Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

Faust Part II

 

(Act IV)

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Act IV

 

Scene I: High Mountains

 

(Fierce, jagged rocky peaks. A cloud approaches, pauses and settles on a projecting ledge. It parts.)

 

Faust (Steps out.)

 

Gazing at those deep solitudes beneath my feet,

I tread the mountain brink with deliberation,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10040

Leaving the cloud-vehicle that carried me,

Softly, through bright day, over land and ocean.

Slowly, not dispersing, now, it moves away.

With a rolling movement, travelling eastward,

And the eye follows in wondering admiration.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10045

Moving it divides, wave-like and changeable.

Yet it shapes itself Ė My eyes canít deceive me! Ė

I see, reclining there, nobly, on sunlit pillows,

A godlike female form, though itís immense!

An image of Juno, Leda, or Helen herself,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††  10050

Royally lovely, floating before my eyes.

Ah! Itís already melting! Formlessly huge

And towering it hangs in far icy eastern hills,

Reflecting deep meaning from fine fleeting days.

Yet a soft, delicate band of mist still clings†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10055

To head and body, coolly caressing: and cheers me.

Now it lifts lightly, soars higher and higher, there,

Condensing. Does its enticing shape deceive me,

Like some long-forgotten joy of earliest youth?

The first riches of the heartís depths flow again:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10060

Iíd liken it to Auroraís Love, light-winged:

The first, swiftly felt, scarcely understood glance,

That outshines every treasure when itís held fast.

The lovely form rises, now, like spiritual beauty,

Not melting further, but lifting through the air,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10065

And carries, far-off, the best of what I am.

 

(A seven-league boot strides forward: another follows immediately. Mephistopheles steps out of them. The boots stride off quickly.)

 

Now that I call real onward striding!

But tell me why youíre all alone,

Climbing here among the horrors,

In these horrendous gulfs of stone?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10070

I know them well, but with another face,

In truth, the floor of Hellís a similar place.

 

Faust

 

Youíre never short of a foolish fantasy:

Youíve dusted that one off again I see.

 

Mephistopheles (Seriously)

 

When the Lord God Ė and I know why as well Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10075

Banished us from the air to deepest deeps,

There, where round and round the glow of Hell,

An eternal inward self-fuelled fire leaps,

We found we were too brightly illuminated,

Quite crowded, and uncomfortably situated.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10080

All the devils fell to fits of coughing,

The vents above them and beneath them puffing,

Hell swollen with the sulphurís stench and acid,

Gave out its gas! The bubble was so massive,

That soon the level surface of the earth,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10085

Thick as it was, was forced to crack and burst.

So we all gained another mountain from it,

And what was ground, before, now is summit.

From this they deduced the truest law,

Turn lowest into highest, to be sure,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10090

Since we escaped from fiery prison there,

To excessive power in the freer air:

An open mystery, yet well concealed,

And only lately publicly revealed. (Ephesians 6:12)


Faust

 

To me the mountain masses are nobly dumb,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10095

I donít ask why they are, or where theyíre from.

When Nature in herself was grounded

The ball of Earth she neatly rounded,

Delighting in the mountains and the deep,

Setting rock on rock, and peak on peak,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10100

Sloping the hills conveniently downward,

Softening them to vales, gently bounded.

They grow green, and joyfully she ranges,

Without the need for any violent changes.

 

Mephistopheles

 

Yes, so you say! Itís clear as day to you:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10105

But he knows otherwise who saw it too.

I was there, while the void seethed below,

Enduring all that swollen, fiery tide:

When Molochís hammer forged cliffs, at a blow,

And flung the ruined mountains, far and wide.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10110

Those foreign boulders scattered through the land:

Who knows what forces left them high and dry?

Philosophers all have failed to understand,

The rocks are there, and we must let them stand,

Weíve damaged them, already, where they lie.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10115

Only the true believers, the people, know,

And nothing will shake their fond opinion,

They, since their wisdom ripened long ago,

Say itís due to Satanís wonderful dominion.

The traveller climbs, with faithís crutch, over ridges, ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10120

Across the Devilís rocks, and Devilís bridges.

 

Faust

 

Yet itís still worth noting, since every feature,

Reveals what it is the Devil sees in Nature.


Mephistopheles

 

Whatís that to me! Let Nature be what she is!

The Devil was there: thatís what Iíd have you notice!††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10125

Weíre the folk, you see, who achieve great things:

The signs are tumult, force, and what nonsense brings! Ė

But shall I make myself understood at last: itís best:

Did nothing at all of ours please you in the slightest?

Youíve looked down, from immeasurable heights,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10130

On the riches of the world, and its splendid sights. (Matthew 4)

Yet, hard as you may be to fire,

Didnít you feel some deep desire?

 

Faust

 

I did! I saw a mighty plan.

Guess!

 

Mephistopheles

 

†††††††††††††††† Oh, thatís easily done.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10135

Iíd find myself some capital city,

Itís core the citizensí greedy plenty,

Crooked alleys and pointed gables,

Cabbage, turnips, onions, market tables:

Butcherís stalls where flies all cluster:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10140

Round the fattened joints, pass muster:

Wherever you move, there youíll find

Stench and activity, intertwined.

Then wide streets, and wider squares,

Measured, elegant thoroughfares:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10145

And, at their end, no gates to bar you:

Just boundless far-flung suburbs too.

There I love to see all the carriages go by,

The noisy rushing about from side to side,

The endless running to and fro,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10150

Of scattered ants in ceaseless flow.

And when I walk, and when I ride,

Iíd be the central point implied,

A hundred thousand honouring me.

 

Faust

 

That could never content me though.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10155

A swelling crowd is fine to see,

All well-fed in their way, agreed,

Well-bred, well-taught, all the three Ė

Yet youíve only made more rebels grow.

