Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Faust Part I


(Scenes XVI to XXV)


Home                                                             Download


Previous Scenes                                Next Scenes


A. S. Kline © 2003 All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.


Scene XVI: Marthaís Garden


(Margaret. Faust.)




Promise me, Heinrich!



††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††† If I can!




Say, as regards religion, how you feel.†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  3415

I know that you are a dear, good man,

Yet, for you, it seems, it has no appeal.




Leave that alone, child! You feel Iím kind to you:

For Love Iíd give my blood, my life too.

Iíll rob no man of his church and faith.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††            3420




Thatís not right, we must have faith.




Must we?




††††††††††† Ah, if in this I was only fluent!

You donít respect the Holy Sacrament.




I respect it.




††† Without wanting it, though. Youíve passed

So many years without confession, or mass.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3425

Do you believe in God?




††††††††† ††††††††† My darling, who dare say:

ĎI believe in Godí?

Choose priest to ask, or sage,

The answer would seem a joke, would it not,

Played on whoever asks?




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† So, you donít believe?†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   3430




Sweetest being, donít misunderstand me!

Who dares name the nameless?

Or who dares to confess:

ĎI believe in himí?

Yet who, in feeling,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     3435


Says: ĎI donít believeí?

The all-clasping,

The all-upholding,

Does it not clasp, uphold,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††       3440

You: me, itself?

Donít the heavens arch above us?

Doesnít earth lie here under our feet?

And donít the eternal stars, rising,

Look down on us in friendship?†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  3445

Are not my eyes reflected in yours?

And donít all things press

On your head and heart,

And weave, in eternal mystery,

Visibly: invisibly, around you?††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      3450

Fill your heart from it: it is so vast,

And when you are blessed by the deepest feeling,

Call it then what you wish,

Joy! Heart! Love! God!

I have no name††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3455

For it! Feeling is all:

Names are sound and smoke,

Veiling Heavenís bright glow.




Thatís all well and good, I know,

The priest says much the same,††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 3460

Only, in slightly different words.




Itís what all hearts, say, everywhere

Under the heavenly day,

Each in its own speech:

And why not I in mine?†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††       3465




Listening to you, it almost seems quite fine,

Yet something still seems wrong, to me,

Since you donít possess Christianity.




Dear child!




††††††††† Iíve long been grieved

To see you in such company.†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3470



†Why, who?




That man who hangs round you so,

I hate him in my innermost soul:

Nothing in all my life has ever

Given my heart such pain, no, never,

As his repulsive face has done.†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3475




Donít be afraid of him, sweet one!




His presence here, it chills my blood.

To every other man I wish good:

But much as Iím longing to see you

Iíve a secret horror of seeing him, too,††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 3480

Iíve thought him a rogue, all along!

God forgive me, if I do him wrong!




There have to be such odd fellows.




Iíd rather not live with such as those!

Once heís inside the door, again,† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3485

He looks around in a mocking way,

And half-severely:

You can see heís not at all in sympathy:

Itís written on his forehead even,

That thereís no spirit of love within.† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3490

Iím so happy in your arms,

Free, untroubled, and so warm,

Yet Iím stifled in his presence.




You angel, full of presentiments!




It oppresses me, so deeply, too,† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   3495

That when he meets with us, wherever,

I feel that I no longer love you.

Ah I canít pray when heís there,

And that gnaws inside me: oh,

Heinrich, for you too, surely itís so.††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   3500




Itís merely an antipathy!




I must go now.




Ah, will there never be

An hour where I can clasp you to my heart,

And heart to heart, and soul, to soul impart?




Ah, if I only slept alone!† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3505

For you, Iíd gladly draw the bolt tonight:

But my mother hears the slightest tone,

And if we were caught outright,

Iíd die on the selfsame spot!



You angel: no need for that.†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3510

Here is a little phial to keep!

Three drops of this, in her drink, sheíll take,

And Nature will favour her with deepest sleep.




What would I not do for your sake?

I hope that it wonít harm her though!† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     3515




Would I advise it, Love, if it were so?




Ah, I only have to see you, dearest man,

And something bends me to your will,

For you, so much, I have already done,

Little remains for me to do for you still.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      3520


(She exits.)


(Mephistopheles enters.)

The little monkey! Has it gone?




††††††††† ††††† Spying again, are you?




Iíve heard in infinite detail, how

The Doctor works his catechism through,

And I hope it does you good, now.

Girls are always so keen to review††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3525

Whether oneís virtuous, and sticks to the rules.

They think if a man can be led, heíll follow too.




Monster, you canít see

How this true loving soul,

Full of a belief,††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3530

That is wholly

Her salvation, torments herself so,

In case her lover should be lost indeed.




You sensual wooer, beyond the sensual,

A Magdalen leads you by the nose, I see.                                                   3535




Abortion, of the filth and fire of hell!




And how well she reads oneís physiognomy:

In my presence, senses, without knowing how,

The hidden mind behind the mask: she feels

That Iím an evil genius, at least, and now†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3540

Perhaps, that itís the Devil it conceals.

So, tonight? Ė




††††††††† ††† Whatís that to you?




I take my pleasure in it too!†††

Scene XVII: At The Fountain††††


(Gretchen and Lisbeth.)




Have you not heard from Barbara?




Not a word. I go out so seldom.††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3545




Itís certain, Sibyl told me: well then,

She finally fell to that seducer.

Thereís a lady for you!




†††† How so?




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††† It stinks!

Sheís feeding two when she eats and drinks.




Oh!††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3550




Serves her right then, finally.

She clung to that fellow, oh so tightly!

That was a fine to-ing and fro-ing,

Round the village, and dance-going,

Ahead of us all, they had to shine,†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     3555

Him treating her always to cakes and wine:

She the picture of loveliness, oh so fine,

So low after all, then, and so shameless,

And the gifts she took from him, nameless.

It was all kissing and carrying on:††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3560

But now the flower is gone!




The poor thing!




††††††††† ††††††††† Why are you so pitying?

When each of us was at our spinning,

When mother never let us out,

She and her lover hung about:††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        3565

On the bench, in a dark alley,

Forgetting the time, he and she.

She canít raise her head again,

In a sinnerís shift now, penitent.




Surely heíll take her for his wife.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3570




Heíd be a fool! A lively fellow

Can ply his trade elsewhere, and so -

Heís gone.



