By johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
AT THE THEATRE
I. NIGHT (Faust's Monologue)
BEFORE THE CITY-GATE
THE STUDY (The Exorcism)
THE STUDY (The Compact)
THE NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE
FOREST AND CAVERN
AT THE FOUNTAIN
DONJON (Margaret's Prayer)
NIGHT (Valentine's Death)
OBERON AND TITANIA'S GOLDEN WEDDING
It is twenty years since I first determined to attempt the translation of
Faust, in the original metres. At that time, although more than a score
of English translations of the First Part, and three or four of the Second
Part, were in existence, the experiment had not yet been made. The prose
version of Hayward seemed to have been accepted as the standard, in default
of anything more satisfactory: the English critics, generally sustaining the
translator in his views concerning the secondary importance of form in
Poetry, practically discouraged any further attempt; and no one, familiar
with rhythmical expression through the needs of his own nature, had devoted
the necessary love and patience to an adequate reproduction of the great work
of Goethe's life.
Mr. Brooks was the first to undertake the task, and the publication of his
translation of the First Part (in 1856) induced me, for a time, to give up my
own design. No previous English version exhibited such abnegation of the
translator's own tastes and habits of thought, such reverent desire to
present the original in its purest form. The care and conscience with which
the work had been performed were so apparent, that I now state with
reluctance what then seemed to me to be its only deficiencies,—a lack of the
lyrical fire and fluency of the original in some passages, and an occasional
lowering of the tone through the use of words which are literal, but not
equivalent. The plan of translation adopted by Mr. Brooks was so entirely my
own, that when further residence in Germany and a more careful study of both
parts of Faust had satisfied me that the field was still open,—that
the means furnished by the poetical affinity of the two languages had not yet
been exhausted,—nothing remained for me but to follow him in all essential
particulars. His example confirmed me in the belief that there were few
difficulties in the way of a nearly literal yet thoroughly rhythmical version
of Faust, which might not be overcome by loving labor. A comparison of
seventeen English translations, in the arbitrary metres adopted by the
translators, sufficiently showed the danger of allowing license in this
respect: the white light of Goethe's thought was thereby passed through the
tinted glass of other minds, and assumed the coloring of each. Moreover, the
plea of selecting different metres in the hope of producing a similar effect
is unreasonable, where the identical metres are possible.
The value of form, in a poetical work, is the first question to be
considered. No poet ever understood this question more thoroughly than Goethe
himself, or expressed a more positive opinion in regard to it. The
alternative modes of translation which he presents (reported by Riemer,
quoted by Mrs. Austin, in her "Characteristics of Goethe," and accepted by
are quite independent of his views concerning the value of form, which we
find given elsewhere, in the clearest and most emphatic manner.[B]
Poetry is not simply a fashion of expression: it is the form of expression
absolutely required by a certain class of ideas. Poetry, indeed, may be
distinguished from Prose by the single circumstance, that it is the utterance of
whatever in man cannot be perfectly uttered in any other than a rhythmical
form: it is useless to say that the naked meaning is independent of the form:
on the contrary, the form contributes essentially to the fullness of the
meaning. In Poetry which endures through its own inherent vitality, there is
no forced union of these two elements. They are as intimately blended, and
with the same mysterious beauty, as the sexes in the ancient Hermaphroditus.
To attempt to represent Poetry in Prose, is very much like attempting to
translate music into speech.[C]
The various theories of translation from the Greek and Latin poets have been
admirably stated by Dryden in his Preface to the "Translations from Ovid's
Epistles," and I do not wish to continue the endless discussion,—especially
as our literature needs examples, not opinions. A recent expression, however,
carries with it so much authority, that I feel bound to present some
considerations which the accomplished scholar seems to have overlooked. Mr.
justly says: "The effect of poetry is a compound of music and suggestion;
this music and this suggestion are intermingled in words, which to alter is
to alter the effect. For words in poetry are not, as in prose, simple
representatives of objects and ideas: they are parts of an organic
whole,—they are tones in the harmony." He thereupon illustrates the effect of
translation by changing certain well-known English stanzas into others,
equivalent in meaning, but lacking their felicity of words, their grace and
melody. I cannot accept this illustration as valid, because Mr. Lewes
purposely omits the very quality which an honest translator should exhaust
his skill in endeavoring to reproduce. He turns away from the one best
word or phrase in the English lines he quotes, whereas the translator seeks
precisely that one best word or phrase (having all the resources of
his language at command), to represent what is said in another
language. More than this, his task is not simply mechanical: he must feel,
and be guided by, a secondary inspiration. Surrendering himself to the full
possession of the spirit which shall speak through him, he receives, also, a
portion of the same creative power. Mr. Lewes reaches this conclusion: "If,
therefore, we reflect what a poem Faust is, and that it contains
almost every variety of style and metre, it will be tolerably evident that no
one unacquainted with the original can form an adequate idea of it from
which is certainly correct of any translation wherein something of the
rhythmical variety and beauty of the original is not retained. That very much
of the rhythmical character may be retained in English, was long ago shown by
in the passages which he translated, both literally and rhythmically, from
the Helena (Part Second). In fact, we have so many instances of the
possibility of reciprocally transferring the finest qualities of English and
German poetry, that there is no sufficient excuse for an unmetrical
translation of Faust. I refer especially to such subtile and melodious
lyrics as "The Castle by the Sea," of Uhland, and the "Silent Land" of Salis,
translated by Mr. Longfellow; Goethe's "Minstrel" and "Coptic Song," by Dr.
Hedge; Heine's "Two Grenadiers," by Dr. Furness and many of Heine's songs by
Mr Leland; and also to the German translations of English lyrics, by
Freiligrath and Strodtmann.[G]
I have a more serious objection, however, to urge against Mr. Hayward's prose
translation. Where all the restraints of verse are flung aside, we should
expect, at least, as accurate a reproduction of the sense, spirit, and tone
of the original, as the genius of our language will permit. So far from
having given us such a reproduction, Mr. Hayward not only occasionally
mistakes the exact meaning of the German text,[H]
but, wherever two phrases may be used to express the meaning with equal
fidelity, he very frequently selects that which has the less grace, strength,
For there are few things which may not be said, in English, in a twofold
manner,—one poetic, and the other prosaic. In German, equally, a word which in
ordinary use has a bare prosaic character may receive a fairer and finer
quality from its place in verse. The prose translator should certainly be
able to feel the manifestation of this law in both languages, and should so
choose his words as to meet their reciprocal requirements. A man, however,
who is not keenly sensible to the power and beauty and value of rhythm, is
likely to overlook these delicate yet most necessary distinctions. The
author's thought is stripped of a last grace in passing through his mind, and
frequently presents very much the same resemblance to the original as an
unhewn shaft to the fluted column. Mr. Hayward unconsciously illustrates his
lack of a refined appreciation of verse, "in giving," as he says, "a sort
of rhythmical arrangement to the lyrical parts," his object being "to
convey some notion of the variety of versification which forms one great charm
of the poem." A literal translation is always possible in the unrhymed
passages; but even here Mr. Hayward's ear did not dictate to him the
necessity of preserving the original rhythm.
While, therefore, I heartily recognize his lofty appreciation of
Faust,—while I honor him for the patient and conscientious labor he has
bestowed upon his translation,—I cannot but feel that he has himself
illustrated the unsoundness of his argument. Nevertheless, the circumstance that
his prose translation of Faust has received so much acceptance proves
those qualities of the original work which cannot be destroyed by a test so
violent. From the cold bare outline thus produced, the reader unacquainted
with the German language would scarcely guess what glow of color, what
richness of changeful life, what fluent grace and energy of movement have
been lost in the process. We must, of course, gratefully receive such an
outline, where a nearer approach to the form of the original is impossible,
but, until the latter has been demonstrated, we are wrong to remain content
with the cheaper substitute.
It seems to me that in all discussions upon this subject the capacities of
the English language have received but scanty justice. The intellectual
tendencies of our race have always been somewhat conservative, and its
standards of literary taste or belief, once set up, are not varied without a
struggle. The English ear is suspicious of new metres and unaccustomed forms
of expression: there are critical detectives on the track of every author,
and a violation of the accepted canons is followed by a summons to judgment.
Thus the tendency is to contract rather than to expand the acknowledged
excellences of the language.[J]
The difficulties in the way of a nearly literal translation of Faust
in the original metres have been exaggerated, because certain affinities
between the two languages have not been properly considered. With all the
splendor of versification in the work, it contains but few metres of which
the English tongue is not equally capable. Hood has familiarized us with
dactylic (triple) rhymes, and they are remarkably abundant and skillful in
Mr. Lowell's "Fable for the Critics": even the unrhymed iambic hexameter of
the Helena occurs now and then in Milton's Samson Agonistes. It
is true that the metrical foot into which the German language most naturally
falls is the trochaic, while in English it is the iambic: it is
true that German is rich, involved, and tolerant of new combinations, while
English is simple, direct, and rather shy of compounds; but precisely these
differences are so modified in the German of Faust that there is a
mutual approach of the two languages. In Faust, the iambic measure
predominates; the style is compact; the many licenses which the author allows
himself are all directed towards a shorter mode of construction. On the other
hand, English metre compels the use of inversions, admits many verbal
liberties prohibited to prose, and so inclines towards various flexible
features of its sister-tongue that many lines of Faust may be repeated
in English without the slightest change of meaning, measure, or rhyme. There
are words, it is true, with so delicate a bloom upon them that it can in no
wise be preserved; but even such words will always lose less when they carry
with them their rhythmical atmosphere. The flow of Goethe's verse is
sometimes so similar to that of the corresponding English metre, that not
only its harmonies and caesural pauses, but even its punctuation, may be easily
I am satisfied that the difference between a translation of Faust in
prose or metre is chiefly one of labor,—and of that labor which is successful
in proportion as it is joyously performed. My own task has been cheered by
the discovery, that the more closely I reproduced the language of the
original, the more of its rhythmical character was transferred at the same
time. If, now and then, there was an inevitable alternative of meaning or
music, I gave the preference to the former. By the term "original metres" I
do not mean a rigid, unyielding adherence to every foot, line, and rhyme of
the German original, although this has very nearly been accomplished. Since
the greater part of the work is written in an irregular measure, the lines
varying from three to six feet, and the rhymes arranged according to the
author's will, I do not consider that an occasional change in the number of
feet, or order of rhyme, is any violation of the metrical plan. The single
slight liberty I have taken with the lyrical passages is in Margaret's
song,—"The King of Thule,"—in which, by omitting the alternate feminine
rhymes, yet retaining the metre, I was enabled to make the translation
strictly literal. If, in two or three instances, I have left a line unrhymed,
I have balanced the omission by giving rhymes to other lines which stand
unrhymed in the original text. For the same reason, I make no apology for the
imperfect rhymes, which are frequently a translation as well as a necessity.
With all its supreme qualities, Faust is far from being a technically
The feminine and dactylic rhymes, which have been for the most part omitted
by all metrical translators except Mr. Brooks, are indispensable. The
characteristic tone of many passages would be nearly lost, without them. They
give spirit and grace to the dialogue, point to the aphoristic portions
(especially in the Second Part), and an ever-changing music to the lyrical
passages. The English language, though not so rich as the German in such
rhymes, is less deficient than is generally supposed. The difficulty to be
overcome is one of construction rather than of the vocabulary. The present
participle can only be used to a limited extent, on account of its weak
termination, and the want of an accusative form to the noun also restricts the
arrangement of words in English verse. I cannot hope to have been always
successful; but I have at least labored long and patiently, bearing
constantly in mind not only the meaning of the original and the mechanical
structure of the lines, but also that subtile and haunting music which seems
to govern rhythm instead of being governed by it.
im Geisterreich verloren!
Wo immer Deine lichte Wohnung sey,
Zum höh'ren Schaffen bist Du neugeboren,
Und singest dort die voll're
Von jenem Streben das Du auserkoren,
Aether, drin Du athmest frei,
O neige Dich zu gnädigem Erwiedern
Des letzten Wiederhalls von Deinen Liedern!
alten Musen die bestäubten Kronen
Nahmst Du, zu neuem Glanz, mit kühner
Du löst die Räthsel ältester Aeonen
Glauben, helleren Verstand,
Und machst, wo rege Menschengeister
Die ganze Erde Dir zum Vaterland;
Und Deine Jünger sehn
in Dir, verwundert,
Verkörpert schon das werdende
Was Du gesungen, Aller Lust und
Des Lebens Wiedersprüche, neu vermählt,—
tausendstimmig frisch geschlagen,
Die Shakspeare einst, die einst Homer
Darf ich in fremde Klänge übertragen
Das Alles, wo so
Mancher schon gefehlt?
Lass Deinen Geist in meiner Stimme klingen,
Und was Du sangst, lass mich es Dir nachsingen!
Again ye come, ye hovering Forms! I find ye,
As early to my clouded
sight ye shone!
Shall I attempt, this once, to seize and bind ye?
Still o'er my heart is that illusion thrown?
Ye crowd more near! Then,
be the reign assigned ye,
And sway me from your misty, shadowy zone!
My bosom thrills, with youthful passion shaken,
From magic airs that
round your march awaken.
Of joyous days ye bring the blissful
The dear, familiar phantoms rise again,
And, like an old
and half-extinct tradition,
First Love returns, with Friendship in his
Renewed is Pain: with mournful repetition
Life tracks his
devious, labyrinthine chain,
And names the Good, whose cheating fortune
From happy hours, and left me to deplore them.
They hear no longer these succeeding measures,
The souls, to whom my
earliest songs I sang:
Dispersed the friendly troop, with all its
And still, alas! the echoes first that rang!
the unknown multitude my treasures;
Their very plaudits give my heart a
And those beside, whose joy my Song so flattered,
they live, wide through the world are scattered.
And grasps me now a
For that serene and solemn Spirit-Land:
My song, to faint Aeolian murmurs turning,
Sways like a harp-string by
the breezes fanned.
I thrill and tremble; tear on tear is burning,
And the stern heart is tenderly unmanned.
What I possess, I see far
And what I lost, grows real and undying.
MANAGER ==== DRAMATIC POET ==== MERRY-ANDREW
You two, who oft a helping hand
Have lent, in need and
Come, let me know your expectation
Of this, our
enterprise, in German land!
I wish the crowd to feel itself well
Especially since it lives and lets me live;
are set, the booth of boards completed.
And each awaits the banquet I
Already there, with curious eyebrows raised,
sit sedate, and hope to be amazed.
I know how one the People's taste may
Yet here a huge embarrassment I feel:
accustomed to, is no great matter,
But then, alas! they've read an awful
How shall we plan, that all be fresh and new,—
matter, yet attractive too?
For 'tis my pleasure-to behold them
When to our booth the current sets apace,
tremendous, oft-repeated urging,
Squeeze onward through the narrow gate
By daylight even, they push and cram in
To reach the
seller's box, a fighting host,
And as for bread, around a baker's door,
To get a ticket break their necks almost.
miracle alone can work the Poet
On men so various: now, my friend, pray
Speak not to me of yonder motley
Whom but to see, puts out the fire of Song!
Hide from my
view the surging crowd that passes,
And in its whirlpool forces us
No, lead me where some heavenly silence glasses
joys that round the Poet throng,—
Where Love and Friendship still divinely
The bonds that bless, the wreaths that crown his passion!
Ah, every utterance from the depths of feeling
The timid lips have
Now failing, now, perchance, success
Gulps the wild Moment in its greedy breast;
reluctant years its warrant sealing,
Its perfect stature stands at last
What dazzles, for the Moment spends its spirit:
What's genuine, shall Posterity inherit.
Posterity! Don't name the word to me!
I should choose to preach Posterity,
Where would you get
That men will have it, there's no blinking:
A fine young fellow's presence, to my thinking,
Is something worth,
to every one.
Who genially his nature can outpour,
the People's moods no irritation;
The wider circle he acquires, the
Securely works his inspiration.
Then pluck up heart, and
give us sterling coin!
Let Fancy be with her attendants
Sense, Reason, Sentiment, and Passion join,—
But have a care,
lest Folly be omitted!
Chiefly, enough of
They come to look, and they prefer to stare.
Reel off a host of threads before their faces,
So that they gape in
stupid wonder: then
By sheer diffuseness you have won their graces,
And are, at once, most popular of men.
Only by mass you touch the
mass; for any
Will finally, himself, his bit select:
much, brings something unto many,
And each goes home content with the
If you've a piece, why, just in pieces give it:
a stew, will bring success, believe it!
'Tis easily displayed, and easy
What use, a Whole compactly to present?
pick and pluck, as soon as they receive it!
not feel, how such a trade debases;
How ill it suits the Artist, proud
The botching work each fine pretender traces
perceive, a principle with you.
Such a reproach
not in the least offends;
A man who some result intends
the tools that best are fitting.
Reflect, soft wood is given to you for
And then, observe for whom you write!
If one comes
bored, exhausted quite,
Another, satiate, leaves the banquet's
And, worst of all, full many a wight
Is fresh from
reading of the daily papers.
Idly to us they come, as to a
Mere curiosity their spirits warming:
with themselves, and with their finery, aid,
Without a salary their
What dreams are yours in high poetic places?
You're pleased, forsooth, full houses to behold?
Draw near, and view
your patrons' faces!
The half are coarse, the half are cold.
One, when the play is out, goes home to cards;
A wild night on a wench's
breast another chooses:
Why should you rack, poor, foolish bards,
For ends like these, the gracious Muses?
I tell you, give but
more—more, ever more, they ask:
Thus shall you hit the mark of gain and
Seek to confound your auditory!
To satisfy them is a
What ails you now? Is't suffering, or pleasure?
Go, find yourself a more obedient slave!
the Poet that which Nature gave,
The highest right, supreme
Forfeit so wantonly, to swell your treasure?
o'er the heart his empire free?
The elements of Life how conquers
Is't not his heart's accord, urged outward far and dim,
wind the world in unison with him?
When on the spindle, spun to endless
By Nature's listless hand the thread is twirled,
the discordant tones of all existence
In sullen jangle are together
Who, then, the changeless orders of creation
and kindles into rhythmic dance?
Who brings the One to join the general
Where it may throb in grandest consonance?
the storm to passion stir the bosom?
In brooding souls the sunset burn
Who scatters every fairest April blossom
shining path of Love?
Who braids the noteless leaves to crowns,
Desert with fame, in Action's every field?
Olympus sure, the Gods uniting?
The might of Man, as in the Bard
So, these fine forces, in
Propel the high poetic function,
As in a
love-adventure they might play!
You meet by accident; you feel, you
And by degrees your heart is tangled;
Bliss grows apace,
and then its course is jangled;
You're ravished quite, then comes a
touch of woe,
And there's a neat romance, completed ere you know!
Let us, then, such a drama give!
Grasp the exhaustless life that all
Each shares therein, though few may comprehend:
Where'er you touch, there's interest without end.
In motley pictures
Much error, and of truth a glimmering mite,
the best beverage is supplied,
Whence all the world is cheered and
Then, at your play, behold the fairest flower
collect, to hear the revelation!
Each tender soul, with sentimental
Sucks melancholy food from your creation;
And now in
this, now that, the leaven works.
For each beholds what in his bosom
They still are moved at once to weeping or to laughter,
Still wonder at your flights, enjoy the show they see:
A mind, once
formed, is never suited after;
One yet in growth will ever grateful
Then give me back that time of pleasures,
While yet in joyous growth I sang,—
When, like a fount, the crowding
Uninterrupted gushed and sprang!
Then bright mist
veiled the world before me,
In opening buds a marvel woke,
the thousand blossoms broke,
Which every valley richly bore me!
I nothing had, and yet enough for youth—
Joy in Illusion, ardent thirst for
Give, unrestrained, the old emotion,
The bliss that
touched the verge of pain,
The strength of Hate, Love's deep
O, give me back my youth again!
Youth, good my friend, you certainly require
When foes in combat
sorely press you;
When lovely maids, in fond desire,
your bosom and caress you;
When from the hard-won goal the wreath
Beckons afar, the race awaiting;
When, after dancing out your
You pass the night in dissipating:—
But that familiar harp
To play,—with grace and bold expression,
And towards a
To walk with many a sweet digression,—
Sirs, belongs to you,
And we no less revere you for that reason:
Age childish makes, they say, but 'tis not true;
We're only genuine
children still, in Age's season!
you've bandied are sufficient;
'Tis deeds that I prefer to see:
In compliments you're both proficient,
But might, the while, more useful
What need to talk of Inspiration?
'Tis no companion of
If Poetry be your vocation,
Let Poetry your will
Full well you know what here is wanting;
The crowd for
strongest drink is panting,
And such, forthwith, I'd have you brew.
