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GOETHE'S FAUST Second Part of the Tragedy

ACT I[편집]


T bedded onjloivery turf, weary, restless, seeking sleep.


^SPIRIT-RING in hovering motion. Graceful, tiny forms.


[Song, accompanied 'with JEollan harps

When the springtide shower of blossom

Flutters down all men upon ;

When on mortals from earth's bosom

Smiles the fields' green benison ;

Elves great-souled though small of stature

Haste to help where help they can.

Good or evil be his nature

Pity they the luckless man.

Ye round this head in airy wheel that hover, In noble elfin-guise yourselves discover. Soothe ye the bosom's unrelenting strife. Withdraw the bitter darts of self- upbraiding, Purge ye his soul from horror of past life.

1 2 Goethe's Faust

Four watches night hath ere her fading Pause not let each with kindly deeds be rife. And first, lay ye his head on the cool pillow, Bathe him in dew from Lethe's waters drawn. Soon will the cramp-racked limbs be lithe as


If new-refreshed he sleep to meet the dawn. Fulfil the fairest elfin-rite, Give him again to the holy light.


[Singly, by twos and many together, alternately and collectively.


When soft breezes swell, and vagrant Haunt the green-embosomed lawn, Twilight sheds its spices fragrant, Sinks its mists like curtains drawn, Breathes sweet peace, his heart composes Like a child's that rests from play, On his eyes so weary, closes Soft the portals of the day.

(Notturno. )

Now the Night more deeply darkles, Linketh holy star to star. Mighty torches, tiny sparkles, Glimmer near and gleam afar. Glassed within the lake they glimmer, Gleam in Night's unclouded round ; Throned aloft the moon's full shimmer Seals the bliss of peace profound.

Part II I 3


Now the hours are spent and over, Weal and woe are swept away. Dream of health ! Thou wilt recover ! Trust the gleam of new-born day ! Vales grow green, and swell like pillows Hills to shady rest that woo, And in swaying silver billows Waves the corn the harvest to.


Wish on wish wouldst compass crowded, Lift thine eyes to yon bright steep. Only softly art thou shrouded, Cast away the shell of sleep ! Falter not ! Thine heart embolden When the throng faint-hearted flees. Naught is from the brave withholden Who is wise and swift to seize.

\_A tremendous tumult heralds the approach of the sun.


Hark ! The Hours in storm are winging,

And, to spirit ears loud-ringing,

Now the new-born day is springing.

Rocky portals clang asunder,

Phoebus' wheels roll forth in thunder,

What a tumult brings the light !

Loud the trump of dawn hath sounded,

Eye is dazzled, ear astounded,

The Unheard no ear may smite.

Slip ye to your silent palace,

Deep within the flow'ret's chalice,

In the cliffs and 'neath the leaf i

If it reach you, ye are deaf!

14 Goethe's Faust


Life's pulses newly-quickened now awaken, Softly to greet the ethereal twilight leaping ; Thou Earth through this night too hast stood


And at my feet fresh breathest from thy sleeping. Thou girdest me about with gladness, priming My soul to stern resolve and strenuous keeping, Onward to strive, to highest life still climbing. Unfolded lies the world in twilight-shimmer ; With thousand-throated song the woods are

chiming ; The dales, wherethrough the mist-wreaths wind,

lie dimmer,

Yet heavenly radiance plumbs the deeps un- numbered, And bough and twig, new-quickened, bud and

glimmer Forth from the fragrant depths where sunk they

slumbered, Whilst hue on hue against the gloom still

heightens, Where bloom and blade with quivering pearls

are cumbered. A very Paradise about me lightens !

Look up ! The giant peaks that rise supernal Herald the solemn hour ; for them first brightens The early radiance of the light eternal, Upon us valley-dwellers later showered. Now are the green-sunk, Alpine meadows vernal With radiance new and new distinctness dowered, And stepwise downward hath the splendour thriven.

Part II 15

He sallies forth, and I mine overpowered And aching eyes to turn away am driven.

Thus when a yearning hope, from fear and


Up to the highest wish in trust hath striven, The portals of fulfilment yawn asunder. Then bursts from yonder depths whose days

ne'er dwindle

Excess of flame we stand as smit with thunder. The torch of life it was we sought to kindle, A sea of fire, and what a fire ! hath penned us. Is't Love? Is't Hate? that yonder glowing


In bliss and bale alternating tremendous About us twines, till we the dazed beholders To veil our gaze in Earth's fresh mantle wend


Nay then, the sun shall bide behind my

shoulders !

The cataract,. that through the gorge doth thunder I'll watch with growing rapture, 'mid the boulders From plunge to plunge down-rolling, rent


In thousand thousand streams, aloft that shower Foam upon hissing foam, the depths from under. Yet blossoms from this storm a radiant flower ; The painted rainbow bends its changeful being, Now lost in air, now limned with clearest power, Shedding this fragrant coolness round us fleeing. Its rays an image of man's efforts render ; Think, and more clearly wilt thou grasp it, seeing Life in the many-hued, reflected splendour.

1 6 Goethe's Faust


Privy Council, awaiting the Emperor.

Flourish of trumpets.

Enter COURT RETAINERS of all kinds, splendidly clad. The EMPEROR takes his seat on tht throne ; the ASTROLOGER on his right hand.


Greeting, my Trusty, Well-beloved, Gathered from near and far ! Now marry, The Wise Man at my side doth tarry, But whither is the Fool removed ?


Behind thy mantle's train no rare case- He fell of a heap upon the staircase. The load of fat they bore away, Or dead, or drunk, can no man say.


And in his place another straightway Thrust him, or ere to give his mate way The throng had parted, clad with art So quaint, though rich, that all men start. The guards their halberds in the gateway Crosswise to bar his entrance hold, Yet there he comes, the Fool so bold !

[kneeling at the throne. What is accursed, yet welcome ever ? What sought, yet ever chased away I

Part II 17

What is aye taken into favour ? What chidden and condemned for aye ? What must thou to thine aid not summon ? What name rings sweet to every man ? What nears thy throne with happy omen ? What from thy throne itself doth ban ?


Spare at this time with words to fiddle ! Here is no place to rhyme and riddle. These gentlemen with such affairs Concern them. Pray resolve me theirs ! I'd hear it gladly ! Mine old Fool, I fear me, Is far afield. Have thou his place ! Come near me !


[goes up and takes his stand on the left of the throne.


A new Fool comes New pains begin Whence comes he here How came he in The old Fool tripped Into the grave He was a tub This is a stave


Well then, ye Trusty, Well-beloved, Welcome from near and far ! Ye cannot Assemble 'neath a fairer planet. Yonder o'erhead our counsels are approved, And luck and welfare writ. Yet wherefore, Now, when our cares we nothing care for, But masks and mummery prepare for,

1 8 Goethe's Faust

And think on naught but merry-making, Wherefore torment ourselves with counsel- taking ?

Yet since ye deem the task we may not shun, What is done shall not be undone.


The loftiest virtue, like an aureole, Circles the Emperor's head. This virtue sole With valid force he exercises. Justice it is ! What every mortal prizes, What all demand, all wish, and may not want it, With him it rests unto his folk to grant it. Yet ah ! what profiteth man's mind good sense, Good-will his hand, his heart benevolence, When through the State a fever runs and revels, And evil hatches out its brood of evils ? Who from this eminence the realm o'ereyes, Him seems a nightmare, where, in grisly wise, Its court Misshape 'mid things misshapen holdeth, Unlaw in forms of Law its violence mouldeth, And a whole world of Error still unfoldeth.

This man steals herds, a woman that, And cross and candlestick and chalice The altar from, and vaunts his malice For years, whole-skinned, inviolate. The courts are crowded late and early, The judge sits high in cushioned state, The while the frenzied hurly-burly Of Riot rages, waxing great. Who hath most mates in crime, unwroken In crime may steep him to the hilt, And Guilty I is the verdict spoken O'er Innocence at bay, by Guilt.

Part II 19

Thus crumbles all the world asunder, All reverence tread they in the dust. How should the feeling grow, I wondei, Alone that leads us to the Just ? The well-intentioned man at length Yields to the flatterer, the briber ; The judge turns felon, when his strength To wield the rod is cut i' the fibre. I've painted black, but fain would drape The picture in a thicker crape.


We needs must seek some wholesome measure. When all are wronged and wrong at pleasure Falls Majesty itself a prey.


In these wild times how fierce all rages !

Each slays and is slain for his wages,

And deaf to the command are they.

The Ritter in his rocky eyrie,

The Burgher in his ramparts' bound

Have sworn together to outweary

Our forces, and they stand their ground.

The mercenary, restive growing,

Doth turbulently clamour for his pay,

And would, to him were naught more owing,

Fairly and frankly run away.

Whoso forbids what all delighted

Would see hath stirred a hornets' nest.

The Empire they to shield are plighted

'Neath their own hands lies sacked and waste,

We let their frenzy raging riot.

Now half the world to wrack doth turn.

Without are kings still ; they in quiet

Look on and think it none of their concern.

20 Goethe's Faust


Who in allies can have affiance?

On promised subsidies reliance ?

Like pipe-borne water fails the flow !

And Sire, I fain would have resolved

On whom the lordship hath devolved

In thy wide states, for wheresoever we go

A new lord lords it, nor will homage tender.

Needs must we idly watch him play the king '

We of so many rights have made surrender,

Ourselves no more have right to anything.

On parties too there's no reliance,

However they are called, of late.

Whether they praise or breathe defiance,

Indifferent grown are love and hate.

For now to rest them from their labour

Lie hidden Ghibelline and Guelph.

And what man now will help his neighbour ?

Each has enough to help himself.

Nailed up with boards are now Gold's portals,

And scratch and scrape and hoard all mortals,

The while our coffers empty gape.


What mischief 1 as well must suffer,

And every day my task grows tougher !

We use more daily, yet to scrape

And spare each day our brains we rack.

True, on the kitchen rests a benison,

For wild-swine, stags and hares and venison,

Pheasant and poultry, goose and duckling,

Our greedy larder still are suckling.

What's paid in kind still hangs not back.

Yet in the end the wine doth lack.

Part II 2 i

Vineyard and vintage once o* the best were


Cask upon cask, in number puzzling, Our cellars in. With endless guzzling Our noble lords have fairly drained them dry The City Council too must broach its liquor. They drink from bowl, they drink from beaker, And 'neath the board the feast doth lie. Now I must pay what each disburses ! The Jew will show his tender mercies, So pawned beforehand the State-Purse is, And each year eat we next year's pie ; And pawned the pillow on the bed is, The swine can't fatten, nay, the bread is Once eat already ere it see the board.


[after some reflection , to Mcphistophclcs. Say, Fool, canst not thou too some ill record ?


Marry, not I ! To look upon this splendour ! What could such sight but confidence engender, Where Majesty bears undisputed sway, Where ready might sweeps hostile arms away, And where Good-will, by Reason nerved, doth


With manifold activity at hand ? What could unite for mischief in such muster ? For darkness what, where stars so radiant

cluster ?


That is a rogue That knows his cue And lies himself Well into view

22 Goethe's Faust

Full well I know What lurks behind What pray ? He'll moot some Scheme, you'll find


Where doth not something lack, on this wide

earth ?

Here this, here that, of money here is dearth. True, you can't pick it from the floor at pleasure, And yet can wisdom reach the deepest treasure. In mountain-vein, in walled foundation, Coined and uncoined hath gold its habitation. And should you ask who'll bring the same to

light : The gifted man, with Mind's and Nature's



Nature and Mind ! To Christian ears such

treason !

Why atheists for no better reason Are burned. Such talk is highly perilous. Nature is Sin and Mind is Devil ! They nurse between them Doubt, their evil- Favoured bastard. Tell not us ! Two stocks produced, to be its glory, The Emperor's ancient Territory. They buttress worthily his throne : The Saints and Knights ! They bear the burden Of every storm, and for their guerdon Take Church and State to be their own. The rabble-will of doting dizzards They set them stoutly to withstand. The heretics, I mean, the wizards ! 'Tis they that ruin town and land.

Part II 23

These wilt thou now with shameless juggle Into these lofty circles smuggle. To hearts corrupt in trust ye snuggle That with the Fool are glove to hand.


Thereby the learned Sir I recognise ! What ye not handle, miles far from ye lies ; What ye not grasp, that fails you through and

through ;

What ye not reckon, think ye, is not true ; What ye not weigh, it hath no weight, say ye ; What ye not coin, it hath no currency.


Thereby to ease our needs dost naught determine. What wilt at this time with thy Lenten sermon ? I'm weary of this endless how and if\ Money we want get money, Gad's my life !


I'll get you all you wish and more. 'Tis true The task is light yet light is heavy too. It lies already there but how to reach it ? Aye, there's the art but where's the man to

teach it ?

Bethink thee how, in yonder panic-stricken Times, when o'er land and folk alike did thicken The whelming human floods, his dearest treasure To hide, spite of his fear, this man found leisure And that, or here or there ; thus 'neath the sway Of mighty Rome, and thus till yesterday, Aye, till to-day it was. This all lies buried Beneath the soil the Emperor's soil and

quarried The Emperor's 'twill be.

24 Goethe's Faust


The Fool hath wit ! Such is indeed the ancient Emperor's right.


'Tis Satan lays for you his golden springes ; All right and pious laws the scheme infringes.


So he bring welcome gifts to Court, no tittle Care I, e'en though I be i' the wrong a little.


The Fool hath wit bids all unto the feast ; Whence it may come, the Soldier troubles least.


And if belike ye think I seek to cozen,

Let the Astrologer be umpire chosen.

Zone upon zone, each Hour and House he

knows. Come tell us now what aspect Heaven shows !


Two rogues they are They're hand and


Fantastico and Fool They move Beside the Throne The song is stale The Fool doth prompt The Wise Man's



\jpeaks, Mephistophclcs prompts. The Sun himself is purest Gold indeed ; The Herald Mercury serves for love and meed ;

Part II 25

Dame Venus hath bewitched you all, for she Morning and eve looks on you lovingly ; Chaste Luna hath her lunes most whimsical ; Mars, though he smite not, threatens you withal ; And Jupiter hath still the fairest gleam ; Saturn is great, yet far, and small doth seem ; As metal him we lightly venerate, Of trifling worth, yet heavy is his weight. Is Sol with Luna in conjunction twirled, Silver with Gold, then is it merry world. All else is lightly won : fair garden-closes, Palaces, dainty breasts, and cheeks like roses. These will procure the deeply learned man, Who can do that which none amongst us can.


I hear his every word twice o'er, Yet doth it not convince me more.


Some trick I smoke A threshed-out joke Calendary, Alchymistry Time and again I've hoped in vain And should he come 'Twill prove a hum


They stand about and gape in wonder, Trust not the treasure-trove Fve found ; But some of magic mandrakes maunder, Some maunder of the Swarthy Hound. What though the one sets all the prickles Of his keen wit on end, and one Cries sorcery, his sole still haply tickles, Stumbles his foot where is no stone.

26 Goethe's Faust

All feel the secret operation

Of Nature's never-failing sway,

And from Earth's nethermost foundation

A living trail worms up its way.

When every member jerks and twitches,

When runs a thrill all down your spine,

Then fall to work to dig and mine,

There lies the fiddler, there the riches !


My feet are turned to lead throughout I've cramp i' the arm but that is gout How my great toe doth twitch and tweak And all my back is but one ache By all these tokens lies around The very richest treasure-ground.


Come ! thou shalt make me no denial. Thy froth of lies put to the trial ; Show us forthwith these spaces ample ! Sceptre and sword, to set example I'll doff, and an thou lie not, lend Mine own high hands the work to end, Thee, if thou lie, to Hell I'll send !


I'd find my way there unassisted, marry ! Yet to proclaim I cannot weary What ownerless lies waiting everywhere. The hind through earth that drives the share Turns with the clod a crock of gold up. From the clay wall he seeks saltpetre, and All fearful glad, he findeth rolled up Gold upon gold, within his needy hand.

Part II 27

What vaults to burst ! Into what courses,

What rifts and shafts, what hidden sources

His way the treasure-seeker forces,

The confines of the nether- world !

In cellars roomy, sealed, the delver

Sees golden goblet, platter, salver,

In gleaming row on row unfurled.

There beakers wrought from rubies twinkle ;

And would he use them, here's a wrinkle

A world-old liquor stands in sight.

But will ye trust me ? long since rotten

The staves are, yet the wine hath gotten

A cask of crust all staunch and tight.

Such noble wines enshroud their essence,

Not gold and gems their iridescence

Alone, in horror and in gloom.

Boldly the wise these secrets rifle.

What, know by daylight ! That's a trifle !

In blackest night are mysteries at home.


Them leave I thee ! If aught hath worth,

beshrew me

It must unto the light ! What boots the gloomy ? Who rightly knows the rogue by night-time,


Whenas all cows are black, all cats are gray ? The crocks hereunder with their golden freight, Drive thou the ploughshare, and unearth them



Take spade and mattock, dig and burrow Thyself! The peasant-toil, O King, Will make thee great, and from the furrow A herd of golden calves will spring.

28 Goethe's Faust

Then mayst adorn with joy ecstatic Thyself, thy love, shun no extravagance ; Jewels that flash with myriad hues prismatic Beauty and Majesty alike enhance.


Forthwith ! Forthwith ! Come, put me off no longer !

nnw B a'-j~ /

ASTROLOGER (as above).

Sire, pray you moderate this instant hunger !

First let slip by the motley merry games ;

We may not reach the goal with scattered aims.

By self-command we first must school our spirit ;

The Under by the Over must we merit ;

Who seeketh Good must first be good.

Who would have joy, first let him calm his

blood; Who wine, ripe grapes must press, when the

nights lengthen ; Who hopes for miracles, his faith must strengthen.


Well then, we'll waste the hours with


Yet wished-for come Ash- Wednesday and Lent. Meanwhile we'll keep, whatever may befall, But the more merrily our mad Carnival.

Tuckets . Exeunt.


How Fortune linked is with Merit

To their fools' wits doth ne'er occur.

Had they the Philosopher's Stone, I swear it,

The Stone had no Philosopher.

Part II 29


[with side -chambers, adorned and ar- ranged for the Masquerade.


Expect not, as in German revels,

Dances of Death, of Fools, of Devils ;

A lightsome feast you'll have anon.

Homeward our Lord his way did measure,

Himself to profit, you to pleasure,

Climbed the high Alps that breast the azure,

And thus a lightsome realm he won.

He begged him on his progress Homewards

At holy soles the right to reign.

When for himself the Crown he carried


For us he brought the Fool's Cap with him then. Now are we all new-born and jolly ! Now every worldly-prudent man Snugly o'er head and ears doth draw it wholly ; It likens him to madbrained Folly 'Neath it he hath such wisdom as he can. Lo now ! Their ranks they marshal yonder, Pair them in love or sway asunder ; Band links to band i' the vestibule. Come forth, let shame not stay your coming ! The World, this Realm of mad Misrule, With all its mockeries and mumming, Is still the one great motley Fool.


[Song accompanied with Mandolines.

We, to win your commendation Decked to-night in seemly sort,

30 Goethe's Faust

Maids of Florence, left our nation With the brilliant German court.

In our auburn tresses cluster Blossoms bright of many a hue. Floss of silk doth lend its lustre, Threads of silk are woven through.

Great the service that we render, So we deem, and bright our cheer. Wrought with art in fadeless splendour Bloom our blossoms all the year.

Many a tinted shred and snippet In due symmetry is set. Piece by piece though ye may quip it, Doth the whole delight ye yet.

Fair are we in form and feature, Flower-maids, coquets beside, For who knows not woman's nature Is with art so near allied ?

> : '^noT&>hU-idbf;n-'


Show your basket, each fair maiden, Brimming with its gorgeous treasure, Wherewith head and arm are laden. Each shall choose what gives him pleasure. Haste ! In many a leafy alley Straightway be revealed a garden ! Well the throng may round them rally, Fair the peddlers, fair their burden.


Buy, come buy, where joy is regnant, But no chaffering, we crave !

Part II

Pithy words with meaning pregnant, Teach to each what he may have.


I not envy any blossom, Open not to strife my bosom, Strife is to my nature strange. Am I not of lands the marrow, Amulet 'gainst spear and arrow, Badge of Peace where'er you range ? And this day I hope discreetly Some fair head to garland meetly.


Gifts of Ceres to attire ye Seemly will they be and rare. What for usage most desire ye Be as your adornment fair !


Bright-hued blossoms like to mallows, Wrought from moss, a magic-bloom ! Nature doth not frame their fellows ; Fashion reigneth in her room.


Me to call by name would never Theophrastus' self endeavour, Yet, e'en if not all and any, Still I hope I may please many, Who would find me match her graces, Should she weave me in her tresses, Should she deign, O happy blossom ! E'en to lay me in her bosom.

32 Goethe's Faust


p Spoken by one of the maidens ivho hides a bunch of flowers behind her back.

Let bright fancies, mocking reason, For the fashion of a season Blossom whimsically moulded, Such as Nature ne'er unfolded ; Stems of green, gold bells a-cluster, Gleam amid the lock's rich lustre, But we

f] 1 Here the speaker shows the hidden flowers, which prove to be


seek a shy retreat. Blest who finds us fresh and sweet ! When her banner Summer raises, Rosebud into blossom blazes, What a bliss each heart surcharges ! Budding promise, blooming largesse, Sovereign in Flora's realm, Sight and sense and soul o'erwhelm.

[Theflowcr-maidens daintily set out their ware in alleys of green foliage.


[_Song accompanied by Theorbos. Lo ! your brows with charms embellish, Sweetest flow'rets soft-unclosing. Fruit that knows not how to cozen Ye may taste and tasting relish.

1 The stage-directions are here supplied by th translator.

Part II 33

Proffer faces brown and swarthy, Berries, cherries, plums and peaches. Buy, for tongue, for palate teaches Eyes are judges all unworthy.

Come, the ripest fruit that grows is Here with relish to be eaten. Let the poets rhyme of roses, But the apple must be bitten !

Pray you now, vouchsafe that fellows To your rich young bloom we be. Wealth of ware that Autumn mellows We will heap in company.

Then in arbours arching over,

Decked with garlands gay to boot,

All at once ye may discover

Bud and blossom, leaf and fruit.

^Wiih alternate song, accompanied by Guitars and Theorbos, both Choruses continue to set out their wares step'wise from below up- wards, and to offer them to the spectators.



Lassie, when thou saw'st the light, Straight my little chitty In a little cap I dight, Thought thee, oh, so pretty ! Thought the lovers came to woo, Thought I saw thee wedded to The richest in the city.

34 Goethe's Faust

Lack-a-day, the years have fled

In a train unbroken !

Gallant wooers past us sped,

Never a one hath spoken !

Yet with this didst dance and chat,

With thine elbow unto that

Gav'st a silent token.

All our feasts in vain were held, Never could we snatch one. Forfeits, tersey, naught availed, Though they often match one. This day are the fools let loose ; Sweetheart, ope thy lap, who knows ? Haply wilt thou catch one !


[young and fair, join her. A confiden- ^\ V rid chatter is heard.


ets, Jis king-rods, limed twigs, and other gear, enter and mingle with the pretty girls. Reciprocal attempts to win, to catch, to evade, and to hold fast, give occasion to the most agreeable dialogues.


[enter boisterously and uncouthly. Room ! Make a clearing ! Room, and be limber, For we fell timber ! Crashing it tumbles, And jolts and rumbles The load we're bearing.

Part II 35

Due honour grudge not, But pray divine, folk, Did rough folk drudge not All round about them, How would the fine folk Make shift without them, For all their fretting ? This mark ye ever, For ye would shiver But for our sweating.


[Ungainly, almost imbecile* The foolish ye are, Born stooping. We are The ehrewd, the clever, That bare naught ever, For cap and jacket We count no packet ; We bear them lightly, And snug and sprightly, All labour loathing, Our slippered sloth in, Through throng and market We gaily spark it. There stand we gaping, Gibing and japing, And thus we justle Through crowd and bustle. Eel-like we slip through, Together trip through, Riot together, Nor do we whether Ye praise or blame us Or pride or shame us.

36 Goethe's Faust


(Fawnmgly lickerish}. Of you, stout bearers, And your toil's sharers, The charcoal-burners, We are not spurners. For all our bowing, Assenting faces, And fulsome phrases, Our double-blowing That warms or chilleth As one man feeleth, What could it profit ? For were fire sent us From Heaven portentous, What had we of it, Were there no fire-wood, Nor charcoal-lading, That swift inspire would The embers fading f What roasting, frizzling, What boiling, sizzling ! 10 Your dainty-picker The platter-licker, Scents roast, is able At fish to guess too. It whets his zest to His patron's table.

TOPER, maudlin.

With my humour nothing quarrels On this day, I feel so free ; Jollity and lusty carols I myself have brought with me. '

Part II 37

So my clay I sprinkle, sprinkle ! Clink your glasses ! tinkle, tinkle ! Thou behind there, pray come on ! Clink your glasses, and so 'tis done !

Shrieked my loving spouse indignant, At my motley coat did mock. Railed for all my airs malignant, Out upon thee, mumming-stock ! Yet my clay I sprinkle, sprinkle ! Clink your glasses ! tinkle, tinkle ! Mumming-stocks, clink every one i When it tinkles, all is done.

Never say : This toper lost is ! Snugly here in port I'm laid. Will the host not trust, the hostess Will, and will not she, the maid. Still my clay I sprinkle, sprinkle i Up, ye comrades ! tinkle, tinkle ! Each to each, and on and on, Nay, I fancy, now 'tis done !

Naught I reck, but take my pleasure, Where and how it comes to hand. Let me lie here at my leisure, For I can no longer stand.


Brothers all, your clay besprinkle ! Toasting gaily, tinkle, tinkle ! Bench and board sit tightly on ! Under the table, nay, he's done !

38 Goethe's Faust


' n 1 ' r

^announces divers poets, Poets of Nature, Courtly and Knightly Minstrels, Sentimentalists and En- thusiasts. In the throng of rivals of all sorts, no one a/lotus another to come to speech. One slinks past with a few words.


Know ye far and away what

Me, poet, were most dear to ?

Could I but sing, and say what

No mortal would lend ear to.

[The Nocturnal and Charnel-house Poets beg to be excused, inasmuch as they happen at this very moment to be engaged in a most interesting conversation with a freshly-arisen vampire, wherefrom haply a new genre of poetry may be evolved ; the Herald has no choice but to accept the excuse as valid, and meanwhile calls forth Grecian Mythology, 'which even in a modern mask loses neither its individual character nor its charm.




Grace we bring to grace your living- Give with grace if ye be giving.

Part II 39


Take with grace if ye be taking. Charming is to get what's lacking.


And in Life's calm narrows ranking, Thank with grace if ye be thanking.



Eldest of the Fates, from Yonder, I this time to spin am bidden. Much to think on, much to ponder,

In Life's thin-spun thread lies hidden. r

Supple that it be and tender Have I winnowed flax the finest. Even thread and smooth and slender, Nimble finger, see thou twinest.

Would ye in the dance's pleasure

All too wanton trip and tap it,

Think ye on this thread's scant measure i

Have a care, else might ye snap it !


Unto me of late the trenchant Shears entrusted are to ply, For the conduct of our Ancient Did not greatly edify.

4-O Goethe's Faust

Yarn most worthless span she ever Long drawn out in light and air, Hope of glorious gain did sever, Dragged it to the sepulchre.

Yet with youth's rash judgment reigning Often went I too astray ; But the shears, my zeal restraining, Bear I in their sheath to-day.

So I wear my bonds with pleasure, Gracious look this place upon. Ye in these glad hours of leisure Frolic ever on and on.


I that have alone discretion Range as heretofore the thread. My control, all animation, Never hath itself o'ersped.

Threads are coming, threads are spooling, Each I guide upon its way. None evades my finger's ruling, From its circle none may stray.

Should I pause in heedless leisure Were I for the World in pain. Hours they number, years they measure, And the Weaver takes the skein.


They that come next, ye would not recognise

them, And were ye ne'er so versed in ancient writers.

Part II 41

To look on them, that are the fierce inciters Of mischief fell, as welcome guests ye'd prize them.

The FURIES are they, no one will believe us. Fair are they, comely - fashioned, kindly,

youthful ; But lend them ear, you'll find our warning

truthful, These doves with serpents' fangs wound deep

and grievous.

True they are treacherous, but the season urges Each fool to wear his cap and flaunt his folly ; Nor do they either pose as angels holy, But own themselves the town's, the city's scourges.



What boots it ? For to trust us ye'll ne'er


We're coaxing pussies, pretty, young and tricksy. Hath one of ye a darling kicksy-wicksy, His ears we wili so softly scratch and tickle,

Till we may say our malice no wise clothing Her wanton eye from this to that man rambles, She's crookt i' the back, all wit doth lack, and

shambles And is she his betrothed, quite good for nothing.

And the betrothed her too we sorely pester, Her Dear 'twas yester-sennight, more by token

42 Goethe's Faust

Of her to such an one hath lightly spoken, And though they make it up, the wound will fester.


That is but jest ! Are they once wed, the sequel I take in hand, and no one could be fitter The fairest bliss with humours to embitter. Unequal are man's moods, the hours unequal,

And none that clasps what most he was desiring But turns to more-desired with foolish yearning, The highest bliss grown stale by custom

spurning, He shuns the sun, and in the frost seeks firing.

And all this I exploit, adroit and supple, And Asmodeus, trusty fiend, I summon To scatter timely strife 'twixt man and woman, And so mankind I mar, couple by couple.


Poison, steei, not tongues malicious, Mix I, whet I for the traitor. Lov'st thou others, sooner, later, Overtakes thee doom pernicious.

Sweetest, briefest in duration, Turned to gall and venomed spume is. Here for chaffering no room is, As the crime the expiation.

Let none prate to me of pardon ! To the cliffs I cry for vengeance ! Echo, hark ! doth answer : Vengeance / Is he false, be Death his guerdon !

Part II 43


Pray you, be pleased to step aside a little, For what comes now is like you not a tittle. Lo, where a mountain surges through the throng, Its flanks with housings gay majestically hung ! A head, long tusks, a snaky trunk i' the middle. Mysterious, yet the mystery I'll unriddle. A daintily-delicate woman on his neck With slender staff doth guide him at her beck. The other, throned aloft, of queenly mien, Is girt with glory dazzling to be seen. Beside her, chained, go noble women, fearful And downcast one, the other blithe and cheerful, For that doth wish, but this doth feel her free. Each let them tell us who they be.


Lurid flambeaux' murky glory, Lamps and tapers gleam around ; In this wild phantasmagory I, alas ! in chains am bound.

Hence ! Your grins provoke suspicion ! Laughers laughable, avaunt ! All my foes with fierce derision On this night my footsteps haunt.

Here, a friend grown foe doth fray me, Spite his mask I know him ! Stay, Vender's one that fain would slay me ! Now unveiled he slinks away.

This way, that way, flight I ponder, Fain into the world had sped, But destruction threatens yonder, Holds me here 'midst reek and dread.

44 Goethe's Faust


Fairest greeting, each dear sister I Though ye have to-day and yester- Day in masks beguiled sorrow, Well I know that on the morrow Ye will doff the garb of folly ; And if by the torches' lustre Find we no peculiar pleasure, Yet in days of merry leisure, As our will doth bid us wholly, Singly now, now in a cluster, We shall stray through pleasant closes, Rest or stir as each one chooses, And in life of careless rapture Naught forgo, each pleasure capture ; Everywhere, all shyness scouting, Will we enter, at each feast Welcome guests, nor ever doubting Somewhere must we find the best.


Two of man's worst foes enchained, Fear and Hope, in bonds unshivered, From the Commonwealth restrained Bring I ! Room ! Ye are delivered !

Here the live colossus lead I, On his back his castle bears he. O'er steep pathways, slow and steady, Step by step unflagging fares he.

On the battlement, with pinions Broad and swift, yon goddess reigneth, That to widen her dominions She may turn where'er she deigneth.

Part II 45

Glance and glory round her hover, Radiant afar she rideth. Victory, that goddess over All activities presideth.


Hoo hoo ! hoo hoo ! here come I pat '

And all as bad alike berate,

But as my choicest flouting-stock

Dame Victory I mean to mock.

She with her brace of pinions white

Doth fancy her an eagle quite,

And turn her where she will, avers

That every land and folk are hers.

But where aught notable is done

I buckle straight my harness on.

Up with the deep, down with the high,

The crooked straight, the straight awry !

That is a feast doth never pall,

Thus will I on this earthly ball.


Thou ribald cur, thy back then gall

The pious truncheon's master-stroke !

There mayst thou straightway writhe and crook.

The double dwarfish thing doth hump

Itself into a loathsome lump.

But marvel ! Lump to egg doth grow,

Puffs itself up and cracks in two.

And lo ! the egg a strange twin-pair,

The adder and the bat, doth bear.

That crawls along its dusty track,

This to the ceiling flutters black.

They haste without to join again.

Not I to make a third were fain !

46 Goethe's Faust


Quick ! behind there dancing is ! Would I were well out of this ! How the spectral brood in spite Round us weaves its mazy flight ' Now it whizzes past my hair ! On my foot I felt it there ! None of us is hurt outright, Yet are all overcome with fright. Wholly spoiled is all the fun ! That the vermin counted on.


Since with masks when ye recruit ye Mine hath been the herald's duty, At the portal watch I wary Lest into your revels merry Aught there slink of harmful favour, Neither wince I neither waver, Yet I fear that through the casement Airy spirits drift. Amazement ! This is magic, witchcraft arrant! Naught against it can I warrant. If the dwarf aroused suspicion, Streams behind a mighty vision ! Fain would I interpretation Make thereof, as seems my station, But what can't be comprehended Can I not explain or show you. All pray help to teach me. Lo you, Where athwart the throng a splendid Four-yoked chariot comes gliding, Drawn through all, yet not dividing Anywhere the throng in sunder.

Part II 47

Nowhere are they crowded yonder. See afar gay colours glimmer, Stars bright-tinted flit and flimmer. Like a magic-lantern's shimmer, Like the storm-wind's fierce assault Rush they ! Room ! I shudder !



Fold, ye steeds, your pinions idle, Quick to own the wonted bridle. Quell, as I quell, this your fiery Mettle, rush when I inspire ye Onward. Here due honour showing Pause ye. Mark in numbers growing, Ring on ring, admirers round us. Herald, up ! Thine to expound us, Ere we flee, to read our stories. Thine to paint, to name, to show us, For we all are allegories, Wherefore shouldst thou surely know uf.


Nay, thy name I cannot gather, Haply could describe thee rather.


Try it, then !


One must avow

Firstly, young and fair art thou. A half -grown stripling yet the womeri'a


Would be to see thee grown to fullest measure. To me thou dost appear a future wooer, Frail woman's born and sworn undoer.

48 Goethe's Faust


Nay, that's worth hearing ! On with thee ! Find for thyself the riddle's merry key.


Black lightning of the eyes ! The tresses'

dusk in

A gleaming jewelled diadem ! And what a dainty robe doth stream Down from the shoulders to the buskin, With glist'ring gaud and purple hem. Maid, might one flout thee, yet I'll warrant Thou wouldst already, should it be For weal or woe, with maids pass current. They'd teach thee soon thine ABC.


And he that every eye doth ravish Refulgent on his chariot-throne ?


A King he seemeth, rich and lavish. Happy that hath his favour won ! He hath no further goal to capture. Where haply faileth aught he spies, And hath in giving such pure rapture As wealth and fortune far outvies.


Yet must thou cease not to survey him. Right narrowly thou must portray him.


Not to portray is Majesty !

A healthy moonface though I see,

Part II 49

Full lips and cheeks that richly blooming Beneath the turban shine becoming. His robe, that falls in folds, the essence Of richest ease, and what a presence !

As Ruler known he seems to me.


Plutus, the god of riches he, Himself in pomp come hither, for Him wishes the lofty Emperor.


What, and what like thyself art, signify.


I am Profusion, Poesy am I ; The Poet, wrought to perfect measure When he his most peculiar treasure Doth lavish, rich with wealth untold, And Plutus' peer for all his gold. I grace and gladden dance and rout, And what he lacks, that deal I out.


Thou vauntest with the rarest grace, But show thine arts before our face.


I snap my fingers ! How it flitters About the car, and gleams and glitters ! Look, where a string of pearls appears i

[_Fil lipping about him in a And golden clasps for neck and ears, And comb and coronet unflawed, And jewelled rings, a priceless gaud.

50 Goethe's Faust

And flamelets too I fling, and watch If here or there the fire may catch.


How the sweet mob doth snatch and wrangle !

The giver in the throng they'll tangle.

He fillips gems as in a dream

And all would fain snatch up a gem.

But what is this ? Another juggle !

What one to snatch was all a-struggle,

In sooth he hath small boot thereof !

The gift takes wings and flutters off!

In sunder flies the pearly band,

And beetles scrabble in his hand !

Poor fool ! His hand he flings them from

And round his head they buzz and hum !

These snatch a solid prize, O rapture !

And frolic butterflies they capture.

The rogue doth promise wealth untold

Yet only gives what gleams like gold.


Masks canst thou usher in, rehearse each feature, But 'neath the shell to pierce unto the nature Is not a herald's court employ. That doth demand a keener eye. Yet shun I quarrels all and each ; For thee, my lord, my questions and my speech.

[Turning to Plutus. Didst not to be my charge allot The whirlwind of this chariot ? Guide I not well, thy will to second ? Am I not straight where thou hast beckoned ? Have I not on bold pinions breasted The airs, the palm for thee have wrested ?

Part II 51

How oft soe'er for thee I strove

Hath not my labour ever thriven ?

To grace thy brow was laurel given,

What art, what hand but mine the laurel wove ?


If need be of my testimony, hear it !

I gladly own thou'rt spirit of my spirit.

Thy deeds are after mine own heart,

And richer than myself thou art.

I count be this the meed thou bearest

Of all my crowns, the bough of green the


A word of truth to all I cry : Beloved son, in thee well-pleased am I !

BOY-CHARIOTEER, to the crowd.

The greatest gifts mine hand from out, Them have I lavished round about. A flamelet that my hand hath sped Glows upon this and yonder head, From one unto the other skips, Fastens on this, from that one slips ; It flames up rarely like a plume And swiftly gleams in briefest bloom, Yet oft without acknowledgment It burns out sadly and is spent.


He that on high i' the car doth prank, I'll warrant him a mountebank. Behind him squats Jackpudding, so Consumed by thirst and hunger though ?rH We ne'er have seen him. What d'ye think ? If one should tweak him, would he shrink ?

52 Goethe's Faust


Avaunt, ye loathsome woman-kind ! Welcome with ye I never find ! Whilst Woman made the hearth her care Dame Avarice was the name I bare. Then did our household thrive, methought, For in came much, but out went naught. I busied me with watchful heed For box and bin a vice indeed ! But since in these our latter ages Woman in thrift no more engages, And hath like all upon whose collars Debt's grip is far more wants than dollars, Now is the husband sorely harassed, On every side by debts embarrassed. If aught she spin together, all on't She spends upon herself, her gallant, And with the suitors' hateful crew More softly fares and drinks more too, Which greater lust of gold doth breed In me, now masculine, Goodman Greed.


With dragons be the dragon greedy ! 'Tis all but fleeting, cheating stuff. He comes to goad the men already, Upon my word, they're bad enough.


The dummy ! Cuff him ! Make him caper ! The gibbet ! What, and must he quiz ? And shall we fear his ugly phiz ? Dragons indeed ! They're wood and paper. Have at him ! Teach him where he is !

Part II 53


Peace 1 By my staff let peace be holden ! Yet scarcely doth it need my aid. How the fierce monsters, scarce withh olden In the free space so quickly made, Have their twin pair of wings unfolden ! And belching flame, with scales a-shiver, The dragons 7 jaws indignant quiver. The crowd is fled, clear is the space.

[Plutus descends from the chariot,


Down steps he, with what regal grace !

He becks, the dragons stir apace.

The coffer from the car they lower,

Gold in it, on it Greed doth cower.

Before his feet it stands upon

The ground. A marvel how 'twas done \

PLUTUS, to the Charioteer.

Now from the all too heavy load I've freed thee, Thou'rt frank and free, to thine own sphere now

speed thee.

Here is it not ! Disordered, motley, mad, Around us throngs a grinning masquerade. Where clear thou gazest in the fair Serene, Lord of thyself, but on thyself dost lean, Thither, where pleases but the Good, the Fair! To Solitude! Thy world create thou there!


I go, myself an honoured envoy deeming, My nearest, dearest kinsman thee esteeming. Where thou sojournest, plenty is, where I, Each man enriched doth feel him gloriously,

54- Goethe's Faust

And in life's contrarieties oft wavers If he shall seek thy grace or court my favours. Thy votaries may idly rest, 'tis true ; Who follows me hath ever work to do. Not secret are my deeds, in night concealed ; I do but breathe, and straightway am revealed. Farewell then, of my bliss thou too art fain. But whisper softly, I am back again.

[Exit as he entered.


Now is it time to free the precious metals. Touched by the herald's staff, with little trouble The locks fly open. See ! In brazen kettles A golden blood doth form, and boil and bubble. Straightway the trinkets, crowns, chains, ringi

will follow. Seething it threatens all to melt and swallow.

THE CROWD, in alternate clamour. Oh see ! it rolls in golden rills, The chest unto the brink it fills. There melt the vessels of gold away ! Coins in rouleaux are rolled away, And ducats skip as from the die. Oh ! how my breast is stirred thereby ! I see before me all my lust. Lo now ! they're rolling in the dust. Snatch what is offered, stay your itch ! You need but stoop and rise up 'rich, Whilst like a lightning-flash the rest Will take possession of the chest.


What ails ye all, ye foolish folk ? 'Tis but a masquerading joke.

Part II 55

We look for nothing more to-night. Think ye we give you gold outright? Nay, marry, in this game for such As ye, e'en counters were too much. Ye blocks ! A pretty show, forsooth, Ye straightway take for solid truth. Why, what were Truth to you ? Ye grip Dull Error by each fluttering tip. Thou masking-hero, Plutus veiled, Clout me this rabble from the field.


Thy staff is ready to my hand. Pray, lend it me ! I dip the wand Swiftly in seething foam and glow. Now on your guard, ye maskers ! Lo, It glitters, crackles, sputters, sparks. The tip a ruddy glimmer marks. Who thrusts him forward overfree, Straightway I'll singe him ruthlessly. And now my round I enter on.


Alack a day ! We are undone ! Away ! away ! Escape who can ! Fall back, fall back, thou hinder-man ! The sparks spirt burning in my face ! I wince beneath the glowing mace! Lost are we each, lost are we all ! Back, back, thou surging carnival ! Back, back, insensate herd ! Would I Had only wings, aloft I'd fly !


Back on all sides the circle shrinks, And yet hath none been singed, methinks.

56 Goethe's Faust

The crowd gives way

In wild affray.

Yet will I draw an unseen bar

As pledge that none such order mar,


A work how glorious hast thou done ! Thy prudent might my thanks hath won.


Fair friend, it needeth patience yet, For many a tumult still doth threat.


This circle then at ease a man may quiz,

If haply fall such pastime with his whim in :

For ever to the fore you'll find the women

Where aught to gape at, aught to nibble is.

Not yet am I become so wholly rusty

But a fair woman still is fair,

And so to-day, with courage fresh and lusty,

Since naught it costs, I'll go a-wooing there.

But since the place o'ercrowded here is,

Nor audible each word to every ear is,

I'll shrewdly try, and as I hope not vainly

In pantomime to express my meaning plainly.

Since hand, foot, gesture, all not here suffice,

I needs must seek some whimsical device.

As 'twere wet clay the gold I'll mould and

fashion For gold admits of every transmutation.


The starveling fool, what doth he mean ? Lurks humour in a frame so lean ?

Part II 57

The gold he kneadeth all to dough, Soft in his fingers doth it grow, Yet squeeze and mould it as he will The mass remaineth shapeless still. Now to the women turneth he ; They shriek and all are fain to flee With gestures of disgust and loathing. The saucy rascal sticks at nothing. I fear me he doth most delight If Decency he can but slight. Here must the herald not be lacking ; Give me my staff! I'll send him packing.


Of that that threats without he hath no heed ; Leave him alone with his tomfooling ! He'll soon have little room to play the droll in Mighty is law, yet mightier is need.


The Wild-folk come, they come pell-mell From mountain-height and woodland-dell. They sweep along resist who can ! They keep the feast of the great god Pan. They know what no man else doth guess, And into the empty ring they press.


I know you well, ye and your great god Pan. A daring deed hath done your boisterous clan. What all not know, full well I know the thing, And open dutiful the narrow ring. They go, good luck be with their going! The most amazing things may hap. Whither they go but little knowing Blindly they rush into the trap.

58 Goethe's Faust


Bedizened folk, ye tinsel-stuff!

Here come they rude, here come they rough ;

In lofty leap, in breathless chase,

They come, a stout and sturdy race.


In merry round The Faun-troop flocks, Their curly locks With oak-leaves crowned. A delicately pointed ear Forth from the curly pate doth peer ; Snubnose, fair breadth of face, yet them For that the women no worse esteem, And doth the Faun his paw advance The fairest shrinks not from the dance.


The Satyr next comes hopping in With his goat-foot and withered shin ; Needs must they sinewy be and thin. And chamois-like on mountain-heights To look around him he delights. Braced by the breath of liberty Man, woman and child to scorn laughs he, That deep i' the valley's mist and smoke Ween they too live, good easy folk, Though pure and unperturbed alane The world above there he doth own.


The tiny troop comes tripping in ; They care not pair by pair to twin.

Part II 59

In mossy garb, with lamplet bright, They flit and mingle feat and light, Whilst his own task doth each perform Like glow-ants in a seething swarm. They bustle nimbly to and fro, And busily in and out they go.

With the kindly Good-folk kin we own,

As surgeons of the cliffs we're known.

The lofty mounts we scarify,

The turgid veins we rarefy,

Heaping the metals that we bleed

With cheery hail : Good speed ! Good speed !

At bottom is our purpose kind,

Friendly to good men is our mind,

Yet bring we gold to the light o' the day

That steal and pander men-folk may,

Nor iron lack the imperious man

That wholesale murder first did plan ;

And who these statutes three doth slight

Of all the others will he make light.

Our fault it is not, wherefore ye

Bear with them straightway, as do we.


The Wildwood-men their name to tell In the Harz Mountains known full well. In native nakedness, antique might, They come, each one of giant height, With pine-tree stem in his right hand, About his waist a bulging band, The rudest apron of leaf and bough- Such body-guard no Pope can show

60 Goethe's Faust


[encircling the great god Pan. He comes in state, The All of Earth Is shadowed forth In Pan the Great. Encircle him, ye blithesomest ! In antic dance, ye lithesomest About him play, for sober he Yet kind, would have us merry be, And underneath the vaulted blue He still hath kept him wakeful too ; Yet rivulets a babbling keep, And breezes cradle him soft in sleep ; And when at noontide slumbers he, The leaf not flutters on the tree, And wholesome herbs with spicy breath Burden the still air hushed as death. Not jocund then the nymph may be ; Whereas she stood, there drowseth she. But when all unawares with might His voice re-echoes through the fight, Like rattle of thunder, roar of sea, Then knoweth no man whither to flee ; In rout the boldest army breaks, The hero in the tumult quakes. Then honour pay we where we ought, Hail him that hither us hath brought.


[to the great Pan.

Threadwise though rich treasure shining Through the clefts doth interlace,

Part II 6 1

Nothing but the shrewd Divining- Rod its labyrinths can trace,

We like Troglodytes our spacious Dwellings vault dark caves beneath ; Thou dispenses! treasures gracious Where the day's pure breezes breathe.

Now a marvel we discover Nigh, a spring whence seems to well Plentifully, running over, What was scarce attainable.

This canst thou achieve at pleasure, Take it, Sire, into thy charge. In thy hands doth every treasure Benefit the world at large.

PLUTUS, to the Herald

We must possess us with a lofty spirit,

Come what come may, with heart undaunted

bear it.

Else art thou wont to bear thy courage high. There shall betide a shocking thing, and briefly. Present and future shall deny it stiffly ; Thou in thy minutes note it faithfully.


\_seizing the staff which Plutus hold*

in his hand.