††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †Oh, thatís not nice!




If she gets him, sheíll reap ill in a trice,

The lads will tear at her wreath, whatís more††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     3575

Weíll scatter chaffin front of her door!

(She exits.)


Gretchen (Walking home.)


How proudly Iíd revile her, then,

Whenever some poor girl had fallen!

I couldnít find words enough, I mean,

To pour out scorn for anotherís sin!††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     3580

Black as it seemed, I made it blacker,

Not black enough for me: oh never.

It blessed its own being, that proud self,

Yet now Iím the image of sin, myself!

Yet all that drove me on to do it,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3585

God! Was so fine! Oh, so sweet!

Scene XVIII: A Tower


(In a niche of its wall a shrine, and image of the Mater Dolorosa, with flowers in front of it. Gretchen sets out fresh flowers. )




Oh bow down,

Sorrowful one,

Your kind face, to my affliction!


A sword in your heart,†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3590

Where a thousand pains start,

You look up, at your dead Son.


You look up to the Father,

You send Him your sighs, there,

For His, and for your, affliction.†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3595


Who then can feel,

How like steel,

Is the pain inside my bones?

What my poor heart fears for,

What it quakes for, and longs for†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††        3600

You know, and you alone!


Wherever I go now,

How sore, sore, sore now

How sore my heart must be!

Ah, when Iím alone here,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   3605

I moan, moan, moan here:

My heart it breaks in me.


The pots before my window!

My tears bedewed them so,

In the early dawn, when††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3610

I picked the flowers below.

The sun it shone so brightly,

And early, in my room,

Where I sat already,

On my bed, in deepest gloom.†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3615


Help me! Oh, save me, from shame and destruction!

Oh, bow down,

Sorrowful one,

Your kind face, to my affliction!

Scene XIX: Night


(The Street in front of Gretchenís door.)


Valentine (A soldier, Gretchenís brother.)


When I have sat, and heard the toasts,††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      3620

Where everyone makes good his boasts,

And comrades praised, to me, the flower

Of maidenhood, and loud the hour,

With brimming glass that blurred the praise,

And elbows sticking out all ways,†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     3625

I sat in my own peace secure,

Listening to the boastful roar,

And as I stroked my beard, Iíd smile

And take a full glass in my hand,

Saying: ĎEach to his own, but Iíll††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††            3630

Ask if thereís any in this land,

Who, to my Gretel, can compare

Whose worth can ever equal hers?í

Hear! Hear! Clink! Clang! Went around:

Some cried out: ĎHeís quite correct,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3635

Sheís an ornament to all her sex.í

There sat the boasters, not a sound.

And now! Ė I could tear my hair, bawl,

And dash my head against the wall! Ė

With jeers, they now turn up their noses:††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3640

Every rogue can taunt me, he supposes!

Like a bankrupt debtor, when Iím sitting,

A casual word can start me sweating!

And though I thrash them all together,

Iíve still no right to call them liars.††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3645


Who goes there? Whatís creeping by?

If Iím not wrong, thereís two I spy.

If itís him, Iíll have him by the skin,

Alive heíll not leave the place heís in!

(Faust. Mephistopheles)




How the glow of the eternal light† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3650

Shines from the Sacristy window, there,

On either side grows fainter, fainter,

And all around draws in the night!

Now it seems as dark within my heart.




And Iíve a little of the tom-catís art,†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3655

That creeps around the fire escape,

Then slinks along the wall, a silent shape,

Iím quite virtuous in my way,

A little prone to thieve, and stray.

The splendour of Walpurgis Night,†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††         3660

Already haunts all my members,

Itís the day after tomorrowís light:

There, why one watches, one remembers.




Meanwhile youíll bring that wealth to view,

That I see there, glimmering, behind you?††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††        3665




Youíll soon experience the delight

Of holding this cauldron to the light.

I recently had a squint inside Ė

Where splendid silver dollars hide.




And not a jewel, or a ring,†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††          3670

To adorn my darling girl?




Among the rest I saw a thing,

A sort of necklace, made of pearl.




Thatís good! Itís painful to me,

To take no gift for her to see.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3675




You shouldnít find it so annoying,

To get something now, for nothing.

Now the sky glows, filled with stars,

Youíll hear the work of a master:

Iíll sing a few moralising bars,†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3680

All the better to seduce her.


(Sings to the zither.)


ĎWhy are you here,

Katrina dear,

In daylight clear,

At your loverís door?†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††          3685

No, no! When,

It will let in,

A maid, and then,

Let out a maid no more!



Take care for once†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        3690

Itís over and done,

And itís all gone,

Goodnight to you, poor thing!

Keep your loveís belief,

And the pleasure brief,

From every thief,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3695

Unless youíve a wedding ring.í


Valentine (Approaching.)


Whom do you lure? By every element!

You evil-tongued rat-catcher!

To the devil, with your instrument!† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3700

To the devil, too, with the singer!




The zitherís broken! Thereís nothing left of it.




Thereís a still a skull left Iíll need to split!


Mephistopheles (To Faust.)


Look lively, Doctor! Donít give ground.

Stand by: Iíll command this thing.†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3705

Out with your fly-whisk, now.

You lunge! Iím parrying.




Parry, then!




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †And why not, indeed?




And that!




†† Ah, yes!



†††† †††† ††††††††The devil opposes me!

Whatís this? My handís already maimed.†††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3710


Mephistopheles (To Faust.)


Thrust, home!


Valentine (Falls.)


††††††††† ††††††††† Ah!




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Now, the lout is tamed!

Away, we must go! Swiftly, of course,

Soon the cries of murder will begin,

With the police, now, Iím well in:

But not so much so, with the courts.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††        3715


(He exits with Faust.)


Martha (At the window.)


Come here! Come here!


Gretchen (At the window.)


††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††† Hereís a light!




Hear how they swear and struggle, yell and fight.




Hereís one dead already!

Martha (Leaving the house.)


Where have the murderers gone?


Gretchen (Leaving the house.)


Who is it, lying there?




††††††††† ††††††††† Your motherís son.††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††          3720




Almighty God! What misery!




Iím dying! Thatís soon spoken,

And, sooner still, it will be done.

Why stand there, crying, woman?

Come, hear me everyone!†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††         3725


(They gather round him.)


Youíre still young, my Gretchen, see!

And still havenít sense enough, to be

Effective in your occupation.