 

Mephistopheles

 

For myself, Iíd deliberately create††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10160

A pleasure house in a pleasant place.

Woods, hills, fields, meadows, open ground,

With splendid gardens all around.

Between green walls of velvet leaves,

Straight walks, where artful shadows please,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10165

Waterfalls, spanning the rocks, in pairs,

And all those kinds of water-jet affairs:

Rising nobly, while all round the dish,

A thousand little fountains hiss and piss.

Then Iíd have a hut, snug and convenient,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10170

Where beautiful women might be content:

And pass the boundless time away

In the sweetest solitude, and play.

Women, I say: since, one and all,

I think of their loveliness in the plural.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††  10175

 

Faust

 

Sardanapalus! Modern and rural!

 

Mephistopheles

 

Then might one ask to know your yearning?

Itís something daring: Iíve no doubt.

Since the moon was near you in your journeying,

Might it be moon-madness youíre about?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10180


Faust

 

Not at all! This earthly round

Grants space for some mighty thing.

Weíll attempt whatís astonishing,

New strength for daring work Iíve found.

 

Mephistopheles

 

And shall you earn more glory by it too?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10185

One sees the heroines have been with you.

 

Faust

 

Iíll win power, and property!

The deed is all, and not the glory.

 

Mephistopheles

 

Yet future poetsí verse will stress

The splendour of your bright success,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10190

And inspire fools to foolishness.

 

Faust

 

All thatís far from you, indeed.

What do you know of what Men need?

Your contrary being, bitter, dire,

What does it know of Manís desire?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10195

 

Mephistopheles

 

Let it all be as you wish it then!

Trust fancyís flight to me again.

 

Faust

 

My eyes were drawn towards the deepest ocean:

It swelled, and heaped itself, upon itself,

Then ebbed, and shook its waves again in motion,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10200

Storming towards the wide shoreís level shelf.

And that annoyed me: as the exuberance

Of a free spirit, that values all its rights,

Will transmit uneasy feelings to the dance

Of the passionate blood that it excites.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10205

I thought it chance: I gazed more intensely:

The waves paused, rolled away from me,

Far from what theyíd reached in their pride:

Time passes, and then once more comes the tide.

 

Mephistopheles (To the audience.)

 

Thereís nothing new in that to greet my ears,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10210

Iíve known it for a hundred thousand years.

 

Faust (Continuing passionately.)

 

It sweeps along, to whatever thousand ends:

Fruitless itself, it fruitlessly extends:

It swells and rolls and breaks and overwhelms

The empty stretches of its barren realms.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10215

There wave rules power-inspired wave, again

Draws back Ė and yet still thereís nothing gained.

If anything makes me despair, of my intent,

Itís the aimless force of that wild element!

Then my spirit dared to soar high above:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10220

Here I must fight, and this I must remove.

And itís possible! Ė However tides may flow,

At last they nestle round the hills below:

So they are tamed in their exuberance,

A modest height tops their proud advance,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10225

A modest depth draws them forcefully on.

Quick, through my mind, leapt plan after plan:

Let rich enjoyment be mine for evermore,

To keep the noble ocean from the shore,

To channel all the wide and watery waste,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10230

And urge it backwards to its own deep place.

Step by step I know how to design it:

Thatís my desire, so be brave and promote it!

 

(On the right, from the distance, behind the audience, the sound of drums and military music.)

 

Mephistopheles

 

Thatís trivial! Can you hear the distant drums?

 

Faust

 

War again! The wise man hates it when it comes.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10235

 

Mephistopheles

 

War or peace, itís wise to seize the chance,

And gain advantage from the circumstance.

One waits, one notes each favourable moment.

Opportunityís about, so Faust, be ardent!

 

Faust

 

Spare me all your riddles, if you please!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††           10240

Once and for all, say, what am I to seize?

 

Mephistopheles

 

Nothing was hidden from me on my journey:

The noble Emperorís consumed by worry.

You know him. While we both supplied him,

Those illusory riches in his hand, beside him,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10245

The whole world then was open to him.

Young, the throne was granted to him,

And it pleased him to assume, wrongly,

That he could easily combine the two,

Enjoy the essential and the lovely too:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10250

Both government and pleasure, jointly.

 

Faust

 

A fatal error! He who wishes to command

Must make command his joy, and though

His mind is full of all the noblest plans,

What he intends, must let no other know.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10255

What he whispers then in some faithful ear,

Is done, and the world will be amazed to hear.

So heíll remain supreme, above them all,

And noblest: pleasure comes before a fall.

 

Mephistopheles

 

Thatís not the man! He enjoyed himself, and how!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10260

Meanwhile anarchy brought the empire down,

While great fought little, and orders crossed,

And brothers fought with brothers, and were lost,

Castle with castle, city against city,

The guilds at war with the nobility:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10265

The bishops with their congregation:

No friends, and only a hostile nation.

In churches death and slaughter: through the gate

Every merchant and trader swift to his fate.

Now, everywhere, manís audacity shows:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10270

The word is Ďdefend your lifeí. And so it goes.

 

Faust

 

So it goes Ė it stumbles, falls, and stands again,

Then tumbles headlong, and lies there in pain.

 

Mephistopheles

 

None dared to criticise the situation,

Each could, and would improve his station.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10275

Even the smallest wished to be great enough.

But for the best it proved a step too much.

The capable declared, with energy:

ĎHe who brings peace can have the mastery.

The Emperor canít, and will not Ė let us choose†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10280

A new Emperor, whoíll inspire the realm anew.

While each man achieves security,

In a world thatís re-created freshly,

Let peace and justice there be wedded, too.í

 

Faust

 

That smacks of priesthood.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10285

 

Mephistopheles

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † The priests were there, yes,

Defending their well-fed stomachs with the rest,

And they were more involved than all the others.

