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FAUST PART II ACT V SCENES I-VII

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe



Faust Part II

(Act V)





A. S. Kline ã2003 All Rights Reserved

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

Act V Scene I: Open Country



The Wanderer



Yes! Here are the dusky lindens,

Standing round, in mighty age.

And here am I, returning to them, 11045

After so long a pilgrimage!

It still appears the same old place:

Here’s the hut that sheltered me,

When the storm-uplifted wave,

Hurled me shore-wards from the sea! 11050

My hosts are those I would bless,

A brave, a hospitable pair,

Who if I meet them, I confess,

Must already be white haired.

Ah! They were pious people! 11055

Shall I call, or knock? – Greetings,

If, as open-hearted, you still

Enjoy good luck, in meetings!



Baucis (A little woman, very aged.)



Gentle stranger! Quietly, quietly!

Peace! Let my husband rest! 11060

Long sleep lends the elderly,

Little time to work, at best.


The Wanderer



Tell me, Mother: are you that wife

To whom thanks should be given:

Who brought a young man back to life, 11065

When wife and husband worked as one?

Are you that Baucis who tirelessly

Restored my almost-vanished breath?



(Her husband appears.)



Are you that Philemon, who bravely

Saved my wealth from watery death? 11070

Your swiftly burning fire,

Your silvery sounding bell,

In chance, dread and dire,

Was the outcome that befell.

And now let me walk about, 11075

And view the boundless ocean:

Let me kneel, and be devout:

Mind troubled with emotion.



(He walks on, over the downs.)


Philemon (To Baucis.)



Hurry now, and lay the table,

Underneath the garden trees. 11080

Let him go: as in the fable,

He’ll not credit what he sees.



(He follows, and stands beside the Wanderer.)



Where wave on wave, foaming wildly,

Savagely mistreated you,

See a garden planted, widely, 11085

See the Paradisial view.

I was too old to seize the day,

Unfit to work as long ago:

And while my powers ebbed away,

The tide extended its wide flow. 11090

Clever Lords set their bold servants

Digging ditches, building dikes,

To gain the mastery of ocean,

Diminishing its natural rights.

See green meadow bordering meadow, 11095

Field and garden, wood and town. –

But it’s time to eat, so follow,

Sunset is approaching now.

See the sails, far away there,

Seeking port before the night. 11100

The birds fly homeward through the air:

Their harbour too heaves in sight.

So gaze then, at the whole horizon,

Where the blue sea used to flow,

Right and left there, to your vision, 11105

Densely peopled space below.

Act V Scene II: In the Little Garden



(The three of them at table.)


Baucis (To the stranger.)



Are you dumb? And will you lift

Not a morsel to your mouth?


Philemon



He wants to comprehend the gift:

Tell him, freely then: speak out. 11110


Baucis



Well! It was a marvel, really!

It troubles me to this day:

Then its whole nature, surely,

Was peculiar, in its way.


Philemon



Is the Emperor, then, at fault, 11115

Who granted him the land?

Didn’t a herald make his halt,

Crying out what was planned?

Not far away there, on the dunes,

The first bold step was made, 11120

Tents, huts! – And on the downs,

A palace, quickly raised.


Baucis



For days, work rumbled on in vain,

Pick and shovel, blow on blow:

Where the night’s fires flamed, 11125

Next day a dam would follow.

Human blood was forced to flow,

At night, rose the sound of pain:

The seaward floating fiery glow

Was a canal, come dawn again. 11130

He’s a godless man: he’d steal

Our hut, and our few acres:

But like subjects we must kneel,

When we boast such neighbours.


Philemon



Yet he’s offered us another 11135

Holding, on his new-won land!


Baucis



Never trust what’s built on water,

On the heights maintain your stand.


Philemon



Let’s make our way to the chapel,

To watch the last glow of light, 11140

Kneel, pray, and sound the bell,

And trust in God’s ancient might!

Act V Scene III: The Palace



(Spacious pleasure-gardens: a broad straight canal. Faust in extreme old age, walking about, thoughtfully.)



Lynceus, the Warder (Through a speaking trumpet.)



The sun is fading, the last boats

Sail swiftly to the harbour here.

One large vessel gently floats, 11145

Down the canal: and draws near.

The bright flags flutter merrily,

The masts are trimmed, in time:

The boatmen all praise you gladly,

Fortune celebrates your prime. 11150



(The little bell on the dunes rings out.)



Faust (Startled.)



Accursed ringing! Wounding me

With shame: a treacherous blow:

My realm’s laid out there, endlessly,

But, at my back, this vexes so,

Proclaiming, with its jealous sound: 11155

My great estate is less than fine,

The old hut, all the trees around,

The crumbling chapel, are not mine.

And even if I wished to rest there,

A strange shadow makes me shudder, 11160

It’s a thorn in my eye, and deeper:

Oh! Would I were somewhere other!



The Warder (From above.)



The boat is sailing, brightly dressed,

Towards us, on the evening breeze!

Heaped, with boxes, sacks and chests, 11165

From its journey on the seas!



(A splendid boat, richly and brightly loaded with foreign goods.)



(Mephistopheles. The Three Mighty Warriors.)


Chorus



Here we land,

Already, here.

Hail to our Lord,

Our patron dear! 11170



(They disembark: the goods are unloaded.)


Mephistopheles



We’ve proven ourselves in every way,

Pleased, if we win our patron’s praise.

We took two ships when we sailed before

With twenty ships we dock, once more.

What we’ve achieved, each fine thing, 11175

You’ll see from the cargo that we bring.

The ocean’s freedom frees the mind

There all thought is left behind!

You only need a handy grip,

You catch a fish, or take a ship, 11180

And once you’re lord of all three,

The fourth one’s tackled easily:

The fifth one’s in an evil plight,

You have the might, and so the right.

You wonder what, and never how. 11185

I know a little of navigation:

War, trade, ...


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