Iíll tell you confidentially:

Now that youíre a whore indeed,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3730

Be one, by proclamation!




My brother! God! Why speak to me so?




In this business, leave God alone!

Sadly, what is done is done,

And what will come: will come.††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3735

Begin with one, in secret, then,

Soon youíll gather other men,

And, when a dozen of them have had you,

All the town can have you too.

When Shame herself appears,†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 3740

Sheís first brought secretly to light,

Then they draw the veil of night

Over both her eyes and ears:

Men would gladly kill her, I say,

But they let her walk about and prosper,†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     3745

So she goes nakedly by day,

Yet isnít any lovelier.

Sheís the uglier to our sight,

The more it is she seeks the light.

Truly I can see the day†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3750

When all honest people

Will turn aside from you, girl,

As from a corpse with plague.

Your heartís flesh will despair,

When they look you in the face,†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        3755

Youíll have no golden chain to wear!

At the altar, there, youíll have no place!

Youíll not be dancing joyfully

In all your lovely finery!

In some wretched gloomy corner, you† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   3760

Will hide, with cripples and beggars too,

And, though God may still forgive,

Be damned on earth while you live!




Commend your soul to Godís mercy!

Will you end your life with blasphemy? ††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††            3765



If I could destroy your withered body,

Shameless, bawd, Iíd hope to see

A full measure of forgiveness

For me, and all my sinfulness.




My brother! These are the pains of hell!†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††          3770




I said, leave off weeping, girl!

When you and honour chose to part,

That was the sword-thrust in my heart.

I go, through a sleep within the grave,

To God, as a soldier, true and brave.††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3775


(He dies.)

Scene XX: The Cathedral


(A Mass, with organ and choir.)


(Gretchen among a large congregation: the Evil Spirit behind Gretchen.)


The Evil Spirit


How different it was, Gretchen,

When you, still innocent,

Came here to the altar,

And from that well-thumbed Book,

Babbled your prayers, †††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††  3780

Half, a childish game,

Half, God in your heart!


Whatís in your mind?

In your heart,†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††            3785

What crime?

Do you pray for your motherís soul, who

Through you, fell asleep to long, long torment?

Whose blood is on your doorstep?

And beneath your heart,†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3790

Does not something stir and swell,

And trouble you, and itself,

A presence full of foreboding?




Oh! Oh!

Would I were free of the thoughts††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           3795

That rush here and there inside me,

Despite myself!


Choir (Singing the Requiem Mass, the verses of Thomas of Celano, which commence: ĎThat day, the day of wrath, will dissolve the world to ashí.)


ĎDies Irae, dies illa,

Solvet saeclum in favilla!í


(The organ sounds.)


The Evil Spirit


Wrath grasps you!† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3800

The trumpet sounds!

The grave trembles!

And your heart,

From ashen rest,

To fiery torment††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 3805

Brought again,





Would I were not here!

It seems to me as if the organ

Steals my breath,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3810

The Hymn dissolves

My heart in the abyss.




(Verse 6:ĎSo when the Judge takes the chair, whatever is hidden will appear, nothing is left unpunished there.í)


ĎJudex ergo cum sedebit,

Quidquid latet adparebit,

Nil unultum remanebit.í† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††               3815




Iím so stifled!

The pillars of the walls

Imprison me!

The arches

Crush me! Ė Air!††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    3820

The Evil Spirit


Hide yourself! Sin and shame

Cannot be hidden.

Light? Air?

Misery, to you!


Choir (Verse 7: ĎWhat shall I say in that misery, who shall I ask to speak for me, when the righteous will be saved, and barely?í)


ĎQuid sum miser tunc dicturus,††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††3825

Quem patronum rogaturus,

Cum vix Justus sit securus?í


The Evil Spirit


The transfigured, turn

Their faces from you.

The pure, shudder †††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        3830

To offer you their hand.



Choir (Repeats: ĎWhat shall I say in that misery?í)


ĎQuid sum miser tunc dicturus?í




Neighbour! Your restorative!


(She falls, fainting.)

Scene XXI: Walpurgis Night


(The Hartz Mountains, in the region of Schierke and Elend.)


(Faust, Mephistopheles.)




Donít you just long for a broomstick?††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     3835

I wish Iíd the sturdiest goat to ride.

Like this, the journeyís not so quick.




So long as my legs can do the trick,

This knotted stick will do me fine.

Why do we need a shorter way! Ė††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3840

To wander this labyrinth of valleys,

Climb all these cliffs and gullies,

From which the waters ever spray,

Thatís a delight enchants the day!

Spring stirs already in the birches,† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††          3845

And even the fir tree knows it now:

Shouldnít our limbs feel it search us?




Truly, I donít feel a thing!

Itís winter in my body, still,

On my path I want it frosty, snowing.††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††3850

How sadly the Moonís imperfect circle

With its red belated glow, is rising,

So dim its light that at every step

You scrape a rock, or else a tree!

Ah, there, a will oí the wisp leapt!†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3855

Itís burning fiercely, now, I see.

Hey! My friend! May I ask your aid?

Would you like to give us a blaze?

Be so good as to light us up the hill!


Will Oí The Wisp


With respect, I hope Iíll still be able,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3860

To keep my Natural light quite stable:

We usually zig-zag here, at will.




Ha, ha! He thinks to play the human game.

Go straight along now, in the Devilís name!

Or Iíll blow out your flickering spark!††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3865


Will Oí The Wisp


Youíre master of the house, Iíll remark,

And yes, Iíll serve you willingly.

But think! The mount is magically mad today,

And if a will oí the wisp should lead the way,

You mustnít judge things too precisely.†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††        3870


Faust, Mephistopheles, The Will Oí The Wisp (In alternating song.)


We it seems, now find ourselves.

In the sphere of dreams and magic,

Do us honour, guide us well

So our journey will be quick,

Through the wide, deserted spaces!†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††3875

Tree on tree now shift their places,

See how fast they open to us

And the cliffs bow down before us,

And their long and rocky noses,

How they whistle and blow, for us!†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3880

Through the stones, and through the grasses,

Stream and streamlet, downward, hurrying.

Is that rustling? Is that singing?

Do I hear sweet loversí sighing,

Heavenly days, is that their babbling?†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3885

What we hope for, what we love!

And the echoes, like the murmuring

Of those other days, are ringing.