What's left undone to-day, To-morrow will not do.
Waste not a day in
With resolute, courageous trust
And make it firmly your possession;
then work on, because you must.
Upon our German stage, you know it,
Each tries his hand at what he will;
So, take of traps and scenes
And all you find, be sure to show it!
Use both the
great and lesser heavenly light,—
Squander the stars in any number,
Beasts, birds, trees, rocks, and all such lumber,
Fire, water, darkness,
Day and Night!
Thus, in our booth's contracted sphere,
circle of Creation will appear,
And move, as we deliberately impel,
From Heaven, across the World, to Hell!
THE LORD === THE HEAVENLY HOST
(The THREE ARCHANGELS come
The sun-orb sings, in
'Mid brother-spheres, his ancient round:
predestined through Creation
He ends with step of thunder-sound.
The angels from his visage splendid
Draw power, whose measure none can
The lofty works, uncomprehended,
Are bright as on the
And swift, and swift beyond
The splendor of the world goes round,
Eden-brightness still relieving
The awful Night's intense profound:
The ocean-tides in foam are breaking,
Against the rocks' deep bases
And both, the spheric race partaking,
are onward whirled!
And rival storms abroad
From sea to land, from land to sea.
A chain of
deepest action forging
Round all, in wrathful energy.
flames a desolation, blazing
Before the Thunder's crashing way:
Yet, Lord, Thy messengers are praising
The gentle movement of Thy
Though still by them
From these the angels draw their power,
Thy works, sublime and splendid,
Are bright as in Creation's
Since Thou, O Lord, deign'st to
And ask us how we do, in manner kindest,
heretofore to meet myself wert fain,
Among Thy menials, now, my face
Pardon, this troop I cannot follow after
lofty speech, though by them scorned and spurned:
My pathos certainly
would move Thy laughter,
If Thou hadst not all merriment unlearned.
Of suns and worlds I've nothing to be quoted;
How men torment
themselves, is all I've noted.
The little god o' the world sticks to the
same old way,
And is as whimsical as on Creation's day.
somewhat better might content him,
But for the gleam of heavenly light
which Thou hast lent
calls it Reason—thence his power's increased,
To be far beastlier than
Saving Thy Gracious Presence, he to me
grasshopper appears to be,
That springing flies, and flying springs,
And in the grass the same old ditty sings.
Would he still lay among
the grass he grows in!
Each bit of dung he seeks, to stick his nose
Hast thou, then, nothing more to
Com'st ever, thus, with ill intention?
right on earth, eternally?
I find things, there, still bad as they can be.
Man's misery even to
pity moves my nature;
I've scarce the heart to plague the wretched
The Doctor Faust?
My servant, he!
Forsooth! He serves you after strange devices:
No earthly meat or drink the fool suffices:
His spirit's ferment far
Half conscious of his frenzied, crazed unrest,
fairest stars from Heaven he requireth,
From Earth the highest raptures
and the best,
And all the Near and Far that he desireth
subdue the tumult of his breast.
still confused his service unto Me,
I soon shall lead him to a clearer
Sees not the gardener, even while buds his tree,
flower and fruit the future years adorning?
What will you bet? There's still a chance to gain
If unto me full leave you give,
Gently upon my road
to train him!
As long as he on earth shall
So long I make no prohibition.
While Man's desires and
He cannot choose but err.
My thanks! I find the dead no acquisition,
And never cared to have them in my keeping.
I much prefer the cheeks
where ruddy blood is leaping,
And when a corpse approaches, close my
It goes with me, as with the cat the mouse.
Enough! What thou hast asked is granted.
Turn off this
spirit from his fountain-head;
To trap him, let thy snares be
And him, with thee, be downward led;
abashed, when thou art forced to say:
A good man, through obscurest
Has still an instinct of the one true way.
Agreed! But 'tis a short probation.
bet I feel no trepidation.
If I fulfill my expectation,
let me triumph with a swelling breast:
Dust shall he eat, and with a
As did a certain snake, my near relation.
Therein thou'rt free, according to thy merits;
of thee have never moved My hate.
Of all the bold, denying Spirits,
The waggish knave least trouble doth create.
Man's active nature,
flagging, seeks too soon the level;
Unqualified repose he learns to
Whence, willingly, the comrade him I gave,
excites, and must create, as Devil.
But ye, God's sons in love and
Enjoy the rich, the ever-living Beauty!
that works eternal schemes,
Clasp you in bonds of love, relaxing
And what in wavering apparition gleams
Fix in its place
with thoughts that stand forever!
(Heaven closes: the
I like, at times, to hear The Ancient's word,
And have a care to be most civil:
It's really kind of such a noble
So humanly to gossip with the Devil!
FIRST PART OF THE TRAGEDY
lofty-arched, narrow, Gothic chamber. FAUST, in a chair at his
I've studied now
And Jurisprudence, Medicine,—
And even, alas!
From end to end, with labor keen;
And here, poor fool!
with all my lore
I stand, no wiser than before:
And straight or cross-wise, wrong or
These ten years long, with many woes,
I've led my
scholars by the nose,—
And see, that nothing can be known!
knowledge cuts me to the bone.
I'm cleverer, true, than those fops of
Doctors and Magisters, Scribes and Preachers;
scruples nor doubts come now to smite me,
Nor Hell nor Devil can longer
For this, all pleasure am I foregoing;
I do not
pretend to aught worth knowing,
I do not pretend I could be a
To help or convert a fellow-creature.
Then, too, I've
neither lands nor gold,
Nor the world's least pomp or honor hold—
dog would endure such a curst existence!
Wherefore, from Magic I seek
That many a secret perchance I reach
spirit-power and spirit-speech,
And thus the bitter task forego
Of saying the things I do not know,—
That I may detect the inmost force
Which binds the world, and guides its course;
Its germs, productive
And rummage in empty words no more!
and splendid Moon, whom I
Have, from this desk, seen climb the sky
So many a midnight,—would thy glow
For the last time beheld my
Ever thine eye, most mournful friend,
O'er books and papers
saw me bend;
But would that I, on mountains grand,
blessed light could stand,
With spirits through mountain-caverns
Float in thy twilight the meadows over,
And, freed from
the fumes of lore that swathe me,
To health in thy dewy fountains bathe
Ah, me! this dungeon still I see.
This drear, accursed
Where even the welcome daylight strains
through the painted panes.
Hemmed in by many a toppling heap
books worm-eaten, gray with dust,
Which to the vaulted ceiling
Against the smoky paper thrust,—
With glasses, boxes, round me
And instruments together hurled,
stuffed and packed—
Such is my world: and what a world!
And do I
ask, wherefore my heart
Falters, oppressed with unknown needs?
Why some inexplicable smart
All movement of my life impedes?
Alas! in living Nature's stead,
Where God His human creature set,
In smoke and mould the fleshless dead
And bones of beasts surround me
Fly! Up, and seek the broad, free land!
And this one
Book of Mystery
From Nostradamus' very hand,
Is't not sufficient
When I the starry courses know,
And Nature's wise
With light of power my soul shall glow,
when to spirits spirits speak.
Tis vain, this empty brooding here,
Though guessed the holy symbols be:
Ye, Spirits, come—ye hover
Oh, if you hear me, answer me!
(He opens the Book, and
perceives the sign of the Macrocosm.)
Ha! what a sudden rapture
leaps from this
I view, through all my senses swiftly flowing!
feel a youthful, holy, vital bliss
In every vein and fibre newly
Was it a God, who traced this sign,
With calm across my
My troubled heart to joy unsealing,
impulse, mystic and divine,
The powers of Nature here, around my path,
Am I a God?—so clear mine eyes!
In these pure
features I behold
Creative Nature to my soul unfold.
the sage, now first I recognize:
"The spirit-world no closures
Thy sense is shut, thy heart is dead:
To bathe thy breast in morning-red!"
contemplates the sign.)
How each the Whole its substance
Each in the other works and lives!
Like heavenly forces
rising and descending,
Their golden urns reciprocally lending,
With wings that winnow blessing
From Heaven through Earth I see them
Filling the All with harmony unceasing!
How grand a
show! but, ah! a show alone.
Thee, boundless Nature, how make thee my
Where you, ye beasts? Founts of all Being, shining,
hang Heaven's and Earth's desire,
Whereto our withered hearts
Ye flow, ye feed: and am I vainly pining?
the leaves impatiently, and perceives the sign of the
How otherwise upon me works this sign!
Thou, Spirit of the Earth, art nearer:
Even now my powers are loftier,
I glow, as drunk with new-made wine:
New strength and
heart to meet the world incite me,
The woe of earth, the bliss of earth,
And though the shock of storms may smite me,
of shipwreck shall have power to fright me!
Clouds gather over
The moon conceals her light—
The lamp's extinguished!—
rise,—red, angry rays are darting
Around my head!—There falls
horror from the vaulted roof,
And seizes me!
I feel thy
presence, Spirit I invoke!
Ha! in my heart what
With new impulsion
My senses heave in this
I feel thee draw my heart, absorb, exhaust me:
must! thou must! and though my life it cost me!
(He seizes the
book, and mysteriously pronounces the sign of
the Spirit. A ruddy flame
flashes: the Spirit appears in
Who calls me?
FAUST (with averted
Terrible to see! SPIRIT
Me hast thou long with might attracted,
Long from my sphere thy food
Woe! I endure not thee!
To view me is thine aspiration,
My voice to hear, my
countenance to see;
Thy powerful yearning moveth me,
I!—what mean perturbation
Thee, superhuman, shakes? Thy soul's high
Where is the breast, which from itself a world did
And shaped and cherished—which with joy expanded,
our peer, with us, the Spirits, banded?
Where art thou, Faust, whose
voice has pierced to me,
Who towards me pressed with all thine
He art thou, who, my presence breathing, seeing,
Trembles through all the depths of being,
A writhing worm, a
Thee, form of flame,
shall I then fear?
Yes, I am Faust: I am thy peer!
In the tides of Life, in Action's
A shuttle free,
Birth and the Grave,
Thus at Time's humming loom 'tis my hand prepares
The garment of Life
which the Deity wears!
Thou, who around the
wide world wendest,
Thou busy Spirit, how near I feel to
Thou'rt like the Spirit which thou
image of the Godhead!
Not even like thee!
O Death!—I know it—'tis my Famulus!
luck finds no fruition:
In all the fullness of my vision
soulless sneak disturbs me thus!
(Enter WAGNER, in
dressing-gown and night-cap, a lamp in
his hand. FAUST turns
Pardon, I heard your
'Twas sure an old Greek tragedy you read?
an art I crave some preparation,
Since now it stands one in good
I've often heard it said, a preacher
Might learn, with a
comedian for a teacher.
Yes, when the priest
comedian is by nature,
As haply now and then the case may
Ah, when one studies thus, a prisoned
That scarce the world on holidays can see,—
a glass, by rare occasion,
How shall one lead it by
You'll ne'er attain it, save you
know the feeling,
Save from the soul it rises clear,
primal strength, compelling
The hearts and minds of all who hear.
You sit forever gluing, patching;
You cook the scraps from others'
And from your heap of ashes hatching
A starveling flame,
ye blow it bare!
Take children's, monkeys' gaze admiring,
such your taste, and be content;
But ne'er from heart to heart you'll
Save your own heart is eloquent!
Yet through delivery orators succeed;
I feel that I
am far behind, indeed.
Seek thou the honest
Beware, a tinkling fool to be!
With little art,
clear wit and sense
Suggest their own delivery;
And if thou'rt
moved to speak in earnest,
What need, that after words thou
Yes, your discourses, with their glittering show,
Where ye for men twist shredded thought like paper,
Are unrefreshing as
the winds that blow
The rustling leaves through chill autumnal
Ah, God! but Art is long,
Life, alas! is fleeting.
And oft, with zeal my critic-duties
In head and breast there's something wrong.
hard it is to compass the assistance
Whereby one rises to the
And, haply, ere one travels half the course
poor devil quit existence.
Is parchment, then,
the holy fount before thee,
A draught wherefrom thy thirst forever
No true refreshment can restore thee,
Save what from
thine own soul spontaneous breaks.
great delight is granted
When, in the spirit of the ages planted,
We mark how, ere our times, a sage has thought,
And then, how far his
work, and grandly, we have brought.
O yes, up
to the stars at last!
Listen, my friend: the ages that are past
Are now a book with seven seals protected:
What you the Spirit of the
Is nothing but the spirit of you all,
Wherein the Ages
So, oftentimes, you miserably mar it!
first glance who sees it runs away.
An offal-barrel and a
Or, at the best, a Punch-and-Judy play,
maxims most pragmatical and hitting,
As in the mouths of puppets are
But then, the world—the human
heart and brain!
Of these one covets some slight
Yes, of the kind which men
Who dares the child's true name in public mention?
few, who thereof something really learned,
Unwisely frank, with hearts
that spurned concealing,
And to the mob laid bare each thought and
Have evermore been crucified and burned.
I pray you,
Friend, 'tis now the dead of night;
Our converse here must be
I would have shared your watches
That so our learned talk might be extended.
To-morrow, though, I'll ask, in Easter leisure,
This and the other
question, at your pleasure.
Most zealously I seek for erudition:
Much do I know—but to know all is my ambition.
That brain, alone, not loses hope, whose
To stick in shallow trash forevermore,—
Which digs with
eager hand for buried ore,
And, when it finds an angle-worm,
Dare such a human voice disturb the flow,
me here, of spirit-presence fullest?
And yet, this once my thanks I
To thee, of all earth's sons the poorest, dullest!
hast torn me from that desperate state
Which threatened soon to
overwhelm my senses:
The apparition was so giant-great,
dwarfed and withered all my soul's pretences!
I, image of the
Godhead, who began—
Deeming Eternal Truth secure in nearness—
have ye begun the sweet, consoling chant,
Which, through the night of
Death, the angels ministrant
Sang, God's new Covenant
CHORUS OF WOMEN
spices and precious
Balm, we arrayed
We tenderly laid
Linen to bind him
Cleanlily wound we:
when we would find him,
Christ no more
CHORUS OF ANGELS
Bliss hath invested
Woes that molested
Trials that tested
Why, here in dust, entice me
with your spell,
Ye gentle, powerful sounds of Heaven?
rather there, where tender natures dwell.
Your messages I hear, but
faith has not been given;
The dearest child of Faith is Miracle.
I venture not to soar to yonder regions
Whence the glad tidings hither
And yet, from childhood up familiar with the note,
Life it now renews the old allegiance.
Once Heavenly Love sent down a
Upon my brow, in Sabbath silence holy;
with mystic presage, chimed the church-bell slowly,
And prayer dissolved
me in a fervent bliss.
A sweet, uncomprehended yearning
forth my feet through woods and meadows free,
And while a thousand tears
I felt a world arise for me.
These chants, to
youth and all its sports appealing,
Proclaimed the Spring's rejoicing
And Memory holds me now, with childish feeling,
from the last, the solemn way.
Sound on, ye hymns of Heaven, so sweet
My tears gush forth: the Earth takes back her
CHORUS OF DISCIPLES
Has He, victoriously,
from the vaulted
Is He, in glow of
Ah! to the woe of
Still are we native
We, his aspiring
Followers, Him we miss;
CHORUS OF ANGELS
Christ is arisen,
of Corruption's womb:
Burst ye the
Break from your
Praising and pleading
Preaching and speeding
Thus is the Master
Thus is He
BEFORE THE CITY-GATE
(Pedestrians of all kinds come forth.)
Why do you go that way?
We're for the Hunters' lodge, to-day.
We'll saunter to the Mill, in yonder hollow.
Go to the River Tavern, I should say.
But then, it's not a pleasant way.
And what will you?
A THIRDAs goes the crowd, I
Come up to Burgdorf? There you'll find good cheer,
The finest lasses
and the best of beer,
And jolly rows and squabbles, trust me!
You swaggering fellow, is your hide
A third time itching to be
I won't go there, your jolly rows disgust me!
No,—no! I'll turn and go to town again.
We'll surely find him by those poplars yonder.
That's no great luck for me, 'tis plain.
You'll have him, when and
where you wander:
His partner in the dance you'll be,—
But what is
all your fun to me?
He's surely not alone to-day:
He'll be with Curly-head, I heard him
Deuce! how they step, the buxom wenches!
Come, Brother! we must see
them to the benches.
A strong, old beer, a pipe that stings and
A girl in Sunday clothes,—these three are my delights.
Just see those handsome fellows, there!
It's really shameful, I
To follow servant-girls, when they
Might have the most
genteel society to-day!
SECOND STUDENT (to the First)
Not quite so fast! Two others come behind,—
Those, dressed so prettily and
My neighbor's one of them, I find,
A girl that takes my
They go their way with looks demure,
they'll accept us, after all, I'm sure.
No, Brother! not for me their formal ways.
Quick! lest our game
escape us in the press:
The hand that wields the broom on Saturdays
Will best, on Sundays, fondle and caress.
He suits me not at all, our new-made Burgomaster!
installed, his arrogance grows faster.
How has he helped the town, I
Things worsen,—what improvement names he?
than ever, claims he,
And more than ever we must pay!
BEGGAR (sings)Good gentlemen and
So red of cheek and
fine of dress,
Behold, how needful
here your aid is,
And see and lighten
Let me not vainly sing my
He's only glad who gives
A holiday, that shows your
Shall be for me a
On Sundays, holidays, there's naught I take delight in,
gossiping of war, and war's array,
When down in Turkey, far away,
The foreign people are a-fighting.
One at the window sits, with glass
And sees all sorts of ships go down the river gliding:
And blesses then, as home he wends
At night, our times of peace
Yes, Neighbor! that's my notion, too:
Why, let them break their
heads, let loose their passions,
And mix things madly through and
So, here, we keep our good old fashions!
OLD WOMAN (to the Citizen's Daughter)
Dear me, how fine! So handsome, and so young!
Who wouldn't lose his
heart, that met you?
Don't be so proud! I'll hold my tongue,
what you'd like I'll undertake to get you.
Come, Agatha! I shun the witch's sight
Before folks, lest there be
'Tis true, she showed me, on Saint Andrew's Night,
future sweetheart, just as he were living.
She showed me mine, in crystal clear,
With several wild young blades,
I seek him everywhere, I pry and peer,
somehow, his face I can't discover.
Castles, with lofty
Both shall be
Bold is the
Lads, let the
For us be
Stormy our life
Such is its boon!
Maidens and castles
Bold is the
And the soldiers go
FAUST AND WAGNER
Released from ice are brook and river
By the quickening glance of the
The colors of hope to the valley cling,
weak old Winter himself must shiver,
Withdrawn to the mountains, a
Whence, ever retreating, he sends again
showers of sleet that darkle
In belts across the green o' the plain.
But the sun will permit no white to sparkle;
Everywhere form in
He will brighten the world with the tints he
And, lacking blossoms, blue, yellow, and red,
these gaudy people instead.
Turn thee about, and from this height
Back on the town direct thy sight.
Out of the hollow, gloomy gate,
The motley throngs come forth elate:
Each will the joy of the
To honor the Day of the Risen Lord!
themselves, their resurrection:
From the low, dark rooms, scarce
From the bonds of Work, from Trade's restriction;
From the pressing weight of roof and gable;
From the narrow, crushing
streets and alleys;
From the churches' solemn and reverend night,
All come forth to the cheerful light.
How lively, see! the multitude
Scattering through gardens and fields remote,
over the river, that broadly dallies,
Dances so many a festive boat;
And overladen, nigh to sinking,
The last full wherry takes the
Yonder afar, from the hill-paths blinking,
are colors that softly gleam.
I hear the noise of the village, even;
Here is the People's proper Heaven;
Here high and low contented
Here I am Man,—dare man to be!
To stroll with you, Sir Doctor, flatters;
PEASANTS, UNDER THE LINDEN-TREE
'Tis honor, profit, unto
But I, alone, would shun these shallow matters,
that's coarse provokes my enmity.
This fiddling, shouting, ten-pin
I hate,—these noises of the throng:
They rave, as Satan
were their sports controlling.
And call it mirth, and call it song!
All for the dance the shepherd
In ribbons, wreath, and
Himself with care
Around the linden lass and
Already footed it like
fiddle-bow was playing.
the ranks, no whit afraid,
his elbow punched a maid,
the dance surveying:
The buxom wench,
she turned and said:
"Now, you I call
decent while you're staying!"
round the circle went their flight,
They danced to left, they danced to
Their kirtles all were
They first grew red, and then
And rested, panting, arm
hips and elbows straying.
don't be so familiar here!
How many a
one has fooled his dear,
And yet, he coaxed her
And round the linden
the fiddle-bow was playing.
