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nuvole - Animals/Nature


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Faust Part I

(Scenes IV to VI)

A. S. Kline ã2003 All Rights Reserved

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

Scene IV: The Study

(Faust, Mephistopheles)


A knock? Enter! Who’s plaguing me again? 1530


I am




Three times you must say it, then.


So! Enter!


Ah, now, you please me.

I hope we’ll get along together:

To drive away the gloomy weather,

I’m dressed like young nobility, 1535

In a scarlet gold-trimmed coat,

In a little silk-lined cloak,

A cockerel feather in my hat,

With a long, pointed sword,

And I advise you, at that, 1540

To do as I do, in a word:

So that, footloose, fancy free,

You can experience Life, with me.


This life of earth, its narrowness,

Pains me, however I’m turned out, 1545

I’m too old to play about,

Too young, still, to be passionless.

What can the world bring me again?

Abstain! You shall! You must! Abstain!

That’s the eternal song 1550

That in our ears, forever, rings

The one, that, our whole life long,

Every hour, hoarsely, sings.

I wake in terror with the dawn,

I cry, the bitterest tears, to see 1555

Day grant no wish of mine, not one

As it passes by on its journey.

Even presentiments of joy

Ebb, in wilful depreciation:

A thousand grimaces life employs 1560

To hinder me in creation.

Then when night descends I must

Stretch out, worried, on my bed:

What comes to me is never rest,

But some wild dream instead. 1565

The God that lives inside my heart,

Can rouse my innermost seeing:

The one enthroned beyond my art,

Can’t stir external being:

And so existence is a burden: sated, 1570

Death’s desired, and Life is hated.


Yet Death’s a guest who’s visit’s never wholly celebrated.


Happy the man whom victory enhances,

Whose brow the bloodstained laurel warms,

Who, after the swift whirling dances, 1575

Finds himself in some girl’s arms!

If only, in my joy, then, I’d sunk down

Before that enrapturing Spirit power!


Yet someone, from a certain brown

Liquid, drank not a drop, at midnight hour. 1580


It seems that you delight in spying.


I know a lot: and yet I’m not all-knowing.


When sweet familiar tones drew me,

Away from the tormenting crowd,

Then my other childhood feelings 1585

Better times echoed, and allowed.

So I curse whatever snares the soul,

In its magical, enticing arms,

Banishes it to this mournful hole,

With dazzling, seductive charms! 1590

Cursed be those high Opinions first,

With which the mind entraps itself!

Then glittering Appearance curse,

In which the senses lose themselves!

Curse what deceives us in our dreaming, 1595

With thoughts of everlasting fame!

Curse the flattery of ‘possessing’

Wife and child, lands and name!

Curse Mammon, when he drives us

To bold acts to win our treasure: 1600

Or straightens out our pillows

For us to idle at our leisure!

Curse the sweet juice of the grape!

Curse the highest favours Love lets fall!

Cursed be Hope! Cursed be Faith, 1605

And cursed be Patience most of all!

Choir of Spirits (Unseen)

Sorrow! Sorrow!

You’ve destroyed it,

The beautiful world,

With a powerful fist: 1610

It tumbles, it’s hurled

To ruin! A demigod crushed it!

We carry

Fragments into the void,

And sadly 1615

Lament the Beauty that’s gone.


For all of Earth’s sons,


Build it again, 1620

Build, in your heart!

Life’s new start,

Begin again,

With senses washed clean,

And sound, then, 1625

A newer art!


They’re little, but fine,

These attendants of mine.

Precocious advice they give, listen,

Regarding both action, and passion! 1630

Into the World outside,

From Solitude, that’s dried

Your sap and senses,

They tempt us.

Stop playing with grief, 1635

That feeds, a vulture, on your breast,

The worst society, you’ll find, will prompt belief,

That you’re a Man among the rest.

Not that I mean

To shove you into the mass. 1640

Among ‘the greats’, I’m second-class:

But if you, in my company,

Your path through life would wend,

I’ll willingly condescend

To serve you, as we go. 1645

I’m your man, and so,

If it suits you of course,

I’m your slave: I’m yours!


And what must I do in exchange?


There’s lots of time: you’ve got the gist. 1650


No, no! The Devil is an egotist,

Does nothing lightly, or in God’s name,

To help another, so I insist,

Speak your demands out loud,

Such servants are risks, in a house. 1655


I’ll be your servant here, and I’ll

Not stop or rest, at your decree:

When we’re together, on the other side,

You’ll do the same for me.


The ‘other side’ concerns me less: 1660

Shatter this world, in pieces,

The other one can take its place,

The root of my joy’s on this Earth,

And this Sun lights my sorrow:

If I must part from them tomorrow, 1665

What can or will be, that I’ll face.

I’ll hear no more of it, of whether

In that future, men both hate and love,

Or whether in those spheres, forever,

We’re given a below and an above. 1670


In that case, you can venture all.

Commit yourself: today, you shall

View my arts with joy: I mean

To show you what no man has seen.


Poor devil what can you give? When has ever 1675

A human spirit, in its highest endeavour,

Been understood by such a one as you?

You have a never-satiating food,

You have your restless gold, a slew

Of quicksilver, melting in the hand, 1680

Games whose prize no man can land,

A girl, who while ...

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