ĎToo-wit! Too-woo!í sounding nearer,

Owl there, and jay, and plover,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3890

Are they all awake above?

A salamander in the scrub, heís

Long of leg, and fat of belly!

And every root like a snake,

Over sand and rock all bent,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        3895

Stretches with a strange intent,

To scare us, of us prisoners make:

From the gnarled and living mass,

Stretching towards those who pass,

Fibrous tentacles. And mice†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      3900

Multi-coloured, lemming-wise,

In the moss and in the heather!

And all the fire-flies glowing,

Crushed together, tightly crowding,

In their tangled cohorts gather.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3905

Tell me, are we standing still,

Or are we climbing up the hill?

All seems spinning like a mill,

Rocks and trees, with angry faces

Lights, now, wandering in spaces,†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3910

Massing: swelling at their will.




Grasp me bravely by the coat-tail!

Hereís a summit in the middle,

Where, astonished you can see,

Mammon glowing furiously.†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3915




How strangely, through the hollow, glows

A sort of dull red morning light!

Into the deepest gorge it flows,

Scenting abysses in their night.

There vapour rises: here cloud sweeps,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      3920

Here the glow burns through the haze,

Now like a fragile thread it creeps,

Now like a coloured fountain plays.

Here a vast length winds its way,

In a hundred veins, down the vales,††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   3925

And here in a corner, locked away,

All at once, now lonely, fails.

Nearby the sparks pour down,

Like showers of golden sand,

But see! On all the heights around,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   3930

The cliffs, now incandescent, stand.




Has Mammon not lit his palace

Splendidly, forthis festivity?

Itís fortunate youíre here to see,

I already sense the eager guests.††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††    3935




How the wind roars through the air!

And whips around my head!




Grasp the ancient stony bed,

Lest youíre thrown in the abyss, there.

Mist dims the night to deepest black.†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††       3940

Hear the forest timbers crack!

The owls are flying off in terror.

Hear, how the columns shatter,

In the vast, evergreen halls.

Now the boughs groan and fall!††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3945

All the tree-trunks are thrumming!

All their roots are creaking, gaping!

Sinking in a tangled horror,

Crashing down on each other,

And through the ruined gorges††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3950

The wind howls and surges.

Hear the voices on the heights?

Far away, and then nearby?

Yes, a furious magic song

Sweeps the mountain, all along!††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         3955


Witches (In chorus.)


To Brockenís tip the witches stream,

The stubbleís yellow, the seed is green.

There the crowd of us will meet.

Lord Urian has the highest seat.

So they go, over stone and sticks,††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        3960

The stinking goat, the farting witch.


A Voice


Old Baubo comes, alone, and how:

Sheís riding on a mother-sow.




So honour then, where honourís due!

Baubo, goes first! Then, all the crew!††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3965

A tough old sow, a mother proud,

Then follow, all the witchesí crowd.


A voice


Which way did you come?


A voice


††††††††††††††††††† †††† By the Ilsen Stone!

I gazed at the owl in her nest alone.

What a pair of Eyes she made!††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       3970


A Voice


O, all you who to Hellís gate go!

Why ride there so quickly though?

A Voice


Sheís driven me hard: oh, see,

The wounds, all over me!


Witches, Chorus


The way is broad: the way is long.

Where is this mad yearning from?

The fork will prick, the broom will scratch,

The child will smother: the mother crack.


Wizards, Half-Chorus


Like snails in their shells, weíre crawlers,

All the women are there before us.

At the House of Evil, when weíre callers,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  3980

Womanís a thousand steps before us.


The Other Half


We donít measure with so much care,

In a thousand steps a Womanís there.

But make whatever speed she can,

A single leap, and there is Man.††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 3985


Voice (From above.)


Come now: come now from stony mere!


Voice (From below.)


Weíd like to climb the heights from here.

Weíre as bright and clean as ever,

But weíre unfruitful still, forever.


Both Choruses


The wind is quiet: a star shoots by,††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      3990

The shadowy Moon departs the sky.

The magic choirís a rush of sparks,

Thousands shower through the dark.


Voice (From below.)


Halt! Halt!


Voice (From above.)


Who calls there, from the stony vault?†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     3995


Voice (From below.)


Take me with you! Take me with you!

Climbing for three hundred years,

I havenít reached the summit yet,

I long to be where my peers are met.


Both Choruses


Hereís the broom: and hereís the stick,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††             4000

The ram is here, the fork to prick.

Tonight, whoever canít deliver

Thereís a man is lost forever.


Half-witches (Below.)


Iíve stumbled round so long, down here:

How far ahead the rest appear!† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4005

I get no peace around the house,

And get none either hereabouts.

Chorus of Witches


An ointment makes the witches hale:

A rag will do them for a sail,

A troughís a goodly ship, and tight:††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4010

Heíll fly not who flies not tonight.


Both Choruses


And once weíve soared around,

So, alight then, on the ground,

Cover the heather, far and wide,

With your swarming witchesí tide.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††        4015


(They let themselves fall.)




They push and shove, they roar and clatter!

They whistle and whirl, jostle and chatter!

They glimmer and sparkle, stink and flare!

The genuine witch-elementís there!

Weíll soon be parted, so stay near!†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4020

Where are you?


Faust (In the distance.)

††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† Here!




††††††††† ††††††† What! Nearly out of sight?

Then Iíll have to use a masterís right.

Ground! Sir Voland comes. Sweet folk, give ground!

Here, Doctor, hold tight! In a single bound,

Far from the crowd, weíll soon be free:†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††          4025

Itís too much, even for the likes of me.

Something burned there with a special light,

In that thicket, as far then as I could see,

Come on! We can slip inside, all right.




You spirit of contradiction! Go on! I follow you.† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       4030

I think after all itís worked out quite cleverly:

We walk the Brocken on Walpurgis Night, yet we

Are as isolated now, as we ever could choose.




See now, what colours flare!

A lively mob club together there.†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††            4035

In little groups oneís not alone.




Iíd still rather be higher, though!

I can see fire and whirling smoke.

There the crowd stream, to the Evil One:

There many a puzzle finds solution.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††  4040




But many a puzzleís knotted so.

Let the whole world have its riot,

Here weíll house ourselves in quiet.

Itís a long and well-established tradition,

From the great one makes a smaller edition.††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4045

I see young witches, naked, bare,

And old ones, veiled cunningly.

For my sake, be a little friendly.

