(MARGARET comes in, conceals herself behind the door, puts her
finger to her lips, and peeps through the crack.)
FAUST (entering)Ah, rogue! a tease thou art:
MARGARET(clasping him, and returning the kiss)
FAUST (stamping his foot)
Tis time to separate.
Yes, Sir, 'tis late.
May I not, then, upon you wait?
My mother would—farewell!
Ah, can I not remain?
And soon to meet again!
[Exeunt FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES.
Dear God! However is it, such
A man can think and know so much?
I stand ashamed and in amaze,
And answer "Yes" to all he says,
A poor, unknowing child! and he—
I can't think what he finds in me! [Exit.
FOREST AND CAVERN
Spirit sublime, thou gav'st me, gav'st me all
For which I prayed. Not unto me in vain
Hast thou thy countenance revealed in fire.
Thou gav'st me Nature as a kingdom grand,
With power to feel and to enjoy it. Thou
Not only cold, amazed acquaintance yield'st,
But grantest, that in her profoundest breast
I gaze, as in the bosom of a friend.
The ranks of living creatures thou dost lead
Before me, teaching me to know my brothers
In air and water and the silent wood.
And when the storm in forests roars and grinds,
The giant firs, in falling, neighbor boughs
And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down,
And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders,—
Then to the cave secure thou leadest me,
Then show'st me mine own self, and in my breast
The deep, mysterious miracles unfold.
And when the perfect moon before my gaze
Comes up with soothing light, around me float
From every precipice and thicket damp
The silvery phantoms of the ages past,
And temper the austere delight of thought.
That nothing can be perfect unto Man
I now am conscious. With this ecstasy,
Which brings me near and nearer to the Gods,
Thou gav'st the comrade, whom I now no more
Can do without, though, cold and scornful, he
Demeans me to myself, and with a breath,
A word, transforms thy gifts to nothingness.
Within my breast he fans a lawless fire,
Unwearied, for that fair and lovely form:
Thus in desire I hasten to enjoyment,
And in enjoyment pine to feel desire.
Have you not led this life quite long enough?
How can a further test delight you?
'Tis very well, that once one tries the stuff,
But something new must then requite you.
Would there were other work for thee!
To plague my day auspicious thou returnest.
Well! I'll engage to let thee be:
Thou darest not tell me so in earnest.
The loss of thee were truly very slight,—
comrade crazy, rude, repelling:
One has one's hands full all the day and night;
If what one does, or leaves undone, is right,
From such a face as thine there is no telling.
There is, again, thy proper tone!—
That thou hast bored me, I must thankful be!
Poor Son of Earth, how couldst thou thus alone
Have led thy life, bereft of me?
I, for a time, at least, have worked thy cure;
Thy fancy's rickets plague thee not at all:
Had I not been, so hadst thou, sure,
Walked thyself off this earthly ball
Why here to caverns, rocky hollows slinking,
Sit'st thou, as 'twere an owl a-blinking?
Why suck'st, from sodden moss and dripping stone,
Toad-like, thy nourishment alone?
A fine way, this, thy time to fill!
The Doctor's in thy body still.
What fresh and vital forces, canst thou guess,
Spring from my commerce with the wilderness?
But, if thou hadst the power of guessing,
Thou wouldst be devil enough to grudge my soul the blessing.
A blessing drawn from supernatural fountains!
In night and dew to lie upon the mountains;
All Heaven and Earth in rapture penetrating;
Thyself to Godhood haughtily inflating;
To grub with yearning force through Earth's dark marrow,
Compress the six days' work within thy bosom narrow,—
To taste, I know not what, in haughty power,
Thine own ecstatic life on all things shower,
Thine earthly self behind thee cast,
And then the lofty instinct, thus—
(With a gesture:)
Shame on thee!
Yes, thou findest that unpleasant!
Thou hast the moral right to cry me "shame!" at present.