The rebels swarmed: and were blessed as brothers:

Then the Emperor, whom we had made happy,

Advanced, for his last battle, thatís as maybe. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10290

 

Faust

 

Iím sorry for him: He was so frank and open.

 

Mephistopheles

 

Weíll watch! While thereís life thereís hope again.

Letís set him free, from this narrow valley!

Heís a thousand times saved, if they would rally.

Who knows how the dice might fall, if so:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10295

Good luck, and heíll have treasures to bestow.

 

(They cross over the middle range of hills, and view the army in the valley. Drums and military music sound from below.)

 

The position theyíve taken, there, looks fine:

Weíll join them: victory Ė in the nick of time.

 

Faust

 

And what should I expect to see?

A hollow show! Blind magic! Trickery!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10300


 

Mephistopheles

 

Strategy, and how to win a battle!

Think hard, and be on your mettle,

Keep dreaming of your mighty aim.

If we return the Emperor his land,

You can kneel, and make a claim,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10305

In payment, for the boundless strand.

 

Faust

 

Youíve managed all the other things,

So win the battle, and what it brings!

 

Mephistopheles

 

No, youíll win it! There, beneath,

Youíll be their commander-in-chief.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10310

 

Faust

 

Thatís a somewhat glorified position:

Knowing nothing, to command the mission!

 

Mephistopheles

 

Leave it to the General Staff to care,

And see a Field-Marshall newborn there.

I know all about Un-Councils of War††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10315

Form your War Council, quickly, therefore,

From ancient hillsí ancient human power:

Bless those who can pile peaks in a tower.

 

Faust

 

What do I see, what warriors approach?

Have you truly roused the mountain folk?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10320


Mephistopheles

 

No! But like Shakespeareís Peter Quince,

Iíve picked the very best of what there is.

 

(The Three Mighty Warriors appear.)

 

Here are my lads arriving now!

You see theyíre all of different ages,

And clothes and armour too: allow††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10325

That youíll be fine when battle rages.

 

(To the audience.)

 

Every child today loves to see

Knights in armour take the floor:

Allegorical though they may be,

Theyíll delight them all the more.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10330

 

Bullyboy (Young, lightly armed, plainly clothed.)

 

If someone meets me face to face,

Iíll shake a fist right there in his ugly mug,

And when the yellow-belly runs away,

Iíll grasp his hair, and give a nasty tug.

 

Grab-quick (Mature, well-armed, richly dressed.)

 

Such idle brawlingís foolishness,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10335

Thatís how to ruin the day:

Donít be slow first to possess,

Then afterwards youíll get your way.

 

Hold-tight (Older, heavily armed, without a cloak.)

 

But thatís the path where littleís won!

Great possessionís quickly gone,                                                            10340

Vanishing in the stream of life.

Itís fine to take, but best to hold:

Let grey hairs command the bold,

And youíll lose nothing in the strife.


 

Act IV Scene II: On the Headland

 

(Drums and military music from below. The Emperorís tent is pitched.)

 

†(The Emperor, Commander-in-Chief, Guardsmen.)

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

It still seems the most likely strategy,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10345

To have made our whole army wait,

Here below, in this convenient valley:

I hope the choice is truly fortunate.

 

The Emperor

 

Whatever will happen now, weíll soon see:

But I donít like this half-retreat, itís weak.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10350

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

Look here, my Prince, on our right flank!

This terrain is one that Generals like to thank:

The hills arenít steep, but thereís no ready access,

So it protects us, while denying them success:

Weíre half-concealed, on undulating ground:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††            10355

Their cavalry wonít dare to circle round.

 

The Emperor

 

Thereís nothing left for me to do, but praise:

Here strength and bravery may have their day.

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

There, in the centre of the level space,

See the phalanx, eagerly in place.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10360

The lances shine and glitter in the air,

Through the sunlit mist of morning, there.

And all the mighty square is swaying darkly!

Thousands inspired to fierce activity.

There you can see our power en masse,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10365

I trust it to split the enemy in half.

 

The Emperor

 

This is the first time Iíve ever gazed on such a sight.

Forces like these are worth double when they fight.

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

Iíve nothing to report about our left,

Valiant heroes hold the rocky cleft,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10370

Weapons gleam across the rocky dale,

A vital pass protects the narrow vale.

Here the enemy power, I think, will shatter,

Taken unawares in this bloody matter.

 

The Emperor

 

There they advance, my faithless kith and kin,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10375

Even as they call me brother, uncle, cousin,

Ever more widely, allowing menís respect

For throne and sceptre to fall into neglect:

Ruining the empire with their fighting,

And now, against me, rebelliously uniting.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10380

The mob is swayed, uncertain in its mind,

Then, wherever the stream flows, flows behind.

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

A faithful soldier hastens towards us, look,

One sent for news, perhaps heís had some luck!

 

First Scout

 

Luckily we met success,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10385

Brave and cunning in our skill,

Probing, out to east and west,

Yet bring you bad news, still.

Many swear their loyalty,

Many a faithful company:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10390

Yet all idly apologetic:

Quailing inwardly, apathetic.

 

The Emperor

 

From selfishness they learn self-preservation,

Not honour, affection, gratitude, dedication.

No one thinks that when time brings the reckoning,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10395

The neighbourís house ignites theirs while itís burning.

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

The second scoutís approaching, slowly,

On stumbling legs: a man full weary.

 

Second Scout

 

At first we easily detected

The nature of their wild plan:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10400

Then, suddenly, and unexpected,

A second Emperor was at hand.

And in a calm, and orderly manner

Withdrew the army from the deep:

Unfurling his deceitful banner:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10405

They all followed him, like sheep!

 

The Emperor

 

A second Emperorís fortunate for me:

Since Iím the Emperor, plain as plain can be.

Now as a soldier Iíll dress myself, again,

In armour, dedicated to this higher aim.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10410

My entertainments, fine as they all were,

Lacking in nothing, never brought me danger.