The troubleís slight, the fun is rare.

I hear instruments being tuned, too!††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4050

A cursed din, youíll soon get used to.

Come, with me! Thereís no way otherwise,

Iíll step ahead, lead you to their eyes,

And earn your fresh gratitude, so.

What say you? Thereís lots of room, my friend.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 4055

Look over there! You canít see its end.

A hundred fires burning, in a row,

They love, and drink, and dance, and chat,

Tell me where youíll find better than that?




Will you, as we make our bow,††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††4060

Play the devil, or wizard now?




To be sure Iím used to travelling incognito,

But on formal occasions rankís allowed to show.

Iíve no Knightís garter to mark me out,

But the cloven footís honoured in this house.†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  4065

Do you see how that snail there crawls to me:

With those delicate feelers on its head,

Itís already scented me, you see,

I canít deny myself, if I wished.

Come! Weíll go from fire to fire,††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4070

Iím the broker: youíre the suitor.


(To some, sitting by dying embers.)


Old sirs, what do you sit at the edge for?

Iíd praise you, in the middle, more,

Among the youthful buzz, and shout.

Youíre alone enough inside the house.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 4075


The General


Who would trust the Nation!

Oneís toiled so long for it:

With the people, as with women,

Youthís always the best fit.


The Minister


From every rule theyíve gone astray,† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4080

Me, I praise the good old days,

Then, truly, we were all the rage,

That was a real golden age.


The Nouveau Riche


We werenít so stupid, youíd have found,

And often did, what wasnít right:††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††            4085

But now it all turns round and round,

Just as weíd like to grasp it tight.




Who writes anything good these days,

Or reads with moderate intelligence!

And what the dear young folk all praise,†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††       4090

Iíve never seen such stupid nonsense.


Mephistopheles (Suddenly looking old.)


I feel folk are ripe for Judgement Day,

Of Witchesí Mount, Iíve made my last ascent.

And now my cask runs cloudy, anyway,

The world itself is all as good as spent.†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††             4095




Gentlemen: donít pass me by!

Donít lose the opportunity!

Inspect my wares attentively,

Iíve a selection for your eye.

Thereís nothing on my stall, here,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††          4100

On Earth, itís equal youíll not find,

That hasnít caused some harm somewhere,

To the world itself, and then, mankind.

No knife that isnít dyed in gore,

No cup that, through some healthy body,†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††          4105

Hot, gnawing venom hasnít poured,

No gems that havenít bought some kindly

Girl, no sword thatís not cut ties that bind,

Or, perhaps, struck an enemy from behind.



Granny! You misunderstand the age.†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4110

Whatís gone: is done! Whatís done: is gone!

Get novelties theyíre all the rage!

Now itís novelties that lead us on.




Donít let me lose myself in here!

Now, this is what I call a fair!†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4115




This whole whirlpoolís trying to climb above,

You think youíre shoving, and youíre being shoved!




Who is that, there?




††††††††† ††††††††† Note that madam!

Thatís Lilith.



††††††††† ††††††††† Who?




††††††††† ††††††† First wife to Adam.

Pay attention to her lovely hair,†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   4120

The only adornment she need wear.

When she traps a young man in her snare,

She wonít soon let him from her care.




Those two, the old and young one, sitting,

Theyíve leapt about more than is fitting!††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  4125




No rest tonight for anyone.

Letís grasp them. Thereís a new dance, come!


Faust (Dancing with the lovely young witch.)


A lovely dream once came to me,

And there I saw an apple-tree,

Two lovely apples, there, did shine,†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††        4130

Tempting me so, I had to climb.


The Young Witch


Apples you love a lot, I know,

That once in Paradise did grow.

Iím deeply moved with joy to feel,

That such my garden does reveal.† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           4135


Mephistopheles (Dancing with the old witch.)


A vile dream once came to me,

In it, I saw an old cleft tree,

A monstrous crack there met my eyes,

It pleased me, though, despite its size.


The Old Witch


I offer my best greetings to† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††           4140

The knight of the cloven shoe!

Heíll need to have a real stopper,

If heís not scared of that whopper.



A Rationalist (Nicolai)


Cursed Folk! How do you dare to?

Havenít we shown, for many a season,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4145

Spirits canít exist: it stands to reason?

Yet you dance around, just as we do!


The Lovely Witch (Dancing.)


Whyís he here then, at our ball?


Faust (Dancing.)


Oh! Heís everywhere, and into all.

While others dance, he must reflect.††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4150

If he canít discuss every last step,

Itís as good as if it didnít happen.

Heís angriest at a forward pattern.

But if you turn around in circles,

As he does in his ancient mills,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     4155

Heíll call it excellent, least ways

If you greet with interest what he says.


The Rationalist


Youíre still there! Oh, itís quite unheard of.

Weíre enlightened now, so take yourselves off!

The Devilís crewís discounted by every rule:†††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††             4160

Yet though clever, still weíre haunted, in Tegel, too.


The Young Witch


Well listen: here weíre bored with it!


The Rationalist


I tell you, Spirit, to your face:†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4165

For me, spirit-rule has no place:

Because my spirit canít exercise it.


(The dance continues.)


I see, tonight, Iíll have no success:

But I get a bit from every trip,

And hope, before the final step,†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 4170

Iíll defeat the devils and the poets.




Now heíll sit in some wet sump,

And console himself, like that, about you,

And if he sticks leeches on his rump,

Heís cured of the Spirit, and Spirits, too.††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4175


(To Faust, who has left the dance.)


Why have you deserted that lovely girl,

Who sang so sweetly in the dancing?




Ugh! Right in the middle of her singing

A red mouse sprang out of her mouth.




Thatís fine: donít brood on it, anyway:†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††         4180

Enough, that the mouse wasnít grey.

At harvest time who queries a mouse?




Then I saw Ė




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† What?



††††††††††††††††††† ††† Mephisto, can you see

That lovely child, far off, alone there,†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4185

Travelling slowly, so painfully,

As if her feet were chained together.

I must admit, without question

Sheís the image of my sweet Gretchen.




Forget all that! It benefits no one.

Itís a lifeless magic form, a phantom.†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     4190

Encountering it will do you no good:

Its fixed stare freezes human blood,

And then oneís almost turned to stone:

Medusaís story is surely known.




Those are the eyes of the dead, truly,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4195

No loving hand has closed their void.