The great god Pan the dwarfs lead nigher Full softly, to the well of fire. It seethes up from the abysmal maw,

62 Goethe's Faust

Then to the deep the flames withdraw, And gloomy gape.s the open jaw. Again it surges in flame and foam. The great god Pan stands quite at home Rejoicing at the wondrous sight, Whilst froth of pearl to left and right Spirts out. How can he trust the thing ? He stoops to peer deep down the spring, And nowj behold, his beard falls in ! Whose can it be, that fair smooth chin ? His hand conceals it from our gaze. Oh, what mischance all hearts dismays ! The beard flies back, but all ablaze. It kindles wreath and head and breast. To sorrow changed is joy and jest. To quench the fire the troop flocks round, Yet free from flames not one is found ; And as it crackles, as it darts, Anew the conflagration starts. Entangled in the flaming fire A clump of maskers burns entire. But what appalling tidings trip From ear to ear, from lip to lip ? O night for evermore ill-starred, With what a grief our joy hast marred ! Morning will publish far and near What without horror none will hear. Yet everywhere they cry ah woe The Emperor 'tis that suffers .so. Would it were else ! The wish is vain, The Emperor burns with all his train. Accursed who misled him, bound Themselves with resinous twigs around, And hither stormed with song and shout To scatter ruin round about.

Part II 63

O Youth, O Youth, wilt never thou In the pure measure of joy contain thee? O Majesty, wilt never thou All-powerful, yet let Prudence rein thee ?

Already through the Wood aspire The pointed tongues of lambent fire Up to the rafter-netted roof. Against their fury naught is proof. Now bi immeth o'er our cup of woe And none to save us do I know. The imperial pride in morning's light Shall lie, the ash-heap of a night.


Now enough of terror ! Solely Now on aid be thought ! Thou holy Truncheon, smite the ground amain, Till it quake and ring again ! Spacious breadth of air be filled With cool fragrances distilled. Hither, misty vapours, teeming Cloud-wreaths, hither, round us streaming, Swathe this weltering waste of flame. Trickling, swirling, cloudlets curling, Softly steaming, smoothly welling, Quenching everywhere and quelling, Ye the moist, the mild-allaying, Change to summer-lightning's playing All this idle fiery game. Thus, if spirit-malice lower, Magic shall assert its power

64 Goethe's Faust


\The EMPEROR, his Court, men and 'women; FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, dressed 'with decency, according to the fashion, but not so as to chal- lenge attention, both kneeling.

FAUST. You pardon, Sire, the juggling sport of flame?


[bidding him rise 'with a gesture.

I would I might see many of the same. A globe of fire o'er-arched me like an awning. Almost it seemed as were I Pluto. Yawning From night and embers lay a rocky rent, Glowing with flamelets. Here and there a vent Wild flames belched forth, in hosts that rolled

and bickered

Up, and to one vast vault together flickered. To the topmost dome the lambent flames did play, That still did form and still did melt away. In long array down the far vista moving Of wreathed columns of fire, I saw approving My folk throng forward in a spacious ring, And to my feet their wonted homage bring. Here of my court this man, here that one

wanders I seem a prince of myriad salamanders

Part II 65


That art thou, Sire, since every element

To Majesty's dominion doth assent.

Fire hast thou proved obedient. Where most


The ocean raves, leap in, and scarce thou'lt tread The pearl-strown bottom ere the sea O wonder ! Unto a glorious globe will surge asunder ; The billows lucent-green, with purple bordered, Sway up and down about thee, swiftly ordered To fairest dwelling. Wander at thy will, The palaces will wander with thee still. The very walls have life they ripple, wrinkle, Heave to and fro, and arrowy-swift they twinkle. Around the soft new sheen sea-monsters throng

and rollick ;

They dartle up, yet at the precinct pause. There gold-scaled dragons iridescent frolic, There gapes the shark thou laughest in his jaws. What though thy court around thee flock en- tranced !

On such a throng thine eye hath never glanced. Nor shall the loveliest lack. Agog with wonder To gaze upon the splendid mansion, under The Cool eternal, Nereids flock, capricious The younger, coy and wanton like the fishes, The elder prim. It comes to Thetis' ear ; She on the second Peleus doth confer Her hand and lips. Then in Olympus' field The seat. . . .


The airy room to thee I yield. Full soon enough, methinks, one mounts that throne.

66 Goethe's Faust


And Sovran Lord, e'en now is Earth thine own,


What happy fate thee straightway did transport From out the Arabian Nights unto our Court ? Thou in my grace, if but thou prove as fecund As Scheherezade, shah unto none stand second. Be ever ready, when, as oft befalls, Your work-day world most wearily on me palls.

LORD HIGH SENESCHAL, entering in haste.

Illustrious, in all my life I never

Had thought to tell of Fortune's fairest favour,

Such as entrances me with glee

Before thy face most happy me.

For bill on bill is paid unbated,

The claws of usury are sated,

From hellish torment am I free ;

In Heaven it cannot brighter be !

COMMANDER OF THE FORCES, following in haste.

Arrears of pay in part are cancelled, And the whole army newly handselled. The men-at-arms their heart recover, And host and wenches are in clover.


How breathe ye as your breasts were lightened ! How are your knitted brows now brightened ! Ye enter with what eager speed !

LORD HIGH TREASURER, joining the others These question, that have done the deed.

Part II 67


The Chancellor's it is to expound the matter.

LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR, coming s/oivfy forward.

Mine old age what abundant joy doth flatter !

Hear then and see the paper, big with fate,

That all our woe to weal transformed straight.

\_He reads.

" Hereby may all men surely know that would, This paper for a thousand crowns is good. A safe assured security lies stored The Empire in, an untold buried hoard. It is provided that this rich reserve. Raised straightway, to redeem the bills shall serve."


I augur malversation, monstrous fraud.

Who hath here forged the Emperor's hand un-

awed? Ye have not left unpunished such malfeasance ?


Bethink thee, but this night thyself thine hand Didst set thereto. Thou as great Pan didst


The Chancellor addressed thee in our presence : " Accord thyself a festal gratification ! With a few quill - strokes give thy folk

salvation ! "

Thou wrotest ; swift it was ere night had rolled By thousand-artists copied thousandfold. That all the boon might share we made no

queries, But stamped incontinently all the series.

68 Goethe's Faust

Tens, Thirties, Fifties, Hundreds, all are there ; You cannot think how glad the people were ! Behold your city, half in death grown musty 'Tis all alive, aswarm and pleasure-lusty. Although thy name the world hath long


So lovingly it never yet was eyed. Now is the Alphabet indeed redundant ; Each in this sign is blessed with bliss abundant.


They're current with my folk as sterling gold ? Them doth the Camp, the Court as quittance

hold? Sanction I must, though in amazement utter.


The hope were vain to catch them as they

flutter. Like lightning-flash they scattered in their


The changers' booths stand open day and night. There every bill is honoured, high and low, With gold and silver . . . at a discount though. Then off to butcher, baker, vintner flows all, And half the world seems bent but on carousal, The while in brand-new clothes the other


The tailor stitches as the draper cuts. To toast the Emperor wine flows like water ; They roast and boil and broil the platters clatter.


Who on the terrace lonely strays doth spy The fairest fair, pranked splendidly. One eye

Part II 69

With the proud peacock-fan she covers shyly, And smirks, and looks for such a note full slyly, And its good offices more swift and sure Than wit or words Love's richest boon procure. Who now with purse or pouch himself will

harry ?

A leaflet in the breast is light to carry. There snugly with the billets-doux 'twill


His will the priest bear reverent in his missal. The soldier, his agility to heighten, The girdle round his loins will swiftly lighten. I crave your Highness* pardon, if one tittle I seem a work so lofty to belittle.


The hoards of wealth untold, that torpid sleep

Within the Empire's borders buried deep,

Lie profitless. The thought's most ample


Is the most niggard bound of such a treasure. Not Fancy's self, in her most daring flight, Strain as she will, can soar to such a height ; Yet minds that worthy are to sound the sound- less A boundless trust accord unto the boundless.


Not gold or pearls are half so handy as Such paper. There a man knows what he has. No need to truck or chaffer with such treasure On wine or love can one get drunk at pleasure. Would you have cash, a changer is at hand. If there it lack you dig it from the land.

yo Goethe's Faust

Goblet and chain are straight by auction sold, The paper then, redeemed with sterling gold, The doubter shames that whets on us his wit. Naught else the folk will have they're used

to it. Henceforth thy Realm, for spender or for

scraper, Will have good store of jewels, gold and paper.


To you the Realm this glorious weal doth owe. Unto the service would we fit the guerdon. To you entrusted be the realm below You are most meet to be the treasure's warden. You know the ample, well-preserved hoard, And when we dig, 'tis you shall give the word. Accord ye now, ye Masters of our Treasure, Fulfil the honours of your post with pleasure, Wherein the Nether World, for endless weal, Doth with the Upper World alliance seal.


Between us shall not reign the least division ! I'm fain to have as colleague the Magician.

[Exit 'with Faust.


The court shall taste my bounty, great and

small. Confess how ye will use it, one and all.

.. PAGE, taking.

I'll lead a merry life.

Part II 71

ANOTHER, ditto.

I in a trice Will buy my sweetheart chain and rings.

CHAMBERLAIN, accepting.

My throttle Henceforth I'll wet with twice as good & bottle.

ANOTHER, ditto.

Already in my pocket itch the dice.

KNIGHT BANNERET, thoughtfully.

My land and tower from debt I'll liberate.

ANOTHER, ditto.

A treasure 'tis, with treasures will I lay't.


I hoped for heart and will to new endeavour. Who knows ye though will lightly read ye ever. Well do I see, though treasures on ye pour, Ye still are, after, what ye were before.

FOOL, coming up. Largesse you give, to me too be not chary.


What, art alive again? Thou'lt drink it, marry !

FOOL. The magic leaves ! It passes my poor wit !


Aye marry, for thou'lt make bad use of it.

72 Goethe's Faust


There others flutter down, what shall I do ?


Why, pick them up, thy share they fell unto.



Five thousand crowns are mine ? O happy season !


Thou two-legged wineskin ! What, and art arisen ?

FOOL. Betides me oft, but not to luck like this !


Upon my word, thou'rt all asweat with bliss I

FOOL. Look you now, can I indeed make money of it ?


'Twill buy what throat and belly most do covet.

FOOL. And this for cattle, land and house they'll take ?


Aye truly, so thou offer, naught will lack.

FOOL. Castle, with wood, chase, fishing?

Part II 73


Take my word ! Marry, I'd like to see thee Dread My Lord!


Upon mine own estate I'll sleep this night !



Who still will doubt that this our fool hath wit ?




To this dark walk why draw'st thou me

capricious ?

Is not within there ample sport ? Is not for jest and jugglery propitious The crowded motley medley of the court ?


Let be! Long years thy wit that topic


Thou hast worn out that pair of sandals ; And now but to and fro dost flee Lest haply I come to speech of thee. But I meanwhile must rack my brain Urged by the Seneschal and Chamberlain. The Emperor wills and straightway must it

be Helen and Paris 'fore his face to see,

74 Goethe's Faust

The paragon of men and eke of women Distinctly to behold, their mortal trim in. My word I gave, help me to disengage it.


Foolish it was, aye, frivolous, to pledge it.


Whereto thine arts will bring us, thou, Fellow, hast not enough reflected ; First did we make him rich, and now To make him merry are expected.


Thou think'st 'tis done as soon as said,

But where we stand the steps grow steeper ;

A realm most alien dost invade,

And wantonly in debt still plungest deeper,

And Helen to evoke thou think'st as easy

As was the paper-spectre of specie.

With hanky-panky, air-spun sprites, and those


Or kill-crop dwarfs, I stand at your disposal, But devils' dears, though well enough abstractly, We can't palm off as heroines exactly.


Upon the old, old string again thou'rt harping. Hast ever an if and but. Thou art indeed The father of all hindrances, still carping, For each new means exacting a new meed. I know it doth but ask a muttered spell, She'll be upon the spot ere I can turn me.

Part II 75


The heathen-folk doth not concern me, It dwells in its particular hell. And yet there is a means

FAUST. Come, come ! Thy history !


Not fain do T reveal a lofty mystery. In solitude throne goddesses sublime, Round them no place is, and still less a time. Only to speak of them the brain doth swim. The Mothers are they !

FAUST, startled.

Mothers I


Art afeard ?


The Mothers ! Mothers ! Nay, it sounds so weird !


And weird it is ! Goddesses of you men Unknown, whom we to name are none too fain. To the uttermost Profound, wherein they tarry Mayst burrow ; thine the fault we need them, marry !


Whither the way ?

Goethe's Faust


No way ! To the unexplorable Aye unexplored ; a way to the unimplorable, Aye unimplored ! Art thou in the mood ? No locks are there, no bolts to shoot asunder! Through solitudes wilt thou be drifted yonder. Dost know what desert is and solitude ?


Spare me such speeches by your favour, That of the Witch's Kitchen savour After a long, long interlude. Must I not mix with the world of men, And learn the inane and teach the inane ? And when I wisely spake mine own conviction Then doubly-loud rang out the contradiction. Have I not even, fleeing rude excesses, Withdrawn to solitudes and wildernesses ? And lest I be forlorn and quite forsaken The Devil in the end for mate have taken ?


And hadst thou swum through Ocean's vasty


And there beheld the boundless room, Vet wouldst thou see on billow billow follow. Aye, even shuddering at threatened doom Something thou still wouldst see. The emerald

gulf in

Of tranquil seas, wouldst spy the gliding dolphin, Wouldst see the clouds drift by, sun, moon and


Naught wilt thou see i' the ever-empty Far, Not hear thy footstep where 'tis prest, Nor find firm ground whereon to rest.

Part II 77


Like the first mystagogue thou speak'st, that ever Proved him the trustful neophyte's deceiver. The other way round though. Me thou dost


Unto the Void, that there I may be able Both art and mind to enhance. Thou'dst have

me scratch Thy chestnuts from the fire, like the old cat i'

the fable.

But on, we'll plumb the Deep whate'er befall, For in thy Naught I trust to find the All.


I will not grudge my praise before thou goest, And well I see that thou the Devil knowest. Here, take this key.

FAUST* That tiny thing !


If tight

Thou grasp it, then its worth thou wilt not slight.

FAUST. It waxes in my hand, with flames 'tis lit !


Aye, soon thou markest what one hath in it. 'Twill scent the proper place out from all others, Follow it down, 'twill lead thee to the Mothers.

7 8

Goethe's Faust

FAUST, shuddering.

The Mothers ! Ever it strikes me chill with

fear! What is the word that I not brook to hear ?


Art borne, so to stint at a new word ? Wilt only hear what thou hast ever heard ? Let naught amaze thee more, sound as it may, Grown used to strangest things since many a



And yet my weal in torpor seek I not. The thrill of awe is still mankind's best lot, And though the world not lets him feel it

cheaply, Yet awe-struck, the stupendous feels he deeply.


Sink then ! I might say : Rise ! There is no


For all is one. From the Existent fleeing Into the unfettered realm of Form, rejoice In that which long hath had no longer being. The phantom-drift will wreathe like cloudy- woof; Brandish the key and hold thou them aloof.

FAUST, enthusiastic.

I grip it and I feel new strength arise ;

With heart expanding, on to the great emprise !


At length a glowing tripod wilt thou see, Then in the nethermost abyss wilt be.

Part II 79

The Mothers by its light wilt thou descry, Some sitting, standing some, or walking nigh, E'en as may chance. Formation, transformation, The Eternal Mind's eternal recreation, And round them float forms of all things that be They'll see thee not, for wraiths alone they see. Then pluck a heart up, for the danger's great ! Unto that tripod do thou walk up straight And touch it with the key.

[Faust assumes a resolutely imperious attitude 'with the key.

MEPHISTOPHELES, considering him.

That's capital !

'Twill join thee, follow thee as faithful thrall. Calmly thou'lt rise, thee Fortune will upbear, And thou'lt be back with it or they are ware/ Once thou hast brought it hither, thou wilt cite Hero and heroine from out the night, The first that ever dared the high endeavour. It is achieved, and thou art the achiever. Then must the incense-mist by magic-process Shape into gods in instant metamorphosis.

FAUST. What next then ?


,iv Downward tend with might and main. Sink stamping, stamping wilt thou rise again.

Faust stomps and sinks from sight,


I hope the key may profit him, good lack ! I wonder now if ever he'll come back.

8o Goethe's Faust




The spirit-scene ye promised still is owing. To work ! His Majesty's impatient growing.


His Grace e'en now is asking for it. Ye, Dally not, put not slight on Majesty.


For that my mate is gone, and do not doubt it

He knows how best to set about it,

And silent works, withdrawn from gaze,

With eager passion, well-nigh tragic ;

The Beautiful, that Treasure, who would raise,

He needs the highest art, the Sage's Magic.


It matters not what art ye use. That's one. It is the Emperor's will that it be done.

A FAIR BEAUTY, to Mephistophelcs.

A word, Sir ! Here a clear complexion see, Yet clear in plaguy summer 'twill not be. Then brownish-red 'twill bud with many a


Vexatiously the lily-skin that speckle. A cure !

Part II 8l


What ! Such a radiant darling, peppered With spots, alas, in May, like any leopard ! Take frogs' spawn, toads' tongues, cohobate,

and while

The moon is at the full, with care distil, And when it wanes, smear on the unguent


You'll find, come spring, the spots will fade completely.


To fawn upon you see the crowd advancing.

I beg a remedy. A frozen foot

Hinders me both from walking and from

dancing, And makes me even clumsily salute.


Pray, let me tread upon it with my foot !


Why, they that love thereto have fullest title.


My tread, my Dear, hath meaning much more


For like heals like, whatever one may ail, Foot foot, its like each member without fail. Hither! Give heed! You need not make


82 Goethe's Faust

THE DARK BEAUTY, shrieking.

Oh! oh! that hurts! 'Twas like a horse's hoof.


Now canst thou put the healing to the proof. Now to thine heart's content to dance art able Or press thy gallant's foot beneath the table.

LADY, pressing up.

Let me come through ! My sufferings are


Seething they rage within my deepest bosom. He that till yesterday hung on my glances Now turns his back, whilst him her talk



The case is grave but not quite hopeless.


This charcoal take, and softly press him nigh. On sleeve or mantle, as occasion chances, Or shoulder, do thou make therewith a mark. Straightway remorse within his breast will ply Her gracious sting. The charcoal swallow


Without delay, nor wine nor water tasting. This very night before thy door he'll sigh.

LADY. It isn't poison ?

MEPHISTOPHELES, indignantly.

Don't insult me, pray ! To find its like, you'd travel a weary way.

Part II 83

A witch burned in the fire where it waa

blackened. Such fires of late have sadly slackened.

PAGE. I am in love ! She holds me still a child.


Where shall I turn? 'Tis like to drive me


[To the Page.

Your heart ye must not let the youngest fetter, A mellow age will know to prize ye better.

[Others throng up to him.

Others already ! What a brawl ! Forsooth, Needs must when at a loss make shift with

truth, Worst shift of all ! O dire extremity !

Mothers ! Mothers ! Let but Faust go free !

\_Looking around him. Already in the hall the lights burn dim. The Emperor moves, the Court moves after him.

1 see the train glide on in decent wise Through long arcades and distant galleries. They gather in the old baronial hall,

Whose room, though vast, can scarce contain

them all.

The ample walls with tapestry are rich, And decked with armour every nook and niche. Methought no magic word had here been

wanted, But spirits of themselves the place had haunted !

84 Goethe's Faust

BARONIAL HALL, dimly lighted.[편집]

[The Emperor and his court have Jiled in.


Mine ancient office, to expound the fable, The spirit-sway mysterious doth embarrass. Tn vain their agency inextricable By reason to explain, my wits I harass. The settles and the chairs all ready wait ; The Emperor before the wall they set, Where at his leisure, wrought upon the arras The old-time battles he may contemplate. Now king and court sit round in twilight


The benches in the background all are crowded, And sweetheart in the gloomy spirit-hour Closer to sweetheart's side doth sweetly cower. And so since all have duly ta'en their places We're ready, let the spirits show their faces !



Now let the play begin ! The order falls From royal lips. Be opened up, ye walls ! Naught hinders, with us magic doth conspire. The arras rolls up, shrivelled as by fire. The wall is cleft, it folds back like a gateway. Seems a deep stage to rise before us straightway, A gleam mysterious to light the gloom, I take my place in the proscenium.

Part II 85


[popping up in the Prompter's Box. I hope for universal favour hence, For prompting is the Devil's eloquence.

[To the Astrologer. Thou know'st what course the stars keep in the

sky, Thou'lt understand my whispering masterly.


By magic-might we see before our eyes, Massive enough, an antique temple rise. Like Atlas, who the heavens did uphold, Here all arow stand columns manifold. To bear their rocky burden is but sport, Two such a massy building might support.


So that's antique ! H'm, can't say I approve it. Topheavy, clumsy, that's what I think of it. The unwieldy grand they call, noble the rude. I like slim shafts that soar up to infinitude. The Gothic zenith lifts our souls on high. Such edifice us most doth edify.


With reverence hail the star-accorded season, Let potent word of magic fetter reason, But hither from afar, unshackled-free, Resplendent come, audacious Fantasy ! What boldly ye did covet, mark it well, Impossible, therefore most credible.

[Faust rises up on the other side of the Proscenium.

86 Goethe's Faust


A thaumaturge, in priestly robe and wreath, Rises triumphant from the vault beneath ; With him a tripod, and meseems already The brazier from, an incense-breath doth eddy. He girds himself the lofty work to hallow. Henceforth can nothing but auspicious follow.

FAUST, majestically.

In your name, O ye Mothers, ye that throne In the Illimitable, ever alone, And yet companionably. Restless rife Float round ye, lifeless, images of life. What once hath been, in radiance supernal Yonder doth move for it would be eternal. And ye, almighty Powers, apportion it Unto the cope of day, the vault of night. Those doth the gracious course of life embrace, These the bold wizard seeketh in their place, And confident and lavish shows to us, What all are fain to see, the marvellous.

' .ifarrf no *l;;r.?. u;o ?:!! .4:mm D!:{;:>O sift


The brazier scarce the glowing key doth touch When fills the air a vaporous mist, and such As are the clouds steals in, and so is stirred, Drawn out, upheaped, enravelled, parted, paired, A spirit-masterpiece acknowledge. Lo, The clouds break into music as they go ! From airy tones a mystic yearning wells, And as they drift to melody all swells. The column-shaft, the triglyph is achime, The temple all bursts into song sublime.

Part II 87

The vapour sinks, from out the filmy gauze A beauteous youth in graceful measure draws. Mine office here is mute, I need not name him. As the fair Paris who would not proclaim him !

LADY. O what a glory of blooming youth I see !


Fresh as a peach, as full of juice is he !


The lips, sweet-swelling, daintily outlined !


At such a beaker wouldst thou sip full fainly.


Pretty though not what one would call refined !


He might be sooth a little less ungainly !


Merely the shepherd-lad! What could be

plainer ? Naught of the prince, naught of the courtly

manner !


Half-naked, aye, the lad is well enow,

We ought to see him in his harness, though.


He sits him down how languidly, how sweet !

88 Goethe's Faust


Doubtless you'd find his lap a pleasant seat !


His arm he daintily leans o'er his head.


What liberties he takes ! How underbred !

LADY. Ye gentlemen must still find fault with all !


What ! In the Presence all his length to sprawl !


'Tis but a play. He thinks him quite alone.


E'en plays must courtly be before the Throne.

LADY. Soft slumber lights upon the belamour.


'Tis to the life. Soon we shall hear him snore.

YOUNG LADY, etiravlshed.

What fragrance with the incense-stream is blent That fills mine inmost heart with ravishment ?


In truth a breath doth pierce the deepest bosom. It comes from him.

Part II 89


It is his growth's sweet blossom, Within the youth ambrosia-like distilling, And all the atmosphere around us filling.

[Helena steps forth.


So that is she ! She would not mar my rest ! Pretty she may be, but she's not my taste.


This time for me there's nothing more to do, As man of honour I confess it too. The Beauty comes had I but tongues of flame ! Of old hath much been sung to Beauty's fame ; Who sees her is beside himself with rapture ; Who owned her, all too high a bliss did capture.


Have I still eyes ? Or in my being deep

Doth Beauty's source in flood outpoured sweep ?

My pilgrimage of dread brings blessed gain.

How did the world still worthless, locked remain !

What is it since my priesthood ? Now at last

Desirable, perdurable, firm-based.

If from my life I let thee be effaced,

Then may my life's breath too forsake its duty !

The goodly form that erst my bosom captured,

Me in the magic -glass enraptured,

Was but a foam-wraith of such beauty.

To thee the play of every power with gladness

I'll vow, the essence of all passion,

Liking to thee, love, adoration, madness !

90 Goethe's Faust

MEPHISTOPHELES, from the Prompter s Box. You do forget yourself! Pray you, discretion.


Tall, shapely, but the head too small for me !


Look at the foot ! More lumpish could it be ?


Princesses have I seen of such a kind. From head to foot she's fair unto my mind.


She nears the sleeper, artfully demure.


How hideous, by that form so youthful-pure !

POET. Her beauty shines upon him like the moon.

LADY. A picture ! Luna and Endymion !


Aye, even so ! now seems the goddess sinking. O'er him she leans, his breath as were she

drinking. Ah, enviable ! A kiss ! The cup is full !


In public too ! Most reprehensible !


A fearful favour to the boy !

Part II 91


Be still! Pray, let the phantom do whatever it will.


She steals away light-footed ; at her touch He wakens.


She looks round, I thought as much !


He marvels ! What befalls him is a wonder.

LADY. 'Tis none to her, what she beholdeth yonder.

COURTIER. She turns her round to him in modest fashion.


I see she takes in hand his education.

In such a case all men alike are stupid.

He thinks himself the first, so help me Cupid !



Decry her not ! What a majestic grace !

LADY. The wanton ! All her sex she doth disgrace I

PAGE. I would to Heaven I were in his place !


In such a net who would not be enravelled ?

92 Goethe's Faust


The gem, forsooth, through many hands hath

travelled. The gilding, too, is pretty well worn off it.


From her tenth year of her was little profit.


Why, each man takes the gifts the gods have

sent. With these fair leavings I'd be well content.


I see her plainly, but for all that might one I must confess have doubts if she's the right


The present tempts us to exaggeration. 1 take my stand of all things on the written. Well then, I read, she hath in wondrous fashion Troy's graybeards all with admiration smitten. Now that, methinks, jumps with what here I

view ; I am not young, yet I admire her too.


A boy no longer, now a hero bold, Her that can scarce resist he doth enfold. With stalwart arms he lifts her high in air, He'll bear her off outright !


Rash fool, forbear !

What, hear'st not? Hold! It goes too far this time !

Part II 93


Thyself dost make the phantom- pantomime !


But one word more ! From what hath chanced,

the play Might well be called : the Rape of Helena.


Rape, quotha ! Am I here for naught then,


And hold I not this key here in my hand, That hither me, through horror, surge and billow Of solitudes, hath led to a sure stand ? Here foothold is, realities. The spirit With spirits here may strive, and by its merit The great, the double empire may inherit. So far she was, nearer how could she be ? I save her, doubly she belongs to me. I'll do't. Ye Mothers, Mothers, needs must

grant her ! Who once hath known her, never more may

want her !


Faust, Faust, what dost thou ? Nay he seizes


With violence. The form begins to blur. He turns the key towards the stripling. How ! He touches him ! Woe's me ! Now, even now!

[Explosion. Faust lies on the ground. The spirits melt into mist.

94 Goethe's Faust


\_taking Faust on his shoulder

Crack ! There it is ! One's self with fools to

cumber Doth play the deuce with all, the Devil i' the

number !

\JDarkncss, Tumult.

ACT II[편집]





[stepping forward from behind a curtain. As he raises it and looks back, Faust is seen reclining upon an antique bed.

Beguiled to love-bonds hard to loose, Thou ill-starred wight, lie here a season ! Whom Helen paralyses, use Not lightly to regain their reason.

[Looking about him. Look I about me in the glimmer, Unchanged, unwasted all I spy. The painted panes, methinks, are somewhat


Methinks the cobwebs somewhat thicker lie. The ink is dried, the paper yellow grown, Yet all in place I still discover. The very pen lies where 'twas thrown When to the Devil Faust himself made over. A drop of dried-up blood lurks still, E'en as I coaxed it from him, in the quill. No fancier but himself might pique Upon a curio so unique.

On the old hook still hangs the old fur-cloak, Reminding me of the old joke,

9 6

Goethe's Faust

How yonder lad I taught of yore,

Who haply still as youth chews on my lore.

Marry I itch again, allied

Thou mantle shaggy-warm with thee,

To puff me up with professorial pride.

So fully in the right they ween to be !

Your learned man attains that level,

The art long since has failed the Devil !

[He takes down and shakes the fur- cloak ; crickets t chafers > and moths fy out. Auuv*V ,*v .


Fair welcome, old gaffer ! Our homage we pay. We hum and we hover And know thee straightway. But singly in silence The seed didst thou sow ; Now dancing in thousands O father we go ! The rogue in the bosom Lies hidden so well, More lightly reveal them The lice in the fell.


With what a glad surprise the gay young brood

I view !

Nay, only sow, you'll reap in season due, I'll shake the ancient fell another bout Still here and there there comes one fluttering out.

Part II 97

Up and around, sweet chicks ! Fly helter- skelter

To hundred thousand nooks for shelter. In yon old cardboard-boxes cage, Here in this parchment, brown with age. Into old crockery merrily flock it, Into yon death's-head's eyeless socket. Ever where life thus rots and moulders Are maggots bred.

[Sfys into thejur.

Come, clothe my shoulders, Thou musty mantle, in thy folds once more ! To-day again, as heretofore, I'm Principal, and yet the title With none to bow before it, boots me little.

\_He pulls the bell, which gives out a shrill and piercing tone, that makes the halls quake and the doors jly open.

FAMULUS, rushing along the long dark corridor.

What a clanging ! What a quaking ! Staircase rocking, walls a-shaking ! Through the window's tinted quiver See I sheeted lightning shiver ! Rudely loosened down are pouring Lime and rubbish. Warps the flooring, And the door, fast barred and bolted, Magic power hath open jolted. Faust's old fur what horrid antic ! Wrapped around a form gigantic. At his glances, at his beck, Almost to my knees I quake.

98 Goethe's Faust

Shall I flee or shall I stay ? What will happen ! Well-a-day !

MEPHISTOPHELES, beckoning. Hither, my friend ! Your name is Nicodemus ?


High-reverend Sir, such is my name. Oremus /


Not so !


You know me ! With what joy I thrill '


I know it well. In years, yet student still !

O moss-grown sir ! Nay, even a learned man

Still studies on, since nothing else he can.

A goodly house of cards we build us so.

The greatest mind can ne'er complete it though.

And yet your master ! He's no ignoramus !

Great Doctor Wagner everywhere he's famous

The first now in the learned world, the sole

Who binds its scattered parts into one whole.

He, wisdom's daily multiplier,

To hearken whom all that aspire

To universal learning flock.

He shines, he, ex cathedra, lonely !

Like Peter, keeps the keys, and only

The Nether, as the Upper, doth unlock.

So doth he foremost glow and glimmer,

No name nor fame can stand its ground.

The very name of Faust grows dimmer,

He 'tis that hath all wisdom found !

Part II



Pardon, High-reverend Sir, your condescension

Bestow, if I most humbly mention

You're under a misapprehension.

To him as gift is modesty assigned.

Since most inexplicably vanished

Yonder great man, he never yet hath banished

All hope of his return, wherefrom he trusts to


Solace and weal. The chamber none may enter Since Doctor Faustus' days. Forlorn, Untouched, it waits its lord's return. To venture in I scarcely venture. What planets in conjunction shine ? The old walls seem aghast with wonder, The door-posts quaked, bolts burst asunder, Else you yourself had not come in.


Where hath the man bestowed him, eh ? Take me there, bring him hither, pray !


So very strict his orders were,

In sooth I know not if I dare !

O'er the Great Work for months he's brooded

In all seclusion deep-secluded.

The daintiest of men of learning

You'd swear he lived by charcoal-burning :

Begrimed from ear to nose, and blear-eyed

With blowing of the fire, unwearied

Each moment for the next he longs,

Whilst music make the clanking tongs.

i oo Goethe's Faust


What ! against me his portals fasten ! Why, I'm the very man his luck to hasten.

[Exit Famulus. Mephistophelcs silt

down with affected solemnity. Scarce have I set me on this throne When there behind me stirs a guest well-known. But now he's up-to-date. I warrant His arrogance will be most arrant.

BACCALAUREUS, rushing along the passage.

Gate and door before me oping Of themselves, give room for hoping That no more the live man will do As the dead man doth, in mildew Rot and moulder, mortifying Life, till life itself be dying.

All around wall and partition Crumble, totter to perdition, And unless we quickly make us Scarce, will ruin overtake us. Though for boldness none can match me Going further you don't catch me.

What is this my sight engages ? Was't not here it seems like ages Since I came a simple bejan, Anxious, timid, fluttering pigeon, Trustful to these graybeards hied me, On their humbug edified me ?

Into mouldy book-crusts prying

What they knew they taught me lying

Part II 1 01

What they knew without believing, Me, themselves of life bereaving. How ! Within there by the bureau One still sits in chiaroscuro !

Nay, I see have I my wits still ? In the old brown fur he sits still, As I left him, piece for piece, In the same old shaggy fleece ! Then as sapient I viewed him When not yet I understood him, But to-day that will not answer ! Marry, come, we'll break a lance, sir !

If, aged Sir, through Lethe's turbid river That bald and wry-hung head not yet hath


Outgrown the academic rods for ever See with acknowledgment your pupil come. I find you as I saw you then, Another man I'm here again.


I'm glad I called you by my tinkling.

E'en then I rated you full high ;

The grub betimes, the chrysalis, some inkling

Give of the gaudy butterfly.

A childish pleasure when a scholar

You took in curls and fair lace-collar.

Belike you never wore a queue ?

To-day close-cropped you meet my view.

You look quite resolute, quite valiant, but

Pray, don't go home quite absolute.

102 Goethe's Faust


Old gentleman, we're in the same old chamber, But times are changed since then, make no

mistake !

Spare me your irony. Remember We're wary now, and wide-awake. The artless, guileless youngster did you banter ; What now-a-days none would adventure, It cost you little skill forsooth !


When unadulterate one tells to youth

What no wise suits the callow brood the


But later, little as they love it, On their own tingling hide they rudely prove it, They flatter them it came from their own skull. Then is the cry : the master was a fool !


Aye, or a rogue ! What master hath the grace The truth outright to tell us to our face ? Each hath the wit to magnify, to minish, Earnest at first, jocosely shrewd to finish, To pious bairns.


Well, there's a time to learn ; You're ripe yourself to teach though, I discern. Through many moons you have nay, e'en a

sun Or two, experience in plenty won.

Part II 103


Experience ! froth and foam alone, With mind not equal-born. Avow it, The thing that ever hath been known, It isn't worth one's while to know it.

MEPHISTOPHELES, after a pause.

I've had misgivings ! Now I feel I am indeed inane and imbecile !


I'm fain to hear it ! Now you're talking sense ! At last a graybeard with intelligence !


For golden treasure did I poke and proddle, And gained but sorry coals when all was done.


Confess it now, your pate, your old bald noddle Is worth no more than yonder hollow one!

MEPHISTOPHELES, good-humouredly. How rude thou art, my friend, dost scarce surmise.


The man that is polite, in German, lies !


[rolling himself in his chair 'with castors ever nearer into the Proscenium, addresses the Pit.

Here am I reft of light and air, I wonder If I shall find asylum with ye yonder ?

104 Goethe's Faust


Presumption ! for a sorry respite, aught

To wish to be, already being naught.

Man's life lives in the blood, and where forsooth

Doth the blood stir and tingle as in youth ?

Aye, that is living blood, with vigour rife,

From life that doth create itself new life.

All is astir there, something we attain,

What weak is falls, the strong comes on amain.

The while one half the world we've subjugated,

Pray, what have ye done ? Dozed and cogitated

And dreamed and balanced, plan and plan again.

Old age forsooth is but a palsied ague,

Where chill and want and crotchets plague you.

Have thirty years passed o'er your head

Already you're as good as dead.

'Twere best to knock you on the head right early.


This puts the devil out of office fairly.


There is no Devil, save I will it, I !


He'll lay thee by the heels though, by and by !


The noblest calling this for youthful wit ! The world was not, till I created it ; 'Twas I that brought the sun up from the sea ; The Moon her changeful course began with me ; Upon my paths Day decked herself; her bosom To welcome me, Earth filled with bud and blossom ;

Part II 105

Upon my beck, in yonder primal night The glory of all the stars unfolded bright ; Who, if not I, from all the bars unbound you That cramping thoughts Philistian welded round

you ?

But I, as bids my mind, unhampered quite, Blithely I follow mine own inner light, And with a rapture all mine own, swift onward, Darkness behind my back, I journey sunward.



Original, go thy ways in all thy glory ! This truth to thee were purgatory : What man can think aught foolish, prudent aught, Save what the Past already thought ? With him we're not endangered, though, assur- edly ;

A year or two at most and things will mend, And though the must comport itself absurdly Yet will there be some wine i' the end.

[To the younger part of the Pit who do

not applaud.

I see my word hath left you cold, Ye artless bairns. Yet I'll not take it evil. Think though, the Devil is old ; grow old If ye would understand the Devil.


[* the medieval style ; huge, unwieldy apparatus, for fantastical purposes. WAGNER, betide thejurnacc. The dreadful bell clangs out, and echo The sooty walls its long vibration.

io6 Goethe's Faust

The issue can no more uncertain

Remain of earnest expectation.

The darkness lifteth like a curtain.

Now in the phial's inmost chamber

There glows as 'twere a living ember ;

Aye, like some carbuncle transcendent

It flashes through the gloom resplendent.

A dazzling light doth pierce the veil.

O this time, Fate, my efforts further !

Ah God ! What rattles on the door there ?

[Enter Mephistopheles.


Fair welcome ! Nay, I mean you well !

WAGNER, anxiously. Fair welcome to the ruling star !

But word and breath within the mouth fast bar. Soon is achieved a glorious undertaking.

MEPHISTOPHELES, more softly. What is it, pray ?

WAGNER, more softly.

A man is in the making.


A man ? And pray what couple tender Have ye shut up i* the chimney there ?

WAGNER. Forbid it, God ! The mode wherein man used

to gender

For idle folly we declare.

The tender point wherefrom life sprang of yore, The gracious farce that pressed from out it.? core,

Part II 107

And took and gave, itself to outline fated,

First nearest, foreign then assimilated,

Now of its dignity is dispossessed ;

And though the beast still find therein a zest

Henceforth must man with his great gifts aspire

Unto a purer origin and higher.

[Turning to the furnace. It flashes, see ! Now verily hope flatters That when from many hundred matters We by alloy alloy is everything Compound the human-matter throughly, And in a limbec seal it truly, And therein cohobate it duly, The work we shall to a good issue bring.

[Turning again to the furnace It speeds ! The mass is clarifying, Assurance yet more sure supplying. What man mysterious in Nature once did hold To test it rationally we make bold, And what she erst constrained to organize, That do we bid to crystallize.


He that lives long, learns much, nor can there For him aught new befall upon this world below. Already many a crystallized man there I've lit on in my wanderings to and fro.


[who has never diverted his attention from the phial.

It rises, flashes, grows to one, A moment and the deed is done. A great design at first seems mad, yet we Henceforth at Chance will laugh, the sorry tinker !

io8 Goethe's Faust

And such a brain as thinks transcendently Henceforth shall likewise make a thinker.

[Looking at the phial in rapture The glass rings out with an entrancing might. It clouds, it clears, my fairest hopes approving. What dainty vision greets my sight ? A dapper manikin a-moving ! What would we more, or what the world ?

For here

The secret lies to light unfolded. Unto this sound but give an ear, It turns to voice, to speech 'tis moulded.

HOMUNCULUS, in the phial to Wagner.

Well, fatherkin, how goes it ? 'Twas no jest !

Come, press me tenderly upon thy breast !

But not too hard, for fear the glass should


Things are so constituted ever ; The Natural the world can scarce embrace, The Artificial needs a closed-in space.

[To Mephistopheles. What, thee, thou Rogue, Sir Cousin, here I


At a most timely moment thank I thee. A happy fate hath led thee to our view ; Since that I am, I must be doing too. Straight would I truss to work. What dost

thou say to't ? Thou art the man to shorten me the way to't.


But one word more ! This oft doth mortify me That young and old with endless problems ply

Part II 109

As inter alia, how each with either Body and soul can fit so well together, And cling so close as would they never sever Yet each to each make life a burden ever? And then


Stop there ! Ask rather each with either Why man and wife agree so ill together. My friend, 'twill ne'er be clear, howe'er thou

fidget. Here's work to do no better asks the midget.


What is to do ?

MEPHISTOPHELES, pointing to a side-door.

Here do thou prove thy talent.

WAGNER, looking ever into the phial.

Forsooth thou art a charming little callant !

[The side- door opens. Faust is seen reclining on the couch.


Significant !

[The phial slips from Wagner 9 s hands, hovers above Faust and illumines him.

Fair-encompassed ! Limpid waters [n a thick grove ! Women, that disarray them ! Most beautiful are they of Beauty's daughters, Yet radiantly fair doth one outweigh them,

i i o Goethe's Faust

Of highest heroes born, nay, God-born haply. Her foot she dips the bright pellucid pool in, The sweet life's flame that warms her form

how shapely !

Within the waves' enfolding crystal cooling. But what a rustle of pinions now swift~ flash ing Ruffles the polished glass ! What rushing,

splashing !

Startled the maidens flee ; the queen their flight Shares not, but stands, nor needs with fear to


And with a proud and womanly delight She sees unto her knee the swan-prince nestle, Importunately tame. Now he grows bolder, But suddenly a vaporous cloud In thickly-woven gauze doth shroud The fairest scene ere had beholder.


Marry, what moonshine dost thou not narrate ' Small as thou art, thou art a dreamer great. Naught see I


No ! The North thy heritage is Thy birth was in the misty ages, The waste of priesthood and of chivalry, And how should there thine eye be free ? Thou art at home but in the murky.

\_Lookmg around him

Dingy-brown stonework, mouldered, horrid, And Gothic-arched, ignoble, florid ! Awakes he here, new cares we've got. Straightway he's dead upon the spot.

Part II in

His dream with sylvan springs beguiled him, And swans, and naked beauties. Here How should he e'er have reconciled him, Where I, that least am nice, scarce bear ? Hence with him, now !


Pd hear the means with pleasure !


The warrior bid unto the fight,

Lead thou the maid to tread a measure,

And straightway everything is right.

To-day it falls quite apposite

'Tis Classical Walpurgis Night ;

No fairer turn could Fortune play him,

To his own element convey him.


The like I never yet have heard of!


Nay marry ! That how shouldst thou e'er get

word of!

Romantic spectres only fall in thy purview ; A genuine spectre must be classic too.


Whither our way ? E'en in anticipation Are antique colleagues an abomination !


Northwestward, Satan, is thy pleasure-ground, Southeastward, though, at present are we bound.

i 1 2 Goethe's Faust

By a great plain, through thicket and through


Peneus flows, in still and humid reaches ; The champaign to the mountain-gorges stretches, And old and new Pharsalus lies above.


Alack ! Away ! Forbear of yonder squabble 'Twixt tyranny and slavery to babble ! It irks me. Scarce 'tis ended when de novo With the whole farce they start again ab ovo y Yet none doth mark he is but made a fool By Asmodeus, who the strings doth pull. They fight for freedom so themselves they

flatter Slaves against slaves, if you but sift the matter.


Why let men be, as is their nature, froward ! Perforce must each defend him as he can, From boyhood on so will he grow to man. One question only at this time is toward, To heal this man. If any means thou see, Make proof of them ; if none, leave it to me.


Here many a Brocken-farce might tempt a trial, But heathen bolts are shot in stout denial. The Greeks were never good for much. 'Ti


With the free play of sense they dazzle you. To jocund sins they prompt man's breast.

Beshrew me

If ours will ever pass for aught but gloomy ! What next ?

Part II


Faith, thou'rt not one whom shyness twitches,

And when I touch upon Thessalian witches I think I have not spoke for naught.


Thessalian witches 1 They are persons, marry, For whom for long enough I've sought. Night after night with them to tarry Were scarce delectable, methought ; To spy them, try them though


The knight enfold

Within thy cloak, and make an end on't ! The rag, as it was wont of old Will one and other bear, depend on't. I'll light your path.

WAGNER, anxiously.

And I, pray?



Thou'lt stay at home, most weighty work to do. The ancient parchments thou'lt unroll, fair father, The elements of life by precept gather, And each to other fit with foresight. Ponder The what, more to the how thy thoughts apply. Whilst through a cantle of the world I wander Belike Til find the dot upon the I. Thus the great goal is reached the cap Well-merited is this of such an earnest study

H4 Goethe's Faust

Gold, honour, fame, long-life, and healthy body And knowledge too and virtue by good hap ! Farewell !

WAGNER, sadly.

Farewell ! It racks me thus to sever ! My heart misgives me 'tis farewell for ever !


Now to Peneus swift descend ! Sir Coz must not be underrated.

\_ad Spectators Marry, at last we all depend On creatures that ourselves created.




To this night's awful festival, as often now, Erichtho, come I hither, I the sinister, Yet not so loathsome as the pestilent poets me Surcharging slander. . . . Verily never know

they bound In praise and censure. . . . Whitened o'er

already seems The vale a billowy sea of tents, gray-


The after-phantom of that careful dreadful night. How oft it hath recurred already, will recur

Part II 115

Through ages everlasting. . . . Each doth

grudge the sway

To other, all to him that won it forcefully, And forcefully doth wield it. Each that hath

not wit

His inner self to govern, all too fain would sway His neighbour's purpose to his own imperioui


Here was a great example to the issue fought, How violence encounters greater violence, How Freedom's gracious, thousand-blossomed

wreath is torn, The unyielding laurel bent around the ruler's

brow. Here of his early greatness' blossoming Magnus

dreamed : There, hanging o'er the tremulous balance,

Cassar watched : It shall be measured ! Verily knows the world

who won.

The glowing watch-fires shoot red flames athwart the night.

The earth exhales the after-glimmer of shed blood,

And by the night's unwonted wizard-splendour lured,

Assemble all the legions of Hellenic myth.

Round all the fires waver fitfully, or sit

In comfort, bygone ages' fabulous phantasies.

The moon, with orb imperfect, yet refulgent- bright,

Arising, sheds around her softest radiance.

The tents' illusion vanishes, the fires burn blue.

But overhead, what unexpected meteor !

1 1 6 Goethe's Faust

It lightens and enlightens a corporeal ball.

Ha, that is life I scent! It seems me not,

that am

To life pernicious, living creatures to approach. It brings me evil fame and profiteth me not. It sinks already. Heedful ly Til step aside.

\_Movcs away.

The aeronauts above.


Once again around I'll hover O'er the flames and horrors eerie. In the vale I naught discover Save what spectral is and dreary.


As when through the window old I Gazed on Northern dread and gloom, Spectres wholly foul behold I, Here as there I am at home.


Lo, a tall gaunt figure stalking From us there with hasty stride !


Faith, as were she scared she's walking; Through the air she saw us ride.


Let her stalk. Quick as thou'rt able Set thy knight down ! I'll be sworn, Life will, in the realm of fable Where he seeks it, straight return.


Where is she ?

Part II 117


[as he touches the ground.


I've no inkling of it,

But here methinks may'st ask with profit. There's time ere dawn to go with speed From flame to flame, enquiry making. Who to the Mothers ventured, need Recoil before no undertaking.


On my own score I too am here, Yet all to please it will be best, 'tis clear, That each the round of fires through His own adventures for himself pursue. Then once again our troop to muster, Little one, chiming let shine out thy lustre.


Thus shall it flash, thus chime sonorous.

[The glass hums andjlashes mightily. Now on ! New marvels lie before us.

FAUST, alone.

Where is she ? Now no further question

make. . .

Is it the glebe not, her that bare, Is't not the wave that plashed to meet her there, The air at least it is, her speech that spake. Here by a marvel in the Grecian land, Straightway I felt the soil whereon I stand.