While you suggested something innocent,

My heart longed to fight the tournament:

And had you not dissuaded me from war,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10415

Iíd have shone in glorious deeds before.

But when I was mirrored in that realm of fire,

I felt my heart was mine, and made entire:

The fierce element entered in my fate,

Only a dream, and yet the dream was great.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10420

Iíve thought confusedly of fame and glory:

Yet all was my own neglect, an evil story.

 

(The heralds are sent to challenge the rival Emperor to single combat.)

 

(Faust enters, in armour, with half-closed visor. The Three Mighty Warriors appear armed and dressed as previously described.)

 

Faust

 

Weíre here, and hope our presence is accepted:

Though needless, cautionís often well respected.

You know how hill-folk consider and explore:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10425

They study nature and the mountainsí lore.

The spirits drawn from out the level valley,

Are happier than ever in the wide hill-country.

They still work the labyrinthine masses,

Among metallic fumes of noble gases.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10430

Intent on separating, proving, blending,

Their only aim some innovative finding.

With gentle touch and spiritual power,

They build transparent forms, by the hour:

Then in eternal silence, in the crystal,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10435

They watch the destiny of all things mortal.

 

The Emperor

 

Iíve heard it said: and I believe itís true:

But, gallant soldier, whatís all that to you?

 

Faust

 

Your true and honourable servant there,

Is that Sabine, the Norcian Necromancer.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10440

What fearful fate once hung above his head!

Crackling wood, the stinging fire ahead:

Dry timber packed already round his feet,

With rolls of pitch and brimstone all complete:

No warrior, god, or devil to the rescue,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10445

The Emperor saved his life: and that was you,

In Rome: he was obliged, and none the less

Anxiously, he contemplates your progress.

Wholly forgotten: every hour, just for you,

He studies the stars and the abyss too.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10450

He sent us on, by the swiftest path,

To help you. Great is the mountain craft:

There Nature works omnipotent, and free,

Though foolish clerics call it wizardry.

 

The Emperor

 

On joyful days, when we greet our guests,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10455

Who gather pleasantly, with happy jests,

It gives us pleasure, when they pull and push,

And fill the halls and chambers with their crush.

Yet the brave man meets with noblest welcome,

When in fierce support he deigns to come,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10460

At the dawning of some perilous day,

When fateís balance holds us in its sway.

Yet while some time this moment can afford,

Hold back your strong hand from the eager sword,

Honour the instant, when thousands march,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10465

For or against me, taking up the torch.

Selfís the Man! Who claims the crown and throne,

Must be worthy of the honour, on his own.

May the phantom now that stands against me,

Who calls himself the Emperor of my country,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10470

The armyís leader, and the lordsí crowned head,

Be hurled by my own fist among the dead.

 

Faust

 

Whatever the need to finish what youíve started,

It would go ill if you and your head were parted.

Isnít your helmet decked with plume and crest?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10475

It shields the head that fills our hearts with zest.

Without a head what can the members do?

If it should sleep, they sink in silence too:

If itís injured, theyíre all hurt alike,

And if itís healed they quickly stir to life.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10480

Swiftly the arm will assert its right:

And shield the head then from the fight:

The sword at once perceives its duty,

Strikes again, and parries strongly:

The brave foot, owning its luck again,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10485

Plants itself on the necks of the slain.

 

The Emperor

 

Such is my wrath, thatís how Iíd use the fool,

And set his head in front of me, for a stool.

 

Heralds (Returning.)

 

Our advances they reject,

With little honour, or respect.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10490

Our strong, and noble ultimatum,

They treated as an empty statement:

ĎYour Emperor is wholly lost,

An echo of some ancient rhyme:

When we think about the past,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10495

His tale will be: Once upon a time.í

 

Faust

 

Itís come to pass as the best of men demand,

Those firm and true, at your right hand:

There is the foe: your men stand by us:

Order the advance, the timeís propitious.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10500

 

The Emperor

 

I hereby relinquish the command.

 

(To the Commander-In-Chief)

 

Prince, I entrust the duty to your hand.

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

Then let the right wing start its assault!

The enemy leftís ascending, even now,

And in a moment will be forced to halt.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10505

To our young faithfuls they will have to bow.†††

 

Faust

 

Let this brave hero, straight away,

Join your ranks, without delay,

So that in your ranks he might,

Make a brave show in the fight.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10510

 

(He points to the Mighty Warrior on the right.)

 

BullyBoy (Coming forward.)

 

He who shows his face to me, wonít turn

Before his front and back teeth shatter:

He who shows his back to me will earn

A blow to make his head much flatter.

And if your soldiers then advance††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10515

With sword and mace, together,

Man after man, the foe will dance,

And in their own blood quickly smother.

 

(He exits.)

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

Let the central phalanx follow slowly,

Engage the enemy with force and cunning:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10520

There on the right theyíre almost ready

To surrender, you can see them running.


Faust (Pointing to the central Warrior)

 

Let this man follow at your command!

Heís quick, and grabs with either hand.

 

Grab-quick (Comes forward.)

 

The thirst for plunder now will greet†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10525

The Emperorís troopsí advancing feet,

And all will gather, with intent,

At the rival Emperorís tent.

He wonít linger on his throne:

Iíll lead the phalanx on my own.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10530

 

Swift-plunder (A camp follower, fawning on him.)

 

Although he and I arenít wed,

Heís my sweetheart. Here instead

Autumn ripens for the bold!

Womanís fierce when she takes hold,

Merciless, in a plundering crowd,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10535

Forward to victory! Allís allowed.

 

(They exit together.)

 

The Commander-in-Chief

 

As I anticipated on our left flank,

They hurl their right, in force, at last.

Weíll resist their furious ranks,

And keep them from the narrow pass.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10540

 

Faust (Beckoning to the Warrior on the left.)

