a dear, good man,
Yet, for you, it seems, it has no appeal.
Leave that alone, child! You feel Iím kind to you:
For Love Iíd give my blood, my life too.
Iíll rob no man of his church and faith.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3420
Thatís not right, we must have faith.
††††††††††† Ah, if in this I was only fluent!
You donít respect the Holy Sacrament.
I respect it.
††† Without wanting it, though. Youíve passed
So many years without confession, or mass.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3425
Do you believe in God?
†††††††††††††† My darling, who dare say:
ĎI believe in Godí?
Choose priest to ask, or sage,
The answer would seem a joke, would it not,
Played on whoever asks?
†††††††††††††††††††††† So, you donít believe?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3430
Sweetest being, donít misunderstand me!
Who dares name the nameless?
Or who dares to confess:
ĎI believe in himí?
Yet who, in feeling,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3435
Says: ĎI donít believeí?
Does it not clasp, uphold,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3440
You: me, itself?
Donít the heavens arch above us?
Doesnít earth lie here under our feet?
And donít the eternal stars, rising,
Look down on us in friendship?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3445
Are not my eyes reflected in yours?
And donít all things press
On your head and heart,
And weave, in eternal mystery,
Visibly: invisibly, around you?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3450
Fill your heart from it: it is so vast,
And when you are blessed by the deepest feeling,
Call it then what you wish,
Joy! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3455
For it! Feeling is all:
Names are sound and smoke,
Veiling Heavenís bright glow.
Thatís all well and good, I know,
The priest says much the same,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3460
Only, in slightly different words.
Itís what all hearts, say, everywhere
Under the heavenly day,
Each in its own speech:
And why not I in mine?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3465
Listening to you, it almost seems quite fine,
Yet something still seems wrong, to me,
Since you donít possess Christianity.
††††††† Iíve long been grieved
To see you in such company.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3470
That man who hangs round you so,
I hate him in my innermost soul:
Nothing in all my life has ever
Given my heart such pain, no, never,
As his repulsive face has done.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3475
Donít be afraid of him, sweet one!
His presence here, it chills my blood.
To every other man I wish good:
But much as Iím longing to see you
Iíve a secret horror of seeing him, too,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3480
Iíve thought him a rogue, all along!
God forgive me, if I do him wrong!
There have to be such odd fellows.
Iíd rather not live with such as those!
Once heís inside the door, again,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3485
He looks around in a mocking way,
You can see heís not at all in sympathy:
Itís written on his forehead even,
That thereís no spirit of love within.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3490
Iím so happy in your arms,
Free, untroubled, and so warm,
Yet Iím stifled in his presence.
You angel, full of presentiments!
It oppresses me, so deeply, too,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3495
That when he meets with us, wherever,
I feel that I no longer love you.
Ah I canít pray when heís there,
And that gnaws inside me: oh,
Heinrich, for you too, surely itís so.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3500
Itís merely an antipathy!
I must go now.
Ah, will there never be
An hour where I can clasp you to my heart,
And heart to heart, and soul, to soul impart?
Ah, if I only slept alone!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3505
For you, Iíd gladly draw the bolt tonight:
But my mother hears the slightest tone,
And if we were caught outright,
Iíd die on the selfsame spot!
You angel: no need for that.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3510
Here is a little phial to keep!
Three drops of this, in her drink, sheíll take,
And Nature will favour her with deepest sleep.
What would I not do for your sake?
I hope that it wonít harm her though!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3515
Would I advise it, Love, if it were so?
Ah, I only have to see you, dearest man,
And something bends me to your will,
For you, so much, I have already done,
Little remains for me to do for you still.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3520
The little monkey! Has it gone?
††††††† ††††† Spying again, are you?
Iíve heard in infinite detail, how
The Doctor works his catechism through,
And I hope it does you good, now.
Girls are always so keen to review†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3525
Whether oneís virtuous, and sticks to the rules.
They think if a man can be led, heíll follow too.
Monster, you canít see
How this true loving soul,
Full of a belief,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3530
That is wholly
Her salvation, torments herself so,
In case her lover should be lost indeed.
You sensual wooer, beyond the sensual,
A Magdalen leads you by the nose, I see. 3535
Abortion, of the filth and fire of hell!
And how well she reads oneís physiognomy:
In my presence, senses, without knowing how,
The hidden mind behind the mask: she feels
That Iím an evil genius, at least, and now†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3540
Perhaps, that itís the Devil it conceals.
So, tonight? Ė
††††††† ††† Whatís that to you?
I take my pleasure in it too!†††
(Gretchen and Lisbeth.)
Have you not heard from Barbara?
Itís certain, Sibyl told me: well then,
She finally fell to that seducer.
Thereís a lady for you!
†††† How so?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† It stinks!
Sheís feeding two when she eats and drinks.
Serves her right then, finally.
She clung to that fellow, oh so tightly!
That was a fine to-ing and fro-ing,
Round the village, and dance-going,
Ahead of us all, they had to shine,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3555
Him treating her always to cakes and wine:
She the picture of loveliness, oh so fine,
So low after all, then, and so shameless,
And the gifts she took from him, nameless.
It was all kissing and carrying on:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3560
But now the flower is gone!
The poor thing!
††††††† ††††††††† Why are you so pitying?
When each of us was at our spinning,
When mother never let us out,
She and her lover hung about:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3565
On the bench, in a dark alley,
Forgetting the time, he and she.
She canít raise her head again,
In a sinnerís shift now, penitent.
Surely heíll take her for his wife.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3570
Heíd be a fool! A lively fellow
Can ply his trade elsewhere, and so -
†††††††††††††††††††††† †Oh, thatís not nice!
If she gets him, sheíll reap ill in a trice,
The lads will tear at her wreath, whatís more††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3575
Weíll scatter chaff in front of her door!
Gretchen (Walking home.)
How proudly Iíd revile her, then,
Whenever some poor girl had fallen!
I couldnít find words enough, I mean,
To pour out scorn for anotherís sin!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3580
Black as it seemed, I made it blacker,
Not black enough for me: oh never.
It blessed its own being, that proud self,
Yet now Iím the image of sin, myself!
Yet all that drove me on to do it,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3585
God! Was so fine! Oh, so sweet!
(In a niche of its wall a shrine, and image of the Mater Dolorosa, with flowers in front of it. Gretchen sets out fresh flowers. )
Oh bow down,
Your kind face, to my affliction!
A sword in your heart,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3590
Where a thousand pains start,
You look up, at your dead Son.
You look up to the Father,
You send Him your sighs, there,
For His, and for your, affliction.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3595
Who then can feel,
How like steel,
Is the pain inside my bones?
What my poor heart fears for,
What it quakes for, and longs for†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3600
You know, and you alone!
Wherever I go now,
How sore, sore, sore now
How sore my heart must be!
Ah, when Iím alone here,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3605
I moan, moan, moan here:
My heart it breaks in me.
The pots before my window!
My tears bedewed them so,
In the early dawn, when†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3610
I picked the flowers below.
The sun it shone so brightly,
And early, in my room,
Where I sat already,
On my bed, in deepest gloom.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3615
Help me! Oh, save me, from shame and destruction!
Oh, bow down,
Your kind face, to my affliction!
(The Street in front of Gretchenís door.)
Valentine (A soldier, Gretchenís brother.)
When I have sat, and heard the toasts,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3620
Where everyone makes good his boasts,
And comrades praised, to me, the flower
Of maidenhood, and loud the hour,
With brimming glass that blurred the praise,
And elbows sticking out all ways,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3625
I sat in my own peace secure,
Listening to the boastful roar,
And as I stroked my beard, Iíd smile
And take a full glass in my hand,
Saying: ĎEach to his own, but Iíll†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3630
Ask if thereís any in this land,
Who, to my Gretel, can compare
Whose worth can ever equal hers?í
Hear! Hear! Clink! Clang! Went around:
Some cried out: ĎHeís quite correct,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3635
Sheís an ornament to all her sex.í
There sat the boasters, not a sound.
And now! Ė I could tear my hair, bawl,
And dash my head against the wall! Ė
With jeers, they now turn up their noses:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3640
Every rogue can taunt me, he supposes!
Like a bankrupt debtor, when Iím sitting,
A casual word can start me sweating!
And though I thrash them all together,
Iíve still no right to call them liars.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3645
Who goes there? Whatís creeping by?
If Iím not wrong, thereís two I spy.
If itís him, Iíll have him by the skin,
Alive heíll not leave the place heís in!
How the glow of the eternal light†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3650
Shines from the Sacristy window, there,
On either side grows fainter, fainter,
And all around draws in the night!
Now it seems as dark within my heart.
And Iíve a little of the tom-catís art,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3655
That creeps around the fire escape,
Then slinks along the wall, a silent shape,
Iím quite virtuous in my way,
A little prone to thieve, and stray.
The splendour of Walpurgis Night,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3660
Already haunts all my members,
Itís the day after tomorrowís light:
There, why one watches, one remembers.
Meanwhile youíll bring that wealth to view,
That I see there, glimmering, behind you?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3665
Youíll soon experience the delight
Of holding this cauldron to the light.
I recently had a squint inside Ė
Where splendid silver dollars hide.
And not a jewel, or a ring,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3670
To adorn my darling girl?
Among the rest I saw a thing,
A sort of necklace, made of pearl.
Thatís good! Itís painful to me,
To take no gift for her to see.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3675
You shouldnít find it so annoying,
To get something now, for nothing.
Now the sky glows, filled with stars,
Youíll hear the work of a master:
Iíll sing a few moralising bars,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3680
All the better to seduce her.
(Sings to the zither.)
ĎWhy are you here,
In daylight clear,
At your loverís door?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3685
No, no! When,
It will let in,
A maid, and then,
Let out a maid no more!
Take care for once†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3690
Itís over and done,
And itís all gone,
Goodnight to you, poor thing!
Keep your loveís belief,
And the pleasure brief,
From every thief,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3695
Unless youíve a wedding ring.í
Whom do you lure? By every element!
You evil-tongued rat-catcher!
To the devil, with your instrument!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3700
To the devil, too, with the singer!
The zitherís broken! Thereís nothing left of it.
Thereís a still a skull left Iíll need to split!
Mephistopheles (To Faust.)
Look lively, Doctor! Donít give ground.
Stand by: Iíll command this thing.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3705
Out with your fly-whisk, now.
You lunge! Iím parrying.
†††††††††††††††††††††† †And why not, indeed?
†† Ah, yes!
†††† †† ††††††††The devil opposes me!
Whatís this? My handís already maimed.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3710
†††††††††††††† ††††††† Now, the lout is tamed!
Away, we must go! Swiftly, of course,
Soon the cries of murder will begin,
With the police, now, Iím well in:
But not so much so, with the courts.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3715
(He exits with Faust.)
Martha (At the window.)
Come here! Come here!
Gretchen (At the window.)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† Hereís a light!
Hear how they swear and struggle, yell and fight.
Martha (Leaving the house.)
Where have the murderers gone?
Gretchen (Leaving the house.)
Who is it, lying there?
†††††††††††††† Your motherís son.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3720
Almighty God! What misery!
Iím dying! Thatís soon spoken,
And, sooner still, it will be done.
Why stand there, crying, woman?
Come, hear me everyone!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3725
(They gather round him.)
Youíre still young, my Gretchen, see!
And still havenít sense enough, to be
Effective in your occupation.
Iíll tell you confidentially:
Now that youíre a whore indeed,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3730
Be one, by proclamation!
My brother! God! Why speak to me so?
In this business, leave God alone!
Sadly, what is done is done,
And what will come: will come.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3735
Begin with one, in secret, then,
Soon youíll gather other men,
And, when a dozen of them have had you,
All the town can have you too.
When Shame herself appears,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3740
Sheís first brought secretly to light,
Then they draw the veil of night
Over both her eyes and ears:
Men would gladly kill her, I say,
But they let her walk about and prosper,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3745
So she goes nakedly by day,
Yet isnít any lovelier.
Sheís the uglier to our sight,
The more it is she seeks the light.
Truly I can see the day†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3750
When all honest people
Will turn aside from you, girl,
As from a corpse with plague.
Your heartís flesh will despair,
When they look you in the face,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3755
Youíll have no golden chain to wear!
At the altar, there, youíll have no place!
Youíll not be dancing joyfully
In all your lovely finery!
In some wretched gloomy corner, you††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3760
Will hide, with cripples and beggars too,
And, though God may still forgive,
Be damned on earth while you live!
Commend your soul to Godís mercy!
Will you end your life with blasphemy? †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3765
If I could destroy your withered body,
Shameless, bawd, Iíd hope to see
A full measure of forgiveness
For me, and all my sinfulness.
My brother! These are the pains of hell!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3770
I said, leave off weeping, girl!
When you and honour chose to part,
That was the sword-thrust in my heart.
I go, through a sleep within the grave,
To God, as a soldier, true and brave.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3775
(A Mass, with organ and choir.)
(Gretchen among a large congregation: the Evil Spirit behind Gretchen.)
How different it was, Gretchen,
When you, still innocent,
Came here to the altar,
And from that well-thumbed Book,
Babbled your prayers, †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3780
Half, a childish game,
Half, God in your heart!
Whatís in your mind?
In your heart,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3785
Do you pray for your motherís soul, who
Through you, fell asleep to long, long torment?
Whose blood is on your doorstep?
And beneath your heart,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3790
Does not something stir and swell,
And trouble you, and itself,
A presence full of foreboding?
Would I were free of the thoughts††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3795
That rush here and there inside me,
ĎDies Irae, dies illa,
Solvet saeclum in favilla!í
(The organ sounds.)
Wrath grasps you!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3800
The trumpet sounds!
The grave trembles!
And your heart,
From ashen rest,
To fiery torment†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3805
Would I were not here!
It seems to me as if the organ
Steals my breath,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3810
The Hymn dissolves
My heart in the abyss.
(Verse 6:ĎSo when the Judge takes the chair, whatever is hidden will appear, nothing is left unpunished there.í)
ĎJudex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet adparebit,
Nil unultum remanebit.í†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3815
Iím so stifled!
The pillars of the walls
Crush me! Ė Air!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3820
The Evil Spirit
Hide yourself! Sin and shame
Cannot be hidden.
Misery, to you!
Choir (Verse 7: ĎWhat shall I say in that misery, who shall I ask to speak for me, when the righteous will be saved, and barely?í)
ĎQuid sum miser tunc dicturus,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3825
Quem patronum rogaturus,
Cum vix Justus sit securus?í
The transfigured, turn
Their faces from you.
The pure, shudder †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3830
To offer you their hand.
Choir (Repeats: ĎWhat shall I say in that misery?í)
ĎQuid sum miser tunc dicturus?í
Neighbour! Your restorative!
(She falls, fainting.)
(The Hartz Mountains, in the region of Schierke and Elend.)
Donít you just long for a broomstick?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3835
I wish Iíd the sturdiest goat to ride.
Like this, the journeyís not so quick.
So long as my legs can do the trick,
This knotted stick will do me fine.
Why do we need a shorter way! Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3840
To wander this labyrinth of valleys,
Climb all these cliffs and gullies,
From which the waters ever spray,
Thatís a delight enchants the day!
Spring stirs already in the birches,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3845
And even the fir tree knows it now:
Shouldnít our limbs feel it search us?
Truly, I donít feel a thing!
Itís winter in my body, still,
On my path I want it frosty, snowing.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3850
How sadly the Moonís imperfect circle
With its red belated glow, is rising,
So dim its light that at every step
You scrape a rock, or else a tree!
Ah, there, a will oí the wisp leapt!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3855
Itís burning fiercely, now, I see.
Hey! My friend! May I ask your aid?
Would you like to give us a blaze?
Be so good as to light us up the hill!
With respect, I hope Iíll still be able,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3860
To keep my Natural light quite stable:
We usually zig-zag here, at will.
Ha, ha! He thinks to play the human game.
Go straight along now, in the Devilís name!
Or Iíll blow out your flickering spark!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3865
Youíre master of the house, Iíll remark,
And yes, Iíll serve you willingly.
But think! The mount is magically mad today,
And if a will oí the wisp should lead the way,
You mustnít judge things too precisely.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3870
Faust, Mephistopheles, The Will Oí The Wisp (In alternating song.)
We it seems, now find ourselves.
In the sphere of dreams and magic,
Do us honour, guide us well
So our journey will be quick,
Through the wide, deserted spaces!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3875
Tree on tree now shift their places,
See how fast they open to us
And the cliffs bow down before us,
And their long and rocky noses,
How they whistle and blow, for us!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3880
Through the stones, and through the grasses,
Stream and streamlet, downward, hurrying.
Is that rustling? Is that singing?
Do I hear sweet loversí sighing,
Heavenly days, is that their babbling?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3885
What we hope for, what we love!
And the echoes, like the murmuring
Of those other days, are ringing.
ĎToo-wit! Too-woo!í sounding nearer,
Owl there, and jay, and plover,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3890
Are they all awake above?
A salamander in the scrub, heís
Long of leg, and fat of belly!
And every root like a snake,
Over sand and rock all bent,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3895
Stretches with a strange intent,
To scare us, of us prisoners make:
From the gnarled and living mass,
Stretching towards those who pass,
Fibrous tentacles. And mice†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3900
In the moss and in the heather!
And all the fire-flies glowing,
Crushed together, tightly crowding,
In their tangled cohorts gather.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3905
Tell me, are we standing still,
Or are we climbing up the hill?
All seems spinning like a mill,
Rocks and trees, with angry faces
Lights, now, wandering in spaces,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3910
Massing: swelling at their will.
Grasp me bravely by the coat-tail!
Hereís a summit in the middle,
Where, astonished you can see,
Mammon glowing furiously.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3915
How strangely, through the hollow, glows
A sort of dull red morning light!
Into the deepest gorge it flows,
Scenting abysses in their night.
There vapour rises: here cloud sweeps,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3920
Here the glow burns through the haze,
Now like a fragile thread it creeps,
Now like a coloured fountain plays.
Here a vast length winds its way,
In a hundred veins, down the vales,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3925
And here in a corner, locked away,
All at once, now lonely, fails.
Nearby the sparks pour down,
Like showers of golden sand,
But see! On all the heights around,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3930
The cliffs, now incandescent, stand.
