Imatges de pÓgina
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LIVIA.

Here.

JUSTINA (putting on her cloak).

In this, as in a shroud of snow, may I Quench the consuming fire in which I burn, Wasting away!

LISANDER.

And I will go with thee.

LIVIA.

When I once see them safe out of the house

I shall breathe freely.

JUSTINA.

So do I confide

In thy just favour, Heaven!

LISANDER.

Let us go.

JUSTINA.

Thine is the cause, great God! turn for my sake,

And for thine own, mercifully to me!

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 creation'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

Fulfills 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 sea foams in broad waves

From its deep bottom, up to the rocks,

And rocks and sea are torn on together

In the eternal swift course of the spheres.

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

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 household.
Though I should scandalize this company,

You will excuse me if I do not talk

In the high style which they think fashionable;
My pathos would certainly 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

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 a 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.

Which he calls reason, and employs it only
To live more beastlily 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.

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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.

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