One dares not that before chaste ears declare,
Which chaste hearts, notwithstanding, cannot spare;
And, once for all, I grudge thee not the pleasure
Of lying to thyself in moderate measure.
But such a course thou wilt not long endure;
Already art thou o'er-excited,
And, if it last, wilt soon be plighted
To madness and to horror, sure.
Enough of that! Thy love sits lonely yonder,
By all things saddened and oppressed;
Her thoughts and yearnings seek thee, tenderer, fonder,—
mighty love is in her breast.
First came thy passion's flood and poured around her
As when from melted snow a streamlet overflows;
Thou hast therewith so filled and drowned her,
That now thy stream all shallow shows.
Methinks, instead of in the forests lording,
The noble Sir should find it good,
The love of this young silly blood
At once to set about rewarding.
Her time is miserably long;
She haunts her window, watching clouds that stray
O'er the old city-wall, and far away.
"Were I a little bird!" so runs her song,
Day long, and half night long.
Now she is lively, mostly sad,
Now, wept beyond her tears;
Then again quiet she appears,—Always
Ha! do I trap thee!
Get thee away with thine offences,
Reprobate! Name not that fairest thing,
Nor the desire for her sweet body bring
Again before my half-distracted senses!
What wouldst thou, then? She thinks that thou art flown;
And half and half thou art, I own.
Yet am I near, and love keeps watch and ward;
Though I were ne'er so far, it cannot falter:
I envy even the Body of the Lord
The touching of her lips, before the altar.
'Tis very well! My envy oft reposes
On your twin-pair, that feed among the roses.
Away, thou pimp!
You rail, and it is fun to me.
The God, who fashioned youth and maid,
Perceived the noblest purpose of His trade,
And also made their opportunity.
Go on! It is a woe profound!
'Tis for your sweetheart's room you're bound,
And not for death, indeed.
What are, within her arms, the heavenly blisses?
Though I be glowing with her kisses,
Do I not always share her need?
I am the fugitive, all houseless roaming,
The monster without air or rest,
That like a cataract, down rocks and gorges foaming,
Leaps, maddened, into the abyss's breast!
And side-wards she, with young unwakened senses,
Within her cabin on the Alpine field
Her simple, homely life commences,
Her little world therein concealed.
And I, God's hate flung o'er me,
Had not enough, to thrust
The stubborn rocks before me
And strike them into dust!
She and her peace I yet must undermine:
Thou, Hell, hast claimed this sacrifice as thine!
Help, Devil! through the coming pangs to push me;
What must be, let it quickly be!
Let fall on me her fate, and also crush me,—
One ruin whelm both her and me!
Again it seethes, again it glows!
Thou fool, go in and comfort her!
When such a head as thine no outlet knows,
It thinks the end must soon occur.
Hail him, who keeps a steadfast mind!
Thou, else, dost well the devil-nature wear:
Naught so insipid in the world I find
As is a devil in despair.
(at the spinning-wheel, alone)
My peace is gone,
My heart is sore:
I never shall find it,
Save I have him near.
The grave is here;
The world is gall
And bitterness all.
My poor weak head
Is racked and crazed;
My thought is lost,
My senses mazed.
My peace is gone,
My heart is sore:
I never shall find it,
To see him, him only,
At the pane I sit;
To meet him, him only,
The house I quit.
His lofty gait,
His noble size,
The smile of his mouth,
The power of his eyes,
And the magic flow
Of his talk, the bliss
In the clasp of his hand,
And, ah! his kiss!
My peace is gone,
My heart is sore:
I never shall find it,
My bosom yearns
For him alone;
Ah, dared I clasp him,
And hold, and own!
And kiss his mouth,
To heart's desire,
And on his kisses
At last expire!
Promise me, Henry!—
What I can!
How is't with thy religion, pray?
Thou art a dear, good-hearted man,
And yet, I think, dost not incline that way.
Leave that, my child! Thou know'st my love is tender;
For love, my blood and life would I surrender,
And as for Faith and Church, I grant to each his own.