Has Mammon not lit his palace
Splendidly, for this festivity?
Itís fortunate youíre here to see,
I already sense the eager guests.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3935
How the wind roars through the air!
And whips around my head!
Grasp the ancient stony bed,
Lest youíre thrown in the abyss, there.
Mist dims the night to deepest black.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3940
Hear the forest timbers crack!
The owls are flying off in terror.
Hear, how the columns shatter,
In the vast, evergreen halls.
Now the boughs groan and fall!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3945
All the tree-trunks are thrumming!
All their roots are creaking, gaping!
Sinking in a tangled horror,
Crashing down on each other,
And through the ruined gorges††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3950
The wind howls and surges.
Hear the voices on the heights?
Far away, and then nearby?
Yes, a furious magic song
Sweeps the mountain, all along!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3955
Witches (In chorus.)
To Brockenís tip the witches stream,
The stubbleís yellow, the seed is green.
There the crowd of us will meet.
Lord Urian has the highest seat.
So they go, over stone and sticks,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3960
The stinking goat, the farting witch.
Old Baubo comes, alone, and how:
Sheís riding on a mother-sow.
So honour then, where honourís due!
Baubo, goes first! Then, all the crew!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3965
A tough old sow, a mother proud,
Then follow, all the witchesí crowd.
Which way did you come?
†††††††††††††† †††† By the Ilsen Stone!
I gazed at the owl in her nest alone.
What a pair of Eyes she made!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3970
O, all you who to Hellís gate go!
Why ride there so quickly though?
Sheís driven me hard: oh, see,
The wounds, all over me!
The way is broad: the way is long.
Where is this mad yearning from?
The fork will prick, the broom will scratch,
The child will smother: the mother crack.
Like snails in their shells, weíre crawlers,
All the women are there before us.
At the House of Evil, when weíre callers,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3980
Womanís a thousand steps before us.
We donít measure with so much care,
In a thousand steps a Womanís there.
But make whatever speed she can,
A single leap, and there is Man.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3985
Voice (From above.)
Come now: come now from stony mere!
Voice (From below.)
Weíd like to climb the heights from here.
Weíre as bright and clean as ever,
But weíre unfruitful still, forever.
The wind is quiet: a star shoots by,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3990
The shadowy Moon departs the sky.
The magic choirís a rush of sparks,
Thousands shower through the dark.
Voice (From below.)
Voice (From above.)
Who calls there, from the stony vault?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 3995
Voice (From below.)
Take me with you! Take me with you!
Climbing for three hundred years,
I havenít reached the summit yet,
I long to be where my peers are met.
Hereís the broom: and hereís the stick,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4000
The ram is here, the fork to prick.
Tonight, whoever canít deliver
Thereís a man is lost forever.
Iíve stumbled round so long, down here:
How far ahead the rest appear!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4005
I get no peace around the house,
And get none either hereabouts.
Chorus of Witches
An ointment makes the witches hale:
A rag will do them for a sail,
A troughís a goodly ship, and tight:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4010
Heíll fly not who flies not tonight.
And once weíve soared around,
So, alight then, on the ground,
Cover the heather, far and wide,
With your swarming witchesí tide. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4015
(They let themselves fall.)
They push and shove, they roar and clatter!
They whistle and whirl, jostle and chatter!
They glimmer and sparkle, stink and flare!
The genuine witch-elementís there!
Weíll soon be parted, so stay near!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4020
Where are you?
††††††† ††††††† What! Nearly out of sight?
Then Iíll have to use a masterís right.
Ground! Sir Voland comes. Sweet folk, give ground!
Here, Doctor, hold tight! In a single bound,
Far from the crowd, weíll soon be free:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4025
Itís too much, even for the likes of me.
Something burned there with a special light,
In that thicket, as far then as I could see,
Come on! We can slip inside, all right.
You spirit of contradiction! Go on! I follow you.††††††††††††††††††††††† 4030
I think after all itís worked out quite cleverly:
We walk the Brocken on Walpurgis Night, yet we
Are as isolated now, as we ever could choose.
See now, what colours flare!
A lively mob club together there.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4035
In little groups oneís not alone.
Iíd still rather be higher, though!
I can see fire and whirling smoke.
There the crowd stream, to the Evil One:
There many a puzzle finds solution.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4040
But many a puzzleís knotted so.
Let the whole world have its riot,
Here weíll house ourselves in quiet.
Itís a long and well-established tradition,
From the great one makes a smaller edition.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4045
I see young witches, naked, bare,
And old ones, veiled cunningly.
For my sake, be a little friendly.
The troubleís slight, the fun is rare.
I hear instruments being tuned, too!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4050
A cursed din, youíll soon get used to.
Come, with me! Thereís no way otherwise,
Iíll step ahead, lead you to their eyes,
And earn your fresh gratitude, so.
What say you? Thereís lots of room, my friend.†††††††††††††††††††††††† 4055
Look over there! You canít see its end.
A hundred fires burning, in a row,
They love, and drink, and dance, and chat,
Tell me where youíll find better than that?
Will you, as we make our bow,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4060
Play the devil, or wizard now?
To be sure Iím used to travelling incognito,
But on formal occasions rankís allowed to show.
Iíve no Knightís garter to mark me out,
But the cloven footís honoured in this house.†††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 4065
Do you see how that snail there crawls to me:
With those delicate feelers on its head,
Itís already scented me, you see,
I canít deny myself, if I wished.
Come! Weíll go from fire to fire,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4070
Iím the broker: youíre the suitor.
(To some, sitting by dying embers.)
Old sirs, what do you sit at the edge for?
Iíd praise you, in the middle, more,
Among the youthful buzz, and shout.
Youíre alone enough inside the house.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4075
Who would trust the Nation!
Oneís toiled so long for it:
With the people, as with women,
Youthís always the best fit.
From every rule theyíve gone astray,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4080
Me, I praise the good old days,
Then, truly, we were all the rage,
That was a real golden age.
We werenít so stupid, youíd have found,
And often did, what wasnít right:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4085
But now it all turns round and round,
Just as weíd like to grasp it tight.
Who writes anything good these days,
Or reads with moderate intelligence!
And what the dear young folk all praise,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4090
Iíve never seen such stupid nonsense.
Mephistopheles (Suddenly looking old.)
I feel folk are ripe for Judgement Day,
Of Witchesí Mount, Iíve made my last ascent.
And now my cask runs cloudy, anyway,
The world itself is all as good as spent.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4095
Gentlemen: donít pass me by!
Donít lose the opportunity!
Inspect my wares attentively,
Iíve a selection for your eye.
Thereís nothing on my stall, here,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4100
On Earth, itís equal youíll not find,
That hasnít caused some harm somewhere,
To the world itself, and then, mankind.
No knife that isnít dyed in gore,
No cup that, through some healthy body,††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 4105
Hot, gnawing venom hasnít poured,
No gems that havenít bought some kindly
Girl, no sword thatís not cut ties that bind,
Or, perhaps, struck an enemy from behind.
Granny! You misunderstand the age.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4110
Whatís gone: is done! Whatís done: is gone!
Get novelties theyíre all the rage!
Now itís novelties that lead us on.
Donít let me lose myself in here!
Now, this is what I call a fair!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4115
This whole whirlpoolís trying to climb above,
You think youíre shoving, and youíre being shoved!
Who is that, there?
†††††††††††††† Note that madam!
††††††† ††††††† First wife to Adam.
Pay attention to her lovely hair,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4120
The only adornment she need wear.
When she traps a young man in her snare,
She wonít soon let him from her care.
Those two, the old and young one, sitting,
Theyíve leapt about more than is fitting!†††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 4125
No rest tonight for anyone.
Letís grasp them. Thereís a new dance, come!
A lovely dream once came to me,
And there I saw an apple-tree,
Two lovely apples, there, did shine,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4130
Tempting me so, I had to climb.
Apples you love a lot, I know,
That once in Paradise did grow.
Iím deeply moved with joy to feel,
That such my garden does reveal.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4135
Mephistopheles (Dancing with the old witch.)
A vile dream once came to me,
In it, I saw an old cleft tree,
A monstrous crack there met my eyes,
It pleased me, though, despite its size.
I offer my best greetings to††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4140
The knight of the cloven shoe!
Heíll need to have a real stopper,
If heís not scared of that whopper.
A Rationalist (Nicolai)
Cursed Folk! How do you dare to?
Havenít we shown, for many a season,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4145
Spirits canít exist: it stands to reason?
Yet you dance around, just as we do!
The Lovely Witch (Dancing.)
Whyís he here then, at our ball?
Oh! Heís everywhere, and into all.
While others dance, he must reflect.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4150
If he canít discuss every last step,
Itís as good as if it didnít happen.
Heís angriest at a forward pattern.
But if you turn around in circles,
As he does in his ancient mills,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4155
Heíll call it excellent, least ways
If you greet with interest what he says.
Youíre still there! Oh, itís quite unheard of.
Weíre enlightened now, so take yourselves off!
The Devilís crewís discounted by every rule:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4160
Yet though clever, still weíre haunted, in Tegel, too.
Well listen: here weíre bored with it!
I tell you, Spirit, to your face:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4165
For me, spirit-rule has no place:
Because my spirit canít exercise it.
(The dance continues.)
I see, tonight, Iíll have no success:
But I get a bit from every trip,
And hope, before the final step,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4170
Iíll defeat the devils and the poets.
Now heíll sit in some wet sump,
And console himself, like that, about you,
And if he sticks leeches on his rump,
Heís cured of the Spirit, and Spirits, too.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4175
(To Faust, who has left the dance.)
Why have you deserted that lovely girl,
Who sang so sweetly in the dancing?
Ugh! Right in the middle of her singing
A red mouse sprang out of her mouth.
Thatís fine: donít brood on it, anyway:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4180
Enough, that the mouse wasnít grey.
At harvest time who queries a mouse?
Then I saw Ė
†††††††††††††† ††† Mephisto, can you see
That lovely child, far off, alone there,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4185
Travelling slowly, so painfully,
As if her feet were chained together.
I must admit, without question
Sheís the image of my sweet Gretchen.
Forget all that! It benefits no one.
Itís a lifeless magic form, a phantom.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4190
Encountering it will do you no good:
Its fixed stare freezes human blood,
And then oneís almost turned to stone:
Medusaís story is surely known.
Those are the eyes of the dead, truly,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4195
No loving hand has closed their void.
Thatís the breast Gretchen offered to me:
Thatís the sweet body I enjoyed.
Itís magic, fool: youíre an easy one to move!
She comes to all, as if she were their love.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4200
What delight! What pain!
I canít turn from her, again.
Strange, around her lovely throat,
A single scarlet cord adorns her,
Like a knife-cut, and no wider!††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4205
Thatís right! I see it too: and note,
She can carry her head under her arm,
Since Perseus did her that fatal harm.
Always desire for that illusion!
Come on, climb this bit of mountain:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4210
Itís as lively as the Vienna Prater,
And if no oneís deceiving me,
Iím looking at a genuine theatre.
††††††† †††††† Itíll be on again shortly.
A fresh performance: last of seven.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4215
That number, for us, is traditional.
An amateurís written it, and then
Itís amateurs who perform it all.
Forgive me, sir, if I break off here,
Since Iím the amateur curtain-raiser. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4220
That I find you on the Blocksbergís good,
Since I find you exactly where I should.
† Oberon and Titaniaís Golden Wedding.
†††††††††††††† An Interlude (Intermezzo)
You brave stagehands, of Weimar,
Take a rest, at least for today.
Ancient mountains, misty vales are,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4225
All the scenery for our play.
Fifty years weíve passed by,
To make this wedding golden,
But let some argument arise:
Thereís gold in it, for me, then.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4230
Spirits, where I am, be seen:
Appear, all, at this moment:
Fairy King, and Fairy Queen,
Renew their old intent.
Puck comes shooting through the air,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4235
And moves his feet, in time:
After him a hundred, there,
Share his joyful rhyme.
Ariel conducts his singing
In pure and heavenly tones: †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4240
Ugly faces greet its ringing,
But also lovely ones.
Partners if youíd get along,
Learn then from the two of us!
If we in pairs would love for long,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4245
Someone needs to separate us.
The sulky man, the wilful wife,
So they might know each other,
Iíd show him all the Northern ice,
And show her the Equator.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4250
The Whole Orchestra (Tutti. Very loud.)
From fly-snout and midge-nose,
And all of their relations,
Frog and cricket, too, there flow
These musical vibrations!
See, the bagpipes on their way!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4255
Made from a soap-bubble.
Hear the snailís-twaddle play
Through its stumpy nozzle.
Spirit (Newly formed.)
Spiderís-feet and toadís-belly,
With useless winglets to íem!
A little creature, it canít be
But it makes a little poem.
Little steps and high leaps,
Through honeydew and fragrance here,
You still wonít do enough it seems,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4265
To climb into the atmosphere.
A masquerade of mockery?
Do I dare to trust my eyes?
Oberon, that fair divinity,
Do I see him here, tonight?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4270
Heís no tail, and not a claw!
And yet itís him, itís true:
Like the gods of Greece, Iím sure,
He must be a devil too.
What I capture here today,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4275
In truth is only sketchy:
Yet I prepare myself, someday
For my Italian journey.
Ah! My bad luck brings me here:
Since I havenít been invited!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4280
Of all the witches to appear,
Only two are powdered.
Powder like a petticoat
On an old, grey witch youíll see,
While I sit naked on my goat,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4285
And show a fine young body.
We have too much experience,
To moan about you, here, then!
Yet, as young and tender you are, once,
So, I hope you will be, rotten.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4290
Fly-snout and midge-nose,
Donít swarm around the naked!
Frog and cricket, too, all know
Your time, and donít mistake it!
A Wind-Vane (Swinging to one side.)
Society, as one would like it done:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4295
True pure brides along the slope!
And young fellows, one for one,
People quite brimful of hope!
The Wind-Vane (Swinging to the other side.)
And if the ground doesnít split,
And swallow everyone,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4300
Iíll be so amazed at it,
Iíll leap into hell at once.
Xenies (Barbed verses: Greek Ė gifts exchanged.)
As insects we appear,
With little claws weíre nipping,
To do Satan, our Papa,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4305
Due honour as is fitting.
Hennings (August Von Hennings, a literary enemy.)
See them, packed in a crowd,
NaÔve, together, poking fun!
At last, theyíll even say, aloud,
Theyíre hearts were blameless ones.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4310
Musagete (Controller of the Muses: Greek Ė epithet of Apollo)
Among this witchesí crew,
Iíd gladly lose my way:
Theyíre easier to manage, too
Than Muses, any day.
One was someone, among real folk.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4315
Come on, then: I can hold my end up!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Like Germanyís Parnassus, look,
The Blocksbergís summitís broad enough.
Curious Traveller (Nicolai)
Say, whoís that haughty man?
He walks with such proud steps.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4320
He sniffs as only a sniffer-out can.
ĎHe smells out Jesuits.í
A Crane (Lavater)
I like to fish among the clear
And the muddy levels:
So the pious man appears†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4325
Mixing with the devils.
A Child of This World (Goethe himself.)
To the pious man, as Iím aware,
Every place is fitting,
So you build, on the Blocksberg here,
Many a house of meeting.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4330
Does some new choir succeed?
I hear a distant drum.
ĎNo! Itís the booming in the reeds,
Of bitterns, in unison.í
How they lift their legs, this lot!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4335
As best they can, they all take flight!
The cripples skip, the clumsy hop,
And donít care at all what they look like.
The ragged mob all hate so much,
Theyíd gladly crush the others.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4340
Here the bagpipe draws them, just
As Orpheusí lyre the creatures.
I wonít declare itís madness, now,
Or show myself too critical.
The devil must exist somehow,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††† 4345
Or how could we act the devil?
The fantasy in my mind,
For once, is too despotic.
Truly, if I am all, I find
Today Iím idiotic!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4350
Hereís real pain, at hand,
It annoys me so to see it:
For the first time, here I stand,
Unsteady, on my feet.
Itís very pleasant to be here,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4355
And this crowd too has merit:
Since from the devil I infer
Some much more virtuous spirit.
These little flames a-hunting go,
And think theyíre near the treasure:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4360
But Devil rhymes with doubtful: so
My being hereís a pleasure.
Frog on leaf, and cricket, oh
You amateur editions!
Fly-snout and midge-nose,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4365
Remember youíre musicians!
Carefree, is what they call
This band of happy creatures:
When we canít go on foot at all
Our head it is that features.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4370
We picked up many a titbit once,
But now, God orders things so,
Our shoes are ragged from the dance,
And we travel on naked soles.
From the swamps weíve come,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4375
Where we first arose:
In the ranks here, we, at once,
As glittering gallants pose.
A Shooting Star
I shoot here from the sky
And star- and firelight meet.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4380
Now across the grass I lie -
Whoíll help me to my feet?
Room, round about us, room!
We crush the grasses under.
Spirits come, and spirits too†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4385
Have their bulky members.
Donít tread so heavily,
Like elephantine calves: let
Puck himself, the sturdy, be,
On this night, the stoutest.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4390
Loving nature winged your backs,
You spirits, one supposes,
Follow, then, on my light track,
To the hill of roses!
Orchestra (Quietly: pianissimo)
Trailing cloud, and misted trees,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4395
Brighten with the day.
Breeze in leaves, and wind in reeds,
And all have flown away.
(A Field. Faust, Mephistopheles.)
In misery! Despair! Wandering wretchedly on the face of the earth, for ages, and now imprisoned! That kind, unfortunate creature, locked up in prison as a criminal, and lost in torment! To this! This! Ė Treacherous, worthless spirit, you hid it from me! Ė Stand there, then! Roll the devilís eyes in your head, in anger! Stand there, and defy me with your unbearable presence! Imprisoned! In irredeemable misery! Delivered up to evil spirits, and the judgement of unfeeling men! And youíve troubled me meanwhile with tasteless diversions, concealed her growing misery from me, and left her helpless in the face of ruin!
She is not the first.