 

Prince, take note of this man too:

No shame if the strong are stronger than you.

 

Hold-tight (Coming forward.)

 

Let the flanks forget their fear!

I seize the ground where I appear:

In me are born the powers of old,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10545

No lightning splits what I shall hold.

 

Mephistopheles (Descending from above.)

 

Now see how from the hinterland

Of this rocky jagged land,

An armed host bursts forth

On narrow pathways from the north,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10550

With sword and helmet, shield and spear,

Forming a rampart in our rear:

They wait for the signal to charge on.

 

(Aside, to the knowing ones.)

 

You mustnít ask me where theyíre from.

Iíve gathered them from everywhere,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10555

The armouries all around are bare:

They stood on foot, and sat astride,

Like lords of earth on every side:

They were emperors, knights, and kings,

Now theyíre the empty shells of things:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10560

Iíve dressed so many spirits for the strife,

Itís like the Middle Ages come to life.

Whichever little devils are inside,

Theyíll have enough effect to turn the tide.

 

(Aloud.)

 

Listen how they show their anger,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10565

Jostling, in metallic clangour!

The ragged banners flutter free,

That waited restless for the breeze.

Think: hereís an ancient race thatís ready

To mingle in our new dispute, and gladly. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10570

 

(A tremendous peal of trumpets from above: a perceptible tremor in the hostile army.)

 

Faust

 

The far horizon darkens swiftly,

Yet, here and there, and meaningfully,

Thereís an incipient crimson glow,

Already the battlefield gleams there,

The rocks, the woods, the atmosphere,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10575

The very heavens join the show.

 

Mephistopheles

 

The right flank holds in strength:

Thereís Bullyboy the nimble giant,

Towering over all, defiant,

And charging them at length.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10580

 

The Emperor

 

First I saw an arm uplifted,

Then at least a dozen shifted:

The thingís unnatural.

 

Faust

 

Donít you know the bands of mist

That drift round the Sicilian cliffs?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10585

There, in the daylight, clear,

In mid-air, hovering about

Mirrored in peculiar cloud,

Marvellous images appear.

Cities wander to and fro,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10590

Gardens rise above, below,

As form on form fills the air.

 

The Emperor

 

Yet itís suspicious! All about

The tips of spears are shining out:

On our phalanxí gleaming lances,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10595

I see a crowd of flame-lets dances.

It looks quite ghostly there, to me.

 

Faust

 

Forgive me, Lord, those are the traces

Of natural spirits, vanished races,

A glimmer of the Dioscuri,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10600

Sailors invoke in tempestís fury:

They show their last strength there.

 

The Emperor

 

But tell me: who then might command

Natureís assistance for our land,

This gathering of the rare?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10605

 

Mephistopheles

 

Who else than that noble Master,

Who takes your destiny to heart?

The thought of military disaster

Moves him deeply, stirs his art.

In gratitude, he wants to save you,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10610

Though he himself should suffer too.

 

The Emperor

 

They cheered me, when I was invested:

So I was keen to see my power tested:

I found it useful, without much thought, as ruler,

To send that wise man where the air was cooler.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10615

I robbed the clergy of a fond desire,

And hardly won their favour from the fire.

Now that so many years have gone

Is this the reward of what Iíd done?


 

Faust

 

Good deeds from the heart reap riches:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10620

Let your glance stray upwards now!

I think heíll send a sign, a show,

Attend: straight away itís as he wishes.

 

The Emperor†

An eagle soars in the upper air,

A Gryphon attacks him there.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10625

 

Faust

 

Attend: Itís an auspicious feature.

The Gryphonís a fabulous creature:

How could he forget whoís regal,

And tangle with a real eagle?

 

The Emperor

 

And now, they fly in wider gyres,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10630

They wheel together: swiftly now

Then dash against each otherís bow,

So neck and chest are ripped entire.

 

Faust

 

Now note the miserable Gryphon,

Ripped and rumpled, hurt quite badly,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10635

Now, with his lionís tail all torn,

He falls, and vanishes in a tree.

 

The Emperor

 

As itís prophesied, so let it be!

This whole thingís astounding me.

 

Mephistopheles (Towards the right.)

 

Driven by blows, ten times repeated,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10640

The enemy force has retreated,

And in the uncertain fight

Drifts away towards the right,

So defusing all the force

Of their armyís sinister course.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10645

Our phalanx with its spears tightening

Moves to the right, and like lightening

Strikes them in the weakest place:

Now like the storm-driven waves

They roar, with opposing force,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10650

Wildly on their dual course:

Gloriously all sound dies away,

And victory is ours, Iíd say!

 

The Emperor (On the left, to Faust.)

 

See! Something looks suspicious,

Our positionís inauspicious,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10655

Not a stoneís hurled in the air,

The cliffs below are taken there,

Bare the narrows, to the pass.

Now! The enemy en masse

Are ever nearer to the sun,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10660

Perhaps weíre already overrun:

An end to this unholy strife!

Your arts wonít save my life.

 

(Pause.)

 

Mephistopheles

 

See, my two ravens come winging,

What news might they be bringing?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10665

I fear weíre in trouble here.


The Emperor

 

What do they mean these wretched birds?

Their black wings turn hitherwards,

Out of the heat of battle they steer.

 

Mephistopheles (To the ravens.)

 

Both of you sit by my ear,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† 10670

None are lost if you are near,

Your councilís always good to hear.

 

Faust (To the Emperor.)

 

Youíll know about homing pigeons

Ones that return from distant regions,

To their nest, and food, and young.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10675

Hereís a slightly different kind:

Pigeon post in peace is fine,

Raven posts to war belong.

 

Mephistopheles

 

The birds announce a dreadful fate:

Beware the enemy at the gate,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10680

Near our heroesí rocky wall!