1 1 8 Goethe's Faust

Through me, the sleeper, what a warm life

darted !

So stand 1 like Antaeus, dauntless-hearted, And though the strangest here I find assembling, This labyrinth of flames I'll search untrembling !


MEPHISTOPHELES, prying around.

And as from fire to fire I wander aimless, I feel me wholly from my moorings drifted ; Naked are most, but here and there beshifted, The sphinxes unabashed, the griffins shameless, And what not all the eyeball, as it passes, Betressed, be winged, from front or rearward


'Tis true, we too at bottom are indecent, But the antique's too lifelike to be pleasant. That ought one with the newest taste to master, With fashion's thousand whims to overplaster. . A loathsome brood, yet since as guest I meet


I must not grudge in seemly wise to greet them. Hail ! ye fair women ! hail ! ye sapient

grizzles !

.8U tMotaa j>ii no woM

GRIFFINS, snarTing.

Not grizzles ! griffins ! None is fain to hear Himself called grizzled. In each word still


Some echo of the source wherefrom it springs. Grey, gruesome, grim, graves, grumpy, grisly,


And chime together etymologically, Yet grate upon our ear

Part II 119


Gr'tf- pleases if in The honourable title heard of Griffin.


[_as above, and so continually.

Of course ! The kinship hath been proved to


Oft chidden truly, yet more oft extolled. Grip then at maidens, crowns and gold, you'll

find To him that grips is Fortune mostly kind.

ANTS, of the colossal species

Of gold you speak ! In heaps once did we

hoard it

And secretly in cliff and cavern stored it. The Arimaspians have nosed it out, And borne it off, and now our grief they flout.


Nay, never fear, we'll bring them to confession.


But not on this free festal night.

'Twill be smuggled away ere morning-light.

We shall carry it through on this occasion.


[who has taken his seat between the Sphinxes I grow at home here. More by token I understand each word they say.

i 20 Goethe's Faust


We breathe our spirit-tones unspoken

And ye embody them straightway.

Yet name thyself, until we know thee farther.


With many names folk think to name me. Are


But Britons here ? To travel is their role For ruined walls and waterfalls and traces Of fields of battle classic musty places ; Here were indeed for them a worthy goal. They would bear witness too me did they see I* the old stage-play as l Old Iniquity.

SPHINX. How came they thereto ?


Nay, that puzzles me !


May be ! Hast any planetary lore ? What sayst thou to the aspect of the hour ?


The gelded moon shines bright, and helter- skelter

Shoots star on star. I like my cosy shelter, And in thy lion's-fur I snugly swelter. 'Twere pity I should climb aloft to lose me. Some riddle, some charade at least propose me.

1 English in the original.

Part II 121


Do thou express thyself 'twere riddle enough ! Resolve thine inmost essence ! Thus art heed- ful ?

What pious man and wicked Jind like needful. One for ascetic fence -, as padded jacket, And one as mate in riot and in racket, Both but to make Zeus merry. Canst thou crack it ?

FIRST GRIFFIN, snarling. He likes me not !

SECOND GRIFFIN, snarling more fiercely What seeks be here ?


Foul monster, this is not his sphere !


Haply dost think thy guest would shrink from

matching His nails with those sharp claws of thine at

scratching. Well, iry it then !

SPHINX, gently.

Thou hast free leave to tarry Of thine own self thou soon wilt quit us, marry! At home thou livest in the lap of riot, But here meseems thou art in sore disquiet.

122 Goethe's Faust


Thou art right appetising upwards from the bosom,

But for the beast below there, fie ! 'tis grue- some !


Thy coming, miscreant, thou'lt rue full sorely. Our paws at least know no disease ! Thou with thy shrivelled pastern surely Within our league art ill at ease.

[SIRENS prelude overhead.


What birds are these that softly swinging Upon the river-poplars rest ?


Have thou a care ! Ere now their singing Hath overcome the very best.


Ah ! why mar your taste completely Here 'mid monstrous marvels roaming ? Lo ! in hosts where we are coming, And with notes that blend full sweetly ! Thus do Sirens come most meetly.

SPHINXES, mocking them in the same rhythm,

Bid them quit their perch where biding 'Mid the branches, they are hiding Craftily their foul hawk's talons, Wherewith will they, traitor-felons, Rend ye if ye lend an ear.

Part II 123


Hence with envy ! Hence with hatred ! Brightest pleasures cull we scattered Broadcast 'neath the heavens' blue sphere. On the earth and on the water Let such smiles as sweetest flatter Make the welcome guest good cheer.


These are your precious airs new-fangled Where tone with tone is intertangled, The throat from out, from off the string. They waste on me their caterwauling ? Though round my ear I feel it crawling It reaches not the heart's deep spring.


Thine heart, forsooth ! A heart dost call it ? Vain word ! A shrivelled leathern wallet To match thy face were more the thing !

FAUST, c oming forward. How strange! It pleasures me to see these


In the repellent great and noble features ! My heart already bodes a favouring fate. Me whither doth this solemn sight translate ?

[Pointing to the Sphinxes. Before the like stood Oedipus, fate-driven ;

[Pointing to the Sirens.

Before the like Ulysses in hempen bonds hath striven ;

[Pointing to the Ants. The highest treasure these of old did hoard ;

[Pointing to the Griffins.

I 24 Goethe's Faust

Which faithful and unfailing these did ward. I feel there breathes a quickening spirit through

me ! Great are the forms, great memories bring they

to me!


Once thou hadst banned them from thy sight,

and yet

Now do they seem not ill-approved, For even monsters are well-met Where a man seeketh his beloved.

FAUST, to the Sphinxes.

Ye women-forms my questioning must stay. Hath one of ye seen Helena, I pray ?


We reach not down unto her generation. Hercules slew the latest of our nation. Chiron might give thee information. He gallops round upon this spectral-night ; Will he but stand for thee, thou'rt sped aright-


E'en with us thou shouldst not miss it ! With us when Ulysses tarried, Not disdainful past us hurried, He with tales beguiled his visit. All to thee we would discover Wouldst thou to our meads come over, To the green sea wouldst thou speed thee.


Heed thee, noble Stranger, heed thee ! Himself to bind Ulysses bade

Part II 125

Do thou let our good counsel bind thee. The lofty Chiron canst thou find thee All shalt thou learn, e'en as I said.

[Exit Faust.


What croaketh past with pinion-beat, So swiftly one can scarcely see't, Each after other still doth fleet ? The very hunters would they weary !


Winter's wild blast alone is like them. Alcides' arrows scarce could strike them. The swift Stymphalides, and cheery As unto friends their croaked salute, With beak of vulture and goose's foot. Our circle fain they'd enter into, And thereby prove them of our kin too.

MEPHISTOPHELES, as if intimidated. There hisses something else between them.


For these, good sooth, thou need'st not quake. These are the heads of the Lernaean snake, Cleft from the trunk, yet something still they

ween them.

But say, why dost thou stare and mutter ? What is it sets thee in a flutter ? Whither wouldst go ? Away with thee ! Yon chorus makes, as well I see, A wryneck of thee. Curb thee not! Away! To many a charming face thine homage pay.

126 Goethe's Faust

The Lamiae, rare wanton lasses, With smiling lips and brazen faces, Such as the Satyrs' taste most tickle. A goat-foot there at naught need stickle !



Ye'll stay here though, that I may still be able

To find ye ?


Aye ! Mix with the airy rabble ! Long hath it been our wont, from Egypt on, That such as we a thousand years should throne. And heed but how we lie controller Ordained are we of lunar day and solar. Sitting at the doom of nations Here before the pyramids, War and peace and inundations Watch we with unwinking lids.



Wake, ye whispers of the sedges ! Softly breathe, ye reed-fringed edges ! Rustle, willows of the river ! Lisp, ye poplar-sprays a-quiver, To my rudely -broken dream! Me the sultry air doth waken, Strange all-searching thrill hath shaken From my sleep and cradling stream.

Part II 127

FAUST, approaching the river

Err I not, a voice there harbours Deep within the pleached arbours Of these branches, of these bushes, Human-sounding 'midst the rushes. Seems the wave a tittle-tattle, Seems the breeze a frolic prattle.

NYMPHS, to Faust.

The best that could hap thee Were couched here to tarry, And quicken the cool in Thy members a-weary. In rest wouldst thou lap thce That ever doth flee. We'll rustle and ripple And murmur to thee.


I am awake ! O still resplendent

My sense enthrall, ye forms transcendent,

Such as mine eye doth plant ye there.

Oh, what a wondrous thrill runs through me !

Come ye as dreams as memories to me ?

Such bliss was once before thy share !

Athwart the cool of softly swaying

Deep shadowy woods, come waters straying :

Not rushing, rippling scarce they glide.

A hundred fountains in one single

Pellucid shallow pool commingle,

For bathing meet, from every side.

The liquid mirror glasses double

Young lusty woman-limbs, that trouble

The eye with rapturous delight.

128 Goethe's Faust

In fellowship then bathe they blithesome, Fearsome they wade, swim bold and lithesome, And end with shrieks and water-fight. These should content me ; these with pleasure Mine eye should dwell upon at leisure, Yet forward still my mind doth long. Pierces my glance where yonder arbour's Luxuriant wealth of verdure harbours The lofty queen its shade among.

O the marvel ! Swans sedately With a motion pure and stately Hither swim from out the bays. In sweet consort softly sliding, Moving head and beak and gliding Proudly conscious of their grace. One with stately bosom swelling, In his pride his mates excelling, Sails through all the throng apace. Swells his plumage like a pillow ; Billow borne upon the billow Glides he to the holy place. His fellows in the glassy roomage Cruise with unruffled radiant plumage, Or meet in stirring splendid fray, Whereby to lure each timid maiden To quit her office, terror-laden And save herself, if save she may.


Sisters, lay your ears along This green bank the river bounding ; Hear I if I hear not wrong As 'twere horses' hoofs resounding. Fain were I to know methought Who this night swift news hath brought.

Part II



Sooth it seems to me as under Hurrying steed the earth did thunder. Thither my glance ! O most propitious chance, Comes it already yonder ? Incomparable wonder ! A horseman canters up apace Valour and wit look from his face Borne on a horse of dazzling whiteness. I know him, err 1 not, straightway, The famous son of Philyra ! Halt, Chiron ! Halt ! A word of thy polite- ness !

CHIRON. What hast ? What is't ?


Bridle thy pace, and stay !

CHIRON. I tarry not !

FAUST. Then take me with thee, pray !


Mount then ! So can I question thee at leisure. Whither away ? Thou stand'st here on the

shore ; PJ1 bear thee through the stream, if such thy


130 Goethe's Faust

FAUST, mounting.

Whither thou wilt. I'll thank thee evermore, The noble pedagogue, great man indeed, That to his fame reared an heroic breed, The Argonauts, with deathless glory gilded, And all of old the poets' world that builded.


Nay, let that be ! As Mentor none,

Not Pallas' self, is to be gratulated.

They follow their own bent when all is said and

done, As had they ne'er been educated.


The leech that hath of plants all lore, All roots doth know unto their core, Health for the sick, the wounded ease did find, I clasp in might of body and of mind.


Beside me was a hero hurt,

Then aid and counsel could I tender,

But in the end did I mine art

To herbwives and to priests surrender.


Thou art the genuine great man That word of praise ne'er hearken can. He shuns applause as naught his worth were, And bears him as his like on earth were.


Thou seemest skilled with glozing matter People and prince alike to flatter.

Part II 131


At least thou wilt not contravene

That thou the greatest of thine age hast seen,

The noblest emulated, spent thy days

As seemed a demigod, in strenuous ways.

But tell me now, I pray thee, whom thou ratest

Of all the great heroic forms, the greatest.


Each in the glorious federation

Of Argonauts was great in his own fashion,

And by the power within him planted

The one might furnish what the other wanted.

The Dioscuri ever did prevail

Where youthful bloom and beauty turn the scale ;

Resolve and sudden deed for others' weal

To Boreas' sons, a noble portion fell ;

Reflective, stalwart, shrewd, in counsel schooled,

Well-pleasing unto women, Jason ruled ;

Then Orpheus, tender, sunk in silent musing,

To touch the lute skilled beyond mortals' using ;

And Lynceus, that by day and night, keen-eyed

The sacred ship through reef and shoal did


Danger is meetest dared by banded brothers, For thus, the while one acts, applaud the others.

FAUST. Of Hercules no mention mak'st thou ?


Alas, my longing wherefore wak'st thou ?

Phoebus I ne'er had seen, nor yet

Seen Ares, Hermes, whatsoever

They call them, when mine eyes there met

132 Goethe's Faust

What men as god-like still deliver 5 King born, indeed, if any other, A youth most glorious to see, In thrall unto his elder brother And to the fairest women he. His like will Gaia gender never, Nor Hebe lead to Heaven again. Vain is the minstrels' high endeavour, The marble do they rack in vain.


Never, for all the marble broken, Hath sculptor wrought him so unique. Thou of the fairest man hast spoken Now of the fairest woman speak !


What ! . . . Woman-beauty hath no savour. Too oft a statue cold and stiff. Such being only wins my favour As wells with fresh and joyous life. Self-blessed is Beauty cold and listless, 'Tis grace alone that makes resistless, Like Helena, when her I bore.

FAUST. Thou bar'st her ?


Aye, upon this croup.


Wildered enough I was before, But here to sit it fills my cup !

Part II


Her hands within mine hair she knit As thou dost.


Oh, now am I quite Beside myself! Pray tell me how ! She is the sum of my desiring. Her whence and whither barest thou ?


I'll answer fain at thy requiring.

On that occasion had the Dioscuri

From robbers' hands their little sister freed ;

But these, unused to be discomfited,

Took heart, and after them they stormed in fury.

The brethren in their hurried course did then

The swamps beside Eleusis pen.

The brothers waded through, I swam and paddled over.

Then down she lighted, flattering

My streaming mane, and chattering

Sweet thanks, so winsome-wise so conscious- coy !

How charming was she! Young, the old man's joy.


But seven years old !


The doctors of philology Thee into error as themselves have led. Abnormal is the heroine of mythology,

134 Goethe's Faust

She makes her entry at the poet's need,

Is never adult, never old,

Still appetising to behold,

Is kidnapped young, still wooed beyond her

prime ; Enough, the Poet is not bound by Time


Her too, then, let not Time have power to bind


Did not Achilles, say, in Pherae find her, Without the pale of Time ? O rarest chance ! Love wrested even 'gainst Fate's ordinance ! And should not I, with mightiest yearning,


Back into life the incomparable form ? Eternal Being, one with gods in essence, Though tender great, though high, of winning

presence !

Thou erst, and I to-day have looked on her, As fair as winsome, as desired as fair. My sense, my soul, she weaveth round for ever, I cannot brook to live, save I achieve her !


Good stranger, now thou art what men call


Demented, should we spirits deem more apt. It falls out well to thy behoving That yearly but few moments in my roving I visit Aesculapius' daughter, Manto. Her hands unto her sire she reaches Mutely, and for his honour's sake beseeches He would at length shine out upon the leeches'

Part II 135

Black night, and turn them from their reckless

slaughter ;

Best loved to me of all the Sibyl-guild, No grinning mummer, but humanely mild. She will not fail, so thou but tarry duly, With potent herbs and roots to heal thee



1 seek not to be healed ! My mind is valid. Then were I like the rest, mean-souled and squalid.


Miss not the healing of that gracious fount! We are upon the spot. Quickly dismount !


Through weirdest night, the shingly waters o'er, Say whither hast thou brought me, to what shore ?


Here Rome and Greece each challenged each

in fight,

Olympus sideways left, Peneus right. The greatest realm, in sand evanishing ! Triumphs the citizen and flees the king ! Look up, see looming close at hand The eternal temple in the moonlight stand '

MAN TO, dreaming to herself.

With horse-hoofs bounding The holy-seat is resounding. Demi-gods come this way.

136 Goethe's Faust


E'en so !

Ope but thine eyes, I pray !

MANTO, awaking. Welcome ! Thou dost not fail the tryst !

CHIRON. E'en as thy fane doth still subsist !


What, all-unwearied still thou ridest ?


As peace-immured still thou bidest, The while to circle is my glee.


I bide, and circles time round me. And him ? ~


Him in its swirl hath brought The sinister night, with mind distraught. Helena sets his wits a-spinning, Helena hath he hopes of winning Yet knows not how to make beginning, Most worthy Aesculapian cure.


Him love I whom the impossible doth lure.

[Chiron is already far away. Enter, thou shalt be glad, audacious mortal ! Leads to Persephone the gloomy portal.

Part II 137

Within Olympus' hollow foot She hears by stealth the banned salute. Here did I smuggle Orpheus in of old. Use thou it better ! In, be bold !

\They descend.



Plunge ye in Peneus' flood ! Plashing may ye swim there meetly, Linking song to song full sweetly For the ill-starred people's good. Without water is no weal. Should we now with all our legion For the Aegean quit this region, Every joy our bliss would seal.

[Earthquake. SIRENS.

Foams the wave back to its fountains, Flows no more down from the mountains, Quakes the ground, the flood doth choke, Shore and shingle bursting smoke! Flee we, flee ! Come, every one For the portent profits none.

Hence, ye lordly guests and lightsome To the ocean-revel brightsome, Where the tremulous waves a-twinkle Swelling soft the shores besprinkle, There where Luna twofold gleameth, On us holy dew downstreameth.


Goethe's Faust

There a stirring life and cheerful, Here an earthquake, grim and fearful ! All that wise are haste away For this place doth strike dismay.

SEISMOS, rumbling and grumbling down below.

Heave again with straining muscle, With the shoulders shove and hustle, So our way to light we justle, Where before us all must fly.


What a sickening thrill hereunder ! What a dire and dreadful thunder 1 What a heaving, what a quaking, Rocking to and fro and shaking, What unbearable annoy ! Yet we budge not though the nethei Hell should all burst forth together.

Now a vaulting O the wonder ! Is upheaved. Aye, 'tis yonder Ancient, gray with eld, that whilom Delos' isle for an asylum Unto one in travail gave, Thrust it up from 'neath the wave. He with striving, heaving, rending, Arms a-strain and shoulders bending, Heaves up, Atlas-like in gesture, Earth with all her verdant vesture, Sand and land and grit and gravel, All our river's tranquil level. Thus the valley's placid cover Rives and rends he cross-wise over. Like a caryatid colossal Straining still without reposal,

Part II 139

He upholds a dread stone-scaffold, Breast-deep still, yet still unbaffled. Here though must he make cessation, Sphinxes now have ta'en their station.


You must confess, that little matter

I did myself, of allies bare,

And did I not so batter and so clatter

Pray how were this your world so fair ?

How would your mountains tower above there

In clear-resplendent ether-blue,

Had I not laboured them to shove there

For picturesque-enraptured view,

Whenas with Titans leagued defiant

Before the primal fathers of the world,

Chaos and Night, I bare me like a giant

And Pelion and Ossa hurled as a ball is hurled ?

Thus did we wanton on in youthful passion,

Then weary of the sport did clap

Upon Parnassus' brow, in impious fashion

The mountains twain, in guise of double-cap.

Apollo now dwells blithely yonder,

With the blest Muses' choir. 'Twas I

For Jove himself, with all his bolts of thunder,

That heaved the regal chair on high.

So now with effort superhuman

I thrust me up from out the abyss,

And Joudly to new life I summon

Glad dwellers to my Paradise.


All that here hath been upcastled Must we needs esteem primeval,

140 Goethe's Faust

Had we seen not how it wrestled Forth from earth in rude upheaval. The bosky woods up to the summit creep And still impetuous crowds steep on steep. What cares a Sphinx for such a bubble ? Us in our holy seat it shall not trouble !


Gold in tinsel, gold in spangle See I gleam through chink and angle. Be not robbed of such a booty ! Emmets up, and do your duty !


As the gigantic brood Heaved it on high there, Twitter-feet, antic brood, Speedily fly there ! Out and in merrily ! In each such crevice Every crumb verily Worthy to have is. Tiniest particle Must ye discover ; Search by the article Under and over. Be brisk and bold alone Hosts without number ! Garner the gold alone, Let go the lumber.


In ! In ! Heap gold without a pause, And we thereon will clap our claws ! Bolts are they that all bolts excel, The rarest treasure is warded well.

Part II 141


Here we stand past all denying Knowing not how that did fall. Whence we came, refrain from prying, For we are here once for all ! Lo, in every land and any Life may joyously expand. Where there yawns a rocky cranny, Is the dwarf too straight at hand. Dwarf and dwarfess, gird ye speedy, Every pair a paragon. Was't in Paradise already Thus ? That know I not for one. To our star glad thanks we render For we think us highly blest. Mother Earth doth joy to gender In the East as in the West.


Hath in one night Dame Earth The little ones brought forth, The less she will beget too, And each will find his mate too.


Haste ye in seizing Seat that is pleasing. Busily bustle Speed against muscle ! Peace is still with ye ! Build ye the smithy Where may be shapen Harness and weapon !

142 Goethe's Faust

Emmets a-fluster, Swarm ye and cluster Metals to muster ! Daktyls come streaming, Tiny but teeming, Briskly bestir ye, Fire-wood bear ye ! Heap in a pyre Smouldering fire, Charcoal prepare ye !


With bow and arrow Search every narrow ! Every mere on Shoot me the heron, Numberless nesting there, Haughtily breasting there, All in one doom. Shoot all and slay all, Us to array all In helm and plume. r


Who now will save us ? Iron we get to Chains to enslave us. Time is not yet to Show us defiant, Therefore be pliant !


Murd'rous outcry, death-shrieks uttered, Beating pinions fearful-fluttered,

Part II 143

What a moaning, what a cry 9

To our heights doth pierce the sky !

All have fallen in the slaughter,

Crimsoned with their blood the water.

Greed misshapen, foul and cruel

Robs the herons' fairest jewel.

On the helm I see it wave there

Of yon fat-paunch, crook-leg knave there.

Ye that in our train are fellows,

Linked farers of the billows,

Ye we call. Avenge them dearly

For the cause doth touch ye nearly.

Let none grudge or strength or blood !

Hate eternal to this brood !

\_They scatter croaking in the air.

MEPHISTOPHELES, in the plain.

Well know I how to master Northern witches, But with these foreign phantoms ever some

hitch is.

Give me my Blocksberg for a revel-rout ! Where'er one is, one knows one's way about, Dame lisa watches for us on her Stone, And Henry will be glad his Height upon. The Snorers snort, 'tis true, at Misery, But in a thousand years no change we see. Here's ticklish going. Here you never know When bladder-like the earth beneath will blow. I stroll light-hearted through a shallow cup When suddenly behind my back starts up A mountain hardly to be called a mountain,


Yet from my Sphinxes me to sunder throughly Quite high enough. Still flicker fires yonder Adown the vale, and flame around the wonder.

144 Goethe's Faust

Still glance and float before me, flee and woo

With knavish jugglery the wanton crew.

After them softly ! Pampered with too much

plenty, Whatever it be, one snaps at every dainty.

LAMIAE, drawing Mephistopheles after them.

Swift, swifter ever, And never weary ! Then again staying, Prattling and playing ! It is so merry, The old Deceiver, Thus to decoy him. To penance fitting He comes unwitting. With stiff foot hobbling, ' '" i Stumbling and wabbling. He trails his foot The while we fly him In vain pursuit.


Curst fate ! That man so great a gull is !

From Adam on poor cozened cullies !

Years get we all, but wisdom who ?

Wert not already fool enow ?

We know they're worthless, all the spat and


With painted faces and with waists tight-drawn. Naught wholesome to requite us have they


Grasp where you will, in every member rotten. We know it, see it, with the hands can gripe it, Yet dance the measure as the jades do pipe it.

Part II 145

LAMIAE, halting.

Halt ! He bethinks him, falters, stands. Counter him, that he slip not from your hands !

MEPHISTOPHELES, striding on.

On ! In the web of doubt and cavil Thyself not foolishly perplex, For were not witches, who the devil To be a devil himself would vex ?

LAMIAE, most graciously.

Round about this hero go we ! Love for this or that will glimmer Soon within his heart, that know we.


Seen by this uncertain shimmer Comely wenches truly seem ye And I would not disesteem ye.

EMPUSA, intruding.

Nay, nor me ! As such, I pray you, Let me join your train ! What say you ?


She in our circle is de trop. Ever she spoils our sport, 1 vow !

EMPUSA, to Mephistophelcs.

Empusa, thy fair sib, the sweeting With Foot of Ass, doth give thee greeting. Naught hast thou but a horse's foot, And yet, Sir Cousin, fair salute !

146 Goethe's Faust


I looked to meet but strangers thorough And find near kinsfolk to my sorrow. Nay, as an ancient book doth tell us, J Tis : Kinsmen all from Harz to Hellas.


I've wit to act with swift decision, In many a shape could meet the vision, But in your honour for the nonce I choose to don the ass's sconce.


These gentry, now, that's clear as water, Count kinship for no jesting matter, Yet you, fair Coz, I can't defer to, The ass's head I'd fain demur to.


This foul hag heed not ! She doth scare Whatever comely seems and fair. What fair and lovely was before, She comes, and lo ! it is no more.


And ye, fair cousins, though so tender, So languishing, all doubts engender. Behind your cheeks' alluring roses I fear there lurk, too, metamorphoses.


Come, try thy fortune ! We are many. Dip in, and fortune hast thou any

Part II 147

Snap up such lot as seems most fair. What means thy wanton ritornello ? Thou art a sorry wooer, fellow, For all thy brag and swashing air ! Now with our concourse doth he mingle. Now put your masks off, all and single, Lay each in turn her nature bare !


I choose the fairest, glad and gleesome.

[Embracing her. Alack-a-day, the withered besom !

[S fixing another. Well, what of this one ? Out, thou blot !


Deserv'st thou better ? Think it not !


The little one I'll try. The wizard !

There slips she through my hand a lizard,

And serpent-like her glossy braid.

The long one, then, she's worth the clipping.

Woe's me, a thyrsus-stock I'm gripping

A fir-cone stands in lieu of head !

How will it end ? Come, there's a fat one,

Perchance I'll cool my flame with that one !

I'll try my luck just once again.

Right squabby, flabby ! An Oriental

To buy the like would pawn a rental.

Woe's me, the puff-ball cracks in twain !


Scatter asunder, swoop and hover In blackest flight, like lightning, over

148 Goethe's Faust

This interloping witch's son !

In fitful wheels strike horror utter,

On silent pinion bat-like flutter,

He's quit too cheap when all is done.


Wisdom, it seems, I'm still gone little forth in.

Absurd is't here, absurd the North in,

The spectres here as there bizarre,

The people and poets tasteless are.

A mask, as everywhere doth chance

Is here an emblematic dance.

At comely masking-trains I grasped

I thrill to think what things I clasped.

Yet fain I'd lend me to their cheating

Did the delusion prove less fleeting.

[_Losing his ivay amongst the rocks. Where am I ? Where's the outway ! How ! This was a path, a horror now ! A heap of stones ! Why, what-a-devil, When I came hither the road was level ! I clamber up and down in vain, My sphinxes how to find again ? Plague take it, this beats all outright ! What, such a mountain in one night ! Well, for a witch- ride, that's a topper ! They bring their Blocksberg on the crupper !

OREAD, from the natural cliff". Up hither, up ! My mount is old, And still doth keep its primal mould. Honour the rude cliff-stair ascending, Last spur of Pindus, far-extending. Already thus firm-stablished I stood as Pompey o'er me fled.

Part II 149

That fabric of a dream will fade At cock-crow with the nightly shade. The like childs' fables oft I see arise And perish in like sudden wise.


Honour to thee, thou reverend head, With lofty oak-crown chapleted ! The moonshine, most transcendent-bright, Can pierce not to thy sombre night. But lo, hard by a light doth glide With modest glow the copse beside. Well, well, how oddly things fall out ! Homunculus, beyond a doubt ! Whither away, my tiny rover ?


From place to place I flit and hover,

And fain would I in the best sense exist.

Impatiently I long my glass to shiver.

To risk me though I do not list

In aught I yet have seen. However

To thee a secret I'll deliver.

I'm on the track of two philosophers.

I listened. Nature ! Nature ! dinned mine ears,

I will not part me from them, seeing

That they, if any, must know earthly being,

And thus, no doubt, I shall possess me

At last, of whither I had best address me.


Best do it at thine own expense !

For ever where phantoms gather together

Is the philosopher welcome thither,

150 Goethe's Faust

And with his art and favour to elate you A dozen new ones he'll create you. Save but thou err thou'It ne'er attain to sense. Exist, if needs must, at thine own expense !


Good counsel though a man should never scout.


Then get thee gone ! We'll see how it turna out.

[They part.

ANAXAGORAS, to Thalcs.

Thy stubborn mind will never bow it, But this at last convinces thee, avow it !


The wave to every wind bows fain enough, But from the rugged cliff it holds aloof.


This cliff was born of fiery vapour fumid !


The Living first existed in the Humid ! HOMUNCULUS, between the t<wo.

Suffer me by your side to go, Myself would fain exist, you know.


O Thales, such a mount at any time Hast thou in one sole night brought forth from slime ?

Part II 151


Nature, and Nature's tide of life smooth-flow- ing

Naught recks of days' and nights' and seasons' going.

Each several form she frames, a guiding fate,

And 'tis not violence, e'en in the great.


But here it was ! Plutonic frenzied fire, Aeolic vapours' force explosive, dire, Broke through the level earth's primeval crust That a new mount perforce was straight up- thrust.


Well then, what wider issue doth it boot ? It is there, well and good ! In such dispute A man with time and leisure doth but palter, And leads withal but patient folk i' the halter.


The mount bears myrmidons in bevies To people every rocky crevice, As pigmies, emmets, thumblings, further Such tiny creatures, all astir there.

[To Homuncitlus,

To a great end hast ne'er aspired,

But, hermit-like, hast lived retired.

If unto lordship thou canst use thee

As crowned king I'll have them choose thee.


Approves my Thales ?

152 Goethe's Faust


Not a tittle !

With little folk one's deeds are little, With great the small doth great become. Lo, where the people, panic-smitten, The thunder-cloud of cranes doth threaten, And o'er the king like fate would loom. With piercing bills and rending talons Down swoop they on the tiny felons. The lightning flashes, boding doom. The herons impious guilt did slaughter, Girt in their still, peace-hallowed water ; But yonder shower of murd'rous engines Genders a crop of bloody vengeance, Excites the wrath of kindred blood Against the pigmies' guilty brood. Shield, helm and spear, what profit these ? How will the heron-crest avail them ? Daktyl and emmet swift conceal them ! The army wavers, breaks and flees.

ANAXAGORAS, after a pause, solemnly.

The powers subterrene erstwhile adoring, This crisis in, I turn above imploring. O Thou that agest not eternally, Three-named, three-formed, enthroned super-


Thee in my people's woe I call on, Thee ! Diana, Luna, Hecate !

Thou bosom-lightener, profoundly pensive one ! Thou tranquil-brightener, mighty-intensive one ! Open thy shadow's awful gulf alone ! Thine ancient might without a spell make known.


Part II 153

Am I too quickly heard ?

Hath my prayer

To yonder sphere

The constant course of nature stirred ? And greater nears, and ever greater grown The goddess's ensphered throne, Unto the eye appalling, dire ! And reddens luridly its fire ! No nearer, menacing-mighty Round, Ourselves and land and sea thou wilt confound! J Tis true then that Thessalian sorceresses, In impious magical excesses Down from thy path with charms compelled


And to pernicious uses held thee ? The lucent shield hath veiled it darkling ! What sudden rending, flashing, sparkling ! What crackling, hissing ! What a thunder, And what a monstrous wind thereunder ! Before the throne ! Down humbly thither ! Forgive ! 'Tis I have called it hither !

\Throws himself upon his face.


Nay, what not all this man hath seen and heard!

As to what chanced myself am hazy,

Neither hath my sensation squared

With his. Let us confess the hours are crazy,

And Luna in her place doth soar

All unconcerned as heretofore.


Glance at the Pigmies' seat. I vow The mount was round, 'tis pointed now.

1 54 Goethe's Faust

I heard a most portentous rumbling,

Down from the moon the rock came tumbling,

Nor question made, but straightway shattered

Both friend and foe, as nothing mattered.

Yet must I view such arts with wonder

As straight, with power creative fraught,

At once from over and from under

This mountain in one night have wrought.


Pray be at ease. It was but thought. The odious brood ! E'en let them go ! 'Tis well thou wert not king, I trow. On to the glad sea-feast ! A wonder Is hoped for and is honoured yonder.

MEPHISTOPHELES, clambering up the opposite side.

Of steep cliff-stairways must I needs avail me, Through stubborn roots of ancient oak-trees trail


Upon my Harz the resinous reeks Savour of pitch, and that enjoys my favour Next after sulphur. Here amongst the Greeka Scarcely I scent a trace of such a flavour. Yet were I curious to make enquiry Wherewith they feed hell-flames and tortures



In homespun wisdom hug thyself at home ! Thou art not shrewd enough abroad to roam. Let not thy fancy homeward stray unruly The holy oak's high worth here honour duly.


We think upon the thing we miss, What we were used to still is Paradise !

Part II 155

But say what in the cavern there

In dim uncertain twilight threefold cowers ?


The Phorkyads ! Approach them, if thou dare And speak, chills horror not thy powers.


Why not, pray ? What, / gaze on aught with

wonder ?

But needs I must confess, for all my pride The like of that I never eyed. 'Tis more than mandrakes, what is yonder ! Will now the sins esteemed most hateful Henceforth appear aught else but grateful, This Threefold Horror hath one spied? We would not suffer them set foot in Our direst Hell, yet here they root in The land of Beauty, land unique That boasting styles itself antique. They seem to scent my presence, stir and bristle, Like very vampire-bats they squeak and whistle.


Sisters, give me the eye to reconnoitre

So near our temple who doth dare to loiter.


Most honoured dames, let me without restriction Approach and take your threefold benediction. As yet unknown haply I seem insistent, But sooth to say, a kinsman I, though distant. Time-honoured gods have I beheld ere now, To Ops and Rhea bowed my deepest bow.



Goethe's Faust

The Parcae too, your sisters, Chaos-born, Yesterday saw I or the other morn. Upon your like though never have I glanced, Silent I gaze, and feel myself entranced.


He lacks not sense, this spirit, of all things !


I marvel though, that ye no poet sings ! But say, how came it, how could that befall ? Sculptured ne'er saw I ye, most reverend of all ! Ye to attain the chisel should be zealous. Not Juno, Pallas, Venus, and their fellows.


Sunken in solitude and stillest night The three of us have never thought of it.


How should ye either ? From the world with- drawn

No one ye see, yourselves are seen of none.

Ye ought to dwell where art and splendour throne them

Upon one seat, and all as sovereign own them,

Where nimbly every day in double step

A block of marble into life doth leap

As hero, where


Hush ! Teach us not to covet ! What better were we knowing better of it, We, born in Night, to Night akin withal, To ourselves almost, and quite unknown to all ?

Part II



In such a case that is of import slender.

Himself to others can a man surrender.

Ye three one eye, one tooth sufficeth well.

'Twere mythologically feasible

In two, of three to concentrate the essence,

And cede me of the third the outward presence

For a brief space.

Sisters ?

ONE. Is't feasible in truth,


We'll try, but not with eye and tooth.


Ye take away the best by such restricture And render faulty the austerest picture.


Squeeze one eye up, 'tis easy. Let one fang At the same time thy nether-lip o'erhang, And in the profile wearing such a semblance, Thou'lt straight attain a sisterly resemblance.


You flatter ! Be it so !


So be it !

MEPHISTOPHELES, as Phorkyas In profile.

Done! Here stand I, Chaos* well-beloved son !

158 Goethe's Faust


And Chaos' true-born daughters we undoubted.


O fie ! Hermaphrodite must I be flouted i


In the new triple sisterhood what beauty ! Two eyes, two teeth ! Fair sisters I salute ye !


Now must I shun all eyes, forgo all revels, And in Hell-sump strike terror to the devils !


The moon abiding in the zenith.


[couched round about on the cliffs t Jluting and singing.

If of yore, in dread nocturnal, Did Thessalian hags infernal Impiously draw down thy yellow Orb, look softly on the mellow Splendour of the tremulous billow Myriad-twinkling, from the vaulted Night where thou dost sit exalted. Shine upon this shoal that rise From the waves, to thee all -duteous ! Gracious be, O Luna beauteous !

Part II


NEREIDS AND TRITONS, as sea-monsters. Let your songs more shrilly sounding, O'er the wide waste sea resounding, Summon Ocean's denizens. We from sullen tempest-swollen Surge to stillest deeps had stolen ; Winsome song does charm us thence.

Lo, with chains of gold, entranced We our beauty have enhanced ; And from jewelled clasp and cincture Crowns and gems of myriad tincture We have wrought, your treasure-trove. Sunken wealth that ocean swallows Ye for us unto these shallows Charm, ye daemons of our cove.


Swaying smooth in Ocean's coolness Fishes revel in the fulness Of a life that knows not care. Yet ye troops that briskly move ye Festal dight, to-day come prove ye That ye more than fishes are.


Ere unto this spot we hied us Thought of that hath occupied us. Sisters, brothers, fleetly fare ; Far to-day ye need not travel Proof to give beyond all cavil That ye more than fishes are.

[_Tkcy y*wim off.

160 Goethe's Faust


Away in a trice

To Samothrace as the sea-bird flies With favouring breezes they fare, But what they would seek is a query In the realm of the lofty Kabiri. Gods are they, such as were never ; Themselves engender they ever And never know they what they are.

Graciously on thine height Winsome Luna, stay thy light, That the night not vanish, Nor the daylight us banish.

THALES, on the shore to ffomuncu/us.

Thee fain to ancient Nereus would I lead, Nor from his cavern are we far indeed. A stubborn temper though hath got Yon crusty crabbed vinegar-pot, Nor can the whole of human-kind Do aught to please his spleenish mind. Yet lies the future bare unto him Wherefore with reverence all woo him And show him honour in his post, And many he warned to their behoof.


We'll knock and put it to the proof,

Not straightway glass and flame 'twill cost.


Is* t human voices that mine ear hath heard ? Straightway to wrath my deepest heart stirred !

Part II 161

Creatures that would be gods by high endeavour Yet doomed to dwell in their own likeness ever. 'Twas mine long years since like the gods to


Yet must I seek to benefit the best, And looked I on the finished deed, 'twas even As never at all my counsel had been given.


Yet, Ancient of the Sea, in thee we trust. The Sage art thou us hence do thou not thrust. Look on this flame, of human semblance truly, Yet to thy counsel doth it yield it wholly.


Counsel ! was ever man by counsel bidden ? A prudent word sleeps in the stolid ear. Though oft the deed itself hath grimly chidden The folk are still as stubborn as they were. Paris I warned, as might a sire his child, A foreign woman ere his lust beguiled. Boldly upon the Grecian shore he stood ; Him I foretold what in my mind I viewed. The reeky air, shot through with ruddy glow, The beams ablaze, murder and death below Troy's Doomday, wrought into immortal rhyme, The terror and the theme of endless time. Shameless ! Him seemed a jest the old man's


His lust he followed, and high Ilium fell, A giant-corpse, stark from long agony Where Pindus' eagles glutted them in glee. Ulysses too, foretold I not to him ~ wiles of Circe and the Cyclops grim,

1 62 Goethe's Faust

His tarrying and his comrades' levity And what not all ? What boot of it had he ? Till much betossed, yet late enough, him bore The billows' favour to a friendly shore.


The wise man such behaviour needs must pain, The good man though will try yet once again. A dram of thanks, him mightily to pleasure, A hundredweight of unthanks will outmeasure. Hear but our suit ! No trifling matter is't. The lad there longeth wisely to exist.


Away ! My rarest humour do not mar !

Far other on this day my projects are.

The Dorids have I bidden to these waters,

The Graces of the sea, my winsome daughters.

No form Olympus, none your earth doth bear

That moves so daintily or is so fair.

From the sea-dragon with most winning motion

They leap on Neptune's coursers, in the ocean,

Their element, so daintily at home

They seem to float upon the very foam.

In Venus' iridescent shell-car gliding

Comes Galatea now, the fairest, riding,

She that herself, since Cypris from us fled,

In Paphos is as goddess honoured,

And now in sweet divinity doth own

As heiress, temple-town and chariot-throne.

Hence ! In this father's hour of gladness smiling, Hatred ill seems the heart, the mouth reviling. Away to Proteus ! Ask that wizard-elf How one can best exist and change oneself.

\_He moves off towards the sea*

Part II 163


We have, forsooth, small profit of that cast, And meet we Proteus, straight he'll melt

asunder ;

And should he stand, he will but say at last What strikes the mind with wilderment and


But once for all, such counsel dost thou need ; Try we our luck and on our journey speed !

[They withdraw.

SIRENS, above on the cliffs.

Afar what see we furrow Its path the surges thorough, As by the breeze urged forward White sails were gliding shoreward, Suffused with light transcendent Like mermaidens resplendent ? Now quickly down be climbing. Ye hear their voices chiming !


We bear in our hands a treasure That all shall give you pleasure. Chelone's shell gigantic Gleams with a group authentic. Gods are they that we bring ye, Now festal songs come sing ye.


Small of height,

Great of might,

Helpers when shipwreck rages,

Gods honoured in primal ages.

164 Goethe's Faust


We bring ye the Kabiri With a tranquil feast to cheer ye, For where they reign auspicious Is Neptune's sway propitious.


Aye, that we'll back. Went a ship to wrack With might resistless you Delivered still the crew.


Three have we brought, we could not The fourth, for come he would not. Himself the true one call he did, And said the thinking for all he did.


A god without a doubt A god may flout. All good powers revere ye, Every mischief fear ye !


Seven are they rightly, marry.

SIRENS. Where do the three then tarry ?


That can my wit not compass ! Enquire within Olympus. The eighth beeth haply there too, Whom none hath thought of hereto !

Part II 165

By us as helpers greeted, But all not yet completed.

These the Unexplainable, Forward still are yearning, Hunger-bitten, ever-burning For the Unattainable.


Wherever may Be a throne, we pray, By night and day, For that doth pay.


How passing high our praise hath shone That with this feast we cheer ye !


The heroes of ancient days

Now fail of their praise,

Where and however it shone,

Since they the Golden Fleece have won,

Ye the Kabiri.


Since they the Golden Fleece have won, ^ e jthe Kabiri.

[NEREIDS and TRITONS glide past.


The uncouth creatures look I on, For sorry clay pots I take them. Now knock the wise their pates thereon, And thick as they are they break them.


Goethe's Faust


They would not wish it otherwise. The canker gives the coin its price.

PROTEUS, unpercelvcd. The like delights me, ancient fabler, The stranger 'tis, the honourabler.


Where art thou, Proteus ?

PROTEUS, ventriloquially, now near, now far. Here and here !


The stale jest pass I. What, to fleer A friend with idle words thou seekest ? From the wrong place I know thou speakest

PROTEUS, as if from a distance. Farewell !

THALES, softly to Homunculus.

Now is he near ! Shine brilliantly, For curious as a fish is he. Where'er he lurks disguised, be sure Him to the light the flames will lure.


Straightway a flood of light I'll scatter, Yet modestly, lest that the glass I shatter.

PROTEUS, in the form of a giant-tortoise. What is it shines so winsome-fair ?

Part II 167

THALES, veiling Homunculus.

Good ! If thou wilt, it shalt thou see anear ; But grudge not thou the trifling obligation To show thee on two feet in human fashion, For what we veil he shall but see, whoever Is fain to see, by our good will and favour.

PROTEUS, in noble form. In tricks of worldly- wisdom hast thou skill.


To change thy form remains thy pleasure still. \_Un<vctls Homunculus,

PROTEUS, in amaze.

9 A shining dwarf! The like I ne'er did see I


Counsel he begs, and were full fain to be.

He came, I learn from his narration,

But half into the world in wondrous fashion.

He doth not want for any mental quality,

Yet far too sorely lacks materiality.

Till now the glass alone doth give him weight,

Yet were he fain to be embodied straight.


Thou art a maid's brat, verily, That is before it ought to be.

THALES, softly.

And from another side the thing seems critical ; He is, methinks, hermaphroditical.


1 68 Goethe's Faust


So much the better ! In the germin

The sex itself will soon determine.

But here there needs not long to ponder;

Thou must commence in the wide ocean yonder.

There in a small way you begin,

The smallest are you fain to swallow,

Little by little growth you win

And form yourself for greater feats to follow.


The air breathes soft, 'tis redolent Of growth, me ravishes the scent.


Most charming lad, the truth hast hit there, And further in 'tis more excelling sweet, On yonder narrow sandy spit there The atmosphere past telling sweet. Before us there the train I spy That even now doth draw anigh. Thither !


I'll bear ye fellowship.


Threefold noteworthy spirit-trip !


[on Hippocampi and Sea-dragons , bear" ing the trident of Neptune.


The trident of Neptune that quells the im- passioned

Wild-turbulent billows we forged and we fashioned.

Part II 169

Unfurleth the storm-clouds the Lord of the


Its hideous roll answers Neptune from under, And let the forked lightning flash down as it


Will billow on billow spirt up to it still, And all that between them hath wrestled con- founded,

Long-tossed, is engulfed in a sea never-sounded, And therefore he gives us the sceptre this night. Now festally float we, unruffled and light.


Helios' initiated, Ye to bright day consecrated, Greet we in this stirring hour When we worship Luna's power.


Thou Goddess all-fair in the high empyrean,

Thou nearest entranced how riseth a paean

In praise of thy brother. An ear dost thou

lend To Rhodus the blest where his praise hath no

end. His day's course begins he, his course hath he


With fiery ray-glance he looketh us on. The mountains, the towns, to the God are

delightsome, The shore and the billows, all lovely and


No mist hovers round us, and stealeth one in, A beam and a breeze and the island is clean.

170 Goethe's Faust

There sees him in myriad forms the Refulgent, As youth and as giant, the Great, the Indulgent. 'Twas we that the might of Immortals on earth In fashion of mortals first nobly set forth.


E'en let them sing and vaunt their folly, For to the quickening sunbeams holy Dead works are but a sorry jest. Tireless they melt and mould, and flatter Themselves, forsooth, 'tis some great matter If once the thing in bronze is cast. What have these vaunters for their wages ? The statues of the gods stood great, An earthquake laid them desolate, All have been melted down for ages.

All earthly work, be what it will, A weariness of the flesh 'tis still. The wave is unto life more gracious ; Thee to the eternal waters spacious Will Proteus- Dolphin bear.

[_He transforms himsflf,

'Tis done !

There shall the fairest fortune stead thee. I'll take thee on my back and wed thee Forthwith unto the Ocean. On !


Yield to the well-advised hortation

From the first step to start creation ;

For prompt activity prepare.

Thou'lt move thee by eternal norms there

Through thousand and yet thousand forms there,

And ere thou'rt man there's time to spare.

[^HOMUNCULUS mounts Proteus- Dolphin.

Part II 171


In spirit seek the liquid azure.

In length and breadth thou'lt live, at pleasure

Wilt move there, but good counsel hear :

Strive not to rise, for hast ascended

To man the scale of being, ended

For good and all is thy career.


That's as may hap. 'Tis fine, agree, A proper man too in one's time to be.

PROTEUS, to Thaics.

Belike it is, one of thy cast.

The like doth still a while outlast.

Thou 'midst the pallid spectral legions

Through ages hauntest still these earthly regions

SIRENS, on the cliffs*

What a wheel of cloudlets frameth Round the moon so rich a ring ? Doves are they whom love enflameth, White as light each quiv'ring wing. Paphos 'tis that her impassioned Brood of birds hath hither sent. Now our feast is crowned and fashioned Unto fullest ravishment.

NEREUS, approaching Thales.

Though a wanderer belated Deem yon ring an apparition

172 Goethe's Faust

Of the li'ght and air created, Have we spirits clearer vision. Doves they are, that o'er the waters, In a flight of wondrous sort Learned in olden times, my daughter's Progress in her shell escort.


What the simple heart doth pleasure That do I too hold for best, Something holy still to treasure Living in the still warm nest.