Dog! Loathsome Monster! Ė Change him, infinite Spirit! Change the worm into his dog-form, in which he often liked to scamper in front of me, at night, rolling at the feet of the unsuspecting traveller, and clambering on his shoulders when he fell. Change him into his favourite likeness, so he can crawl on his belly in the sand in front of me, and I can trample him, depraved thing, under my feet! Ė ĎNot the first!í Ė Misery! Misery! That no human spirit can grasp. That more than one being should sink into the depth of this wretchedness: that the first, writhing in its death-pangs, under the eyes of Eternal Forgiveness, did not expiate the guilt of all the others! It pierces to the marrow of my bones, the misery of this one being Ė and you smile calmly at the fate of thousands!
Now weíre out of our wits again, already, at the point where menís brains are cracked. Why did you enter into partnership with us, if you canít go through with it? Would you take wing, and yet be free of dizziness? Did we thrust ourselves on you, or you on us?
Donít gnash your greedy jaws at me! It disgusts me! Ė Great and glorious Spirit, you who revealed yourself to me, nobly, who know my heart and soul, why shackle me to this disgraceful companion, who feeds on injury, and at the last on ruin?
Have you finished?
Save her, or woe to you! May the weightiest curse fall on you for a thousand ages!
I canít undo the bonds of the Avenger, nor loose his bolts. Ė ĎSave her!í Ė
Who was it dragged her to ruin? I or you?
(Faust looks around, wildly.)
Would you grasp the lightning? A good thing it has not been allowed you miserable mortals! To crush the innocent one who replies is the tyrantís way to free oneself of an embarrassment.
Take me to her! She shall be freed!
And the danger you expose yourself to? Be aware, the guilty blood from your hands lies on the town. Avenging spirits hover over the place of death, and lie in wait for the murdererís return.
And not from yours, too? Murder, and death in this world, be on you, monster! Take me there, I say, and free her.
Iíll take you: listen to what I can do! Have I all the powers of heaven and earth? Iíll confuse the jailorís mind: you take possession of the key, and bring her out, hand in human hand! Iíll keep watch: magic horses are ready: Iíll carry you away. That, I can do.
(An open field. Faust and Mephistopheles flying onwards on black horses.)
What do they weave, round the Ravenstone?
I donít know what theyíre cooking and brewing.††††††††††††††††††††††† 4400
Soaring up, diving down, bending and bowing.
A guild of witches.
They scatter, they consecrate.
(Faust, with a bunch of keys and a lamp, in front of an iron door.)
A long-forgotten shudder grips me,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4405
Iím gripped by all of Mankindís misery,
Here behind these damp walls, she
Lives: and all her guiltís illusory.
Do I tremble, then, to free her!
Do I dread, once more, to see her!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4410
On! Fear adds to deathís proximity.
(He grips the lock. She sings within.)
My mother, the whore
She killed me!
My father, the rogue,
He gnawed me! †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4415
Little sister alone
Laid out the bone
In the cool of the clay:
Then I was a sweet bird on the stone.
Fly away! Fly away!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4420
Faust (Unlocking the door.)
She doesnít know her loverís listening,
Hears the chains, the strawís rustling.
Margaret (Hiding herself in the bed of straw.)
Woe! Woe! It comes. Bitterest Death!
Hush! Hush! Itís I who come, to free you.
Margaret (Throwing herself down in front of him.)
Are you a man? Then pity my distress.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4425
Your cries will wake the jailors, too!
(He grasps the chains, to loose them.)
Margaret (On her knees.)
Who gives the executioner
Such power over me!
At midnight youíre already here.
Let me live, have mercy on me!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4430
Wonít it be soon enough when dawn should come?
(She stands up.)
Iím still so young, so young!
And yet Iíll die!
I was lovely too, that was my
Ruin. My love was near, now heís gone:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4435
The garlandís torn: the flowers are done.
Donít grip me, now, so violently!
What harm have I done you? Spare me!
Donít let me beg for mercy, in vain,
Iíve never seen you before today!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4440
How shall I endure this misery, say!
Iím wholly in your power. Oh,
Let me feed my baby first.
I caressed it all night, though,
They told me I caused it hurt,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4445
And now they say I killed it, so,
And now Iíll never be happy again.
They sing songs of me! Itís wicked of folk!
Thereís an old story ends this way,
Who told them to tell it so?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4450
A lover lies at your feet,
Whoíll end your painful slavery.
O letís kneel, the saints will bless!
See here! Under these steps,
Under this sill,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4455
The Evil One
With fierce anger,
Makes his groan!
Gretchen! Gretchen!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4460
Margaret (Listening closely.)
The voice of my lover!
(She leaps to her feet: the chains fall away.)
Where? I heard him call me.
Iím free! No one holds me.
To his neck, I shall fly,
On his breast, I shall lie!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4465
He called Gretchen! Stood at the sill.
Among the howls and cries of Hell,
Among the devilís, scornful groans,
I knew his sweet, dear tones.
†††††††††††††††††††††† Here! O, say it once again!††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4470
(She embraces him.)
Itís he! Itís he! Where now is all the pain?
Where now the chains, the dungeonís misery?
Youíre here! You come to save me.
I am saved!
Already the street is there again,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4475
Where I first saw you plain,
And the joyful garden,
Where Martha and I waited, then.
Come with me! Come!†
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† O stay,
Iíll gladly stay, if you are with me.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4480
If you donít hurry,
Weíll pay for this.
What? You can no longer kiss?
My dear, so short a time to miss me,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4485
And youíve forgotten how to kiss me?
Why am I so anxious on your breast?
When, once, at your words, your gaze,
With a whole heaven I was blessed,
And you kissed me, enough to suffocate.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4490
I kiss you: see!
(She embraces him.)
Oh! How cold and silent,
Where has your passion††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4495
Who brought me this?
(She turns away from him.)
Come! Follow me! Darling, be bold!
Iíll clasp you with a thousand-fold
Warmth: now follow me! I beg you!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4500
Margaret (Turning to him.)
And is it you? Is it really you?
It is! Come, with me!
††††††† †††††† Youíll loose the chains,
And take me to your breast, again.
How is it you donít shrink from me?
Do you know, friend, whom you free?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4505
Come! Come! The night will soon be over.
Iíve killed my mother,
Iíve drowned my child.
Was it not given to you and I?
You too. - You here! I scarce believe.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4510
Give me your hand! This is no dream.
Your dear hand! Ė Ah, but itís damp!
Wipe it clean! Why do I think,
It has blood on.
Ah God! What have you done?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4515
Put your sword away,
I beg you, please!
Let past be past I say!
Youíre destroying me!
No you must live on: must do.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4520
Iíll describe our graves to you.
You must begin them
This very dawn:
The best one is for my mother,
Then, by her, my brother,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 4525
Myself, a little further, lay,
But not too far away!
And the little one, at my right breast.
No one else by me will lie! Ė
Ah, to nestle at your side,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4530
That was a sweet, a darling bliss!
But no more will I achieve it:
Itís as if I must force you to it,
As if you turn aside my kiss:
And yet itís you, so good, so sweet to see!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4535
You know it is, so come with me!
If the grave is there,
Death waiting, then I come!
From here to everlasting rest,††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4540
And not a step further would
You go now? O Heinrich, if I could!
You can! Just will it! The door is open!
I dare not: thereís no hope for me then.
What use is flight? They lie in wait for me.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4545
To be forced to beg is a bitter existence,
And cursed too with an evil conscience!
To wander among strangers, bitter,
And even then Iíd still be captured!
Iíll stay beside you.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4550
Save my poor baby!
Away! Down the ridge,
Now, by the brook,
Over the bridge,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4555
Into the wood,
Left, where the plank is,
There, in the pool.
Seize it now: you!
Itís trying to rise,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4560
Itís moving still!
Save it! Save it!
Only one step, and then youíre free!
If we were on the mountain, only!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4565
There my mother sits, on a stone,
And oh, the cold, it grips me!
There my mother sits on a stone,
And wags her head, so heavy.
No sign, no nod, for me, Iím sure††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4570
Her sleepís so long: sheíll wake no more.
She slept, while we took our pleasure.
That was such a time to treasure!
Here allís useless, speech or prayer:
Iíll take you from this place: Iíll dare.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4575
Let me alone! No, no force!
Donít grip me so murderously, oh,
Iíve done all else to please you so.
The day breaks! Dearest! Dearest!
Day! Yes, itís dawn! The last Iíll see:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4580
My wedding day, that was to be!
Tell no one youíve been with Gretchen. Ah, bright glance!
Itís done with: all in vain!
We two will meet again:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4585
But not in the dance.
The crowd gather, without speech.
The streets, the square,
Canít hold them, there.
The bell tolls, the wand breaks.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4590
Now, they seize and tie me!
Iím dragged already to the block.
The blade that quivers over me,
Has quivered before over every neck.
Silent the world, now, as the grave!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4595
Oh, would that Iíd never seen the light!
Away! Or youíll be lost, tonight.
Useless staying and praying! Chattering!
The horses are shivering,
The dawn breaks, clear.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4600
What rises in the doorway, here?
Him! Him! Send him away!
Why is he here in this holy place?
He wants me!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† You will live!
God of Judgement! To you, myself I give!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4605
Come! Now! Or I leave you both to stew.
Father, save me! I belong to you!
Angels! In Holy Company,
Draw round me: guard me!
Heinrich! For you, I fear.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4610
She is judged!
A Voice (From above.)
†††††††††††††† She is saved!
Mephistopheles (To Faust.)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† To me, here!
(He vanishes, with Faust.)
A Voice (From within, dying away.)
(Faust is lying on flowery turf, tired and restless, trying to sleep. A circle of tiny, graceful spirits hovers round him.)
Ariel (Chanting, accompanied by Aeolian Harps.)
When the springtime blossoms, falling,
Shower down, and cover all things,
When the fields with greener blessing††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4615
Dazzle all the world of earthlings,
Little elves, but great in spirit,
Haste to help, where help they can,
And, be he holy, be he wicked,
Pity they the luckless man.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 4620
You, hovering in airy circles, round his head
Show yourselves in proud elf-form, instead,
Calm all the fierce resistance of his heart,
Remove the bitter barbs of sharp remorse,
Free him from past terrors, by your art.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4625
Four are the watches night makes in its course,
At once, now, mercifully, let the dark depart.
Let his head sink down on pillowís coolness,
Next sprinkle him with dew from Letheís stream:
Then let his joints be free of cramps and stiffness,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4630
So that heís strong enough to greet dayís gleam:
Elves exert your sweetest right,
Return him to the holy light!
When the balmy breezes smother
All the green-encircled land,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4635
Sweetly fragrant and mist-covered,
Twilight gathers all around.
Sweet peace then whispers softly,
Rocks the heart on childhoodís shores,
And on the eyelids, tired and weary,
Closes daylightís golden doors.
Here the nightís already passing,
Sacred stars set, star by star,
Great lights, and the lesser glittering,
Sparkling near, and gleaming far:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4645
Sparkling, where the lake reflects her,
Gleaming bright in cloudless height,
Protecting the deep bliss of rest, there,
Moon, in splendour, rules the night.
The hours have vanished now, already†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 4650
Joy and pain have flown away,
You are whole! Recover, wholly:
Trust the sight of breaking day.
Greening valleys, swelling hills there,
Rise from out their shadowy sleep:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4655
And, drifting in its waves of silver,
On to harvest, flows the wheat.
Wish then, to achieve your wishes,
Gaze up, at the brightness there!
You are lightly tangled: this is†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4660
Sleep, a shell, so now emerge!
Donít delay, walk bravely, tall,
When the crowd waits, hesitating:
The noblest man achieves his all,
By seeing, and then, swiftly, taking.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4665
Listen! Hear the hour nearing!
Ringing out to spirit-hearing,
Now, the new day is appearing.
Doors of stone creak and chatter,
Phoebusí wheels roll and clatter,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4670
What a din the daylightís bringing!
Trombone- and trumpeting,
Eyes amazed, and ears ringing,
The Unheard drops out of hearing.
Slip into the flowers presence,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4675
Deeper, deeper, lie there silent,
In the pebbles, where the leaves bend:
If it strikes you, youíll be deafened.
Lifeís pulses beating now, with new existence,
Greet the mild ethereal half-light round me:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4680
You, Earth, stood firm tonight, as well: I sense
Your breath is quickening all the things about me,
Already, with that joy you give, beginning
To stir the strengthening resolution in me,
That strives, forever, towards highest Being. Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4685
Now the world unfolds, in half-lightís gleam,
The woodís alive, its thousand harmonies singing,
While through the valleys, misted ribbons stream:
And heavenly light now penetrates the deep:
Twigs, branches shoot, with fresher life it seems,††††††††††††††††††††††† 4690
From fragrant gulfs, where they were sunk in sleep:
Colour on colour lifts now from the ground,
As leaf and flower with trembling dewdrops weep Ė
And a paradise reveals itself, all round.
Gaze upwards! Ė The vast mountain heights†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4695
Already with the solemn hour resound:
They are the first to enjoy the eternal light
That later, for us, will work its way below.
Now, to the sloping Alpine meadows bright,
It gives a fresh clarity, a newer glow,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4700
And step by step it reaches us down here: Ė
It blazes out! Ė Ah, already blinded, though
I turn away, my eyesight wounded, pierced.
So it is, when to the thing we yearn for
The highest wish so intimately rehearsed,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4705
We find fulfilment opening wide the door:
And then, from eternal space, there breaks
A flood of flame, we stand amazed before:
We wished to set the torch of life ablaze,
A sea of fire consumes us, and such fire!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4710
Love, is it, then? Or hate? This fierce embrace,
The joy and pain of alternating pyres,
So that, gazing back to earth again,
We seek to veil ourselves in youthís desire.
Let the sun shine on, behind me, then!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4715
The waterfall that splits the cliffsí broad edge,
I gaze at with a growing pleasure, when
A thousand torrents plunge from ledge to ledge,
And still a thousand more pour down that stair,
Spraying the bright foam skywards from their beds.†††††††††††††††††††† 4720
And in lone splendour, through the tumult there,
The rainbowís arch of colour, bending brightly,
Is clearly marked, and then dissolved in air,
Around it the cool showers, falling lightly.
There the efforts of mankind they mirror.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4725
Reflect on it, youíll understand precisely:
We live our life amongst refracted colour.
(A council of state waits for the Emperor. Trumpets.)
(Enter court attendants of all kinds, splendidly dressed. The Emperor approaches the throne: the Astrologer is to his right.)
I greet you all, the loved, and true,
Gathered here from far and wide: -
I see a wise manís at my side,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4730
But where on earthís the fool?
Right behind your mantle there,
He suddenly tumbled on the stair,
They dragged away the pile of fat.
Dead: or drunk? No man knows that.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4735
At once, and at a wondrous pace,
Another came to take his place.
Quite extravagantly dressed,
Yet troubling, since heís so grotesque:
Guards closed the door in his face,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4740
Their halberds held crosswise too Ė
Yet here he comes, the daring fool!
Mephistopheles (Kneeling in front of the throne.)
What is cursed, and yet is welcomed?
Whatís desired, yet chased away?
Whatís always carefully defended?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4745
Whatís abused: condemned, I say?
What do you not dare appeal to?
What will all, happily, hear named?
What stands on the step before you?
Whatís banished from here, all the same?††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††† 4750
For once, at least, spare us your babble!
This is no time or place for riddles,
Theyíre a matter for these gentlemen. Ė
Solve it! Iíll gladly hear it all again.
I fear my old foolís wandered far in space:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4755
Come to my side, here, and take his place.
(Mephistopheles places himself on the Emperorís left.)
A newer fool Ė for newer cares Ė
Whereís he from? Ė Howíd he get there? Ė
The old one fell Ė† Heís all done in Ė
He was fat Ė Now this oneís thin Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 4760
So now, my faithful and beloved,
Welcome here from near and far!
We meet beneath a lucky star,
Since health and luck are written above.
But tell me, why in days like these,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4765
When weíve conquered care,
And carnival masks are all our wear,
And delightful things are waiting,
We trouble ourselves with debating?
Yet since you say we have to do it,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4770
Itís settled then, and weíll go to it.
The highest virtue, like a sacred halo
Circles the Emperorís head: and so
He alone may validly exercise it:
Justice! Ė All men love and prize it,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4775
What all ask, yet wish they could do without,
The people look to him to hand it out.
But ah! What help can human wit deliver,
Or kindly heart, or willing hand, if fever
Rages wildly through the state, and evil††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4780
Itself is broodingly preparing evil?
Look about, from this heightís extreme,
Across the realm: it seems like some bad dream,
Where one deformity acts on another,
Where lawlessness by law is furthered,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4785
And an age of crime is discovered.
Here one steals cattle, there, a wife,
Cross, cup and candlestick, from the altar,
And boasts of it for many a year,
His skinís intact, and soís his life.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4790
Then they take their claims to court
The judge, in pomp, on his high cushion,
Meanwhile there grows a furious roar,
From swelling tides of revolution.
They insist itís crime and disgrace,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4795
With their accomplices beside them,
And ĎGuilty!í is the verdict in a case,
Only where Innocence is its own defence.
So all the world will slash and chop,
Destroying just what suits themselves:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4800
How then can that true sense develop
That shows the morally acceptable?
At last the well-intentioned man
Yields to the bribe, the flatterer:
And the judge who canít convict, is hand†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4805
In hand with the criminal offender.
Iíve painted in black, but Iíd rather draw
Its image in the deeper colour that I saw.
The conclusionís inescapable:
If all men suffer when all cause trouble,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4810
Then His Majesty himself is harmed.
How riotous things are in this wild age!
They all lash out, and are lashed, these days,
And everyone is deaf to all command.
The citizen behind his wall,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4815
The knight in his cliff-top tower,
Have sworn to defy us all,
And hold fast to their power.
The impatient mercenaries
Impetuously demand their pay,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4820
And if we owed them less, already
Theyíd be off, and march away.
If one forbids what all desire,
Heís disturbed a hornetís nest:
The kingdom, they should keep entire,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4825
Is plundered, and distressed.
Theyíd like to wreak a wild disorder,
Half the world has been dissolved:
There are still kings beyond our border,
But none of them think theyíre involved.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4830
In allies, then, whoíd put their trust!
The subsidies they promised us,
Like water pipes are all blocked up.
And, Sire, in all your wide estate,
Whoís benefited from the take?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4835
Wherever you go, thereís some new pup,
Who declares his independence.