Theyíve attained the narrow height,

If they gain the pass, and fight,

Our positionís critical.

 

The Emperor

 

So Iím betrayed at last!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10685

Into your net Iíll be cast:

I shudder as it entangles me.


Mephistopheles

 

Courage, now! Not yet, their victory.

Patience and skill unties the knot!

Itís often fiercest at the end.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10690

The pair of messengers, weíve got:

Command me, Iíll command them!

 

The Commander-In-Chief (Who has arrived, meanwhile.)

 

Youíve united with this pair,

Tormenting me while I was there,

No luck comes from wizardry.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10695

I canít fathom now how to win

Those should finish, that begin:

Take this baton away from me.

 

The Emperor

 

Keep it for another day, one better

And blessed with better fortune.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10700

I shudder at this messenger,

And his company of ravens.

 

(To Mephistopheles.)

 

Iíll not grant the baton to you,

Youíre not the proper man:

Give commands: free us too!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10705

Do whatever it is you can.

 

(He exits into his tent with the Commander-In-Chief.)

 

Mephistopheles

 

Let that blunt stick protect the man!

Itís of small use in anyoneís hand:

It has a cross, too, painted on.


Faust

 

What can we do?

 

Mephistopheles

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Itís already done!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10710

Now dark Cousins, hurry from the scene,

To the mountain lake! Greet the Undines,

And beg from them their gleaming flood.

Their female arts, those difficult of knowing,

Can divorce appearances from being,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10715

And all still swear itís being that theyíre seeing.

 

(Pause)

 

Faust

 

With flattery our pair of ravens

Have so charmed those water maidens

That trickling flows at once begin.

And many a bald, dry ridge of mountain††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10720

Becomes a swollen, rushing fountain:

The enemy can no longer win.

 

Mephistopheles

 

Itís not a greeting to which theyíre used.

The bravest climbers appear confused.

 

Faust

 

Now, powerfully, streams pour on streams,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10725

Sweeping from gorges with redoubled gleams,

A river now throws up an arching veil:

Pours over the rocky level in a tide,

Runs foaming down, on every side,

And, stepwise, hurls itself into the dale.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10730

What use their fine, heroic resistance?

The vast wave roars, and fills the distance.

I shudder myself at this wild waterfall.

 

Mephistopheles

 

I can see nothing of these watery lies,

They only serve for fooling human eyes,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10735

I delight instead in wonders that befall.

In companies, their men plunge down,

The fools imagine that theyíll drown,

While free to breathe, on solid ground,

With swimming strokes, they run around.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10740

Itís bewildering them all.

 

(The Ravens return.)

 

Iíll praise you to the noble Master: but see,

If youíd like to display your own mastery,

Hurry to the glowing smithy,

Where the dwarf folk never weary,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10745

Hammering sparks from steel and stone.

Ask for, once youíve chattered first,

A fire to shine: sparkle, and burst,

The finest that manís ever known.

Itís true that far off lightning flashes,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10750

And stars that fall in sudden dashes,

Can happen any summerís night:

But lightning in the tangled bushes,

And stars that fizzle in the rushes,

Theyíre not such a common sight.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10755

Donít trouble about my command,

Ask first, then afterwards demand.

 

(The Ravens fly off. All takes place as ordered.)

 

Darkness cloaks the enemy!

Their footsteps meet uncertainty!

Everywhere are wandering flares, †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10760

And those sudden blinding glares!

Itís all beautiful indeed,

Now some noise is what we need.

 

Faust

 

The empty armour from each vaulted room,

Feels itself stiffen in the airy gloom:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10765

There it rattles, clatters all around,

A marvellous, and deceptive sound.

 

Mephistopheles

 

Thatís it! They no longer feel constrained:

Already their blowsfall unrestrained,

As in the nobility of their former life.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10770

Breastplates and helmets gleam,

As Guelph and Ghibelline,

They quickly renew eternal strife.

Locked in hereditary bile,

They prove themselves, un-reconciled:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10775

Far and wide the noise is rife.

In the end, by all the Devils, yes!

Partisan hatredís still the best,

Till final ruin ends the tale:

Here rise the sounds of utter panic,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10780

And others bitter and Satanic,

Terrify, along the vale.

 

(Warlike tumult from the orchestra, finally changing to a lively martial air.)


Act IV Scene III: The Rival Emperorís Tent

 

(A throne amongst rich trappings. Grab-quick and Swift-plunder.)

 

Swift-plunder

 

Weíre the first ones here, I see!

 

Grab-quick

 

No Raven flies as fast as me.

 

Swift-plunder

 

O! Look at the treasure there on top!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10785

What will I grab? How shall I stop?

 

Grab-quick

 

The whole place is still full of loot,

I donít know where to start, in truth!

 

Swift-plunder

 

This fur-rug, thisíll go far,

Often my bedís far too hard. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10790

 

Grab-quick

 

Hereís a morning star in steel,

Iíve always longed for one, I feel.†

 

Swift-plunder

 

This red mantle, trimmed with gold,

Is like the one my dream foretold.


Grab-quick (Taking a weapon.)

 

With this the deed is swiftly done,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10795

You strike him dead and then move on.

Youíve already packed somuch stuff,

And yet youíve nothing good enough.

Leave your plunder in its place,

And put a casket in the space!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10800

The armyís pay is what they hold,

In their fat bellies, purest gold.

 

Swift-plunder

 

What a murderous weight it is!

I canít lift: I canít carry it.

 

Grab-quick

 

Bend down: quick! Youíll have to bow!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10805

Iíll strap it to your back for now.

 

Swift-plunder

 

Oh! Ah! Now itís in front, too!

The weightís broken my cross in two.

 

(The chest falls and bursts open.)

 

Grab-quick

 

Thereís the red gold in a heap Ė

Quickly now, take and keep!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10810

 

Swift-plunder (Crouching.)