\_upon sea-oxen^ sea-calves and sea-rams. In Cyprus' rugged vaults cavernal, Where sand the sea-god drifts not, Whose roofing Seismos rifts not, Breathed on by airs eternal, We keep, as in ages olden, In tranquil bliss enfolden, The car of Cypris the golden, And bring when the night-winds are breathing, Thy daughter most fair through the seething Of loveliest waves interwreathing, Unseen of a race that is new. Our task untroubled speed we, Nor Eagle nor winged Lion heed we, Cross nor Crescent Moon, Nor on earth who may own and throne, In changing fray and sway Drive other forth and slay And tilth and town in ruin lay. Thus ages through Bring we our loveliest lady to you.

Part II 173


Moving light in stately leisure Round the chariot ring on ring, Braiding now a sinuous measure Interwreathed string with string, Sturdy Nereids draw near, Lusty maidens winsome-wild, Tender Dorids, Galatea Bring, her mother's very child. Serious, God-like face and limb in, Worthy immortality, Yet like winsome human women Of a charming grace is she.

DORIDS, [gliding past Nereus in chorus, all on

Light and shadow, Luna, lend us, Brightness to our youthful bloom. Pleading to our sire we bend us, Showing well-loved mates we come.

[To Nereus.

Boys are they whom we have steaded 'Gainst the surge's cruel tooth, And on sedge and moss soft-bedded, Warmed to light with tender ruth, With warm kisses close-enfolden Who must show them now beholden. Gracious look on their fair youth.


Not light the two-fold gain I measure, Pity to show and eke oneself to pleasure.

74 Goethe's Faust


Father, with approval eyeing, Grudgest not our well-won zest, Let us hold them fast, undying, To our ever-youthful breast.


I give you joy of your fair capture,

Fashion the youth to be your mate !

Not mine to grant ye endless rapture,

That on the gift of Zeus doth wait.

The wave that cradles ye and rocks ye

Letteth Love neither constant stand,

And fades the glamour of Love that mocks ye

Then set them softly on the land.


To ye, sweet lads, our hearts we gave, Yet sorrowful must we sever ; For troth eternal did we crave, The gods vouchsafe it never.


Us gallant sailor-lads to lap In like delights still spare not. We never had so good a hap, And for a better we care not.

QGALATEA, glides up in her shell-chariot.

NEREUS. 'Tis thou, then, Beloved ?


O Sire, the delight ! Nay, tarry, ye dolphins, me rivets the sight.

Part II 175


Already glide they past, already,

In a swirling sweep o'er the ocean !

Why stifleth she the innermost, heartfelt emotion ?

Ah ! Swept they but me with their eddy !

Yet hath a single glance delight

A year of longing to requite.


Hail ! Hail their coming !

How I rejoice me blooming,

By truth and beauty penetrated !

All things are out of water created,

All by water maintained. Thou Life-give

Ocean, vouchsafe us thine agency ever.

If thou in clouds descendedst not,

The fruitful brooks expendedst not,

The streamlets to and fro bendedst not,

In mighty rivers endedst not,

What then would the world be, what mountain

and plain ? 'Tis thou that the freshest of life dost maintain.


[Chorus of the whole circle.

'Tis thou whence the freshest of life wells amain !


Far back they fare in swaying dance, No longer counter glance with glance. Now in linked orbs wide-spreading, In festal pageant parading, The countless host doth twist and veer,

176 Goethe's Faust

But Galatea's shelly throne

See I ever and anon.

It shines like a star

Through the cluster.

The loved one lightens through the muster.

Though never so far,

Shimmers bright and clear

Ever true and near.


This all-benignant rheum in Whatever my light illumine Is wondrous fair to see.


Thy light, this quickening rheum in Outshines itself the gloom in With glorious harmony.


What mystery novel itself will disclose

To our eyes in the midst of the bevy ? What


Round the shell and around Galatea's fair feet, Now flares out resplendent, now lovely, now

sweet, As if by the pulses of love it were thrilled ?


Homunculus is it, by Proteus beguiled. The symptoms are these of imperious striving, A dolorous moan fills my heart with misgiving. Himself will he shatter upon the bright throne : A flame and a flash, an effusion, 'tis done !

Part II 177


What fiery marvel transfigures the billows That sparkling shatter them each on its fellows ? So shines it, so surges, sweeps onward in light, The bodies they burn on their path through the


And all round about us in fire is embosomed. To Eros the empire, whence all things first blossomed !

Hail the Ocean ! Hail the Surge !

Girt with holy fire its verge.

Hail the Water ! Hail the Fire !

Hail the chance that all admire !


Hail the breeze that softly swelleth ! Hail the grot where mystery dwelleth ! All we festally adore, Hail, ye Elements all four !



\_Enter HELEN, 'with CHORUS of captive Trojan 'women. PANTHALIS leader of the Chorus.


Admired much and much reviled, Helena,

Leaving the shore where we but now did land, I come

Still drunken with the unrestful billow's tumultuous

Commotion, that from Phrygian lowlands hither- wards

On its high-swelling bosom, by Poseidon's .grace,

And Eurus' might, hath borne us to our native bays.

Below there King Menelaus rejoices glad at heart,

He and his bravest warriors, at their home- coming.

But do you bid me welcome, O ye lofty halls,

That Tyndareus, my father, near the mountain- slope,

From Pallas' Hill returning, built to be his own,

Part II 179

And as with Clytemnestra blithely sporting here, With Castor and with Pollux, sisterly I grew, Before all Sparta's houses gloriously adorned. I greet ye, ye twin leaves that form the brazen

gates ! Athwart the ample gateway ye, wide open


In hospitable welcome, once let shine on me In bridegroom's guise Menelaus, chosen not

from few.

Open again unto me that I may fulfil Truly, as seems the wife, the king's most urgent

hest. Let me pass in, and henceforth all behind me


That hitherto around me fatefully hath stormed ! For since I left these places, light of heart, and


Constrained by sacred duty, Cytherea's shrine, But there the robber laid hand on me, the


Much hath befallen, whereof mortals far and wide Are fain to babble, but not fain to hear is he Of whom the story, waxing, is to a fable spun.


Disdain thou not, O beauteous Dame,

The rarest treasure's glorious gift !

With the greatest boon thou alone art


With Beauty's fame above all that doth tower. The Hero's name before him resounds, Thus proudly he treads, Yet bends forthwith the stubbornest man Unto all-o'erpowering Beauty his will !

180 Goethe's Faust.


Enough ! I with my lord have journeyed hither- ward,

And now unto his city am sent, his harbinger. Yet what the purpose he within his heart enfolds That guess I not. Come I a wife ? Come I

a queen ?

Come I a victim for the Prince's bitter smart, And for the Greeks' long-suffered, unprosperous

destiny ?

If I am conquered, if a captive, know I not. For verily Fame and Fate the Immortals' ordin- ance

Ambiguous decreed me, Beauty's equivocal Retainers, that upon this very threshold still With sinister boding presence, here beside me


For looked my lord already in the hollow ship But rarely on me, spake no comfortable word, But ever as brooding mischief over against me sat. But now upsailing to Eurotas' deep-bayed beach Hardly the foremost vessels with their brazen

beaks Had kissed the shore, when spake he, as by the

God impelled :

" Here shall my warriors in due order disem- bark. Them will I muster, here by Ocean's strand

arrayed. But do thou journey onward, journey upward


Still follow holy Eurotas' fruit-abounding banks, Thine horses guiding o'er the humid meadow's pride,

Part II 181

Until what time thou lightest on the fair cham- paign

Where now with solemn mountains near en- cinctured

Lacedaemon stands, a fruitful, spacious field of yore.

Enter forthwith the princely house, high- turreted,

And muster in my stead the maids whom there behind

I left, and with them, left the wise old stewardess.

The wealth of hoarded treasures bid her show to thee,

Such as thy sire did leave them, and as I my- self

In war and peace increasing ever, have laid up.

All things in order wilt thou find, for that is still

The prince's privilege, that in his house he find

All things in trusty keeping on his home- coming,

Each in its station, as he left it going forth,

For naught to alter hath the slave authority."


Come gladden with the gloribus wealth, The ever-growing, bosom and eye. For the necklet's grace, the diadem's sheen Repose there proud in their haughty conceit. But enter thou and challenge them all. They'll harness them swift.

W T *oy to witness Beauty that vies ith wrought gold and pearls and with jewels of price.

1 82 Goethe's Faust


Straightway my lord upon me laid this further

charge. " When in due order all beneath thine eyes hath

Take thou as many tripods as thou needful


And store of divers vessels, such as needs at hand The sacrificer, holy festal-ordinance Fulfilling, cauldrons, bowls, the salver's shallow


Let purest water from the sacred fountain stand In lofty ewers ; further wood, well-dried, that

swift The living flame conceiveth, hold thou ready

there ; And lastly see there fail not, whetted to keenest

edge, The sacrificial knife. The rest make thou thy

care." So spake he, urging my departure, yet not

showed For all his orders, aught that draweth living

breath, Which he, the Olympians honouring, had in

mind to slay.

Naught good it bodeth, yet with careful bosom I Will brood no longer. Let the high gods see

to all ! All things they bring to pass as in their hearts

seems good.

And be it accounted good of men, or be it ill Of men accounted, that we mortals needs must


Part II 183

Oft hath the sacrificer, consecrating, raised Over the victim's earth-bowed neck the

ponderous axe, Yet could not strike the blow the foeman's near

approach Or God's interposition hath withheld his hand.


What shall happen brooding will not reveal !

Queen, tread thou boldly and be

Of good cheer.

Fair fate and foul fate come

Unexpected to mortals.

E'en foretold we credit it not.

Verily Troy burned, verily we

Death saw louring, shamefullest death ;

And are we not here ?

Mates to thee, serving blithely,

Seeing the Heavens' radiant sunshine,

And, what Earth hath of fairest,

Thee revering, happy we !


Be as it may, whate'er impend, it seemeth me To go up straightway into the palace, long- denied,

And yearned-for heavily, and well-nigh forfeited, That stands before mine eyes again, I know not


My feet so bravely bear me now no longer up The lofty steps, that erst I overleapt a child.


Cast now, O sisters, ye Mournfully captive-made,

184 Goethe's Faust

All your sorrow behind ye . Share ye your Lady's bliss, Share ye fair Helen's bliss, Who to the hearth paternal now, Though with tardily homeward-turned Foot, yet with so much firmer foot Draweth joyfully nearer.

Laud ye the Holy, the Fortune-restoring, the Homeward-bringing Immortals ! Soars the unfettered Borne as on eagle's wings Over the roughest places, whilst Stretching helpless arms yearningly Over the dungeon's battlement, Still doth languish the captive.

But a God laid hand on her,

Her the exile,

And from Ilium's wrack

Hitherward bare her again,

To the ancient, the new-adorned


After numberless

Blisses and torments,

Early childhood's days

New-refreshed to remember.

PANTHALIS, as Leader of the Chorus.

Forsake ye now the joy-encinctured path of song, And turn your glances straightway to the portal's

folds. What see I, sisters ? Turneth not the queen


Part II 185

Deep-stirred, with step impetuous, to rejoin us here ?

What is it, O great Queen, that in thy palace- halls

Hath met thee, save thy menials' greeting, what that could

Unseat thy steadfast soul. Dissemble wilt thou not,

For on thy brow displeasure deeply writ I see,

And generous indignation, battling with surprise.


[who has left the folding- doors open, deeply moved.

The daughter of Zeus ill-seemeth an ignoble fear, And Panic's hand, light-brushing, comes her not

anigh ; And yet the horror from the womb of ancient


From primal Chaos rising, that yet multiform Like glowing vapours from the mountain's fiery

maw Doth billow upwards, shaketh even the hero's


And such a mark the Stygians, in appalling wise, This day upon mine entrance in this house have

set, That from the threshold, trodden oft, long

hungered-for, Like to a guest well-sped I fain would turn

and go. Yet no ! I have withdrawn me hither to the

light ; Further ye shall not drive me, Powers, be what

ye may !

1 86 Goethe's Faust

Some cleansing rite I'll seek, that so with genial

glow The hearth, new-hallowed, greet its Lady as its



Reveal, O noble Lady, to thine handmaidens That compass thee with homage, what hath befallen thee.


What I beheld with your own eyes shall ye


Unless forthwith her creature ancient Night again Hath swallowed in the monstrous womb of her

abyss. Yet will I frame the tale in words that ye may

know. As in the palace's solemn courts with reverent

tread I moved, my nearest task in mind, amazed I


Before the silence of the desolate corridors. No echo of busily-hurrying footsteps fell upon Mine ear, no swift tumultuous bustle met my

gaze, And came no maid to meet me, came no

stewardess, Such as with friendly welcome e'en the stranger


But as I neared the hearth-stone's hospitable lap, There by the fading embers' tepid relics I saw What tall veiled form ! a woman's, crouching on

the ground, Like one that brooded, no wise like to one that

slept !

Part II 187

Unto her task I bid her with imperious words, The stewardess surmising, whom my lord had


Appointed by his foresight haply to that charge. Yet deep-enshrouded sate she there and motion- less. Save that upon my menace her right arm at

length She raised, as would she wave me forth from

hearth and hall. I turn me from her wrathful ly and straightway


Towards the steps whereon aloft the Thalamus Rises adorned, the Treasure-Chamber hard

thereby. But from the ground the Portent suddenly rears

itself, With mien imperious steps athwart my path,

reveals Its haggard stature, hollow, bloody-clouded

gaze A form prodigious, such as eye and heart


Yet speak I to the winds, for speech all fruit- lessly Doth strive, with might creative, form to body

forth. Lo ! where herself she comes ! She braves

the light of day ! Here are we masters till the Lord and King

doth come.

The grisly births of Night will Beauty's votary Phoebus, to caverns banish, or their malice quell. [THORKYAS steps forth upon the thres- hold between the door-posts.


1 88 Goethe's Faust


Much have I passed through, e'en though

my tresses

Youthfully cluster over my temples, Manifold sights of horror have witnessed, War's desolation, Ilium's night Whilst it fell.

Thorough the thronging warriors' tumult, Shrouded in dust-clouds, heard I the awful Cry of Immortals, heard I the brazen Clamour of Discord, ring through the field Rampartwards.

Oh ! still standing were Ilium's Bulwarks, but the devouring fire Ran from neighbour to neighbour now, Spreading hither and thitherwards, With the blast itself begot, Over the city benighted.

Fleeting saw I through reek and glow, And the flickering tongues of flame, Grimly furious, Gods approach, Phantoms stalking portentously, Giant-great, through murky rack Lighted with lurid refulgence.

Saw I, or did Fantasy

In my fear-encinctured soul

Such a bewildering scene depict ?

Never can I tell, but that

Here with mine eyes this grisly sight

Surely I see, that know I ;

Part II 189

Could with mine hands lay hold of it Held me terror not far aloof From the perilous portent.

Which of the daughters

Art thou of Phorkys ?

For thee I liken to

That generation.

Comest thou haply of the gray-born

Graiae one that alternately

One sole eye and one sole tooth

Share in common between them ?

Dar'st thou foul Beldam

Here before Beauty

Challenge the critical

Vision of Phoebus ?

Only come forward, then, come forward,

For the Hideous sees he not,

E'en as yet his most holy eye

Never hath gazed on the shadow.

Yet us mortals, alas ! compels

Still our piteous evil-star

To the ineffable pain of eye

Which the Abhorrent, the Ever-accursed on

Beauty's votaries still inflicts.

Nay then, hear thou, if insolent

Thou dost counter us, hear the curse,

Hear the menace of every gibe,

Out of the ill-wishing lips of the fortunate

Who are fashioned and framed of Gods !


Old is the saw, yet bideth high and true its sense,


190 Goethe's Faust

That Shame and Beauty never together, hand

in hand, Pursue their journey o'er the verdurous path of


In both alike deep-rooted dwells primeval hate, So that wherever each with each upon the way " Encounters, either on other straightway turns

her back ;

Then on her way each hastens more impetuously, Shame sad, but Beauty insolently bold, until The hollow night of Orcus clasps her round

at length, Unless ere that it fall that Age hath vailed her

pride. Ye now, ye saucy wantons from strange lands,

I find

With insolence outpoured, like unto the cranes' Loud-strident clangorous congress, that above

our heads Flies croaking in a long-drawn cloud, and

downward sends

Its clamour, that doth woo the silent wayfarer To cast an upward glance, yet they wing on

their way

And he wends his ; us also will it thus befall. Who then are ye, that ye the king's high palace

round, Like frantic Maenads, drunken revellers, dare

to rave ?

Who then are ye, that ye the house's stewardess Should bay, like as a pack of hounds doth bay

the moon ? Think ye 'tis hidden from me of what breed

ye be? Ye war-begotten, battle-nurtured, saucy brood !

Part II 191

Man-lusting, both seducers and seduced in one, That slack the burgher's sinews and the warrior's


To see ye cluster thus, methinks a locust-swarm Down -swooping, thickening o'er the fields'

green promises.

Wasters of others' husbandry, marauding host, That blight and devastate prosperity in the bud ; Ye conquered, market-chaffered, bartered bag- gage ye !


He that before the mistress chides the maids,

he lays A hand presumptuous on the house-wife's

privilege, For her alone it seems the praiseworthy to


And her alone to punish what doth ask reproof. And well-contented am I with the services They showed me, whilst the towered strength

of Ilium Beleaguered stood, and fell, and lay ; nor less

the while

Our devious journey's burdensome vicissitudes We bare, where each is wont his own best

friend to be. Here too I hope the like from their lighthearted

throng. Not what the slave is asks the lord, but how he

serves. Wherefore hold thou thy peace, nor longer

snarl on them. If in the housewife's stead the king's house thou

hast kept

1 92 Goethe's Faust

Till now a trusty warden, that shall serve thy

fame. But now herself returneth. Back into thy

rank, Lest punishment replace the merited reward.


The menials to threaten is a sovereign right

The which the heaven-blest Ruler's lofty con- sort, by

Long years of prudent conduct, well deserves to wield.

Since thou new-recognized, dost thine ancient place

Of Queen and Housewife duly occupy again,

Grasp thou the reins long-slackened, govern now, and take

Possession of the treasure, and of us thereto.

But first protect thou me that am the senior

Against this troop that showeth by thy beauty's swan,

But as a flock of sorry-winged, vain-chattering geese.


How hideous, side by side with Beauty, is Hideousness !


How foolish, side by side with Wisdom, Fool- ishness !

\_From here on, the Choretlds retort stepping forth one by one out of the Chorus.

Part II 193


Of Father Erebus tell me, tell me of Mother Night !


Speak thou of Scylla, cousin-german to thyself!


On thine ancestral tree climbs many a monster aloft !


Get hence to Orcus, seek thou there thy kith and kin !


They that dwell yonder all are far too young for thee !


The old Tiresias unto thy leman woo !


j Orion's nurse to thee was great-great-grand-

daughter !


Harpies, I ween, in nameless filth thy childhood reared !


r hereon such highly-fostered leanness dost thou feed?


Tot upon blood, which thou too hotly lustest for.

i 9 4

Goethe's Faust


For corpses hungerest thou, thyself a loathsome corpse.


The fangs of vampires in thy shameless muzzle gleam.


Thine shall I stop if I but tell thee who thou art.


Then first name thou thyself ! So is the riddle solved.


Not wrathful, nay, but sorrowful step I in


To set my ban upon your turbulent debate. For than his trusty servants' secret-festering

strife Can naught more mischievous befall the sovereign


The echo of his mandates then to him no more In swift-accomplished deed harmonious returns. Nay, brawling wilfully around him raves the

storm, Whilst he, himself bewildered, chides to no

avail. Nor this alone : ye have in this your shameless


Conjured up spectres of unholy fantasies, That throng about me, till I feel me torn away To Orcus, in despite of these my native fields.

Part II 195

Is't haply Memory ? Is't some Frenzy seizes me?

Was all that I ? Am I the dream-spun, fear- fraught wraith

Of yonder sackers of cities ? Shall I still be that?

The maidens shudder, but the eldest, thou, the while

Dost stand unmoved. Speak to me a prudent word!


Who lengthy years of fortune manifold recalls,

Him seems at length the highest favour of Gods a dream.

But highly-favoured past all measure thou and bound,

In Life's procession sawest none but love- inflamed,

Swift-kindled to all manner of valorous emprise.

Thee Theseus first, by longing goaded, reft betimes,

As Herakles strong, in fashion gloriously fair.

HELEN. And led me forth, a ten-year old and slender

roe, And me Aphidnus* keep in Attica immewed.


But then by Castor freed and Pollux speedily Thou stoodest wooed for by a chosen hero- throng.


Yet silent favour won, as willingly I own, 'Fore all Patroclus, he, Pelides'" counterpart.

196 Goethe's Faust


But thy sire's will to Menelaus plighted thee, The bold sea-ranger, careful husbander to boot.


His daughter gave he, gave the kingdom's sway

to him, And from connubial union sprang Hermione.


But whilst he boldly wrested Cretans heritage Afar, too fair a guest shone on thy loneliness.


Why dost thou touch on yonder well-nigh widowhood,

And what perdition direful grew for me there- from ?


For me yon foray, me too, free-born Cretan

maid, Captivity it fashioned, lasting slavery.


Hither straightway as stewardess he 'pointed

thee, And much entrusted, Keep and boldly-gotten



Which thou forsookest, Ilium's tower-engirdled

town And ever-teeming love-joys turning thee towards.

Part II



Speak not of joyance ! Over head and breast

was poured Infinitude of all too bitter sufferance.


Yet thou a twofold phantom didst appear, men

say, In Ilium beheld, beheld in Egypt too.


Wilder not quite the frenzy of a mind dis-

traught ! Myself now what in truth I am, that know I not.


Then do they say, from forth the hollow Realm

of Shades Aflame with longing, Achilles mated him with

thee, That erst had loved thee 'gainst all ordinance of



Eidolon I, to him eidolon plighted me !

It was a dream ! Nay, say not so the words

themselves. I fade away, eidolon to myself I grow.

\_Sivoons into the arms of the Semi-chorus.


Hush thee, hush thee !

Ill-glowering, ill-uttering thou !

From such horror-beset, single-toothed


Goethe's Faust

Lips, from such a loathsome Gulf of horrors what can exhale ?

For despite-cherishing, well-wishing in sem- blance,

Wolvish hate under sheep's innocent fleece Is unto me frightfuller far than yon Three-headed monster's muzzle. Fearful-listening stand we here When ? how ? where will it burst forth ? Malice-brooding, Deep-enambushing monstrous beast ?

Come, it needs kindliest words, comfort-laden,

Lethe-lavishing, sweet-solacing words.

Thou in their stead rousest of all the past

Rather than good, most evil,

And dost darken at a blow

Both the fleeting moment's gleam,

And the future's

Mild-enlumining ray of hope.

Hush thee ! Hush thee !

That the soul of our Lady,

Ready to flee even now,

Still may tenant, fast tenant

Still the Form, fairest of all forms

Whereon the sunlight ever hath shone.

\_Helen has revived and stands again in their midst.


Glide from forth the fleeting cloud-rack, thou

high sun of this our day ! Thou that even veiled didst ravish, dazzling

now in glory reign'st !

Part II 199

How the world to thee unfoldeth seeth thine

own gracious glance. What though hideous they berate me, well the

Beautiful I know.


From the Void I issue swaying, giddily that

girt me round, Yet again were fain to rest me, for so weary is

my frame. Yet it seemeth them that queens be, all men it

beseemeth well Dauntlessly to nerve and brace them whatsoe'er

unlooked-for threat.


Now before us in thy greatness, in thy beauty

dost thou stand. Tells thy glance that thou commandest ; that

thou dost command, declare !


For your discord's shameless loit'ring be ye

ready to atone. Haste an offering to make ready, as my lord the

king enjoined.


All is ready in the palace, laver, tripod, whetted

axe, Lustral water, spice for burning, show what

shall be offered thou.

HELEN. Thereof gave the king no token.

200 Goethe's Faust


Spake it not ? O word of woe 1


Speak, what woe doth overwhelm thee ?


Sovereign Lady, thou art meant !




And these too.

CHORUS. Lamentation !


By the axe thou'rt doomed to fall.


Fearful, but presaged. Me wretched !


Doomed thou art beyond reprieve !

CHORUS. Woe ! and us, what will befall us ?


She will die a noble death, But within, hung from the rafter that upbears

the gabled roof, Like the thrushes ta'en in fowling, ye shall wintle

all arow.

Part II 201


\jtand amazed and aghast, in a signifi- cant and carefully planned group.


Ye Spectres ! Petrified like statues there ye

stand, Aghast to leave the daylight, that not 'longs to

you. And men too, that like ye are spectres, one and


Forgo the stately sunshine but against their will ; Yet pleading none or aiding from that end can

save ;

All do they know it, yet in sooth it pleases few. Enough, your doom is spoken ! Wherefore

quick to work !

[" Claps her hands, whereupon there appear at the gate divarfish forms muffled up in cloaks, <who at once execute alertly the commands as they are uttered.

Hither, ye gloomy, globular monstrosities ! Trundle yourselves along ! Here ye may glut

your hearts With mischief. Room for the hand-altar, the

golden-horned !

Let the axe gleaming lie athwart the silver rim ! The ewers with water plenish ! Needs must

lave away The hideous soilure of the black corrupted

blood. The carpet sumptuously spread out here in the


202 Goethe's Faust

That so the victim royally on the ground may

kneel, And thus enshrouded, straight albeit with

severed head In decent dignity at least find sepulture.


In pensive self-communing stands the Queen

aloof, The maidens wither like mown meadow-grass,

but me

The eldest, pious duty moves with thee to speak, Thee, gray with oldest eld. Thou hast ripe use

of life, Art wise, and meanest well with us, I think,

although This troop, misjudging, witless, crossed thee.

Wherefore say If haply aught thou knowest of deliverance.


Soon said ! It resteth with the Queen alone to save

Herself, with ye as make-weights into the scale- pan thrown.

It asks determination, and of the promptest too.


Thou most reverend of the Parcae, wisest of the

Sibyls thou, Hold the golden shears asunder, speak salvation

thou and life, For our dainty limbs already feel we swinging,

swaying, writhing,

Part II 203

Most unjoyously, that liefer in the dance would

first rejoice them. Rest them then on true-love's breast.


Let these be fearful! Grief it is I feel, not


Yet know'st thou rescue, gratefully I welcome it, For to the shrewd, far-seeing, of a truth full oft Impossible yet seems possible. Speak, and say

thy say !


Speak and tell us, tell us quickly, how shall we escape the ghastly

Grisly nooses that with menace, as the shame- fullest of necklets,

Round about our necks entwine them ! Wretched us ! such foretaste have we,

That we stifle, gasp our life out, if thou Rhea have not mercy,

Thou high Mother of all the Gods.


But have ye patience silently the long-drawn

thread Of my discourse to hearken ? 'Tis a motley



Patience enough ! For listening, still we live the while.


Whoso at home abiding lordly treasure keeps, And hath the wit to bind with tough cement the walls

204 Goethe's Faust

Of his high dwelling, and against the fretting

rain His roof to assure, will prosper through his life's

long days ;

But he with fleeting soles that lightly oversteps His holy threshold's straight-drawn limit, im- piously,

He finds returning haply the old place again, Yet changed all things, if not wholly desolate.

iv-iM? i>0 itoqSt'.-i^dUaQe :fif


How are the like trite maxims here to our

behoof? Tell thou thy story, touch not on distressful



'Tis matter of history, 'tis in no wise a reproach. Freebooting, Menelaus cruised from bight to

bight ;

Sea-board and islands all he coasted hostilely, With plunder homeward turning, such as teems


He before Ilium wasted ten long years away, But on his homeward journey, wot I not how

much. Yet here how stands it in the place round

Tyndareus' Exalted house? How stands it in the realm

around ?


In thee is railing then so utterly engrained That thou thy lips canst stir not, but it be to gibe ?

Part II



So many years forsaken stood the mountain-vale That back from Sparta northwards slopes unto

the sky, Flanked by Taygetus, where, as yet a sprightly

brook, Eurotas downward rolls, and later through our

vale Broad-flowing, fringed with rushes, nurtureth

your swans.

A daring breed behind there in the mountain- vale Hath lodged in silence, pressing from Cimmerian


And piled aloft a fastness, strong unscaleably, Whence land and people now they harry as they



That could they compass ? Quite impossible it seems !


Time had they, marry ! Haply twenty years or so.


Is there one lord ? Or robbers many, joined in league ?


Robbers they are not, but amongst them one is

lord. I'll not revile him, though he oft hath harassed

me. All could he take, and yet contents himself with

few Benevolences ; for thus, not tribute, called he it.

206 Goethe's Faust


How looks he ?


Not amiss ! He likes me well enough. He is a cheerful, unabashed, well-favoured man ; As few among the Greeks are, a discerning man. Barbarians we brand them, yet meseems that


So savage were, as in the leaguer of Ilium Full many a hero cannibally-raging proved. I prize his greatness, unto him I'd trust myself. And then his castle! That you should your- self behold !

'Tis something other than your lumpish masonry Such as your fathers higgledy-piggledy piled


Like Cyclops Cyclopean, tumbling unhewn stones On unhewn stones at random. There o' the

other hand, There is all plumb and level, built with lead and

line. Look at it from without! It soars aloft to

Heaven, So stubborn, firm-compacted, smooth as polished

steel. To climb is here no Nay, the very thought

slips off!

Within are roomy courtyards' ample spaces, girt With buildings on all sides, of every sort and

scope. There you'll see arches, archlets, columns,


Balconies, galleries, for looking out and in, And scutcheons

Part II



What are scutcheons ?


Why, upon his shield

Yourselves have seen it Ajax bare a wreathed snake.

Yon Seven leagued 'gainst Thebes each on his buckler bare

Embossed devices, pregnant with significance ;

There moon and stars were seen in the mid- night firmament,

Or goddess, hero and ladder, swords and torches too,

And all that grimly menaces goodly towns with bale.

Such ensigns from their most remote progenitors

In tinctured splendour likewise bears our hero- troop.

There ye' 11 see lions, eagles, beak and talons too,

Then horns of buffalo, wings, roses, peacock's tail, f

And likewise bars or, sable, argent, azure, gules.

In halls the like hang, tier on tier, in long array,

In halls illimitable, wide as is the world.

There ye can dance !

CHORUS. Say, are there partners for the dance ?


The best! with golden lovelocks, troops of

blooming boys, Fragrant with youth. So fragrant only Paris

was When he approached the Queen too nearly.

208 Goethe's Faust


Thou dost lapse

Utterly from thy part. Speak the last word to me !


Speak thou the last. Say solemnly and clearly

Yes. Straightway I'll fence thee round with yonder



Speak the brief word, and save thyself and us at once!


What, must I fear lest King Menelaus so ruth- lessly Mishear him as to hurt me ?


Hast forgotten then

In what unheard-of fashion thy Deiphobus, The battle -slaughtered Paris' brother, he did


Him that on thee, the widow, stubbornly laid

hands, And held thee to his leman ? Nose and ears he

cropped And further maimed him likewise. Ghastly

'twas to see.


That did he to him, that for love of me he did.

Part II 209


Aye, and for hate of him he'll do the like to

thee. There is no sharing Beauty. Who hath owned

her whole

Destroys her rather, cursing all part-ownership. [Trumpets afar. The Chorus start in

terror. How piercingly the shattering trumpet rending


The ear and entrails ! So her talons Jealousy In the man's bosom grapples fast, who ne'er forgets What once he owned, and now hath lost, nor

longer owns.


Hear'st thou not the horns re-echo, seest thou not the flash of arms.?


Welcome, Lord and King, I'll answer gladly for my stewardship !

CHORUS. Aye, but we ?


Ye know it plainly, see her death before your eyes,

And discern your own within there. Nay, to help you is no way.


2io Goethe's Faust


I have bethought me what I may adventure first. A Cacodaemon art thou, that I well perceive, And fear that unto Evil thou the Good wilt turn. Yet to the Castle first of all I'll follow thee. The rest I know. What further thought the

Queen may choose

Mysteriously to bury deep within her breast Be unexplored of any ! Beldam, lead the way !


Oh how fain thither we go,

Footing it swiftly,

Death in our rear,

Fronting us again

Towering stronghold's

Inaccessible ramparts.

Shield they but even as well,

Even as Ilium's walls,

Which, when fall they did,

Naught but treacherous craft overthrew.

[Mists spread abroad veiling the back- ground and the foreground too, at pleasure.

What pray is this ?

Sisters, look around !

Shone there not cheerfullest day ?

Wreaths of mist-rack waver aloft

From Eurotas* sacred flood !

Faded is the beauteous

Sedge-encinctured shore from sight,

And the free dainty-proud

Swans, that gliding on softly

Joy to swim in consort,

See I, ah ! no more !

Part II 211

Still though, aye still, Them I hear afar Hoarsely chant fearfullest lay, Death foretelling, the legend saith Ah ! if not for us likewise Spite of pledged deliverance, It foretell perdition at last, E'en for us, swan-like, long- Fair white-necked, and alas ! for Her, our swan-begotten. Woe is us! ah woe !

Now already with mist

All is shrouded about.

Nay, but we see each other not !

What betides ? Do we walk ?

Hover we but

Lightsomely tripping along the ground?

Seest thou naught ? Floateth haply e'en

Hermes before ? Gleams not the golden wand,

Bidding, commanding us backward again,

To the undelectable, gray-glimmering,

With intangible phantoms crowded,

Over-crowded, ever-empty Hades ?

Aye, it darkens of a sudden, lifts the mist but

not to sunlight, Gray as night is, brown as walls are ; walls

indeed the gaze encounter, Stubborn walls the gaze far-roaming ; is't a

court, a pit deep-sunken ? Be it what it may, 'tis fearful ! Sisters, ah 1

we are imprisoned, So imprisoned ne'er we were !

2 1 2 Goethe's Faust


\jsurrounded 'with rich, fantastical media'ual buildings.


O'errash and foolish ! Very type of woman- kind

The passing moment's puppet, sport of every breath

Of good and evil fortune, still unschooled to bear

With even spirit either ! Verily ever one

Gainsays another ungently, crosswise her the rest,

And but in joy and sorrow do ye howl and laugh

Upon one note ! Peace now, and hearken what the Queen

High-mindedly determines for herself and us.


Where art thou, Pythoness, or call thee how

thou wilt ? Forth from this gloomy castle's vaulted chambers

come !

Wentest thou haply to the wondrous hero-lord Me to announce, a welcome meet preparing me, Have thanks therefor, and lead me quickly in

to him ! Surcease of wandering wish I, rest alone I wish.


In vain, O Queen, thou gazest round thee on all

sides. The hideous form hath vanished, tarrieth belike

Part II 213

There in the mist, from out whose bosom hither

we I know not how, yet swiftly, treading not are


Or haply strays bewildered in the labyrinth Of this strange castle one yet many of its lord Bespeaking stately greeting, such as seems a


Yet see ! already above there, in a motley crowd, In galleries, at the window, in the gateways,

stir Swift bustling hither and thitherwards many

menials Announcing signal welcome to an honoured



My heart is grown light ! Oh, hitherward gaze! How so decently down with deliberate tread, Young-winsomest troop decorously moves In a well-ordered train ! How, upon whose

behest Can appear, all arrayed and all marshalled so


The beauteous bevy of young damoiseaux ? What admire I the most ? Is't the delicate


Or the head's crisp curls round the radiant brow, Or the pair of cheeks that are peachy in hue, And clad like the peach with a velvety down ? Fain were I to bite, but I start back in fear, For in similar case was the mouth only filled Oh horrible story ! with ashes. Lo, where the fairest Now hitherward come !

214 Goethe's Faust

What is it they bear ?

Steps for a throne,

Carpet and seat,

Curtain and eke

Canopy fair.

O'er and o'er it billows,

Looping into cloud-wreaths

Round the head of our Queen ;

For she, invited,

Now hath climbed the glorious throne.

Range yourselves near,

Step after step in

Stately array.

Worthy, O worthy, threefold worthy !

Such a welcome be signally blest !

[AH that the Chorus describes is per- formed point by point.

EFAUST, after the pages and esquires have descended in a long train, appears above in the staircase in mediaval knightly court-costume, and descends 'with stately dignity.

LEADER OF THE CHORUS, considering him attentively.

Unless the Gods to this man, as they ofttimes do,

For a brief season only admirable form

And lofty dignity and winning presence lent

In transitory fashion, must he ever speed

In all he setteth hand to, be it in battle of men,

Or if the lesser warfare he should deign to


With fairest women. Verily many he doth excel Whom nathless I with mine own eyes saw highly


Part II 215

Slowly, with sober, reverently composed tread I see the Prince approach. Deign thou to turn, O Queen !

FAUST advancing, a man in fetters by his side.

In lieu of solemn greeting, as behoved, In lieu of reverent welcome, bring I thee In fetters shackled fast, the servant who To duty faithless, me of my duty reft. Before this highest Lady kneel thee down And make confession of thy grievous fault. Exalted Lady, here thou hast the man With rarest eyebeam, from the lofty tower To gaze around appointed, Heaven's abyss And Earth's expanse keenly to overeye, What haply here and there declare itself, Stir from the cincturing hills into the vale Towards the Castle, be it billowy herds, Or haply a marching army ; them we shield, Encounter this. To-day, what negligence ! Thou comest hither, he proclaims it not. The honourable welcome is let slip Most due to such high guest. His life hath he Shamefully forfeited, and in the blood Of well-earned death would lie, but thou alone Dost punish, thou dost pardon, as thou wilt.


Such high distinction as thou dost bestow Of Justicer, of Sovereign, and were it But proving me, as well I may surmise, E'en will I, as the judge doth first behove, To the impeached give hearing. Therefore speak !

2 1 6 Goethe's Faust


Let me kneel and see her ! Summon Death, or bid me live ! What heed I ! So devoted I already Am to this God-given woman !

Waited I for Morn's glad passion, Watched the East where still she glows, Suddenly in wondrous fashion In the South the Sun arose !

Drew my gaze to yonder region, Not to roam through earth and sky, Not o'er hills and valleys legion Her, the Only One to spy !

Lynx in lofty tree-top shaken Match I with mine eye's keen beam, Yet must strive as would I waken From a deep and dismal dream.

How could I such mystery banish ? Wall and tower and gate were gone. Mist-wreaths surge and mist-wreaths vanish- Such a Goddess on me shone !

Eye and breast I turned unto her, Drank the light that softly shined ; She who dazzles all that view her, Me, poor wretch ! did wholly blind.

I forgot the Warder's duty, Utterly the horn, my trust. Threaten to destroy me ! Beauty Humbles anger in the dust.

Part II 217


The evil that I brought with me I may not Chastise. Woe's me ! What unrelenting fate Pursues me, everywhere the hearts of men So to infatuate, that they nor spare Themselves, nor aught of honoured else ? Now


Seducing, fighting, bearing to and fro, Demigods, Heroes, Gods, nay, Demons too, They led me wandering hither and thither- wards. 1

Single, embroiled the world, and doubled, more> Now threefold, fourfold, woe on woe I bring ! Remove this blameless man, bid him go free ! Upon the God-beguiled no shame alight !


Amazed, O queen, I see with one same glance Her that unerring smites, him smitten here ! I see the bow that sped the winged shaft, Him wounded I behold, and smiting me Shaft follows shaft. Through castle and through


I feel them hurtle cross-wise everywhere Upon their feathered flight. What am I now ? Thou makest at a stroke my trustiest To rebels, and my walls unsafe. Already The conquering-unconquered Dame, I fear, Mine host obeys ! What else remains than that Myself, and all in fancy only mine, I yield unto thee ? Let me at thy feet Leally and freely own thee queen, that straight- way Appearing, ownership and throne didst win.

21 8 Goethe's Faust


\jwtth a coffer, and men bearing other* after him.

O Queen, again I meet thy view. The rich man for a glance doth sue. He feels, if him thy glance bewitch, Beggarly poor, yet princely rich.

What was I erst ? What am I now ? What would I wish, or bear me how ? What boots my gaze for keenest known ? It but rebounds against thy throne.

We wandered from the Rising Sun, And straightway was the West undone ! A mass of people broad and long, The first knew not the last i* the throng.

The first did fall, the next did stand, The lance o' the third was near at hand, Each reinforced a hundredfold, And thousands slain, unmarked, untold.

We thronged apace, we stormed apace, Masters were we from place to place. Where I to-day did lord it sole, To-morrow another robbed and stole.

We viewed, but soon our view despatched The fairest woman this man snatched, This snatched the plough-ox, firm of tread, And not a horse but with us sped.

But I spied out with rapture keen The rarest things that eye hath seen. Whatever another might amass I counted it but withered grass.

Part II 219

Upon the trail of treasures I Followed alone my piercing eye. Into all pockets peeped I in And crystal-clear were box and bin.

And gold was mine and precious stone, Most glorious of all. Alone The emerald is worthy, Queen, Upon thine heart to sparkle green.

'Twixt ear and lip hang pendulous This pearly drop from Ocean's ooze. The rubies from the challenge quail, Thy cheek's rich crimson strikes them pale.

And so unto thy place I bring My priceless hoard, an offering. Here at thy feet I lay the yield Of many a bloody harvest-field.

Of coffers though I drag great store Yet iron coffers have I more. Suffer me on thy path, and still Full many a treasure-vault I'll fill.

For scarce didst thou the throne ascend, When straightway bow and straightway bend Intelligence and wealth and power Before thy Beauty's peerless flower.

This all I held for fast, for mine, Now is it loose, now is it thine. What worthy, sterling, high I thought, Now do I see that it was naught.

22O Goethe's Faust

Vanished is all that I possessed, 'Tis downmown, withered grass at best. Oh ! with one cheerful glance but deign To give it all its worth again !


Quickly remove thy boldly-gotten load, Unchidden truly, but unrecompensed. Already all is hers that in its womb The Castle hides. To offer this and that Is bootless. Go, and heap in meet array Treasure on treasure. Build a stately scene Of unbeholden splendour. Let the vaults Twinkle like very Heaven. Paradises That nothing lack of life but life prepare. Forestalling every footprint, let beflowered Carpet unroll on carpet, let her tread Soft floors encounter, and her gaze, the Gods Alone not dazzling, radiance supreme.


Feeble is the lord's behest,

What the servant doth is jest.

Sovereign over good and blood

Is this Beauty's queenly mood.

Lo, thine army all is tame,

Every sword is blunt and lame.

By her form of glorious mould

E'en the Sun is dim and cold.

By her face with beauty fraught

All is idle, all is naught. [Exit.

HELEN, to Faust.

I would hold converse with thee, but do thou Come up here by my side. The empty place Invites its lord, and doth assure me mine.

Part II 221


First kneeling be my sworn allegiance, Exalted Lady, pleasing in thy sight. The hand let kiss that lifts me to thy side. Deign to confirm me as co-regent first Of thine illimitable realm, and win Worshipper, servant, guardian all in one.


Manifold marvels do I see and hear. Amazement smites me, much I fain would ask. Yet would I be enlightened why the speech Of this man rang so strange, so strange, yet


It seemed as did one tone unto another Fit itself, fell one word upon the ear, And straight another came to dally with it.


If but our people's speech is pleasing to thee, O then its song will surely ravish thee, Content thine ear, thine inmost-seated mind. Yet were it best to practise it straightway Alternate speech will charm it, coax it forth.


Say how I too can speak in such sweet wise !


'Tis easy, so but from the heart it rise.

And when the breast with yearning doth o'erflow,

You look around and ask


Who shares the glow ?

222 Goethe's Faust


Nor back nor forward in an hour like this The mind doth look ; the present


Is our bliss.


'Tis treasure, splendid gain, a freehold land, An earnest. Confirmation gives


My hand. CHORUS.

Who would think to chide our princess, If she give the Castle's lord Tokens of her favour ? For confess, one and all are we Captives, aye, captives as often Now, since Ilium's overthrow, Shamefullest, and our fearful- Labyrinthian woful course.

Women to men's love accustomed, Dainty choosers are they not, But are finished critics. Golden-locked shepherds it may be, Fauns hirsute, swarthy, it may be, As the chance and the hour may bring, Do they endow with an equal Licence over their swelling limbs.

Near and nearer sit they e'en now, Leaning each upon other, Shoulder by shoulder, knee by knee, Hand in hand rock they themselves

Part II 223

Over the throne's Deep-encushioned stateliness. Not denies itself Majesty Joys that are secret To the eyes of the people Proudly indifferent thus to reveal.


I feel so far away, and yet so near.

Am but too fain to say : Here am I, here !


I scarce can breathe, I tremble, speech is dead ; It is a dream, and space and time are fled.


O'erlived I seem to be, and yet so new, Woven in thee and to the unknown true.


Brood not upon the rarest destiny ! Were't but a moment, duty 'tis to be.

PHORKYAS, entering precipitately.

In Love's primer spell Love's lessons, Bill and coo and probe Love's essence, Toy and woo and taste Love's presence, But 'tis not the time of day. Feel ye not the tempest brewing ? Hark ! the trumpet's brazen wooing ! Ruin is not far away. Hard upon you throng the surging Masses, Menelaus urging ; Gird ye for the bitter fray !

224 Goethe's Faust

Thou i' the victor- throng entangled, Like Deiphobus bemangled, Woman-escort dear shah pay. Swing the light goods first i* the halter, Straight for Her beside the altar Doth an axe new-whetted stay.


Rash interruption ! Odiously she thrusts her in ; Not even in danger brook I senseless vehemence. An evil message fouls the fairest messenger, And thou most foul but sinister tidings bringest

fain. But this time shalt thou prosper not. With

empty breath Shake thou the inconstant air, for here no danger

is, And were there danger, it should seem but an

idle threat.

[Signals, Explosions from the towers, Trumpets and Bugles, Martial Music, March-past of a warlike host.


Nay, warriors whose ranks ne'er waver

I'll muster straight, a hero-band.

Alone is worthy woman's favour

Who shields her with his strong right hand.

[To the leaders of the hosts, <who quit

the columns and approach htm. With rage repressed within your bosom Sure pledge of victory to come Ye, of the North the youthful blossom, Ye, of the East the mighty bloom.

Part II 225

Steel-clad, whilst lightning round them quivers, The host who realm on realm o'erthrew, They come, the earth beneath them shivers ! They march, the thunder marches too !

We disembarked at Pylos, shattered For ancient Nestor is no more The petty kinglets' arms, and scattered Like chaff our untamed host before.

Now straightway back these walls from under Thrust Menelaus to the sea ! There let him wander, waylay, plunder, Such was his taste and destiny.

I hail ye Dukes as forth ye sally, Thus bids the Queen on Sparta's throne. Now at her feet lay hill and valley, And be the kingdom's gain your own !

German, be thine the hand that forges For Corinth's gulfs defence and shield ; Achaia with its hundred gorges Unto thy prowess, Goth, I yield

His march the Frank to Elis urging, Messenia let the Saxon take ; And Argolis the Norman, purging The sea, a mighty State shall make.

There be your home, and henceforth prove ye On outward foes your strength and heat, But Sparta still shall throne above ye, That is the Queen's time-honoured seat.

226 Goethe's Faust

There will she see ye, all and single,

Enjoy a land that lacks for naught.

Ye at her feet your homage mingle !

There warrant, law and light be sought !

[Faust descends from the throne, the Princes form a circle about him^ in order to receive his commandt and detailed instructions.


Who the Fairest for his desires, Stoutly of all things let him Prudently cast about him for arms. Flattering he won himself What on earth is the highest ; But in peace he retains it not ; Skulkers craftily coax her away, Robbers daringly wrest her away, How he may hinder it let him give heed.

E'en for this our Prince do I praise, Prize him high above others : How him so boldly shrewd he allied That the stalwart obedient stand, Ev'ry gesture awaiting. Truly fulfil they his behest, Each to his own behoof at once, And the guerdoning thanks of his lord, As to the lofty renown of them both.

For who shall wrest her away

From her mighty possessor ?

His she is, to him be she allowed,

Doubly by us allowed, whom he

With her, within girt with impregnable ramparts,

With an invincible host without.

Part II



Fiefs have I granted great and glorious To these, to each a fruitful land. Let them go forth to war victorious, We in the midst will take our stand.

And each with each as thy defender Shall vie, thou All-but-isle, girt round With dancing waves, and by a hill-chain slender To Europe's utmost branch of mountains bound.

Be to all tribes for ever blessed This land, that doth outshine the sun Of every land, my queen's confessed, That early looked her face upon,

When, whilst Eurotas' sedges lightly Whispered, she burst her shell ablaze, And queenly mother all too brightly And brethren twain she did outdaze.