Thatís the breast Gretchen offered to me:

Thatís the sweet body I enjoyed.




Itís magic, fool: youíre an easy one to move!

She comes to all, as if she were their love.††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4200




What delight! What pain!

I canít turn from her, again.

Strange, around her lovely throat,

A single scarlet cord adorns her,

Like a knife-cut, and no wider!††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4205



Thatís right! I see it too: and note,

She can carry her head under her arm,

Since Perseus did her that fatal harm.

Always desire for that illusion!

Come on, climb this bit of mountain:††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     4210

Itís as lively as the Vienna Prater,

And if no oneís deceiving me,

Iím looking at a genuine theatre.

Youíre showing?




††††††††† †††††† Itíll be on again shortly.

A fresh performance: last of seven.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††  4215

That number, for us, is traditional.

An amateurís written it, and then

Itís amateurs who perform it all.

Forgive me, sir, if I break off here,

Since Iím the amateur curtain-raiser. ††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††        4220




That I find you on the Blocksbergís good,

Since I find you exactly where I should.

Scene XXII: A Walpurgis Nightís Dream




Oberon and Titaniaís Golden Wedding.


††††††††† ††††††††† An Interlude (Intermezzo)


Theatre Manager


You brave stagehands, of Weimar,

Take a rest, at least for today.

Ancient mountains, misty vales are,††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      4225

All the scenery for our play.




Fifty years weíve passed by,

To make this wedding golden,

But let some argument arise:

Thereís gold in it, for me, then.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4230




Spirits, where I am, be seen:

Appear, all, at this moment:

Fairy King, and Fairy Queen,

Renew their old intent.




Puck comes shooting through the air,†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 4235

And moves his feet, in time:

After him a hundred, there,

Share his joyful rhyme.




Ariel conducts his singing

In pure and heavenly tones: ††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 4240

Ugly faces greet its ringing,

But also lovely ones.




Partners if youíd get along,

Learn then from the two of us!

If we in pairs would love for long,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††         4245

Someone needs to separate us.




The sulky man, the wilful wife,

So they might know each other,

Iíd show him all the Northern ice,

And show her the Equator.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4250


The Whole Orchestra (Tutti. Very loud.)


From fly-snout and midge-nose,

And all of their relations,

Frog and cricket, too, there flow

These musical vibrations!




See, the bagpipes on their way!††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 4255

Made from a soap-bubble.

Hear the snailís-twaddle play

Through its stumpy nozzle.


Spirit (Newly formed.)


Spiderís-feet and toadís-belly,

With useless winglets to íem!

A little creature, it canít be

But it makes a little poem.


A Tiny Couple


Little steps and high leaps,

Through honeydew and fragrance here,

You still wonít do enough it seems,††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††4265

To climb into the atmosphere.


A Curious Traveller


A masquerade of mockery?

Do I dare to trust my eyes?

Oberon, that fair divinity,

Do I see him here, tonight?††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4270


The Orthodox


Heís no tail, and not a claw!

And yet itís him, itís true:

Like the gods of Greece, Iím sure,

He must be a devil too.


Northern Artist


What I capture here today,†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††             4275

In truth is only sketchy:

Yet I prepare myself, someday

For my Italian journey.



Ah! My bad luck brings me here:

Since I havenít been invited!††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 4280

Of all the witches to appear,

Only two are powdered.


Young Witch


Powder like a petticoat

On an old, grey witch youíll see,

While I sit naked on my goat,†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† 4285

And show a fine young body.


Married Woman


We have too much experience,

To moan about you, here, then!

Yet, as young and tender you are, once,

So, I hope you will be, rotten.††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        4290


Orchestral Conductor


Fly-snout and midge-nose,

Donít swarm around the naked!

Frog and cricket, too, all know

Your time, and donít mistake it!


A Wind-Vane (Swinging to one side.)


Society, as one would like it done:† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4295

True pure brides along the slope!

And young fellows, one for one,

People quite brimful of hope!


The Wind-Vane (Swinging to the other side.)


And if the ground doesnít split,

And swallow everyone,†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   4300

Iíll be so amazed at it,

Iíll leap into hell at once.


Xenies (Barbed verses: Greek Ė gifts exchanged.)


As insects we appear,

With little claws weíre nipping,

To do Satan, our Papa,†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4305

Due honour as is fitting.


Hennings (August Von Hennings, a literary enemy.)


See them, packed in a crowd,

NaÔve, together, poking fun!

At last, theyíll even say, aloud,

Their hearts were blameless ones.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††          4310


Musagete (Controller of the Muses: Greek Ė epithet of Apollo)


Among this witchesí crew,

Iíd gladly lose my way:

Theyíre easier to manage, too

Than Muses, any day.


Former ĎGenius of the Ageí


One was someone, among real folk.†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4315

Come on, then: I can hold my end up!†††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††

Like Germanyís Parnassus, look,

The Blocksbergís summitís broad enough.

Curious Traveller (Nicolai)


Say, whoís that haughty man?

He walks with such proud steps.††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††             4320

He sniffs as only a sniffer-out can.

ĎHe smells out Jesuits.í


A Crane (Lavater)


I like to fish among the clear

And the muddy levels:

So the pious man appears††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4325

Mixing with the devils.

††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††

A Child of This World (Goethe himself.)


To the pious man, as Iím aware,

Every place is fitting,

So you build, on the Blocksberg here,

Many a house of meeting.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††         4330


A Dancer


Does some new choir succeed?

I hear a distant drum.

ĎNo! Itís the booming in the reeds,

Of bitterns, in unison.í


A Dancing Master


How they lift their legs, this lot!††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4335

As best they can, they all take flight!

The cripples skip, the clumsy hop,

And donít care at all what they look like.

A Fiddle-Player


The ragged mob all hate so much,

Theyíd gladly crush the others.††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   4340

Here the bagpipe draws them, just

As Orpheusí lyre the creatures.


The Dogmatist


I wonít declare itís madness, now,

Or show myself too critical.

The devil must exist somehow,††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  4345

Or how could we act the devil?


The Idealist


The fantasy in my mind,

For once, is too despotic.

Truly, if I am all, I find

Today Iím idiotic!†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       4350


The Realist


Hereís real pain, at hand,

It annoys me so to see it:

For the first time, here I stand,

Unsteady, on my feet.