We watch, while they carry on:
Weíve given away our rights, and hence,
No rights are left for us, not one.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4840
Our parties too, however called,
Canít be depended on today:
They like to praise, and blame: itís all
Impartial both their love and hate.
Theyíre resting: they take cover,
The Ghibelline, and Guelph. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4845
Now, whoíll help his neighbour?
Each man just helps himself.
The golden doors are fastened tight,
Men scrape and scratch and glean, all right,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4850
But our coffers still are empty.
What evils, too, I must endure!
We try to save each day, Iím sure,
But every day sees greater need:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4855
So, daily, some new tormentís mine.
The cooks, alas, have all they want:
Boar, pheasant, hare and venison,
Ducks and peacocks, chickens, geese,
Payment in kind, and guaranteed,
They keep coming all the time,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4860
But in the end weíre short of wine.
Though cask on cask once filled the cellar,
The best of vintages, and names, there,
These noble lords can drink forever,
And havenít left a single drop.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4865
The council too must have their fill,
They grasp their tankards tight until,
Under the table, they have to stop.
Now Iíll count the cost, youíll see,
The moneylenders wonít spare me,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4870
The advances that they give gladly,
Will eat the future years, on top.
Pigs donít have time to fatten: instead
Men seize the pillows from your bed,
Even the bread from your tableís gone.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4875
Fool, do you know anything else thatís wrong?
Me? Nothing at all! I see splendour, as I must,
Around me, of you and yours! Ė Lack trust,
Where Majesty commands so, without question,
Where ready force scatters the enemy faction?†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4880
Where strong wills, with wit to understand,
Active and various, are all at hand?
What, for some evil purpose, could combine,
For darkness, then, where such stars shine?
Hereís a rogue Ė who understands Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4885
Heíll tell lies Ė as long as he can Ė
I wonder too Ė what lies behind Ė
And whatís in front? Ė A project of some kind Ė
In this world, what isnít lacking, somewhere, though?
Sometimes itís this, or that: here whatís missingís gold.††††††††††††††† 4890
True you canít just rake it up from the floor,
But wisdom knows the mines where one gets more.
In mountain veins, foundation walls,
Coined and un-coined golden hoards,
And ask me, now, whoíll bring it to the light:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4895
One gifted with Mindís power and Natureís might.
Mind and Nature Ė donít speak to Christians so.
Thatís why men burn atheists, below,
Such speech is dangerous, all right,
Nature is sin, and Mindís the devil,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4900
It harbours within it, Doubt, that evil,
Their misshapen hermaphrodite.
Not so with us! Ė In the Emperorís land
Two kinds of men are still at hand
Worthy alone to defend the throne:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4905
The Saints are they, and the Knights:
They enter lifeís uncertain fights,
Rewards of Church and State they own:
Firm in their resistance, check
The confused aims of everyman.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4910
No, Nature and Mind are heretics!
Wizards! Ruining town and land.
And you, with brazen impudence still
Invoke them here in this high circle:
Youíre fostering the corrupted will,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4915
Fools are always hand in hand.
By this I recognise a most learned lord!
What you canít feel lies miles abroad,
What you canít grasp, you think, is done with too.
What you donít count on canít be true,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4920
What you canít weigh wonít weigh, of old,
What you donít coin: that canít be gold.
You wonít sort out our faults like that,
Will Lenten sermons make men fat?
Iím tired of the eternal Ďif and whení:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4925
Weíre short of gold, well fine, so fetch some then.
Iíll fetch what you wish, and Iíll fetch more:
Easy itís true, but then easy things weigh more:
Itís there already, yet how we might achieve it,
Thatís the tricky thing, knowing how to seize it.†††††††††††††††††††††††† 4930
Just think how, in those times of consternation,
When a human flood drowned land and nation,
People were so terrified, everywhere,
They hid their treasures, here and there.
So it was when mighty Rome held sway,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4935
And so it goes on, yesterday and today.
Still buried in the earth, why, there it is:
The earth is the Emperorís, so itís his.
For a Fool his aimís not out of sight:
Itís true, thatís an old Imperial right.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4940
Satan lays out his gilded nets, for you,
These things donít square with whatís good and true.
Only bring them to court: Iíll welcome the sight,
And Iíll gladly accept the thing as not quite right.
The Foolís clever, to promise what each of us needs:†††††††††††††††††† 4945
A soldier will never ask from whence it all proceeds.
If you think Iím cheating you, maybe,
Why hereís the man: ask Astrology!
He knows each circling hour and house:
So ask him: how are the Heavens now?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4950
Two rogues, there Ė already known Ė
Fool and Dreamer Ė so near the throne Ė
An idle song Ė an ancient rhyme Ė
The Fool plays Ė the Wise Man speaks, in time Ė
The Astrologer (Speaks, with Mephistopheles prompting him.)
The Sun, himself, he is of purest gold:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4955
Mercury, messenger, of riches told:
Venus has bewitched you all, and she
Looks on you, soon and late, quite lovingly:
The chaste Moonís mood holds fast:
Mars wonít harm: his strength wonít last:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4960
And Jupiter remains the loveliest sight:
While Saturnís great, but far away and slight.
His metal we donít greatly venerate,
Light of worth, though leaden in its weight.
Yes! When Sun and Moon are conjoined fine,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4965
Silver and gold will make the whole world shine:
The rest as well in turn are all achieved,
Palaces, gardens proud, and rosy cheeks:
All this he brings this highly knowledgeable man:
He can deliver, too, what nobody else here can.†††††††††††††††††††††††† 4970
The words they say, I hear them twice,
And yet Iím not convinced theyíre right.
Whatís all that?† - A joke gone flat Ė
Horoscopy Ė And Chemistry Ė
Iíve heard that vein† Ė Hoped in vain Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4975
Come, quick Ė Itís still a trick Ė
They stand around: theyíre all amazed,
They donít trust what can be found,
One babbles about deadly nightshade,
The other of some jet-black hound.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4980
What matter if one thinks Iím jesting,
Or another calls it sorcery,
If the soles of their feet are itching,
If their firm step totters towards me.
All can feel the secret working††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4985
Of Natureís everlasting power,
And from its deepest lurking,
A living vein shall rise and flower.
When every member twitches,
When all looks strange to your eyes,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4990
Make up your minds, be delvers,
Here the players, there the prize!
Itís like a lead-weight on my feet Ė
My armís swollen Ė but then, itís gouty Ė
Thereís a tickle here in my big toe Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 4995
All the way down my back it goes Ė
From these signs, Iíd say weíre near
A rich vein of treasure, here.
Quick then! Donít slope off there!
Letís test your froth of lies,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5000
Show us, all, this rarest prize.
Iíll lay down the sword and sceptre,
With my own noble hands, as well,
If you donít lie, complete the work myself,
And, if you lie, then send you down to Hell!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5005
Iíll find the way there anyway Ė
Yet I really canít exaggerate
Whatís lying round ownerless, everywhere.
The farmer, ploughing the furrows, lays bare
A crock of gold the clods unfold:††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5010
Seeks saltpetre from damp limy walls,
And finds there golden rolls of gold,
In his poor hands: frightened by all.
What caverns exist to be blown open,
Through what shafts and cuttings then,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5015
Burrow those gold-divining men,
Those neighbours of the Underworld!
Secure in vast ancient cellars, find,
Golden plates, bowls, cups for wine,
In rows, and heaps where they were hurled:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5020
Goblets fashioned out of rubies,
And if they wants to try their uses,
Beside them thereís the ancient fluid.
Yet Ė I would trust the expert though Ė
The wooden casks rotted long ago,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5025
The wine makes tartar, in the liquid.
Not just gold, and jewels, fine
But the essence then of noble wine
Terror hides, and night, as stark.
So quiz the wise untiringly:†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5030
Itís trivial, by day, to see:
Mystery: houses in the dark.
See to it then! What use is it out of sight?
Whateverís valuable must see the light.
Who knows a rogue for certain but by day?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5035
At night all cows are black, and cats are grey.
The pots down there, full of golden weight Ė
Drive your plough, and, ploughing, excavate.
Take hoe and spade: and dig yourself,
Labouring will make you great,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5040
A herd of golden calves, youíll help
To rise from out their buried state.
Then with delight, without delay,
You can, yourself, your love array:
Glittering colours, shining gems, will best††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5045
Enhance your majesty, and her loveliness.
Quick then, quick! How slow it always is!
The Astrologer (Prompted by Mephistopheles.)
Sire, restrain your urgent passion, please.
First let all your pleasant pastimes go:
Distracted natures wonít achieve the goal.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5050
First we must atone for them in quiet,
Lower things are gained by the higher.
Who wants the good, must first be good:
Who wants delight, must calm the blood:
Who longs for wine, treads ripened grapes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5055
Who hopes for miracles, strengthens then his faith.
So let the time be passed in merriment!
Ash Wednesday will achieve our grave intent.
And we can celebrate, wild Carnival,
More riotously, meanwhile, after all.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5060
(They exit to the sound of trumpets.)
How merit and luck are linked together
These fools canít see, no, not a one:
If theyíd the Philosopherís Stone, as ever,
Thereíd lack a philosopher for the stone.†
(Arranged and decorated for a Carnival Masque.)
In our German lands, fear no evil,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5065
Dance of Death or Fool, or Devil:
Thereís a cheerful feast, here: wait.
Our Sire, on his Roman travels,
Has, for his profit, and our revels,
Crossed the highest Alpine levels,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5070
And gained himself a happier State.
The Emperor kissed the holy slipper,
First, won sovereign rights, and as,
He was gifted with the crown, there,
Accepted a foolís cap, for us.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5075
Weíre all newly born, now:
Every sophisticated man,
Pulls it snug over ears and brow:
He seems a poor fool, but heíll vow
To wear it wisely as he can.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5080
I see theyíre gathering already,
Hesitant alone, or paired off intimately:
Chorus on chorus pushing through.
In, and out, quite undeterred:
And end up where they were before, too.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5085
With its hundred thousand scenes of the absurd,
The World itself is just one giant Fool.
Flower Girls (Singing, accompanied by mandolins.)
Dressed to win your praises,
We are here tonight,
Young Florentine ladies,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5090
At the German Court of light.
Many a bright flower we wear
To adorn our tawny hair:
Silken threads, silken gear,
They play their own part here.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5095
Then our positionís well deserved, oh,
Worth your praise, without a doubt,
Our shining-flowers, by hand we sew,
So they bloom year in, year out.
All kinds of coloured snippets,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5100
Placed with perfect symmetry:
You might mock us bit by bit, yes,
But the whole attracts you see.
We are pretty things to look on,
Flower Girls, and very smart:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5105
Then, the temperament of Woman
Is so very close to Art.
Letís see those trays of flowers
That you carry on your heads,
That paint your arms with colours:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5110
What each likes, let her select.
Quick: in walks and branches
What a garden we will share!
They are fit to crowd around us,
Flower sellers and their wares.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5115
Haggle in this cheerful place,
But seek no market here!
At a quick and witty pace,
Let all know what you bear.
I donít envy flowery ones,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5120
Every kind of strife I shun:
Itís unnatural, to me:
So I am the sign of nations,
And I seal their obligations,
Mark of peace in any field.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5125
I hope Iím worth good luck today:
Some lovely head I might array.
A Garland of Wheat-Ears (Golden)
Ceres gift, for you to wear,
Charming, sweet, we were all sent:
The most desired of uses, here††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5130
As your beautiful adornment.
A Fancy Garland
Like a mallow, bright with colour,
A marvellous flower grew from the moss!
Never known before to Nature,
Yet Fashion brought it us.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5135
My nameís for you to know,
Theophrastus couldnít tell you though:
Yet I hope, if not all do,
Many of us will still please you,
She, Iíd like, most to possess us,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5140
Who might twine us in her tresses:
Or if she should so decide,
Set beside her heart, Iíd ride.
Many-coloured fancies may
Form the fashion of the day,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5145
Strange and curious of shape,
Such as Nature never made:
Stalks of green and bells of gold,
Show in tresses all untold! Ė
Yet we Ė remain here, covered up:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5150
Lucky those who first discover us.
When the summer is proclaimed,
Then the rosebuds are in flame,
Who would do without such pleasures?
Promises, and yielded treasures,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5155
That, in the flowery kingdom, rule,
Mind and heart and glances, too.
(The Flower Girls garland themselves, and show their wares, gracefully, in the green leafy arcades.)
The Gardeners (Singing, accompanied by lutes.)
See the flowers quietly growing,
On your brows, sweetly amuse you,
And their fruit will not seduce you,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5160
One may taste delight in knowing.
Sunburned faces offer up,
Peaches, plums, and cherries, yet.
Buy! Against the tongue and palate,
The eye is the worst way to judge.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5165
Come, of all this ripest fruit,
Eat with taste, and delight!
Poems on roses might still suit,
But on the apple man must bite.
So then let us join with their†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5170
Flowering youth itself,
And weíll dress our riper wares
In our neighbourís wealth.
Dressed in cheerful garlands, there,
Along this jewelled leafy route,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5175
All things can be found together,
Buds and leaves, and flowers and fruit.
(Both choruses set out their goods on the flight of steps, with alternating song accompanied by the lutes and mandolins, and offer their wares to the spectators.)
A Mother (With her daughter.)
Child, when you came to light,
I dressed you in your little hat:
Your face was so sweet and bright,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5180
And your body was soft at that.
I thought youíd soon be a bride,
To the wealthiest of men allied,
I thought youíd find a match.
Ah! Now already many a year††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5185
Has flown by, uselessly,
The motley crowd of suitors here,
Pass you quickly by, I see:
With him you danced a lively dance,
Gave that other a knowing glance††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5190
With your elbow, sharply.
Iíve thought about the many feasts
We went to, all in vain,
Forfeits, and Hide and Seek,
Couldnít help, thatís plain:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5195
Today the fools are out the trap,
Darling, open then your lap,
Thereís someone you can gain.
(Other young and lovely girls join the Flower Girls, and they gossip together. Fishermen and bird-catchers with fishing rods, nests, limed twigs and other implements appear, and scatter themselves among the girls. Mutual attempts to win over, catch, escape and embrace, allow the most agreeable conversation.)
Wood-cutters (Entering, loudly and boisterously.)
Make way! Stand back!
We must be free,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5200
We fell the trees,
They crash, and smash:
And when we pass,
Expect a smack.
To give us praise††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5205
If coarser ways,
Werenít in this land,
Howíd the finest,
Have means to stand,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5210
Despite theyíre jesting?
So learn our meaning!
For youíd be freezing,
If we werenít sweating.
Youíre fools, a troop, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5215
Thatís born to stoop.
Weíre the wise,
We see through lies:
And then our bags
Our caps and rags,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5220
Are light to wear:
And free from care,
Weíre always idle,
Slippered, we sidle,
Through market crowds,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5225
Standing to gaze,
And croak, amazed:
And at that sound,
Through heaving mounds,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5230
We romp together.
Praise us ever,
Or scold us so,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5235
We let both go.
The Parasitical (Fawning, and lustful.)
You brave woodsmen,
And your next of kin,
Youíre the men for us.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5240
Since all the stooping,
The ready nodding,
The winding phrase,
That plays both ways,
That warms or chills,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5245
Just as one feels,
What profit is it then?
The mighty fire
From heaven or higher,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5250
Might come in vain
Without logs again,
And coal heaps there,
To light the oven
And make it glare.
It roasts and steams,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5255
It boils and teems.
He sniffs the fry,
Suspects the fish:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5260
Rules, by and by,
The patronís dish.
A Drunk (Confused.)
Nothing seems bad to me today!
I feel so frank, and free:
New joys, and happy songs, I say.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5265
I brought them both with me!
So letís drink! Drink, and drink!
Drink up, you! Clink, and clink!
You behind me, come around!
Drink it up, and send it down.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5270
My wife was so outraged, she screamed,
When I turned up, dressed so funny,
However much I boasted, she
Kept calling me a tailorís dummy.
So I drink! Drink, and drink!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5275
Clink the tankards! Clink, and clink!
Tailorís dummy: swill it round!
When itís clinked, drink it down!
Donít you say, Iíve lost my way:
Iím here, where Iíve got it made. 5280
If host and hostess wonít play,
Iíll get credit from the maid.
Always drinking! Drink, and drink!
Lift, you others! Clink, and clink!
Each to each! So it goes round!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5285
Too soon, I know, itís all gone down.
However I please myself, may I
Have it happen at my command:
Let me lie here, where I lie,
If I canít, any longer, stand.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5290
Every pal, now: drink and drink!
A toast again, a clink and clink!
Hold tight now to bench and ground!
Under the table, heíll be found.
(The Herald announces sundry poets Ė Poets of Nature, and Court, and Minstrels, Sentimentalists and Enthusiasts. In this competitive crowd no one allows anyone else to start reciting. One slips by with a few words.)
As a poet, do you know††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5295
What Iíd most enjoy, here?
If I dared to sing, or bellow
What no one wants to hear.
(The Night and Church Poets excuse themselves having become engaged in a very interesting conversation with a newly-risen Vampire, from which a new school of poetry might derive. The Herald has to accept their excuses, and meanwhile calls on characters from Greek Mythology, who even in modern masks lose neither their character nor power to charm.)
(The Three Graces appear.)
Grace it is we bring, to living:
So be graceful in your giving.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5300
Gracefully may you receive:
Lovely is the wish achieved.
And in quieter hours, and places,
Chiefly, in your thanks, be gracious.
(The Three Fates appear)
I, the eldest, I, the spinning††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5305
Am lumbered with this time: Iíve
Need of lots of pondering, thinking,
To yield the tender threads of life.
So you may be soft and supple,
I sift through the finest flax:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5310
Drawn through clever fingers, double
Fine, and even, smooth as wax.
If you wish all joy and dancing,
Excessive now, in what you take,
Think about those threads: their ending. 5315
Then, take care! The threads might break.
Know that in these latter days,
I was trusted with the shears:
Since our eldest sisterís ways,
Failed to help men, it appears.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5320
She dragged all her useless spinning,
Endlessly to air and light,
While the hopes of wondrous winnings,
Were clipped and buried out of sight.
I too made a host of errors:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5325
Myself, in my younger years,
But, to keep myself in check, thereís
The case, in which I keep my shears.
