Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Faust Part II
A. S. Kline © 2003 All Rights Reserved
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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.
Youíre never short of a foolish fantasy:
Youíve dusted that one off again I see.
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)
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.
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.
Yet itís still worth noting, since every feature,
Reveals what it is the Devil sees in Nature.
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?
I did! I saw a mighty plan.
†††††††††††††††† 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.
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.
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
Sardanapalus! Modern and rural!
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
Not at all! This earthly round
Grants space for some mighty thing.
New strength for daring work Iíve found.
And shall you earn more glory by it too?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10185
One sees the heroines have been with you.
Iíll win power, and property!
The deed is all, and not the glory.
Yet future poetsí verse will stress
The splendour of your bright success,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10190
And inspire fools to foolishness.
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
Let it all be as you wish it then!
Trust fancyís flight to me again.
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.
Thereís nothing new in that to greet my ears,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10210
Iíve known it for a hundred thousand years.
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.)
Thatís trivial! Can you hear the distant drums?
War again! The wise man hates it when it comes.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10235
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!
Spare me all your riddles, if you please!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10240
Once and for all, say, what am I to seize?
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.
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.
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.
So it goes Ė it stumbles, falls, and stands again,
Then tumbles headlong, and lies there in pain.
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
That smacks of priesthood.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10285
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† † 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
Iím sorry for him: He was so frank and open.
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.
And what should I expect to see?
A hollow show! Blind magic! Trickery!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10300
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.
Youíve managed all the other things,
So win the battle, and what it brings!
No, youíll win it! There, beneath,
Youíll be their commander-in-chief.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10310
Thatís a somewhat glorified position:
Knowing nothing, to command the mission!
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.
What do I see, what warriors approach?
Have you truly roused the mountain folk?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10320
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
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.)
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.
Whatever will happen now, weíll soon see:
But I donít like this half-retreat, itís weak.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10350
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.
Thereís nothing left for me to do, but praise:
Here strength and bravery may have their day.
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.
This is the first time Iíve ever gazed on such a sight.
Forces like these are worth double when they fight.
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.
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.
A faithful soldier hastens towards us, look,
One sent for news, perhaps heís had some luck!
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.
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 second scoutís approaching, slowly,
On stumbling legs: a man full weary.
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!
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.
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.
Iíve heard it said: and I believe itís true:
But, gallant soldier, whatís all that to you?
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.
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.
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.
Such is my wrath, thatís how Iíd use the fool,
And set his head in front of me, for a stool.
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
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
I hereby relinquish the command.
(To the Commander-In-Chief)
Prince, I entrust the duty to your hand.
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.†††
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
The right flank holds in strength:
Thereís Bullyboy the nimble giant,
Towering over all, defiant,
And charging them at length.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10580
First I saw an arm uplifted,
Then at least a dozen shifted:
The thingís unnatural.
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.
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.
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.
But tell me: who then might command
Natureís assistance for our land,
This gathering of the rare?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10605
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.
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?
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.
An eagle soars in the upper air,
A Gryphon attacks him there.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10625
Attend: Itís an auspicious feature.
The Gryphonís a fabulous creature:
How could he forget whoís regal,
And tangle with a real eagle?
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.
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.
As itís prophesied, so let it be!
This whole thingís astounding me.
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.
See, my two ravens come winging,
What news might they be bringing?†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10665
I fear weíre in trouble here.
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.
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.
So Iím betrayed at last!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10685
Into your net Iíll be cast:
I shudder as it entangles me.
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.
Keep it for another day, one better
And blessed with better fortune.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10700
I shudder at this messenger,
And his company of ravens.
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.)
Let that blunt stick protect the man!
Itís of small use in anyoneís hand:
It has a cross, too, painted on.
What can we do?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† 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.
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.
Itís not a greeting to which theyíre used.
The bravest climbers appear confused.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Weíre the first ones here, I see!
No Raven flies as fast as me.
O! Look at the treasure there on top!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10785
What will I grab? How shall I stop?
The whole place is still full of loot,
I donít know where to start, in truth!
This fur-rug, thisíll go far,
Often my bedís far too hard. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10790
Hereís a morning star in steel,
Iíve always longed for one, I feel.†
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,
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.
What a murderous weight it is!
I canít lift: I canít carry it.
Bend down: quick! Youíll have to bow!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10805
Iíll strap it to your back for now.
Oh! Ah! Now itís in front, too!
The weightís broken my cross in two.
(The chest falls and bursts open.)
Thereís the red gold in a heap Ė
Quickly now, take and keep!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10810
Quickly then, just fill my lap!
Thereíll still be enough perhaps.
Thatís enough! Now off you go!
Oh! Your apron has a hole!
Wherever you walk or stand,†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10815
Youíre sowing gold on every hand.
What are you doing here, at leisure,
Rummaging in the Imperial treasure?
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.
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.
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
Take what youíve got: and leave the rest,
Here oneís hardly a welcome guest.
(They both exit.)
Tell me why you didnít land
That churl with a good right hand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
On behalf of us all I give our deepest thanks to you!
You make us strong and sure: increasing your power too.
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
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.
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
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.
And so I dismiss you that you may deliberate††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10975
Together, concerning this great day for our state.
(The Secular Princes exit.)
The Chancellor leaves, the Bishop remains here,
With this grave warning to offer in your ear.
His paternal heart, anxiously, fears for you.
Speak, in this happy hour, what careís on view?††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 10980
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.
Iím deeply fearful of this, my heavy sin:
Yourself, mark out the borders of the scheme.
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.
Let the pious mind proclaim so great an action,
In praising the Lord, Iíll achieve my expiation.
Enough! I already feel my mindís exaltation.
As Chancellor I require a formal proclamation.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11020
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.
The sin with which my soul is heavy, is full sore:
Wretched Sorcerers have wounded me, once more.
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.
Whoís patient, and is right, his time is yet to be.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 11040
For us, your word must wait on one manís desire.
The Emperor (Alone.)
I might as well sign away the whole wide empire.