A Believer in the Supernatural


Itís very pleasant to be here,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   4355

And this crowd too has merit:

Since from the devil I infer

Some much more virtuous spirit.


A Sceptic


These little flames a-hunting go,

And think theyíre near the treasure:††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4360

But Devil rhymes with doubtful: so

My being hereís a pleasure.


Orchestral Conductor


Frog on leaf, and cricket, oh

You amateur editions!

Fly-snout and midge-nose,††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           4365

Remember youíre musicians!


The Skilful


Carefree, is what they call

This band of happy creatures:

When we canít go on foot at all

Our head it is that features.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4370


The Maladroit


We picked up many a titbit once,

But now, God orders things so,

Our shoes are ragged from the dance,

And we travel on naked soles.




From the swamps weíve come,††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4375

Where we first arose:

In the ranks here, we, at once,

As glittering gallants pose.

A Shooting Star


I shoot here from the sky

And star- and firelight meet.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4380

Now across the grass I lie -

Whoíll help me to my feet?


The Heavy-Footed


Room, round about us, room!

We crush the grasses under.

Spirits come, and spirits too†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      4385

Have their bulky members.




Donít tread so heavily,

Like elephantine calves: let

Puck himself, the sturdy, be,

On this night, the stoutest.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      4390




Loving nature winged your backs,

You spirits, one supposes,

Follow, then, on my light track,

To the hill of roses!


Orchestra (Quietly: pianissimo)


Trailing cloud, and misted trees,††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††             4395

Brighten with the day.

Breeze in leaves, and wind in reeds,

And all have flown away.

Scene XXIII: Gloomy Day


(A Field. Faust, Mephistopheles.)




In misery! Despair! Wandering wretchedly on the face of the earth, for ages, and now imprisoned! That kind, unfortunate creature, locked up in prison as a criminal, and lost in torment! To this! This! Ė Treacherous, worthless spirit, you hid it from me! Ė Stand there, then! Roll the devilís eyes in your head, in anger! Stand there, and defy me with your unbearable presence! Imprisoned! In irredeemable misery! Delivered up to evil spirits, and the judgement of unfeeling men! And youíve troubled me meanwhile with tasteless diversions, concealed her growing misery from me, and left her helpless in the face of ruin!




She is not the first.




Dog! Loathsome Monster! Ė Change him, infinite Spirit! Change the worm into his dog-form, in which he often liked to scamper in front of me, at night, rolling at the feet of the unsuspecting traveller, and clambering on his shoulders when he fell. Change him into his favourite likeness, so he can crawl on his belly in the sand in front of me, and I can trample him, depraved thing, under my feet! Ė ĎNot the first!í Ė Misery! Misery! That no human spirit can grasp. That more than one being should sink into the depth of this wretchedness: that the first, writhing in its death-pangs, under the eyes of Eternal Forgiveness, did not expiate the guilt of all the others! It pierces to the marrow of my bones, the misery of this one being Ė and you smile calmly at the fate of thousands!




Now weíre out of our wits again, already, at the point where menís brains are cracked. Why did you enter into partnership with us, if you canít go through with it? Would you take wing, and yet be free of dizziness? Did we thrust ourselves on you, or you on us?




Donít gnash your greedy jaws at me! It disgusts me! Ė Great and glorious Spirit, you who revealed yourself to me, nobly, who know my heart and soul, why shackle me to this disgraceful companion, who feeds on injury, and at the last on ruin?




Have you finished?




Save her, or woe to you! May the weightiest curse fall on you for a thousand ages!




I canít undo the bonds of the Avenger, nor loose his bolts. Ė ĎSave her!í Ė

Who was it dragged her to ruin? I or you?


(Faust looks around, wildly.)


Would you grasp the lightning? A good thing it has not been allowed you miserable mortals! To crush the innocent one who replies is the tyrantís way to free oneself of an embarrassment.




Take me to her! She shall be freed!




And the danger you expose yourself to? Be aware, the guilty blood from your hands lies on the town. Avenging spirits hover over the place of death, and lie in wait for the murdererís return.



And not from yours, too? Murder, and death in this world, be on you, monster! Take me there, I say, and free her.




Iíll take you: listen to what I can do! Have I all the powers of heaven and earth? Iíll confuse the jailorís mind: you take possession of the key, and bring her out, hand in human hand! Iíll keep watch: magic horses are ready: Iíll carry you away. That, I can do.





Scene XXIV: Night


(An open field. Faust and Mephistopheles flying onwards on black horses.)




What do they weave, round the Ravenstone?




I donít know what theyíre cooking and brewing.††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   4400




Soaring up, diving down, bending and bowing.




A guild of witches.




They scatter, they consecrate.




Away! Away!

Scene XXV: A Dungeon


(Faust, with a bunch of keys and a lamp, in front of an iron door.)


A long-forgotten shudder grips me,††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††   4405

Iím gripped by all of Mankindís misery,

Here behind these damp walls, she

Lives: and all her guiltís illusory.

Do I tremble, then, to free her!

Do I dread, once more, to see her!††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        4410

On! Fear adds to deathís proximity.


(He grips the lock. She sings within.)


My mother, the whore

She killed me!

My father, the rogue,

He gnawed me! †††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4415

Little sister alone

Laid out the bone

In the cool of the clay:

Then I was a sweet bird on the stone.

Fly away! Fly away!†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        4420


Faust (Unlocking the door.)


She doesnít know her loverís listening,

Hears the chains, the strawís rustling.


(He enters.)


Margaret (Hiding herself in the bed of straw.)


Woe! Woe! It comes. Bitterest Death!


Faust (Whispering)


Hush! Hush! Itís I who come, to free you.

Margaret (Throwing herself down in front of him.)


Are you a man? Then pity my distress.††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††       4425




Your cries will wake the jailors, too!


(He grasps the chains, to loose them.)


Margaret (On her knees.)


Who gives the executioner

Such power over me!

At midnight youíre already here.

Let me live, have mercy on me!†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4430

Wonít it be soon enough when dawn should come?


(She stands up.)


Iím still so young, so young!

And yet Iíll die!

I was lovely too, that was my

Ruin. My love was near, now heís gone:††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††        4435

The garlandís torn: the flowers are done.

Donít grip me, now, so violently!

What harm have I done you? Spare me!

Donít let me beg for mercy, in vain,

Iíve never seen you before today!††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††  4440




How shall I endure this misery, say!