This land, to thee alone it looketh

Its fairest blossom to unfold ;

What though thy sway the wide world brooketh,

Thine home with partial eye behold.

And now, what though the mountain's giant


The sun's cold shaft brook on their jagged top ! The cliff is touched with green, and 'mid the

boulders The greedy goat a niggard meal doth crop.

228 Goethe's Faust

Gushes the spring, the brooklets plunge and


And now are gorges, slopes and meadows green, And o'er the upland stretch of hill and dingle Now sparsely ranging, fleecy flocks are seen,

Divided, circumspect, with measured paces, To the sheer brink the horned cattle tread, Yet none lacks shelter ; in a hundred places The cliff to caverns vaults itself overhead.

Pan shields them there, and Life-nymphs there

in legions

In the moist cool of bushy clefts dwell free, And striving yearningly to higher regions Rears itself, branchwise, crowded tree on tree.

Primeval woods ! The stubborn oak, firm- rooting,

There zig-zags branch to branch in wayward sort;

The maple mild, that bears sweet sap, here shooting

Cleanly aloft, doth with its burden sport.

And motherly, in quiet circling shadows, Warm milk wells forth, by babe and lambkin


Fruit is not far, ripe fare of level meadows, And honey drips from out the hollow trunk.

Hereditary in this race is Well-being, cheek and lips grow clear, And every man immortal in his place is ; Content are all, all healthy here.

Part II 229

The blooming child to fatherhood unfoldeth By favour of this limpid day ; We stand amazed, and still the question holdeth If men, if haply Gods are they ?

So like the herds Apollo was in favour, The fairest him resembled quite. For where in purest round reigns Nature, ever All worlds in one are interknit.

[Taking his seat beside her.

And this have I, and this hast thou achieved. Put we behind us what is past and gone. Oh, feel thee of the highest god conceived ! Thou 'longest to the primal world alone.

Thee shall no stronghold wall in hiding ! Still stands, with fadeless'" youth endued A realm unto our rapturous abiding Arcadia in Sparta's neighbourhood.

In land Elysian lured to harbour Into a fate most gladsome didst thou flee. Now be the thrones changed to an arbour, And be our bliss Arcadian free !

\The scene changes completely. Closed arbours lean upon a row of rocky caverns. A shady grove stretches up to the encircling rocky precipice. FAUST and HELEN are not visible. The CHORUS lies sleeping scattered around.


How long a time the maidens sleep, that know I not ;

230 Goethe's Faust

If haply they have dreamed, what bright and

clear I saw Before mine eyes, that likewise is unknown to

me. Therefore I'll wake them. Marvel shall this

youthful troop,

Ye too, ye bearded elders, sitting there agape, At length the key of credible miracles to behold. Come forth ! come forth ! and quickly shake

your locks ! Your eyes Unbind from slumber ! Blink not so, and hear

me speak !


Only speak ! Oh, tell us, tell us, what of

wondrous hath befallen ! We most eagerly would hearken what in no wise

we might credit, For we are aweary, gazing ever only on these



What, already weary, children, and ye scarce

have rubbed your eyes I Hearken then ! Within these caverns, in these

grots and in these arbours, Shield and shelter was conceded as to an idyllic

love-pair, To our Lord and to our Lady.


What ! within there ?



From the world, but me, me only did they call to silent service.

Part II 231

Highly-honoured I beside them stood, but as

familiars seemeth, Spied about for something other, turned me

hitherwards and thither, Sought out roots and barks and mosses, versed in

all their several virtues, Thus did they remain alone.


Why, thou pratest as within there stretching far

were world-wide spaces, Wood and meadow, lakes and streamlets !

What a fable dost thou spin!


So there are, ye inexperienced ! Those are

unexplored recesses ; Hall on hall and court on courtyard, pondering

I spied them out. All at once a burst of laughter echoes through

the hollow spaces ; As I gaze there springs an urchin, from the

woman's lap he leapeth To the man, from sire to mother ; what caresses,

what endearments, Fond affection's playful banter, sportive shrieks

and gleeful clamour Alternating deafen me ! Naked springs a wingless genius, faun-like, yet in

no wise bestial, On the firm-set earth he springeth, yet the earth

with swift resilience Shoots him to the airy height, and in the second

leap he touches, Or the third the soaring vault.

232 Goethe's Faust

Cries the mother, apprehensive : Spring and

spring again at pleasure, Only have a care of flying, flight unfettered is

forbid ! And thus warns the trusty father : In the earth

resides the spring-force That doth shoot thee upwards. Barely touch

the earth, but with thy toe-tips, Like the son of Earth, Antaeus, straightway

strengthened wilt thou be. So he hops upon the shoulder of this cliff and

from its margin To a second, and about, as lightly bounds a

stricken ball. On a sudden hath he vanished in the rugged

gorge's cranny, And now lost to us he seemeth. Mother wails

and father comforts, Anxiously I shrug my shoulders, when lo ! what

an apparition ! Lie there haply treasures hidden? Raiment

wrought with trailing flowers He hath donned majestical. On his arms are tassels waving, ribbons flutter

round his bosom, In his hand the golden lyre, wholly like a little

Phoebus, Blithely trips he to the margin, to the beetling

brink. We marvel, And his parents fall enraptured each 'upon the

other's heart. For about his head, what splendour ! Hard to

tell were what there gleameth, Is it gaud of gold or is it flame of intellect

supreme ?

Part II

2 33

Thus he moves with graceful gesture, even as

boy himself proclaiming Future master of all beauty, every limb athrill

and trembling With the melodies eternal ; even so ye too shall

hear him, Even so ye too shall see him, with a most

unique amaze.


Call'st thou a marvel this, Creta's begotten ? Haply thou ne'er hast o'erheard Poetry's tale didactic ? Never yet hast heard Ionia's, Never yet hearkened to Hellas' Wealth of ancestral legend, Fables told of gods and heroes ?

All to-day that befalls Is but an echo, Pitiful echo of those Glorious days ancestral. Not to be compared thy story With what loveliest falsehood, Credible more than truth is, Of the son of Maia fabled.

Him a dainty yet sturdy babe,

Him a newly-born suckling,

Folded in purest swathing fleece,

Trammelled in exquisite swaddling-trim

Garrulous nurses' witless troop

In unreasoning folly.

Sturdily though and daintily

234 Goethe's Faust

Draws already the rogue his limbs Lithesome limbs yet elastic Craftily forth, the purple-bright Straitly-cramping enswathement Leaving quietly where it lay, As, when perfect, the butterfly From stark chrysalid-duress Nimbly unfolding its wings slips forth Frolic and fearless fluttering through Sun-irradiate ether.

So he too, the most dexterous,

That a daemon propitious

To all thieves and all knaves he was,

And all seekers of gain likewise

This betimes did he testify

By adroitest devices.

Swift the trident from Ocean's lord

Filches he, aye, and from Ares' self

Sly the sword from the scabbard.

Arrow and bow from Phoebus too

As from Hephaestus his pincers.

Even Zeus the Father's bolt

He'd purloin, but he fears the fire.

Eros though he overcomes

In the leg-tripping wrestling bout ;

Nay, whilst Cypria fondles him, steals

From her bosom the girdle.

\_A ravishing strain of the purest melody sounds in the air, played upon a stringed instrument. All are attentive, and soon appear pro- foundly touched. From this place to the marked pause 'with full orchestral accompaniment.

Part II 235


Hear ye tones most sweetly golden ! Free yourselves from fables ! Lo, Overworn the medley olden Of your gods is. Let them go !

None your meaning recognizes ; Now we claim a higher toll ! What from out the heart arises Can alone the heart control.

[She draws back towards the cliff.


Hath the witching strain outpoured, Fearful Being, charmed thine ears, We, as new to health restored, Feel us touched to joy of tears.

Quenched be the sun's high splendour, In the soul if day hath shined ! What the whole world would not render, That in our own hearts we find.


[in the above-described costume.


Hear ye children's songs a-singing, Straightway is your own the glee. See ye me in measure springing, Leap your hearts parentally.


Love, to bless in human fashion Joins a noble Twain, yet she Unto god-like rapturous passion Straightway forms a charming Three.

2 3 6

Goethe's Faust


Everything forthwith is righted, I am thine and thou art mine. And so stand we here united ; Would the bond might ne'er untwine !


Many years of tranquil pleasure In the boy's mild radiance Crowns this pair in plenteous measure. How the bond doth me entrance !

EUPHORION. T Let me be leaping !

Let me be springing ! To the wide ether Would I were winging ! Me such a yearning Seizes upon.


Not into rashness !

Check thee ! ah check thee !

Lest a disaster

Haply o'ertake thee,

Hurl into ruin

Our darling son.


Idly quiescent Here will I stand not ! Loose ye my tresses ! Hold ye my hand not ! Loose ye my garments f Are they not mine ?

Part II 237

Ponder, ah ponder How thou art grieving Them thou belong'st to, Fairest achieving How thou dost shatter, His, mine and thine !


Soon will, 1 fear, the Sweet bond untwine.


Bridle, unfortunate, For us that love thee, Over-importunate Promptings that move thee ! In rural leisure Grace thou the green !


But for your pleasure Do I refrain.

[Winding in and out among the Chorus , and draiuing them forth ro the dance.

Round a glad race do I Hover more light. Now is the melody, Now is the movement right ?


Aye, that is well. Do thou In a quaint measure now Lead forth the fair !

238 Goethe's Faust


Would it were o'er ! The joy In all these antics I No wise can share.


[dancing and singing, wind in and out

in a braided dance. When thy twin arms in air Winsome thou liftest, In sheen thy clustered hair Shakest and shiftest, When thou with foot so light Skimmest o'er earth in flight, Featly from side to side Limb after limb doth glide, Then hast thy goal attained, Loveliest child ! Hast all our hearts beguiled, All hast enchained !



Ye are all roe-like,

Fleet-footed and lithesome ;

To a new frolic

Forth again blithesome 1

I am the huntsman,

Ye are the chase.


Us wouldst thou capture Fare not too fleetly ! For we with rapture Long but full sweetly, Beauteous vision, Thee to embrace !

Part II 239


Through leafy cover ! Stock and stone over ! Unto me hateful is Lightly-won spoil ; That alone grateful is Gotten with toil.


What a madness ! what a daring ! Saner mood is not to hope for. Hark ! It sounds as horns were blaring, Over vale and wood resounding ! What a tumult ! What a cry !

CHORUS, entering singly in haste.

Scouting us with bitter mock, he Swift outran us, lightly bounding. Now the wildest of the flock he Hither hales in triumph high.

EUPHORION, bearing in a young maiden.

Here I drag the saucy maiden, To a forced delight constraining ; For my rapture, for my zest, Press I the all-refractory breast. Kiss the reluctant lips, and so Strength and will to all I show.


Free me ! Spirit strength untrembling Dwelleth too in this array, And our will, thine own resembling, Is not lightly swept away.

240 Goethe's Faust

Me in straits dost deem ? Thou trustest Of a truth thy strength too much ! Nay, then, hold me if thou lustest. Fool, I'll singe the hands that touch !

[Bursts into flame and flares aloft. To the lightsome breezes follow, To the cavern's dreary hollow, There thy vanished goal to clutch.

EUPHORION, shaking off the last fames. Rocks that surround me here Pent in the woodland vale, Why should they bound me here ? Am I not young and hale ? Storm-winds are spooming there, Billows are booming there, Both far away I hear, Fain were I near.

[He leaps higher and higher up the cliff".


Wilt thou match the chamois ? Dire Must we fear the fall will be.


Higher must I rise and higher, Far and further must I see. Now where I am I spy : In the mid-isle am I. Pelop's land rounds me in, Earth-akin, sea-akin.


In mount and wood wilt thou Peaceful not tarry,

Part II 241

Straight where the grape-vines grow Thee will we carry ; Grape-vines that crown the hill, Fig-fruit and apple-gold. Ah, in the sweet land still Sweetly unfold !


Dream ye the day of peace ? Let dream whom dreams may please ! Now is the watchword war ! Victory rings afar !



War wishes back in peace, Himself doth sever From hope's fair bliss.


Ye whom from danger your Land unto danger bore, Free, an undaunted brood, Lavish of life and blood, Your all-unaltering Sacredest will, Warriors unfaltering, May it fulfil !


Lo, how high he soars, yet seemeth Nowise small. Refulgently, Clad in steel and bronze he gleameth, Harnessed as for victory.

242 Goethe's Faust


Wall or bulwark none environ ! Each man but his own worth feel ! For the brave man's breast of iron Is a keep impregnable.

Would ye dwell unvanquished ? Go ye To the field light-armed and free ! Amazons, ye women, show ye ! Every child a hero be !


Mount, holy Poesy ! Soar aloft Heaven-high ! Gleam forth, thou fairest star, Far off and yet more far ! Yet doth she reach us still, Yet do we hear and thrill, Gladly we hear.


Nay, as a child now I appear not. The youth comes armed, and all at one With strong men, free men, men that feai


Already in his mind hath done. Away ! For stay I may not. Yonder fame is won.


Scarcely called to life, discerning Scarce the morning's blithesome beam, From the giddy steeps art yearning For the fields with woe that teem ?

Part II 243

Are then we

Naught to thee ?

Is the gracious bond a dream ?


Hear o'er the deep the thunder bellow !

Hear vale on valley thunder back !

Host unto host in dust and billow,

In stress on stress, to pain and wrack.

Sounds the call,

Fight and fall !

Once for all I'll hang not back.


What a horror ! What a shiver ! Sounds the call to thee to fall ?


Shall I gaze afar ? Ah, never ! Strife and straits, I'll share them all.


Banefully overbold ! Deadly the doom !


Natheless ! and wings unfold,

Plume upon plume.

Thither ! I muat, e'en thus !

Say me not no !

\_He casts himself into the air, his gar- ments bear him for a moment, his head is irradiated, a luminous trail glides after him.

, 244 Goethe's Faust


Icarus ! Icarus !

Wailing and woe !

\_A beautiful youth falls headlong at hu parents' feet. We think ive recog- nise a well- known form In the dead body, but the corporeal part van- ishes immediately, the aureole rises like a comet up to heaven, robe, mantle and lyre remain lying on the ground. .jb


Brief joys doth overwhelm Bitterest moan.

EUPHORION'S voice out of the deep.

Me in the gloomy realm Mother, leave not alone !


CHORUS, dirge.

Not alone, where'er thou bidest,

For we deem we surely know thee !

If from day too soon thou glidest

Not a heart will fain forgo thee.

Should we mourn ? Scarce know we whether !

Envying we sing thy fate.

Thou in clear or clouded weather,

Song and heart hadst fair and great.

Ah, with lofty lineage dowered, Might and every earthly boon, Youthful bloom, how soon deflowered ! Lost unto thyself how soon 1

Part II 245

Heart that shared each aspiration, Keenest glance the world to scan, Noblest women's glow of passion, And a song unmatched of man.

But didst run, unbridled ranging, In the net thyself foresaw, Violently thyself estranging From all moral, from all law ; Yet thy dauntless will was freighted In the end with high design. Glorious was thine aim, yet fated Wert thou not thine aim to win.

Who shall win it ? Question sombre, Whereto Fate doth veil her, when On the ill-starred day, in cumber, Mute and bleeding stand all men. Yet new songs within your bosom Quicken. Stand deep-bowed no more! From the earth they still shall blossom, As they ever bloomed of yore.

[Complete pause. The music ceases,

HELEN, to Faust.

Woe's me, an ancient adage proves on me its


That Fortune weds with Beauty never abidingly. In sunder rent the bond of life is, as of love, And both bewailing anguished I say farewell, Upon thy bosom casting me yet once again. Receive, Persephoneia, thou the child and me ! [_She embraces FAUST, her corporeal part

vanishes, robes and 'veil remain in

his arms.

246 Goethe's Faust


Hold fast what alone of all is left to thee ! The robe, let it not loose ! Already Demons Are twitching at the skirts ; full fain were they To pluck it to the Nether-world. Hold fast ! The Goddess whom thou lostest is it not, But god-like is't. Avail thee of the high, The priceless boon, and raise thyself aloft ! 'Twill bear thee swift above the trivial In ether high, so long thou weary not. We'll meet again, but far, full far from here.

^HELEN'S garments resolve themselves into clouds , encompass FAUST, raise him into the air, aud drift over 'with him.

PHORKYAS takes up E UP MORION'S robe, mantle, and lyre from the ground^ steps into the Proscenium, raises the exuviae on high and speaks.

The find is lucky, though belated. 'Tis true the flame is dissipated, But for the world I nowise fret. Enough remains for poets' initiation, Guild and trade-jealousy to whet, And are the talents not in my donation, At least I'll lend the trappings yet.

[Sits down on a column in the Proscenium.


Now haste ye, maidens! From the witchcraft are we free,

The old-Thessalian hell-hag's odious soul-con- straint,

Part II 247

Freed from the jingling-jangling din of notes

confused, The ear bewildering, wildering worse the inner

sense. Hence down to Hades ! Verily the Queen hath

sped With solemn bearing thither. Be without a

break Her faithful maiden's footsteps joined to hers

whom we Beside the throne of Her the Unsearchable shall



Those indeed that queens be, everywhere are

they fain.

In the forefront stand they in Hades too, Proudly company with their peers, Of Persephone's bosom are they. Yet for us, that in the background Of the deep asphodel-meadows, But with tall lank poplars And unfruitful willows company, What diversion awaiteth us ? Flittermouse-like to twitter, A whisper undelectable, spectral.


He that no name hath won him, nor hath high


Unto the elements belongs ; away ! But I Long hotly with my queen to be. Not merit

alone But loyalty ensures us personality. [Exit.

248 Goethe's Faust


Restored are we now to the light of day,

Truly persons no more,

That feel we, that know we well,

But we shall never go back to Hades,

For ever-living Nature lays

Claim to us spirits,

We to her with plenary warrant.


We within these thousand branches' whisp'ring

quiver, rustling wafture, Charm we toying, lure we lightly, through the

roots the springs of being To the twigs ; and now with leafage, now with

blossoms brimming over, We will deck our fluttering tresses, lavishly for

breezy growth. Falls the fruit, then straightway gather, glad of

life, the folk, the herdsmen, Coming hasty, thronging active, for the harvest,

for the banquet, Bending one and all about us, as before the

primal gods.


And in gentle wavelets gliding we endearingly

will nestle To the far-resplendent placid mirror of these

rocky walls ; For each sound will hearken, listen, song of

birds and reedy fluting ; Be it Pan's dread voice uplifted, straightway

comes our answer pat ;

Part II 249

Rustle we with rustle answer, thunder with our

rolling thunder, In a crashing reboation, threefold, tenfold



Sisters, we more sprightly-minded onward with

the brooks will hasten, For the richly-decked hill-ranges of yon distance

set us longing. Ever downwards, ever deeper, water we meand-

rous rolling, Now the meadow, now the pastures, then the

garden round the house. There the cypress' slender summits mark its

place, that o'er the landscape, Line of shore and liquid mirror, up to ether

soar aloft.


Wend ye others whither lists ye, we shall

cincture round and rustle Round the wholly-planted hill-side where upon

its prop the vine Clusters green, at every season the vine-dresser's

passion shows us The uncertain consummation of most loving

industry. Now with spade and now with mattock, now

with earthing, pruning, binding, All the gods he supplicateth, and the sun-god

first of all. Little reck hath languid Bacchus of his faithful

servants' labour ; Rests in arbours, lolls in grottos, trifling with

the youngest faun.

250 Goethe's Faust

All he ncedeth for his dreamy musing's half- intoxication Hath he near at hand in wine-skins, hath in

jars and divers vessels, In cool vaults to right and leftward for eternal

ages stored. Have now all the gods and chiefly Helios, with

fanning, drenching, Warming, parching, heaped the grape-vine's

horn of plenty to the brim, Where the vine-dresser wrought silent, on a

sudden all is bustle, Rustles every trellis, rattles round the din from

stock to stock. Baskets creak and buckets clatter, groan the

dorsels on their way, All towards the mighty wine-vat for the

treaders' lusty dance. So the pure-born juicy berries' sacred bounty

insolently Underfoot is trod, and foaming, spirting, foully

crushed and blent. Now into the ear the timbrels', now the

cymbals' brazen clamour Shrieks, for now hath Dionysus him from

mysteries revealed. Forth he comes with goat-foot satyrs, swaying

goat- foot satyresses, And between, unruly strident, brays Silenus'

long-eared beast. Spare naught ! Cloven hoofs relentless trample

down all decent custom, And all senses reel and stagger, hideously the

ear is dinned.

Part II 251

Drunken hands grope for the goblet, overfilled

are head and belly, Here and there hath one misgivings still, yet

only swells the tumult, For to garner this year's grape-juice drain they

swiftly last year's skin.

[The curtain falls.

^PHORKYAS, in the Proscenium, rears herself aloft to giant-height, but steps down from the buskins, puts back her mask and veil, and shows herself as MEPHISTOPHELES, in order to comment upon the piece in the Epilogue, in so far as this might seem necessary.

ACT IV[편집]


[A mighty jagged rocky summit,, A cloud drifts up, clings to the peak, and sinks upon a jutting ledge. The cloud parts and FAUST steps forward.


Beneath my feet beholding deepest solitude,

Alight I circumspectly on this summit's verge,

Relinquishing the wafture of my cloud, that soft

Through days serene hath borne me, over land and sea.

Slowly it loosens from me, not unravelling.

Compact the mass strives eastward in conglobate flight.

The eye, astounded, strains in wonder after it.

It sunders changing, fluctuantly mutable.

It shapes itself though. Aye, mine eye de- ceives me not !

On sun-illumined pillows, gloriously couched,

A woman-form, gigantic, fashioned like the gods.

I see it, like to Juno, Leda, Helen, how

Majestically lovely in mine eye it floats!

Alas, it is dislimned. Towering formless-wide

Part II 253

Like far-off snow-capped mountains in the East

it hangs, And mirrors dazzling transient days' high

pregnancy. Yet round my brow and bosom, frail and

luminous, Still clings a cloud-wreath, cheering, cool, like

a caress.

It rises light and lingering, high and higher still. Itself it mouldeth. Cheats me an entrancing

form, Like youthful-first, long-unenjoyed, supremest

bliss ?

The deepest bosom's earliest treasures well anew. Aurora's love, light-soaring, it betokeneth, The swift-perceived, first, scarce-comprehended


That had outshone all treasure, held but stead- fastly.

Like spiritual beauty grows the lovely form More fair, melts not apart, in ether soars aloft, And of mine inmost being draws the best away. \_A seven-league boot clatters on to the stage : another follows it im- mediately. MEPHISTOPHELES dis- mounts. The boots stride swiftly on.


That's striding now, and of the wightest!

But prithee say what whim is this ?

Amongst these horrors thou alightest,

'Midst grisly crag and precipice?

I know it well, but in another station,

For this was properly Hell's old foundation.

254 Goethe's Faust


The maddest tales thou ever hast good store of, And now the like thou'rt itching to spin more of.


When God the Lord and well do I know


Banned us from air to deepest deeps infernal, Where round and round us, glowing centrally And burning through, still flamed the fire eternal, We found us, lavish though the illumination, In a constrained and irksome situation. With one accord the devils fell a-sneezing, And from above and from below a-wheezing ; All Hell did swell with sulphur-stench and


Oh, what a gas ! All bounds it soon surpassed, Until of force the land's thick crust from under, Thick as it was, did burst and crack asunder. So now, you see, we've fairly turned the tables ; What formerly was cellars now is gables. The doctrine orthodox thereon is grounded, How upper may with under be confounded, For we escaped from burning thraldom there To overplus of lordship of free air. A mystery manifest, long well concealed, And to the peoples now but late revealed. 1


For me the mountain-mass is nobly mute, Nor whence nor wherefore seek I to compute. Herself when Nature in herself first founded, Then faultlessly the globe of earth she rounded, 1 Ephes. vi. i*.

Part II 255

And in the peak and in the gorge was glad, And cliff to cliff and mount to mount did add. Then the smooth hills she framed, and gradually, With gentle sweep, did temper to the valley. There all doth green and grow, and for her

gladness She needeth not your frantic eddy's madness.


Aye, so ye say ! Ye think it clear as glass, But he knows otherwise that present was ! And I was there, when seething still hereunder Swelled the abyss and flames in torrents bare, Whilst Moloch's hammer cliff to cliff in thunder Did weld, and scattered mountain-wreck afar. Earth bristles still with ponderous foreign masses, Who shall explain such hurling-energy ? The wit of the philosopher it passes ; There lies the rock, needs must we let it lie. We rack our brains, yet know no more than


The simple-vulgar herd alone doth know And clings unshaken to its story. Its wisdom ripened long ago ; A marvel 'tis, the Devil gets the glory. My pilgrim crutch of faith beneath his

shoulder Limps to the Devil's Bridge, the Devil's Boulder.


'Tis well worth while, as I'm a living creature To see what views the Devils hold on Nature.


Be Nature what she will what do I care ? A point of honour 'tis, the Devil was there !


Goethe's Faust

We are the people, we, for great achieving ; Might, tumult, frenzy ! Seeing is believing ! But to talk sense upon our superficies, Say, hast thou naught descried that met thy

wishes ?

Thou didst overlook a boundless territory, "The kingdoms of the world and all their


But all insatiate as thou art, Lusted for naught at all thine heart ?


It did ! A great work did bespeak My purpose. Guess !


Soon done ! I'd seek Some capital its inner ring A horror of burgher-victualling, With tortuous alleys, pointed gables, A crowded market, vegetables, And fleshers' stalls where blow-flies fatten And lurk on juicy joints to batten. There wilt thou ever find, methinks, No lack of bustle, no lack of stinks. Then fair wide streets and roomy places Wherein to swagger with stylish graces, And lastly where no gate doth pen, Fair suburbs, stretching out of ken. There would I revel in coaches rolling, In noisy hither and thither bowling, In endless hither and thither storming, The human ant-hill's restless swarming, 1 Matt. iv.

Part II 257

Still in my driving, in my riding, Myself the cynosure abiding, Honoured by myriads without cease.


That to content me were not able ! One joys to see the folk increase, And in its fashion live at ease, And form and teach itself then sees In each one hath but reared a rebel !


Self-glorious then I'd build with grandeur meet, I' the pleasant place, a pleasure-seat ; Woods, hills, plains, meadows, fields around Changed to a splendid garden-ground, With walls of verdure, velvet meadows, Paths straight as lines, artistic shadows, Cascades that plunge from rock to rock con- joined,

And fountain-jets of every kind, That soar majestically in the middle, And round the sides that spirt and squirt and


In thousand trifles. Then, too, fairest women ! Snug little houses to lodge them in ' Pd build, and there time without end In charming social solitude I'd spend. Women, I say. The Fair, by your good grace I' the plural I conceive always.

FAUST. Sardanapalua ! Modern ! Base !

258 Goethe's Faust


Who knows whereto thou didst aspire ? Sublimely bold would be thy goal ! The moon, whereto thou soaredst so muchnigher, Drew haply thy distempered soul.


No wise ! This round of earth, methought, Hath scope for great achieving ever. Strength do I feel for bold endeavour. A deed of wonder shall be wrought.*


Fame wouldst thou earn ! 'Tis patent truly From heroines thou comest newly.


At lordship, ownership I aim.

The deed is all and naught the fame.


But poets will relate the story, To aftertimes proclaim thy glory, By folly folly to inflame.


In all that is hast thou no part ! What know'st thou of the human heart ? Thy froward nature, bitter, keen, What knows it of the needs of men ?


Then let it be as best thee pleases. Confide to me the scope of thy caprices.

Part II 259


Mine eye was drawn towards the vasty ocean. It swelled aloft, up to high heaven it vaulted, Then sinking, shook its waves in fierce com- motion

And all the width of level shore assaulted. And that did gall me, e'en as insolence Galls the free mind that prizes every right, And through hot blood wrought up to vehemence With a fierce sense of outrage doth excite. I thought it chance, mine eyeballs did I strain, The billow stood awhile, rolled back again, And from the goal so proudly won withdrew. The hour is nigh, the sport it will renew.

MEPHISTOPHELES, ad Spectatores.

There's nothing here for me to learn, I'll own it. Already a hundred thousand years I've known it.

FAUST, continuing passionately.

It steals along, through thousand channels oozing, Unfruitful, and unfruitfulness diffusing. It swells and grows and rolls and welters o'er The hateful empire of the barren shore. Pregnant with might, wave upon wave there


Yet each retires, nor any end attaineth. Me to despair it doth disquiet truly, This aimless might of elements unruly. A lofty flight I dare, nor deem it idle Here would I battle, this I fain would bridle.

And it is possible ! Flood as it will, It yields, it moulds itself to every hill.

260 Goethe's Faust

And let it swell and bluster ne'er so loudly, A petty height doth tower against it proudly, A petty depth doth draw it on amain. Then in my mind I fashioned plan on plan : Achieve thyself the exquisite emotion To shut out from the shore the imperious ocean, The confines of the moist expanse to straiten And back upon itself to thrust it beaten. From step to step the ways and means I've


That is my wish, that do thou dare to second. [Drums and martial music on the right

hand in the distance, to the rear

of the onlookers.


How easy ! Hear'st the drums there ?


War again Already ! That the wise man hears not fain !


Come war, come peace, from every circumstance The wise man will essay to make his profit. You watch, you wait for each auspicious chance ; Now is the moment ! Faust, avail thee of it !


This riddling-stufF I pray thee spare me, friend ! Be brief, explain thyself, and make an end !


From me it was not hid as past I hurried, That our good Emperor is sorely worried.

Part II 261

Thou know'st him, marry ! Him when we


To palm off on him spurious wealth concerted, He thought the whole wide world for sale, For young the throne unto him fell, And straight he drew the false conclusion That the two aims might well combine, And 'twas desirable and fine To rule and eke to enjoy.



And monstrous error ! If a man would rule, In ruling must his hopes of bliss all centre. His mind is with a lofty purpose full ; Into his purpose though must no man enter. What to his trustiest he softly breathes, 'Tis done, andall the world with wonder seethes. So will he be the most exalted still And noblest. But enjoyment maketh vile.


Such is not he. How he enjoyed, good lack ! While went the realm in anarchy to wrack, Where great and small had each with all


Where town with town, guild with nobility, Castle with castle, bishop stood With chapter and with flock at feud, Where brother brother banished, slew, and no


Saw other but to be his focman ; I* the churches murder, of your life 'twere pity For trade or travel were you forth the city.

262 Goethe's Faust

Boldness in all did mightily augment. Then live meant : 'ward yourself! Well, well, it went !


It went, it staggered, fell, then up it jumped, It lurched and lost its balance, and down it plumped.


And no man cared to censure such a state, For each ; man could and each man would have

weight ;

For full the smallest even passed. Yet for the best things grew too mad at last. Then in their might the men of worth arose, And said : That man is lord who peace

bestows. The Emperor cannot, will not. Come then,

choose we A new Lord, into the Realm new soul infuse


And, while he safeguards small and great, The world be henceforth new-create, And peace with justice wedded use we.

FAUST. That smacks of priestcraft !


Priests it was indeed !

Their own well -fatted paunch they safeguarded. They more than others riot instigated, And riot grew, riot was consecrated, And hither our good Emperor, whom we Made merry, comes to his last fight, maybe.

Part II 263


So frank, so kindly ! Sooth he makes my heart ache!


Well, whilst there's life, there's hope ! Let us

his part take.

We'll extricate him from this narrow valley. Once saved is saved a thousand times. Who


The hazard of the dice, what time he throweth ?

And hath he luck, will vassals round him rally.

[They climb over the midmost mountain

range and consider the order of the

army in the valley. Drums and

martial music ring out from below.


Their choice of ground, I see, hath been well- guided. We join them and their victory is decided.


What is to hope, I'd like to know ? Delusion ! Glamour ! Hollow show !


War-stratagems to win a battle !

Steel thyself unto sterner mettle

By thinking on thine aim, for if

We save unto the Emperor throne and land,

Then shalt thou kneel and take in fief

As guerdon due, the boundless strand.

264 Goethe's Faust


Already much hast carried through, Come then, and win a battle too !


Nay, that shalt thou. This time, I trow, 'Tis thou art generalissimo.


I were well placed, forsooth, commanding In that whereof I have no understanding !


All to the General Staff leave over, Then is the General under cover. War-mischief scenting in the air, The War-chiePs Council, then and there From primal manhood of mountains old I fashioned. Blest who them enrolled !


What see I yonder armed go ? Hast stirred the mountain-folk up ?



Like Master Peter Quince, of all The raff the essence did I call,


1 * Sam. xxiii. 8.

Part II 265


Lo, even now my blades are here. Thou seest, in years they greatly vary, In varying garb and harness they appear. Thou'lt not fare badly with them, marry !

\_Ad Spectatorcs.

No child but now were fain to wear The mail and collar of the Ritter, And allegories though the rascals are, On that account to please they are but fitter.

SWASHBUCKLER, young, lightly '-armed, gaily-clad.

If one should look me in the eyes,

With one blow of my fist upon the chaps I'll

fell him.

And if a craven dastard flies, Quickly by his back-hair I'll hale him.

HAVEQUICK, manly, well-armed, richly-clad.

A fig for all such empty brabble ! Mere waste of time ! nay, be alone In taking indefatigable, The rest may wait till that be done.


[in years, strongly - armed, 'without


Thereby is nothing consummated. Great wealth is quickly dissipated. Adown life's stream as swift as thought It sweeps. To take is good, better to keep

when taken.

Follow the greybeard's rede unshaken And from thee no man shall take aught.

[They go down the mountain together.

266 Goethe's Faust


[Drums and martial music from lclo<w. The Emperor s tent is being pitched.



The project still approves it well-inspired, That we in this secluded vale Our hosts have concentrated and retired. I firmly hope 'twill turn out well.


What shall be soon will show the meeting. But this half-flight doth gall me, this retreating.


See there, my Prince, on our left flank. The


Could not be bettered in imagination ! Not steep the hill, yet not too easy faring ; To us propitious, to the foe ensnaring. We on the rolling plain lie half-concealed ; The horse will scarcely dare to take the field.


I can but praise your plan of battle.

Here arm and breast can prove their mettle.


On the mid-meadow's level room in leaguer The phalanx dost thou see, for battle eager.

Part II 267

Through morning's misty haze in sunshine there The halberds flash and glitter in the air. The mighty square heaves darkly to and fro, There thousands to heroic exploits glow. The might of our main force lies patent yonder, Them will I trust the foeman's force to sunder.


For the first time the goodly sight I view, An army such as this doth count for two.


Of our left wing is nothing to be told.

The stubborn cliff is held by heroes bold.

Yon craggy steeps that now with arms are


Our narrow defile's vital pass protect. The foe, all unawares upon them dashing Will, I foresee, in bloody fray be wrecked.


There come the faithless kinsfolk, one and other Forsworn, that called me uncle, cousin, brother, That step by step all bonds of fealty sundered, Sceptre of might and throne of reverence

plundered ;

Then falling out the Empire devastated, And now rebel against me federated. The crowd doth waver in uncertain mood, Then streams along whither them sweeps the



A trusty scout returns with hurried tread Adown the cliffs. Heaven send he be well- sped!

268 Goethe's Faust


On our errand Fortune waited, For with bold yet wily skill Here and there we penetrated, Yet the news we bring is ill. Many that with stout averment Homage vowed in word and deed, Popular peril, inner ferment Now for their inaction plead.


Selfishness inculcates self-preservation ! Not honour, duty, thanks or inclination ! Bethink ye not, your reckoning when ye frame Your neighbour's fire will set your house aflame !


The second comes ; but slowly down he

clambers. The weary man trembles in all his members.


All in wild confusion straying First we noted, highly cheered. Unexpected, undelaying, A new Emperor appeared. And the hosts in warlike manner March by pathways pre-assigned. The unfurled lying-banner Follow all in sheepish kind.


A rival Emperor stands me in good stead. Now do I feel me Emperor indeed !

Part II 269

The harness but as soldier did I don,

Now to a higher aim 'tis girded on.

At every feast, brilliant as it might be,

Whilst naught was lacking, danger lacked to me.

Ye counselled all the bloodless carrousel

While for the deadly joust mine heart did swell.

And had ye not from warfare one and all


My brows a hero's laurels now had braided. Valour upon my bosom set her sigil When glassed in fire, on yonder masking-vigil, Upon me leapt the flames infuriate. A phantom, aye, yet was the phantom great. Darkly I dreamed of victory and fame. I will retrieve what then unto my shame I left undone.

[Heralds are despatched to challenge the Rival-Emperor to single combat.

[ FAUST, harnessed, with half -closed helmet.

[THE THREE MIGHTY MEN armed and clad as above.


We come, and hope unchidden, Since forethought steads, e'en though by need

unbidden. Thou know'st the mountain-minefolk think and


Of Nature's cypher and the rocks' hath lore. The spirits, that the plains have long forsaken, Still greater liking to the mounts have taken. They work, through labyrinthian crevasses, In noble fumes of metal-laden gases.

270 Goethe's Faust

They sunder, test and blend, one impulse over Their minds hath sway, some new thing to


With finger light of spirit-power they fashion Translucent forms, and to their contemplation Crystal, in its eternal silence, glasses Whatever in the world above them passes.


That have I heard and do believe, but how, My gallant fellow, doth it touch us now ?


The Sabine sorcerer thus, Sire, I answer Thy faithful servant is, the Necromancer Of Norcia. What dread fate him threatened


The bavins crackled, leapt the tongues of fire ; The dry logs latticed about him round, With pitch besmeared, with brimstone-withies


Not man, nor God, nor Devil could deliver, But Majesty the glowing bonds did shiver. In Rome it was ; himself to thee he hallows, With deep solicitude thy fortune follows, And self forgetting, from that moment he Questions for thee the star, the deep for thee. He charged us instantly, with all resources, Thee to befriend. Great are the mountain's


There Nature works with might surpassing free, The priests' thick wits berate it sorcery.


On the glad day, whenas the guests we meet, That joyful come in joy the hours to fleet,

Part II 271

Each gladdens us as he doth throng and press, And man by man, straitens the chambers' space ; Yet passing welcome must the brave man be If as ally he join us sturdily r the morning hour, dread issues that decideth, For that Fate's balance over it presideth. But in this solemn hour the stalwart hand Restrain, I pray thee, from the willing brand. Honour the moment that to strife doth summer Thousands, to prove them friend or foeman. Self is the man ! Who covets throne and crown, Himself be worthy of such high renown ! This phantom, that against us is uprisen, Emp'ror himself, Lord of our Lands doth

christen, Our army's Duke, our barons' Liege doth boast

him, Ourself, with our own hand, to Hell will thrust

him !


Howe'er must be achieved the undertaking, Thou dost not well therein thine own head


The crest, the plume upon the helmet glances ; It shields the head, our valour that entrances. Without the head, what could the limbs do

either ?

For if it slumbers, all droop down together, If it is wounded, all are sorely stricken, And all revive when it with health doth quicken. The arm its strong prerogative straight wieldeth, It lifts the buckler and the skull it shieldeth. Straightway the sword allegiance doth show, It parries stoutly and returns the blow.

272 Goethe's Faust

The sturdy foot their fortune doth partake, And plants it swift on the slain foeman's neck.


Such is my wrath, his might so would I crumble, And his proud head to be my footstool humble.

HERALDS, returning.

Little honour, scarce a hearing Had we yonder on our coming, And our challenge did they, jeering, Laugh to scorn for idle mumming. " No more is your Emperor heard of, Echo in yon narrow vale. Him if ever there be word of: Once there <was, replies the tale."


E'en as the best had wished it doth betide, That staunch and faithful stand here at thy side. Thine burn to fight, there come the hosts of

treason, The onset bid, propitious is the season.


Here then do I surrender the command,

[To the Generalissimo. And bid thee, Prince, thy duty take in hand.


Then let the right wing straightway take the


The foeman's left, that climbing even now is, Ere it hath taken its last step shall yield To the tried constancy of youthful prowess.

Part II 273


Then suffer thou this merry blade, I pray, To place him in thy ranks without delay, And intimately there incorporated To ply his lusty calling with them mated.

[Points to the right.

SWASHBUCKLER, c oming forward. Who shows his face shall turn it not away Ere upper jaw and under get a mangling. Who turns his back, limp on his nape I'll lay Head, neck and scalp in horrid fashion dangling. And if with sword and mace thy men Strike home as I shall, helter-skelter Man over man will topple then The foe, and in their own blood welter.



Now softly our mid-phalanx to the fight, And shrewdly meet the foe with all its might. Already to the right our force hath taken The field, and hot-incensed their plan hath shaken.

[_ FAUST, pointing to the middlemost of

the Three.

Then let this hero too thy word obey ! Nimble and bold he is, sweeps all away.

HAVEQUICK, coming forward. Th' imperial hosts heroic spirit Shall there with thirst for plunder pair it, The goal whereto all wills are bent The Rival Emperor's sumptuous tent. Not long he'll lord it on his settle ! The phalanx will I lead and show my mettle

274 Goethe's Faust

SPEEDBOOTY, a sutleress, nestling up to him.

Though not to thee in wedlock tied, My dearest leman dost thou bide. For us is such a harvest ripe ! Woman is fierce when she doth gripe, And when she plunders, ruthless she. All is permitted, on to victory !

\_Exeunt ambo.


Upon our left, as was to be foreseen,

Their right doth hurl itself with might and


Their furious effort one and all will parry The narrow defile of the road to carry.

FAUST, beckoning to the left.

Then pray you, sir, this man to gaze at length

on. It doth not hurt themselves if strong men


HOLDFAST, coming forward,

Let the left wing no care awaken ! For where I am the tenure is unshaken. There shall the old man prove him. Thunder Shall cleave not what I hold in sunder.


MEPHISTOPHELES, coming down from above.

Lo now, how in the background surges, From out the jagged rocky gorges, A host of armed men, that cumbers The narrow pathway with its numbers 1

Part II 275

With helm and harness, sword and shield, A bulwark in our rear they build, Ready to strike if we but beckon.

70 those e who are in the secret. Ye must not ask whence they are taken. To tell the truth, I've emptied out The armour-chambers round about. There did they stand, on foot or mounted, Still Lords of Earth as were they counted. Knight, King or Kaiser once they strutted, Now naught but snail-shells whence the snail

hath rotted.

Themselves therein have many spectres dight, The Middle Ages furbished up to light, But what a devilkin therein lurks, This once a fine effect it works.


To frenzy, hark ! themselves they're lashing, With tinny clank together clashing ! By many a banner tattered pennons flutter, That for fresh breezes yearned with yearning


An ancient people here doth rise to life, And fain would mingle in the newest strife.

\_Appalling trumpet-peal from above. Notable 'wavering in the hostile army.


Already the horizon darkles, But here and there suggestive sparkles A bloody-red, foreboding glow. Already gleam the weapons bloody, Cliff, wood, and atmosphere are ruddy, And heaven above, and earth below.

276 Goethe's Faust


The right wing stoutly keeps its station. There see I, hovering defiant, Jack Swashbuckler, the nimble giant, Alertly busy in his fashion.


First did I see one arm uplifted,

Then straight a dozen shook and shifted ;

It ia not Nature worketh here !


Hast thou ne'er heard of mist-wreaths, over The coasts of Sicily that hover ? There, in the daylight floating clear, Raised to mid-air, may see who gazes, And mirrored in especial hazes, A vision wonderful appear. There to and fro do cities waver, And gardens rise and fall, as ever Breaks wraith on wraith the ether there.


My fears a portent new enhances, For every spear-head gleams and glances. Lo there, our phalanx' glittering lances ! On each a nimble flamelet dances ! Meseems too spectral is the light.


Pardon, O Sire, here is a vestige Of spirit-natures' vanished prestige, A reflex of the Dioscuri, The sailor's friend 'mid tempests' fury. They gather here their latest might.

Part II 277


But say to whom the debt is owing That Nature here her favour showing For us her rarest doth unite.


To whom but yonder lofty Master

That hath thy destiny at heart ?

Thy foeman's menace of disaster

Doth touch him with profoundest smart.

The gratitude he still doth cherish

Would save thee, though himself should perish.


They led me jubilant in pompous pageant. Now was I something, fain would prove me


And 'twas my whim full little did I ponder To give cool air unto the greybeard yonder. I marred the clergy's pastime. Howsoever, Frankly, thereby I did not win their favour. What years agone I did in merry pleasure, Doth it bear fruit in such abundant measure ?


Free kindness hath rich usury.

Look upwards ! Straightway will be sent us,

Mistake I not, a sign portentous.

Give heed, the omen straight thou'lt sec.


An eagle soars in heaven's hollows, With menace fierce a griffin follows.


Goethe's Faust


Give heed ! Methinks propitious is't, The griffin is a fabulous beast. Him how could his conceit inveigle To pit him with a genuine eagle ?


Each about each with menace gruesome In circles wide they wheel, then stoop Each upon each with furious swoop, And tear and mangle neck and bosom.


Lo, the fierce griffin finds but bale ! To-torn, to-ruffled, like a plummet It drops from sight, its lion's tail All limp, upon yon woody summit.


E'en as the token be the event ! I take the sign with wonderment.

MEPHISTOPHELES, towards the right.

Under crushing blows repeated Hath our foe perforce retreated, And in desultory fashion Fighting, fall back where its station Hath their left, and so unsettle All their leftward line of battle. Now our phalanx* point hath doubled To the right, and like the thunder Cleaves their wavering ranks in sunder. Now like billows tempest-troubled

Part II 279

Spuming, well-matched forces rattle In the shock of twofold battle. Mind hath pictured naught more glorious, We in battle are victorious !

EMPEROR, on the left side to Faust.

Yonder, see, is danger threatened ! There our post is sorely straitened ! Not a stone now see I fly there ; Lower cliffs are climbed ; the high there Stand forsaken now already. Now the foe in masses eddy, Nearer throng, and the contested Pass ere this hath haply wrested. Thus unholy toils prove fruitless. All your boasted arts are bootless.



There come my ravens twain. What message Bring they us ? Sooth, I have a presage We fare but badly in the strife.


What mean these obscene birds of evil, Their sable vans that hither level From the hot fight about the cliff?

MEPHISTOPHELES, to the ravens.

Perch near mine ears. Whomever ye favour Is not in desperate case, for ever Your counsel is with reason rife.

280 Goethe's Faust

FAUST, to the Emperor.

Thou canst not but have heard of pigeons, To breed and feed their young, in legions That come from many a far-off coast. The cases, truly, scarcely tally, The pigeon-post is peace's valet, But War commands the raven-post.


Tidings they bring of grievous fortune. See how the foe doth sore importune Our heroes on their rocky wall. The nearest heights are scaled, and marry The narrow pass if once they carry 'Twere much if we could stand at all.


On bubble-hopes ye have upbuoyed me ! Into the net ye have decoyed me ! I shudder, taken in the snare.


Courage! We need not yet despair. ;: .>.,

Patience and knack for the last knot.

The end as usual is hot.

My trusty envoys are at hand.

Command that I may take command.


\jwho has come up in the meantime.

Thou with these fellows hast allied thee ; The whole time hath it mortified me ; Juggling no stable luck commands. As for the battle I can't mend it. 'Twas they began it, let them end it ! My staff I give back to thy hands.

Part II 281


Fortune hath brighter hours in keeping Belike. Retain it in thy grip. Foul wight he sets my 'flesh a-creeping, He and his raven-fellowship.

[To Mephistopheles. The staff to thee I can't deliver. Thou seemest not the proper man. Command, and us to free endeavour. Let everything be done that can.

[Goes into the tent with the Generalissimo*


The stupid staff ! Now may he of it Have joy ! Us can it little profit. There was as 'twere a cross thereon.

FAUST. What must we do ?


E'en now 'tis done ! Now, sable cousins, swift in duty, To the great mountain-lake ! The Undenes

salute ye,

And beg them for the semblance of their flood ! By women's arts, transcendent wonder ! The semblance from the essence can they

sunder. You'ld swear the thing before you stood.



Our ravens must have coaxed and flattered

throughly The water-nymphs, for yonder truly

282 Goethe's Faust

To trickle hath it now begun.

From many a dry bare cliff upon the


There gushes forth a.cwift abundant fountain. Their hope of triumph is undone.


The welcome is of wondrous cast. The boldest climber stands aghast.