 

Quickly then, just fill my lap!

Thereíll still be enough perhaps.


Grab-quick

 

Thatís enough! Now off you go!

 

(Swift-plunder rises.)

 

Oh! Your apron has a hole!

Wherever you walk or stand,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10815

Youíre sowing gold on every hand.

 

Guardsmen of the True Emperor

 

What are you doing here, at leisure,

Rummaging in the Imperial treasure?

 

Grab-quick

 

We risked our bodies in the ranks,

And take away our share of thanks.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10820

Thatís the rule, in enemy tents,

And weíre soldiers too, my friends.

 

The Guardsmen

 

That wonít wash in our army:

You canít be soldier and thief equally:

Whoever serves our Emperor,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10825

Is an honest soldier, and no more.

 

Grab-quick

 

That honesty, we know it, son,

Itís called: a contribution.

Youíre all the same: itís a crime,

ĎGive!í is the password every time,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† 10830

 

(To Swift-plunder.)

 

Take what youíve got: and leave the rest,

Here oneís hardly a welcome guest.

 

(They both exit.)

 

A Guardsman

 

Tell me why you didnít land

That churl with a good right hand.

 

A Second Guardsman

 

I donít know, my strength was gone,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10835

They were a pair of ghostly ones.

 

A Third Guardsman

 

There was something nasty in my eye,

I couldnít see: they flickered by.

 

A Fourth Guardsman

 

I donít know what to say:

It was sweltering hot today,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10840

So sultry, so close as well,

One man stood, another fell:

You staggered around and struck, in one,

At every blow you killed someone,

There was a mist in front of your eyes,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10845

Then a buzz, and rustle, and hiss went by:

So it went on, and here we are, now,

I donít know what happened, anyhow.

 

(The Emperor enters, accompanied by Four Princes. The Guardsmen exit.)

 

Now, let him do as he may! The battle here is done,

The host is scattered in flight, across the field new won.                        10850

Here is the traitorís treasure, and his empty throne,

Where tapestries hang round, closed in a narrow zone.

Protected by our guard of honour, weíll wait

Imperially, for the peopleís delegate.

Messengers of joy arrive from every side:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10855

The Empireís calm, and weíre mutually reconciled.

Though some wizardry was involved in our fight,

In the end we fought with only our own true might.

There were of course a few lucky accidents:

Stones from the sky, a shower of blood on their tents,†††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10860

Strange and mighty sounds from the rocky caves,

That lifted our hearts, and terrified their braves.

The conquered fell, beneath our relentless scorn,

Praising the kind god, our ranks cheer once more.

And all, without coercion, shout together as one:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10865

ĎGod be praised!í from a million throats is wrung.

Yet in highest praise I turn my own pious glance

As I seldom do, towards my own circumstance.

A young man may well squander his early days,

But age teaches him all the error of his ways.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††           10870

Therefore at once without delay I bind you to me,

You noble four, to my House, Court and country.

 

(To the First.)

 

Prince, yours was the armyís ordering, wisely planned,

Then, at the height of the battle, its bold command:

Now act, in time of peace, as the hour requires you to,††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10875

I name you High-Marshall, and confer the sword on you.

 

The High-Marshall

 

Your loyal army, deployed, on my orders,

Internally, will now defend your borders,

Let us, too, prepare the table on feast days,

In your spacious castleís ancestral ways.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10880

Always to be your High Majestyís defence,

Standing beside you, or marching in advance.

 

The Emperor (To the Second.)

 

You, who show yourself as gracious as youíre brave,

Be our High-Chamberlain: the office is grave.

You become the overseer of all our attendants,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10885

Great evil comes from strife among dependants:

So let your example honourably recall

How they may please their prince, the court and all.

 

The High-Chamberlain

 

Be gracious, that the Lords may further your great aim:

Assist the best and cause no injury to the lame,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10890

Be open without cunning: be calm without deceit!

If you know me, Sire, my ambition is complete.

But on the feast may I now deploy my imagination?

When youíre at table, I shall bear the golden basin,

Iíll hold your rings, that on those joyful days†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10895

Your hands may be refreshed, as I am by your gaze.

 

The Emperor

 

I feel too serious for ready celebration,

But, be it so, as a joyful inauguration!

(To the Third.)

 

I make you High-Steward! Oversee the chase,

The poultry yard, and such, around the place:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10900

Give me the finest dishes, choice and rare,

In their right month, and carefully prepared.

 

The High-Steward

 

Strict fast will be my pleasant punishment,

Till I can serve the tastiest refreshment.

Your kitchen staff will join with me to bring††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10905

The distant near, and make the year take wing.

Yet early and rare wonít stimulate your fires,

Simple and strong, is what your taste desires.

 

The Emperor (To the Fourth.)

 

Since planning feasts is unavoidable here,

Young hero, Iíll give you my cup to bear.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10910

High-Cupbearer, take care those cellars of mine

Are richly filled with casks of vintage wine.

Be temperate yourself: donít lose your reason

In the wild delight of momentary temptation!

 

The High-Cupbearer

 

The young, if you trust in them, my Prince,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10915

Grow to manhood, almost before youíd notice.

Iíll take my place too at your noble feast:

And load the imperial table with all thatís best,

With every kind of vessel, in silver and gold,

But the handsomest of all for you Iíll hold:††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10920

A clear Venetian glass, where joy is waiting,

That strengthens the taste, without intoxicating.

One often trusts too much in such a treasure:

But your restraint, Lord, will protect your pleasure.

 

The Emperor

 

What I bestow on you at this grave moment,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10925

You hear, in confidence, has my true intent.

The Emperorís word is great, his gift is sure,

But to be enacted it needs his signature,

His noble mark. Hereís the right man I see

True to his time, to complete the formality.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10930

 

(The Archbishop and High-Chancellor enters.)