And so, willingly restrained,
I look kindly on this place,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5330
In these hours, your freedom gained,
Run on and on, at your wild pace.
I, the only one with sense,
To twist the threads am left:
My ways brook no nonsense, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5335
Iíve never hurried yet.
Threads they come, threads I wind,
Guiding each one on its track,
Letting no thread wander blind,
Twining each one in the pack.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5340
If I, once, forgot myself, my fears
For the world would give me pause:
Counting hours, measuring years,
So the Weaver holds her course.
You wouldnít recognise the ones who come now,†††††††††††††††††††††† 5345
However much you know of ancient troubles,
To look at them, the cause of many evils,
Youíd call them welcome guests, and bow.
Theyíre the Furies: no one will believe me,
Pretty, shapely, friendly, young in years:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5350
But meet with them, youíll quickly learn I fear,
How serpent-like these doves are to hurt freely.
Though theyíre malicious, in modernity,
Where fools now boast about their sinful stories,
They too have ceased to want the Angelsí glories:†††††††††††††††††††††† 5355
Confess themselves the plague of land and city.
(The Furies approach.)
What does that matter? You still believe in us:
Then, weíre pretty, young, and fawning kittens:
If one of you has a lover, with whom heís smitten,
Weíll tickle his ears at length, sweetly fuss, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5360
Till it would be safe to tell him, eye to eye,
That she waves to him, and him, the same,
Sheís thick up top, a crooked back, and lame,
And married, sheíd be no good, by and by.
We know how to pester the bride-to-be as well:††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5365
Scarcely a week ago, her lover himself,
Said nasty things to her about herself! Ė
Theyíre reconciled, but something rankles still.
Thatís a joke! Let them be married, any way,
Iíll take it up, and know, whatever may befall,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5370
Through wilfulness the sweetest joys will pall,
Manís changeable, and changeable the day.
And no one holds the desired one in his arms,
Without longing, foolishly, for the more-desired,
Leaveís his good fortune, with which he was fired:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5375
Flies from the sun, and asks the frost for warmth.
I know how to give birth to those things: there,
Is Asmodi, who is my faithful servant,
To work true mischief at the proper moment,
And send to ruin all Mankind, in pairs.††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5380
Instead of malice: poison and the knife
Iím mixing, sharpening for that betrayer:
Love another, and sooner now or later,
Ruin itself will penetrate your life.
Gall and wormwood they must roam††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5385
Through all those sweetest moments!
No bargaining here, no bartering, come Ė
The perpetrator must atone.
Let no one sing about forgiveness!
I cry my cause to the cliffs again,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5390
Echo! Hear! Reply: Avenge!
Let him who alters, cease existence.
Iíll ask you please, to move aside,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5395
Since what comes next, is otherwise.
You can see, hereís a mountain coming,
Decked with princely coloured trappings,
A tusked head, snaking trunk, there too,
A mystery, but Iíll reveal the key to you.
A delicate and dainty girl sits on its neck,
And with a thin wand keeps the beast in check:††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5400
Another, up there, standing, wonderfully,
Surrounded with light, almost blinding me.
Beside it, two girls walk in chains, one fearful,
While the other girl seems quite cheerful:
One wishes to be, and one feels she is, free.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5405
Let each of them declare who they might be.
Smoking torches, flares and lights,
Are burning at the troubled feast:
Among all these deceptive sights,
Ah, Iím held fast by the feet.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5410
Away, you ridiculous smilers!
I suspect those grins so bright:
All my enemies, beguilers,
Press towards me through the night.
Here! A friend becomes a foe,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5415
Yet I know that mask, Iíd say:
One that wants to kill me, though,
Now unmasked he creeps away.
Gladly, heedless of direction
Iíd escape from out this world:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5420
But, beyond, there roars destruction:
In mists of terror I am furled.
I greet you, sisters! Though today,
And the whole of yesterday,
You enjoyed the masquerade,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5425
I know all will be displayed:
In the morning youíll unveil.
And if, in the torchlight, we
Donít feel particular delight,
Yet the days to come, so bright,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5430
More wholly suited, we shall hail,
Now as one, now solitary,
Through fair fields, weíll roam loose,
To act, or rest, as we choose,
And in that carefree way of living,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5435
Dispense with nothing, go on striving:
Guests are welcome everywhere,
Confidently, letís appear:
Surely, the best anywhere,
Must be somewhere, here. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5440
Two of Manís worst enemies,
Fear and Hope, I bind for you,
Now this country worries me.
Make room! Iíll rescue you.
I lead the living Colossus,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5445
Turret-crowned, as you see,
Step by step, he crosses,
The highest passes, tirelessly.
But above me, on the summit,
Is a goddess, there, whoís bearing††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5450
Outspread wings, and turns about,
Everywhere, to see whoís winning.
Ringed by splendour, and by glory,
Shining far, on every side:
She calls herself Ė Victory,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5455
Goddess of the active life.
Ah, ha! Iíve come just in time,
I hold you all guilty of crime!
Yet my goal I assume to be
Her up there: Queen Victory.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5460
With her pair of snowy wings,
Sheís an eagle, she must think:
And that whenever sheís on hand,
To her belong the folk and land:
But when famous deeds are done,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5465
At once Iím here with armour on,
When low is high, and high is low,
Bent is straight, and straight not so,
That alone fills me with mirth,
I wish it so throughout the Earth.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5470
So Iíll lend you, dog from birth,
This good batonís masterstroke!
Twist and turn now: itís no joke! Ė
See how the twin dwarfish ape,
Rolls into a foul lumpish shape!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5475
A wonder Ė the lumpís an egg, on cue,
It swells and then it cracks in two:
Now a pair of twins appear,
An adder and a bat roll clear.
One through the dust is swiftly winding,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5480
The black oneís flitting round the ceiling.
They hurry outside, in company,
I wouldnít choose to be number three.
Lively now! Thereís dancing there Ė
No! Iíd much rather be elsewhere Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5485
Canít you feel some ghostly race
Fly about us, through this place? Ė
Something just rushed through my hair Ė
Round my feet, itís flying, where? Ė
None of us are injured though Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5490
But we all are frightened so Ė
All the fun is spoilt completely Ė
As those creatures wished, you see.
Since I play the heraldís role,
As this masquerade unfolds,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5495
I watch sternly at the door,
In case some devious outlaw
To this happy place, comes creeping:
Never yielding, never wavering.
Through the window, though, I fear†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5500
Airborne spectres enter here:
From magic and from devilry
Alas, I cannot set you free.
All this makes the dwarf suspicious,
Now! From behind, a new masque issues.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5505
And I must dutifully explain
The meaning of the forms, again.
But I canít easily announce
What cannot be understood:
Help me explain it, if you would! Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5510
See it wander through the crowd?
A splendid chariot, a four-in-hand,
Rolling through them, where they stand:
But it doesnít split the people,
I see no oneís crushed at all.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5515
Colours glitter in the distance,
Sundry wandering stars for instance,
A magic-lantern-like performance.
It blows along, a stormís assault.
Make way, there! I shudder!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† Halt!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5520
Dragons, your wings restrain,
Feel your accustomed rein,
Control yourselves, if I control you,
Sweep away when I inspire you Ė
Let us do honour to this place!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5525
Look round, a widening display
Of admirers, circle now on circle.
Herald, now, then! As you will,
Before we leave you all,
Describe us, and say our name:†††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5530
Since weíre allegorical,
You should know us, plain.
No, indeed, I canít tell your name:
Iíll try and describe you all the same.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† I must confess†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5535
To young and handsome, before the rest.
Youíre a half-grown boy: yet a woman
Would prefer to see you fully grown.
You seem to me a wooer, in future,
Out of her house, a real seducer.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5540
Letís hear more! Go on: go on,
Find the riddleís bright solution.
Dark eyes that shine: night-black hair
Which brightly jewelled bands enclose:
And what a dainty garment flows†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5545
From shoulder down to ankle, there:
With purple hem its glittering shows!
One might take you for a girl:
Yet for good or ill, youíd be,
Prized already by any girl,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5550
Sheíd teach you your ABC.
And he, who like a splendid vision,
Sits on the chariot, enthroned there?
He seems a king, a rich and kind one,
Blessed are they who gain his favour!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5555
He has no further need to strive,
His eyes observe whateverís lacking,
And to spread his pure delight,
Is more to him than joy and owning.
You darenít stop there: what you see,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5560
You must describe it precisely.
I canít express all the dignity.
But the glowing moon face, I see,
The full mouth, the bright cheeks, then
That shine beneath the jewelled turban:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5565
Rich comfort in the clothes heís wearing!
What shall I say about his bearing?
As a ruler he seems known to me.
Plutus the God of Riches, this is he!
Heís come himself in all his splendour,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5570
The Emperor wished greatly he were here.
Explain your own what and how to me!
I am Extravagance: I am Poetry:
I am the Poet, who is self-perfected
When his special gift is squandered.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5575
Yet Iím immeasurably wealthy,
Like Plutus, worth as much as he,
I adorn, enliven, dance and feast,
And whatever he lacks, I complete.
Your boasting makes you handsomer,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5580
But letís see all your skill appear.
Just watch me snap my fingers, now,
The chariot will gleam and glow.
There a string of pearls appear!
(He continues to snap his fingers, in all directions.)
Golden jewels for neck and ear:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5585
Flawless combs and diadems,
Set in a ring, rare precious gems:
I scatter flames too, here and there,
Waiting for their chance to flare.
How the dear crowd snatch, I see!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5590
The giverís soon in difficulty.
He snaps out jewels, as in a dream,
And they all snatch them, in a stream.
But now a different trick, you see:
What each has grasped so eagerly,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5595
Has gained him but a poor reward,
The gifts already fluttering skyward.
The pearls are loosened from their band,
And beetles crawl there in his hand,
The poor man shakes them off, instead†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5600
Theyíre humming now around his head.
Another, for some solid thing,
Catches at a butterflyís wing.
Thatís what the rascalís promise means:
He only lends them golden gleams!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5605
The Boy Charioteer
You know how to announce masks: itís true,
But itís not the heraldís task to search below
The outer surface of existence:
That requires a keener sense.
Still Iím wary of all disputes.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5610
Lord, Iíll direct my speech and questioning to you.
(Turning towards Plutus.)
Have you not trusted me with the task, to stand
And guide the tempest of your four-in-hand?
Donít I steer well, as you direct?
Am I not there, when you expect?††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5615
And donít I know how to win
The palm, for you, on daring wing?
When Iíve fought for you in war, now,
Iíve been successful every time:
When laurel wreaths adorn your brow††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5620
Have I not fashioned them with hand and mind?
If Iím required to be a witness to it,
Iíd say: You are the spirit of my spirit.
You always act according to my wishes,
And as I gain myself, you too are richer.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5625
To reward your services, I value now
The green branch higher than my crown.
One true word, then, for everyone:
Iíve found delight in you, dear Son.
The greatest gifts from my hand,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5630
See! Iíve scattered them around.
On every head thereís the glow
Of some little flame I throw:
Leaping from one brow to another,
Halts on him, then leaves his brother,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5635
But rarely does the flame-let rise,
And briefly flower in bright skies:
For many, before they know, itís vanished,
Sadly, itís burnt out, and finished.
Up there, on the four-in-hand,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5640
Heís certainly a charlatan:
And thereís a clown perched behind,
By hunger and thirst heís been refined,
Like nothing oneís ever seen before:
Pinch, and heíll feel nothing at all.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5645
Disgusting women, leave me alone!
Not to come here again, Iíll know.
When women kept to their hearths, then
Avaritia, Greed: was my name:
The houses were fine, all about,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5650
Lots came in, nothing went out!
I took care of cupboard and chest:
That was a burden, to top the rest.
But now in this younger age,
Wives donít know how to save,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5655
And like all those wicked students,
They have more desires than Ďtalentsí,
And their men have much to suffer,
Their debts are left about all over.
They spend whatever they can extract,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5660
On their lovers, and on their backs:
They eat of the best, and drink deeper,
With their wretched army of admirers:
Which adds to the value of gold, for me:
Weíre manly fellows, the Miserly!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5665
Let dragon be miserly with dragon:
In the end itís merely lies, illusion!
Men flock around, and turn the charm on,
But theyíre soon annoyance and confusion.
That Scarecrow! Give him a poke!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5670
Whatís the Wooden Rake threaten?
Weíll all shun his ugly looks, then!
Dragons of wood and paper: a joke!
Look lively, now, and weíll do him in!
By my wand! Keep the peace! Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5675
Though thereís no need for my assistance:
Look at those grim monsters, how each
Clears round itself a proper distance,
Unfolding its quadruple wings, the beast.
The dragons shake themselves, indignant,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5680
With fiery throats, their tails rampant:
The place is cleared: the people flee.
(Plutus descends from the chariot.)
He steps down, in a kingly manner!
He beckons, and the dragons stir:
From the chariot bearing Avarice,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5685
And gold, down comes the chest,
See, there at his feet, itís landed:
Itís a wonder how it happened.
Plutus (To the Boy Charioteer)
Now youíve left that troubling burden here,
Youíre free: so, fly now to your own sphere!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5690
Not this! Where, confused, motley, wild,
Distorted objects crowd around us, child.
No: where you see clear, with sweetest Clarity,
Self-possessed, trusting in your own self: flee,
Where Goodness and Beauty may be viewed,††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5695
And there create your world Ė in Solitude!
The Boy Charioteer
So, Iíll be your worthy envoy then,
So, Iíll love you like my dearest kin.
Where you live, is Plenty: and where
I am, all feel they gain in splendour. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5700
And often hesitate in lifeís uncertainty:
Should they yield to you, or yield to me?
Certainly your followers will have rest:
Who follows me, with workís forever blessed.
My actions are never kept a secret,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5705
I only have to breathe and Iím apparent.
Farewell, then! You granted me my joy:
But whisper low, and you shall have your boy!
(He exits as he came.)
Plutus (Faust in disguise.)
And now itís time to reveal the treasure!
I strike the lock with the heraldís wand.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5710
Itís open! Look! Vessels of noblest measure,
Pour the golden blood through your hands,
First it swells, roars, writhes as if itís molten:
A jewelled hoard of crowns, rings, and chains.
Various Shouts from the Crowd.
Look here, oh, there! How rich it flows:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5715
The chest, right to the brim, it glows. Ė
Golden vessels, molten too,
Rolls of coins, turning too. Ė
Minted ducats leaping,
Oh, how my heart is beating Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5720
I see all, for which Iím yearning,
On the floor there, burning! Ė
Itís offered you, donít be a fool,
Be rich, you only need to stoop. Ė
For, quick as lightning, all the rest,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5725
Will take possession of the chest.
Whatís this, you Fools? Ah, yes,
Itís no more than a maskersí jest.
Tonight, donít ask for any more:
Think you, weíd give you golden ore?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5730
In this game there are any amount
Of pennies: too many for you to count.
You clumsy idiots! A fine appearance,
Seems, to you, truthís naked essence.
What is your Truth? Ė Hollow illusion†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5735
Grasps you, with its foolís cap on. Ė
Heroic Mask, Plutus that conceals,
Drive these folk, then, from the field.
Your wandís best by a mile,
Lend it me for a little while. Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5740
Iíll dip it, quick, in heat and glow. Ė
You Maskers, all take care then, now!
It gleams and bursts and throws off sparks!
The wand already shines in the dark.
And anyone who gets too near me,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5745
Will be scorched, as well, mercilessly. Ė
And now Iíll sweep with my brand.
Ah! Weíre done for every man. Ė
Fly, now, whoever can! Ė
Back, back, the hindmost man! Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5750
Itís shining brightly in my eyes. Ė
On me the wandís hot weight lies Ė
Weíre all lost, lost for good. Ė
Back, back, you masks in flood!
Back, back, you senseless mob! Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5755
If Iíd wings, Iíd soar aloft. Ė
The circle backwards sinks,
Yet no oneís scorched, I think.
The crowd will now give way,
Theyíre only scared Iíd say. Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5760
But to guarantee good order,
Iíll mark out an unseen border.
Youíve done a fine job all right,
Thanks to your cunning, and might.
Noble friend, youíll still need patience:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5765
All kinds of turmoil still threaten us.
Now, if it pleases you, you may
Cast your eye around with pleasure:
The women are to the fore as ever,
Where they can nibble things, or gaze.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5770
Still, Iím not completely rusty!
A lovely womanís always lovely:
And since, today, it costs me nothing,
With confidence, I too go wooing.
Still, here, in such a crowded space,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5775
Lest words fall in an idle place,
Iíll try being clever, attempt success,
And in clear mime make my address.
Hands, feet, gesturing wonít cut the ice,
So, Iíll have to employ a comical device.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5780
Iíll shape the gold like moistened clay,
Since the metalís malleable anyway.
Whatís he up to that skinny Fool!
Is there a jest in the starveling too?
He kneads the gold just like dough,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5785
Itís soft between his hands, although
However he squeezes and forms it all,
It still remains a shapeless ball.
He turns now towards the women,
They all scream, and start to run,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5790
Gesturing in complete disgust:
That rascalís up to no good.
I fear heíll be in ecstasy
If he can offend morality.
I shanít remain silent, anyway††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5795
Give me the wand: Iíll drive him away.
He doesnít see what we threaten here:
Let him pursue his foolishness!
Thereíll be no room left for his excess:
The law is great, but necessityís greater.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5800
The wild crowd come here, specially,
From mountain-top, and wooded valley,
Shouting forcefully, as they can:
They celebrate the great god Pan.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5805
They know what none can know,
And into the empty circle flow.
ĎI know you well, and your great Pan!
Together these daring steps you plan.
I know all that no one knows,
And clear for you this narrow close.í††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5810
May good fortune follow them too!
The strangest things may happen:
They donít know where theyíre going to:
Since they never look before them.
You plaster people: you tinsel show!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5815
Rough and coarse is how they go,
Leaping: wild is their track ahead,
Solid and sturdy is their tread.
In happy dance,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5820
On curling locks,
Fine pointed ears
Through tangled hair,
Snub noses, faces broad and flat,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5825
The women canít fault any of that:
When the Fauns begin to prance,
The loveliest wonít scorn the dance.