Sir Doctor, it is good of you,
That thus you condescend, to-day,
Among this crowd of merry folk,
A highly-learned man, to stray.
Then also take the finest can,
We fill with fresh wine, for your
I offer it, and humbly wish
That not alone your thirst is
That, as the drops below its brink,
So many days of life you
I take the cup you kindly reach,
With thanks and health to all and
(The People gather in a circle about him.)
In truth, 'tis well and fitly timed,
That now our day of joy you
Who heretofore, in evil days,
Gave us so much of helping
Still many a man stands living here,
Saved by your
father's skillful hand,
That snatched him from the fever's rage
And stayed the plague in all the land.
Then also you, though but a
Went into every house of pain:
Many the corpses carried
But you in health came out again.
No test or trial you evaded:
A Helping God the helper aided.
Health to the man, so skilled and tried.
That for our help he long
To Him above bow down, my friends,
Who teaches help, and succor
(He goes on with WAGNER.)
With what a feeling, thou great man, must thou
Receive the people's
How lucky he, whose gifts his station
such advantages endow!
Thou'rt shown to all the younger generation:
Each asks, and presses near to gaze;
The fiddle stops, the dance
Thou goest, they stand in rows to see,
And all the caps
are lifted high;
A little more, and they would bend the knee
if the Holy Host came by.
A few more steps ascend, as far as yonder stone!—
Here from our wandering
will we rest contented.
Here, lost in thought, I've lingered oft
When foolish fasts and prayers my life tormented.
rich in hope and firm in faith,
With tears, wrung hands and sighs, I've
The end of that far-spreading death
Entreating from the
Lord of Heaven!
Now like contempt the crowd's applauses seem:
Couldst thou but read, within mine inmost spirit,
How little now I
That sire or son such praises merit!
My father's was a
sombre, brooding brain,
Which through the holy spheres of Nature groped
And honestly, in his own fashion, pondered
labor whimsical, and pain:
Who, in his dusky work-shop bending,
With proved adepts in company,
Made, from his recipes unending,
Opposing substances agree.
There was a Lion red, a wooer daring,
Within the Lily's tepid bath espoused,
And both, tormented then by flame
By turns in either bridal chamber housed.
appeared, with colors splendid,
The young Queen in her crystal
This was the medicine—the patients' woes soon ended,
none demanded: who got well?
Thus we, our hellish boluses
Among these vales and hills surrounding,
the pestilence, have passed.
Thousands were done to death from poison of
And I must hear, by all the living,
murderers praised at last!
Why, therefore, yield to such depression?
A good man does his honest
In exercising, with the strictest care,
The art bequeathed
to his possession!
Dost thou thy father honor, as a youth?
may his teaching cheerfully impel thee:
Dost thou, as man, increase the
stores of truth?
Then may thine own son afterwards excel thee.
O happy he, who still renews
The hope, from Error's deeps to rise
That which one does not know, one needs to use;
what one knows, one uses never.
But let us not, by such despondence,
The fortune of this hour embitter!
Mark how, beneath the
evening sunlight's glow,
The green-embosomed houses glitter!
glow retreats, done is the day of toil;
It yonder hastes, new fields of
Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil,
its track to follow, follow soaring!
Then would I see eternal Evening
The silent world beneath me glowing,
On fire each
mountain-peak, with peace each valley filled,
The silver brook to golden
The mountain-chain, with all its gorges deep,
Would then no more impede my godlike motion;
And now before mine eyes
expands the ocean
With all its bays, in shining sleep!
finally, the weary god is sinking;
The new-born impulse fires my
I hasten on, his beams eternal drinking,
The Day before me and
the Night behind,
Above me heaven unfurled, the floor of waves beneath
A glorious dream! though now the glories fade.
Alas! the wings
that lift the mind no aid
Of wings to lift the body can bequeath me.
Yet in each soul is born the pleasure
Of yearning onward, upward and
When o'er our heads, lost in the vaulted azure,
sends down his flickering lay,—
When over crags and piny highlands
The poising eagle slowly soars,
And over plains and lakes and
The crane sails by to other shores.
I've had, myself, at times, some odd caprices,
But never yet such
impulse felt, as this is.
One soon fatigues, on woods and fields to
Nor would I beg the bird his wing to spare us:
otherwise the mental raptures bear us
From page to page, from book to
Then winter nights take loveliness untold,
As warmer life
in every limb had crowned you;
And when your hands unroll some parchment
rare and old,
All Heaven descends, and opens bright around you!
One impulse art thou conscious of, at best;
O, never seek to know the
Two souls, alas! reside within my breast,
withdraws from, and repels, its brother.
One with tenacious organs holds
And clinging lust the world in its embraces;
strongly sweeps, this dust above,
Into the high ancestral spaces.
If there be airy spirits near,
'Twixt Heaven and Earth on potent
Let them drop down the golden atmosphere,
bear me forth to new and varied being!
Yea, if a magic mantle once were
To waft me o'er the world at pleasure,
I would not for the
costliest stores of treasure—
Not for a monarch's robe—the gift resign.
Invoke not thus the well-known throng,
Which through the firmament
diffused is faring,
And danger thousand-fold, our race to wrong.
In every quarter is preparing.
Swift from the North the spirit-fangs so
Sweep down, and with their barbéd points assail you;
from the East they come, to dry and warp
Your lungs, till breath and
being fail you:
If from the Desert sendeth them the South,
fire on fire your throbbing forehead crowning,
The West leads on a host,
to cure the drouth
Only when meadow, field, and you are drowning.
They gladly hearken, prompt for injury,—
Gladly obey, because they gladly
From Heaven they represent themselves to be,
like angels, when with lies they meet us.
But, let us go! 'Tis gray and
The air is cold, the vapors fall.
At night, one
learns his house to prize:—
Why stand you thus, with such astonished
What, in the twilight, can your mind so trouble?
Seest thou the black dog coursing there, through corn and
Long since: yet deemed him not important in the least.
Inspect him close: for what tak'st thou the beast?
Why, for a poodle who has lost his master,
And scents about, his
track to find.
Seest thou the spiral circles, narrowing faster,
approaching, round us seems to wind?
A streaming trail of fire, if I see
Follows his path of mystery.
It may be that your eyes deceive you slightly;
Naught but a plain
black poodle do I see.
It seems to me that with enchanted cunning
He snares our feet, some
future chain to bind.
I see him timidly, in doubt, around us running,
Since, in his
master's stead, two strangers doth he find.
The circle narrows: he is near!
A dog thou seest, and not a phantom, here!
Behold him stop—upon his
tail set wagging: canine habits, all!
Come, follow us! Come here, at least!
'Tis the absurdest, drollest beast.
Stand still, and you will see him
Address him, and he gambols straight;
If something's lost,
he'll quickly bring it,—
Your cane, if in the stream you fling it.
No doubt you're right: no trace of mind, I own,
Is in the beast: I
see but drill, alone.
The dog, when he's well educated,
Is by the wisest tolerated.
Yes, he deserves your favor thoroughly,—
The clever scholar of the students,
(They pass in the city-gate.)
(Entering, with the poodle.)
Behind me, field and meadow
I leave in deep, prophetic
Within whose dread and holy
The better soul awakes to
The wild desires no longer
The deeds of passion cease
The love of Man revives
The love of God revives
Be still, thou poodle; make not such racket and riot!
Why at the
threshold wilt snuffing be?
Behind the stove repose thee in quiet!
My softest cushion I give to thee.
As thou, up yonder, with running
Amused us hast, on the mountain's crest,
So now I take thee into my keeping,
A welcome, but also a silent,
Ah, when, within our narrow
The lamp with friendly
Flames in the breast
each faded ember,
And in the
heart, itself that knows.
again lends sweet assistance,
Reason then resumes her speech:
yearns, the rivers of existence,
very founts of Life, to reach.
Snarl not, poodle! To the sound that rises,
The sacred tones that my
This bestial noise is out of place.
We are used to
see, that Man despises
What he never comprehends,
And the Good
and the Beautiful vilipends,
Finding them often hard to measure:
Will the dog, like man, snarl his displeasure?
But ah! I feel, though will thereto be stronger,
from out my breast no longer.
Why must the stream so soon run dry and
And burning thirst again assail us?
Therein I've borne
so much probation!
And yet, this want may be supplied us;
call the Supernatural to guide us;
We pine and thirst for
Which nowhere worthier is, more nobly sent,
here, in our New Testament.
I feel impelled, its meaning to
With honest purpose, once for all,
To change to my beloved German.
(He opens a volume, and commences.)
'Tis written: "In the
Beginning was the Word."
Here am I balked: who, now can help
The Word?—impossible so high to rate it;
otherwise must I translate it.
If by the Spirit I am truly taught.
Then thus: "In the Beginning was the Thought"
This first line
let me weigh completely,
Lest my impatient pen proceed too fleetly.
Is it the Thought which works, creates, indeed?
Beginning was the Power," I read.
Yet, as I write, a warning is
That I the sense may not have fairly tested.
Spirit aids me: now I see the light!
"In the Beginning was the
Act," I write.
If I must share my chamber with thee,
Poodle, stop that howling, prithee!
Cease to bark and bellow!
Such a noisy, disturbing fellow
I'll no longer suffer near me.
One of us, dost hear me!
Must leave, I fear me.
guest-right I bestow;
The door is open, art free to go.
do I see in the creature?
Is that in the course of nature?
actual fact? or Fancy's shows?
How long and broad my poodle grows!
He rises mightily:
A canine form that cannot be!
spectre I've harbored thus!
He resembles a hippopotamus,
fiery eyes, teeth terrible to see:
O, now am I sure of thee!
all of thy half-hellish brood
The Key of Solomon is good.
SPIRITS (in the corridor)
Some one, within, is
Stay without, follow him
Like the fox in a
Quakes the old hell-lynx
Back and forth
And he'll work himself
If your aid avail
Let it not fail
For he, without
Has wrought for our
First, to encounter the beast,
The Words of the Four be
Wave, Undine, as
Sylph, be thou
Who knows not their sense
And power not sees,—
No mastery he inherits
Over the Spirits.
Vanish in flaming ether,
Shine in meteor-sheen,
Bring help to hearth and shelf.
forward, and finish thus!
Of the Four, no feature
Lurks in the creature.
Quiet he lies,
and grins disdain:
Not yet, it seems, have I given him pain.
Now, to undisguise thee,
Hear me exorcise thee!
Art thou, my gay
Hell's fugitive stray-one?
The sign witness now,
Before which they bow,
The cohorts of Hell!
With hair all bristling, it begins to swell.
Base Being, hearest thou?
Knowest and fearest thou
Through all Heaven
Behind the stove still banned,
See it, an elephant, expand!
It fills the space entire,
Mist-like melting, ever faster.
enough: ascend no higher,—
Lay thyself at the feet of the Master!
Thou seest, not vain the threats I bring thee:
With holy fire I'll
scorch and sting thee!
Wait not to know
The threefold dazzling
Wait not to know
The strongest art within my hands!
(while the vapor is dissipating, steps forth from behind the
stove, in the costume of a Travelling Scholar.)
Why such a noise?
What are my lord's commands?
This was the poodle's real core,
A travelling scholar, then? The
casus is diverting.
The learned gentleman I bow before:
You've made me roundly sweat,
What is thy name?
A question small, it seems,
For one whose mind the Word so much
Who, scorning all external gleams,
The depths of being
With all you gentlemen, the name's a test,
Whereby the nature usually
Clearly the latter it implies
In names like
Beelzebub, Destroyer, Father of Lies.
Who art thou, then?
Part of that Power, not understood,
Which always wills the Bad, and
always works the Good.
What hidden sense in this enigma lies?
I am the Spirit that Denies!
And justly so: for all things, from the
Called forth, deserve to be destroyed:
'Twere better, then,
were naught created.
Thus, all which you as Sin have
Destruction,—aught with Evil blent,—
That is my proper
Thou nam'st thyself a part, yet show'st complete to me?
The modest truth I speak to thee.
If Man, that microcosmic fool, can
Himself a whole so frequently,
Part of the Part am I, once
All, in primal Night,—
Part of the Darkness which brought forth the
The haughty Light, which now disputes the space,
claims of Mother Night her ancient place.
And yet, the struggle fails;
since Light, howe'er it weaves,
Still, fettered, unto bodies
It flows from bodies, bodies beautifies;
By bodies is
its course impeded;
And so, but little time is needed,
ere, as the bodies die, it dies!
I see the plan thou art pursuing:
Thou canst not compass general
And hast on smaller scale begun.
And truly 'tis not much, when all is done.
That which to Naught is in
The Something of this clumsy world,—has yet,
all that I have undertaken,
Not been by me disturbed or shaken:
From earthquake, tempest, wave, volcano's brand,
Back into quiet settle
sea and land!
And that damned stuff, the bestial, human brood,—
use, in having that to play with?
How many have I made away with!
And ever circulates a newer, fresher blood.
It makes me furious, such
From Water, Earth, and Air unfolding,
thousand germs break forth and grow,
In dry, and wet, and warm, and
And had I not the Flame reserved, why, really,
nothing special of my own to show!
So, to the actively eternal
Creative force, in cold disdain
You now oppose the fist infernal,
Whose wicked clench is all in
Some other labor seek thou rather,
Queer Son of Chaos, to
Well, we'll consider: thou canst gather
My views, when next I venture
Might I, perhaps, depart at present?
Why thou shouldst ask, I don't perceive.
Though our acquaintance is
For further visits thou hast leave.
here, the door is yonder;
A chimney, also, you behold.
I must confess that forth I may not wander,
My steps by one slight
The wizard's-foot, that on your threshold made is.
The pentagram prohibits thee?
Why, tell me now, thou Son of
If that prevents, how cam'st thou in to me?
Could such a
spirit be so cheated?
Inspect the thing: the drawing's not completed.
The outer angle, you
Is open left—the lines don't fit it.
Well,—Chance, this time, has fairly hit it!
And thus, thou'rt
prisoner to me?
It seems the business has succeeded.
The poodle naught remarked, as after thee he speeded;
aspects now obtain:
The Devil can't get out again.
Try, then, the open window-pane!
For Devils and for spectres this is law:
Where they have entered in,
there also they withdraw.
The first is free to us; we're governed by the
In Hell itself, then, laws are reckoned?
That's well! So might a
Made with you gentlemen—and binding,—surely?
All that is promised shall delight thee purely;
No skinflint bargain
shalt thou see.
But this is not of swift conclusion;
about the matter soon.
And now, I do entreat this boon—
withdraw from my intrusion.
One moment more I ask thee to remain,
Some pleasant news, at least,
to tell me.
Release me, now! I soon shall come again;
Then thou, at will, mayst
question and compel me.
I have not snares around thee cast;
Thyself hast led thyself into the
Who traps the Devil, hold him fast!
Not soon a second
time he'll catch a prey so precious.
An't please thee, also I'm content to stay,
And serve thee in a
But stipulating, that I may
With arts of mine
afford thee recreation.
Thereto I willingly agree,
If the diversion pleasant be.
My friend, thou'lt win, past all pretences,
More in this hour to
soothe thy senses,
Than in the year's monotony.
That which the
dainty spirits sing thee,
The lovely pictures they shall bring thee,
Are more than magic's empty show.
Thy scent will be to bliss
Thy palate then with taste delighted,
Thy nerves of
touch ecstatic glow!
All unprepared, the charm I spin:
here together, so begin!
Vanish, ye darking
Born of blue
Break from the
O that the
are on high.
Pass as they
They, with their
Lo! in a
Gush into must,
Flow into rivers
Of foaming and flashing
that is dashing
Gems, as it
Down the high
And the winged
Drink, and fly
Light on the
Sound of their
Whirl of their
All in the air
Some of them
All for the
He sleeps! Enough, ye fays! your airy number
Have sung him truly into
For this performance I your debtor prove.—
Not yet art thou
the man, to catch the Fiend and hold him!—
With fairest images of dreams
Plunge him in seas of sweet untruth!
Yet, for the
threshold's magic which controlled him,
The Devil needs a rat's quick
I use no lengthened invocation:
Here rustles one that
soon will work my liberation.
The lord of rats and eke of mice,
Of flies and bed-bugs, frogs and
Summons thee hither to the door-sill,
To gnaw it where,
with just a morsel
Of oil, he paints the spot for thee:—
thou, hopping on to me!
To work, at once! The point which made me
Is forward, on the ledge, engraven.
Another bite makes
free the door:
So, dream thy dreams, O Faust, until we meet once
Am I again so foully cheated?
Remains there naught of lofty
But that a dream the Devil counterfeited,
a poodle ran away?
A knock? Come in! Again my quiet broken?
MEPHISTOPHELESThrice must the words be
Come in, then!
MEPHISTOPHELESThus thou pleasest
I hope we'll suit each other well;
For now, thy
vapors to dispel,
I come, a squire of high degree,
coat, with golden trimming,
A cloak in silken lustre swimming,
tall cock's-feather in my hat,
A long, sharp sword for show or
And I advise thee, brief and flat,
To don the self-same gay
That, from this den released, and free,
Life be at last
revealed to thee!
This life of earth, whatever my attire,
Would pain me in its wonted
Too old am I to play with passion;
Too young, to be
What from the world have I to gain?
Such is the everlasting song
the ears of all men rings,—
That unrelieved, our whole life long,
Each hour, in passing, hoarsely sings.
In very terror I at morn
Upon the verge of bitter weeping,
To see the day of
To no one hope of mine—not one—its promise
That even each joy's presentiment
With wilful cavil would
With grinning masks of life prevent
My mind its
fairest work to finish!
Then, too, when night descends, how
Upon my couch of sleep I lay me:
There, also, comes no
rest to me,
But some wild dream is sent to fray me.
The God that
in my breast is owned
Can deeply stir the inner sources;
God, above my powers enthroned,
He cannot change external forces.
So, by the burden of my days oppressed,
Death is desired, and Life a
And yet is never Death a wholly welcome guest.
O fortunate, for whom, when victory glances,
The bloody laurels on
the brow he bindeth!
Whom, after rapid, maddening dances,
clasping maiden-arms he findeth!
O would that I, before that
Ravished and rapt from life, had sunken!
And yet, by some one, in that nightly hour,
A certain liquid was not
Eavesdropping, ha! thy pleasure seems to be.
Omniscient am I not; yet much is known to me.
Though some familiar tone, retrieving
My thoughts from torment, led
And sweet, clear echoes came, deceiving
bequeathed from Childhood's dawn,
Yet now I curse whate'er entices
And snares the soul with visions vain;
With dazzling cheats and dear
Confines it in this cave of pain!
Cursed be, at once,
the high ambition
Wherewith the mind itself deludes!
the glare of apparition
That on the finer sense intrudes!
be the lying dream's impression
Of name, and fame, and laurelled
Cursed, all that flatters as possession,
As wife and
child, as knave and plow!
Cursed Mammon be, when he with treasures
To restless action spurs our fate!
Cursed when, for soft, indulgent
He lays for us the pillows straight!
Cursed be the
vine's transcendent nectar,—
The highest favor Love lets fall!
Cursed, also, Hope!—cursed Faith, the spectre!
And cursed be Patience
most of all!
CHORUS OF SPIRITS (invisible)
hast it destroyed,
In ruin 'tis
By the blow of a demigod
Fragments into the Void we
The beauty perished beyond
For the children of men,
Build it again,
thine own bosom build it anew!
the new career
And the new songs of
These are the small
Who give me attendance.
Hear them, to deeds and
Counsel in shrewd old-fashion!
Into the world of
Out of this lonely life
That of senses and sap has
They would persuade thee.
This nursing of the
pain forego thee,
That, like a vulture, feeds upon thy breast!
The worst society thou find'st will show thee
Thou art a man among the
But 'tis not meant to thrust
Thee into the mob thou
I am not one of the greatest,
Yet, wilt thou to me
Thy steps through life, I'll guide thee,—
Will willingly walk
Will serve thee at once and forever
And, if thou art satisfied,
Will as servant, slave,
with thee abide.
And what shall be my
The time is
long: thou need'st not now insist.
Devil is an egotist,
And is not apt, without a why or wherefore,
"For God's sake," others to assist.
Speak thy conditions plain and
With such a servant danger comes, I fear.
Here, an unwearied slave, I'll wear thy tether,
And to thine every nod obedient be:
When There again we come
Then shalt thou do the same for me.
The There my scruples naught increases.
When thou hast dashed
this world to pieces,
The other, then, its place may fill.
on this earth, my pleasures have their sources;
Yon sun beholds my
sorrows in his courses;
And when from these my life itself divorces,
Let happen all that can or will!
I'll hear no more: 'tis vain to
If there we cherish love or hate,
Or, in the spheres we
dream of yonder,
A High and Low our souls await.