Brook rushes down to brook with might already, And twofold swollen from each gorge they


An arched cascade leaps from the verge. Suddenly o'er the width of level rock it gushes, To this side and to that it foams and rushes, And valewards step by step its course doth urge. What boots a bold heroic opposition ? The mighty flood will sweep them to perdition ' Myself I shudder at so fierce a surge.


Naught see I of this water counterfeited, For human eyes alone can thus be cheated. I'm rarely tickled by so odd a case. Forth from the field whole hosts at once they

bound there, Poor fools ! They ween they shall be drowned

there, The while they safely snort upon dry ground

there, And droll y run with swimming gestures round

there. Cpnfusion reigns in every place.

ravens have returned.

Part II 283

Unto the lofty Master I'll commend ye.

Yourselves to prove ye masters now pretend ye,

Haste to the dwarf- folks' glowing smithy,

Where stone and metal on their stithy

They smite to sparks and never tire.

Coax from them with your honeyed cackling,

A fire winking, gleaming, crackling,

A very high-fantastic fire.

Sheet-lightning, true, that in the distance dances,

And highest stars down-shooting swift as glances,

No summer-night but boasteth these.

Sheet-lightning, though, 'mid tangled brushwood


And stars that hiss along the level marish, The like not easily one sees. This do, on form o'ermuch not standing, Entreating first, and then commanding.

[Ravens Jly off". [All takes place as above described.


Night shrouds the foe in sable curtain !

They stride and ride into the uncertain !

A flash of flitting scintillations

And sudden-dazzling coruscations !

All very fine but now we need

A sound shall chill the soul with dread.


The hollow armour from the vaulted chambers In the free air its pristine strength remembers. Long hath it rattled there and clattered, in A wondrous-strange, discordant din.

28 4

Goethe's Faust


E'en so. Unbridled each his neighbours With knightly bufferings belabours, Wherewith the good old times were rife* Now fan again vambrace and jambeau, As Guelph and Ghibelline, the flambeau Of the eternal jar to life. Into the ancestral feud they throw them, And still implacable they show them ; Now far and wide resounds the strife Nay, party-rancour is the Devil's Best instrument in all his revels, E'en to the last, the grisly hour. Adown the vale abhorrent-panic, Now strident-harsh and shrill-satanic, Resound with awe-inspiring power.

[Warlike tumult in the Orchestra, passing over at length into merry martial music.




SPEEDBOOTY. So first then at the tryst we be !


No raven flies so swift as we.

Part II 285


Oh, what a treasure here heaped up ! Where shall I start ? Where shall I stop ?


So full the whole wide space doth stand, I know not where to lay my hand.


The tapestry were to my taste, My couch is oft too barely graced.


Here hangs, of steel, a morning-star. The like I long have lusted for.


The crimson mantle, golden-hemmed, The very thing whereof I dreamed !

HAVEQUICK, taking the 'weapon.

With this the job is swiftly done, You strike him dead and hurry on. Already hast thou crammed thy pack, Yet naught of worth hast in thy sack. Leave there the rubbish on the earth! One of these coffers carry forth. This is the army's pay all told, And in its belly naught but gold.


'Tis murderously heavy ! It I cannot lift or bear one whit.

a86 Goethe's Faust


Bend thy back quickly ! Thou must stoop ! I'll hoist it on thy sturdy croup.


Fm done for now ! Alack ! Alack ! The plaguy weight my reins will crack.

[The coffer falls and bursts open.


There lies the red gold all a-heap.

To work ! The treasure swift upsweep !

SPEEDBOOTY, crouching doivn.

To work and swiftly fill my lap ! There's still enough for every hap.


And so enough, and come now, troll !

[She stands up.

Alack ! the apron hath a hole. Where'er dost stand, where'er dost go, In spendthrift wise dost treasure sow.

BODY-GUARDS of our Emperor.

I* the sacred place why make ye free ? The imperial wealth why ransack ye ?


We perilled life and limb for pay. We fetch our portion of the prey. The foeman's tent is spoil of war, And marry, we too soldiers are.

Part 11 287


That with our circle doth not suit, Soldier and carrion-thief to boot. Who nears our Emperor, let him see An honest soldier that he be.


Honesty, quotha ! That we know ; Ye call it contribution though. On a like footing all ye live. The pass- word of the guild is give !

[To Speedbooty.

Forth with thy booty ! Leave the rest !

For here we are not welcome guest. [Exeunt.


Say, wherefore didst not straightway slap The saucy varlet on the chap.


I know not ! Me a faintness took, The twain had such a spectral look.


Before mine eyes there swam a haze. A sudden dazzling blurred my gaze.


Words to describe it know I not. The livelong day it was so hot, So sultry close as boding bale. The one did stand, the other fell. You groped and struck a random blow, At every stroke there fell a foe.

288 Goethe's Faust

Before the eyes a gauze as 'twere,

It hummed and buzzed and whizzed i' the ear

So it went on, here are we now.

Thus hath it chanced, but none knows how.

[Enter EMPEROR with four PRINCES. The Life-guards withdraw.


Now be that as it may, the day is ours, and

shattered The hostile force in flight across the plain is

scattered. Here stands the empty throne, and hung with

arras round

The treasonable wealth encumbereth the ground. We, safely fenced about by our own guard


The peoples' envoys wait, imperially majestic. From every side at once the joyful tidings roll, The Empire is at peace, is ours with heart and

soul. And what though in our strife was glamour

interwoven, We in the end alone, but by ourselves have


Oft with belligerents doth accident collude, From heaven falls a stone, upon the foe rains

blood, From rocky caverns rings a voice of awful

omen, That lifts our hearts on high, strikes terror to

the foemen. An endless gibing-stock the vanquished bit the


Part II 289

The victor in his pride lauds the propitious God. Straightway a million throats it needeth no in- junction " Thee God we magnify ! " chant forth with

solemn unction. Yet, as hath rarely chanced till now, for highest

praise Back upon mine own breast I turn my pious

gaze. A young and wanton prince his day may haply

squander, Yet from the years he learns the moment's

worth to ponder, Wherefore I'll league myself, or e'er I doff my

helm, With you, ye noble Four, for house and court

and realm.

[To the First.

Thine was the strategy, O Prince, the bold preparing,

The tactics at the pinch, heroically daring.

In peace be active now, e'en as the times sug- gest.

High-Marshal thee I name, and with the sword invest.


Thy loyal host, till now with intestine disorders Engaged, thee and thy throne shall stablish on

thy borders, Then by the festal throng, within the ample

space Of thine ancestral keep the banquet bid us


290 Goethe's Faust

Naked before thee borne, beside thee held,

'twill be An escort evermore to highest Majesty.

THE EMPEROR, to the ScCOTld.

Thou that with gallantry dost join obliging


Be thou High-Seneschal, no sinecure thy place. 'Tis thou that art the chief of all our household

meiny, Whose private feuds leave us but service ill, if


As high ensample thee henceforward I install Of how a man may please his lord, the court,

and all.


This brings to grace : unto our lord's high

will be toward, Be helpful to the good, e'en to the bad not

froward, Transparent without guile, serene without a

mask. Sire, so thou look me through, then nothing

more I ask. May Fancy to that feast look forward by thy

favour ? To table dost thou go, I'll hand the golden

laver, And hold thy rings; so shall, for that glad

revelry Thine hand itself refresh, as me doth glad thine


Part II 291


In sooth I feel too grave to think of merry- making :

But be't so glad hearts too speed on an undertaking.

[To the Third.

Thee I appoint High-Sewer, wherefore hence- forward be

Chase, poultry-yard, home-farm, all subject unto thee.

Do thou at all times let, as each is seasonable,

My favourite meats appear well-dressed upon my table.


My duty gratefullest shall be the strictest fast Until before thee spread thee glads a choice

repast. The kitchen-train with me shall league to do

thee reason, Both from afar to fetch and to forestall the

season. Far-fetched and firstling, true, wherewith thy

board is graced, Thee lempt not. Frugal fare and wholesome

asks thy taste.

EMPEROR, to the Fourth.

Since nothing here but feasts by one and all are

mooted, Be thou, young hero, straight to cupbearer


292 Goethe's Faust

High- Cupbearer, thy charge with choicest

wines to see

That ever to the brim our cellars furnished be. Thyself be temperate, nor yield unto the

suasion Of opportunity, on festal high occasion.


My Prince, e'en youth itself, if but you trust it,

then Or e'er you're ware of it, stands builded up to


Myself too I transport to yonder solemn wassail. Th' imperial buffet I with many a gorgeous

vessel Will deck. Together there silver and gold

shall glance. The rarest goblet, though, I'll choose thee in

advance, A sheeny Venice-glass, wherein heart's-ease


That spiceth still the wine, yet ne'er inebriateth. Oft to such talisman too full a trust they yield. Thee better, Thou Most High, thy temperance

doth shield.


What I design for each at this most solemn

season, That have ye heard in trust from lips that know

not treason. Great is the Emperor's word, and guarantees

each gift, Yet noble writing now must chronicle its drift ;

Part II 293

The signature it needs, all which to order duly The right man see I come, at the right moment truly.



Itself when doth a vault unto the key-stone trust,

Then for eternity 'tis built, and stand it must.

Thou seest four Princes here ! E'en now we have debated

First, what the estate of house and court desiderated.

Now all that in its pale the Empire doth em- brace,

That with all weight and might on the Quintet I place.

In lands they shall outshine all else, wherefore their borders,

From the domains of them that in these late disorders

Fell from us, will I straight enlarge. Ye faith- ful band,

Here do I promise ye full many a goodly land,

With the high privilege to widen your posses- sion

As offers, by exchange, or purchase or succes- sion ;

And ye shall wield unchecked, each in his own domain

Whatever prerogatives to lordship appertain.

As judges ye shall speak the final condemnation,

And no appeal shall stand from your exalted station.

294 Goethe's Faust

Then customs, gavel, rent, safe-conduct, toll

and fine Be yours, with royalties on mintage, salt and


Then that my gratitude be fully demonstrated, Nearest unto my throne ye have I elevated.


To thee in all our names our gratitude I plight. Thou rnak'st us strong, firm-set, and stablishest thy might.


With honours will I clothe ye Five in fuller

measure. Still live I for my realm, to live is still my

pleasure, Yet from quick strenuousness my high ancestors'

chain To that grim menace draws my thoughtful

glance again. I too when comes the time must from my dear

ones sunder. Then be it yours to name my follower ; then


On holy altar high raise ye his crowned form, And peacefully fulfil what here was done in



With pride deep in their hearts, humility In

bearing, Before thee princes bow, on earth the highest


Part II 295

So long as our full veins the loyal blood doth

thrill, We are the body, thou the lightly-wielding



Now in conclusion, all that hitherto we've

spoken, Be for all time to come confirmed by written

token. The ownership ye have, with lordship full and


With this proviso though, unparcelled that it be. Howe'er ye add thereto, on these terms I

confer it, It shall your eldest son in measure like inherit.


This weightiest statute straight to parchment I'll

confide, Unto the Empire's weal, and ours, with joy and

pride. The Chancery shall engross and with the seal

invest it, With sacred signature wilt thou, the lord,

attest it.


Thus I dismiss ye then, that each at leisure may With tranquil mind reflect on the momentous day.

[The Secular Princes withdraw.


\rtmainS) and speaks with deep feeling.

The Chancellor went forth, the Archbishop remaineth ;

296 Goethe's Faust

A solemn warning spirit him to thine ear con-

straineth. For thee with deep concern his father's heart

doth ache.


What boding fear is this at the glad season ? Speak !


With what a bitter grief behold I at this season Thy consecrated head with Satan leagued in

treason ! Established on thy throne, 'tis true, so may'st

thou hope, Yet spite of God the Lord and Holy Father

Pope. When he shall hear thereof, as penalty the

latter With holy thunderbolt thy sinful realm will


For he forgetteth not how on that day of glee The coronation-day, the wizard thou didst free. Then from thy diadem, to Christendom a

scandal, Upon that head accurst with bell and book and

candle Fell the first ray of grace ; but beat thy breast

and pay

Of thine unholy gain a modest mite straightway Back to the sanctuary ; the broad hill-space,

erected Where stood thy tent, when thee foul fiends in

league protected,

Part II


Where to the Prince of Lies a willing ear didst


That, tutored piously, devote to holy end, With mountains stretching wide, and all their

leafy vesture,

With heights that clothe them green to never- failing pasture, With limpid fishy lakes, brooklets in countless

tale In thousand twists and turns swift-plunging to

the vale ; Then the broad vale itself with meadow, tilth

and hollow ; Thy penitence expressed, pardon will straightway



Me doth my grievous fault oppress with utter

awe. The bounds shalt thou thyself, by thine own

measure draw.


First the dishallowed space, the scene of such

transgression, Thou shalt to the Most-High devote by

solemn cession.

Already sees the mind the massy walls aspire, The morning-sunshine's glance already lights

the choir. Unto the transept now the growing pile doth

widen, The nave wins length and height, to glad the

faithful. Bidden

298 Goethe's Faust

By the first bell-call now, o'er hill and dale that

rung, The solemn portal through, they stream in fervent

throng. Et peals from lofty towers, up to high heaven

soaring ;

To new-created life the penitents come pouring. The consecration-day soon may that day be

sent ! Thy presence then shall be the highest ornament.


Let this great work proclaim the pious thoughts

that urge me, Both God the Lord to praise, and from my sins

to purge me. Enough i E'en now my heart uplifted do 1



And now as Chancellor I seek thine hand and seal.


A charter draft, whereby the Church thereof

be seised, And unto me submit ; to sign it I'll be pleased.


\jwho has taken his leave, but turns round again as he goes out.

Then to the rising work thou'lt forthwith

dedicate All imposts of the land, as tithes and rent and


Part II 299

In perpetuity. Its worthy sustentation

Will cost us much, and much its wise adminis- tration.

The building too to speed in such a desert spot,

From thy rich spoil wilt thou a little gold allot.

Moreover we shall need, thereon I can't keep silence,

Timber and lime and slate, brought here from many a mile hence.

Them will the people bring, from holy pulpit taught,

The Church will bless the man that in her service brought. [Exit.


A great and grievous sin wherewithal we have

fraught us ! The plaguy magic-folk sore detriment hath

wrought us.


\jreturning again with a most profound reverence.

I crave your pardon, Sire, that most notorious

man Was with the Empire's strand enfeoffed. This

smites the ban, Save thou endow there too the Church's supreme

function With tithe, rent, tribute, tax, in sign of thy


EMPEROR, petulantly.

The land is not yet there it lies beneath the foam !

300 Goethe's Faust


Who patience hath and right, his day will surely

come. For us thy word may stand our undisputed


EMPEROR, a/one.

For absolution next mine Empire must I barter,

ACT V.[편집]



Aye, 'tis they, the lindens gloomy, Yonder in their lusty age That again appear unto me After lengthy pilgrimage. 'Tis the place where lay my pillow, 'Tis the hut that harboured me, When on yonder dunes the billow Hurled me from the storm-tossed sea. Fain with blessing would I greet them, My good hosts, a helpful pair, Who, that I should hope to meet them Now, e'en then full aged were. Folk more pious saw I never ! Shall I knock ? or call ? O hail, Hospitably if as ever Still ye joy in doing well !

BAUCIS, a grandam, very old.

Soft, dear Stranger ! Hush ! Be heedful, Lest my Goodman's rest thou spoil. Old, to him long sleep is needful For brief waking's restless toil.


302 Goethe's Faust


Say, and is it thou, good mother ? Canst thou still my thanks receive ? Thanks to thee and to that other, Thy Goodman, the youth did live ! Art thou Baucis, so devoutly That the half-dead lips restored ?

\_Enter the Goodman, Thou Philemon, that so stoutly Wrested from the waves my hoard ? 'Twas the flames of your swift fire ! 'Twas your silver-chiming bell ! Me from yon adventure dire Unto you to save it fell.

Forth now straightway let me fare, Gaze upon the boundless main. Let me kneel and breathe a prayer Ere my bosom burst in twain.

\_He steps forth on to the Dunes,

PHILEMON, to Baucis. Haste to spread the table yonder Where the garden blossoms bright ! Let him run, and start, and wonder, For he will not trust his sight.

[Follows him.

PHILEMON, standing beside the wayfarer. What did cruelly maltreat you, Weltering billows, foaming wild, Lo ! as garden doth it greet you, Smiling, erst as Eden smiled. I, grown older, now with speedy Help at hand no more did stay,

Part II 303

And as ebbed my strength, already Was the billow far away. Ditches digged and built a rampire Subtle master's servants bold, Minished the ocean's empire, Lordship in its place to hold. See now verdant mead on meadow, Pasture, garden, thorp and grove. Come, for soon will fall the shadow, Let the sight thy rapture move. Aye, afar off sails are gliding, Nightlings to the port repair ; Knows the bird its nest abiding, For the haven now is there. Only in the distance gleaming Is the sea's blue rim descried, But to right and left thick-teeming Peopled room spreads far and wide.



BAUCIS, to the stranger.

Art thou mute, and dost not carry To thy famished lips one bit ?


He would hear the wonder. Marry, Fain thou talkest. Tell him it.


Well now, and it was a wonder ! Still to-day it puzzles me. Something in their doings yonder Was not what it ought to be.

304 Goethe's Faust


Can the Emperor do evil ?

Did the herald not proclaim

His, with trumpet-blast, the level

Sea-shore, in the Emperor's name ?

First foot set they little distance

From our dunes. Tents, huts were seen ;

But there sprang into existence

Soon a palace 'mid the green.


All day long for naught they flustered, Pick and shovel, blow on blow. Where by night the flamelets clustered, There next morn a dam did show. Human victims shed their blood there, Nightly rang their cries of teen. Shoreward flowed a fiery flood there, Next day a canal was seen. Wicked is he, for he lusteth For our cottage, for our grove. As our neighbour him upthrusteth, To obey is our behove.


Yet his offer shouldst thou hide not- Fair domain in the new land !


In the water-ground confide not ! On thine height maintain thy stand !


Let us to the Chapel wending, There the sun's last glance behold. Let us ring and kneel and bending Pray, and trust the God of old t

Part II 305



FAUST, in extreme old age, 'walking about 'wrapped In thought.


\jhrough the speaking trumpet.

Now sinks the sun, into the haven Now merrily the last ships glide. A mighty galleon now even Hither on the canal doth ride. The motley streamers flutter gaily, The stiff masts stoop beneath the sails. Thy name the mariner blesses daily, Thee in thine hey-day Fortune hails.

\_The little bell rings on the dune. FAUST, starting.

Accursed bell ! Would it were soundless, That like a traitor-shot doth smite ! Before mine eyes my realm is boundless, Yet at my back doth mock me spite ; Reminds me, with its envious pealing, My lordship is alloyed yon coign, Yon linden-grove, yon old brown shieling, Yon mouldering kirklet is not mine. Thither if wish of solace calls me 1 shudder at an alien shade. A thorn in eye and foot it galls me ! Would I were far from hence conveyed.


Goethe's Faust


How the gay argosy doth glide With the fresh breeze of eventide ! How is upheaped its rapid track With chest and coffer, bale and sack !

\_Splendid galleon, richly and variously

laden with the produce of foreign




Here do we land With costly hoard ; All hail, our Master, Hail, our Lord!

[They disembark ; the goods are brought ashore.


Us have we quitted as behoves, Content, if but our Lord approves. With but two ships in modest sort We sailed, with twenty come to port. Great things have we achieved how great May best be gathered from our freight. The free sea frees the mind who aught Knows when at sea of taking thought ? There helps alone the timely grip ; You catch a fish, you catch a ship, And are you lord of three, straightway You hook the fourth as best you may ; Then is the fifth in evil plight, For Might is yours, and therefore Right.

Part II 307

Not how, you ask, but what ! For me ? Of sea-faring if aught whatever I know, are war, trade, piracy, A trinity that none may sever.


No thanks ! No greeting ! Sooth you'd think We brought his lordship naught but stink. He pulls wry faces, prizes not The royal store we bring one jot.


For further meed ye must not look. Marry, your share thereof ye took !


Aye, for the time hung on our hands. An equal share though each demands.


First up above there hall on hall Array the costly treasures all. The rich display then doth he see, And reckon all more narrowly, He'll be no niggard as I live, But feast on feast the fleet will give. The gaudy birds will come to-morrow ; Be they my care, and down with sorrow !

cargo is carried off.


With sombre gaze, with serious brow, Thy lofty fortune learnest thou. Now is high wisdom crowned. 'Tis done, The shore is with the sea at one.

308 Goethe's Faust

The ships to their swift path the sea Takes from the shore right willingly. Speak ! From thy palace in its grasp Thine arm the whole wide world shall clasp. Here was the work first set on foot, Here stood the first rude wooden hut. A trench was scratched where at this day Feathers the busy oar the spray. Thine high design, thy people's toil, Have made both earth and sea thy spoil. From here 'twas


That accursed here \ 'Tis that that doth oppress me sheer. Needs unto thee I must declare it, Thou many-wiled ! It stabs my heart With prick on prick. I cannot bear it, Yet shames me that I do impart. Yon old folk should give way that foil me, Yon lindens for a seat I crave. The few trees not mine own they spoil me The lordship of the world I have. From branch to branch, that all unbaffled Mine eye might range, I'd build a scaffold, Thus were a spacious prospect won To gaze on all that I have done, And in one glance to compass it, This masterpiece of human-wit, Confirming with sagacious plan The dwelling-place reclaimed for man.

Thus are we worst put to the rack, Feeling 'mid riches what we lack.

Part II 309

The tinkling bell, the limes' perfume, Enfolds me as with church and tomb. Here the all-powerful's free will Doth break on yonder sandy hill. How shift the burden from my spirit ? The bell rings and I rave to hear it.


Of course, some sovereign annoy Must still embitter all thy joy ! Who doubts it ? To each noble ear This jangling hateful doth appear, And the accursed ding-dong-belling, Evening's clear sky with vapour veiling, In each event, or sad or merry all, Mingles, from the first bath to burial, As life 'twixt ding and dong did seem A shadowy, forgotten dream.


Such opposition, such self-will The highest gain embitter, till With deep, fierce suffering he must Enforce himself, that would be just.


What need is here for temporising ? Art not long used to colonising ?


Go then and shift them. Thou dost mind The pleasant homestead here behind That for the old folk I designed.

310 Goethe's Faust


I'll bear them forth and on the ground Set them again ere they look round. When from the violence they recover The fair abode will smooth all over.


\_Enter the THREE.


Come, as our lord doth bid, so be't. To-morrow will he feast the fleet.


The aged lord received us ill.

We'll fleet the feast with right good will.

MEPHISTOPHELES, ad Spectatorcs.

Here haps but what hath happed of yore, For Naboth's vineyard was before.

\_Regum /., 21,



[singing on the watch-tower of the Castle.

To see is my dower, To look my employ, My charge is the tower, The world is my joy. My glances afar light, My glances light near, On sun, moon and star-light, OD woodland and deer.

Part II 311

In all the eternal Adornment I see, Well-pleased with all things, Well-pleased too with me. Ye eye-balls entranced, Whatever ye have seen, Where'er ye have glanced, So fair hath it been !


Not alone though to delight me Am I posted here so high. What a horror to affright me Threatens from the midnight-sky ! Glancing sparks stream helter-skelter Through the lime-trees' double night ; Ever wilder glows the welter By the draught fanned fiercely bright. Ah, the inner hut is flaming Moist and moss-grown that did stand there, Speediest assistance claiming, Yet no rescue is at hand theie. Misadventure oh how dreadful ! Woe is me ! The good old folk, Once about the fire so heedful Victims fall they to the smoke. Flames are flaring ! Glowing redly Stands the black and moss-grown frame. Kindly souls, if from the deadly Hell they could but rescue them ! Lambent tongues of flame it launches. 'Twixt the leaves and 'twixt the branches. Withered boughs that flicker burning, Briefly glow and fall, I see. Ill-starred eyes, such sight discerning ! So far-sighted must I be !

3 1 2 Goethe's Faust

Crashes in the little chapel Burdened 'neath the branches' fall. Barbed flames already grapple, Wreathing, with the summits tall. Now unto the roots the hollow Trunks are glowing purple-red.

[Long pause. Singing. What the eye once loved to follow, With the centuries is dead.

FAUST, upon the balcony, towards the dunes.

Aloft what strain of lamentation ! Here word and song too late they sue. My warder from his lofty station Wails, and mine hasty deed I rue. Yet though the limes that grew so thickly A horror of charred trunks now be, A look-i' the-land is builded quickly To gaze into infinity. In their new home, in soft effulgence Spending the sunset of their days, Conscious of generous indulgence, On yon old pair too shall I gaze.


We come again our tale to tell.

Your pardon ! Sooth, it went not well.

We rapped and chapped with right good will,

Yet none did open to us still.

We rattled and we rapped away

The rotten door before us lay !

We shouted loud, we threatened sore,

Yet hearing found we none the more.

As in such case doth oft appear,

They did not hear, they would not hear !

Part II 313

But we, we made no more delay, We cleared them speedily away. The old folk fretted scarce a jot For terror killed them on the spot. A stranger hiding there made show Of fight but him we soon laid low. In the brief span of furious fray, From embers, scattered round that lay, Was kindled straw. Now flares it free, A funeral-pyre for all the three.


Deaf unto my commands were ye! Exchange I wished, not robbery, And this insensate brutal wrong, I curse it ! Share it ye among !


The good old saw is still good sense: Be willing slave of violence, And art thou bold and steadfast, pelf And house and home mayst stake, and self!

FAUST, on the balcony*

Their glimpse and gleam the stars hide all, The fire sinks and flickers small ; A chill wind fans it as I speak, And drifts towards me smoke and reek. O bidden quick, too quick obeyed ! What floateth hither like a shade ?


[Enter four grey hags.


Men know me as Want !

314 Goethe's Faust


Men know me as Guilt !


Men know me as Care !


Men know me as Need!


Fast barred is the portal, we cannot within ! There dwelleth a rich man, we may not fare in !


There grow I a shadow.


To nothing I wane.


Their face turn the pampered from me with disdain.


Ye Sisters, ye cannot, ye may not fare in, But Care through the key-hole slips stealthily in.

[CARE vanishes.


Ye Sisters, grey Sisters, hence hie ye, I pray !


I cleave to thy side, Sister. Up and away !


I tread on thy heels, Sister. Need followeth !

Part II 315


The cloud-rack is scudding, and quenched each

star now ! Behind there, behind there ! From far now,

from far now, There cometh our brother, there cometh he


FAUST, in the Palace.

Four saw I come, but three go hence,

Nor of their discourse could I grasp the sense.

One spake of Need, thus did it chime,

And Death did close the sombre rhyme.

It had a hollow, spectral-muffled tone.

Not yet into the Open have I won.

Could I but from my path all magic banish,

Bid every spell into oblivion vanish,

And stand mere man before thee, Nature !

Then 'Twere worth the while to be a man with men.

Such was I once, the gloom ere I explored, And cursed myself, the world, with impious


Now with such glamour doth the air overflow That how he should avoid it none doth know. If one day lit with reason on us beams, Night trammels us within a web of dreams. From the young fields we turn us home elate, A raven croaks ! What doth he croak? Ill- fate!

Us Superstition soon and late entwines, With happenings, with warnings, and with signs.

3 1 6 Goethe's Faust

Thus are we overawed, we stand alone. The door doth creak, and yet doth enter none !


Is any here?


The question asketh aye !


And thou, who art thou then ?


Lo, here am I !


Withdraw thyself!


Here may I fitly dwell.

FAUST, first wrathful, then softened, to himself. Have thou a care and speak no magic spell !


Though of ear unheard, the groaning Heart is conscious of my moaning ; In an ever-changing guise Cruel power I exercise. On the highway, on the billow, Cleave I close, a carking fellow ; Ever found, an unsought guest, Ever cursed and aye caressed. Hast thou not Care already known ?


Athwart the world I have but flown, Grasped by the hair whatever I did covet,

Part II 317

Loosed it, had I no pleasure of it,

Did it elude me, made no moan.

I did but wish, achieve, and then again

Did wish, and thus I stormed through life amain,

First vehemently, with majestic passion,

But shrewdly now I tread, in heedful fashion.

The round of earth enough I know, and barred

Is unto man the prospect yonderward.

O fool, who thither turns his blinking glances,

And of his like above the clouds romances !

Let him stand firm, and round him gaze on earth.

Not mute the world is to the man of worth.

What need hath he to range infinitude ?

What he perceives, that may be understood.

Thus l^t him journey down his earthly day ;

When spectres haunt him, let him go his way ;

In onward-striding find his bale, his bliss,

He, that each moment uncontented is.


Whom I make my own, with loathing

Counts the whole wide world as nothing.

Him eternal gloom surpriseth,

Setteth sun no more nor riseth ;

With each outer sense excelling

In his breast hath darkness dwelling.

He may not by any measures

Make him lord of all his treasures.

Good and 111 become caprices,

Him 'midst fullness famine seizes ;

Be it joy or be it sorrow,

Puts he off unto the morrow,

On the Future ever waiteth,

So that naught he consummateth.

3 1 8 Goethe's Faust


Peace ! Thus thou canst not shake my soul.

Unto such folly I'll not hearken !

Away ! The wretched rigmarole

E'en of the wisest man the wits might darken.


Shall he come or go ? Denied him Is all power to decide him. On the paven highroad reeling, Stepping short and blindly feeling, Ever more profoundly strays he, All things more distorted sees he, Burdening himself and others, Deeply breathing, yet he smothers, Smothered not, yet lifeless faring, Not resigned and not despairing, Thus he rolls on unresisting, May not, wishing, must, not listing, Now enfranchised, now soul-sickened, From half-sleep awakes unquickened. All that in his place doth root him, But for Hell at last doth suit him.


Unhallowed spectres ! Aye, thus persecute yc


The human kind on myriad occasions. E'en days indifferent transmute ye still To a foul web of tangled tribulations. 'Tis ill, I know, from demons to be free ; The spirit-potent bond we may not sever ; And yet, O Care, though stealthy-great it be, Thy might I'll not acknowledge ever !

Part II 319


Then learn it now, as from thy view

I quickly turn, my curses spending.

Men commonly are blind their whole life through,

Blind be thou, Faustus, in life's ending !

[She breathes upon him.

FAUST, blinded.

More deeply-deep Night seemeth to enfold me, Yet clear the daylight shines within mine heart. I'll hasten to fulfil the plan doth hold me ; The master's word alone doth weight impart. Up from the couch, ye vassals ! Every man ! With happy issue crown my daring plan. Take tools in hand all ! Spade and shovel ply

ye! What is staked out be straight accomplished

by ye!

Strict order, rapid diligence Are crowned with fairest recompense. To speed the greatest enterprises One mind for thousand hands suffices.


Torches. MEPHISTOPHELES, in front as Bailiff".

Come here, come here ! Come in, come in ! Ye Lemures loose-jointed ! Patched up of sinew, bone and skin, Natures but half-appointed !

320 Goethe's Faust

LE MURES, in chorus.

Here are we straightway at thine hand, And half 'tis our impression We come about a fair broad land, Thereof to take possession. The sharpened stakes, the fair long chain For measuring have we gotten, But whereto we were called explain, For that have we forgotten.


Here needs no art, ye witless throng ! Use your own measures, seek no others. The longest lay him all his length along, And round about him lift the sods his brothers. Dig out, as for our sires they did, A longish square as ye I bid. From palace into narrow house, Such after all the farce's stupid close !

LEMURES, digging ivith mocking gestures.

In youth when I did live and love

Methought it was full sweet-a ;

With dance and song tripped life along,

And merrily went my feet-a.

But churlish Age with stealing steps Hath clawed me with his crutch-a. I stumbled o'er the grave his door, Why must it yawn so much-a ?


[coming from the Palace, groping by

the door-posts.

How I rejoice to hear the spades resound ! It is the throng for me that toileth, Earth with herself that reconcileth,

Part II 321

Unto the billows sets a bound,

And round the sea stern bonds doth cast.


Thou dost but toil for us at last

With all thy dams and moles. High revel

For Neptune still, the water-devil,

Thou but preparest, good my friend.

Lost are ye, lost in every manner !

The elements are leagued beneath our banner,

And all in nothing still must end.

FAUST. Bailiff!




Workmen throng on throng address Thyself to get. Put forth all vigour. Now with indulgence, now with rigour Encourage. Pay, entice, impress ! Let every day bring news of our successes, How this new trench, this mighty groove pro- gresses.


They talk such news to me they gave Not of a groove, but of a ... grave !


A marish skirts the mount, whose smell Infecteth all the land retrieved. To drain the festering sump as well ! Then were the last the best-achieved.

322 Goethe's Faust

I open room for millions there, a dwelling

Not idly sure, but to free toil compelling ;

Green fields and fruitful, men and herds at home

Upon the earth new-wrested from the foam ;

Straight-settled on the hill-strength, piled on high

By swarming tribes' intrepid industry.

Within, a paradise, howe'er so grim

The flood without may bluster to the brim.

And as it nibbles to shoot in amain

Flock one and all to fill the breach again.

My will from this design not swerveth,

The last resolve of human wit,

For liberty, as life, alone deserveth

He daily that must conquer it.

Thus childhood, manhood, and grey old age here,

With peril girt, shall spend their strenuous year.

Fain would I see such glad turmoil,

With a free people stand on a free soil.

To such a moment past me fleeing,

Tarry, I'd cry, thou art so fair !

The traces of mine earthly being

Not countless aeons can outwear.

Now, in the presage of such lofty bliss,

The highest moment I enjoy, e'en this.

^FAUsrfat/s back. The Lemures catch him and lay him on the ground.


Him can no pleasure sate, no bliss suffice,

Thus ever after changing forms he springeth.

Even to this last sorry empty trice,

Poor wretch, with all his soul he clingeth.

Me did he sturdily withstand

Time triumphs, lies the graybeard in the sand.

The clock stands still

Part II 323


Stands still ! As midnight hushed and dead ! The finger- falls.


It falls ! 'Tis finished !


'Tis past and over.


Past ! a stupid word. Why past and over ? Past and pure Nothingness ! The same and

wholly one !

What boots us then Creation's endless travail ? Created but to nothing to unravel ! 'Tie past ! From that what meaning can be

twisted ?

It is as good as had it ne'er existed, And yet in cycle moves as if it were. Eternal Emptiness would I prefer.


Who hath the grave so badly built With mattock and with shovel ?

LEMURES, Chorus.

For thee, dull guest in hempen vest Is far too fair the hovel.

LEMUR, Solo.

Who hath so meanly decked the hall No chairs nor table any !

324 Goethe's Faust


'Twas hired for briefest interval, The creditors are so many.


There lies the Body ! Would the Soul forsake it, I'll hold the blood-writ bond before its view. Yet now they have so many means, plague

take it,

To chouse the Devil of his due ! On the old way we give offence, Upon the new are sponsors lacking. Once I had done't with confidence Alone, but now I must have backing.

The times are bad wherein we live, Time-honoured custom, old prerogative, Now everything hangs in the balance. With the last breath once would she quit the

house ;

I lay in wait, and like the quickest mouse, Snap ! tight I clutched her in my clenched


Now lingers she, to leave the dismal place, Vile house of the foul carcase, hesitating. The elements, each other hating, Will drive her forth at last in foul disgrace. Yet though for hours and days myself I weary, When* where* and^ow? that is the plaguy query! Now Death, grown old, is feeble grown and

slow. The very If* hath long been hard to know.

Part II


Oft eyed I greedily the stiffened members ; They seemed but dead life quickened in the


[With fantastic fugleman-like

gestures of incantation.

Lords of the straight and of the crooked horn, Hither apace, around me swiftly settle, Of sterling devil-mint and metal, And with ye straight the jaws of Hell be borne. True, Hell hath many many jaws. It swallows With due regard to rank and dignity. In this last drama though the time that follows, As in all else, will less punctilious be.

[7 'he horrible jaws of Hell open

up on the left. The side-fangs yawn, from the throat's deep


The flood of fire in frenzy flows, And in the background's seething exhalation Eternally the flaming city glows. Itself the crimson surge up to the teeth up-


Damned souls, deliverance hoping, swim to view. Colossal them the hyaena limb-meal craunches, Their burning path they fearfully renew. Still much may be explored in many a corner. Can space so small with so much horror teem ? The sinners ye do well to scare, the scorner Will count it still but flam and sham and dream. [To the fat devils, 'with short,

straight horns. Ye fat-paunched knaves, with cheeks where

hell-fire smoulders, That sweat hell-sulphur in an oily glow,


Goethe's Faust

With log-like bullnecks moveless on your


Look out for phosphorescence here below. That's the wee soul, Dame Psyche with the

pinions ;

Pluck them out, but an ugly worm is she. I'll brand her with the brand that marks my


Then on the fiery whirlwind set her free. Keep watch upon the lower regions If haply there she choose to dwell. Be that your task, ye fat-gut legions ! The truth thereof we know not well. Oft in the navel doth she stop Give heed, lest at the navel out she pop.

[_To the lean devils, 'with long,

crooked horns.

And you, ye zanies, fuglemen gigantic, Snatch at the air, your arms outstretched fling ! Unsheathe your claws, stir ye as were ye frantic, That ye may catch the fluttering, fleeting thing. In her old house uneasy must she prove ; The Genius will straight come out above.

[GLORY above on the right.


Messengers holy, Heaven's kin, slowly Follow in flight ! Sinners forgiving, Dead dust reviving, Leave, as ye hover Lingering over, To all things living A trace of delight !

Part II 327


I hear a hateful strumming, harshly jangled, That with unwelcome day comes from above. It is the boyish-girlish botchwork, fangled As best the sanctimonious taste doth love. Ye know how we in hours most black and


Did plan destruction for all human-kind. What we invented of most shameful To their devotion apt they find.

Canting they come, the silly cattle !

Many they've kidnapped from us in like wise.

With our own weapons do they give us battle.

They too are devils ... in disguise.

Here should ye lose 'twere to your shame

eternal. To the grave! Cling to its brink, ye hosts

infernal !

CHORUS OF ANGELS, stretu'ing roses.

Roses, ye twinkling, Balsam-besprinkling, Fluttering, thickening, Secretly-quickening, Leaflet-bewinged that are, Rosebud-unringed that are, Hasten to bloom !

Purple and green burst Spring from the gloom ! Paradise sheen burst Into his tomb !

328 Goethe's Faust

MEPHISTOPHELES, to the Satans.

Why wink and shrink ye, pray ? Is that Hell- use ?

Plague on ye, stand, and let them scatter !

Back to his post, each witless goose !

With such like flowery toys themselves they flatter

To snow the hot devils up ! What matter ?

Your breath will melt and shrivel it. Puff

Amain, ye puff-devils ! Enough ! Enough !

The hot blast bleaches all the fluttering stuff.

Less violently ! Shut your jowls and nostrils !

Good sooth, ye've blown too hard, ye costrils !

That ye the golden mean will never learn !

Not only shrivel they, they scorch, char, burn.

With venomous bright flames they flutter hither.

Brace yourselves 'gainst them, firmly press together!

Their strength expires, their courage all is spent.

An alien witching glow the devils scent.


Blossoms, ye benedight, Flamelets, ye frolic-light, Love are ye lavishing, Bosom-enravishing Bliss ye purvey. Words void of lying, Th J ethereal sky in, To hosts undying Everywhere day !


Curse on the oafs and shame ! Oh scurvy ! Satans are standing topsy-turvy.

Part II


The lubbers, wheel on wheel they throw, And into Hell plunge arsy-versy. Joy to your well-deserved hot bath below ! But I shall stand my ground.

[Battling with the hovering roses

Gramercy ! Hence, Jack o' Lanterns ! Thou there, shine

amain !

But a foul sticky mess thou'lt be once ta'en. Why flutterest ? Wilt hence be winging ? Like pitch and brimstone to my neck 'tis

clinging !


What not pertains to ye Needs must forswear it. What brings but pain to ye, May ye not bear it. If the assault be keen Fearless must be our mien. Them that have loved alone Love leadeth in.


Head, heart and liver I burn. O punishment !

An overdevilish element !

More bitter-keen than is Hell-fire !

Wherefore are your complaints so dire,

Unhappy lovers, that, disdained, spy

After the loved one still with neck awry.

Me too, what draws my head in that direction ? Therewith have I sworn feud and disaffection.

33 Goethe's Faust

Once from the sight most bitterly averse

Hath something alien pierced through and

through me ? I love to look on them, the charming youth !

Beshrew me,

What is't constrains me that I cannot curse ? Me to befool if now I let them. Whom shall we henceforth fool esteem ? The baggages, e'en though I hate them. Lovely past everything to me they seem.

Ye beauteous children, tell me this, ye !

Are not ye too of Lucifer's descent !

Ye are so pretty, sooth I'm fain to kiss ye !

Methinks ye come like fish in Lent.

I feel at ease, so natural, so trustful,

As had we met a thousand times, I swear ;

So stealthily, so cat-like lustful.

With every glance anew more fairly-fair !

O draw ye near ! Vouchsafe one glance, I pray !

ANGELS. We do draw near. Why dost thou shrink

away ? We come, abide our coming if thou can !

\The angels stream around, filling the 'whole space.

MEPHISTOPHELES, crowded into the Proscenium. Damned sprites ye chide us. In your gizzards Ye lie, ye are the only wizards, For ye seduce both maid and man. O cursed hap ! O torment dire ! Is this Love's element ? My frame From top to toe is all on fire. Scarce do I feel upon my neck the flame.

Part II 331

Ye hover to and fro, come down a little ! Bestir your beauteous limbs and were it but a


More earthily. The serious style Beseems ye, true, but once to see ye smile ! That were a joy eternally entrancing ! I mean like lovers on the loved one glancing ; One nicker round the lips and it is done. Thou, tall fellow, dost make my chaps to water


The sanctimonious air sits on thee badly ; Oh, give me but one wanton look, but one. More naked were more decent to my mind ; The long draped smock, 'tis overmuch decorum. They turn them round. To see them from

behind ! The jades, too toothsome are they, all the

quorum !


Back to the splendour Turn, loving flames now ! Who himself blames now Truth whole shall render. He shall unravel Trammels of evil, In the All-Unity Blessed to be.

MEPHISTOPHELES, restraining himself. How is't with me ? Like Job amidst the


The whole man boil on boil, until he loathe Himself, yet triumphs too, when through and

through he doth Himself survey, in self and lineage both

332 Goethe's Faust

Doth trust. Saved are the noble devil's

members !

The love-spell pierces not the hide, and troth The damned flames are all burnt out. Gramercy, Ye jades, now one and all as is your due I

curse ye !


Holy, thrice holy Flames, and he over Whom they may hover Blest feels him wholly. Rise all together, Laud and extol ! Cleansed is the ether, Breathe may the soul !

[They rise aloft, bearing forth the immortal part of FAUST.

MEPHISTOPHELES, looking about him.

How's this ? Where are they gone, I wonder ? Ye callow brood, ye took me by surprise. Flown up to Heaven are they with their plunder. That honey lured ye to this grave, ye flies ! Of a great, unique treasure I'm frustrated ; The lofty soul, to me hypothecated, That have they smuggled hence in crafty wise. To whom my plaint now shall I carry ? Who will enforce my well-earned right ? Thou art outwitted in thine old age, marry ! Thou hast thy meed ! Thou'rt in an evil plight. I've bungled it in scurvy fashion, Great outlay shamefully have flung away., To vulgar lust, to silly mawkish passion Fell the case-hardened Devil a prey.

Part II


If with this childish-silly toy the fiend, The shrewd-experienced, hath been meddling, Then of a truth the folly in the end That hath possessed me is not peddling.



[scattered up the mountain-sides, having their dwelling in rocky clefts.


Billows the forest on, Lean them the cliffs thereon, Grapple the roots thereon, Trunk crowding trunk upon ; Wave gushes after wave, Shelters the deepest cave ; Softly the lions, dumb- Friendly about us come, Honour the holy seat, Sanctified love-retreat.

PATER ECSTATICUS, hovering up and doivn.

Endless enraptured fire, Glowing love-bond entire, Seething heart-agony, Foaming God-ecstasy. Arrows, transpierce ye me, Lances, enforce ye me, Bludgeons, so batter me, Lightnings, so shatter me, That the unworthy all Pass, with the earthy all,

334 Goethe's Faust

Shine the endless star above, Core of immortal love.

PATER PROFUNDUS, in the deep region.

As at my feet, the gaze entrancing, Rests rocky deep on deep profound, As flow a thousand streamlets glancing Unto the foam-flood's shuddering bound, As, with a mighty impulse sailing, The tree shoots upward straight and tall, E'en so Almighty Love, unfailing, Doth fashion all and cherish all.

About me a tumultuous roaring, As surged the wood, the craggy steep ! Yet with a pleasing sound, downpouring To water straight the vale, doth leap Into the abyss the water-foison. The flash, that hurtling down did fare, Doth purge the atmosphere, that poison And reek within its bosom bare.

Heralds of Love are they, forthtelling What aye creative round doth roll. Oh, kindle too that inner dwelling, Where cold and wildered doth the soul In bars of stolid senses languish, In straitly-clasping fetters' smart ! O God ! appease the thoughts of anguish ! Illumine Thou my needy heart !

PATER SERAPHICUS, in the middle region. What a morning-cloudlet hovers Through the pine-trees' waving hair ! Guess I what its mantle covers ? Youthful spirit-troop is there.

Part II 335


Father, tell us, whither go we ? Kindly, tell us who we are. Happy are we all, that know we, For to all is life so fair.


Boys at midnight born, the gateway Half-unclosed of sense and mind ; Lost unto the parents straightway That the angels gain might find. Well ye feel that in this place is One that loves draw near apace. But, O happy ! ye no traces Have of rugged earthly ways. In mine eyes descend, I pray ye, Organs apt for world and earth, Use them as your own ; so may ye On this neighbourhood look forth.

[_He receives them into himself. These are trees and cliffs and whirling Torrent plunging down in spray, And with a tremendous swirling Shortening its break-neck way.

BLESSED Eovs,from within. 'Tis a spectacle astounding, But too sombre is the place, Us with fear and dread confounding. Free us, noble friend, apace !


Seek in higher spheres your station, Grow by gradual period, As in ever purest fashion Strengthened! the face of God.

33 6

Goethe's Faust

For in ether free, supernal, This as spirit-food still holdeth, Revelation of Eternal Love that unto bliss unfoldeth.


[circling about the highest summit.

Hand in hand cling ye, In a glad ring unite, Soar ye and sing ye Songs of divine delight ! Trust ye unto him, Godlike his lore. Soon shall ye view Him Whom ye adore.


[hovering in the upper atmosphere, bearing the immortal part f FAUST.

Freed is the noble scion of

The Spirit-world from evil.

Him can we save that tireless strove

Ever to higher level.

And if Supernal Love did stoop

To him with predilection,

Then him shall hail the angelic troop

With brotherly affection.


Woman-penitents, love-hallowed, Roses gave, whereby victorious We did prove, and our all-glorious Task unto fulfilment followed.

Part II 337

Our rich spoil, this soul, we owed them. Foul fiends yielded as we strowed them. Devils fled aghast, sore-smitten. Not with wonted hell-pangs bitten But with love-pangs were the spirits. E'en the old Arch-fiend his merits Had, with keen pain pierced and cleaved. Shout for joy, it is achieved !


Still doth some earth remain,

Still doth arrest us.

'Tis not all free from stain

Were it asbestos.

When spirit-might hath blent


With Earth's gross element,

Angels ne'er parted

Natures knit two in one,

Near interwoven.

By Eternal Love alone

Can they be cloven.


Wreathing the rocky height

At little distance,

Mist-like, there meets my sight


Now grow the cloudlets clear,

Blest boys I see appear,

A stirring legion,

Freed from the stress of earth,

Ranged in a ring

In the Upper Region

Revelling in the birth

33 8 Goethe's Faust

Of its new spring. Let him first yoked with these Work out by due degrees His perfecting.


Him in the pupa-stage Gladly receive we so, And an angelic pledge Straightway achieve we so. Strip ye away the strait Husks that enclose him ! With blest life fair and great E'en now he shows him.

DOCTOR MARIANUS, in the highest^ purest celL

Here is the prospect free, The soul uplifted. Yonder float women by, Heavenward drifted. Glorious amidst them e'en, Crowned with the star-shine, See I high Heaven's Queen Radiant afar shine.