The Satyrís leaping here behind,
Goatís foot, and lean of thigh,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5830
Sinewy, skinny heíll go by,
And chamois-like, on mountain height,
He looks around, and takes delight.
Heís alive in the free air,
Mocks at man, child, woman there,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5835
Who deep in the valleyís damp flue,
Think, cosily, theyíre living too,
While, still pure and undisturbed,
To him alone is the upper world.
The little crowd trips by there,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5840
They donít like to travel in pairs:
In mossy clothes with lanterns bright,
They pass together, quick and light,
Each one passing on his own,
Like glowing ants swarming home:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5845
And always busy, here and there,
Industrious, and everywhere.
Kin to the ĎLittle Peopleí, known
As surgeons to the rock and stone:
ĎWe bleed the mountains high,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5850
We drain the deep veins dry:
We hurl the metals round,
With hearty greetings: Luck! Well found!
And itís always kindly meant: again,
Weíre the friends of all good men.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5855
Yet we the gold to light deliver,
So men may steal, and covet ever,
So princely hand wonít lack the steel
That worldwide murder longs to deal.
Who those three commandments breaks††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5860
Scant heed of the other seven takes.
But of all that weíre innocent:
About it all, like us, be patient.í
The wild men, we are named,
Known in all the Hartz range:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5865
Natural, plain, in all our antics,
Appearing frightfully gigantic.
A fir-tree trunk in each right hand,
Round our body a thick band,
A solid apron of branches, not††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5870
The bodyguard the Pope has got.
Nymphs in Chorus (Surrounding Great Pan, who is the masked Emperor.)
Here heíll stand! Ė
The worldís All,
Is shown to all,
In mighty Pan.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5875
You the happiest, surround him,
In magic dances soar around him:
Here now, serious and good, he
Wishes all men to be happy.
Under the curving roof of blue††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5880
He seems endlessly wakeful, too,
Yet the streams flow gently for him,
And the breezes gently rock him,
And, when he sleeps at noon, the leaf
Is motionless in the branchesí wreath:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5885
The rich plantsí fragrant balsams there
Fill all the still and silent air:
The Nymph no longer dares to leap,
And where she stands, falls fast asleep.
But when his powerful shout,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5890
Unexpectedly, rings out,
Like thunder crack, or waveís roar,
Who knows whatís happening any more,
The armyís witless in the fight,
The hero in battleís filled with fright.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5895
So honour him, where honourís due,
And hail him, who led us to you!
When the rich and shining goods,
Spread threadlike through the deep,
Then delicate divining rods,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5900
Reveal what labyrinths keep.
Bending in our dark vaults, there,
As troglodytes weíre measured,
While in the purest daylight air,
Gracious, you divide the treasure.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5905
Now we find weíve discovered
A marvellous fountain here,
Promising, easily, to deliver
Things that infrequently appear.
It all waits for your command:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5910
Master, take and care for it: do.
Every treasure in your hand,
Helps the whole world too.
Plutus (To the Herald.)
We must grasp things in the highest sense,
And let what may come, come, with confidence.††††††††††††††††††††††† 5915
Youíve shown the highest courage once before.
So now too what is fearful, we must try it:
World, and posterity, will stubbornly deny it,
So pen it faithfully in your report.
The Herald (Grasping the wand in Plutusí hand, and assisting with the Masquerade.)
The dwarves lead on great Pan,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5920
Gently, to the fiery fountain:
It boils from the deep profound,
Then sinks again, through the ground,
And gloomy is its open round:
Yet shows again the heat and glow.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5925
Great Pan stands there, well disposed,
Pleased with all this wondrous thing,
Pearl foam, right, left, showering.
How can he trust such a show?
He bends to look inside, and so,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5930
His beard gets caught within! Ė
Whoís made that hairless chin?
His hand hides it from our vision. Ė
What follows is all clumsy action:
The beard, on fire, flies back, soon††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5935
Scorching garland, chest and head:
Delight is turned to pain instead. Ė
They rush to quench it all again,
But none of them are free of flames,
And how they flare and dart,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5940
Exciting fire in every part:
Wreathed in that element,
The whole masked crowd is burnt.
But whatís all this news about,
Ear after ear, mouth after mouth!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5945
O eternally unlucky night
So little of itís turned out right!
Tomorrowís dawn will declare
What nobody wants to hear:
In every ear weíll hear it plain:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5950
ĎThe Emperor is in such pain.í
O, would that it were something other!
Burnt, Emperor and Court together.
Cursed be those who led him astray,
In resinous twigs did him array,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5955
To rage, and bellow out that song,
To the ruin of all that throng.
O Youth, Youth will you never
Restrict joyís purest measure?
O Power, Power, will you never,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5960
Sense and Omnipotence treasure?
The Ďforestí too is soon in flames,
The pointed tongues play their games,
To the real wooden beams lick higher:
Weíre threatened by universal fire.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5965
The cup of misery overflows,
Who will save us? No one knows.
See, Imperial splendour, by dawnís light,
Turned to a heap of ash, in a single night.
Thatís enough terror overhead,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5970
Let help arrive here, instead! Ė
Strike, you heavenly wand, with power,
So the earth will ring and tremor!
You, the wide realms of air,
Fill with cool fragrance there!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5975
Hurry down, to sweep around us,
Cloudy mists and swelling vapours,
Quench the thronging flames!
Murmuring, trickling, fogs gather,
Sliding, rolling, softly drenching,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5980
Slipping everywhere, and quenching.
You, the moist, who soothe forever,
Change them all to gleaming weather,
All these empty fiery games! Ė
Threatening Spirits, that would harm,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5985
We, by magic, will disarm.
(The Emperor, his Court, Noblemen and Ladies: Faust and Mephistopheles dressed fashionably but not ostentatiously, both kneel.)
Sire, forgive the fiery conjuring tricks?
The Emperor (Beckoning to him to rise.)
More fun, in that vein, would be my wish. Ė
At once, I saw myself in a glowing sphere,
It seemed as if I were divine Pluto, there.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5990
A rocky depth of mine, and darkness, lay
Glowing with flame: out of each vent played
A thousand wild and whirling fires,
And flickered in the vault together, higher,
Licking upwards to the highest dome,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5995
That now seemed there, and now was gone.
Through a far space wound with fiery pillars,
I saw a long line of people approach us,
Crowding till they formed a circle near,
And paid me homage, as they do forever.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6000
From Court, I knew one face, and then anotherís,
I seemed the Prince of a thousand salamanders.
You are, Sire! Since every element
Knows your Majesty, amongst all men.
Youíve now proved the fire obedient:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6005
Leap in the sea, in its wildest torrent,
Youíll barely touch its pearl-strewn bed,
A noble dome will rise round you, instead:
Youíll see green translucent waves swelling
Purple edged, to make the loveliest dwelling,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 6010
And you will be its centre. At each step
Wherever you go, the palace follows yet,
The very walls themselves delight in life,
Flash to and fro, in swarming arrow-flight.
Sea-wonders crowd around this sweet new sight,††††††††††††††††††††††† 6015
Shoot past, still not allowed to enter quite.
There, golden-scaled, bright sea-dragons play,
The shark gapes wide, you smile in his face.
However much your court attracts you now,
Youíve never seen such an amazing crowd.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6020
Nor will you part there from the loveliest:
The Nereids will be gathering, curious,
To this wondrous house, in seas eternally fresh,
The youngest shy and pleasure-loving, like fish,
The old ones: cunning. Thetis at the news,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6025
Gives hand and lips to this second Peleus. Ė
A seat there, on the height of Olympus, tooÖ
Iíll leave the airy spaces all to you:
Soon enough weíll be climbing to that throne.
And, Sire, the Earth already is your own!††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 6030
What brought you here, now: what good fortune,
Straight from the Thousand Nights and One?
If youíre as fertile as Scheherezade
Iíll guarantee you a sublime reward.
Be ready then, when your worldís light,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6035
As it often does, disappoints me quite.
Your Supreme Highness, I never thought
To announce such luck, the finest wrought,
As this is, for me the greatest blessing,
Which Iíve revealed in your presence:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6040
For debt after debt Iíve accounted,
The usurerís claws now are blunted,
Iím free of Hellís pain, and then,
It canít be any brighter in Heaven.
Somethingís paid of what we owe,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6045
The Armyís all renewed their vow,
The Cavalryís fresh blood is up,
And girls and landlords can sup.
Now your chests breathe easier!
Now your furrowed brows are clear!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6050
How quickly you hurried to the hall!
The Treasurer (Appearing.)
Ask them: it was they who did it all.
Itís right the Chancellor should read the page.
The Chancellor (Coming forward slowly.)
Iím happy enough to do so, in my old age. Ė
See and hear the scroll, heavy with destiny,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6055
Thatís changed to happiness, our misery.
ĎTo whom it concerns, may you all know,
This paperís worth a thousand crowns, or so.
As a secure pledge, it will underwrite,
All buried treasure, our Emperorís right.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6060
Now, as soon as the treasureís excavated,
Itís taken care of, and well compensated.í
I smell a fraud, a monstrous imposture!
Who forged the Emperorís signature?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Have they gone unpunished for their crime? †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6065
Remember! You yourself it was that signed:
Last night. You acted as great Pan,
Hereís how the Chancellorís speech began:
ĎGrant yourself this great festive pleasure,
The Peopleís Good: a few strokes of the feather.í††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6070
You wrote it here, and while night ruled the land,
A thousand artists created another thousand,
So all might benefit from your good deed,
We stamped the whole series with your screed,
Tens, Thirties, Fifties, Hundreds, all are done.†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6075
You canít think how well the folk get on.
See your city once half-dead with decay,
Now allís alive, enjoying its new day!
Though your nameís long filled the world with glee,
Theyíve never gazed at it so happily.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6080
Now the alphabetís superfluous,
In these marks thereís bliss for all of us.
And my people value it as gold, you say?
The Court and Army treat it as real pay?
Then I must yield, though itís wonderful to me. †††††††††††††††††††††††† 6085
It was impossible to catch the escapee:
It flashed like lightning through the land:
The moneychangerís shops are jammed,
Men pay, themselves, the papers mount
Theyíre gold and silver, and at a discount.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6090
Now used by landlords, butchers, bakers:
Half the world think theyíre merrymakers,
The others, newly clothed, are on show.
The drapers cut the cloth: the tailors sew.
The toast is ĎHail, the Emperor!í in the bars,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6095
With cooking, roasting, tinkling of jars.
Strolling, lonely, on the terrace,
You see a beauty, smartly dressed,
One eye hidden by her peacock fan,
She smiles sweetly, looks at your hand:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6100
And, quicker than wit or eloquence,
Loveís sweetest favourís arranged at once.
Youíre not plagued with pouch or wallet,
A note beneath the heart, install it,
Paired with love-letters, conveniently.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6105
The priest carries his in a breviary,
And wouldnít the soldier be quicker on his way,
With a lighter belt around his middle, say.
Your Majesty will forgive me if, in miniature,
I produce a low note, in our high adventure.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6110
The wealth of treasure that solidifies,
That in your land, in deep earth lies,
Is all unused. In our boldest thought,
Such riches are only feebly caught:
Imagination, in its highest flight,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6115
Strives to, but canít reach that height.
But grasping Spirits, worthy to look deeply,
Trust in things without limit, limitlessly.
Such paperís convenient, for rather than a lot
Of gold and silver, you know what youíve got. ††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6120
Youíve no need of bartering and exchanging,
Just drown your needs in wine and love-making.
If you lack coin, thereís moneychangersí mile,
And if it fails, you dig the ground a while.
Cups and chains are auctioned: well,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6125
Since the paper, in this way, pays for itself,
It shames the doubters, and their acid wit,
People want nothing else, theyíre used to it.
So now in all of your Imperial land
Youíve gems, gold, paper enough to hand.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6130
The Empire thanks you deeply for this bliss:
We want the reward to match your service.
We entrust you with the riches underground,
You are the best custodians to be found.
You know the furthest well-concealed hoard,††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6135
And when men dig, itís you must give the word.
You masters of our treasure, then, unite,
Accept your roles with honour and delight:
They make the Underworld, and the Upper,
Happy in their agreement, fit together.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6140
No dispute will divide us in the future:
Iím happy to have a wizard for a partner.
(He exits with Faust.)
Now, presents for the court: everyone
Confess to me whatever it is you want.
Iíll live well, happy, have the best of things. 6145
Iíll quickly buy my lover chains and rings.
Iíll drink wines that are twice as fine.
The dice in my pockets itch I find.
My lands and castle will be free of debt.
Itís treasure: a second treasure I will get.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6150
I hoped for desire and courage for new deeds:
But whoever knows you, thinks you slight indeed.
I see, clearly: despite this treasure and more,
Youíre all the same, still, as you were before.
The Fool (Recovered, and approaching the throne.)
Youíre handing presents out: give me one too!†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6155
Alive again? Youíd drink it all you fool.
Magic papers! I donít understand them, truly.
That Iíd believe: youíll only use them badly.
Others are falling: I donít know what to do.
Just pick them up: those are all yours too.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6160
(The Emperor exits.)
Five thousand crowns Iím holding, in my hand!
You two-legged wineskin, so you still stand?
Iíve had my luck, but this is the best yet.
Youíre so delighted: look, itís made you sweat.
But see here, is it truly worth real gold?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6165
Youíve there just what belly and throat are owed.
And can I buy a cottage, cow and field?
Why yes! Thereís nothing to it: make a bid.
A castle: with forests, hunting, fishing?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† † ††Trust me!
To see you a proper Lord would make me happy!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6170
Tonight Iíll plant my weight on what Iíll get! Ė
Who doubts now that our Foolís full of wit!
Why bring me here to this dark passage?
Isnít there fun enough inside,
In the Courtís colourful tide,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6175
Opportunities for jests and sharp practice?
Donít give me that: in the good old days
You wore us out in a thousand ways:
And now this wandering, there and here,
Is only so I canít catch your ear.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6180
But thereís something I need done:
Commander and Chamberlain egg me on.
The Emperor, I must work quickly for him,
Wants Helen and Paris to appear before him:
He wants to see the ideal form of Man††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6185
Clearly revealed to him, and Woman.
Get to work! I darenít break my word.
Such a thoughtless promise was absurd.
Friend, you havenít considered
Where your powers have lead us:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6190
First we made him rich, and how,
So he wants us to amuse him now.
You think itís fixed that quickly:
Weíre looking at a deeper track,
To the strangest realm, and wickedly,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6195
Adding new faults to the old,
Do you think itís easy to call Helen back,
Like a pasteboard spirit edged with gold Ė
Witch-bitches, ghost-hostesses, freely,
Or dwarf-maidens, Iíll serve you equally:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6200
But Devilís sweethearts, though youíre for them,
Still you canít, as heroines, applaud them.
Still the same old story, every day!
With you, things are always difficult.
Youíre the father of all obstacles,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6205
For every miracle you want more pay.
I know: a little muttering, and itís done:
At a blink, youíll bring her here.
With Pagan folk I donít get on:
They live in their own Hell there:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6210
Yet, there is a way.
†††††††††††††† ††† ††† ††††††† †Tell, without delay!
Unwillingly! Thereís a greater mystery, I say,
Goddesses, enthroned on high, and solitary.
No space round them, not even time: only
To speak of them embarrasses me.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6215
They are The Mothers!
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† Are you afraid?
The Mothers! Mothers! It sounds so strange!
As, it is. Goddesses, unknown, as you see,
To you Mortals, not named by us willingly.
You must dig in the Depths to reach them:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6220
Itís your own fault that we need them.
Where is the path?
†††††††††††††† †††††† No path! Into the un-enterable,
Never to be entered: One path to the un-askable,
Never to be asked. Are you ready?
No locks, no bolts to manipulate,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6225
Youíll drift about in solitary space.
Can you conceive the waste and solitary?
I think you might spare the speeches then:
They always smell of the witchesí kitchen,
Of a long forgotten time, to me.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6230
Have I not trafficked with the world?
Learned the void, the void unfurled? Ė
When I spoke with reason, as I descried,
Contradiction, doubly loud, replied:
Have I not fled, from hateful trickery,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6235
Into the wild, into the solitary,
And, not to lose all, and live alone,
Surrendered to the Devilís own?
And if youíd swum through every ocean,
And seen the boundless space all round†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6240
Youíd still have seen wave on wave in motion,
Though you might have been afraid to drown.
Youíd have seen something. Seen, within
The green still seas, the leaping dolphin:
Seen clouds go by, Sun, Moon and star Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6245
Youíll see none in the endless void, afar,
Hear not a single footstep fall,
Find no firm place to rest at all.
You speak as chief of all Mystagogues, who
Deceive their neophytes, the loyal and true:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6250
Only reversed. You send me to the Void,
So Iíll increase the power and skill employed:
To use me, like a cat, thatís your desire:
Just to claw your chestnuts from the fire.
The same as ever! Iíll find what Iíll discover:††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6255
In your Nothingness, I hope, the All I will recover.
Iíll praise you, before you separate from me,
That you know the Devil, I can truly see:
Here take this key.
†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† That tiny thing!
Grasp it, it has a worth youíre undervaluing.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6260
Itís growing in my hand, it shines and glows!
What one possesses in it, would you now know?
The key will sniff the place out, from all others.
Follow it down: it leads you to the Mothers.
The Mothers! That always strikes me like a blow!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6265
What is that word that, once heard, scares me so?
Are you so limited one new word disturbs you?
Will you only hear what youíre accustomed to?
Donít be troubled, whatever strange sound rings,
Youíve already long been used to marvellous things.††††††††††††††††††† 6270
Yes, thereís no good for me in lethargy.
A shudderís the truest sign of humanity:
Though the world is such we may not feel it,
Once seized by it, we feel Immensity deeply.
Then, descend! I might as easily say rise!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6275
Itís all the same. Escape from what exists,
Into the boundless realm where all Form lies!
Delight in whatís no longer on the list:
Where turmoil rolls along all cloudily:
Then, far from your body, swing the key!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6280
Good! I feel new strength, firmly grasped,
My heart expands, on now to the great task.
Sight of a glowing tripod will tell you, finally,
Youíre in the last deep, deepest there might be.
By its light youíll see the Mothers,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6285
Some sit about, as they wish, the others,
Stand and move. Formation, Transformation,
Eternal minds in eternal recreation.
