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SCENES

FROM THE FAUST OF GOETHE.

PROLOGUE IN HEAVEN.

The LORD and the Host of Heaven.

Enter Three Archangels.

RAPHAEL.

The sun makes music as of old

Amid the rival spheres of Heaven, On its predestined circle rolled

With thunder speed: the Angels even Draw strength from gazing on its glance,

Though none its meaning fathom may ;The world's unwithered countenance

Is bright as at creatiou’s day.

GABRIEL

And swift and swift, with rapid lightness,

The adorned Earth spins silently, Alternating Elysian brightness

With deep and dreadful night; the sea Foams in broad billows from the deep

Up to the rocks; and rocks and ocean, Onward, with spheres which never sleep,

Are hurried in eternal motion.

MICHAEL

And tempests in contention roar

From land to sea, from sea to land ; And, raging, weave a chain of power

Which girds the earth as with a band. A flashing desolation there

Flames before the thunder's way; But thy servants, Lord, revere

The gentle changes of thy day.

CHORUS OF THE THREE. The Angels draw strength from thy glance,

Though no one comprehend thee may:Thy world's unwithered countenance

Is bright as on creation's day.*

RAPHAEL.

The sun sounds, according to ancient custom,
In the song of emulation of his brother-spheres,
And its fore-written circle
Fulfils with a step of thunder.
Its countenance gives the Angels strength,
Though no one can fathom it.
The incredible high works
Are excellent as at the first day.

GABRIEL

And swift, and inconceivably swift
The adornment of earth winds itself round,
And exchanges Paradise-clearness
With deep dreadful night.
The sen foams in broad waves
From its deep bottom up to the rocks,
And rocks and sea are torn on together
In the eternal swift cours of the spheres.

Enter MEPHISTOPHELES.

MEPHISTOPHELES.

As thou, O Lord, once more art kind enough
To interest thyself in our affairs
And ask, “ How goes it with you

there below ?”
And as indulgently at other times
Thou tookedst not my visits in ill part,
Thou seest me here once more among thy house-

hold. Though I should scandalize this company, You will excuse me if I do not talk In the high style which they think fashionable ;

MICHAEL

And storms roar in emulation
From sea to land from land to sea,
And make, raging, a chain
Of deepest operation round about.
There flames a flashing destruction
Before the path of the thunderbolt.
But thy servants, Lord, revere
The gentle alternations of thy day.

CHORUS

Thy countenance gives the Angels strength,
Though none can comprehend thee:
And all thy lofty works
Are excellent as at the first day.

Such is the literal translation of this astonishing Chorus; it is impossible to represent in another language the melody of the versification; even the volatile strength and delicacy of the ideas escape in the crucible of translation, and the reader is surprised to find a caput mortuum.-Author's Note.

My pathos certainly would make you laugh too,
Had you not long since given over laughing.
Nothing know I to say of suns and worlds ;
I observe only how men plague themselves ;-
The little god o' the world keeps the same stamp,
As wonderful as on creation's day :-
A little better would he live, hadst thou
Not given him a glimpse of Heaven's light
Which he calls reason, and employs it only
To live more beastily than any

beast.
With reverence to your Lordship be it spoken,
He's like one of those long-legged grasshoppers
Who flits and jumps about, and sings for ever
The same old song i’the grass. There let him lie,
Burying his nose in every heap of dung.

THE LORD.

Have you no more to say? Do you come here
Always to scold, and cavil, and complain?
Seems nothing ever right to you on earth ?

MEPHISTOPHELES.

No, Lord; I find all there, as ever, bad at best
Even I am sorry for man's days of sorrow;
I could myself almost give up the pleasure
Of plaguing the poor things.

THE LORD.

Knowest thou Faust?

MEPHISTOPHELES.

The Doctor?

THE LORD.

Ay; my servant Faust.

MEPHISTOPHELES.

In truth He serves you in a fashion quite his own, And the fool's meat and drink are not of earth; His aspirations bear him on so far That he is half aware of his own folly, For he demands from Heaven its fairest star, And from the earth the highest joy it bears; Yet all things far, and all things near, are vain To calm the deep emotions of his breast.

THE LORD.

Though he now serves me in a cloud of error,
I will soon lead him forth to the clear day.
When trees look green, full well the gardener

knows That fruits and blooms will deck the coming year.

MEPHISTOPHELES.

What will you bet ?—now I am sure of winning-
Only observe you give me full permission
To lead him softly on my path.

THE LORD.

As long As he shall live upon the earth, so long Is nothing unto thee forbidden.—Man Must err till he has ceased to struggle.

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