1 hou that reignest as Thy due, Lady, of Thy pleasure, Let me Thine arcana view In the vaulted azure ! Sanction what man's breast doth move, Reverent and tender, And with holy bliss of love Nigher Thee doth render.

Part II 339

All invincible we grow When august Thou wiliest, Tempered straightway is the glow If our hearts Thou stillest. , Virgin pure from stain of earth, Mother honour-throned, Chosen Queen, and peer by birth With the Godhead owned !

Clouds wreathe the splendour Frail as a feather. Penitents tender Are they, together Drinking the ether, Round her knees pleading, Pardon sore-needing.

O, Thou Undefiled all, It is not forbidden That the light-beguiled all Come to Thee unchidden.

Into frailty borne away, Hardly to deliver ! Who lust's chain hath torn away Of his own strength ever ?

On the slant and slippery path Is the foothold fleeting. Whom beguiles not flattering breath, Glance and honeyed greeting ?

[MATER GLORiosAJloats by.


To heights art soaring Of Realms Eternal !

340 Goethe's Faust

Hear us imploring, Peerless, Supernal, Gracious, Maternal !


By the love that for a precious Balsam poured forth tears of yearning At thy God- like Son's all-gracious Feet, though Pharisees were scorning, By the box of alabaster's Costly ointment lavished sighing, By the tresses then the Master's Holy feet so softly drying

4Jn itolq- a !>:


By the well that erst did water Abraham's herds, with cooling gifted, By the urn Samaria's daughter To the Saviour's lips once lifted, By the pure and plenteous river From that gracious fountain teeming, Overflowing, limpid ever, Through ail worlds around us streaming-


By the hallowed place where mortal Hands the Lord in earth did lay, By the arm that from the portal Thrust me warningly away, By the forty years' repentance Truly held in desert-land, By the blissful parting sentence, Writ by me upon the sand

Part II 341


Thou, to women greatly sinning That thy presence not deniest, And their penitential v/inning Through all ages amplifiest, This good soul that did forget her Once alone, her sin not knowing, In thy grace vouchsafe to Jet her Share, thy pardon meet bestowing.


[formerly known as Gretchen, nestling

nearer. Ah! bow Thy gracious brow, O peerless Thou, And radiant, on my radiant bliss ! My youth's beloved, From grief removed, Returning is.

BLESSED BOYS, drawing near in circling motion. Great-limbed already he Grows, us transcending, Will requite lavishly Our careful tending. Early removed were we Forth of Life's chorus ; Us will he teach what he Hath learned before us.


[formerly known as Gretchen Girt by the glorious spirit-legion Scarce the new-comer wakes, scarce knows His life renewed in this pure region,

34 2 Goethe's Faust

Ere like the angelic host he grows.

Lo, how he bursts with gladsome gesture

Each old-enswathing bond of earth,

And radiant from ethereal vesture

The pristine strength of youth gleams forth.

Grant me to teach him ! Radiant-shining

Still dazzles him the new-sprung day.


Come, soar to higher spheres ! Divining Thee near, he'll follow on thy way.

DOCTOR MARIANUS, prostrate adoring.

Tender penitents, your eyes

Lift where looks salvation.

Gratefully to bliss arise

Through regeneration.

Each best power, Thy service in,

Prove it efficacious.

Ever, Virgin, Mother, Queen,

Goddess, be Thou gracious !


All things corruptible Are but reflection. Earth's insufficiency Here finds perfection. Here the ineffable Wrought is with love. The Eternal-Womanly Draws us above.






In the First Part of the Faust-drama, when Faust is on the eve of quitting his study with his new mentor, Mephistopheles, the latter announces his programme in the following words : " The little world, and then the great -we'll see" The excursion through the little world, the circumscribed life of the obscure citizen, came to a tragic end in Gretchen's dungeon. In the Second Part of the drama Faust is to be introduced to the great world, beginning with the crowded motley medley of the Court. But he cannot pass immediately from the black despair of the dungeon-scene to the brilliant frivolity of the Court. We must imagine an undefined interval of remorse and paralysis, from which he emerges slowly, under the healing 343

344 Goethe's Faust

influences of time. This cannot be presented dramatically. The purpose of the Prelude, for such the First Scene really is, is to portray it figuratively. The period of healing is gathered up into the four watches of one night ; the healing influences are personified as tiny elves, who, as powers of Nature, are non-moral, and minister indifferently to the good and the evil, and the completion of the healing synchronizes with the dawn of a new day, of Faust's new life.

Page 12.

Serenade, Notturno, Mattutino, Reveil.

i.e. Even-song, Night-song, Ibforniftg-song, and IVaking- tong. These titles occur in the MS. (the latter in the form reveille), but not in the printed editions.

Page 13.

Hark I The Hours In storm are "winging.

The Hours in Homer are the Keepers of the Gate of Heaven.

Page 14.

Life's pulses ne-wly-quickened now atuaken, etc.

This magnificent description in terza rima of sun- rise in the Alps is a reminiscence of Goethe's third Swiss Journey, particularly of the Falls of the Rhine and Lake Lucerne.


The newly-elected Emperor, fresh from his journey to Rome to be crowned by the Pope, holds his first Privy Council. For the con- stitution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and its relation to the Papacy, the reader may be referred to the Temple Classics edition of Schiller's IVilhelm Tell, Appendix I. Though the Emperor Maxi-

Notes to Part II 345

milian 1. furnished some traits to Goethe's description, his Emperor is not to be identified with any historical Emperor. It is a fancy picture that the poet paints of the Empire in its decadence. In his Conversations with Ecker- mann the poet is represented to have said :

In the Emperor I sought to portray a Prince who has every quality necessary to lose his country, which accordingly he ultimately succeeds in doing. . . . He is not at all concerned for the weal of the Realm or of his subjects ; he thinks only of himself, and how to find every day some new amusement. . . . The Privy Council wishes to deliberate, but their most Gracious Lord prefers to amuse himself. . . . Here Mephisto is in his element. He speedily shelves the former Fool and takes his place by the Emperor s side as new Fool and Counsellor.

The Faust of the Faust-book also appears at the Imperial Court, and Goethe has adopted many suggestions from this original. Here then we recur to the Faust-book, with which we parted company after the scene in Auerbach's cellar. We do not bid it a final farewell until the fifth act of the second part of the drama.

The intrusion of Mephistopheles and his pro- mise to procure gold are suggested by Hans Sachs' "Adventure of the Emperor Maximilian of worshipful memory and the Alchemist"

Page 1 6.

What is accursed, yet welcome ever ? etc,

Mephistopheles' riddle has never been satisfactorily solved. Amongst the solutions proposed are: Gold, Magic, the Devil, the Court-Fool.

Page zo.

Ghibelline and Guelf.

In the conflict betwixt Emperors and Popes the Ghibelline faction supported the imperial supremacy, the Guelf that of the Papacy.

Page ii.

Nature end mind .' To Christian tart !


Goethe's Faust

The Chancellor was the Archbishop of Mayenc (see p. 293), whence his readiness to scent heresy.

Page 23.

thus 'neat h the sivay Of mighty Rome, and thus till yesterday, Aye, till to-day it was.

Cf. Sir Thomas Browne : Hydriotaphia :

How the Romans left so many coins in countries of their conquests seems of hard resolution ; except we consider how they buried them underground when, upon barbarous invasions, they were fain to desert their habitations in most parts of their empire.

Page 25.

I hear his every ivord tiuice o'er,

i.e. because he hears Mephistopheles prompting him.

Page 25.

And some of magic mandrakes maunder, Some maunder of the Sivarthy Hound.

The manarake (really the mandragore, a narcotic herb allied to the belladonna), is supposed to grow under gallows in human form, whence it is also called in German the gallotvs-manikin. Those that succeed in possessing themselves of it have in it a charm which amongst other powers has that of procuring money. But to him who tears it from the earth, or hears the shriek it then utters, it proves fatal. So Juliet speaks of

Shrieks like mandrakes 1 torn out of the earth, That living mortals, hearing them, run mad.

Accordingly he that would pluck it stops his ears, makes it fast to a starving black dog, entices the dog with food, and blows a great blast on a horn the while to drown its deadly shriek.

Slack hounds, as well as serper-ts and dragons, are known in folk-lore as guardians of buried treasure.

The remainder of the speech has reference to the supposed sympathetic influence of hidden treasure upon the human frame, a superstition which also underlies the belief in the divining-rod. Cf. page 61.

Notes to Part II 347

Page 6.

There /its thefddler.

A familiar German saying when anyone stumbles. Does it imply that the presence of the buried fiddler sympathetically sets the foot a-twitching for the dance ? So we say in England, when a person shudders without apparent cause, that some one is 'walking over his grave.


The disproportionate length of the Carnival Masquerade, together with its general discon- nection from the action of the drama, is doubtless answerable for the attempts that have been made, with considerable ingenuity, to interpret it as an elaborate allegory. Thus Diintzer explains it in detail as an allegory of moral, civic, and political life. For others it is an epitome of an- tiquity and nature in the clearer and more vivid southern forms which she assumes in Italy, or a survey of the elements of society in its uniform chief achievements, or a survey of the course of universal history brought do e wn to the present day, in single, often almost detached pictures, or a travesty of the Imperial Court in the typical figures of ancient and Italian comedy, and in characteristic forms of heathen mythology.

The reader may choose his own interpretation, and will of course find much in support of any. But a carefully wrought-out allegory should surely be susceptible of more uniform interpreta- tion. Detached groups are of course allegorical on the face of them. Others naturally become the mouthpieces for critical reflections upon life. But on the whole there would not seem to be sufficient reason to regard the entire masque as one connected, consistently developed allegory.


Goethe's Faust

It is rather to be regarded as a brilliant and varied pageant, which appeals to the eye rather than to the reason. If the reader finds it drag somewhat in the reading, let him try to conjure up before his mind's eye the figures and groups of the motley train, and he will admit that, pre- sented with the appropriate spectacular devices, it would not be likely to fail of its effect.

Viewed as an integral part of the drama, it merely serves to exhibit the means by which Mephistopheles and Faust establish a foothold at Court. The Masquerade pursues its normal course as planned by the Herald, we may suppose, as Master of Ceremonies until the entrance of Zoilo-Thersites. Thenceforth a series of unrehearsed effects, due to the magic of Mephistopheles, are interwoven with the pre-arranged groups, perplexing the Herald and alarming the guests, and culminating in the sham conflagration.

Page 34.


Probably such figures were seen by Goethe in the Italian carnival, which possibly inherited them from ancient tradition.

Page 35.


The familiar figures of popular Neapolitan comedy. They wore caps of white and blue with red tufts, white jackets, hose, and slippers.

Page 36.


Familiar figures of Greek, Roman, and Italian comedy.

Page 38.

The Nocturnal and Charnel-house poett.

Notes to Part II 349

Goethe satirizes, or rather proposes to satirize for we have here an undeveloped note the contemporary school of writers, notably French and English, who thought to provoke the jaded appetite by dishing up the horrible. He may be allowed to supply the com- ment in his own words :

Writers are now beginning to declare the representation of noble thoughts and deeds wearisome, and to experiment in the treatment of all sorts of abominations. Devils, Witches, and Vampires take the place of the beautiful contents of Greek Mythology, and Tricksters and Galley-slaves elbow out the ublime heroes of Antiquity.

Page 38.

The Graces.

Hesiod names three Graces, Aglaia, splendour, Thalia^ good-fortune, and Euphrosyne, cheerfulness, For Thalia, familiar also as the name of a Muse. Goethe substitutes Hegemone, leaderess, one of the two Graces reverenced by the Athenians, the other being Auxo, growth. Seneca says : Some think that it it one Grace that bestoivs a benefit, a second that receives //, and a third that repays it.

Page 39.

The Fata.

The Parcae or Fates, like the Graces, were three in number ; Clotho, the spinner, holds the distaff; Lachesis, the assigner of lots, guides the thread ; Atropos, she that is not to be turned, slits tke thin-spun life with her shears. Atropos and Clotho have interchanged roles for the nonce.

Page 41.

The Furies.

These are also three in number, Alecto, the irrecon- cilable, Megacra, the malignant, and Tisiphone, the avenger ot bloodshed. They are grey hags, with bloodshot eyes and snaky locks, who haunt the steps of the blood-guilty. But they appear disguised, in deference to the season, as coaxing pussies, pretty, young, and tricksy. They describe themselves as the provokers of discord between man and woman, of jealousy and estrangement, and as avengers of breach of faith.

35 Goethe's Faust

Page 42.

Asmodcus, trusty fiend,

For Asmodeus, the demon of discord, see Tobit, Hi 8, in the Apocrypha. Cf. also page 112.

Page 45.

Zoilo- Thcrsitet,

Zoilus, an Homeric critic of the third century, whose name has become a by-word for an ignorant critic. Thersites, the scurrilous, mis-shapen buffoon of the Iliad. The double dwarfish thing is, as appears in the sequel, the first of the unrehearsed effects due to Mephisto's magic. Beneath the stroke of the Herald's truncheon he is transformed into the blind bat and the uenomout adder.

Page 46.

athivart the throng a splendid Four-yoked chariot cor-tes gliding.

The new group, as appears from the Herald's per- plexity, is another creation of Mephistopheles' magic. P/utus } the god of -wealth, enters in regal state, charioted by dragons. 'Poetry is the charioteer. Upon the chariot is borne a treasure-coffer, whereon squats the emaciated figure of Avarice. The interpretation of the allegory may be left to the reader's ingenuity.

It may be remarked here, what does not appear from the play itself, but is gathered from Goethe's Conversa- tions with EckcrmanH) that the personage of Plutus, is supposed to be sustained by Faust himself, and that of Avarice by Mephistopheles.

The relationship here portrayed between Plutus and the Boy-Charioteer, between Wealth and Poetry, bears so close a resemblance to that existing between the Grand Duke of Weimar and Goethe himself, that we can scarcely be mistaken in supposing that Goethe here paid a tribute to his princely patron and friend.

Page 51.

With dragont be the dragon greedy.

Avarice, cowering upon the treasure-chest, is identi- fied with the treasure-guarding dragon of traditional lore.

Notes to Part II 351

Page 57.

The "wild-folk come, they come pell-mell, From mountain-height and ivoodland-dell, With the entrance of the wild-folk, Fauns, Satyrs, Gnomes, Giants, Nymphs, together with the god Pan, the Mask resumes its orderly course.

Page 57.

They know what no man else doth guess, i.e. that the personage of the great god Pan is sustained by the Emperor himself.

Page 59.

The Wildivood-men.

The figures here described are familiar figures in heraldry, where they often appear as the supporters of escutcheons.

Page 60.

And underneath the vaulted blue He still hath kept him -wakeful too.

The Nymphs are grateful to Pan for not putting a term to their sports by falling asleep, for when Pan sleeps, all Nature sleeps with him. The allusion a few lines below is of course to panic fears.

Page 63.

Already through the Wood aspire The pointed tongues of lambent fire.

The Wood is a scenic wood.

By the contrivance of Mephistopheles the masqut ends dramatically in a seeming universal conflagration. Goethe had in mind two historical instances of the disastrous termination of festivities by fire. In his youth he had read in Abelin's chronicles an account of a similar occurrence at a masquerade at the court of King Charles VI. of France, when the tow and pitch in the king's masking-costume caught fire, and four gentlemen who sought to save him were burned to death. There was also present to his mind a contem- porary occurrence, the conflagration at the ball of Prince Schwarzenberg at Paris in 1810, at which the Emperor Napoleon was present.

False Jire plays a frequent role in the first Faust-book.

352 Goethe's Faust

Thus Faust visits the Court of the Emperor Soliman at Constantinople and plays sundry pranks upon him ; amongst others this:

There went great streams of fire round about in the Turkish Emperor's hall, so that each and all ran up to quench it.

Again when Faust visits Hell,

for as fiercely as it burnt, he felt neither heat nor burning, but only a gentle breeze, as in May or springtide.


The kernel of this scene is the fulfilment of Mephistopheles' promise to furnish the Emperor with money. The arch-schemer has already painted a vivid picture of the countless wealth that lies buried within the Empire. He crowns his scheme by devising means whereby this may be turned to account without the actual labour of digging it, to wit, by the issue of a paper- currency. Sound finance requires that such a currency should be based upon a supply of bullion or specie approximately equal to the face-value of the notes. What matter, argues Mephistopheles, whether this security repose in the vaults of the Imperial Treasure-house or beneath the soil of the Empire ? The Emperor has allowed himself during the giddy whirl of the Masquerade to be persuaded into sanctioning the issue with his signature, and when he fully realises what he has done, the notes are already issued and beyond recall. He is, however, easily reconciled to the step by the temporary appearance of prosperity created by the scheme.

The scheme has prototypes in the French Mississippi scheme of John Law and in the issue of assirnats by the French Republican Government in 1790, which depreciated to such

Notes to Part II 353

an extent that six years later 24 francs in gold would purchase 7200 francs in assignats\ Our own South Sea Bubble occurs to the mind as another parallel.

Page 68.

Now it the Alphabet indeed redundant ;

Each in this tign is blessed "with bliss abundant.

The letters composing the Emperor's name are all that people will care about. The second line is an allusion to the inscription upon the cross that appeared to the Emperor Constantine : in hoc signo vincts.

V. GLOOMY GALLERY. Faust's Journey to the Mothers.

What are the Mothers, the dread powers whom Faust must visit if he would summon Helen from the world of shades ? Eckermann put this question to Goethe himself on an occasion when the poet read through the scene in his presence. "But he (Goethe) veiled himself in mystery, looking upon me with wide- open eyes, and repeating to me the words : The Mothers ! Mothers ! nay, it sounds so weird! ' I can reveal nothing further to you,' he said thereupon, 'than that I found in Plutarch that Mothers are spoken of in Greek antiquity as deities ! ' ' The reference is to Plutarch's Life of Marcellus, chapter xx., where it is related that the little antique town of Engyion in Sicily was famous for the worship of strange goddesses known as the Mothers. Nicias, a prominent citizen, who sought to turn the town from its Carthaginian bias to the interests of Rome was to have been delivered up to the Carthaginians as a traitor. But he feigned madness, crying

354 Goethe's Faust

out that the Mothers were pursuing him, and none dared lay hand on him, so that he escaped. This passage furnishes nothing more than the name Mothers, as associated with sentiments of awe. Another passage in Plutarch : Concerning the Cessation of Oracles, seems to have contributed to Goethe's conception. It runs as follows:

There are 183 worlds, which are ordered in the form of a tri- angle; each side contains 60 worlds, the remaining 3 stand at the angles ; in this order they touch each other softly, and go ever about as if in a dance. The plane within the triangle is to be regarded as a common hearth, and is known as the Field of Truth. Upon it lie motionless the Principles, the Forms, and the Archetypes of all things that have ever been or yet shall be. These are surrounded by Eternity, from which Time overflows into the world as an effluence.

It is impossible to overlook the further influ- ence on Goethe's myth of the Platonic Theory of Ideas, which indeed evidently lies at the root of Plutarch's account of the Field of Truth. We cannot attempt here anything like a com- plete exposition of this doctrine ; we must con- tent ourselves with a brief quotation from the Timaeus :

There is first the unchanging idea, unbegotten and unperish- able, neither receiving aught into itself from without, nor itself entering into aught else, invisible, nor in any wise perceptible even that whereof the contemplation belongs to thought Second is that which is named after it and is like to it, sensible created, ever in motion, coming to be in a certain place and again from thence perishing, apprehensible by opinion with sen- sation (Archer-Hind's Translation).

With these clues we may venture upon some general interpretation of Goethe's myth, bearing ever in mind that the essence of imaginative poetry lies in a suggestive vagueness, which leaves scope for the play of fancy of the individual reader, and therefore essaying not to drag forth completely from the mystic shadow of fantasy

Notes to Part II 355

what Goethe himself playfully refused to subject to the harsh light of reason.

The unexplored solitude, where is neither place nor time, the ever-empty Far, where the eye can discern nothing nor the foot find a resting-place, the unfettered Realm of Form, would seem to be the Domain of Mind, the Sphere of the Ideal ; the Mothers are perhaps the creative powers of the imagination ; the phantom- drift, the wraiths, the forms of all things that be, the lifeless images of life, are the ideas, the eternal archetypes, which, embodied, apportioned to the cope of day, the gracious course of life embraces ; but which, before and after their embodiment, abide in the Domain of Mind ; and these the bold 'wizard, the seeker after the ideal, seeketh in their place. To Mephistopheles, the Spirit of Denial, the con- sistent materialist, this realm of the ideal is a void ; to Faust, the striver after the ideal, the yearning spirit that finds no resting-place, no abiding satisfaction in this world of phenomena, the ideal world is, as to Plato, the only real. In thy Naught, he says to Mephistopheles, 1 trust to find the All.

Page 74.

Kill- crop divarft.

Kill-crop, German Kielkropf, an insatiate brat, popularly supposed to be a fairy changeling substituted for the genuine child (New English Dictionary).

VI. BARONIAL HALL, dimly lighted. The Conjuration of Helen.

There are in the Faust-book two instances of the conjuring up of the spirits of the dead. At the Court of the Emperor Charles the Fifth Faust calls up for the delectation of the


Goethe's Faust

Emperor the spirits of Alexander the Great and his consort, or rather other " primeval " spirits invested with their likeness. On another occasion he gratifies a boon company of students with the vision of Helen of Troy. The dramatic climax to the incident does not occur in the Faust-book. Goethe may have found it in Hans Sachs, or in V Enchanteur Faustus of the Frenchman Hamilton, or more probably in both. In Hans Sachs's Marvellous Vision of the Emperor Maximilian of worshipful memory shown by a Necromancer, the Emperor is shown the spirits of Helen, of Hector, and of his own dead consort, Maria. Carried away by love he seeks to embrace the latter, whereupon the spirit vanished full swiftly from the circle^ 'with a din and a smoke and a loud tumult . . . so that the Emperor started 'with terror. In Hamilton's story Faust calls up a series of famous beauties at the Court of Queen Elizabeth of England. The last is the Fair Rosamund, and when the Queen rushes towards her with open arms the scene conies to a sudden end amid thunder, lightning, and smoke, in the midst of which Faust sprawls on his back like a wild boar.

With sure dramatic instinct Goethe has, by the introduction of Paris, converted the tame exhibition of a picture into a lively little action, and provided it with an appropriate background in the Grecian temple.

Page 85.

Impossible, therefore most credible.

Cf. Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici: I can answer all the objections of Satan, and my rebellious reason with that odd resolution I learned of Tertullian, Cerium est y juia impostibile ett.

Notes to Part II 357

Page 89.

The goodly form that erst my bosom capturea, Afe in the magic-glass enraptured. See Faust, part i., The Witch's Kitchen (page 114).

Page 90.

A picture ! Luna and Endymion /

The grouping is indeed that of Luna and Endymion in Sebastian Conca's picture, of which Goethe possessed an engraving.

Page 93.

the double empire,

i.e. the union of the Ideal with the Real, of Poetry with Life.


The germs of the Helen-episodes, which occupy the second and third acts of the drama, are to be found in two brief incidents in the Faust-book the evocation of the shade of Helen and the union of Faust with Helen. In the Faust-book there is no hint of any connection between the two incidents. Goethe links them together and imparts to them a symbolical significance. In the interpretation of this symbolism there is, as usual, a wide field for individual conjecture. It may be broadly expounded as follows :

Faust symbolizes medieval Europe, groping blindly after higher ideals. Such an ideal that of the Beautiful it finds in Greek art, typified in Helen. From its first glimpse of this, evoked as an insubstantial shade by the power of the imagination, it cannot rest until it has entered into full possession of it. It is paralysed ; its material life is in the present, its intellectual life in the past. But the soul of the past, of

Goethe's Faust

Classical Antiquity, can only be revived and wedded to the present, the medieval spirit, as the result of patient research, and not by any single, impassioned act of the imagination. Creative genius, the idealist Faust, can alone breathe into the dry bones of the past the spirit of life, yet must itself be dependent upon the labours of plodding scholarship, of dry-as-dust Wagners, for the dead dust which it is to re-vivify. As Schroer well says : " A poor creature like Wagner might easily produce a Greek Grammar or Lexicon which would open to a Faust a world of beauty."

It is from Wagner's Laboratory, then, that Homunculus proceeds, under whose guidance Faust visits the departed world of Greek mythology and poetry, ajid wins Helen, the incarnation of its highest beauty, to return with him to the light of day.



Page 96.

Crickets, chafers, and moths Jly out.

Mephistopheles is the "lord of the flies." See part i., note to page 71.

Page 97.

Ever where life thus rots and moulders

Are maggots bred.

The poet plays upon the two meanings of the German Grillen crickets and crotchets.

Page 97.


Not Wagner, of course, but Wagner's famulus, now that Wagner is himself professor. For famulus see Faust, part i., note to page 31.

Notes to Part II 359

Page 98.

Or emus.

i.e. Let us pray! It is a charm against evil, like the sign of the cross.

Page 100.

There behind me stirs a guest "well-knoivn.

The Baccalaureus, Bachelor of Arts, is the artless student of part i. ; the seeds implanted in his mind by Mephistopheles have, as in the case of the old fur- cloak, also brought forth after their kind.

Page 100.

a simple bejan.

The German word is Fuchs, a University Freshman. Bejan, from French bee jaune, i.e. yelloiv billy fledgeling, is similarly used in the Scotch Universities.

Page 101.

You loot quite resolute, quite valiant, but Pray dont go home quite absolute.

The play upon resolute and absolute is not quite obvious. "You have gradually parted company with your hair." says Mephistopheles in effect, " as also with traditional learning, thereby acquiring a very aggressive demeanour in body and mind. But have a care I The one course leads to baldness as surely as the other to complete absolutism in philosophy."

Page 103.

Experience! Froth and foam alone, With mind not equal- born.

The Baccalaureus pins his faith to Transcendental Idealism, the Kantian philosophy as modified by Fichte, who taught in Jena, in the neighbourhood of Weimar, from 1794. to 1799. This was a period of brilliant philosophical speculation and at first of intense popularity and profound influence with the students. His relations with the students were later overclouded by misunderstandings, and certain of his speculations led to charges of atheism being brought against him. At the instance of the Weimar govern- ment he was visited with censure by the University


Goethe's Faust

Senate, and retorted by resigning his professorship. In his conflict with the Weimar authorities Goethe took side against him. Goethe's attitude was dic- tated chiefly by political considerations, though the concrete turn of his own mind was such as little to dispose him to sympathy with abstract thinking. He had, however, followed Fichte's speculations with interest, and had not denied the philosopher the tribute of his admiration.

The system of philosophy of which the Baccalaureus has become a disciple seeks to reconcile the opposition between Ego and non-Ego, subject and object, mind and matter, thought and being, to reduce them for the purposes of philosophical speculation to one term. This term it finds in the Ego, the thinking being, of which alone we have intuitive consciousness. For the Ego the world only exists in so far as he thinks it, and accordingly to become philosophy science must shift its ground, and examine the facts of experience as facts of elf-consciousness. It thus becomes the aim of Fichte's philosophy to " construct the whole com- mon consciousness of all rational beings . . . with pure a priori evidence, just as geometry constructs with pure a priori evidence the general modes of limitation of space by all rational beings."

The system of philosophy here imperfectly ex- pounded recommends itself to the Baccalaureus by two doctrines which he thinks, quite mistakenly of course, that it inculcates : the worthlessness of ex- perience, and the doctrine that the sensible world is the creation of the Ego. The first furnishes him with a royal road to learning and leads to his contempt of age, the second tickles his overweening vanity. He expounds the latter doctrine himself in a later passage (see page 104), whose very grandiloquence serves to emphasise the folly of his presumptuous claims.

The nature of the error into which the Bacca- laureus falls may perhaps be best understood by reference to the analogy quoted above from Fichte himself between his Philosophy and geometrical science. The geometer would fall into similar errors who should think, because the abstractions with which he deals have no objective existence, that there- fore he might have arrived at them independently of

Notes to Part II 361

all concrete experience, and because he has deduced a priori from a minimum of assumptions the laws which govern relationship in space, that therefore he has ordained them.

How foreign to Fichte's own intentions was this interpretation may readily be seen in passages in which he seeks to guard against such perversion of his meaning. "I declare," he writes, "the very innermost spirit and soul of my philosophy to be, that man has nothing beyond experience, and that he obtains all that he has from experience, from life only. All his thinking, whether vague or scientific, whether popular or transcendental, proceeds from ex- perience and concerns nothing but experience." And again he asserts that the philosophical construction of the world of experience is not to be confused with the world of experience itself. If in the development of the necessary conditions of self-consciousness it is shown how the notion ol a non-Ego arises if feeling and representation are deduced it is not to be sup- posed that by such process of deduction these as facts of experience are producta.

It should be said that according to a conversation reported by Eckermann, Goethe himself denied that the scene with the Baccalaureus was a travesty of Idealistic Philosophy. " We conversed," he says, ' ' about the figure of the Baccalaureus, t Does he not stand for a certain class of Idealist Philosopher ? ' said I. ' JVb,' said Goethe, ' in him is personified the presumption ivhich is in particular characteristic of youth, of ivhich -we had such striking examples in the first years after our War of Liberation. Moreover , every one thinks in his youth that the world is rtally only beginning "with him, and that everything really exists only for his sake.' 1 ' It is difficult to think, in spite of this disclaimer, that Goethe had not in mind the disciples of Fichte when he wrote this passage. They were also the butt of other con- temporary satire, and Goethe had already aimed a shaft at Fichtean philosophy in the first part of the Faust (page 206).

Page 104.

' Tivere best to knock you on the head right early.

Something like this dictum is quoted from the


Goethe's Faust

writings of Fichte, but with a particular, not as here a general application.

Page 105.

Cramping thoughts Philistian.

Philistian has here much the same sense as it has acquired in English since its introduction by Matthew Arnold. It is originally a term of contempt bestowed by the German students upon the non-academic world.

II. LABORATORY. The Creation of Homunculus.

Medieval speculation busied itself with the artificial production of Homunculi, manikins, for which Paracelsus (1493-1541) gives a recipe in his treatise : De generations rerum. The in- gredients are to be putrefied until he becomes quick and moves and stirs. After such time he wilt in a certain measure resemble a man, but will be transparent, without body. Such Homunculi are creatures of wondrous knowledge, and equal to the elemental spirits in powers and deeds, for they acquire their life through art, wherefore art is incorporate and innate in them. Reference is made to Homunculi in Tristram Shandy, chapter ii.

With the traditional conception of Homunculi, Goethe has blended that of the bottle-imp, which appears in the Diable boiteux of Le Sage, and has suggested the name of the scientific toy known as the Cartesian devil.

It is doubtless more than a coincidence that a whimsical contemporary of Goethe, one J. J. Wagner, professor at Wiirzburg, in one of his works, wrote as follows :

There is still an experiment to be made which will not suc- ceed for a long time, to wit, to cause two Voltaic piles of

Notes to Part II 363

contrary kind to work upon one point. Should the experiment succeed, the result will be an organic product, for life is everywhere, it needs but to be awakened.

A consistent interpretation of the symbolicai significance of Homunculus is scarcely to be found, and was probably never intended. For Diintzer lie represents the soul of Faust in its striving after the highest ideal of beauty ; for Schroer he is the humanistic movement, the revived interest in Greek literature of the Renascence of Letters ; again he is the pure abstract human mind, without sense-organs, and anterior to all experience. Von Loeper would have us content ourselves with thefation modelled by the poet upon the old fable, 'which in individualisa- tion is second to none of the personages of the dr.. ma. It is likely that this latter view coincides with Goethe's original intention, and that various and even conflicting symbolical significations wove themselves into it both consciously and unconsciously in the course of its elaboration.

From the Conversations 'with Eckermann we gather, what, as Goethe himself felt, is not over evident from the poem itself, that the final suc- cess of Wagner's experiment is due to the co-operation of Mephistopheles, who comes, at a most timely moment, his luck to hasten. Such apparently was not Goethe's original, intention.

Page 107.

many a crystallized man.

A crystallized man is presumably what English slang calls a fossil, and is probably a sly hit at Wagner himself.

Page 108.

What thee, thou Jfoguf, Sir Cousin, here I i>ieiu. ' ' Moreover he calls him cousin ; for such spiritual beings fas Homunculus) ivho are not yet darkened ana cramped by

3 6 4

Goethe's Faust

becoming men out and out "were counted among the demons, "whence a sort of kinship betiveen the tivo " (Goethe to Eckermann).

Page 109.

Fair -encompassed ! Limpid -waters, etc.

Homunculus, as an unembodied spirit, is able to read in Faust's mind, and proceeds to describe the dream in which he is absorbed. It is of the visit of Zeus to Leda, to which Helen owed her being.

Page no.

Thy birth "was in the misty ages,

The iuastc of priesthood and of chivalry,

The conception of the Devil was unknown to the Greeks. Medieval superstition clothed the shadowy Spirit of Evil of the Scriptures with the attributes of various heathen deities, resulting in the popular con- ception of the Devil with horns, tail, cloven hoof, etc. See also part i., notes to pages 99 and 117.

Page in.

The "warrior bid unto thejivht,

Leaa thou the maid to tread a measure.

i.e. take everyone to the goal of his longing. Faust will be in his element in ancient Greece.

Page in.

Classical IV alpurgis- Night and Pharsalus See note at beginning of next scene.

Page 112.

A smodeus. See note to page 41.

Page 113.

For Thessalian -witches see note at beginning of next scene.

Page 113.

the dot upon the I.

i.e. the finishing touch, which is, for Homunculus corporeal existence, full human life.

Notes to Part II 365


To win Helen, i.e. to attain to the Ideal of Beauty, the crowning achievement of the Greek spirit, Faust must pass step by step through the successive phases of which this is the ultimate fruit, he must re-live the evolution of Greek art. How is this mental process to be translated into sensible symbols ? By carrying him on a visit to the phantom Greek world, the legions of Hellenic myth. This suggests a parallel to the Walpurgis-Night of part i., the gathering of witches and demons of medieval superstition. Thus arises the conception of a classical Wal- purgis-Night. But what would be a fitting occasion for such a gathering ? Phantom- battles, in which the ghosts of slain warriors fight over again the old battle every year as its anniversary recurs, are common alike to classic and Germanic folk-lore. Thus, according to Pausanias, the shock of conflict and the neigh- ing of horses are heard yearly upon the battle- field of Marathon on the anniversary of the Greek victory over the Persians. Goethe accordingly selects for the Classical Walpurgis-Night the anniversary of a great battle which proved a turning point in the history of the world, the battle of Pharsalus, where Caesar met and van- quished his great rival Pompey, where the Roman Republic passed into the Roman Empire. On the Pharsalian plains the old order came to a violent end ; it might well be assumed that there the phantom of the whole antique world "revisited the glimpses of the

3 66

Goethe's Faust

moon ! " But for other reasons too the locality lent itself to Goethe's grandiose conception. It was at Pydna, actually in Macedonia, but near the Thessalian frontier, that another decisive battle had been fought (168 B.C.), when the Roman Aemilius Paulus crushed the Macedonian King Perseus, whereby Macedonia became a Roman province. Nor were the mythical associations less favourable than the historicai. Thessaly was the cradle of ancient Greek mythology. Here was Olympus, the seat of the gods ; the Temple of Apollo ; the veil of Tempe ; here the giants had assailed the gods in their citadel the rugged rock-strewn coun- try still bore witness to the Titanic strife ; and here the centaurs had burst in, unruly and un- bidden guests, at the espousals of Pirithous. The association of Thessaly with witches adds a further justification to its choice as the scene of the classical counterpart of the Witches' Saturnalia of part i.

Scenically the Classical Walpurgis-Night falls into four parts. It opens in the Pharsalian plains, which Goethe imagines by error or by licence as lying along the upper course of the Peneus, whereas they really lie along the Api- danus. The scene then shifts to the banks of the Peneus, and follows Faust downstream in his ride on the Centaur back to the Temple of Apollo on Olympus. Thereafter it returns to the Upper Peneus, and lastly shifts again to the disemboguement of the Peneus in the Aegean Sea.

The Classical Walpurgis-Night may be regarded as a fantasia upon the theme of

Notes to Part II 367

evolution, which is treated in a threefold variation : the evolution of the artistic sense oj beauty, portrayed in the course of Greek Art; the evolution of the surface of the habit Me earthy portrayed in the controversy between Vulcanists and Neptunists (see page 374); and the evolu- tion of man, portrayed in Homunculus' strivings after corporeal existence. Indeed, if we accept Kiintzel's ingenious interpretation of the Kabiri (see page 381 ), we shall have a fourth variation upon the same theme, the evolution of religions.

The action of the Classical Walpurgis-Night falls into three parts : Faust's quest of the ideal of beauty , which terminates at the end of the second scenic division with his descent into Hades through the Temple of Apollo ; Mephistopheles' quest of the ideal of ugliness, which terminates at the end of the third scenic division with his assumption of the form of a Phorkyad ; and Homunculus' quest of exist- ence^ which terminates at the end of the fourth scenic division with the shattering of his bottle at the feet of Galatea, and his entrance upon a course of evolution.

Mephistopheles appears again, still in the guise of a Phorkyad, in the first scene ot the third act, Faust in the second scene of that act, Homunculus disappears from the drama.

i. Pharsalian Plains. Page 114.


Erichtho was a Thessalian witch whom Pompey's son consults in Lucan's Phanalia concerning the issue of the battle. Her speech is cast in the tragic tri- meter.


Goethe's Faust

Page 114.

Yet not so loathsome as the pestilent poets me Surcharging slander.

The pestilent poets are Lucan himself, who paints Erichtho in very grisly colours, and Ovid, who styles herfuriaiis.

Page 1 1 5.

Honv Freedom's gracious thousand-bltssomed "wreath is tern, The unyielding laurel bent around the ruler's broiv.

Erichtho identifies Pompey's cause, in reality the cause of the Senate and the aristocratical oligarchy, with the cause of freedom. Mephistopheles (page 112) takes a less biased view. The ruler is of course Caesar.

Page 1 15.

Here of his early greatness 1 blossoming Magnus dreamed; There, hanging o'er the tremulous balance, Caesar "watched.

Following Lucan, Goethe calls Pompey by his sur- name Magnus. The same author relates that on the eve of the battle Pompey dreamed that the people hailed him with plaudits in the theatre he himself had built, as on the occasion of his first triumph, whereas Caesar's anxiety concerning the issue forbade him to sleep.

Page u6.

As ivhen through the ivindoiv old I Gazed on northern dread and gloom,

So Wodan in German mythology looks out upon the earth through a window (see note to page no).

Homunculus is repelled and Mephistopheles at- tracted by the earliest representatives of Greek mythology, the monstrous creations.

Page 117.

// it the glebe not t her that bare, etc.

Thessaly is not Helen's birthplace, but st least it is Greece.

Notes to Part II 369

Page 1 1 8.

So stand I like Antaeus dauntless-hearted.

Antaeus, the Libyan giant, who won new strength from contact with mother Earth, as Faust from the touch of Grecian soil.

Page 1 1 8.

The sphinxes unabashed, the griffins shameless.

The sphinxes have a woman's head, a lion's body and a dragon's tail and wings ; the griffins a lion's body, an eagle's head and wings. These fantastic hybrids, the one of Assyrian and Egyptian, the other of oriental origin, represent the earliest stages of crea- tive art, which sought its ideals in a combination ot such bestial attributes of strength and ferocity as impressed early humanity with a sense of its inferiority. The human element already appears in the sphinxes, aud the sirens and centaurs, the earliest creations of Greek art proper, though still semi-bestial concep- tions, show the dawn of a striving after the idealisation of purely human qualities. The river- nymphs, who, though not human, are conceived in purely human form, appropriately lead Faust's thoughts back again to his dream of Helen, the ideal of womanly beauty. Helen herself does not appear in the Classical Walpurgis-Night.

The most bestial of the antique creations are those that first attract the attention of Mephistopheles. But he is ill-contented with them. He is the demon of obscenity, and they, though naked, are unconscious of their nakedness. They are naked but not ashamed.

Page 1 1 8 Hail! ye fair "women! Hail! TJC sapient grizzles !

Ye fair "women, i.e. the sphinxes. Griffins Mephisto- pheles maliciously perverts into grizzles (German Greifen, Greisen). The griffins resent the misnomer on etymological grounds; the letters gr have evil associa- tions. To Mephistopheles' retort that Griffins has no advantage over grizzles in that respect, they reply by claiming that Grtifen, griffins, has no connection with that objectionable family, but is next cousin to greifen,

37 Goethe's Faust

to grip, a very different matter. The passage is a not very relevant satire upon the wild speculations of early etymologists.

Page 119.

Ants of the colossal species, Arimaspians.

Herodotus (iv. 27) has a story of ants as big as dogs who dig out in the course of their excavations the gold-sand, which the Indians collect and carry off! He has a further story of the Arimaspians, a one-eyed race of Scythians, who are at feud with the griffins over the gold of which the latter are the guardians.

Page 1 20.

Me did they see V the old stage-play as Old Iniquity.

The Vice or Iniquity was a familiar character in the old English Moralities, where, however, he is not identical with the Devil, but accompanies him, beating him " with dagger of lath in his rage and his wrath " ; se Shakespeare, Ttvelfth Night, iv. 2 ; Richard the Third, iii. I. Ben Jonson has vetus fniquitas, Old Iniquity, in the prologue to " The Devil is an Ass."

The purpose of Mephistopheles' evasive answer is presumably to preserve his incognito.

Page 1 20.

Some riddle, some charade at least propose nir.

The riddle propounded to Oedipus by the Theban sphinx is well known. The answer to the riddle here proposed is, of course, the Devil*

Page 123.

Before the like Ulysses in hempen bonds hath striven.

It will be remembered how Ulysses (Odyssey xii. ) had himself bound to the mast by his comrades, after having stopped their ears with wax, in order that he might not yield to the seductive song of the sirens.

Page 124.

Hercules sleiv the latest of our nation.

Hercules purged the earth of monsters, e.g. the giant Antaeus (page 118), the Stymphalides (page 125), the

Notes to Part II 371

Lernaean Hydra (page 125), etc. ^ That he slew the sphinxes is an invention of Goethe's.

Page 1 14.

Chiron might give thee information.

Chiron, the wise centaur, son of Chronos and Phiiyra, and teacher of the Grecian heroes, notably of Achilles, Hercules and Jason.

Page 124.

With us ivhen Ulysses tarried.

The Sirens are of course fahling. See note to page 123.

Page 126.

The Lamiae, rare "wanton lasses.

Lamia, the daughter of Belos and Libya, was loved of Zeus. Her child was slain by the jealous Juno, whence she became a child-stealing spectre. In Philostratus' Life of Appollonius " Lamiae are men- tioned as lewd spectres that thirst for the blood oi young men. Apuleius identifies them with Thessalian witches. They then, rather than the dignified Erich- tho, are doubtless the Thessalian witches hinted at by Homunculus (page 113). The witches, it will be remembered from part i., are the devil's lemans.

Page 126.

And heed but hoiv -we lie controller Ordained are ive of lunar day and solar.

The sphinxes, ranged in long rows at the entrances of Egyptian temples and beside the pyramids, as well as the pyramids themselves, have frequently been supposed to have an astronomical significance In Creuzer's Symbolik, a work known to Goethe, the sphinxes with their form, a hybrid between a lion and a -virgin, are conjectured to represent symbolically the summer-solstice, when the sun is between Leo and f^irgo. So far back as Pliny it was suspected that they played a part in the measurement of the risings of the Nile.

372 Goethe's Faust

ii. Peneus surrounded by Waters and Nymph*.

Page 126.

Me the sultry air doth ivalen, Strange all-searching thrill hath shaken From my sleep and cradling stream,

These are the premonitory signs of an earthquake, which does not follow until the beginning of the next scene. Peneus is here the river-god.

Page 127.

Such bliss -was once before thy share.

i.e. in his dream (page 109), which is here enacted again before his waking eyes, though Leda, the lofty queen, is this time not upon the scene.

Page 130.

As Mentor none, Not Pallas 1 self is to be gratulated.

The goddess Pallas accompanies Telemachus, Odysseus' son, in the guise of the aged Mentor, on his voyage in search of his father, and acts as his guide and counsellor (Odyssey ii., 225, et seq.}. But Chiron's sweeping dictum is scarcely just to Telemachus.

Page 131.

The glorious federation Of Argonauts.

The Argonauts sailed to Colchis in the good ship Argo under the leadership of Jason on the Quest of the Golden Fleece. The chief of them are enumerated in the following lines : The Dioscuri are Castor and Pollux, brothers of Helen ; Boreas' sons, Kalais and Zetes, who delivered Phineus from the harpies; Orpheus and Lynccus are sufficiently characterised in the text.

Page 133.

On that occasion had the Dioscuri

From robbers' hands their little sister freed.

Notes to Part II 373

Did net Achilles, say, in Pheraejind her Without the pale of time ?

For these incidents in the mythological career of Helen see pages 195 and 197. The part played by Chiron in the former of them is the invention of Goethe.

Page 134.

Aesculapius* daughter, Manto.

Manto was the daughter of the Theban seer Tiresias, and was associated with the cult of Apollo. Goethe makes her the daughter of the divine physician, Aesculapius, and gives her as seat the Temple of Apollo on Olympus.

Page 135.

Here Rome and Greece each challenged each injight, etc.

i.e. at Pydna, see introductory note to Classical Walpurgis-Night, page 365. The greatest realm in sand evanishing is the Empire founded by Alexander the Great, here finally disintegrated ; the citizen, the Roman Consul L. Aemilius Paulus ; the king, Perseus.

Page 136.

Leads to Persephone the gloomy portal, etc,

Persephone, the daughter of Ceres, ravished from the upper world by Pluto, the King of the Shades, is now Queen of the Nether World, yet still yearns after her old home in the sunlight. In Olympus was one of the many entrances to Hades. Orpheus descended to the Shades to seek his bride Eurydice, as here Faust to seek Helen. The story of his failure is well known. That he was smuggled in by Manto is the invention of Goethe.

It was at first the intention of the poet to follow the fortunes of Faust in Hades. In conversation with Ecke/ mann he said :

Just imagine everything that finds utterance on that mad night ! Faust's speech to Proserpina, to move her to relinquish Helen. What JL speech that must be, since it moves Proserpina herself to tears!

374 Goethe's Faust

The scene, however, was never written, and in the next act the success of Faust's appeal is taken for granted.

iii. On the Upper Peneus as before.

The key to the right understanding of this scene lies in the controversy between the geologians of Goethe's time concerning the agencies at work in the moulding of the surface of the earth. The Vulcanists held that the chief role was played by subterranean fire, and that the transformations were catastrophic in character; the Neptunists^ with Goethe, attri- buted them to the agency of water, and regarded them as essentially gradual, holding volcanic upheavals for isolated phenomena of restricted scope. The volcanic agencies are here personi- fied in Seismos (Greek, earthquake), whilst the Sirens uphold the views of the Neptunists. The war of the Pygmies (Vulcanists) and Cranes (Neptunists) symbolises the same con- troversy. Later in the scene the conflicting theories find advocates respectively in the Greek philosophers, Anaxagoras and Thales, of whom the former occupied himself with earthquakes, eclipses, and meteors, whilst the latter found in water the origin of all things. Goethe returns to the subject in the fourth act (see page 254), where Mephistopheles is the advocate of the volcanic theory, whilst Faust is all for gradual development.

Page 137.

For the ill-starred people's good.

The ill-starred people are apparently the Vulcanists, who are to he converted to Neptunism

Notes to Part II 375

Page 138.

that whilom

Deles' isle for an asylum Unto one in travail gave.

i.e. unto Leto, persecuted by Juno, who found refuge in Delos, and there bore Apollo. Goethe has modified the Greek legend, which merely relates that Delos floated about in the sea, but was anchored fast at the birth of Apollo. But Rhodes (see page 169) was thus thrust up for Apollo from beneath the waves.

Page 138.

Lite a caryatid colossal Straining still without reposal^ He upholds a dread stone-scaffold ^ Breast-deep still, yet still unbaffled.

In the diploma of the Jena Mineralogical Society, designed by Goethe, there appears such a figure as is here described. It was suggested by Raphael's cartoon of the Liberation of the Apostle Paul, in which Earth- quake is thus personified.

Page 139.