That's not enough: we must believe thereon.
Would that I had some influence!
I honor them.
Desiring no possession
My darling, who shall dare
Then thou believest not!
Hear me not falsely, sweetest countenance!
Who dare express Him?
And who profess Him,
Saying: I believe in Him!
Who, feeling, seeing,
Deny His being,
Saying: I believe Him not!
Folds and upholds he not
Thee, me, Himself?
Arches not there the sky above us?
Lies not beneath us, firm, the earth?
And rise not, on us shining,
Friendly, the everlasting stars?
Look I not, eye to eye, on thee,
And feel'st not, thronging
To head and heart, the force,
Still weaving its eternal secret,
Invisible, visible, round thy life?
Vast as it is, fill with that force thy heart,
And when thou in the feeling wholly blessed art,
Call it, then, what thou wilt,—
Call it Bliss! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name to give it!
Feeling is all in all:
The Name is sound and smoke,
Obscuring Heaven's clear glow.
All that is fine and good, to hear it so:
Much the same way the preacher spoke,
Only with slightly different phrases.
The same thing, in all places,
All hearts that beat beneath the heavenly day—
Each in its language—say;
Then why not I, in mine, as well?
To hear it thus, it may seem passable;
And yet, some hitch in't there must be
For thou hast no Christianity.
I've long been grieved to see
That thou art in such company.
The man who with thee goes, thy mate,
Nay, fear him not, my sweetest one!
I feel his presence like something ill.
I've else, for all, a kindly will,
But, much as my heart to see thee yearneth,
The secret horror of him returneth;
And I think the man a knave, as I live!
If I do him wrong, may God forgive!
There must be such queer birds, however.
Live with the like of him, may I never!
When once inside the door comes he,
He looks around so sneeringly,
And half in wrath:
One sees that in nothing no interest he hath:
'Tis written on his very forehead
That love, to him, is a thing abhorréd.
I am so happy on thine arm,
So free, so yielding, and so warm,
And in his presence stifled seems my heart.
Foreboding angel that thou art!
It overcomes me in such degree,
That wheresoe'er he meets us, even,
I feel as though I'd lost my love for thee.
When he is by, I could not pray to Heaven.
That burns within me like a flame,
And surely, Henry, 'tis with thee the same.
There, now, is thine antipathy!
But I must go.
Ah, shall there never be
Ah, if I only slept alone!
I'd draw the bolts to-night, for thy desire;
But mother's sleep so light has grown,
And if we were discovered by her,
'Twould be my death upon the spot!
Thou angel, fear it not!
Here is a phial: in her drink
But three drops of it measure,
And deepest sleep will on her senses sink.
What would I not, to give thee pleasure?
It will not harm her, when one tries it?
If 'twould, my love, would I advise it?
Ah, dearest man, if but thy face I see,
I know not what compels me to thy will:
So much have I already done for thee,
That scarcely more is left me to fulfil.
(Enter MEPHISTOPHELES.) [Exit.
The monkey! Is she gone?
Hast played the spy again?
I've heard, most fully, how she drew thee.
The Doctor has been catechised, 'tis plain;
Great good, I hope, the thing will do thee.
The girls have much desire to ascertain
If one is prim and good, as ancient rules compel:
If there he's led, they think, he'll follow them as well.
Thou, monster, wilt nor see nor own
How this pure soul, of faith so lowly,
So loving and ineffable,—
The faith alone
That her salvation is,—with scruples holy
Pines, lest she hold as lost the man she loves so well!
Thou, full of sensual, super-sensual desire,
A girl by the nose is leading thee.
Abortion, thou, of filth and fire!
And then, how masterly she reads physiognomy!
When I am present she's impressed, she knows not how;
She in my mask a hidden sense would read:
She feels that surely I'm a genius now,—
Perhaps the very Devil, indeed!
What's that to thee?
Yet my delight 'twill also be!
AT THE FOUNTAIN
MARGARET and LISBETH With pitchers.