 

If the arch can trust the keystoneís part,

Then itís raised securely, with lasting art.

You see four Princes here! And Iíve explained

How my House and Court must be sustained.

Now, what the empire holds within its bounds††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10935

Is placed, with weight and power, in your hands.

Youíll outshine all others in your estates:

So Iíve extended your walls and gates,

With the lost possessions of our enemy.

I award you fine lands, for your loyalty.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10940

Together with the right, in due course,

To buy, exchange, or add to them by force:

Then, be it known, I grant you unhindered use Ė

Of what belongs to you, the landlordís dues.

When you as judges speak your final thought,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10945

No appeal shall be heard by a higher court.

Then taxes, levies, rents, and tolls and fees,

Are yours: of mines, mints, salt the royalties.

And to display my gratitude completely,

Iíve raised you all to highest majesty.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10950

 

The Archbishop

 

On behalf of us all I give our deepest thanks to you!

You make us strong and sure: increasing your power too.

 

The Emperor

 

To you five, still higher favours will I give.

I live for my empire, and I still wish to live:

Yet ancient, noble ties draw the careful thinker††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10955

From present things to those that follow after.

I too, in time, must leave all I still hold dear,

Itís your duty then to name a new ruler, here.

At our holy altar, crown and raise him high:

What war begins ends peacefully, by and by.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10960

 

The High-Chancellor

 

With pride at heart, yet humble in gesture, too,

We, the Earthís noblest princes bow to you.

So long as blood fills our loyal veins, then still

Are we the body that obeys your every will.

 

The Emperor

 

Now, to conclude, let everything weíve enacted†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10965

Be set down for the future, as weíve contracted.

As Lords you hold your possessions, free in fact,

With this condition, that they remain intact.

And what you have from us, whatever else is won,

Shall descend in due measure to the eldest son.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10970

 

The High-Chancellor

 

Iíll entrust it to parchment straight away,

This weightiest statute to bless us, and the state:

The Chancery will provide fair copy, and reveal

You as confirmed, my Lords, by sign and seal.

 

The Emperor

 

And so I dismiss you that you may deliberate††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10975

Together, concerning this great day for our state.

 

(The Secular Princes exit.)

 

The Archbishop

 

The Chancellor leaves, the Bishop remains here,

With this grave warning to offer in your ear.

His paternal heart, anxiously, fears for you.

 

The Emperor

 

Speak, in this happy hour, what careís on view?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10980

 

The Archbishop

 

With what bitter pain I find that even at this hour,

Your hallowed head still toys with Satanís power!

True, youíve secured the throne now, yet it seems,

Sadly, scorning God, and the Popeís great schemes.

When he learns of it, swift punishment heíll bring,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10985

And destroy your sinful realm with holy lightning.

Heís not forgotten how, at that earlier time,

Of coronation, you freed the wizard: in crime.

With your diadem, you injured Christianity,

Striking a cursed head with the first act of mercy.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10990

Now beat your breast and from your guilty measure,

Give back to the holy shrine a little treasure:

You, taught humility, devote to pious use, and good,

The spacious stretch of hills where your tent stood.

Where evil spirits gathered for your protection,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10995

And the Prince of Liars secured your attention:

Grant mount and forest deep, as far as they extend,

And heights, the green slopes adorn, without end.

Clear lakes rich in fish, countless streams that flow,

Winding swiftly, that rush to the valleys below:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11000

Then the broad vale itself, meadow, lawn and hollow:

Show your remorse: gain the mercy that must follow.

 

The Emperor

 

Iím deeply fearful of this, my heavy sin:

Yourself, mark out the borders of the scheme.

 

The Archbishop

 

First then the place profaned by such sinfulness,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11005

Dedicate that to the service of heavenliness.

Thick walls rise quickly, at the mindís desire,

Already the sunís dawn glance lights the choir,

The growing building takes the crossís structure,

The nave long and high, a delight to each believer:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11010

Already as they press eagerly through the doors,

A first peal rings through hills, down valley floors,

From the high tower, thatís striving towards heaven,

The penitent comes, to whom new life is given.

That day of consecration Ė may it be soon! Ė†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11015

When your presence grants the greatest boon.

 

The Emperor

 

Let the pious mind proclaim so great an action,

In praising the Lord, Iíll achieve my expiation.

Enough! I already feel my mindís exaltation.

 

The Archbishop

 

As Chancellor I require a formal proclamation.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11020

 

The Emperor

 

A formal document: lay that before me,

Iíll be pleased to sign whatever the Church agrees.

 

The Archbishop (Has taken leave, but turns back at the door.)

 

At the same time devote the total income of the land,

As it arises, tithes, taxes, levies, to the work on hand,

Forever. It needs to be maintained, fairly,††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11025

And its careful upkeep will cost us dearly.

From all that plunder, grant us a measure of gold,

To build it quickly there, in that desert fold.

Moreover weíll need, I canít help mentioning,

Timber from far off, lime, slate, and such things.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11030

Exhorted from the pulpit, the folk will haul it,

The Church will bless the man who learns to serve it.

 

(He exits.)

 

The Emperor

 

The sin with which my soul is heavy, is full sore:

Wretched Sorcerers have wounded me, once more.

 

The Archbishop (Returning, yet again, and bowing deeply.)

 

Pardon, my Lord! The Imperial shore was given†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11035

To that disreputable man, Iíll excommunicate him,

Unless you in penitence grant the Church, there, too,

Its tithes, and gifts, and taxes: the whole of its revenue.

 

The Emperor (In a bad humour.)

 

That land doesnít exist, it lies there under the sea.

 

The Archbishop

 

Whoís patient, and is right, his time is yet to be.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11040

For us, your word must wait on one manís desire.

 

(He exits.)

 

The Emperor (Alone.)

 

I might as well sign away the whole wide empire.


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