JVhenas "with Titans leagued defiant, etc,

In the Odyssey (xxi. 315) the Titans pile Pelion on Ossa and Ossa on Olympus, in order to scale Heaven.

Page 141.

Pigmies, Daktyls.

In the Iliad (iii. 3) the Pigmies are a diminutive race who are at feud with the cranes. Goethe identifies them with the gnomes or kobolds of German myth, and furnishes a casus belli in their wanton assault upon the herons, the kinsfolk of the cranes.

The Daktyls are a fabulous race of skilled metal- workers on the Phrygian Ida. Their name (Greek daktylos, finger) has reference to their skill, not to their size, but Goethe identifies them with the Thumblings of German myth, named from their size.

Page 141.

The cranes of Ibycus.

A well-known poem of Schiller's with this title relates how the poet Ibycus, being set upon by mur-

37 6

Goethe's Faust

derers in the neighbourhood of Corinth, called upon a passing flock of cranes to avenge his death. One of the murderers was overheard later in the theatre, when the cranes passed overhead, to say gibingly to his accom- plices: "Behold the avengers of Ibycus ! " The remark attracted attention, the murderers were dis- covered and Ibycus avenged. The cranes of Ibycus thus appear as divine avengers of murder.

Page 143.

TTon fat -paunch, crook-leg knave.

This is the conventional form of the Bergm'dnnchen, or gnome, as familiar a figure in Germany as Father Christmas with us, and frequently represented both in pictures and as puppet.

Page 143.

Give me my Bloc ksberg for a revel-rout, etc.

The Blocksberg or Bracken, the highest point of the Harz Mountains, is the seat of the yearly gathering of witches on Walpurgis-Night. The llsenstein and Heinrichshohe, lisa's Stone or Castle and Henry's Height, are clirfs on the Brocken, the Princess lisa. who has her seat on the former, being associated in the legend with the Emperor Henry. The Snorers are two high rocks in the neighbourhood of the village of Elend (Misery). With this passage compare the Walpurgis-Night in part i. (page 183).

Page 145.


Empusa is a Greek hobgoblin, a phantom of terror sent by Hecate. Her name is interpreted as meaning the One-footed, her second foot being variously described as an ass's foot, or as a foot of iron or of cow-dung. To her as to the Lamiae is attributed the power of assuming different forms. Her assumption of the ass's head is prophetic of the issue of Mephistopheles' pursuit of the Lamiae. Mephistopheles sees an ass't head of his own.

Page .48.

A mask, as everywhere doth chance, Is here an emblematic dance.

Notes to Part II 377

Mephistopheles' pursuit of the Lamiae is the anti- thesis of Faust's quest of Helen ; it is bestial lust, con- trasted with ideal love. It is unnecessary to interpret in detail the significance of the emblematic dance.

Page 148.


Mountain-nymph, speaking for the mountain.

Page 150.

Anaxagoras and Thales.

See introduction to notes on this scene, page 374.

Page 151.

The mount bears myrmidons in bevies.

This is Anaxagoras' retort to Thales' contemptuous question : What ivider Issue doth it toot ?. Fire, too, can engender life. The myrmidons were the inhabitants of Aegina, whose name, from its supposed connection with the Greek murmex, an ant, gave rise to the legend of their having been transformed by Zeus from ants. Goethe uses it, playing upon the same derivation, as a generic term for all the swarming, ant-like creatures brought forth by the mountain, enumerated below.

Page 152.

Diana , Luna, Hecate.

The Moon is Diana on earth, Luna in heaven, and Hecate in the underworld, and is hence represented with three heads. Anaxagoras prays to her for an eclipse, so that his protege's, the pigmies, may escape by favour of the darkness. The fall of a meteor at this moment startles him into the belief that he has got more than he bargained for, that by his prayer he has drawn down the moon from her sphere, as the Thessalian sorceresses were commonly reputed to do by the power of their enchantments (Plato, Gorgias, 68 ; Aristophanes, Clouds, 749 ; Horace, EpoJes, 17 ; Lucan, Pharsalia, vi). The humour of it is that Anaxagoras was a rationalist, who explained eclipses from natural causes, and foretold the fall of a meteor from the sun. It must accordingly have been peculiarly disconcerting to him to be thus taken at his word.

378 Goethe's Faust

Page 154.

It ivas tut thought.

i.e. but a phantom, like everything else on this night; or perhaps Thales returns to his old charge: What ivider issue, doth it boot? Having effected nothing it is as vain as a thought that has not passed into execution

Page 154.


Nymph of the oak-tree.

Page 155.

The Phorkyadt.

The Phorkides) or Graiaf, were the daughters ol Phorkys, Darkness, and Keto, the Abyss. They were represented as three gray hags, of surpassing ugliness, who had but one eye and one tooth amongst them, which they interchanged as need was. They had their abode in outer darkness, where neither sun nor moon ever looked upon them. Goethe has recast their name on the model of other Greek patronymics into Phorkyads (cf. page

Page 155..

'Tis more than mandrakes, -what is yonder !

For mandrakes see note to page 25. The Sins oi the next line are the Seven Deadly Sins, pictorially represented in repellent forms. Mephistopheles thinks they will no more frighten would-be sinners, when once they have seen this new horror.

Page 155.

Ops and Rhea.

Ops was the sister and bride of Saturn, Rhea the mother of Zeus ; the one a Roman, the other a Greek divinity. Mephistopheles' flattery of the grisly Three reminds us forcibly of Satan's cajolery of Sin and Death in the " Paradise Lost."

Page 156.

IVhere nimbly every day in double eter- A block of marble into life doth leat>.

Notes to Part II 379

Diintzer sees in the expression in double step an ailus- ion to the advance in sculpture traditionally attributed to Daedalus, which consisted in the representation of the two legs separately, in a walking attitude, whereas the lower part of the statue was formerly left unwrought, as in the Hermes column.*, or the legs were at most indicated by a groove. Duntzer ridicules Schroer's interpretation of the words in the military sense, but it seems difficult to reject that interpretation, even if we admit at the same time the allusion, obscure enough in all conscience, to Daedalus' alleged con- tribution to the evolution of statuary.

Page 157.

TCe three one eye, one tooth, sufficeth -well.

'Tivere mythologically feasible

In tivo, of three to concentrate the essence.

The thought seems to be, since one eye and one tooth suffice you, the number three is manifestly not essential to the myth.

Page 158.

fie ! Hermaphrodite must I be flouted /

i.e. male as Mephistopheles, female as a Phorkyad, with one of whom he has incorporated himself.

iv. Rocky Cove of the Aegean Sea.

This scene pursues the development of Greek Art towards perfect beauty, culminating in Galatea, and follows. the fortunes of Homunculus in his search after existence.

Page 158.

Did Thessalian hags infernal Impiously Jraiv doivn thy yelloiv Orb.

See notes to pages 113 and 152.

Page 159.

Nereids and Tritons, as sea-monster*.

The Nereids or Dorids were daughters of Nereus and Doris, the Tritons children of Poseidon and Am phi-


3 8

Goethe's Faust

trite. They appear as sea-monsters, half-fish, half- human, i.e. as mermaids and mermen. The Doridt, in attendance upon Galatea, the Goddess of Love, are, however, later distinguished from the Nereids, being conceived as wholly human in form, and representing the final stage in the evolution of beauty.

Page 1 60.

the lofty Kabiri.

See note to page 164.

Page 1 60.


An aged sea-god, endowed with the gift of prophecy and the power of self-transformation. Contrary to Goethe's conception of his character he is represented as kindly-minded to men. His prophecy to Paris of the sack of Troy forms the subject of an ode of Horace (i. 15), that to Ulysses is the poet's invention.

Page 161.

IVhere Pindus" 1 eaglet glutted them in glee.

Pindus 1 eagles are the Greeks.

Page 162.


Cyfris was one of the names of Venus, from her preference for the island of Cyprus, on the west coast of which, at Paphos, the goddess sprang from the sea, wherefore a temple was built to her in that town.

Page 161.

Aiuay to Proteus ! Ask that "wizard-elf Hoiv one can best exist and change oneself.

Proteus is a sea-god, who shares with Nereus the gift of prophecy and the power of transforming himself Of this power he avails himself to evade questioning, and can only be brought to speech by such as are cunning enough to catch him and bold enough to hold him until he has exhausted his transformations and appears in his own form. As Homunculus cannot clasp him, Goethe invents another way of bringing him to speech (page 166).

Notes to Part II 381

Page 163.

ChelonSs thell,

i.e. a tortoise-shell. Chelone was a nymph who was changed into a tortoise.

Page 164.

The Kablri.

The whole episode of Ihe Kabiri would seem to be little more than one of those satires directed at con- temporary questions of ephemeral interest which Goethe, with questionable judgment, has so frequently introduced into both parts of the Faust.

The Kabiri were mysterious deities worshipped especially at Samothrace, of whom very little is known, or apparently ever was known in historical times. That little may almost all be found in the text (cf. also page 367). There arose a controversy amongst German scholars concerning their names, attributes, number, and significance, which is unedifying and wearisome at the present day, and which the curious reader may read elsewhere. Amongst other forms attributed to them was that of earthen crocks, and with these the clairvoyant Homunculus identifies them.

It is doubtless the apparent pointlessness of the whole passage which has led commentators to seek a deeper meaning in it. As an example of the ingen- uity with which they embroider allegory to fit their canvas, it may be interesting to give a brief account of one such interpretation. Kiintzel explains these mysterious deities, hunger --bitten , ever-turning for the Unattainable, as the successive religions in which the aspirations of man after the unknowable have from time to time been embodied. The three which are brought to the feast are the Indian, Egyptian, and Pelasgian faiths. The fourth, which claims to be the only true, is the faith of the ancient Hebrews, the cult of Jehovah. The three that are not forthcoming are Buddhism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism, all unknown to the ancient Greek world ; whilst the eighth, -whom none hath thought of hereto, is the all- embracing religion of the future.

In spite of the striking ingenuity of this theory, and

3 8 2

Goethe's Faust

its appropriateness to the general tendency ot the Walpurgis-Night, it is difficult to believe that Goethe would have combined an allegory of such significance with the satire of a trivial controversy, and that without any unmistakable hint of its figurative meaning.

Page 164.

The eighth beeth haply there too.

Goethe has used an archaic form of the substantive verb, as here beeth, perhaps to emphasise the meaning of existence which has been dimmed in the ordinary verb from its use as a copula : not merely is there but exists there.

Page 167.

He is, met/tints, hermaphroditical.

Hermaphroditical, of double sex, is here somewhat in- accurately used as meaning of doubtful sex. Such is necessarily the condition of the incorporeal Homun- culus.

Page 1 68

Threefold noteworthy spirit-trip,

i.e. noteworthy trip of three spirits; Proteus, who is essentially a spirit; Thales, who is disembodied; and Homunculus, who is yet to be embodied.

Page 1 68.

Telchtncs of Rhodes, on hippocampi and sea-dragons.

The Telchines were a mystic race of metal-workers on the island of Rhodes, who fostered Neptune in his childhood and forged his trident. Goethe makes them votaries of Helios, the Sun-god, Phoebus Apollo, to whom the fair-weather island of Rhodes was con- secrated.

Hippocampi are sea-horses. They have the head of a horse and the tail of a fish.

Page 170.

There sees him in myriad forms the Refulgent, As youth and as giant, the Great, the Indulgent.

These lines refer, of course, to the statues of the God, one of which was the famous Colossus of Rhodes

Notes to Part II 383

Page 170.

The statues of the gods stood great) An earthquake laid them aesolate, All have been melted doivnfor ages

The Colossus was overthrown by an earthquake, B.C. 224. The Arabs took away the ruins in the seventh century on nine hundred camels.

Page 170.

Thou It move thee by eternal norms there Through thousand and yet thousand forms there. And ere thou'rt man there's time to spare.

Goethe here outlines clearly the theory of evolution, of which it is one of his glories to have been amongst the precursors. In his Metamorphoses of Plants he showed for the first time that the various parts of the flower art modifications of the leaf-type, and again he pointed out that the skull is a modification of the upper spinal vertebrae, both specific instances of evolution. It may be of interest to quote here other passages, in which he stated, in no uncertain language, the theory for which the labours of Darwin in particular have now won general acceptance. In November 1806 he says:

Nature, in order to attain to man, performs a long prelude of beings and forms which still fall far short of man.

In March 1807:

Nature makes no leaps, she could, for example, never make a horse, unless all the other animals had gone before, upon which, as upon a ladder, she climbs up to the structure of the horse.

Again, in November 1810 :

All literature is like a process of formation from water to molluscs, polyps and the like, until at last a man comes into existence.

For Goethe's views upon evolution see also the introductory note to this Act (page 360), and the introductory note to the present Scene Cpage 374). It would scarcely be too much to say that evolution it the key-note to the whole Faust-drama

384 Goethe's Faust

Page 171.

Paphos 'tis that her impassioned Brood of birds hath hither sent.

For Paphos see note to page 162, Cyprit. Aphrodite or Venus is commonly escorted by doves.

Page 172.

Something holy still to treasure Living in the still -warm nest,

i.e. still to cherish faith in the supernatural, not to think that science explains all mysteries.

Page 171.

Psylli and Marsi.

These are both races of snake-charmers, the former Libyan, the latter Italian. The Psylli are mentioned by Lucan (Pharsalia, ix. ), the Marsi by Virgil (Acneid, vii., 758), and both together in Pliny's Natural History, in a passage the misinterpretation of which has apparently led Goethe to locate them in Cyprus, and thence to associate them with the cult of Aphrodite.

Page 172.

Nor Eagle nor -winged Lion heed tv* t Cross nor Crescent Moon.

These are the insignia of the successive lords of Cyprus, Rome, Venice, Christian, and Mohammedan.

Page 177.

To Eros the empire, -whence all Jirst things Jirst


JSros, Greek Love, first-born of the Gods from Chaos, and source of all created beings.


This Act, commonly known as the Helena, belongs to the oldest parts of the drama, parts of it dating back to 1800, eight years before the

Notes to Part II 385

publication of the first part of Faust. It was published separately in 1827, with the title: A C las sico- Romantic Phantasmagoria, Interlude to Faust, and became in some sort the nucleus about which the second part of the drama grew. It is indeed complete in itself.

To bring it into organic connection with the preceding acts we must suppose that Faust's petition to Persephone has been granted (see note to page 136). Helen is to return to the upper world and resume the thread of her life at the point where tradition left it.

It may be well here to rehearse briefly the story of Helen. To Tyndareus and Leda were born four children, Castor and Clytemnestra, Pollux and Helen. The two latter, however, were really the offspring of Zeus, who visited Leda in the form of a swan. The beauty of Helen drew hosts of wooers from amongst the princes of Greece. These Tyndareus invited to a solemn feast, and bound them by oath to abide by the choice that should be made, and to join in avenging any violation of the prospective union. The choice fell upon Menelaus. During the absence of Menelaus, Helen voluntarily fled with, or was violently abducted by the youthful Paris, son of Priam, the king of Troy. The Grecian princes assembled, in accordance with their oath, and sailed to Asia with a mighty armament under the leadership of Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus and husband of Clytemnestra. There they laid siege to Troy, with many vicis- situdes, during a space of ten years, and at length accomplished by guile what they had not been able to effect by force. They entered Troy by

3 86

Goethe's Faust

the contrivance of the wooden horse, slew the aged Priam, and burned and sacked the tower- crowned city, leading into captivity such of the Trojan women as escaping slaughter fell into their hands. Menelaus returned to Sparta with Helen. Later tradition busied itself with the fortunes of Helen both before and after her abduction, and even after her death, evolving many and often conflicting accounts (see notes to pages 195 and 197). Goethe, whose scheme for the elevation of Faust through Helen exacted regard for the moral character of the heroine, adopted the really later view of the forceful abduction of Helen, .which regarded her as the victim of destiny. The version of the return to Sparta which best lent itself to his plan was that given in the Troades of Euripides, which he adopted with some modifications. According to this version Menelaus sent his recovered wife back to Sparta in a different ship from himself, with the resolve that she should there suffer an evil death as an example to all women.

It is at this point that the Helena takes up the thread of the story, which is continued in the form of the ancient Greek drama.

For the Helen episodes of the Faust-book, the reader may consult the introductory note to act i., scene vi., and for the symbolical signifi- cance of the Helena the introductory note to act ii., as well as to later parts of this act.

To the reader unversed in the classics a few notes upon the metre of the Helena may not be unwelcome. In the earlier, strictly classical parts, these are adaptations of the metres of Greek tragedy, in which, as is usual in modern

Notes to Part II 387

languages, accented and unaccented syllables take the place of long and short. In the dialogue the metre is commonly the iambic trimetre, which consists of six feet, or three dipodies (double feet), one foot more than the normal English blank verse, and the same number as the, in English, relatively little used Alexandrine. From this latter, however, it differs notably in two essentials, which entirely change its char- acter. In studying this difference the reader may profitably compare pages 288 to 300 of the text, where the metre is the Alexandrine.

The characteristic features of the Alexandrine are the strongly marked pauses after the sixth and the twelfth syllables, which practically divide it into a series of six-syllable lines, and the strict limitation of the foot to two syllables. It thus acquires a certain regular stateliness, which, how- ever, becomes wearisomely monotonous in the long run. In the passage referred to above, Goethe has intentionally chosen it because of this quality, and perhaps because of its peculiar association with the classic French tragedy of the age of Louis Quatorze, in order to suggest the hollow external pomp with which the re-established emperor inaugurates his new state.

In the iambic trimeter, on the other hand, whilst this median caesura is at times admitted, the normal caesura, instead of falling between two feet, is a break in the middle of a foot, and falls in the third or fourth foot, i.e. if the feet be dis- syllabic, after the fifth or seventh syllable. The iambic trimeter thus acquires a suppleness and variety, together with a greater lightness of movement, which make it as well-fitted for the

3 88

Goethe's Faust

purposes of dialogue as the English blank verse. Further variety is gained by the admission in certain places of trisyllabic feet. These essential differences, which Goethe, with some license in the case of the trimeter, has consistently observed, have been too often overlooked by translators, with fatal results.

Other metres used in the dialogue call for no particular remark.

In the choral odes the Greeks made use of various metrical combinations which it is impos- sible to consider here. If properly constructed, however, the metre should be evident to the reader, though this is perhaps not always the case when, as in modern languages, it is based upon accent, which is less constant than the ancient quantity.

It may be observed, however, that the choral ode normally consists of strophe, antistrophe, and epode, and that the metre of the anti- strophe is a replica of that of the strophe, from which the epode again departs. This rule Goethe observes, with few and trifling excep- tions, probably due to oversight or the lack of the last hand. The best of his translators have been so utterly at sea in this matter that not only does the metre not tally with Goethe's, but the antistrophe is not even modelled upon the strophe.

It may be worth mentioning here, what so far as I am aware no commentator has drawn atten- tion to, that Goethe, in imitation of an occasional custom of the ancient writers, has in a few places further accentuated the correspondence of strophe with antistrophe, by introducing in the antistrophe an echo of the sound of the syllables in some

Notes to Part II 389

corresponding metrical position of the strophe. Examples of this will be found in the choral odes on pages 198 [Deep-enambushing Mild" enlumining} and 210-211 (Cheerfullest day Fearfullest lay}.

Page 178.

Pallas' Hill. i.e. Athens.

Page 179.

Cythcrca's shrine.

Cytherea is Aphrodite, Venus. Tradition has it, however, that Helen was borne away by Paris whilst sacrificing at the shrine of Artemis.

Page 187.

The Thalamus.

The bridal-chamber, or the chamber of the lord and lady of the house. Also the bridal-bed.

Page 187.

Phorkyat. The disguised Mephistopheles.

Page 189.

Which of the daughtert

Art thou of Porky t* See note to page 155.

Page 192.

Ho-w hideous^ side by side with Beauty, is Hideousness ?

The following dialogue in alternate single lines (Greek stichomythia} is characteristic of the Greek drama, and is particularly effective when employed, as here, in railing or in dispute.

Page 193.

Not upon blood -which thou too hotly fastest for.

In the Odyssey >, xi., 1x8, the shades in Hades throng eagerly round Odysseus to taste the blood of the slain sheep, whereby they would win again a brief moment of life. Porkyas accordingly hints, as again in her next speech but one, that the Choretids are but spectres to whom life is granted again for a brief space.

390 Goethe's Faust

Page 195.

Thee Theseus first, by longing goaded, reft bftimet.

Cf. page 133. Theseus and his friend Aphidnu* are the robbers there spoken of.

Page 197

Yet thou a tiu of old phantom didst appear , nun say, In Ilium beheld, beheld in Egypt too.

According to one version of the legend, followed by Euripides in his Helena, the Helen carried off by Paris was only a wraith, the real Helen having been con- veyed by Hermes at the instance of Hera to Egypt, where Menelaus found her on his return from Troy. The story saves Helen's reputation.

Page 197.

Then do they say, from forth the holloiv Realm of Shaaes.

Aflame tvith longing, Achilles mated him with thee.

'The fruit of this union of phantoms was Euphorion. Cf. note to page 231.

With these three passages compare also pages 133 and 134.

Page 205.

A daring breed behind there in the mountain-vale Hath lodged in silence, pressing from Cimmerian night.

The union of Faust and Helen, as we have seen (page 357), symbolizes the union of medieval with Greek culture effected by the Renaissance. Medieval Europe came into actual contact with the Greek world, on Greek soil, through the Crusades, from whence we may date the morning-twilight of the new day, though the full dawn did not break till two centuries later. In 1202 Constantinople succumbed to an army of Franks, Germans, and Venetians, and Guillaume de Champlitte established a feudal state in the Pelepon- nesus, with a seat in a castle near the Eurotas, and six dependent vassalages. Goethe has laid hold of this historical fact to materialize his allegory. The daring breed which has established itself in the heart of Greece in a medieval castle is a German host with Faust as its feudal lord. Urged by Phorkyas, Helen takes refuge with him from her vengeful lord, upon

Notes to Part II 391

<*,hose discomfiture the conqueror, Faust, distributes the land in fiefs to his captains (see page 2*5).

Page 207.

What are scutcheons ?

The ancient heroes bore devices on their shields, as appears notably in a striking passage of Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes here referred to, but these were not coats-oi-arms, not being hereditary. Phorkyas makes the difference clear in the words from their most remote progenitors. The -wreathed snake of Ajax' shield Goethe took from a picture on a vase belonging to the Dowager Duchess of Weimar.

Page 211.

Floateth haply e'en

Hermes before? Gleams not the golden wand? Amongst the functions of Hermes, the messenger or herald of the gods, was that of conducting the souls of the dead to Hades. He bore a golden wand in token of his office

Page 115.

In lieu of solemn greeting as behoved.

The representatives of the romantic medieval world speak in blank verse, the metre par excellence of the romantic drama wrought out by the English Eliza- bethans, or in some form of rhymed verse Helen, with ready courtesy, frames her speech at once to the former, which, being unrhymed, is not wholly foreign to the genius of Greek, but is unable to rhyme until she learns from Faust. Faust occasionally uses the classic iambic trimeter, Phorkyas and the Choretids mostly use classical metres. The choice of metre usually has reference to the occasion.

The attitude of medieval chivalry towards women, which forms so strong a contrast with the almost Oriental attitude towards them of the Greek world, finds striking expression in Faust's speech.

Page 216.

Lynceus, the Warder of the Toiuer.

The name is taken from the lynx-eyed steersman of the Argo (see note to page 131). By those who find allegory in every least detail of the drama, Lynceus hat

392 Goethe's Faust

been variously interpreted as the idealizing love of the troubadours, or as the medieval church in her attitude towards the New Learning.

Page 118.

We "wandered from the rising tun, And straight-way "was the West undone.

In the following lines is described the Volker- wanaerung, or migration of the Teutonic tribes, which pressing in from the East overthrew Roman civilisa- tion in the West (see in the Temple Classics, Wilhelm Tell, page 194).

Page 220.

Feeble is the lord's behest , What the servant doth is jest.

Lynceus means that Faust is spurring a -willing horse.

Page 221.

It seemed as did one tone unto another Fit itself, etc.

It is the rhyme that has impressed Helen. In the following passage, in which Helen learns to rhyme in alternate speech with Faust, Goethe has availed him- self of a Persian legend to the effect that rhyme was thus discovered by a pair of lovers. Helen soon proves herself an apt pupil.

Page 225.

We disembarked at Pylos, shattered For ancient Nestor is no more The petty kinglets' arms.

It was the aged Nestor whose sage counsel com posed the quarrels of the Grecian princes before Troy, and thus held the army together (see Iliad, iv., 293, et seq.}

Page 225.

/ hail ye Dukes as forth ye sally.

See note to page 205. In the following lines Goethe has used German inaccurately, as if it were the specific name of a tribe, like Goth, etc. It is really the generic name which includes them all.

Notes to Part II 393

Page 7.

IV e in the midst "will take our stand,

i.e. in Arcadia, of which there follows an exquisite description : And noiv "what though the mountain *s giant shoulders, etc.

Page i* 7 .

Thou All-but-islt.

The Peloponnesus.

Page 217.

When, "whilst Eurotas' seages lightly Whispered^ she burst her shell ablaze.

Helen sprang from an egg on the banks of the Eurotas. The queenly mother is Leda, the brethren twain, Castor and Pollux.

Page 218.

And every man immortal in his place is.

being continued in his descendants who ever inhabit the same spot.

Page 231. As I gaze thtre springs an urchin, from the -woman's lap he

leapeth To the man, from sire to mother.

The urchin is the child of Faust and Helen. In the Faust-book the child of Faust and Helen is called Justus Faust. According to ancient tradition there sprang from the union of Achilles and Helen (see note to page 197), a child called Euphorion, the lightly borne, which name Goethe has adopted. Of Euphorion Goethe himself says that he is not a human, but only an alle- gorical being. In him is personified Poetry , "which is tied to no time, to no place, and to no person. He is then the Genius of Poetry. In a later passage, however, in which he is momentarily identified with Lord Byron, Goethe's own language (quoted in note to page 144), seems to give justification to those who regard him as sym- bolizing in particular the poetry, or in a wider sense the culture, of modern times, the child of Classical Antiquity and Romantic Medievalism.

394 Goethe's Faust

Page 233.

The son of Maid.

Hermes, of whom the ancient poets related what follows, e.g. in the Homeric Hymn to Mercury.

Page 235.

What from out the heart arises Can alone the heart control.

The greater subjectivity of modern poetry, with its resulting wealth ot emotion, impresses even Phorkyas and the Chorus, the representatives of classical poetry.

Page 236.

Let me be leaping^ etc.

In the following lyrics Goethe frequently uses the imperfect form of rhyme known as assonance. They gradually assume the character of an impassioned ode upon the Greek war of independence, which all Europe was watching with breathless interest at the time when Goethe was writing the scene, and reach their climax in the famous dirge upon the Death of Lord Byron.

Page 244 We think -we recognize a ivell-knoivn form in the dead body.

That of Lord Byron, who died at Missolonghi, whither he had hastened to devote himself to the cause of Greek freedom, April 19, 1824. This incident occurring whilst Goethe was yet busy with this part of the work gave a new turn to his thoughts, and led him not so much to identify Euphorion with Byron, as rather to hint that in the dead poet was to be found a characteristic representative of the modern poetry typified in Euphorion. These are Goethe's words :

As representative of the newest poetical period I could make use of none but him, who is unquestionably to be regarded as the greatest talent of the century. And then, Byron is not antique and is not romantic, but he is like the present day itself. Such a one I must needs have. Besides he was entirely fitting on account of his unsatisfied nature and of his warlike ten- dency, which led him to his doom at Missolonghi.

Notes to Part II 395

Page 245.


On the ill-starred day in cumber. Mute and bleeding stand all men.

The reference is to the fall of Missolonghi, April 22, 1826. The Grecian defenders blew up the fortress, together with themselves and the in-pouring Turks, after a heroic defence of two years.

Page 246.

The old Thessalian he I I- hag.

This must be Phorkyas, though some commentators prefer Erichtho (page 114).

Page 247.

Beside the throne of Her the Unsearchable, i.e. Persephone. Page 147.

He that no name hath ivon him, nor hath high resolve,

Unto the elements belongs.

Cf. von Humboldt :

There is a spiritual individuality, to which, however, every one does not attain, and this as a peculiar conformation of the mind is eternal and imperishable. What is unable thus to shape itself may well return into the universal life of nature.

Humboldt wrote in 1830, the Helena was published in 1827.

Page 247.

Not merit alone But loyalty assures us personality.

It was an article of Goethe's faith that by constancy and loyalty alone in the present condition do ive became -worthy of the higher step of a folio-wing one, and capable of setting foot upon it (Riemer, Mitteillungen, i. 139).

Panthalis accordingly accompanies Helen to Hades ; the Chorus falls into four groups, of which the first become Dryads, tree-nymphs ; the second Oreads, mountain-nymphs ; the third Naiads, fountain- nymphs ; and the fourth vine-nymphs, a conception of Goethe's, foreign to the ancients. The speech of


Goethe's Faust

these latter concludes with a description of the Bacchanalia, the orgiastic feast of Dionysus, the god of wine.

Page 151.

The Epilogue.

The Epilogue was never written.


I. HIGH MOUNTAINS. Page z 5 z.

A seven-league boot clatters on to the stage.

As the antique metre, the iambic trimeter of Faust's speech symbolizes the classical influence which still clings about him, so the seven-league boot, derived from Germanic folk-lore, betokens the return to romantic surroundings, to German soil, which Mephistopheles has made all haste to regain.

Page 254.

Until offeree the land's thick crust from under t Thick as it was ) did burst and crack asunder.

This is the Vulcanist and Neptunist controversy again (see note, page 3741- Page 154.

For "we escaped from burning thraldom tkert

To overplus of lordship of free air.

The scriptural reference is not intelligible from the English Authorized Version. Luther's version, literally rendered into English, runs thus:

Lords of the world, that rule in the darkness of this world with the evil spirits under the heavens.

Once captives in hell, the devils are now lords in the upper world. In Ephes. ii. ^, the devil is the prince of the potver of the air.

Page 155.

Earth bristles still -with ponderous foreign masses.

It is worth mentioning, as a further instance of the keen scientific insight of our poet, that in 18x9 he

Notes to Part II 397

accounted for such " erratic " blocks by the now gener- ally accepted theory of glacial action.

Page 256.

Some capital its inner ring A horror of burgher-victualling, etc. The poet probably has Paris in mind, to which the description applies admirably, as indeed to any old walled city which has grown in concentric rings, bursting in the course of time the girdle of successive ramparts.

Page 157.

I'd build "with grandeur meet /' the pleasant place, a pleasure-seat, It is impossible to mistake here an allusion to the palace of Versailles, near Paris, with its park, built and laid out by Louis the Fourteenth.

Page 264.

Like master Peter Quince, of all The raff, the essence did I call.

Peter Quince, the carpenter of the Midsummer Night's Dream, who chose the actors for his " most lamentable comedy " from a scroll of every man's name -which is thought Jit through all Athens to play in our interlude, became a popular figure on the German stage under the name of Herr Peter Squenz, through a farce of Andreas Gryphius.

Page 264.

The Three Mighty Men.

Goethe personifies the brutal elements of warfare in three allegorical forms, the leaders of Mephisto- pheles* phantom-army. To these he gives collectively the title applied to the three heroes of David's army, 2 Samuel xxiii. 8, and individually significant names suggested by Isaiah viii. 3.


Melanchthon reports of the historical Faust that he boasted " that all the victories won by the imperial armies in Italy had been by him

398 Goethe's Faust

brought to pass with the aid of his magic." See Introduction, page xxiii. The victory of Charles V. at Pavia in particular was popularly attributed to magic.

Page 269.

W 'hen glassed in fire on yonder mas king-vigil

Upon me leapt the Jlames infuriate, See page 62. Page 270.

The Sabine sorcerer, . . . the Necromancer

Of Norcia.

Benvenuto Cellini, whose autobiography Goethe translated, tells how a sorcerer who sought to persuade him to take part in a necromantic seance, auggested the mountains of Norcia as the most appropriate place. To which Goethe says in an Appendix :

However the mountains of Norcia, between the Sabine land and the dukedom of Spoleto, may have earned the title from of yore, even at the present day they are still called the Sibyl- mountains. Older romance-writers availed themselves of this locality in order to lead their heroes through the most amazing adventures, and increased the belief in such magic figures whose first features had been drawn by legend.

We must imagine such a sorcerer to have been liberated as Faust describes, and Faust represents himself, fabling, of course, as sent by him out of gratitude, in order that the Emperor may have the less scruple in accepting his assistance.

Page 274.


The name derives from the passage quoted above (Isaiah viii. 3).

Page 276.

Mist-ivrcaths over The coasts of Sicily that hover, etc.

There follows a description of the famous mirage of the Straits of Messina, the Fata Morgana.

Notes to Part II 399

Page 176.

On each a nimble flamelct dancet.

A familiar electrical phenomenon known as St E/mo't fire, and by ancients called, when it appeared double, the Dioscuri (see note to page 131).

Page 279.

There come my ravens twain.

See Faust, part i., note to page 1 17.

Page 281.

The Unaenes.

See Faust, part i., note to page 61.

Page 284.

Guelph and Ghibelline.

See note to page 10.


Page 287.

TCe call it contribution though.

i.e. forced levies upon the country occupied by an irmy.

Page 288.

Noiu be that as it may, the day is ours, and shattered The hostile force in flight across the plain is scattered.

In spite of all his good intentions the weak Emperor can make no better use of his victory than to in- augurate anew the hollow pomp of Court ceremony, and to abandon to the self-seeking counsellors, whose guidance has already brought him to the brink of ruin, all real authority within the State. In the following outline of the new Constitution of the Empire, Goethe has parodied the constitution promul- gated in 1356 by the Emperor Charles IV. in the so-called Golden Bull. That, however, provided for three ecclesiastical Electors, instead of one as here. At the imperial banquets the Elector of Saxony was to officiate as Lord High Marshal, the Elector of Brandenburg as Lord High Seneschal, the Elector Palatine as Lord High Sewer, and the King of

400 Goethe's Faust

Bohemia as Lord High Cupbearer, whilst the Arch- bishop of Mayence was to preside at the election of the Emperor.

For the metre here and its significance see the intro- ductory note to act Hi.

Page 193.

The Archbishop- Archchancellor. See note to page 22.

Page 299.

That most notorious man JVas -with the Empire's strand enfcojfed.

We are to suppose that Faust, in pursuance of hi* design of redeeming land from the sea, has obtained from the Emperor in reward of his services the grant of the sea-shore (see also pages 263 and 304).


A J L J ' L

An indeterminate time has passed since the events of the last act. Faust's scheme for the reclamation of land from the sea has succeeded. He dwells as a feudal lord, surrounded by a thriving people engaged in agriculture and com- merce. But in the very heart of his possessions there stands a small demesne which, being situated upon a height, was already habitable before Faust had reclaimed the shore and had prior owners. This enclave poisons for Faust the pleasures of ownership. The land in ques- tion is occupied by a pious old couple, who have there a cottage in a grove of lime-trees and a little church. To these Goethe gives the names of Philemon and Baucis, drawn from a story in Ovid {Metamorphoses viii., 629). Philemon and Baucis showed hospitality to Jupiter and Mercury, who were travelling in disguise, when

Notes to Part II 401

no one else would receive them. The indignant gods drown the inhospitable land beneath a flood, sparing only the cottage of the old folk, which is turned into a marble temple. Philemon and Baucis, bidden to ask for a boon, desire only to be priests in the new temple, and that neither may survive the other. Their wish is granted, and in the ripeness of time the one is transformed into an oak-tree, the other into a lime-tree. Goethe's choice of these names has given rise to some confusion. His Philemon and Baucis must not in any way be identified with Ovid's. He has chosen the names, on the same principle which led him to call his watchman Lynceus, and the captains of Mephistopheles' phantom- army the Three Mighty Men, because these names already connote certain qualities which he intends his personages thus named to possess, so that the reader may at once have an inkling of the characters to be presented to him. For a similar reason in Italian and French comedy the same name occurs again and again in different pieces to denote the same type of character, and in English comedy the dramatis personae fre- quently bear names indicative of some outstanding trait in their character, e.g. Sheridan's Sir Anthony Absolute, Mrs Malaprop, Sir Lucius 0* Trigger, etc.

In order to present to us vividly the changes wrought by Faust, Goethe introduces a way- farer whom the old couple had formerly rescued from the waves, and who after many years returns to express gratitude to them. To him Philemon and Baucis relate the transformation effected by Faust.

402 Goethe's Faust

Page 304,

Human victims shed their blood there. So the old goody superstitiously imagines.

Page 305.

Faust, in extreme old age.

Faust, says Goethe, as he appears in the fifth act, n according to my intention, exactly a hundred years old.

Page 309.

Go then and shift them.

Faust is still the same impulsive, self-willed being, a benevolent tyrant, but a tyrant still. <Jf. Faust, part i., page zz: Whilst still man strives, still must ht stray.

Page 311.

In all the eternal

Adornment I see.

The universe is for Lynceus, as for the Greeks, a kosmos, an adornment.

Page 3iz.

Your pardon! Sooth, it ivcnt not ivell,

Mephistopheles still perverts to evil all Faust's commissions. So above commerce became piracy in his hands.

Page 314.

Men know me as Guilt.

German Schula means guilt and debt, compare in English : " Forgive us our debts " and " forgive us our trespasses." It seems impossible here to decide with certainty between the two senses of the word.

Page 315.

Could I but from my path all magic banish , Bid every spell into oblivion vanish, And stand mere man before thee. Nature ! Then 'Tivere worth the "while to be a man "with men.

The tragedy of Faust began with Faust's discontent with the human lot. He called magic to his aid, and ranged the fields of human experience, selfish love- indulgence, court-favour, art (the Helen-episode), and at last creative activity. In the latter he finds the

Notes to Part II 403

fittest goal of mankind ; cf. Thit round of earth hath scope for great achieving ever (page 258) ; The deed is all (page 258). Even before his compact with the Devil he had an inkling of this truth ; cf. part i., page 36 : In the beginning "was the Deed. Thus at the end of his career he comes back upon the truth dimly perceived at the beginning, and voluntarily putting from him the more than human powers which hamper the indi- viduality of his action, accepts the limitations of men and fights with purely human weapons his battle with his old enemy, Care (Deep in the heart nests Care, part i., page 36), i.e. brooding discontent, who first drove him into the arms of magic. We might para- phrase Care as Pessimism, which is only to be com- bated by action.

Page 315.

And cursed myself \ the world, -with impious ivprd. See part i., page 74.

Page 320.


The Lemures or Larvae were with the Romans the ghosts of the wicked dtad (whence they appear in Mephistopheles' service), who wandered about by night as skeletons, or rather as animated mummies. Their minds act as imperfectly as their bodies.

The English reader will recognise in the Lemures' song an adaptation of the Gravedigger's song in Hamlet, which Goethe also knew from Percy's Reliques, from which he adopts a variant reading.

Page 321.

Not of a groove but of a grave.

The poet plays upon the German Graben, a trench, and Grab, a grave.

Page 322.

To such a moment past me fleeing^ Tarry, Pd cry, thou art so fair! Cf. Faust, part i., page 78 :

W hen to the moment fleet in ft past me, Tarry ! I cry, so fair thou art / Then into fetters may'st thou cast me, Then let come doom -with all my heart, ete. See also note to this passage.

404 Goethe's Faust

Faust, however, does not declare himself contented with the present moment, his declaration only refers to a future contingency. Cf. also part i., pp. 77 and 78:

If on the bed of sloth I loll contented ever, Then "with that moment end my race / And,

Canst thou my toul with pleasures cozen, Then be that day my life's last day !

Far from lolling contented on a bed of sloth, Faust is seized by death in the midst of strenuous effort, and Mephistopheles himself declares : Him can no pleasure tote, no bliss suffice,

It must be remembered too that there is another party to the compact. In the Prologue in Heaven (part i., page 23) the Lord says :

And canst thou grasp him, lead him even Down -with thee on the doivniuard -way, And stand abashed tvhen thou must needs confess That a good man, by his dim impulse driven Of the right ivay hath ever consciousness.

Mephistopheles has not drawn down Faust with him. Faust, in spite of serious lapses, has gone his own way and dragged Mephistopheles after him, and in the long run has even shaken himself free from him, except as a mere human servitor. The passage last quoted should have made it clear from the beginning that Faust's blind strivings were not destined to end in his perdition. Compare also note to page 22 of part i.

Pages 312 and 323.

The clock stands still . . the finger falls,

Cf. part i., page 78.

Let the clock stop, let fall the Jinger.

Page 323.

Who hath the grave so badly built With mattock and "with shovel, etc.

Imitated from the third stanza of the Gravedigger'i ong in Hamlet.

Notes to Part II 405

Page 325.

With fantastic fugleman-like gestures of incantation.

The fugleman or file-leader was a soldier, chosen for his stature, who stood out in front of a regiment at drill, and performed with exaggerated expression the required exercises for the imitation of his fellows ; compare below:

And you, ye zanies , fuglemen gigantic.

Snatch at the air, your arms outstretched Jling !

Page 325.

The horrible jaivs of Hell open up on the left.

As appears from what follows, these take the form of the yawning jaws of the hyaena, within which is seen a vista of the citta dolcntc Touches for this de- scription are furnished by Dante's Inferno (cf. especially viii., 72), and by the frescoes of the Campo Santo at Pisa, il Trion/o delta Morte and I' Inferno, with which Goethe was familiar.

Page 326.

/'// brand her with the brand that marks my minions, Then on the fiery "whirlwind set her free.

Cf. Revelations xvi. z and xix. 20.

Page 326.

Glory above on the right.

Glory is a painters' term for the heavenly glory -with luminous clouds, -with rays and splendour, ivith angels and the elect in the distance, represented in perspective. (Frisch, quoted by SchrSer.) The disposition of the tableau the Jaws of Hell on the left, the Heavenly Glory above on the right tallies with that of the Pisan fresco mentioned above. The contest between the Heavenly Hosts and the Hosts of Hell for the soul of the dead, a familiar medieval conception, is illustrated in the same fresco.

Page 327.

The boyish-girlish botch-work.

The angels are represented as sexless, a compromise between youth and maiden. It is not clear whether they themselves, as being neither one thing nor the other, or their music, is railed at as botchwork.

406 Goethe's Faust

Page 317.

What -we invented of most shameful To their devotion apt they find.

Commentators differ as to the interpretation to be attached to these words. Do they refer to the Cruci- fixion, or to the sins introduced on earth by the Devil, which it is the occupation of the Hosts of Heaven to combat and forgive? The former would seem the better interpretation.

Page 3*7.

Chorus of Angels st reiving roses.

The roses strewn by the angels are emblematic of Heavenly Love, which is wholly unselfish and un- sensual. Devilish love, as we have abundantly seen in the course of the Faust, is wholly and bestially sensual. The roses of Heavenly Love glow with a heat foreign to the atmosphere of Hell, and sting the devils like winged flames. Mephistopheles alone withstands them, but they are unable to inspire in him a feeling alien to his nature; they only provoke him to a passion of impotent lust, which cannot even aba?h the angels in their perfect purity, and when Mephis- topheles recovers his self-possession the prize has been wrested from his grasp.

Page 333.

Holy anchorites, scattered up the mountain-sides, having their dwelling in rocky clefts,

For the general conception of the scenery here Goethe was indebted in the first place to a description of the Mountain of Montserrat in Barcelona, com- municated to him by a letter from Wilhelm von Humboldt. Upon this mountain there were twelve hermitages, belonging to an old Benedictine abbey, isolated one from another by fearful ravines and access- ible only by ladders and bridges. On the topmost peak, which commanded a wide prospect overland and sea, there stood formerly a chapel dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

Other traits Goethe would seem to have borrowed from another fresco in the Campo Santo of Pisa, the Anchorites in the Thtba'ia, which represents fantastic

Notes to Part II 407

cliffs on the banks of the Nile, whereon trees grapple with their roots, hermits in huts and caves, lions digging a grave for a dead anchorite, and others guarding the abodes of hermits like watch-dogs, two devils beating an anchorite with bludgeons, and Zosimus giving the viaticum to Mary of Egypt (cf. p. 340). Professor Calvin Thomas has unearthed from Goethe's collection of engravings one representing St Jerome in the Wilderness, which may well, as he suggests, have contributed touches to the conception. Compare also the hermits in the Frontispiece.

Page 333.

Softly the lions, dumb' Friendly about us come.

Cf. Isaiah Ixv. 15, a passage which doubtless suggested the lions in the two pictures mentioned above.

Page 333.

Pater ecstaticus.

The title was given to various saints, e.g. to Filippo Neri, of whom Goethe writes in his Italian Journey:

In the course of his life there developed in him the highest gifts of religious enthusiasm : the gift of tears, of ecstasy, and at last, even of rising from the ground and hovering above it, which is held by all to be the highest.

Goethe's pater ecstaticus^ however, as also his other patres, must not be identified with any particular saint. He is a type of religious ecstasy.

Page 333-

That the uniuorthy all Pass tuith the earthly al/, Shi' e the endless star above , Core of immortal Love.

The endless star is the soul, the core of immortal Love which shines out when all the earthly husk has been purged away by persecution or ascetic discipline.

Page 334.

Pater frofunaus.

This title too was borne by several, notably by Bernard of Clairvaux.


Goethe's Faust

Page 334.

Pater seraphicvs.

St Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order, was thus called from a vision of a crucified seraph which appeared to him on Mount Avernus on the occasion of the Elevation of the Cross, when the angel impressed upon him the stigmata of the Crucified. The members of the Order were hence also called seraphic brothers, and a later General of the Order, Bonaventura, was known as the seraphic doctor.

Page 335.

In mine eyes descend, I pray ye t Organs apt for "world and earthy Use them as your otun , to may ye On this neighbourhood look forth.

The belief of the modern spiritualists that disem- bodied spirits can possess themselves of the organs of living beings in order to bring themselves into relation with the world of sense, dates back to the Swedish mystic Swedenborg (1689-1771), and was familiar to Goethe from boyhood. It furnished him with a favourite simile. Thus in October 1781, he writes :

Through his eyes, like a Swedenborgian spirit, I will see a good piece of country.

Again in March 1806 :

It was very agreeable to me to see the great city through your medium.

And yet again, in November 1806 :

Why can I not at once, revered friend, on receiving your welcome letter, sink myself for a short time in your being, like those Swedenborgian spirits that often sought permission to descend into the sense-organs of their master, and by their mediation to look upon the world.

Page 337

  • 77j not all free from stain

Were it asbestos.

As fire is par excellence the cleansing element, so asbestos, which resists fire, is taken as a type of the

Notes to Part II 409

highest attainable earthly purity. With the immortal part of Faust there is still blent something of earth which not even fire can purge it of, and thus the spiritual angels find it burdensome to carry.

Page 338.

Doctor Marianut.

Doctor seems to be a mere variation upon Pater > without any especial significance. The epithet Marlanus denotes his devotion to the adoration of the Virgin, and marks him as a fit recipient of the transcendent vision which is vouchsafed to him. The title was borne, amongst others, by Duns Scotus.

Page 340. Magna Pcccatrix, Mulier Samaritana, Maria Aegyptiaca.

Magna Peccatrix, she that sinned greatly, and Mulier Samaritana, the woman of Samaria, are sufficiently characterised by their own words and the references to the Gospels. With these pardoned penitents Goethe has associated as interceding for Gretchen with the Virgin a third drawn from the Acta Sanctorum, Mary of Egypt. Of her it is there related that after leading a profligate life for seventeen years she went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where an unseen hand thrust her back from the door of the church of the Holy Sepulchre. In a passion of repentance she addressed herself to the Virgin, whereupon she was uplifted and borne as on waves into the church. There she heard a voice, telling her that she would find peace beyond the Jordan. There she led a life of prayer and penance during forty-eight years. In the last year of her life she received the Eucharist at the hands of the monk Zosimus, and immediately before her death she wrote a message to him upon the sand, entreating him to bury her body and pray for her soul.

Page 341.

Una poenitentium.

One of the penitent women. With her rapturous utterance compare the agonised appeal of Gretchen at

41 o Goethe's Faust

the shrine of the Mater Dolorosa in Faust , part i., page 171.

Page 342.

The Eternal-Womanly.

The Eternal- Womanly is pure and unselfish love, reTealed to mortals in its most perfect form in the love 9f woman.