In this sense, even, canst thou venture.
Come, bind thyself by prompt indenture,
And thou mine arts with joy
What no man ever saw, I'll give to thee.
Canst thou, poor Devil, give me whatsoever?
When was a
human soul, in its supreme endeavor,
E'er understood by such as
Yet, hast thou food which never satiates, now,—
ruddy gold hast thou,
That runs, quicksilver-like, one's fingers
A game whose winnings no man ever knew,—
A maid that, even from
Beckons my neighbor with her wanton glances,
Honor's godlike zest,
The meteor that a moment dances,—
Show me the
fruits that, ere they're gathered, rot,
And trees that daily with new
leafage clothe them!
Such a demand alarms
Such treasures have I, and can show them.
But still the
time may reach us, good my friend.
When peace we crave and more
When on an idler's bed I stretch
myself in quiet.
There let, at once, my record end!
with lying flattery rule me,
Until, self-pleased, myself I
Canst thou with rich enjoyment fool me,
Let that day be the
last for me!
The bet I offer.
When thus I hail the Moment flying:
"Ah, still delay—thou art so
Then bind me in thy bonds undying,
My final ruin then
Then let the death-bell chime the token.
Then art thou
from thy service free!
The clock may stop, the hand be broken,
Then Time be finished unto me!
well: my memory good is rated.
Thou hast a perfect
My powers I have not rashly estimated:
A slave am
I, whate'er I do—
If thine, or whose? 'tis needless to debate it.
Then at the Doctors'-banquet I, to-day,
as a servant wait behind thee.
But one thing more! Beyond all risk to
Give me a line or two, I pray.
Demand'st thou, Pedant, too, a document?
Hast never known a man, nor
proved his word's intent?
Is't not enough, that what I speak to-day
Shall stand, with all my future days agreeing?
In all its tides
sweeps not the world away,
And shall a promise bind my being?
Yet this delusion in our hearts we bear:
Who would himself therefrom
Blest he, whose bosom Truth makes pure and fair!
sacrifice shall he repent of ever.
Nathless a parchment, writ and
stamped with care,
A spectre is, which all to shun endeavor.
word, alas! dies even in the pen,
And wax and leather keep the lordship
What wilt from me, Base Spirit, say?—
Brass, marble, parchment,
The terms with graver, quill, or chisel, stated?
freely leave the choice to thee.
thyself, thus instantly,
With eloquence exaggerated?
for such a pact is good;
And to subscribe thy name thou'lt take a drop
If thou therewith art fully
So let us by the farce abide.
Blood is a juice of rarest quality.
Fear not that I this pact shall seek to sever?
promise that I make to thee
Is just the sum of my endeavor.
have myself inflated all too high;
My proper place is thy estate:
The Mighty Spirit deigns me no reply,
And Nature shuts on me her
The thread of Thought at last is broken,
brings disgust unspoken.
Let us the sensual deeps explore,
quench the fervors of glowing passion!
Let every marvel take form and
Through the impervious veil it wore!
Plunge we in Time's
In the rush and roll of Circumstance!
delight and distress,
And worry and success,
as best they can:
Restless activity proves the man!
For you no bound, no term is set.
everywhere be trying,
Or snatch a rapid bliss in flying,
agree with you, what you get!
Only fall to, and show no timid
But thou hast heard, 'tis not of joy
I take the wildering whirl, enjoyment's keenest pain,
Enamored hate, exhilarant disdain.
My bosom, of its thirst for
Shall not, henceforth, from any pang be wrested,
And all of life for all mankind created
Shall be within mine inmost
The highest, lowest forms my soul shall borrow,
Shall heap upon itself their bliss and sorrow,
And thus, my own sole
self to all their selves expanded,
I too, at last, shall with them all
Believe me, who for many a
The same tough meat have chewed and tested,
from the cradle to the bier
No man the ancient leaven has digested!
Trust one of us, this Whole supernal
Is made but for a God's
He dwells in splendor single and eternal,
us he thrusts in darkness, out of sight,
And you he dowers
with Day and Night.
Nay, but I will!
A good reply!
One only fear still needs
The art is long, the time is fleeting.
thyself be taught, say I!
Go, league thyself with a poet,
the rein to his imagination,
Then wear the crown, and show it,
Of the qualities of his creation,—
The courage of the lion's breed,
The wild stag's speed,
The Italian's fiery blood,
Let him find for thee the secret tether
binds the Noble and Mean together.
And teach thy pulses of youth and
To love by rule, and hate by measure!
I'd like, myself,
such a one to see:
Sir Microcosm his name should be.
What am I, then, if 'tis denied my part
The crown of
all humanity to win me,
Whereto yearns every sense within me?
Why, on the whole, thou'rt—what thou art.
Set wigs of million curls upon thy head, to raise thee,
Wear shoes an
ell in height,—the truth betrays thee,
And thou remainest—what thou
I feel, indeed, that I have made the
Of human thought and knowledge mine, in vain;
And if I
now sit down in restful leisure,
No fount of newer strength is in my
I am no hair's-breadth more in height,
Nor nearer, to the
Good Sir, you see the facts
As they are seen by each and all.
We must arrange them
now, more wisely,
Before the joys of life shall pall.
Zounds! Both hands and feet are, truly—
And head and virile forces—thine:
Yet all that I indulge in newly,
Is't thence less wholly mine?
If I've six stallions in my stall,
Are not their forces also lent
I speed along, completest man of all,
As though my legs were
Take hold, then! let reflection rest,
plunge into the world with zest!
I say to thee, a speculative wight
Is like a beast on moorlands lean,
That round and round some fiend
misleads to evil plight,
While all about lie pastures fresh and
Then how shall we begin?
We'll try a wider sphere. What place
of martyrdom is here!
Is't life, I ask, is't even prudence,
bore thyself and bore the students?
Let Neighbor Paunch to that
Why plague thyself with threshing straw forever?
best thou learnest, in the end
Thou dar'st not tell the
I hear one's footsteps, hither steering.
To see him now I have no heart.
So long the poor boy waits a hearing,
He must not unconsoled
Thy cap and mantle straightway lend me!
I'll play the
comedy with art.
(He disguises himself.)
be certain, will befriend me.
But fifteen minutes' time is all I
For our fine trip, meanwhile, prepare thyself with speed!
(In FAUST'S long mantle.)
Reason and Knowledge only thou despise,
The highest strength in man that
Let but the Lying Spirit bind thee
With magic works and
shows that blind thee,
And I shall have thee fast and sure!—
such a bold, untrammelled spirit gave him,
As forwards, onwards, ever
Whose over-hasty impulse drave him
joys he might secure.
Dragged through the wildest life, will I enslave
Through flat and stale indifference;
chilling, checking, so deprave him
That, to his hot, insatiate
The dream of drink shall mock, but never lave him:
Refreshment shall his lips in vain implore—
Had he not made himself the
Devil's, naught could save him,
Still were he lost forevermore!
(A STUDENT enters.)
time, only, am I here,
And come, devoted and sincere,
and know the man of fame,
Whom men to me with reverence name.
Your courtesy doth flatter me:
You see a
man, as others be.
Have you, perchance, elsewhere begun?
Receive me now, I pray, as one
Who comes to you with
Somewhat of cash, and healthy blood:
My mother was
hardly willing to let me;
But knowledge worth having I fain would get
Then you have reached the right place
I'd like to leave it, I must avow;
I find these walls, these vaulted spaces
Are anything but pleasant
Tis all so cramped and close and mean;
One sees no tree,
no glimpse of green,
And when the lecture-halls receive me,
Seeing, hearing, and thinking leave me.
All that depends on habitude.
So from its mother's breasts a child
At first, reluctant, takes its food,
But soon to seek them is
Thus, at the breasts of Wisdom clinging,
each day a greater rapture bringing.
thereon with joy, and freely drain them;
But tell me, pray, the proper
means to gain them.
Explain, before you
The special faculty you seek.
I crave the highest erudition;
And fain would make my
All that there is in Earth and Heaven,
In Nature and
in Science too.
Here is the genuine path
Yet strict attention must be given.
Body and soul thereon I'll wreak;
Yet, truly, I've some
On summer holidays to seek
A little freedom and
Use well your time! It flies
so swiftly from us;
But time through order may be won, I promise.
So, Friend (my views to briefly sum),
First, the collegium
There will your mind be drilled and braced,
in Spanish boots 'twere laced,
And thus, to graver paces brought,
'Twill plod along the path of thought,
Instead of shooting here and
A will-o'-the-wisp in murky air.
Days will be spent to
bid you know,
What once you did at a single blow,
and drinking, free and strong,—
That one, two, three! thereto belong.
Truly the fabric of mental fleece
Resembles a weaver's masterpiece,
Where a thousand threads one treadle throws,
Where fly the shuttles
hither and thither.
Unseen the threads are knit together.
infinite combination grows.
Then, the philosopher steps in
shows, no otherwise it could have been:
The first was so, the second
Therefore the third and fourth are so;
Were not the first
and second, then
The third and fourth had never been.
scholars are everywhere believers,
But never succeed in being
He who would study organic existence,
First drives out
the soul with rigid persistence;
Then the parts in his hand he may hold
But the spiritual link is lost, alas!
natures, this Chemistry names,
Nor knows how herself she banters and
I cannot understand you quite.
Your mind will shortly be set aright,
you have learned, all things reducing,
To classify them for your
I feel as stupid, from all you've
As if a mill-wheel whirled in my head!
And after—first and foremost duty—Of
Metaphysics learn the use and beauty!
See that you most profoundly
What does not suit the human brain!
A splendid word to
serve, you'll find
For what goes in—or won't go in—your mind.
But first, at least this half a year,
To order rigidly adhere;
Five hours a day, you understand,
And when the clock strikes, be on
Prepare beforehand for your part
With paragraphs all got
So you can better watch, and look
That naught is said
but what is in the book:
Yet in thy writing as unwearied be,
did the Holy Ghost dictate to thee!
No need to
tell me twice to do it!
I think, how useful 'tis to write;
what one has, in black and white,
One carries home and then goes through
Yet choose thyself a faculty!
I cannot reconcile myself to Jurisprudence.
Nor can I therefore greatly blame you students:
I know what science this has come to be.
All rights and laws are still
Like an eternal sickness of the race,—
unto generation fitted,
And shifted round from place to place.
Reason becomes a sham, Beneficence a worry:
Thou art a grandchild,
therefore woe to thee!
The right born with us, ours in verity,
This to consider, there's, alas! no hurry.
own disgust is strengthened by your speech:
O lucky he, whom you shall
I've almost for Theology decided.
I should not wish to see you here misguided:
For, as regards this science, let me hint
'Tis very hard to shun the
There's so much secret poison lurking in 't,
like the medicine, it baffles your detection.
Hear, therefore, one
alone, for that is best, in sooth,
And simply take your master's words
On words let your attention centre!
through the safest gate you'll enter
The temple-halls of
Yet in the word must some idea
Of course! But only shun too
over-sharp a tension,
For just where fails the comprehension,
word steps promptly in as deputy.
With words 'tis excellent
Systems to words 'tis easy suiting;
On words 'tis
No word can ever lose a jot from thieving.
Pardon! With many questions I detain you.
must I trouble you again.
Of Medicine I still would fain
one strong word that might explain you.
Three years is but a little
And, God! who can the field embrace?
If one some index
could be shown,
'Twere easier groping forward, truly.
I'm tired enough of this dry
Must play the Devil again, and fully.
To grasp the
spirit of Medicine is easy:
Learn of the great and little world your
To let it go at last, so please ye,
Just as God will!
In vain that through the realms of science you may drift;
learns only—just what learn he can:
Yet he who grasps the Moment's
He is the proper man.
Well-made you are, 'tis not to be
The rest a bold address will win you;
If you but in
At once confide all others in you.
To lead the
women, learn the special feeling!
Their everlasting aches and
In thousand tones,
Have all one source, one mode of
And if your acts are half discreet,
You'll always have
them at your feet.
A title first must draw and interest them,
And show that yours all other arts exceeds;
Then, as a greeting, you are
free to touch and test them,
While, thus to do, for years another
You press and count the pulse's dances,
And then, with
burning sidelong glances,
You clasp the swelling hips, to see
tightly laced her corsets be.
now! The How and Where, one sees.
worthy friend, gray are all theories,
And green alone Life's golden
I swear to you, 'tis like a dream to
Might I again presume, with trust unbounded,
To hear your
wisdom thoroughly expounded?
willingly, to what extent I may.
I cannot really
Allow me that my album first I reach you,—
Grant me this
favor, I beseech you!
(He writes, and returns the book.)
Eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et
malum. (Closes the book with reverence, and
Follow the ancient text,
and the snake thou wast ordered to trample!
With all thy likeness to
God, thou'lt yet be a sorry example!
Now, whither shall we go?
As best it pleases thee. The little
world, and then the great, we'll see.
With what delight, what profit
Shalt thou sponge through the term beginning!
Yet with the flowing beard I wear,
Both ease and grace
will fail me there.
The attempt, indeed, were a futile strife;
never could learn the ways of life.
I feel so small before others, and
Should always find embarrassments.
My friend, thou soon shalt lose all such
Be thou but self-possessed, thou hast the art of
How shall we leave the house, and
Where hast thou servant, coach and horses?
We'll spread this cloak with proper art,
through the air direct our courses.
But only, on so bold a flight,
Be sure to have thy luggage light.
A little burning air, which I shall
soon prepare us,
Above the earth will nimbly bear us,
we're light, we'll travel swift and clear:
I gratulate thee on thy new
AUERBACH'S CELLAR IN
CAROUSAL OF JOLLY COMPANIONS
I no one laughing? no one drinking?
I'll teach you how to grin, I'm
To-day you're like wet straw, so tame;
you're all aflame.
Now that's your fault; from
you we nothing see,
No beastliness and no stupidity.
(Pours a glass of wine over BRANDER'S
There's both together!
Twice a swine!
You wanted them: I've given you mine.
who quarrels—out the door!
With open throat sing chorus, drink and
Up! holla! ho!
Woe's me, the
Bring cotton, quick! He's split my ears, that
When the vault echoes to the song,
One first perceives the bass is deep and strong.
Well said! and out with him that takes the least offence!
Ah, tara, lara da!
Ah, tara, lara, da!
The throats are tuned, commence!
The dear old holy Roman realm,
How does it
A nasty song! Fie! a
A most offensive song! Thank God, each morning,
That you have not the Roman realm to care for!
least, I hold it so much gain for me,
That I nor Chancellor nor Kaiser
Yet also we must have a ruling head, I hope,
And so we'll
choose ourselves a Pope.
You know the quality that can
the choice, and elevate the man.
Soar up, soar up, Dame Nightingale!
Ten thousand times my
No, greet my sweetheart not! I tell you, I'll resent it.
My sweetheart greet and kiss! I dare you to prevent it!
Draw the latch! the darkness makes:
Draw the latch! the
Shut the latch! the morning breaks
Yes, sing away, sing on, and praise, and brag of her!
I'll wait my
proper time for laughter:
Me by the nose she led, and now she'll lead
Her paramour should be an ugly gnome,
roads cross, in wanton play to meet her:
An old he-goat, from Blocksberg
Should his good-night in lustful gallop bleat her!
A fellow made of genuine flesh and blood
Is for the wench a deal too
Greet her? Not I: unless, when meeting,
To smash her
windows be a greeting!
BRANDER (pounding on the table)
Attention! Hearken now to me!
Confess, Sirs, I know how to live.
Enamored persons here have we,
And I, as suits their quality,
Must something fresh for their advantage give.
Take heed! 'Tis of the
latest cut, my strain,
And all strike in at each refrain!
There was a rat in the cellar-nest,
Whom fat and butter made smoother:
He had a paunch beneath his vest
Like that of Doctor Luther.
cook laid poison cunningly,
as sore oppressed was he
As if he
had love in his bosom.
As if he had
love in his bosom!
ran around, he ran about,
in puddles laving;
He gnawed and
scratched the house throughout.
But nothing cured his raving.
whirled and jumped, with torment mad,
soon enough the poor beast had,
if he had love in his bosom.
if he had love in his bosom!
driven at last, in open day,
into the kitchen,
Fell on the
hearth, and squirming lay,
last convulsion twitching.
laughed the murderess in her glee:
ha! he's at his last gasp," said she,
if he had love in his bosom!"
As if he had love in his
How the dull fools enjoy the matter!
To me it is a proper art
Poison for such poor rats to scatter.
Perhaps you'll warmly take their part?
The bald-pate pot-belly I have noted:
Misfortune tames him by
For in the rat by poison bloated
His own most natural
form he sees.
FAUST AND MEPHISTOPHELES
Before all else, I bring thee hither
Where boon companions meet
To let thee see how smooth life runs away.
the folk, each day's a holiday:
With little wit, and ease to suit
They whirl in narrow, circling trails,
playing with their tails?
And if no headache persecute them,
long the host may credit give,
They merrily and careless live.
The fact is easy to unravel,
Their air's so odd, they've just
returned from travel:
A single hour they've not been here.
You've verily hit the truth! Leipzig to me is dear:
miniature, how it refines its people!
Who are the strangers, should you guess?
Let me alone! I'll set them first to drinking,
And then, as one a
child's tooth draws, with cleverness,
I'll worm their secret out, I'm
They're of a noble house, that's very clear:
and discontented they appear.
They're mountebanks, upon a revel.
Look out, I'll smoke them now!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
Not if he had them by the neck, I vow,
Would e'er these people scent
FAUST Fair greeting, gentlemen!
Our thanks: we give the same.
(Murmurs, inspecting MEPHISTOPHELES from
the side.) In one foot is the fellow lame?
Is it permitted that we share your leisure?
In place of cheering
drink, which one seeks vainly here,
Your company shall give us
A most fastidious person you appear.
No doubt 'twas late when you from Rippach started?
And supping there
with Hans occasioned your delay?
We passed, without a call, to-day.
At our last interview, before we
Much of his cousins did he speak, entreating
should give to each his kindly greeting.
You have it now! he understands.
Just wait awhile: I'll have him yet.
If I am right, we heard the sound
Of well-trained voices, singing
And truly, song must here rebound
Superbly from the
arches o'er us.
Are you, perhaps, a virtuoso?
O no! my wish is great, my power is only so-so.
Give us a song!
So that it be a bran-new strain!
We've just retraced our way from. Spain,
The lovely land of wine, and
song, and slumber.
There was a king once reigning,
Who had a big black flea—
Hear, hear! A flea! D'ye rightly take the jest?
I call a flea a tidy
There was a king once
Who had a big black
And loved him past
As his own son were
He called his man of
The tailor came
Here, measure the lad
And measure his coat,
But mind, allow the tailor no caprices:
Enjoin upon him, as his head
To most exactly measure, sew and shear,
So that the
breeches have no creases!
In silk and velvet gleaming
He now was wholly drest—
a coat with ribbons streaming,
cross upon his breast.
He had the
first of stations,
A minister's star
And also all his
Great lords at court
And the lords and ladies
Were plagued, awake and in
The queen she got them upon
The maids were bitten and
And they did not dare to brush
Or scratch them, day or
We crack them and we crush
At once, whene'er they
We crack them
and we crush them,
At once, whene'er
FROSCH Bravo! bravo! that was fine.
Every flea may it so befall!
Point your fingers and nip them all!
Hurrah for Freedom! Hurrah for wine!
I fain would drink with you, my glass to Freedom clinking,
a better wine that here I see you drinking.
Don't let us hear that speech again!
Did I not fear the landlord might complain,
I'd treat these worthy
guests, with pleasure,
To some from out our cellar's treasure.
Just treat, and let the landlord me arraign!
And if the wine be good, our praises shall be ample.
But do not give
too very small a sample;
For, if its quality I decide,
good mouthful I must be supplied.
They're from the Rhine! I guessed as much, before.
Bring me a gimlet here!
You've not the casks already
at the door?
What shall therewith be done?
Yonder, within the landlord's box of tools, there's one!
MEPHISTOPHELES (takes the gimlet)
Now, give me of your taste some intimation.
How do you mean? Have you so many kinds?
The choice is free: make up your minds.
ALTMAYER (to FROSCH)
Aha! you lick your chops, from sheer anticipation.
Good! if I have the choice, so let the wine be Rhenish!
Fatherland can best the sparkling cup replenish.
(boring a hole in the edge of the table, at the place where
Get me a little wax, to make the stoppers, quick!
Ah! I perceive a juggler's trick.
MEPHISTOPHELES (to BRANDER)
Champagne shall be my wine,
And let it sparkle fresh and fine!
(bores: in the meantime one has made the wax stoppers, and
the holes with them.)