Images of all creatures float, portrayed:
Theyíll not see you: they only see a shade.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6290
Be of good heart, the danger there is great,
Go to the tripod: donít hesitate,
And touch it with the key!
(Faust assumes a commanding attitude with the key.)
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††† Thatís right!
It will close itself, and follow as a servant might:
Exalted by your good luck, youíll calmly rise,††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6295
And be back with it, before youíve blinked your eyes.
And, once youíve brought it here all right,
Call the Hero and Heroine from the night,
The first man who has ever achieved it:
Itís done, and youíre the one who did it.††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6300
By magic process then youíll surely find,
The incenseí vapour will become divine.
And now: what?
†Strain with all your being: downward.
Stamp to descend, stamp again to go upward.
(Faust stamps and sinks out of sight.)
If he might only gain some good from that key!††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6305
Iím curious as to whether heíll return to me.
(The Emperor and Princes. The Court in Action.)
You still owe us that scene with the Spirits:
The Emperorís impatient. Get on with it!
Thatís what His Grace just now was saying:
You! Donít offend His Majesty by delaying.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6310
Thatís why my companion has just gone:
He knows how to put the whole thing on,
And has to labour away in silence: still,
All the most special diligence he applies:
He whoíd own that treasure, the Beautiful,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6315
Needs highest arts, the magic of the wise.
The arts you need are neither here nor there:
The Emperor orders it to be prepared.
A Blonde Lady (Approaching Mephistopheles.)
Sir, a word! You see a clear complexion,
Yet itís not so in summertimeís dejection!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6320
A hundred red-brown freckles all sprout there,
And cover my white skin: Iím in despair.
††††††† A pity! Such a shining beauty,
Spotted like a panther-cub, in May!
Take frogspawn, toadsí tongues, in cohabitation,††††††††††††††††††††††† 6325
Skilfully, under a full moon, make a distillation,
When it wanes, apply it undiluted,
When spring comes, the spots have been uprooted.
The crowd are pressing round to squeeze you dry.
I ask a cure! For a frozen foot††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6330
That hinders me in dancing, walking by,
And I curtsey awkwardly to boot.
Permit a little kick from my foot.
The Dark-haired Lady
Well, between lovers thatís occurred before.
Child! My kick means something more.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6335
Like cures like, when oneís suffering:
Foot heals foot, and so with every member.
Come! Pay attention! No retaliation there.
The Dark-haired Lady (Crying out.)
Ouch! Ouch! That hurt! I call that kicking
Like a horseís hoof.
†††††††††††††† †††††† With that the cure I bring. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6340
You can indulge in any amount of dancing,
Touch feet under the table with your darling.
A Lady (Pushing forward.)
Let me through! My suffering is so great,
He used to hold me in his heartís embrace:
Yesterday his joy was in my glances,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6345
He turns his back on me: with her romances.
Thatís serious, but listen to me now.
You must gently press your advances,
Take this charcoal: mark him anyhow,
On his cloak or on his sleeve alight,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6350
Heíll feel sweet Remorseís blow.
Swallow the charcoal straight away,
No wine or water on your lips all day:
Heíll be sighing at your door tonight.
Itís not poisonous?
†††††††††††††† ††††† Respect now, where itís due!†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6355
Youíd have to travel far to find such charcoal:
It comes from the dying pyre at a funeral,
On which I, once more, diligently blew.
Iím in love: they say Iím not old enough to.
Iím not sure now, whom I should listen to.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6360
(To the Page.)
Donít set your heart on the younger ones.
The older will value what theyíve won.
(Others crowd round.)
More, already! What a demanding crew!
Iíll help myself, and out now with the truth:
The worst expedient! The pain is great, you see. Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6365
O Mothers, Mothers! Just let Faust go free!
(Gazing round him.)
The lights burn dim, already, in the hall,
The Courtís moving off, and theyíre all
Arranged in their proper rank, I see,
Through the far aisles and galleries.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6370
Now they assemble in the largest place,
The vast Hall of the Knights, thereís barely space,
Who bought the mass of bright tapestry,
Filled corners, niches like an armoury.
Here I doubt thereís need of magic spells:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6375
The ghosts will find this place for themselves.
(The Emperor and Court.)
My ancient duty, to announce the play,
Is thwarted by the Spiritsí secret action:
Please forgive: thereís no sensible way
To explain such confused transformation.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6380
The chairs are here: the stools and all:
The emperorís high up, by the wall:
He can see the battles on the tapestry
From mighty ages: watching comfortably.
Here they all sit now, Prince, Court around,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6385
Benches packed together, as background:††
In this hour of spirits, too, the lovers
Have lovingly found room beside their lovers.
And now that all have found their proper places,
Weíre ready: let the spirits show their faces!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6390
Begin the drama then without delay,
The Emperor commands: take walls away!
No further hindrance, here magic is at hand:
The Tapestryís shrivelled as if by burning brand.
The walls divide, and sweep apart, as one,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6395
An empty stage it seems has been created,
A mysterious light falls on our faces,
And I climb up to the proscenium.
Mephistopheles (Rising to view in the prompterís box.)
From here I hope for general acclamation,
Prompting is the devilís true oration.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6400
(To the Astrologer.)
You know the measures that all the stars obey,
Youíll understand my whispers in a masterly way.
By miraculous power appears to view,
A massive temple-front: itís ancient too.
Like Atlas, who once held up the sky,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6405
The many rows of columns stand on high.
They might well bear the stony weight,
Since two could raise a building straight.
Thatís the antique! It doesnít earn my praise,
Clumsy, overstretched we call it, nowadays.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6410
Men think that crude is noble: bulk is greatness.
I love slender shafts, uplifting, boundless:
A pointed arch sends the spirit to the sky:
Architecture such as that will edify.
Receive with reverence these hours the stars allow:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6415
Let words of magic bind pure Reason now:
Let marvellously daring Fantasy,
In return, sweep onward, wide and free.
Your eyes see what you daringly conceived:
Itís impossible, so more worthy to be believed.††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6420
(Faust rises into view on the other side of the proscenium.)
In priestly vestments, crowned, a wondrous man,
Fulfilling what he confidently began.
A tripod rises with him from deep abyss,
I smell the odour of incense in the dish.
He prepares to bless this sacred labour:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6425
From this moment on it will find favour.
In your name, Mothers, you enthroned
In boundlessness, set eternally alone,
And yet together. All the Forms of Life
Float round your heads, active, not alive.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6430
Whatever was, in all its glow and gleam,
Moves there still, since it must always be.
And you assign it, with omnipotent might,
To dayís pavilion or the vault of night.
Life holds some fast on its sweet track,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6435
Others the bold magician must bring back:
Filled with faith, and richly generous,
He shows, what each desires, the Marvellous.
The glowing key has scarcely touched the dish,
At once the room is filled with darkened mist:††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6440
It swirls about, as puffs of cloud will do,
Grows, condenses, shrinks, and splits in two.
And now behold a spirit-masterpiece!
As it moves about, thereís music without cease.
In heavenly tones, pours out a who-knows-how,††††††††††††††††††††††† 6445
And while it moves, allís turned to melody now.
The pillared shafts, even the tri-glyph, ringing
I think that the whole templeís singing.
The dark sinks down: from the light mist,
A handsome youth steps out in time to it.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6450
I neednít name him, so my task is finished,
Who doesnít know the name of charming Paris!
O! What a shining healthy powerful youth!
Like a peach, so fresh and full of juice!
The finely delineated, sweetly swelling lip!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6455
From such a cup youíd surely like to sip?
Heís quite pretty, but a little unrefined.
He could be a bit more graceful, to my mind.
I sense the shepherd here, I think,
No trace of Courtier or Prince.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6460
Yes! Half naked the youthís quite handsome
Weíd need to see him first with armour on!
He sits down so gently and pleasantly.
Youíd like to sit on his lap, comfortably?
He lifts his arm so lightly above his head.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6465
The lout! Thatís not acceptable: how ill-bred!
You lords find fault with everything.
In the Emperorís presence, all that stretching!
Heís posed there! He thinks heís quite alone.
Even a play should be polite in tone.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6470
Now sleep has overcome the charming boy.
And now heíll snore: thatís natural, what joy!
A Young Lady
What refreshes my heart so deeply, that fragrance
Mixed with fumes from the burning incense?
An Older Lady
Truly! Itís breath penetrates oneís nature,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6475
It comes from him!
†††††††††††††† ††† Itís the sap of nurture,
Itís generated in youth, like ambrosia,
And spreads around in the atmosphere.
So thatís her!† Iíd not lose sleep for that. She
Is quite pretty, true, but doesnít do much for me.†††††††††††††††††††††† 6480
Thereís nothing more now for me to do,
As men of honour confess, I confess it too.
Beauty comes: if only Iíd a tongue of fire! Ė
Beauty so many songs has forever inspired Ė
Whom she appears to, of self heís dispossessed,†††††††††††††††††††††††† 6485
Whom she belonged to, was too greatly blessed.
Is this the fount of beauty? Have I still, eyes?
What pours here, through my mind, so richly?
My dreadful journey yields a blessed prize.
How void the world was, undeveloped for me!††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6490
What is it now since my priesthood?
Desirable, lasting, solid underfoot!
The power of my lifeís breath should
Fail, if Iím ever again estranged from you! Ė
The perfect form that drew me before,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6495
Delighting me, in the magic mirror,
Was only an airy phantom of such beauty! Ė You
Are the true embodiment of my passion:
Towards you is my powersí whole direction
To you, love, feeling, faith, madness are owed.††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6500
Calm yourself, now, and donít fail in your role!
Tall, well formed, only the head is small.
Just look! Could clumsier feet exist at all?
Iíve seen princesses of this kind: though
I think sheís beautiful, from head to toe.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6505
Soft and sly, she goes towards the sleeper.
How ugly, near that form so young and pure.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
From her Beauty shines towards him.
A picture! Luna and Endymion!
Quite so! The goddess seems to descend,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6510
Leans above him to drink his breath, ah then:
Enviable! Ė A Kiss! Ė The cupís full to excess.
In front of everyone! What utter madness!
A dreadful favour to grant a boy! Ė
††††††† †††††††††††† Quiet now! Be still!
And let the spectre do what it will.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6515
She slips away, lightly: he awakes.
Just as I thought! That glance she takes!
He stares! Itís wonderful whatís happening.
But not so wonderful what she sees in him.
She turns towards him now with dignity.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6520
I see sheíll soon take him through his lesson:
At such times men behave quite stupidly,
Perhaps he even thinks thatís he the first one.
Let me be worthy! Majestically fine! Ė
The trollop! Iíd call that table wine!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6525
Iíd like to swap his place for mine!
Who wouldnít be tangled in such a net?
That treasureís been handled often, you forget,
And the gildingís mostly rubbed away.
Worthless since it was ten years old, Iíd say.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6530
Sometimes one takes the best that one can get:
Iíd be content with the loveliness thatís left.
I see clearly but Iíll confess, quite freely
Itís doubtful if thatís the true one I see.
The Presentís tempted to exaggerate,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6535
I hold to what the ancient texts relate.
There I read she gave particular joy
To all the grey-bearded men of Troy:
And that fits perfectly here too, you see:
Iím not young: still she gives joy to me.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6540
No longer a boy! A daring hero, he:
Grasped she defends herself, but barely.
He lifts her high in his strong arms, too,
Will he carry her off?
†††††††††††††††††††††† † ††††† ††††††Audacious fool!
You dare? Do you hear? Stop! Enough, I say!†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6545
You created the mime these phantoms play!
A word! After what weíve been given,
Iíll call this piece: The Rape of Helen.
What rape! Am I nothing in this place!
Is this key no longer in my hand!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6550
It led me through terror, waste and wave,
Through solitude, to where, set firm, I stand.
Hereís a foothold! Hereís reality,
Where spirit dare with spirits disagree,
And prepare itself for its great, dual mastery.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6555
She was so far: how could she closer shine!
Iíll rescue her, and sheíll be doubly mine.
The risk! The Mothers! They must grant her!
Who knows her once, can never live without her.
What are you doing, Faust! Faust! ĖWith force††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6560
He seizes her, the form dims in its course.
He turns the key against the youth, and then,
Touches him! Ė Ah! Ė Gone, in a moment! Gone!
(An explosion. Faust falls to the ground. The spirits vanish in mist.)
Youíve done it now! Carrying fools, my friend,
Brings harm to the Devil himself, in the end.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6565
Formerly Faustís, Unchanged
Mephistopheles (Entering from behind a curtain. As he holds it up and looks behind him, Faust is seen lying stretched out on an antiquated bed.)††
Lie there, unlucky man! One tempted by
The bonds of a love not readily undone!
The man whom Helena shall paralyse
Wonít find it easy to regain his reason.
(Looking around him.)
I look upwards, here, around me,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6570
Allís unaltered, and undamaged:
Stained glass, there, shows darkly,
Spiders have added to their webs:
The ink is dry: the paperís yellow,
But everythingís still in its place:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6575
Even the quill-penís here, on show,
With which Faust and the Devil embraced.
Yes! Deeper in the nib thereís still
A drop of blood, I tempted him to spill.
Itís a unique piece, in my book,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6580
So Iíll wish the great collectors luck.
The old fur-robe, on the hook, too,
Reminds me of a joke or two,
That time when I taught the student,
What, perhaps, in youth, heís glad he learnt.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6585
Truly the same desire is on me, for
You, smoke-singed gown: you and I,
To flaunt ourselves once more as a professor,
And speak as one whoís always in the right.
How to achieve that all the learned know: ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6590
Itís something the Devil lost long ago.
(He shakes the fur as he takes it down, and moths, crickets and beetles fly out.)
Greetings! Weíre greeting
Our Patron of old,
Weíre floating and buzzing,
To us youíre well known.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6595
Singly, in silence,
You sowed us like plants.
Father, in thousands
Weíve come to the dance.
The jester is snugly†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6600
Contained in the breast,
The lice in the fur they
Are sooner expressed.
What a nice surprise, this young brood of mine!
One merely sows, and harvests in due time.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6605
Iíll shake this ancient fleece about,
Here and there, one flutters out. Ė
Away! Around! In a hundred leavings,
Hurry and hide yourself, you darlings.
There, where the ancient boxes lie,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6610
Here, in the smoky parchment try,
In that broken dusty old pottery,
Or the skull, its eye-sockets empty.
All this jumbled mildewed existence,
Always gives one whims and fancies.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6615
Again letís dress up as a lecturer!
Today Iíll be the Principal, once more.
But itís no use naming myself, you see:
Where are the people, to welcome me?
Famulus (A College Servant, tottering here, down the long gallery)
What a noise! What a quake!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6620
The stairs sway, the walls shake:
Through the windowsí trembling colours
I see the lightning gleam above us.
The floor leaps, and, on high,
Plaster, rubble from the sky.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6625
And the door, once tightly locked,
By wondrous force is thrown back. Ė
There! How fearful! A giant
Look, in Faustís old garment!
At his gazing, and his pleas,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6630
I want to sink to my knees.
Shall I go? Shall I remain?
Oh, what will happen to me, then!
Here, my friend! Ė Youíre called Nicodemus.
Honoured Sir! Thatís my name Ė Oremus.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6635
Enough of that!
††††† How pleased I am you knew me!
I know you well: a student still, I see,
Mossy Sir! After all, a learned man
Studies hard, and does the best he can.
So one builds a respectable house of cards,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6640
That greater minds canít finish afterwards.
But heís a witty fellow, is your master,
Who doesnít know the noble Doctor Wagner?
Heís the first in all the world of learning!
Heís unique: wisdom, each day increasing,
And all of it he still holds together, †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6645
Crowds, around him, panting, gather
Listeners, eavesí-droppers, welcome.
Alone, he shines there at the rostrum.
He holds a key, just like Saint Peter,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 6650
That unlocks the lower, and the higher.
He glows and sparkles above the rest,
No name and fame has wider standing:
Even that of Faust has dimmed, at best:
Heís the one whoís always inventing. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6655
Forgive me, honoured Sir, if I dare
To speak, and contradict you, there:
Thereís no question of that, I must declare:
Since modestyís his role, as all discern.
Discovering nothing of the circumstances,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6660
Baffled by the great manís disappearance:
He seeks all health and comfort in his return.
The room waits for its old master
While Doctor Faustus is away,
Untouched, still, as in his day.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6665
And I scarcely dare to enter.
What can the stars be doing? Ė
The walls themselves are frightening me:
The doorframes quiver, bolts work free,
Or you yourself couldnít have got in.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6670
And your great man where is he?
Lead me there: or bring him here to me!
Oh! His warnings are quite clear,
Iím not allowed to interfere.
For months Iíve left him in utter peace,††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††† 6675
Till his great work is complete.
He, the most delicate of scholars,
His face looks like a charcoal burnerís,
Blackened now from nose to ears,
Eyes crimson, blowing up the fires,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6680
All the while, so enthusiastic:
Clinking of tongs, thatís his music.
Why would he deny an entrance to me?
Iím one whoíd speed his luck, you see.
(The Famulus exits: Mephistopheles sits down, gravely.)
Iíve hardly taken my seat here,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6685
And I see a guest behind my chair.
But heís one of the new schoolís persuasion:
Heíll be arrogant, I think, on this occasion.
Baccalaureus (Storming along the corridor.)
I find the gates and doors are open!
Now thereís room at last for hope then,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6690
That it wonít be merely as before,
A live man, acting as a corpse,
Wasting away, and rotting,
Till he merely dies of living.
These walls and these partitions,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6695
Bow and sink towards perdition,
And if we donít look about us,
Their decline and fall will rout us.
Iím audacious, no one more so,
But no further in do I go.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6700
What will I find here today?
Itís years since Iíve been this way,
Where timid and innocent
As a freshman I was sent!
Where I trusted in my elders,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6705
Edified by all their blather.
From the dry old books, they knew
They lied to me: what they knew,
Not believing in it truly,
Stealing life itself, from me.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6710
What? Ė There, in his cell,
Sits a darkly bright one still!
With astonishment now, nearer,
See him sitting in his dark fur,
Truly, as I left him sitting††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6715
Still in all his coarse wrapping!
Then he seemed a fount of wisdom,
Since I didnít understand him.