Hast nothing heard of Barbara?
No, not a word. I go so little out.
It's true, Sibylla said, to-day.
She's played the fool at last, there's not a doubt.
Such taking-on of airs!
And so, at last, it serves her rightly.
She clung to the fellow so long and tightly!
That was a promenading!
At village and dance parading!
As the first they must everywhere shine,
And he treated her always to pies and wine,
And she made a to-do with her face so fine;
So mean and shameless was her behavior,
She took all the presents the fellow gave her.
'Twas kissing and coddling, on and on!
So now, at the end, the flower is gone.
The poor, poor thing!
Dost pity her, at that?
He'll surely take her for his wife.
He'd be a fool! A brisk young blade
Has room, elsewhere, to ply his trade.
Besides, he's gone.
That is not fair!
If him she gets, why let her beware!
The boys shall dash her wreath on the floor,
And we'll scatter chaff before her door!
MARGARET (returning home)
How scornfully I once reviled,
When some poor maiden was beguiled!
More speech than any tongue suffices
I craved, to censure others' vices.
Black as it seemed, I blackened still,
And blacker yet was in my will;
And blessed myself, and boasted high,—
And now—a living sin am I!
Yet—all that drove my heart thereto,
God! was so good, so dear, so true!
(In a niche of the wall a shrine, with an image of the Mater
Dolorosa. Pots of flowers before it.)
(putting fresh flowers in the pots)
Incline, O Maiden,
Thy gracious countenance upon my pain!
The sword Thy heart in,
With anguish smarting,
Thou lookest up to where Thy Son is slain!
Thou seest the Father;
Thy sad sighs gather,
And bear aloft Thy sorrow and His pain!
Ah, past guessing,
The pangs that wring my flesh and bone!
Why this anxious heart so burneth,
Why it trembleth, why it yearneth,
Knowest Thou, and Thou alone!
Where'er I go, what sorrow,
What woe, what woe and sorrow
Within my bosom aches!
Alone, and ah! unsleeping,
I'm weeping, weeping, weeping,
The heart within me breaks.
The pots before my window,
Alas! my tears did wet,
As in the early morning
For thee these flowers I set.
Within my lonely chamber
The morning sun shone red:
I sat, in utter sorrow,
Already on my bed.
Help! rescue me from death and stain!
Incline Thy countenance upon my pain!
STREET BEFORE MARGARET'S DOOR
VALENTINE (a soldier, MARGARET'S brother)
When I have sat at some carouse.
Where each to each his brag allows,
And many a comrade praised to me
His pink of girls right lustily,
With brimming glass that spilled the toast,
And elbows planted as in boast:
I sat in unconcerned repose,
And heard the swagger as it rose.
And stroking then my beard, I'd say,
Smiling, the bumper in my hand:
"Each well enough in her own way.
But is there one in all the land
Like sister Margaret, good as gold,—
One that to her can a candle hold?"
Cling! clang! "Here's to her!" went around
The board: "He speaks the truth!" cried some;
"In her the flower o' the sex is found!"
And all the swaggerers were dumb.
And now!—I could tear my hair with vexation.
And dash out my brains in desperation!
With turned-up nose each scamp may face me,
With sneers and stinging taunts disgrace me,
And, like a bankrupt debtor sitting,
A chance-dropped word may set me sweating!
Yet, though I thresh them all together,
I cannot call them liars, either.
But what comes sneaking, there, to view?
If I mistake not, there are two.
If he's one, let me at him drive!
He shall not leave the spot alive.
How from the window of the sacristy
Upward th'eternal lamp sends forth a glimmer,
That, lessening side-wards, fainter grows and dimmer,
Till darkness closes from the sky!
The shadows thus within my bosom gather.
I'm like a sentimental tom-cat, rather,
That round the tall fire-ladders sweeps,
And stealthy, then, along the coping creeps:
Quite virtuous, withal, I come,
A little thievish and a little frolicsome.