What's foreign one can't always keep quite clear of,
For good things,
oft, are not so near;
A German can't endure the French to see or hear
Yet drinks their wines with hearty cheer.
(as MEPHISTOPHELES approaches his seat)
For me, I
grant, sour wine is out of place;
Fill up my glass with sweetest, will
Tokay shall flow at once, to fill you!
No—look me, Sirs, straight in the face!
I see you have your fun at
O no! with gentlemen of such pretence,
That were to venture far,
Speak out, and make your choice with speed! With what a vintage
can I serve you?
With any—only satisfy our need.
(After the holes have been bored and plugged)
MEPHISTOPHELES (with singular gestures)
Grapes the vine-stem bears,
Horns the he-goat wears!
grapes are juicy, the vines are wood,
wooden table gives wine as good!
Into the depths of Nature peer,—
Only believe there's a miracle here!
Now draw the stoppers, and drink your fill!
(as they draw out the stoppers, and the wine which has been
desired flows into the glass of each)
O beautiful fountain, that flows at will!
But have a care that you nothing spill!
(They drink repeatedly.)
As 'twere five hundred hogs, we
See, now, the race is happy—it is free!
To leave them is my inclination.
Take notice, first! their bestiality
Will make a brilliant
(drinks carelessly: the wine spills upon the earth, and turns to
Help! Fire! Help! Hell-fire is sent!
MEPHISTOPHELES (charming away the flame)
Be quiet, friendly element!
(To the revellers)
A bit of purgatory 'twas for this time, merely.
What mean you? Wait!—you'll pay for't dearly!
You'll know us, to your
Don't try that game a second time upon us!
I think we'd better send him packing quietly.
What, Sir! you dare to make so free,
And play your hocus-pocus on
Be still, old wine-tub.
You face it out, impertinent and heady?
Just wait! a shower of blows is ready.
(draws a stopper out of the table: fire flies in his face.)
burn! I burn!
'Tis magic! Strike—
The knave is outlawed! Cut him as you like!
(They draw their knives, and rush upon MEPHISTOPHELES.)
MEPHISTOPHELES (with solemn gestures)
False word and form of air,
Change place, and sense ensnare!
Be here—and there!
(They stand amazed and look at each other.)
Where am I? What a lovely land!
Vines? Can I trust my eyes?
And purple grapes at hand!
Here, over this green arbor bending,
See what a vine! what grapes
(He takes SIEBEL by the nose: the others do the same
and raise their knives.)
MEPHISTOPHELES (as above)
Loose, Error, from their eyes the band,
And how the Devil jests, be
(He disappears with FAUST: the revellers start and
Was that your nose I tightened?
BRANDER (to SIEBEL)
And yours that still I have in hand?
It was a blow that went through every limb!
Give me a chair! I sink!
my senses swim.
But what has happened, tell me now?
Where is he? If I catch the scoundrel hiding,
He shall not leave
alive, I vow.
I saw him with these eyes upon a wine-cask riding
Out of the
cellar-door, just now.
Still in my feet the fright like lead is
(He turns towards the table.)
Why! If the fount of wine should still be playing?
'Twas all deceit, and lying, false design!
And yet it seemed as I were drinking wine.
But with the grapes how was it, pray?
Shall one believe no miracles, just say!
(Upon a low hearth stands a great caldron, under which a fire
burning. Various figures appear in the vapors which
rise from the
caldron. An ape sits beside it, skims it, and
watches lest it boil over.
The he-ape, with the young
ones, sits near and warms himself. Ceiling
and walls are
covered with the most fantastic witch-implements.)
These crazy signs of witches' craft repel me!
I shall recover, dost
thou tell me,
Through this insane, chaotic play?
From an old hag
shall I demand assistance?
And will her foul mess take away
thirty years from my existence?
Woe's me, canst thou naught better
Another baffled hope must be lamented:
Has Nature, then,
and has a noble mind
Not any potent balsam yet invented?
Once more, my friend, thou talkest sensibly.
There is, to make thee
young, a simpler mode and apter;
But in another book 'tis writ for
And is a most eccentric chapter.
Yet will I know it.
Good! the method is revealed
Without or gold or magic or
Betake thyself to yonder field,
There hoe and dig, as
Restrain thyself, thy sense and will
narrow sphere to flourish;
With unmixed food thy body nourish;
Live with the ox as ox, and think it not a theft
That thou manur'st the
acre which thou reapest;—
That, trust me, is the best mode left,
Whereby for eighty years thy youth thou keepest!
I am not used to that; I cannot stoop to try it—
To take the spade in
hand, and ply it.
The narrow being suits me not at all.
Then to thine aid the witch must call.
Wherefore the hag, and her alone?
Canst thou thyself not brew the
That were a charming sport, I own:
I'd build a thousand bridges
meanwhile, I've a notion.
Not Art and Science serve, alone;
Patience must in the work be shown.
Long is the calm brain active in
Time, only, strengthens the fine fermentation.
all, belonging thereunto,
Is rare and strange, howe'er you take it:
The Devil taught the thing, 'tis true,
And yet the Devil cannot make
(Perceiving the Animals)
See, what a delicate race
That is the maid! the man is he!
It seems the mistress has gone away?
Off and about,
By the chimney
What time takes she for dissipating?
While we to warm our paws are waiting.
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
How findest thou the tender creatures?
Absurder than I ever yet did see.
Why, just such talk as this, for me,
Is that which has the most
(To the Animals)
But tell me now, ye cursed puppets,
Why do ye stir the porridge
We're cooking watery soup for beggars.
Then a great public you can show.
(comes up and fawns on MEPHISTOPHELES)
O cast thou the dice!
Make me rich in a trice,
me win in good season!
And had I but
So had I my
How would the ape be sure his luck enhances.
Could he but try the
(In the meantime the young apes have been playing with a
ball, which they now roll forward.)
The world's the ball:
Doth rise and fall,
Like glass doth
How soon will't
Here bright it
I live at
Dear son, I
Keep thou away!
Thy doom is spoken!
made of clay,
And will be
What means the sieve?
THE HE-APE (taking it down)
Wert thou the thief,
know him and shame him.
(He runs to the SHE-APE,
and lets her look through it.)
Look through the sieve!
thou the thief,
And darest not name
MEPHISTOPHELES (approaching the fire)
And what's this pot?
HE-APE AND SHE-APE
The fool knows it not!
He knows not the pot,
knows not the kettle!
Take the brush here, at least,
And sit down on the settle!
(He invites MEPHISTOPHELES to sit down.)
(who during all this time has been standing before a mirror,
approaching and now retreating from it)
What do I see? What heavenly form revealed
Shows through the glass
from Magic's fair dominions!
O lend me, Love, the swiftest of thy
And bear me to her beauteous field!
Ah, if I leave this
spot with fond designing,
If I attempt to venture near,
through gathering mist, her charms appear!—
A woman's form, in beauty
Can woman, then, so lovely be?
And must I find her
body, there reclining,
Of all the heavens the bright epitome?
Can Earth with such a thing be mated?
Why, surely, if a God first plagues Himself six days,
self-contented, Bravo! says,
Must something clever be
This time, thine eyes be satiate!
I'll yet detect thy
sweetheart and ensnare her,
And blest is he, who has the lucky fate,
Some day, as bridegroom, home to bear her.
(FAUST gazes continually in the mirror.
stretching himself out on the settle, and playing with
brush, continues to speak.)
So sit I, like the King upon his throne:
I hold the sceptre,
here,—and lack the crown alone.
(who up to this time have been making all kinds of fantastic
movements together bring a crown to MEPHISTOPHELES
O be thou so good
sweat and with blood
The crown to
(They handle the crown awkwardly and break it into two
with which they spring around.)
'Tis done, let it be!
We speak and we see,
hear and we rhyme!
FAUST (before the mirror)
Woe's me! I fear to lose my wits.
MEPHISTOPHELES (pointing to the Animals)
My own head, now, is really nigh to sinking.
If lucky our hits,
'Tis thoughts, and
FAUST (as above)
My bosom burns with that sweet vision;
Let us, with speed, away from
MEPHISTOPHELES (in the same attitude)
One must, at least, make this admission—
They're poets, genuine and
(The caldron, which the SHE-APE has up to this time neglected
to watch, begins to boil over: there ensues a great flame,
blazes out the chimney. The WITCH comes careering
the flame, with terrible cries.)
Ow! ow! ow! ow!
damnéd beast—the curséd sow!
leave the kettle, and singe the Frau!
(Perceiving FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES.)
What is that here?
are you here?
What want you
Who sneaks to
Burn bone and brain!
(She plunges the skimming-ladle into the caldron, and scatters
flames towards FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, and the Animals.
(reversing the brush, which he has been holding in his hand,
striding among the jars and glasses)
In two! in two!
lies the brew!
There lies the
The joke will
As time, foul
To the singing of thy
(As the WITCH starts back, full of wrath and horror)
Ha! know'st thou me? Abomination, thou!
Know'st thou, at last, thy
Lord and Master?
What hinders me from smiting now
Thee and thy
monkey-sprites with fell disaster?
Hast for the scarlet coat no
Dost recognize no more the tall cock's-feather?
I concealed this countenance?—
Must tell my name, old face of leather?
O pardon, Sir, the rough salute!
Yet I perceive no cloven foot;
And both your ravens, where are they now?
This time, I'll let thee 'scape the debt;
For since we two together
'Tis verily full many a day now.
Culture, which smooth the
whole world licks,
Also unto the Devil sticks.
The days of that
old Northern phantom now are over:
Where canst thou horns and tail and
And, as regards the foot, which I can't spare, in
'Twould only make the people shun me;
worn, like many a spindly youth,
False calves these many years upon
THE WITCH (dancing)
Reason and sense forsake my brain,
Since I behold Squire Satan here
Woman, from such a name refrain!
Why so? What has it done to thee?
It's long been written in the Book of Fable;
Yet, therefore, no whit
better men we see:
The Evil One has left, the evil ones are stable.
Sir Baron call me thou, then is the matter good;
A cavalier am I,
like others in my bearing.
Thou hast no doubt about my noble blood:
See, here's the coat-of-arms that I am wearing!
(He makes an indecent gesture.)
THE WITCH (laughs immoderately)
Ha! ha! That's just your way, I know:
A rogue you are, and you were
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
My friend, take proper heed, I pray!
To manage witches, this is just
Wherein, Sirs, can I be of use?
Give us a goblet of the well-known juice!
But, I must beg you, of the
The years a double strength produce.
With all my heart! Now, here's a bottle,
Wherefrom, sometimes, I wet
Which, also, not the slightest, stinks;
willingly a glass I'll fill him.
Yet, if this man without due preparation drinks,
As well thou
know'st, within an hour 'twill kill him.
He is a friend of mine, with whom it will agree,
And he deserves thy
kitchen's best potation:
Come, draw thy circle, speak thine
And fill thy goblet full and free!
(with fantastic gestures draws a circle and places mysterious
articles therein; meanwhile the glasses begin to ring, the
sound, and make a musical accompaniment.
Finally she brings a great
book, and stations in the circle
the Apes, who are obliged to serve as
reading-desk, and to
hold the torches. She then beckons FAUST to
FAUST (to MEPHISTOPHELES)
Now, what shall come of this? the creatures antic,
The crazy stuff,
the gestures frantic,—
All the repulsive cheats I view,—
Are known to me,
and hated, too.
O, nonsense! That's a thing for laughter;
Don't be so terribly
She juggles you as doctor now, that, after,
may work the proper cheer.
(He persuades FAUST to step into the circle.)
(begins to declaim, with much emphasis, from the book)
See, thus it's done!
ten of one,
And two let
Make even three,
And rich thou 'It be.
o'er the four!
From five and
Make seven and
And nine is
And ten is
This is the witch's
She talks like one who raves in fever.
Thou'lt hear much more before we leave her.
'Tis all the same: the
book I can repeat,
Such time I've squandered o'er the history:
contradiction thus complete
Is always for the wise, no less than fools,
The art is old and new, for verily
All ages have been
taught the matter,—
By Three and One, and One and Three,
instead of Truth to scatter.
They prate and teach, and no one
All from the fellowship of fools are shrinking.
usually believes, if only words he hears,
That also with them goes
material for thinking!
THE WITCH (continues)
The lofty skill
From all men deeply
Who takes no
To him 'tis
'Tis given unsought,
What nonsense she declaims before us!
My head is nigh to split, I
It seems to me as if I hear
A hundred thousand fools in
O Sibyl excellent, enough of adjuration!
But hither bring us thy
And quickly fill the beaker to the brim!
will bring my friend no injuries:
He is a man of manifold degrees,
And many draughts are known to him.
(The WITCH, with many ceremonies, pours the drink into a
cup; as FAUST sets it to his lips, a light flame arises.)
Down with it quickly! Drain it off!
'Twill warm thy heart with new
Art with the Devil hand and glove,
And wilt thou be
afraid of fire?
(The WITCH breaks the circle: FAUST steps forth.)
And now, away! Thou dar'st not rest.
And much good may the liquor do thee!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to the WITCH)
Thy wish be on Walpurgis Night expressed;
What boon I have, shall
then be given unto thee.
Here is a song, which, if you sometimes sing,
You'll find it of
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
Come, walk at once! A rapid occupation
Must start the needful
And through thy frame the liquor's potence fling.
The noble indolence I'll teach thee then to treasure,
And soon thou'lt
be aware, with keenest thrills of pleasure,
How Cupid stirs and leaps,
on light and restless wing.
One rapid glance within the mirror give me,
How beautiful that
No, no! The paragon of all, believe me,
Thou soon shalt see, alive
Thou'lt find, this drink thy blood compelling,
Each woman beautiful
FAUST MARGARET (passing by)
Fair lady, let it not offend you,
That arm and escort I would lend
I'm neither lady, neither fair,
And home I can go without your
[She releases herself, and exit.
By Heaven, the girl is wondrous fair!
Of all I've seen, beyond
So sweetly virtuous and pure,
And yet a little pert, be
The lip so red, the cheek's clear dawn,
I'll not forget while the world rolls on!
How she cast down her timid
Deep in my heart imprinted lies:
How short and sharp of
speech was she,
Why, 'twas a real ecstasy!
Hear, of that girl I'd have possession!
The one who just went by.
She, there? She's coming from confession,
Of every sin absolved; for
Behind her chair, was listening nigh.
So innocent is she,
That to confess she had no need.
I have no power o'er
souls so green.
And yet, she's older than fourteen.
How now! You're talking like Jack Rake,
Who every flower for himself
And fancies there are no favors more,
save for him in store;
Yet always doesn't the thing succeed.
Most Worthy Pedagogue, take heed!
Let not a word of moral law be
I claim, I tell thee, all my right;
And if that image of
Rest not within mine arms to-night,
At midnight is our
But think, the chances of the case!
I need, at least, a fortnight's
To find an opportune occasion.
Had I but seven hours for all,
I should not on the Devil call,
But win her by my own persuasion.
You almost like a Frenchman prate;
Yet, pray, don't take it as
Why, all at once, exhaust the joyance?
Your bliss is
by no means so great
As if you'd use, to get control,
of tender rigmarole,
And knead and shape her to your thought,
in Italian tales 'tis taught.
Without that, I have appetite.
But now, leave jesting out of sight!
I tell you, once for all, that
With this fair girl will not succeed;
By storm she cannot
We must make use of strategy.
Get me something the angel keeps!
Lead me thither where she
Get me a kerchief from her breast,—
A garter that her knee
That you may see how much I'd fain
Further and satisfy your pain,
We will no longer lose a minute;
I'll find her room to-day, and take
you in it.
And shall I see—possess her?
Unto a neighbor she must go,
And meanwhile thou,
alone, mayst glow
With every hope of future pleasure,
her atmosphere in fullest measure.
Can we go thither?
'Tis too early yet.
A gift for her I bid thee get!
Presents at once? That's good: he's certain to get at her!
a pleasant place I know,
And treasures, buried long ago:
perforce, look up the matter. [Exit.
EVENING A SMALL, NEATLY KEPT CHAMBER
(plaiting and binding up the braids of her hair)
I'd something give, could I but say[Exit
Who was that gentleman,
Surely a gallant man was he,
And of a noble family;
And much could I in his face behold,—
And he wouldn't, else, have been so
Come in, but gently: follow me!
FAUST (after a moment's silence)
Leave me alone, I beg of thee!
MEPHISTOPHELES (prying about)
Not every girl keeps things so neat.
FAUST (looking around)
O welcome, twilight soft and sweet,
That breathes throughout this
Sweet pain of love, bind thou with fetters fleet
The heart that on the dew of hope must pine!
How all around a sense
Of quiet, order, and content!
This poverty what bounty
What bliss within this narrow den is pent!
(He throws himself into a leathern arm-chair near the bed.)
Receive me, thou, that in thine open arms
Departed joy and pain wert
wont to gather!
How oft the children, with their ruddy charms,
Hung here, around this throne, where sat the father!
Perchance my love,
amid the childish band,
Grateful for gifts the Holy Christmas gave
Here meekly kissed the grandsire's withered hand.
I feel, O
maid! thy very soul
Of order and content around me whisper,—
leads thee with its motherly control,
The cloth upon thy board bids
smoothly thee unroll,
The sand beneath thy feet makes whiter,
O dearest hand, to thee 'tis given
To change this hut
into a lower heaven!
(He lifts one of the bed-curtains.)
What sweetest thrill is in my blood!
Here could I spend whole hours,
Here Nature shaped, as if in sportive playing,
angel blossom from the bud.
Here lay the child, with Life's warm
The tender bosom filled and fair,
And here was wrought,
through holier, purer presence,
The form diviner beings wear!
And I? What drew me here with power?
How deeply am I moved, this
What seek I? Why so full my heart, and sore?
Faust! I know thee now no more.
Is there a magic vapor here?
I came, with lust of instant
And lie dissolved in dreams of love's sweet leisure!
Are we the sport of every changeful atmosphere?
And if, this moment, came she in to me,
How would I for the fault
How small the giant lout would be,
her feet, relaxed and tender!
Be quick! I see her there, returning.
Go! go! I never will retreat.
Here is a casket, not unmeet,
Which elsewhere I have just been
Here, set it in the press, with haste!
I swear, 'twill
turn her head, to spy it:
Some baubles I therein had placed,
That you might win another by it.
True, child is child, and play is
I know not, should I do it?
Yourself, perhaps, would keep the bubble?
Then I suggest, 'twere fair and just
To spare the lovely day your
And spare to me the further trouble.
You are not miserly,
I rub my hands, in expectation tender—
(He places the casket in the press, and locks it again.)
Now quick, away!
The sweet young maiden to betray,
So that by
wish and will you bend her;
And you look as though
lecture-hall you were forced to go,—
As if stood before you, gray and
Physics and Metaphysics both!
MARGARET (with a lamp)
It is so close, so sultry, here!
(She opens the window)
And yet 'tis not so warm outside.
I feel, I know not why, such
Would mother came!—where can she bide?
My body's chill and
I'm but a silly, fearsome thing!
(She begins to sing while undressing)
There was a King in Thule,
Was faithful till the grave,—
whom his mistress, dying,
Naught was to him
He drained it at every
His eyes with tears ran
As oft as he drank
When came his time of
The towns in his land he
Naught else to his heir
Except the goblet of
He sat at the royal
With his knights of high
In the lofty hall of his
In the Castle by the
There stood the old
And drank the last
And hurled the hallowed
Into the tide
He saw it plunging and
And sinking deep in the
Then fell his eyelids
And never more drank
(She opens the press in order to arrange her clothes, and perceives
the casket of jewels.)
How comes that lovely casket here to me?
I locked the press, most
'Tis truly wonderful! What can within it be?
'twas brought by some one as a pawn,
And mother gave a loan thereon?
And here there hangs a key to fit:
I have a mind to open it.
What is that? God in Heaven! Whence came
Such things? Never beheld I
aught so fair!
Rich ornaments, such as a noble dame
holidays might wear!
How would the pearl-chain suit my hair?
who may all this splendor own?
(She adorns herself with the jewelry, and steps before the
Were but the ear-rings mine, alone!
One has at once another air.
What helps one's beauty, youthful blood?
One may possess them, well
But none the more do others care.
They praise us half
in pity, sure:
To gold still tends,
On gold depends
all! Alas, we poor!
(FAUST, walking thoughtfully up and down. To him MEPHISTOPHELES.)
By all love ever rejected! By hell-fire hot and unsparing!
I wish I
knew something worse, that I might use it for
What ails thee? What is't gripes thee, elf?