Iím wholly in your power. Oh,

Let me feed my baby first.

I caressed it all night, though,

They told me I caused it hurt,††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        4445

And now they say I killed it, so,

And now Iíll never be happy again.

They sing songs of me! Itís wicked of folk!

Thereís an old story ends this way,

Who told them to tell it so?††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4450


Faust (Falling on his knees.)


A lover lies at your feet,

Whoíll end your painful slavery.


Margaret (Throwing herself down next to him.)


O letís kneel, the saints will bless!

See here! Under these steps,

Under this sill,†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       4455

Seethes Hell!

The Evil One

With fierce anger,

Makes his groan!


Faust (Aloud)


Gretchen! Gretchen!†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††        4460


Margaret (Listening closely.)


The voice of my lover!


(She leaps to her feet: the chains fall away.)


Where? I heard him call me.

Iím free! No one holds me.

To his neck, I shall fly,

On his breast, I shall lie!†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††         4465

He called Gretchen! Stood at the sill.

Among the howls and cries of Hell,

Among the devilís, scornful groans,

I knew his sweet, dear tones.




Iím here!




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† Here! O, say it once again!† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           4470


(She embraces him.)


Itís he! Itís he! Where now is all the pain?

Where now the chains, the dungeonís misery?

Youíre here! You come to save me.

I am saved!

Already the street is there again,† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††             4475

Where I first saw you plain,

And the joyful garden,

Where Martha and I waited, then.


Faust (Struggling to move.)


Come with me! Come!††


Margaret (Caressing him.)


††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† O stay,

Iíll gladly stay, if you are with me.††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††           4480





If you donít hurry,

Weíll pay for this.




What? You can no longer kiss?

My dear, so short a time to miss me,† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4485

And youíve forgotten how to kiss me?

Why am I so anxious on your breast?

When, once, at your words, your gaze,

With a whole heaven I was blessed,

And you kissed me, enough to suffocate.†††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††      4490

Kiss me!

I kiss you: see!


(She embraces him.)


Oh! How cold and silent,

Your lips.

Where has your passion††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       4495


Who brought me this?


(She turns away from him.)




Come! Follow me! Darling, be bold!

Iíll clasp you with a thousand-fold

Warmth: now follow me! I beg you!†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4500


Margaret (Turning to him.)


And is it you? Is it really you?




It is! Come, with me!




††††††††† †††††† Youíll loose the chains,

And take me to your breast, again.

How is it you donít shrink from me?

Do you know, friend, whom you free?††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   4505



Come! Come! The night will soon be over.




Iíve killed my mother,

Iíve drowned my child.

Was it not given to you and I?

You too. - You here! I scarce believe.††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††        4510

Give me your hand! This is no dream.

Your dear hand! Ė Ah, but itís damp!

Wipe it clean! Why do I think,

It has blood on.

Ah God! What have you done?††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  4515

Put your sword away,

I beg you, please!




Let past be past I say!

Youíre destroying me!




No you must live on: must do.†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††4520

Iíll describe our graves to you.

You must begin them

This very dawn:

The best one is for my mother,

Then, by her, my brother,††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††      4525

Myself, a little further, lay,

But not too far away!

And the little one, at my right breast.

No one else by me will lie! Ė

Ah, to nestle at your side,††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4530

That was a sweet, a darling bliss!

But no more will I achieve it:

Itís as if I must force you to it,

As if you turn aside my kiss:

And yet itís you, so good, so sweet to see!††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††          4535




You know it is, so come with me!




Out there?




To Freedom.




If the grave is there,

Death waiting, then I come!

From here to everlasting rest,††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     4540

And not a step further would

You go now? O Heinrich, if I could!




You can! Just will it! The door is open!




I dare not: thereís no hope for me then.

What use is flight? They lie in wait for me.†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4545

To be forced to beg is a bitter existence,

And cursed too with an evil conscience!

To wander among strangers, bitter,

And even then Iíd still be captured!




Iíll stay beside you.† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††            4550



Quickly! Quickly!

Save my poor baby!

Away! Down the ridge,

Now, by the brook,

Over the bridge,†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††         4555

Into the wood,

Left, where the plank is,

There, in the pool.

Seize it now: you!

Itís trying to rise,††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4560

Itís moving still!

Save it! Save it!




Be sensible!

Only one step, and then youíre free!




If we were on the mountain, only!††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††         4565

There my mother sits, on a stone,

And oh, the cold, it grips me!

There my mother sits on a stone,

And wags her head, so heavy.

No sign, no nod, for me, Iím sure†††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††     4570

Her sleepís so long: sheíll wake no more.

She slept, while we took our pleasure.

That was such a time to treasure!




Here allís useless, speech or prayer:

Iíll take you from this place: Iíll dare.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4575




Let me alone! No, no force!

Donít grip me so murderously, oh,

Iíve done all else to please you so.




The day breaks! Dearest! Dearest!




Day! Yes, itís dawn! The last Iíll see:††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††   4580

My wedding day, that was to be!

Tell no one youíve been with Gretchen. Ah, bright glance!

Itís done with: all in vain!

We two will meet again:†† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††    4585

But not in the dance.

The crowd gather, without speech.

The streets, the square,

Canít hold them, there.

The bell tolls, the wand breaks.†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††      4590

Now, they seize and tie me!

Iím dragged already to the block.

The blade that quivers over me,

Has quivered before over every neck.

Silent the world, now, as the grave!††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       4595




Oh, would that Iíd never seen the light!


Mephistopheles (Appears outside.)


Away! Or youíll be lost, tonight.

Useless staying and praying! Chattering!

The horses are shivering,

The dawn breaks, clear.††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††     4600




What rises in the doorway, here?

Him! Him! Send him away!

Why is he here in this holy place?

He wants me!




††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††† You will live!




God of Judgement! To you, myself I give!††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††       4605


Mephistopheles (To Faust)††††††††


Come! Now! Or I leave you both to stew.




Father, save me! I belong to you!

Angels! In Holy Company,

Draw round me: guard me!

Heinrich! For you, I fear.†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† †††††††††  4610




She is judged!


A Voice (From above.)


††††††††† ††††††††† She is saved!


Mephistopheles (To Faust.)


††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† To me, here!


(He vanishes, with Faust.)


A Voice (From within, dying away.)


Heinrich! Heinrich!

Previous Scenes                                Next Scenes