I feel in every limb the presage
Forerunning the grand Walpurgis-Night:
Day after to-morrow brings its message,
And one keeps watch then with delight.
Meanwhile, may not the treasure risen be,
Which there, behind, I glimmering see?
Shalt soon experience the pleasure,
To lift the kettle with its treasure.
I lately gave therein a squint—
Saw splendid lion-dollars in 't.
Not even a jewel, not a ring,
To deck therewith my darling girl?
I saw, among the rest, a thing
That seemed to be a chain of pearl.
That's well, indeed! For painful is it
To bring no gift when her I visit.
Thou shouldst not find it so annoying,
Without return to be enjoying.
Now, while the sky leads forth its starry throng,
Thou'lt hear a masterpiece, no work completer:
I'll sing her, first, a moral song,
The surer, afterwards, to cheat her.
(Sings to the cither.)
What dost thou here
In daybreak clear,
Before thy lover's door?
Beware! the blade
Lets in a maid.
That out a maid
The coaxing shun
Of such an one!
When once 'tis done
Good-night to thee, poor thing!
Love's time is brief:
Unto no thief
Be warm and lief,
But with the wedding-ring!
VALENTINE (comes forward)
Whom wilt thou lure? God's-element!
Rat-catching piper, thou!—perdition!
To the Devil, first, the instrument!
To the Devil, then, the curst musician!
The cither's smashed! For nothing more 'tis fitting.
There's yet a skull I must be splitting!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
Sir Doctor, don't retreat, I pray!
Stand by: I'll lead, if you'll but tarry:
Out with your spit, without delay!
You've but to lunge, and I will parry.
Then parry that!
Why not? 'tis light.
I think the Devil must fight!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
Now is the lubber tame!
[Exit with FAUST.
MARTHA (at the window)
Come out! Come out!
MARGARET (at the window)
Quick, bring a light!
MARTHA (as above)
They swear and storm, they yell and fight!
Here lies one dead already—see!
MARTHA (coming from the house)
The murderers, whither have they run?
MARGARET (coming out)
Who lies here?
'Tis thy mother's son!
Almighty God! what misery!
I'm dying! That is quickly said,
And quicker yet 'tis done.
Why howl, you women there? Instead,
Come here and listen, every one!
(All gather around him)
My Margaret, see! still young thou art,
But not the least bit shrewd or smart,
Thy business thus to slight:
So this advice I bid thee heed—
Now that thou art a whore indeed,
Why, be one then, outright!
My brother! God! such words to me?
In this game let our Lord God be!
What's done's already done, alas!
What follows it, must come to pass.
With one begin'st thou secretly,
Then soon will others come to thee,
And when a dozen thee have known,
Thou'rt also free to all the town.
When Shame is born and first appears,
She is in secret brought to light,
And then they draw the veil of night
Over her head and ears;
Her life, in fact, they're loath to spare her.
But let her growth and strength display,
She walks abroad unveiled by day,
Yet is not grown a whit the fairer.
The uglier she is to sight,
The more she seeks the day's broad light.
The time I verily can discern
When all the honest folk will turn
From thee, thou jade! and seek protection
As from a corpse that breeds infection.
Thy guilty heart shall then dismay thee.
When they but look thee in the face:—
Shalt not in a golden chain array thee,
Nor at the altar take thy place!
Shalt not, in lace and ribbons flowing,
Make merry when the dance is going!
But in some corner, woe betide thee!
Among the beggars and cripples hide thee;
And so, though even God forgive,
On earth a damned existence live!
Commend your soul to God for pardon,
That you your heart with slander harden!
Thou pimp most infamous, be still!
Could I thy withered body kill,
'Twould bring, for all my sinful pleasure,
Forgiveness in the richest measure.
My brother! This is Hell's own pain!
I tell thee, from thy tears refrain!
When thou from honor didst depart
It stabbed me to the very heart.
Now through the slumber of the grave
I go to God as a soldier brave.