A face like thine beheld
I would myself unto the Devil deliver,
If I were not a Devil
Thy head is out of order, sadly:
It much becomes thee to be raving
Just think, the pocket of a priest should get
The trinkets left for
The mother saw them, and, instanter,
A secret dread
began to haunt her.
Keen scent has she for tainted air;
snuffs within her book of prayer,
And smells each article, to see
If sacred or profane it be;
So here she guessed, from every gem,
That not much blessing came with them.
"My child," she said,
Ensnares the soul, consumes the blood.
the Mother of God we'll lay it;
With heavenly manna she'll repay
But Margaret thought, with sour grimace,
"A gift-horse is
not out of place,
And, truly! godless cannot be
The one who
brought such things to me."
A parson came, by the mother bidden:
He saw, at once, where the game was hidden,
And viewed it with a favor
He spake: "That is the proper view,—
The Holy Church has a stomach healthy:
many a land as forfeit,
And never yet complained of surfeit:
Church alone, beyond all question,
Has for ill-gotten goods the right
A general practice is the same,
Which Jew and King may also
Then bagged the spangles, chains, and rings,
As if but toadstools
were the things,
And thanked no less, and thanked no more
if a sack of nuts he bore,—
Promised them fullest heavenly pay,
deeply edified were they.
Sits unrestful still,
And knows not what she should, or will;
Thinks on the jewels, day and night,
But more on him who gave her such
The darling's sorrow gives me pain.
Get thou a set for her again!
The first was not a great display.
O yes, the gentleman finds it all child's-play!
Fix and arrange it to my will;
And on her neighbor try thy skill!
Don't be a Devil stiff as paste,
But get fresh jewels to her
Yes, gracious Sir, in all obedience!
Such an enamored fool in air would blow
Sun, moon, and all the starry
To give his sweetheart a diverting show.
THE NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE
God forgive my husband, yet he
Hasn't done his duty by me!
Off in the world he went straightway,—
Left me lie in the straw where I
And, truly, I did naught to fret him:
God knows I loved,
and can't forget him!
Perhaps he's even dead! Ah, woe!—
Had I a certificate to show!
Margaret! what's happened thee?
I scarce can stand, my knees are trembling!
I find a box, the first
Within my press! Of ebony,—
And things, all splendid to
And richer far than were the old.
You mustn't tell it to your mother!
'Twould go to the priest, as did
Ah, look and see—just look and see!
MARTHA (adorning her)
O, what a blessed luck for thee!
But, ah! in the streets I dare not bear them,
Nor in the church be
seen to wear them.
Yet thou canst often this way wander,
And secretly the jewels
Walk up and down an hour, before the mirror yonder,—
our private joy thereon.
And then a chance will come, a holiday,
When, piece by piece, can one the things abroad display,
A chain at
first, then other ornament:
Thy mother will not see, and stories we'll
Whoever could have brought me things so precious?
wrong, I feel suspicious.
Good Heaven! My mother can that have been?
MARTHA (peeping through the blind)
'Tis some strange gentleman.—Come in!
That I so boldly introduce me,
I beg you, ladies, to excuse me.
(Steps back reverently, on seeing MARGARET.)
For Martha Schwerdtlein I'd inquire!
I'm she: what does the gentleman desire?
MEPHISTOPHELES (aside to her)
It is enough that you are she:
You've a visitor of high degree.
Pardon the freedom I have ta'en,—
Will after noon return again.
Of all things in the world! Just hear—
He takes thee for a lady, dear!
I am a creature young and poor:
The gentleman's too kind, I'm
The jewels don't belong to me.
Ah, not alone the jewelry!
The look, the manner, both
Rejoiced am I that I may stay!
What is your business? I would fain—
I would I had a more cheerful strain!
Take not unkindly its
Your husband's dead, and sends a greeting.
Is dead? Alas, that heart so true!
My husband dead! Let me die,
Ah, dearest dame, let not your courage fail!
Hear me relate the mournful tale!
Therefore I'd never love, believe me!
A loss like this to death would
Joy follows woe, woe after joy comes flying.
Relate his life's sad close to me!
In Padua buried, he is lying
Beside the good Saint Antony,
Within a grave well consecrated,
For cool, eternal rest created.
He gave you, further, no commission?
Yes, one of weight, with many sighs:
Three hundred masses buy, to
save him from perdition!
My hands are empty, otherwise.
What! Not a pocket-piece? no jewelry?
What every journeyman within
his wallet spares,
And as a token with him bears,
starves or begs, than loses?
Madam, it is a grief to me;
Yet, on my word, his cash was put to
Besides, his penitence was very sore,
lamented his ill fortune all the more.
Alack, that men are so unfortunate!
Surely for his soul's sake full
many a prayer I'll proffer.
You well deserve a speedy marriage-offer:
You are so kind,
O, no! As yet, it would not do.
If not a husband, then a beau for you!
It is the greatest heavenly
To have a dear thing for one's caressing.
The country's custom is not so.
Custom, or not! It happens, though.
I stood beside his bed of dying.
'Twas something better than
Half-rotten straw: and yet, he died a Christian, sure,
found that heavier scores to his account were lying.
He cried: "I find
my conduct wholly hateful!
To leave my wife, my trade, in manner so
Ah, the remembrance makes me die!
Would of my wrong
to her I might be shriven!"
The dear, good man! Long since was he forgiven.
"Yet she, God knows! was more to blame than I."
He lied! What! On the brink of death he slandered?
In the last throes his senses wandered,
If I such things but half can
He said: "I had no time for play, for gaping freedom:
First children, and then work for bread to feed 'em,—
For bread, in the
widest sense, to drudge,
And could not even eat my share in peace and
Had he all love, all faith forgotten in his riot?
My work and worry,
day and night?
Not so: the memory of it touched him quite.
Said he: "When I from
Malta went away
My prayers for wife and little ones were zealous,
And such a luck from Heaven befell us,
We made a Turkish merchantman
That to the Soldan bore a mighty treasure.
received, as was most fit,
Since bravery was paid in fullest
My well-apportioned share of it."
Say, how? Say, where? If buried, did he own it?
Who knows, now, whither the four winds have blown it?
A fair young
damsel took him in her care,
As he in Naples wandered round,
And she much love, much faith to him did bear,
that he felt it till his days were ended.
The villain! From his children thieving!
Even all the misery on him
Could not prevent his shameful way of living!
But see! He's dead therefrom, at last.
Were I in your place,
do not doubt me,
I'd mourn him decently a year,
And for another
keep, meanwhile, my eyes about me.
Ah, God! another one so dear
As was my first, this world will hardly
There never was a sweeter fool than mine,
Only he loved
to roam and leave me,
And foreign wenches and foreign wine,
the damned throw of dice, indeed.
Well, well! That might have done, however,
If he had only been as
And treated your slips with as little heed.
swear, with this condition, too,
I would, myself, change rings with
The gentleman is pleased to jest.
I'll cut away, betimes, from here:
She'd take the Devil at his word,
How fares the heart within your breast?
What means the gentleman?
Sweet innocent, thou art!
I'd like to have a legal witness,
Where, how, and when he died, to certify his fitness.
I've always hated;
I want his death in the weekly paper stated.
Yes, my good dame, a pair of witnesses
Always the truth
I have a friend of high condition,
Who'll also add
I'll bring him here.
And this young lady will be present, too?
A gallant youth! has
Ladies with him delighted are.
Before him I should blush, ashamed.
Before no king that could be named!
Behind the house, in my garden, then,
This eve we'll expect the
How is it? under way? and soon complete?
Ah, bravo! Do I find you burning?
Well, Margaret soon will still your
At Neighbor Martha's you'll this evening meet.
fitter woman ne'er was made
To ply the pimp and gypsy trade!
Yet something is required from us.
One service pays the other thus.
We've but to make a deposition valid
That now her husband's limbs,
outstretched and pallid,
At Padua rest, in consecrated soil.
Most wise! And first, of course, we'll make the journey
Sancta simplicitas! no need of such a toil;
knowledge or without it, either!
If you've naught better, then, I'll tear your pretty plan!
Now, there you are! O holy man!
Is it the first time in your life
To bear false witness in a case?
Of God, the world
and all that in it has a place,
Of Man, and all that moves the being of
Have you not terms and definitions given
forehead, daring breast?
And, if you'll probe the thing profoundly,
Knew you so much—and you'll confess it roundly!—
As here of Schwerdtlein's
death and place of rest?
Thou art, and thou remain'st, a sophist, liar.
Yes, knew I not more deeply thy desire.
For wilt thou not, no lover
Poor Margaret flatter, and ensnare her,
And all thy
soul's devotion swear her?
And from my heart.
Thine endless love, thy faith assuring,
The one almighty force enduring,—
Will that, too, prompt this heart of
Hold! hold! It will!—If such my flame,
And for the sense and power
I seek, and cannot find, a name;
Then range with all my
senses through creation,
Craving the speech of inspiration,
call this ardor, so supernal,
Endless, eternal and eternal,—
a devilish lying game?
And yet I'm right!
And spare my lungs henceforth:
Mark this, I beg of thee!
Intends to have the right, if but his
Will have it, certainly.
But come: the further
thou art right, especially since I
(MARGARET on FAUST'S arm. MARTHA and MEPHISTOPHELES
walking up and down.)
I feel, the gentleman allows for me,
Demeans himself, and shames me
A traveller is so used to be
Kindly content with any
I know too well that my poor gossip can
such an experienced man.
A look from thee, a word, more entertains
Than all the lore of wisest
(He kisses her hand.)
Don't incommode yourself! How could you ever kiss it!
It is so ugly,
rough to see!
What work I do,—how hard and steady is it!
is much too close with me.
And you, Sir, travel always, do you not?
Alas, that trade and duty us so harry!
With what a pang one leaves so
many a spot,
And dares not even now and then to tarry!
In young, wild years it suits your ways,
This round and round the
world in freedom sweeping;
But then come on the evil days,
so, as bachelor, into his grave a-creeping,
None ever found a thing to
I dread to see how such a fate advances.
Then, worthy Sir, improve betimes your chances!
Yes, out of sight is out of mind!
Your courtesy an easy grace is;
But you have friends in other places,
And sensibler than I, you'll
Trust me, dear heart! what men call sensible
Is oft mere vanity and
Ah, that simplicity and innocence ne'er know
Themselves, their holy
value, and their spell!
That meekness, lowliness, the highest graces
Which Nature portions out so lovingly—
So you but think a moment's space on me,
All times I'll have to think
on you, all places!
No doubt you're much alone?
Yes, for our household small has grown,
Yet must be cared for, you
We have no maid: I do the knitting, sewing, sweeping,
The cooking, early work and late, in fact;
And mother, in her notions of
Is so exact!
Not that she needs so much to keep
We, more than others, might take comfort, rather:
A nice estate was left us by my father,
A house, a little garden near
But now my days have less of noise and hurry;
brother is a soldier,
My little sister's dead.
True, with the
child a troubled life I led,
Yet I would take again, and willing, all
So very dear was she.
I brought it up, and it was fond of me.
Father had died before it saw
And mother's case seemed hopeless quite,
So weak and
miserable she lay;
And she recovered, then, so slowly, day by day.
She could not think, herself, of giving
The poor wee thing its natural
And so I nursed it all alone
With milk and water: 'twas
Lulled in my lap with many a song,
It smiled, and
tumbled, and grew strong.
The purest bliss was surely then thy dower.
But surely, also, many a weary hour.
I kept the baby's cradle
My bed at night: if 't even stirred, I'd guess it,
And I must nurse it, warm beside me press it,
oft, to quiet it, my bed forsake,
And dandling back and forth the
restless creature take,
Then at the wash-tub stand, at morning's
And then the marketing and kitchen-tending,
day, the same thing, never-ending.
One's spirits, Sir, are thus not
But then one learns to relish rest and food.
Yes, the poor women are bad off, 'tis true:
A stubborn bachelor
there's no converting.
It but depends upon the like of you,
And I should turn to better ways
Speak plainly, Sir, have you no one detected?
Has not your heart been
The proverb says: One's own warm hearth
And a good wife, are gold and
I mean, have you not felt desire, though ne'er so slightly?
I've everywhere, in fact, been entertained politely.
I meant to say, were you not touched in earnest, ever?
One should allow one's self to jest with ladies never.
MARTHA Ah, you don't understand!
I'm sorry I'm so blind: But I am sure—that you are very kind.
And me, thou angel! didst thou recognize,
As through the garden-gate
Did you not see it? I cast down my eyes.
And thou forgiv'st my freedom, and the blame
To my impertinence
As the Cathedral thou wert quitting?
I was confused, the like ne'er happened me;
No one could ever speak
to my discredit.
Ah, thought I, in my conduct has he read
Something immodest or unseemly free?
He seemed to have the sudden
That with this wench 'twere very easy dealing.
confess, I knew not what appeal
On your behalf, here, in my bosom
But I was angry with myself, to feel
That I could not be
angrier with you.
(She plucks a star-flower, and pulls off the leaves, one after
No, it is just in play.
(She pulls off the leaves and
What murmurest thou?
MARGARET (half aloud)
He loves me—loves me not.
Thou sweet, angelic soul!
Loves me—not—loves me—not—
(plucking the last leaf, she cries with
He loves me!
Yes, child! and let this blossom-word
For thee be speech divine! He
Ah, know'st thou what it means? He loves thee!
(He grasps both her hands.)
I'm all a-tremble!
O tremble not! but let this look,
Let this warm clasp of hands
What is unspeakable!
To yield one wholly, and to
feel a rapture
In yielding, that must be eternal!
the end would be despair.
No, no,—no ending! no ending!
MARTHA (coming forward)
The night is falling.
I'd ask you, longer here to tarry,
But evil tongues in this town have
It's as if nobody had nothing to fetch and carry,
But spying all the doings of one's neighbor:
one becomes the talk, do whatsoe'er one may.
Where is our couple
The wilful summer-birds!
Flown up the alley yonder,
He seems of her still fonder.
And she of him. So runs the world away!
(MARGARET comes in, conceals herself behind the door, puts her
finger to her lips, and peeps through the crack.)
FAUST (entering)Ah, rogue! a tease
I have thee! (He kisses her.)
MARGARET (clasping him, and returning the kiss)
Dearest man! I love thee from my
FAUST (stamping his foot)
Yes, Sir, 'tis late.
May I not, then, upon you wait?
My mother would—farewell!
[Exeunt FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES.
Dear God! However is it, such
A man can think and know so much?
I stand ashamed and in amaze,
And answer "Yes" to all he says,
A poor, unknowing child! and he—
I can't think what he finds in me!
FOREST AND CAVERN
Spirit sublime, thou gav'st me, gav'st me all
For which I prayed. Not
unto me in vain
Hast thou thy countenance revealed in fire.
gav'st me Nature as a kingdom grand,
With power to feel and to enjoy it.
Not only cold, amazed acquaintance yield'st,
that in her profoundest breast
I gaze, as in the bosom of a friend.
The ranks of living creatures thou dost lead
Before me, teaching me
to know my brothers
In air and water and the silent wood.
when the storm in forests roars and grinds,
The giant firs, in falling,
And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down,
And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders,—
Then to the cave secure
thou leadest me,
Then show'st me mine own self, and in my breast
The deep, mysterious miracles unfold.
And when the perfect moon before
Comes up with soothing light, around me float
precipice and thicket damp
The silvery phantoms of the ages past,
And temper the austere delight of thought.
That nothing can be perfect unto Man
I now am conscious. With this
Which brings me near and nearer to the Gods,
gav'st the comrade, whom I now no more
Can do without, though, cold and
Demeans me to myself, and with a breath,
transforms thy gifts to nothingness.
Within my breast he fans a lawless
Unwearied, for that fair and lovely form:
Thus in desire I
hasten to enjoyment,
And in enjoyment pine to feel desire.
Have you not led this life quite long enough?
How can a further test
'Tis very well, that once one tries the stuff,
something new must then requite you.
Would there were other work for thee!
To plague my day auspicious
Well! I'll engage to let thee be:
Thou darest not tell me so in
The loss of thee were truly very slight,—
One has one's hands full all the day and night;
If what one does, or
leaves undone, is right,
From such a face as thine there is no
There is, again, thy proper tone!—
That thou hast bored me, I must
Poor Son of Earth, how couldst thou thus alone
Have led thy life,
bereft of me?
I, for a time, at least, have worked thy cure;
fancy's rickets plague thee not at all:
Had I not been, so hadst thou,
Walked thyself off this earthly ball
Why here to caverns,
rocky hollows slinking,
Sit'st thou, as 'twere an owl a-blinking?
Why suck'st, from sodden moss and dripping stone,
A fine way, this, thy time to fill!
Doctor's in thy body still.
What fresh and vital forces, canst thou guess,
Spring from my
commerce with the wilderness?
But, if thou hadst the power of
Thou wouldst be devil enough to grudge my soul the
A blessing drawn from supernatural fountains!
I daren't say how—to pluck the final flower!
In night and dew to lie
upon the mountains;
All Heaven and Earth in rapture penetrating;
Thyself to Godhood haughtily inflating;
To grub with yearning force
through Earth's dark marrow,
Compress the six days' work within thy
To taste, I know not what, in haughty power,
ecstatic life on all things shower,
Thine earthly self behind thee
And then the lofty instinct, thus—
Shame on thee!
Yes, thou findest that unpleasant!
Thou hast the moral right to cry
me "shame!" at present.
One dares not that before chaste ears
Which chaste hearts, notwithstanding, cannot spare;
And, once for all, I grudge thee not the pleasure
Of lying to thyself in
But such a course thou wilt not long endure;
Already art thou o'er-excited,
And, if it last, wilt soon be
To madness and to horror, sure.
Enough of that! Thy
love sits lonely yonder,
By all things saddened and oppressed;
Her thoughts and yearnings seek thee, tenderer, fonder,—
mighty love is in
First came thy passion's flood and poured around her
As when from melted snow a streamlet overflows;
Thou hast therewith so
filled and drowned her,
That now thy stream all shallow
Methinks, instead of in the forests lording,
Sir should find it good,
The love of this young silly blood
once to set about rewarding.
Her time is miserably long;
haunts her window, watching clouds that stray
O'er the old city-wall,
and far away.
"Were I a little bird!" so runs her song,
long, and half night long.
Now she is lively, mostly sad,
wept beyond her tears;
Then again quiet she appears,—Always
Ha! do I trap thee!
Get thee away with thine offences,
Reprobate! Name not that fairest
Nor the desire for her sweet body bring
Again before my
What wouldst thou, then? She thinks that thou art flown;
And half and
half thou art, I own.
Yet am I near, and love keeps watch and ward;
Though I were ne'er so
far, it cannot falter:
I envy even the Body of the Lord
touching of her lips, before the altar.
'Tis very well! My envy oft reposes
On your twin-pair, that
feed among the roses.
Away, thou pimp!
You rail, and it is fun to me.
The God, who fashioned youth and
Perceived the noblest purpose of His trade,
And also made
Go on! It is a woe profound!
'Tis for your
sweetheart's room you're bound,
And not for death, indeed.
What are, within her arms, the heavenly blisses?
Though I be glowing
with her kisses,
Do I not always share her need?
I am the
fugitive, all houseless roaming,
The monster without air or rest,
That like a cataract, down rocks and gorges foaming,
into the abyss's breast!
And side-wards she, with young unwakened
Within her cabin on the Alpine field
Her simple, homely
Her little world therein concealed.
And I, God's
hate flung o'er me,
Had not enough, to thrust
The stubborn rocks
And strike them into dust!
She and her peace I yet
Thou, Hell, hast claimed this sacrifice as thine!
Help, Devil! through the coming pangs to push me;
What must be, let it
Let fall on me her fate, and also crush me,—
whelm both her and me!
Again it seethes, again it glows!
Thou fool, go in and comfort
When such a head as thine no outlet knows,
It thinks the
end must soon occur.
Hail him, who keeps a steadfast mind!
else, dost well the devil-nature wear:
Naught so insipid in the world I
As is a devil in despair.
(at the spinning-wheel, alone)
My peace is gone,
heart is sore:
I never shall find
Save I have him near.
grave is here;
The world is
My poor weak
Is racked and
My thought is
My peace is
My heart is
I never shall find
To see him, him only,
the pane I sit;
To meet him, him
The house I
His noble size,
The smile of his mouth,
power of his eyes,
And the magic
Of his talk, the
In the clasp of his
And, ah! his
My peace is
My heart is
I never shall find
My bosom yearns
Ah, dared I clasp
And hold, and
And kiss his
And on his
At last expire!
Promise me, Henry!—
How is't with thy religion, pray?
Thou art a dear, good-hearted
And yet, I think, dost not incline that way.
