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FROM THE FAUST OF GOETHE.
PROLOGUE IN HEAVEN.
The LORD and the Host of Heaven.
Enter Three Archangels.
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.
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.
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.*
The sun sounds, according to ancient custom,
And swift, and inconceivably swift
As thou, O Lord, once more art kind enough
there below ?”
hold. Though I should scandalize this company, You will excuse me if I do not talk In the high style which they think fashionable ;
And storms roar in emulation
Thy countenance gives the Angels strength,
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,
Have you no more to say? Do you come here
No, Lord; I find all there, as ever, bad at best
Knowest thou Faust?
Ay; my servant Faust.
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.
Though he now serves me in a cloud of error,
knows That fruits and blooms will deck the coming year.
What will you bet ?—now I am sure of winning-
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.