He wonít find me so today,
Fresh and new, Iím on my way!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 6720
Sir, if in Letheís melancholy stream
That bald nodding headís not swum,
See your grateful scholar come,
Outgrown, his academic dream.
I find you now, as I saw you:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6725
I was another though: thatís true.
Iím glad the ringing brought you.
I rated you once before as high:
The caterpillar, the chrysalis too,
Showed the bright future butterfly.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6730
Your curly hair and pointed collar,
Made you a childishly pleasing scholar.
You never wore pigtails I believe? Ė
And today youíre cropped like a Swede.
I see youíre bold and resolute:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6735
But donít go home too absolute!
My old master! Weíre in our old places:
But donít think to renew timeís journey,
And spare me words with dual-faces:
I treat them now quite differently.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6740
You teased the true, and honest youth.
It wasnít difficult for you to do
Itís what no one dares to do today.
Pure truth on the young is thrown away,
The little beaks donít like it, any way,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6745
But afterwards when years have passed,
And theyíve learnt it for themselves at last,
And think it came from them, not school:
Then we hear: ĎThe Master was a fool.í
A rascal, maybe! Ė What teacher ever shows us†††††††††††††††††††††††† 6750
The Truth directly, underneath our noses?
They know the way to make it seem more, or less,
Now serious, now playful, as suits the children best.
Thereís a moment given us for learning, truly:
But youíre ready now to teach, yourself, I see.††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6755
For many moons, united with their suns,
You the riches of experience have won.
Experience! Mist and Foam!
And not the Spiritís equal.
Confess! What one has known,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6760
Is not worth knowing at all.
Iíve thought so for ages. I was a Fool,
But I think that shallow now Iím sensible.
That pleases me! I hear pure Reasonís sound:
The first old man of sense Iíve ever found. ††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††† 6765
I sought for treasure, buried gold,
And brought to light frightful coals.
Confess now, your skull, bald and old,
Is worth no more than that empty poll.
Do you know, my friend, how rude you seem to me?††††††††††††††††† 6770
In German, oneís lying if one speaks politely.
Mephistopheles (Wheeling his chair nearer to the proscenium and the audience.)
Up here Iím dazed by light and air:
Shall I take shelter with you down there?
I find it arrogant that in times like these,
A man wants to be what he no longer is.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6775
Manís life is in his arteries, and when
Are they so vibrant as in younger men?
There the fresh blood full of strength
Creates new life from its own life again.
There all works, and things get done,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6780
The waverers fall, the capable get on.
While weíve conquered half the world,
What have you done? Nodded, curled
In the sun, dreamed, weighed, plan on plan.
For sure, age is a chilling fever:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6785
The frost of whims and need ahead.
When your thirtieth year is over,
A manís as good as dead.
It would be best to seek an early grave.
That leaves the Devil nothing more to say.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6790
Unless I will it, no Devil can exist.
The Devil will still trip you, in a bit.
This is youthís noblest profession!
The world was nothing before my creation:
I drew the Sun out of the sea:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6795
The Moon began her changeful course with me:
The daylight decked my path to greet me,
The Earth flowered, grew green, to meet me.
At my command, in primal night,
The stars in splendour swam to sight.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6800
Who, but I, loosed from its prison
Cramped thoughtís philistinism?
I, quite free, as my spirit cites,
Happily following my inner light,
And speeding on, in delight,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6805
Darkness behind: and all before me, bright.
Go forth in splendour, you primal man! Ė
How could insight harm you, ever:
Who can think of stupid things or clever,
That past ages didnít, long ago, understand.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6810
Yet thereís no danger from him, you see,
Heíll think about it differently in time:
Even if the grape-juice acts absurdly,
In the end it changes into wine.
(To the younger members of the audience, who do not applaud.)
My words have left you cold, I gather,
May it be so for you, sweet children:
But think: the Devilís a lot older,
So you need to be old to understand him!
(In the fashion of the Middle Ages: lots of heavy apparatus for strange purposes.)
Wagner (At the furnace.)
The fearful bell is sounding,
The soot-black walls shudder.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6820
My deepest expectation
Will be unsure no longer.
Soon the dark itself will lighten:
Soon in the innermost phial,
It will glow like living fire,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6825
Yes, like the noblest rubyís glow,
Lightning flashing in the shadow.
A clearest white light shines now!
Ah, not to lose it once more! Ė
Oh, God! Whoís rattling at the door?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6830
Greetings! And kindly meant now.
Welcome, to the planet of the hour!
But stifle your breath, and wordsí power,
A noble work is likewise being weighed.
What might it be?
A Man is being made.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6835
A Man? And what loving couple
Have you got hidden, up the chimney?
God Forbid! How unfashionable!
Weíre free of all that idle foolery.
The tender moment from which life emerged,††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6840
The charming power with which its inner urge,
Took and gave, and clearly stamped its seal,
First in a near, and then a further field,
We now divest of all that dignity:
Though the creatures still enjoy it, we,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6845
As Men, with all our greater gifts, begin,
To have, as we should, a nobler origin.
(He turns towards the furnace.)
It brightens! See! Ė† Now thereís a real chance,
That, if from the hundred-fold substance,
By mixing Ė since mixing makes it happen Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6850
The stuff of human lifeís compounded,
And distilled in a flask, well-founded,
And in proper combination, grounded,
Then the silent work is done.
(He turns again to the furnace.)
It will be! The mass is clearer!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6855
The proof comes nearer, nearer:
What man praises in deepest Nature,
Through Reason we dare to probe it,
And what she organises, here,
Weíre now able to crystallise it.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6860
Who lives a while, gains much experience,
And nothing new can happen on his journey.
In years of travelling, and in my presence,
Iíve seen, already, crystallised humanity.
It rises: flashes, thereís expansion††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6865
In a moment more it will be done.
Great aims seem foolish at the outset:
But weíll laugh at Chance itself, yet,
And brains, with thoughts to celebrate,
In the future, a Thinker will create.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6870
(He inspects the phial, rapturously.)
The glass rings with sweet power,
It darkens, clears: it must have being!
In a delicate form I see appear
A well-behaved little Man behaving.
What can the world ask more, what can we?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6875
Now that this mysteryís visible to each.
Give ear to what these sounds may be,
They make a voice: theyíre forming speech.
Now, father! That was no joke. How are you?
Come: press me tenderly to your heart, too!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6880
But not too hard, the glass may be too thin.
Itís in the very nature of the thing:
For the natural the world has barely space:
Whatís artificial commands a narrow place.
But you, Rascal, my dear Cousin, are you††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6885
Here at the right moment? I thank you, too.
Good fortuneís led you here to me:
Since I exist, I must be doing, you see.
Iíd like to begin my work today:
Youíre skilful at shortening the way.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6890
But first, a word! Till now Iíve had no direction,
When old or young teased me with a question.
For example: no oneís found out, ever,
What makes body and soul fit together:
Stick tight, as if thereíll be no separation,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6895
Yet always cause each other irritation.
So then, -
††††††† †† †††† †††††Stop! Iíd rather he told me,
Why married people get by so wretchedly?
Youíll never discover that, my friend.
Thereís work to do the little Man can tend.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6900
What workís to do?
Mephistopheles (Pointing to a side door.)
†††††††††††††† Employ your gifts on this!
Wagner (Still gazing at the phial.)
Truly, youíre the loveliest boy there is!
(The side-door opens: Faust is seen stretched out on a couch.)
(The phial slips out of Wagnerís hands, hovers over Faust, and shines on him.)
††††††† Lovely surroundings! Ė Clear water
In thick forest! Women there: undressing.
The loveliest of all! Ė Itís getting clearer.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6905
Oneís left, different from the rest, gleaming:
Of highest race, for sure, a heavenly name.
She places her foot in the transparent glow,
Her noble bodyís sweetly living flame
Cools itself in the yielding crystal flow. Ė††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6910
But whatís that rush of beating wings for:
That thrashing, splashing, in the mirror?
The lovely girls, intimidated, flee:
Their queen, alone, looks on, composedly,
To see, with a proud feminine pleasure, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6915
The Swan-Prince press against her knee, there,
Forward yet tame. Familiar, he seems. Ė
But suddenly a vapour heaves,
And covers, with the veil it weaves,
The loveliest of scenes.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6920
All the things that you could murmur!
So little: and such a great dreamer.
I see nothing Ė
††††††††††† So I believe. Youíre Northern,
In the age of mist youíre born then,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6925
In a jumble of priest-craft and chivalry,
So how could your sight be free!
Youíre at home with darkness.
(He gazes around.)
Brown repulsive, mildewed walls,
Low, pointed arches, full of scrolls! Ė
One wakes, and gives another pain,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6930
On the spot, dead then, heíll remain.
Wooded founts, swans, naked beauty,
That was his far-sighted dream:
How could this place do duty!
I can scarcely endure the scene.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6935
Carry him off!
††† Iíd be happy: a last chance.
Order the soldier to the fight,
Lead the maiden to the dance,
Then everythingís done right.
Even now, thinks, quick as light,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6940
Itís Classical Walpurgis Night:
Thatís the best, if he were sent
To his own true element!
Iíve never heard that event named, here.
How could it come to your ear?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6945
Only Romantic ghosts, for you:
A true ghost must be Classic too.
Which path do we take there? Already
Your antique colleagues quite repel me.
North-westward Satan, is your pleasure ground,†††††††††††††††††††††††† 6950
But this time weíre South-eastward bound Ė
In wider space flows Peneus, the free
By bushes, groves, and damp still bays:
Its levels stretch to mountain ways,
And over it Pharsalus: old, yet contemporary.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6955
Oh! Enough! And keep all the fight,
Of tyranny and slavery, out of sight.
It bores me: theyíre scarce done when
They start the whole thing over again:
And no one sees: theyíre being re-aligned,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6960
By Asmodeus, who works them from behind.
They clash, itís said, for Freedomís right:
Seen rightly, slave with slave is all the fight.
Leave Mankindís wilfulness to me, then.
Each man defends himself, as best he can,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6965
From childhood, till, at last, he is a man.
Just ask how we can get back there again.
Have you a method, then, letís see:
If you havenít, leave it all to me.
Thereís many a Brocken trick I could display,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6970
But I find that Pagan bolts have barred the way.
The whole Greek race was never that much use!
They dazzle with the sensesí freer play: itís true:
They lure the heart of man to happier sins:
While ours, one always finds, are gloomy things.††††††††††††††††††††††† 6975
And now, what?
††††††† ††††††† Once you werenít so witless:
When I spoke about Thessalian witches.
I can deliver what I said: just think a little.
Thessalian witches! Good! Theyíre the people
I once enquired about long ago.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6980
I donít think it would suit me, at all,
To live with them night after night, though,
Still, a visit, and a trial Ė
†††††††††††††† ††† This mantle here,
Fold it around your knight there!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6985
As before, the cloak can carry another,
One of you, along with the other.
Iíll light the way.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† Well, now, you
Stay home, there are important things to do.
Unfold all your ancient parchments,
Then, by rote, collect lifeís elements,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6990
And place them together with due care,
Consider What, more deeply consider How.
Meanwhile round the world, a bit, Iíll fare,
And find the last dot on the Ďií, for now.
Then the great work will see its final stage:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6995
Great effort will merit great reward, youíll see:
Gold, honour, fame, a long and ripe old age,
And science too Ė and virtue, possibly.
††††††† †††††† Farewell! It gives me pain.
Already, I fear, Iíll not see you again.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7000
Now to Peneus, lively, on!
Sir Cousinís highly rated.
(To the audience.)
In the end weíre dependent on
The creatures weíve created.
The Pharsalian Fields.
Erichtho (The Thessalian Witch, see Lucanís Pharsalia)
This nightís awesome feast, as so often in the past,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7005
I enter now, I, Erichtho, the gloomy one:
Not so abominable as the wretched poets
Painted me, with excessive slanderÖthey never
Cease their blame or praiseÖI see the valley whiten
With waves of tents that gleam greyer in the distance,††††††††††††††††† 7010
The after-image of that anxious, fearful night.
How often itís repeated! In eternity
Acted out, again, foreverÖNo one gives the realm
To another: to the one whose power won it:
Whose strength rules. Since each, incapable of ruling†††††††††††††††††† 7015
His inner self, would gladly rule his neighbourís will,
In the manner that his proud mind dictates to himÖ
But here a great instance was fought out, to the end,
Of how force may battle against a greater force,
Freedomís lovely thousand-blossomed garland be torn,†††††††††††††††† 7020
And stubborn laurel be wound round the rulerís brow.
Here, Pompey dreams of his youth and former greatness,
There, Caesar, listening, watches the balance tremble!
It settles, and the world knows whom it sinks towards.
The watch fires, glowing, send out their crimson flames:†††††††††††††††††††††† 7025
The field exhales those images of squandered blood,
And lured by the strange wondrous splendour of the night,
A legion of Hellenic legends gather here.
They hover around all the fires uncertainly,
Or sit nearby, the fabled forms of ancient daysÖ.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7030
The Moon, not full it is true, but of clearest light,
Rises, scattering mild radiance everywhere:
The ghostly tents vanish: the fires burn bluish now.
But, over my head, what sudden meteorís this?
It shines, illuminates the material globe.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7035
I smell Life. Itís not fitting for me to approach
Closer to the living, since Iím harmful to them:
It gives me a bad name, and is no benefit to me.
It sinks down already. I give way, thoughtfully!
(She Exits. The Airy Travellers speak from above.)
Once again float round the circle††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7040
Over flames and shuddering horror:
On the ground, and in the vale still,
Itís quite ghostly, we discover.
Itís the same as through my old window
In the grim and tangled north,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7045
Really loathsome ghosts below,
Iím at home here: and there, of course.
See! Thereís a tall one striding,
With gigantic steps, before us.
As if she were afraid, now: gliding††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7050
Through the air above, she saw us.
Let her stride! Right away,
Set the knight down there:
Heíll return to life again,
Once he breathes this mythic air.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7055
Faust (As he touches the ground.)
Where is she?
†††††††††††††† ††††† We canít say, I fear,
But you can probably enquire here.
Hurry now before itís daylight,
Go and search, from fire to fire:
Who found his way to the Mothersí side,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7060
Wonít find this harder to survive.
On my own behalf too, Iím here:
But I donít know anything better
Than each to seek, among the fires,
The adventure he desires.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7065
Then, so that we can reunite,
Little one, shine your ringing light.
It shines like this, and rings.
(The glass shines and rings out powerfully.)
Now off to new and wondrous things!
Where is she? Ė But no further answer seekÖ†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7070
If this is not the soil she trod,
Nor the wave that bathed her foot,
It is the air that spoke her speech.
Here! By a miracle, on Hellenic land!
I feel, the earth, too, where I stand:†††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††† 7075
A fresh power glows in me, the Sleeper,
So I am Antaeus-like in nature.
And I find the strangest things lie here,
First let me search this Labyrinth of fire.
(He moves away.)
(On the Upper Peneus)
Mephistopheles (Looking around.)
And as I wander through these fires,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7080
I feel myself a total stranger: in the event,
Theyíre mostly naked, a shirt here and there:
The Sphinx shameless, the Gryphon impudent:
And whatís more, curly-haired and winged,
Before, behind, in eyes, reflected thingsÖ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 7085
Of course, at heart, indecencyís my ideal,
But I find the Antique is a little too real.
One should control all with a modern mind,
Overlay it with fashions of assorted kindsÖ.
Repulsive people! Yet still I have to meet them,†††††††††††††††††††††††† 7090
And, as a new guest too, correctly greet themÖ
Luck to you, fair ladies, and men, you wise grey ones!
A Gryphon (Snarling. For the gold-guarding Gryphons see Herodotusí Histories.)
Not Grey ones! Gryphons! Ė No one likes the name
Of something grey. Every word rings
With what conditioned it: its origins:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7095
Grey, grievous, grumpy, gruesome, gravely, grimly,
Similarly harmonious etymologically,
†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† And yet, without deviation,
You like the gryp in your proud name of Gryphon.
Naturally! The relationshipís tried and tested:††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7100
It was often censured, but more often praised:
One grips maidens, money, gold,
To the gripper, Fortuneís never cold.
You spoke of gold: weíve collected lots of it,
In rocks and caves, secretly, weíve crammed it: ††††††††††††††††††††††† 7105
The Arimaspi, discovered it all, one day,
Theyíre laughing now: they took it far away.
Weíll soon make them confess.
But not on this night of public festival.
By morning weíll have spent it all.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7110
This time at least weíll achieve success.
How free, and easy, I feel here,
I understand you, one and all.
We breathe out spirit-tones, clear,
That for you become substantial.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7115
Now name yourself, so we can know your fame.
Men choose to saddle me with a host of namesÖ
Are there Britons here? They travel about so much,
Looking for battlefields, and ruined walls,
The dullest classical places, waterfalls:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7120
Hereís a site thatís worth all their fuss.
They spoke of me too: in their Mysteries:
And portrayed me there as Old Iniquity.
I donít know why that should be.
Perhaps youíve knowledge of the stars?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7125
What do you think of the present hour?
Star glides by star, the horned moon shines bright,
And I feel happy here, in this mournful site,
I warm myself on a lion skin: your right.
To have to take off, again: that would be hard:†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7130
Give us a riddle, or at least charades.
To express yourself, that would be a riddle.
Try for once to solve your own inner muddle:
ĎNeeded by the good man and the sinful,
To the first a breastplate in ascetic swordplay,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7135
A wild friend for the other, to show the way,
And both amusing Zeus with their display.í
I donít like him!
The Second Gryphon (Snarling more fiercely.)
†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Whatís he after?
The nasty thing, heís not been heard of here!
Perhaps you think a guestís nails canít claw††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7140
Every bit as sharply as those talons of yours?
Just try it, then!
†††††††††††††† † ††††† ††††††††Youíll only stay until,
You leave our company, yourself, as you will:
In your own land everything worked for you,
But this if Iím not wrongís too much for you.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7145
Looked at above, youíre rather appetising,
But lower down the creatureís somewhat frightening.
False one, youíll do bitter penance,
These claws of ours are sound and good:
You with your withered horseís hoof,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 7150
Arenít comfortable in our presence.
(The Sirens start to sing, above them.)