Leave that, my child! Thou know'st my love is tender;
For love, my
blood and life would I surrender,
And as for Faith and Church, I grant
to each his own.
That's not enough: we must believe thereon.
Then, too, thou honorest not
the Holy Sacraments.
Would that I had some influence!
I honor them.
'Tis long since thou hast been to
mass or to confession.
Believest thou in God?
"I believe in God!" to say?
My darling, who shall dare
Ask priest or sage the answer to declare,
And it will seem a mocking
A sarcasm on the asker.
Hear me not falsely, sweetest countenance!
Who dare express Him?
And who profess Him,
Saying: I believe in Him!
Deny His being,
Saying: I believe Him not!
Folds and upholds he not
Thee, me, Himself?
Arches not there the sky above us?
beneath us, firm, the earth?
And rise not, on us shining,
Friendly, the everlasting stars?
Look I not, eye to eye, on thee,
And feel'st not, thronging
To head and heart, the force,
weaving its eternal secret,
Invisible, visible, round thy life?
Vast as it is, fill with that force thy heart,
And when thou in the
feeling wholly blessed art,
Call it, then, what thou wilt,—
Bliss! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name to give it!
all in all:
The Name is sound and smoke,
All that is fine and good, to hear it so:
Much the same way the
Only with slightly different phrases.
The same thing, in all places,
All hearts that beat beneath the
Each in its language—say;
Then why not I, in mine, as
To hear it thus, it may seem passable;
And yet, some hitch in't there
For thou hast no Christianity.
I've long been grieved to see
That thou art in such company.
Within my deepest,
inmost soul I hate.
The man who with thee goes, thy mate,
In all my life there's nothing
Has given my
heart so keen a pang of loathing,
As his repulsive face has
Nay, fear him not, my sweetest one!
I feel his presence like something ill.
I've else, for all, a kindly
But, much as my heart to see thee yearneth,
horror of him returneth;
And I think the man a knave, as I live!
If I do him wrong, may God forgive!
There must be such queer birds, however.
Live with the like of him, may I never!
When once inside the door
He looks around so sneeringly,
And half in wrath:
One sees that in nothing no interest he hath:
'Tis written on his
That love, to him, is a thing abhorréd.
I am so
happy on thine arm,
So free, so yielding, and so warm,
his presence stifled seems my heart.
Foreboding angel that thou art!
It overcomes me in such degree,
That wheresoe'er he meets us,
I feel as though I'd lost my love for thee.
When he is by,
I could not pray to Heaven.
That burns within me like a flame,
And surely, Henry, 'tis with thee the same.
There, now, is thine antipathy!
But I must go.
A quiet hour, to see us fondly
With breast to breast, and soul to soul united?
Ah, if I only slept alone!
I'd draw the bolts to-night, for thy
But mother's sleep so light has grown,
And if we were
discovered by her,
'Twould be my death upon the spot!
Thou angel, fear it not!
Here is a phial: in her drink
three drops of it measure,
And deepest sleep will on her senses
What would I not, to give thee pleasure?
It will not harm her, when
one tries it?
If 'twould, my love, would I advise it?
Ah, dearest man, if but thy face I see,
I know not what compels me to
So much have I already done for thee,
more is left me to fulfil.
(Enter MEPHISTOPHELES.) [Exit.
The monkey! Is she gone?
Hast played the spy again?
I've heard, most fully, how she drew thee.
The Doctor has been
catechised, 'tis plain;
Great good, I hope, the thing will do thee.
The girls have much desire to ascertain
If one is prim and good, as
ancient rules compel:
If there he's led, they think, he'll follow them
Thou, monster, wilt nor see nor own
How this pure soul, of faith so
So loving and ineffable,—
The faith alone
salvation is,—with scruples holy
Pines, lest she hold as lost the man
she loves so well!
Thou, full of sensual, super-sensual desire,
A girl by the nose is
Abortion, thou, of filth and fire!
And then, how masterly she reads physiognomy!
When I am present she's
impressed, she knows not how;
She in my mask a hidden sense would
She feels that surely I'm a genius now,—
Perhaps the very
Yet my delight 'twill also be!
AT THE FOUNTAIN
MARGARET and LISBETH With pitchers.
Hast nothing heard of Barbara?
No, not a word. I go so little out.
It's true, Sibylla said, to-day.
She's played the fool at last,
there's not a doubt.
Such taking-on of airs!
She's feeding two, whene'er she eats and
And so, at last, it serves her
She clung to the fellow so long and tightly!
That was a
At village and dance parading!
As the first they
must everywhere shine,
And he treated her always to pies and wine,
And she made a to-do with her face so fine;
So mean and shameless was
She took all the presents the fellow gave her.
'Twas kissing and coddling, on and on!
So now, at the end, the flower is
The poor, poor thing!
When one of us at spinning sat,
And mother, nights, ne'er let us out the door
She sported with her
On the door-bench, in the passage dark,
The length of
the time they'd never mark.
So now her head no more she'll lift,
But do church-penance in her sinner's shift!
He'll surely take her for his wife.
He'd be a fool! A brisk young blade
Has room, elsewhere, to ply his
Besides, he's gone.
If him she gets, why let her beware!
The boys shall dash her wreath
on the floor,
And we'll scatter chaff before her door!
MARGARET (returning home)
How scornfully I once reviled,
When some poor maiden was
More speech than any tongue suffices
I craved, to
censure others' vices.
Black as it seemed, I blackened still,
And blacker yet was in my will;
And blessed myself, and boasted
And now—a living sin am I!
Yet—all that drove my heart
God! was so good, so dear, so true!
(In a niche of the wall a shrine, with an image of the Mater
Dolorosa. Pots of flowers before it.)
(putting fresh flowers in the pots)
Incline, O Maiden,
Thy gracious countenance
upon my pain!
The sword Thy heart
Thou lookest up to where Thy
Son is slain!
Thou seest the
Thy sad sighs
And bear aloft Thy sorrow and
The pangs that wring my
flesh and bone!
Why this anxious heart
Why it trembleth, why it
Knowest Thou, and Thou
Where'er I go, what
What woe, what woe and
Within my bosom
Alone, and ah!
I'm weeping, weeping,
The heart within me
The pots before my
Alas! my tears did
As in the early
For thee these flowers I
Within my lonely
The morning sun shone
I sat, in utter
Already on my
Help! rescue me from death
Thy countenance upon my pain!
STREET BEFORE MARGARET'S DOOR
VALENTINE (a soldier, MARGARET'S brother)
When I have sat at some carouse.
Where each to each his brag
And many a comrade praised to me
His pink of girls right
With brimming glass that spilled the toast,
planted as in boast:
I sat in unconcerned repose,
And heard the
swagger as it rose.
And stroking then my beard, I'd say,
Smiling, the bumper in my hand:
"Each well enough in her own way.
But is there one in all the land
Like sister Margaret, good as
One that to her can a candle hold?"
Cling! clang! "Here's to
her!" went around
The board: "He speaks the truth!" cried some;
"In her the flower o' the sex is found!"
And all the swaggerers were
And now!—I could tear my hair with vexation.
And dash out
my brains in desperation!
With turned-up nose each scamp may face
With sneers and stinging taunts disgrace me,
And, like a
bankrupt debtor sitting,
A chance-dropped word may set me sweating!
Yet, though I thresh them all together,
I cannot call them liars,
But what comes sneaking, there, to view?
If I mistake not, there are
If he's one, let me at him drive!
He shall not leave
the spot alive.
How from the window of the sacristy
Upward th'eternal lamp sends
forth a glimmer,
That, lessening side-wards, fainter grows and
Till darkness closes from the sky!
The shadows thus
within my bosom gather.
I'm like a sentimental tom-cat, rather,
That round the tall
And stealthy, then, along the coping creeps:
Quite virtuous, withal, I come,
A little thievish and a little
I feel in every limb the presage
Day after to-morrow brings its message,
And one keeps watch then with delight.
Meanwhile, may not the treasure risen be,
Which there, behind, I
Shalt soon experience the pleasure,
To lift the kettle with its
I lately gave therein a squint—
Saw splendid lion-dollars
Not even a jewel, not a ring,
To deck therewith my darling girl?
I saw, among the rest, a thing
That seemed to be a chain of
That's well, indeed! For painful is it
To bring no gift when her I
Thou shouldst not find it so annoying,
Without return to be
Now, while the sky leads forth its starry throng,
Thou'lt hear a masterpiece, no work completer:
I'll sing her, first, a
The surer, afterwards, to cheat her.
What dost thou here
Before thy lover's
Lets in a maid.
That out a maid
Of such an one!
When once 'tis done
to thee, poor thing!
Love's time is
Unto no thief
Be warm and lief,
with the wedding-ring!
VALENTINE (comes forward)
Whom wilt thou lure? God's-element!
To the Devil, first, the instrument!
Devil, then, the curst musician!
The cither's smashed! For nothing more 'tis fitting.
There's yet a skull I must be splitting!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
Sir Doctor, don't retreat, I pray!
Stand by: I'll lead, if you'll but
Out with your spit, without delay!
You've but to lunge,
and I will parry.
Then parry that!
How is it, then? my hand's
I think the Devil must fight!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
But come, away! 'Tis time for us to
For there arises now a murderous cry.
With the police
'twere easy to compound it,
But here the penal court will sift and sound
MARTHA (at the window)
Come out! Come out!
MARGARET (at the window)
MARTHA (as above)
They swear and storm, they yell and fight!
Here lies one dead already—see!
MARTHA (coming from the house)
The murderers, whither have they run?
MARGARET (coming out)
Who lies here?
Almighty God! what misery!
I'm dying! That is quickly said,
And quicker yet 'tis done.
Why howl, you women there? Instead,
Come here and listen, every one!
(All gather around him)
My Margaret, see! still young thou art,
But not the least bit shrewd
Thy business thus to slight:
So this advice I bid thee
Now that thou art a whore indeed,
Why, be one then,
My brother! God! such words to me?
In this game let our Lord God be!
What's done's already done,
What follows it, must come to pass.
With one begin'st thou
Then soon will others come to thee,
And when a dozen
thee have known,
Thou'rt also free to all the town.
is born and first appears,
She is in secret brought to light,
And then they draw the veil of night
Over her head and ears;
life, in fact, they're loath to spare her.
But let her growth and
She walks abroad unveiled by day,
Yet is not
grown a whit the fairer.
The uglier she is to sight,
she seeks the day's broad light.
The time I verily can discern
When all the honest folk will turn
From thee, thou jade! and seek
As from a corpse that breeds infection.
heart shall then dismay thee.
When they but look thee in the
Shalt not in a golden chain array thee,
Nor at the altar take
Shalt not, in lace and ribbons flowing,
when the dance is going!
But in some corner, woe betide thee!
Among the beggars and cripples hide thee;
And so, though even God
On earth a damned existence live!
Commend your soul to God for pardon,
That you your heart with slander
Thou pimp most infamous, be still!
Could I thy withered body
'Twould bring, for all my sinful pleasure,
the richest measure.
My brother! This is Hell's own pain!
I tell thee, from thy tears refrain!
When thou from honor didst
It stabbed me to the very heart.
Now through the slumber
of the grave
I go to God as a soldier brave.
SERVICE, ORGAN and ANTHEM.
(MARGARET among much people: the EVIL SPIRIT behind
HOW otherwise was it, Margaret,
When thou, still innocent,
Here to the altar cam'st,
And from the worn and fingered book
Thy prayers didst prattle,
Half sport of childhood,
Where tends thy thought?
What hidden crime?
Pray'st thou for mercy on thy
That fell asleep to long, long torment, and through
Upon thy threshold whose the blood?
And stirreth not and
Something beneath thy heart,
Thy life disquieting
With most foreboding presence?
Would I were free from the thoughts
That cross me,
drawing hither and thither
Diesira, dies illa,
Solvet soeclum in favilla!
of the organ.)
Wrath takes thee!
The trumpet peals!
The graves tremble!
And thy heart
From ashy rest
To fiery torments
Throbs to life!
Would I were forth!
I feel as if the organ here
takes from me,
My very heart
Dissolved by the anthem!
Judex ergo cum sedebit,
Nil inultum remanebit.
I cannot breathe!
The massy pillars
Hide thyself! Sin and shame
Stay never hidden.
Woe to thee!
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus,
Quem patronem rogaturus,
Cum vix Justus sit securus
They turn their faces,
The glorified, from thee:
their hands to offer,
Shuddering, refuse thee!
Quid sum miser tune dicturus?
Neighbor! your cordial! (She
falls in a swoon.)
THE HARTZ MOUNTAINS.
District of Schierke and Elend.
DOST thou not wish a broomstick-steed's assistance?
he-goat I would gladly see:
The way we take, our goal is yet some
So long as in my legs I feel the fresh existence.
This knotted staff
What need to shorten so the way?
labyrinth of vales to wander,
Then climb the rocky ramparts yonder,
Wherefrom the fountain flings eternal spray,
Is such delight, my
steps would fain delay.
The spring-time stirs within the fragrant
And even the fir-tree feels it now:
Should then our
limbs escape its gentle searches?
I notice no such thing, I vow!
'Tis winter still within my body:
Upon my path I wish for frost and snow.
How sadly rises, incomplete
The moon's lone disk, with its belated glow,
lights so dimly, that, as one advances,
At every step one strikes a rock
Let us, then, use a Jack-o'-lantern's glances:
one yonder, burning merrily.
Ho, there! my friend! I'll levy thine
Why waste so vainly thy resplendence?
Be kind enough
to light us up the steep!
My reverence, I hope, will me enable
To curb my temperament
For zigzag courses we are wont to keep.
Indeed? he'd like mankind to imitate!
Now, in the Devil's name, go
Or I'll blow out his being's flickering spark!
You are the master of the house, I mark,
And I shall try to serve you
But then, reflect: the mountain's magic-mad to-day,
if a will-o'-the-wisp must guide you on the way,
You mustn't take things
FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, WILL-O'-THE-WISP
(in alternating song)
We, it seems, have entered
In the sphere of dreams
Do thy bidding, guide us
That our feet be forwards
In the vast, the desert
See them swiftly changing
Trees on trees beside us
And the crags above us
And the rocky snouts,
Hear them snoring, hear
O'er the stones, the
streamlet seek the hollow.
noises? songs that follow?
those heavenly visions?
hope, of love undying!
echoes, like traditions
Of old days,
come faint and hollow.
Shoo-hoo! Nearer hover
screech-owl, and the plover,—
they all awake and crying?
through the bushes?
And the roots,
like serpents twisted,
sand and boulders toiling,
us, weirdest links uncoiling
entrap us, unresisted:
and gnarls uncanny
For the wanderer.
Mice are flying,
Through the moss
and through the heather!
the fire-flies wink and darkle,
Crowded swarms that soar and
And in wildering escort
Tell me, if we still are
Or if further we're
All is turning, whirling,
Trees and rocks with
that spin in mazes,
Grasp my skirt with heart undaunted!
Here a middle-peak is
Whence one seeth, with amaze,
Mammon in the mountain
How strangely glimmers through the hollows
A dreary light, like that
Its exhalation tracks and follows
The deepest gorges,
faint and wan.
Here steam, there rolling vapor sweepeth;
burns the glow through film and haze:
Now like a tender thread it
Now like a fountain leaps and plays.
Here winds away,
and in a hundred
Divided veins the valley braids:
There, in a
corner pressed and sundered,
Itself detaches, spreads and fades.
Here gush the sparkles incandescent
Like scattered showers of golden
But, see! in all their height, at present,
The rocky ramparts
Under the old ribs of the rock retreating
Has not Sir Mammon grandly lighted
His palace for this festal
'Tis lucky thou hast seen the sight;
guests approach that were invited.
How raves the tempest through the air!
With what fierce blows upon my
neck 'tis beating!
Under the old ribs of the rock retreating,
Hold fast, lest thou be
hurled down the abysses there!
The night with the mist is black;
Hark! how the forests grind and crack!
Frightened, the owlets are
Hearken! the pillars are shattered.
Boughs are groaning and breaking,
tree-trunks terribly thunder,
The roots are twisting asunder!
frightfully intricate crashing
Each on the other is dashing,
over the wreck-strewn gorges
The tempest whistles and surges!
Hear'st thou voices higher ringing?
Far away, or nearer singing?
Yes, the mountain's side along,
Sweeps an infuriate glamouring song!
WITCHES (in chorus)
The witches ride to the Brocken's
The stubble is yellow, and
green the crop.
There gathers the
crowd for carnival:
Sir Urian sits
And so they go over
stone and stock;
The witch she——-s,
and——-s the buck.
old Baubo's coming now;
upon a farrow-sow.
honor to whom the honor is due!
Baubo first, to lead the crew!
tough old sow and the mother thereon,
follow the witches, every one.
Which way com'st thou hither?
O'er the Ilsen-stone.
I peeped at the owl in her nest alone:
How she stared and glared!
Betake thee to Hell!
Why so fast and so fell?
She has scored and has flayed me:
See the wounds she has made me!
The way is wide, the way is
See, what a wild and crazy
The broom it scratches, the
fork it thrusts,
The child is
stifled, the mother bursts.
As doth the snail in shell, we
Before us go the women
When towards the Devil's House
Woman's a thousand
do not measure with such care:
in thousand steps is theft.
howsoe'er she hasten may,
Man in one
leap has cleared the way.
VOICE (from above)
Come on, come on, from Rocky Lake!
VOICE (from below)
Aloft we'd fain ourselves betake.
We've washed, and are bright as
ever you will,
Yet we're eternally sterile still.
The wind is hushed, the star shoots
The dreary moon forsakes the
The magic notes, like spark on
Drizzle, whistling through
VOICE (from below)
Halt, there! Ho, there!
VOICE (from above)
Who calls from the rocky cleft below there?
Take me, too! take me, too!
I'm climbing now three hundred years,
And yet the summit cannot see:
Among my equals I would be.
Bears the broom and bears the
Bears the fork and bears the
Who cannot raise himself
Is evermore a ruined
So long I stumble, ill bestead,
And the others are now so far
At home I've neither rest nor cheer,
And yet I cannot
gain them here.
CHORUS OF WITCHES
To cheer the witch will salve
A rag will answer for a
Each trough a goodly ship
He ne'er will fly, who now
When round the summit whirls our
Then lower, and on the
And far and wide the
swarms of wantonness!
(They settle down.)
They crowd and push, they roar and clatter!
They whirl and whistle,
pull and chatter!
They shine, and spirt, and stink, and burn!
The true witch-element we learn.
Keep close! or we are parted, in our
Where art thou?
FAUST (in the distance)
Then house-right I must use,
and clear the way.
What! whirled so far astray?
Make room! Squire Voland comes! Room, gentle
Here, Doctor, hold to me: in one jump we'll resume
An easier space,
and from the crowd be free:
It's too much, even for the like of me.
Yonder, with special light, there's something shining clearer
those bushes; I've a mind to see.
Come on! well slip a little
Spirit of Contradiction! On! I'll follow straight.
'Tis planned most
wisely, if I judge aright:
We climb the Brocken's top in the
That arbitrarily, here, ourselves we isolate.
But see, what motley flames among the heather!
There is a lively club
In smaller circles one is not alone.
Better the summit, I must own:
There fire and whirling smoke I
They seek the Evil One in wild confusion:
there might find solution.
But there enigmas also knotted be.
Leave to the multitude their
Here will we house ourselves in quiet.
It is an old,
That in the greater world the little worlds are
I see stark-nude young witches congregate,
And old ones,
veiled and hidden shrewdly:
On my account be kind, nor treat them
The trouble's small, the fun is great.
I hear the noise
of instruments attuning,—
Vile din! yet one must learn to bear the
Come, come along! It must be, I declare!
go ahead and introduce thee there,
Thine obligation newly earning.
That is no little space: what say'st thou, friend?
Look yonder! thou
canst scarcely see the end:
A hundred fires along the ranks are
They dance, they chat, they cook, they drink, they court:
Now where, just tell me, is there better sport?
Wilt thou, to introduce us to the revel,
Assume the part of wizard or
I'm mostly used, 'tis true, to go incognito,
But on a gala-day one
may his orders show.
The Garter does not deck my suit,
honored and at home is here the cloven foot.
Perceiv'st thou yonder
snail? It cometh, slow and steady;
So delicately its feelers pry,
That it hath scented me already:
I cannot here disguise me, if I
But come! we'll go from this fire to a newer:
I am the
go-between, and thou the wooer.
(To some, who are sitting around dying embers:)
Old gentlemen, why at the outskirts? Enter!
I'd praise you if I found
you snugly in the centre,
With youth and revel round you like a
You each, at home, are quite enough alone.
Say, who would put his trust in nations,
Howe'er for them one may
have worked and planned?
For with the people, as with women,
Youth always has the upper hand.
They're now too far from what is just and sage.
I praise the old
ones, not unduly:
When we were all-in-all, then, truly,
was the real golden age.
We also were not stupid, either,
And what we should not, often
But now all things have from their bases slid,
Just as we
meant to hold them fast together.
Who, now, a work of moderate sense will read?
Such works are held as
antiquate and mossy;
And as regards the younger folk, indeed,
They never yet have been so pert and saucy.
(who all at once appears very old)
I feel that men are ripe for Judgment-Day,
Now for the last time I've
the witches'-hill ascended:
Since to the lees my cask is drained
The world's, as well, must soon be ended.
Ye gentlemen, don't pass me thus!
Let not the chance neglected
Behold my wares attentively:
The stock is rare and
And yet, there's nothing I've collected—
No shop, on earth,
like this you'll find!—
Which has not, once, sore hurt inflicted
the world, and on mankind.
No dagger's here, that set not blood to
No cup, that hath not once, within a healthy frame
Poured speedy death, in poison glowing:
No gems, that have not brought a
maid to shame;
No sword, but severed ties for the unwary,
from behind struck down the adversary.
Gossip! the times thou badly comprehendest:
What's done has
happed—what haps, is done!
'Twere better if for novelties thou
By such alone can we be won.
Let me not lose myself in all this pother!
This is a fair, as never
The whirlpool swirls to get above:
Thou'rt shoved thyself, imagining
But who is that?
Note her especially,
Beware the lure within her lovely
Adam's first wife is she.
The splendid sole adornment of her hair!
succeeds therewith a youth to snare,
Not soon again she frees him from
Those two, the old one with the young one sitting,
already more than fitting.
No rest to-night for young or old!
They start another dance: come
now, let us take hold!
FAUST (dancing with the young witch)
A lovely dream once came to
I then beheld an
And there two fairest
They lured me so, I
THE FAIR ONE
have been desired by you,
first in Paradise they grew;
am moved with joy, to know
within my garden grow.
MEPHISTOPHELES (dancing with the
A dissolute dream once
came to me:
Therein I saw a cloven
Yet,——as 'twas, I fancied
THE OLD ONE
I offer here my best salute
Unto the knight with cloven foot!
Let him a—————prepare,
him—————————does not scare.
Accurséd folk! How dare you venture thus?
Had you not, long since,
That ghosts can't stand on ordinary foundation?
And now you even dance, like one of us!
THE FAIR ONE (dancing)
Why does he come, then, to our ball?
O, everywhere on him you fall!
When others dance, he weighs the
If he can't every step bechatter,
Then 'tis the same as
were the step not made;
But if you forwards go, his ire is most
If you would whirl in regular gyration
As he does in
his dull old mill,
He'd show, at any rate, good-will,—
you heard and heeded his hortation.
You still are here? Nay, 'tis a thing unheard!
Vanish, at once! We've
said the enlightening word.
The pack of devils by no rules is
We are so wise, and yet is Tegel haunted.
To clear the
folly out, how have I swept and stirred!
Twill ne'er be clean: why, 'tis
a thing unheard!
THE FAIR ONE
Then cease to bore us at our ball!
I tell you, spirits, to your face,
I give to spirit-despotism no
My spirit cannot practise it at all.
(The dance continues)
Naught will succeed, I see, amid such revels;
Yet something from a
tour I always save,
And hope, before my last step to the grave,
To overcome the poets and the devils.
He now will seat him in the nearest puddle;
The solace this, whereof
he's most assured:
And when upon his rump the leeches hang and
He'll be of spirits and of Spirit cured.
(To FAUST, who has left the dance:)
Wherefore forsakest thou the lovely maiden,
That in the dance so
Ah! in the midst of it there sprang
A red mouse from her
That's nothing! One must not so squeamish be;
So the mouse was not
gray, enough for thee.
Who'd think of that in love's selected
Then saw I—.
Alone and far, a girl most pale
Mephisto, seest thou there,
She falters on, her way scarce knowing,
As if with
fettered feet that stay her going.
I must confess, it seems to me
As if my kindly Margaret were she.
Let the thing be! All thence have evil drawn:
It is a magic shape, a
Such to encounter is not good:
set stare benumbs the human blood,
And one is almost turned to
Medusa's tale to thee is known.
Forsooth, the eyes they are of one whom, dying,
No hand with loving
That is the breast whereon I once was lying,—
body sweet, beside which I reposed!
Tis magic all, thou fool, seduced so easily!
Unto each man his love
she seems to be.
The woe, the rapture, so ensnare me,
That from her gaze I cannot tear
And, strange! around her fairest throat
A single scarlet
band is gleaming,
No broader than a knife-blade seeming!
Quite right! The mark I also note.
Her head beneath her arm she'll
Twas Perseus lopped it, her old adversary.
crav'st the same illusion still!
Come, let us mount this little
The Prater shows no livelier stir,
And, if they've not
bewitched my sense,
I verily see a theatre.
What's going on?
A new performance—'tis the last
'Twill shortly recommence:
To give that number is the custom here:
'Twas by a
And Dilettanti in the parts appear.
I vanish, pardon, I entreat you!
As Dilettante I the curtain
When I upon the Blocksberg meet you,
I find it good: for that's your
OBERON AND TITANIA's GOLDEN WEDDING
Sons of Mieding, rest to-day!
Needless your machinery:
vale and mountain gray,
That is all the scenery.
That the wedding golden be.
Must fifty years be rounded:
the Golden give to me,
When the strife's compounded.
Spirits, if you're here, be seen—
Show yourselves, delighted!
Fairy king and fairy queen,
They are newly plighted.
Cometh Puck, and, light of limb,
Whisks and whirls in measure:
Come a hundred after him,
To share with him the pleasure.
Ariel's song is heavenly-pure,
His tones are sweet and rare ones:
Though ugly faces he allure,
Yet he allures the fair ones.
Spouses, who would fain agree,
Learn how we were mated!
your pairs would loving be,
First be separated!
If her whims the wife control,
And the man berate her,
him to the Northern Pole,
And her to the Equator!
Snout of fly, mosquito-bill,
And kin of all conditions,
in grass, and cricket-trill,—
These are the musicians!
See the bagpipe on our track!
'Tis the soap-blown bubble:
Hear the schnecke-schnicke-schnack
Through his nostrils
SPIRIT, JUST GROWING INTO FORM
Spider's foot and paunch of toad,
And little wings—we know 'em!
A little creature 'twill not be,
But yet, a little poem.
A LITTLE COUPLE
Little step and lofty leap
Through honey-dew and fragrance:
You'll never mount the airy steep
With all your tripping vagrance.
Is't but masquerading play?
See I with precision?
Meets, to-night, my vision!
Not a claw, no tail I see!
And yet, beyond a cavil,
Gods of Greece," must he
Also be a devil.
I only seize, with sketchy air,
Some outlines of the tourney;
Yet I betimes myself prepare
For my Italian journey.
My bad luck brings me here, alas!
How roars the orgy louder!
And of the witches in the mass,
But only two wear powder.
Powder becomes, like petticoat,
A gray and wrinkled noddy;
I sit naked on my goat,
And show a strapping body.
We've too much tact and policy
To rate with gibes a scolder;
Yet, young and tender though you be,
I hope to see you moulder.
LEADER OF THE BAND
Fly-snout and mosquito-bill,
Don't swarm so round the Naked!
Frog in grass and cricket-trill,
Observe the time, and make it!
WEATHERCOCK (towards one side)
Society to one's desire!
Brides only, and the sweetest!
bachelors of youth and fire.
And prospects the completest!
WEATHERCOCK (towards the other side)
And if the Earth don't open now
To swallow up each ranter,
Why, then will I myself, I vow,
Jump into hell instanter!
Us as little insects see!
With sharpest nippers flitting,
That our Papa Satan we
May honor as is fitting.
How, in crowds together massed,
They are jesting, shameless!
They will even say, at last,
That their hearts are blameless.
Among this witches' revelry
His way one gladly loses;
truly, it would easier be
Than to command the Muses.
CI-DEVANT GENIUS OF THE AGE
The proper folks one's talents laud:
Come on, and none shall pass
The Blocksberg has a summit broad,
Say, who's the stiff and pompous man?
He walks with haughty
He snuffles all he snuffle can:
"He scents the Jesuits'
Both clear and muddy streams, for me
Are good to fish and sport
And thus the pious man you see
With even devils
Yes, for the pious, I suspect,
All instruments are fitting;
And on the Blocksberg they erect
Full many a place of meeting.
A newer chorus now succeeds!
I hear the distant drumming.
"Don't be disturbed! 'tis, in the reeds,
The bittern's changeless
How each his legs in nimble trip
Lifts up, and makes a clearance!
The crooked jump, the heavy skip,
Nor care for the appearance.
The rabble by such hate are held,
To maim and slay delights them:
As Orpheus' lyre the brutes compelled,
The bagpipe here unites
I'll not be led by any lure
Of doubts or critic-cavils:
Devil must be something, sure,—
Or how should there be devils?
This once, the fancy wrought in me
Is really too despotic:
Forsooth, if I am all I see,
I must be idiotic!
This racking fuss on every hand,
It gives me great vexation;
And, for the first time, here I stand
On insecure foundation.
With much delight I see the play,
And grant to these their
Since from the devils I also may
Infer the better
The flame they follow, on and on,
And think they're near the
But Devil rhymes with Doubt alone,
am here with pleasure.
LEADER OF THE BAND
Frog in green, and cricket-trill.
Fly-snout and mosquito-bill,—
Each one's a fine musician!
Sans souci, we call the clan
Of merry creatures so, then;
Go a-foot no more we can,
And on our heads we go, then.
Once many a bit we sponged, but now,
God help us! that is done
Our shoes are all danced out, we trow,
We've but naked
soles to run with.
From the marshes we appear,
Where we originated;
Yet in the
ranks, at once, we're here
As glittering gallants rated.
Darting hither from the sky,
In star and fire light shooting,
Cross-wise now in grass I lie:
Who'll help me to my footing?
THE HEAVY FELLOWS
Room! and round about us, room!
Trodden are the grasses:
Spirits also, spirits come,
And they are bulky masses.
Enter not so stall-fed quite,
Like elephant-calves about one!
And the heaviest weight to-night
Be Puck, himself, the stout one!
If loving Nature at your back,
Or Mind, the wings uncloses,
Follow up my airy track
To the mount of roses!
Cloud and trailing mist o'erhead
Air in leaves, and wind in reed,
And all is
In misery! In despair! Long wretchedly astray on the face
earth, and now imprisoned! That gracious, ill-starred
creature shut in a
dungeon as a criminal, and given
up to fearful torments! To this has it
come! to this!—Treacherous,
contemptible spirit, and thou hast concealed
me!—Stand, then,—stand! Roll the devilish eyes wrathfully in
thy head! Stand and defy me with thine intolerable presence!
Imprisoned! In irretrievable misery! Delivered up to evil
to condemning, unfeeling Man! And thou hast
lulled me, meanwhile, with
the most insipid dissipations, hast
concealed from me her increasing
wretchedness, and suffered
her to go helplessly to ruin!
Roll the devilish eyes wrathfully in thy head
She is not the first.
Dog! Abominable monster! Transform him, thou Infinite
transform the reptile again into his dog-shape? in which
it pleased him
often at night to scamper on before me, to roll
himself at the feet of
the unsuspecting wanderer, and hang
upon his shoulders when he fell!
Transform him again into
his favorite likeness, that he may crawl upon
his belly in the
dust before me,—that I may trample him, the outlawed,
foot! Not the first! O woe! woe which no human soul can
grasp, that more than one being should sink into the depths
misery,—that the first, in its writhing death-agony
under the eyes of
the Eternal Forgiver, did not expiate the
guilt of all others! The
misery of this single one pierces to the
very marrow of my life; and
thou art calmly grinning at the
fate of thousands!
Now we are already again at the end of our wits, where the
understanding of you men runs wild. Why didst thou enter
with us, if thou canst not carry it out? Wilt fly,
and art not secure
against dizziness? Did we thrust ourselves
upon thee, or thou thyself
Gnash not thus thy devouring teeth at me? It fills me with
disgust. Mighty, glorious Spirit, who hast vouchsafed
to me Thine
apparition, who knowest my heart and my soul,
why fetter me to the
felon-comrade, who feeds on mischief and
gluts himself with ruin?
Hast thou done?
Rescue her, or woe to thee! The fearfullest curse be upon
thousands of ages!
I cannot loosen the bonds of the Avenger, nor undo his bolts.
her? Who was it that plunged her into ruin? I, or thou?
(FAUST looks around wildly.)
Wilt thou grasp the thunder? Well that it has not been
given to you,
miserable mortals! To crush to pieces the innocent
the tyrant-fashion of relieving one's
self in embarrassments.
Take me thither! She shall be free!
And the danger to which thou wilt expose thyself? Know
that the guilt
of blood, from thy hand, still lies upon the town!
hover over the spot where the victim fell, and
lie in wait for the
That, too, from thee? Murder and death of a world upon
Take me thither, I say, and liberate her!
I will convey thee there; and hear, what I can do! Have I
power in Heaven and on Earth? I will becloud the
jailer's senses: get
possession of the key, and lead her forth with
human hand! I will keep
watch: the magic steeds are ready,
I will carry you off. So much is in
Up and away!
(FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES speeding onward on black horses.)
What weave they there round the raven-stone?
I know not what they are brewing and doing.
Soaring up, sweeping down, bowing and bending!
They scatter, devote and doom!
(with a bunch of keys and a lamp, before an iron door)
A shudder, long unfelt, comes o'er me;
Mankind's collected woe
o'erwhelms me, here.
She dwells within the dark, damp walls before
And all her crime was a delusion dear!
What! I delay to free
I dread, once again to see her?
On! my shrinking but
lingers Death more near.
(He grasps the lock: the sound of singing is heard inside.)
My mother, the harlot,
Who put me to death;
father, the varlet,
Who eaten me hath!
Little sister, so
Laid my bones in the wood,
In the damp moss and
Then was I a beautiful bird o' the wood;
Fly away! Fly
She does not dream her lover listens near;
That he the rattling
chain, the rustling straw, can hear.
MARGARET (hiding herself on the pallet)
Woe! woe! They come. O
death of bitterness!
Hush! hush! The hour is come that frees
MARGARET (throwing herself before him)
Art thou a man, then
pity my distress!
Thy cries will wake the guards, and they will seize thee!
(He takes hold of the fetters to unlock them.)
MARGARET (on her knees)
Who, headsman! unto thee such power
Over me could give?
Thou'rt come for me at midnight-hour:
Have mercy on me, let me live!
Is't not soon enough when morning chime has run?
And I am yet so young, so young!
And now Death comes, and ruin!
I, too, was fair, and that was my undoing.
My love was near, but now
Torn lies the wreath, scattered the blossoms are.
Seize me not thus so violently!
Spare me! What have I done to thee?
Let me not vainly entreat thee!
I never chanced, in all my days, to
Shall I outlive this misery?
Now am I wholly in thy might.
But let me suckle, first, my baby!
I blissed it all this livelong night;
They took 't away, to vex me,
And now they say I killed the child outright.
shall I be glad again.
They sing songs about me! 'tis bad of the folk to
There's an old story has the same refrain;
Who bade them
so construe it?
FAUST (falling upon his knees)
Here lieth one who loves thee ever,
The thraldom of thy woe to
MARGARET (flinging herself beside him)
O let us kneel, and call the Saints to hide us!
Under the steps
The threshold under,
Hell heaves in thunder!
The Evil One
With terrible wrath
Seeketh a path
MARGARET (attentively listening)
That was the voice of my lover!
(She springs to her feet: the fetters fall off.)
Where is he? I heard him call me.
I am free! No one shall enthrall
To his neck will I fly,
On his bosom lie!
threshold he stood, and Margaret! calling,
Midst of Hell's
howling and noises appalling,
Midst of the wrathful, infernal
I knew the sweet sound of the voice of the vision!
'Tis thou! O, say it once again!
'Tis he! 'tis he! Where now is all my pain?
The anguish of the
dungeon, and the chain?
'Tis thou! Thou comest to save me,
Again the street I see
Where first I looked on thee;
And the garden, brightly blooming,
Where I and Martha wait thy
FAUST (struggling to leave)
Come! Come with me!
So fain I stay, when thou delayest!
If longer here thou stayest,
We shall be made to
dearly rue it.
Kiss me!—canst no longer do it?
My friend, so short a time thou'rt
And hast unlearned thy kissing?
Why is my heart so
anxious, on thy breast?
Where once a heaven thy glances did create
A heaven thy loving words expressed,
And thou didst kiss, as
thou wouldst suffocate me—
Or I'll kiss thee!
(She embraces him.)
Ah, woe! thy lips are chill,
How changed in
Who has done me this ill?
(She turns away from him.)
Come, follow me! My darling, be more bold:
I'll clasp thee, soon,
with warmth a thousand-fold;
But follow now! 'Tis all I beg of thee.
MARGARET (turning to him)
And is it thou? Thou, surely, certainly?
'Tis I! Come on!
And in thy lap wilt take me once
Thou wilt unloose my chain,
How comes it that thou dost not shrink from me?—
thou know, my friend, whom thou mak'st free?
Come! come! The night already vanisheth.
My mother have I put to death;
I've drowned the baby born to
Was it not given to thee and me?
Thee, too!—'Tis thou! It
scarcely true doth seem—
Give me thy hand! 'Tis not a dream!
dear, dear hand!—But, ah, 'tis wet!
Why, wipe it off! Methinks that
There's blood thereon.
Ah, God! what hast thou done?
Nay, sheathe thy sword at last!
Do not affray me!
O, let the past be past!
Thy words will slay me!
No, no! Thou must outlive us.
Now I'll tell thee the graves to give
Thou must begin to-morrow
The work of sorrow!
best place give to my mother,
Then close at her side my brother,
And me a little away,
But not too very far, I pray!
And here, on
my right breast, my baby lay!
Nobody else will lie beside me!—
within thine arms to hide me,
That was a sweet and a gracious bliss,
But no more, no more can I attain it!
I would force myself on thee
and constrain it,
And it seems thou repellest my kiss:
'tis thou, so good, so kind to see!
If thou feel'st it is I, then come with me!
If the grave is there,
Death lying in wait, then come!
here to eternal rest:
No further step—no, no!
Thou goest away! O
Henry, if I could go!
Thou canst! Just will it! Open stands the door.
I dare not go: there's no hope any more.
Why should I fly? They'll
still my steps waylay!
It is so wretched, forced to beg my living,
And a bad conscience sharper misery giving!
It is so wretched, to be
And I'd still be followed and taken!
I'll stay with thee.
Be quick! Be quick!
Save thy perishing child!
Up by the brook,
If the grave is there, Death lying in wait, then come!
Over the bridge,
Into the wood,
To the left, where the plank
In the pool!
Seize it in haste!
'Tis trying to
'Tis struggling still!
Save it! Save it!
Recall thy wandering will!
One step, and thou art free at last!
If the mountain we had only passed!
There sits my mother upon a
I feel an icy shiver!
There sits my mother upon a stone,
And her head is wagging ever.
She beckons, she nods not, her heavy
head falls o'er;
She slept so long that she wakes no more.
slept, while we were caressing:
Ah, those were the days of blessing!
Here words and prayers are nothing worth;
I'll venture, then, to bear
No—let me go! I'll suffer no force!
Grasp me not so murderously!
I've done, else, all things for the love of thee.
The day dawns: Dearest! Dearest!
Day? Yes, the day comes,—the last day breaks for me!
it was to be!
Tell no one thou has been with Margaret!
my garland! The chances
Are over—'tis all in vain!
We shall meet
But not at the dances!
The crowd is thronging, no
word is spoken:
The square below
And the streets overflow:
The death-bell tolls, the wand is broken.
I am seized, and bound, and
Shoved to the block—they give the sign!
Now over each neck
The blade that is quivering over mine.
the world like the grave!
O had I ne'er been born!
MEPHISTOPHELES (appears outside)
Off! or you're lost ere morn.
Useless talking, delaying and
My horses are neighing:
The morning twilight is
What rises up from the threshold here?
He! he! suffer him not!
What does he want in this holy spot?
He seeks me!
Judgment of God! myself to thee I give.
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
Come! or I'll leave her in the lurch, and thee!
Thine am I, Father! rescue me!
Ye angels, holy cohorts, guard me,
Camp around, and from evil ward me!
Henry! I shudder to think of
She is judged!
VOICE (from above)
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
(He disappears with FAUST.)
VOICE (from within, dying away)
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