Imatges de pàgina

He seeks unbroken quiet; therefore I
Have given him the Devil for a companion,
Who may provoke him to some sort of work,
And must create for ever.-But ye, pure
Children of God, enjoy eternal beauty;
Let that which ever operates and lives
Clasp you within the limits of its love;
And seize with sweet and melancholy thoughts
The floating phantoms of its loveliness.

[Heaven closes; the Archangels exeunt.
Mep. From time to time I visit the old fellow,
And I take care to keep on good terms with him.
Civil enough is this same God Almighty,

To talk so freely with the Devil himself.


SCENE.-The Hartz Mountain, a desolate Country.

Mep. Would you not like a broomstick? As for me,
I wish I had a good stout ram to ride;

For we are still far from th' appointed place.

Fau. This knotted staff is help enough for me, Whilst I feel fresh upon my legs. What good

Is there in making short a pleasant way?

To creep along the labyrinths of the vales,

And climb those rocks, where ever-babbling springs
Precipitate themselves in waterfalls,

Is the true sport that seasons such a path..
Already Spring kindles the birchen spray,
And the hoar pines already feel her breath:
Shall she not work also within our limbs ?

Mep. Nothing of such an influence do I feel.
My body is all wintry, and I wish

The flowers upon our path were frost and snow.
But see,
how melancholy rises now,

Dimly uplifting her belated beam,

The blank unwelcome round of the red moon,

And gives so bad a light, that every step

One stumbles 'gainst some crag. With your permission, I'll call an Ignis-Fatuus to our aid:

I see one yonder burning jollily.

Halloo, my friend! may I request that you

Would favour us with your bright company?

Why should you blaze away there to no purpose?

Pray be so good as light us up this way.

Ignis-Fatuus. With reverence be it spoken, I will try

To overcome the lightness of my nature;

Our course, you know, is generally zigzag.

Mep. Ha, ha! your worship thinks you have to deal With men. Go strait on, in the Devil's name,

Or I shall puff your flickering life out.


I see you are the master of the house;
I will accommodate myself to you.


Only consider, that to-night this mountain
Is all enchanted, and if Jack-a-Lantern

Shows you his way, though you should miss your own,
You ought not to be too exact with him.


The limits of the sphere of dream,
The bounds of true and false, are past,
Lead us on, thou wandering Gleam,
Lead us onward, far and fast,
To the wide, the desert waste.

But see, how swift advance and shift,
Trees behind trees, row by row,-
How, cliff by cliff, rocks bend and lift
Their frowning foreheads as we go.
The giant-snouted crags, ho! ho!
How they snort, and how they blow!

Through the mossy sods and stones
Stream and streamlet hurry down
A rushing throng! A sound of song
Beneath the vault of Heaven is blown!
Sweet notes of love, the speaking tones
Of this bright day, sent down to say
That Paradise on Earth is known,
Resound around, beneath, above.
All we hope and all we love

Finds a voice in this blithe strain,
Which wakens hill and wood and rill,
And vibrates far o'er field and vale,
And which Echo, like the tale

Of old times, repeats again,

To whoo! to whoo! near, nearer now

The sound of song, the rushing throng!

Are the screech, the lapwing, and the jay,

All awake as if 'twere day?

See, with long legs and belly wide,

A salamander in the brake !

Every root is like a snake,

And along the loose hill side,

With strange contortions through the night,

Curls, to seize or to affright;

And, animated, strong, and many,

They dart forth polypus-antennæ,

To blister with their poison spume

The wanderer. Through the dazzling gloom
The many-coloured mice, that thread

The dewy turf beneath our tread,

In troops each other's motions cross,

Through the heath and through the moss;
And, in legions intertangled,

The fireflies flit, and swarm, and throng,
Till all the mountain depths are spangled.

Tell me, shall we go or stay?

Shall we onward? Come along!

Everything around is swept
Forward, onward, far away!
Trees and masses intercept

The sight, and wisps on every side
Are puffed up and multiplied.

Mep. Now vigorously seize my skirt, and gain
This pinnacle of isolated crag.

One may observe with wonder from this point,
How Mammon glows among the mountains.


And strangely through the solid depth below
A melancholy light, like the red dawn,
Shoots from the lowest gorge of the abyss
Of mountains, lightning hitherward: there rise
Pillars of smoke, here clouds float gently by;
Here the light burns soft as the enkindled air,
Or the illumined dust of golden flowers;
And now it glides like tender colours spreading;
And now bursts forth in fountains from the earth;
And now it winds, one torrent of broad light,
Through the far valley with a hundred veins;
And now once more within that narrow corner
Masses itself into intensest splendour.

And near us, see, sparks spring out of the ground,
Like golden sand scattered upon the darkness;
The pinnacles of that black wall of mountains
That hems us in, are kindled.

Rare, in faith!

Does not Sir Mammon gloriously illuminate
His palace for this festival-it is

A pleasure which you had not known before.
I spy the boisterous guests already.



The children of the wind rage in the air!

With what fierce strokes they fall upon my neck!

Mep. Cling tightly to the old ribs of the crag. Beware! for if with them thou warrest

In their fierce flight towards the wilderness,

Their breath will sweep thee into dust, and drag
Thy body to a grave in the abyss.

Á cloud thickens the night.

Hark! how the tempest crashes through the forest !

The owls fly out in strange affright;

The columns of the evergreen palaces

Are split and shattered;

The roots creak, and stretch, and groan;

And ruinously overthrown,

The trunks are crushed and shattered

By the fierce blast's unconquerable stress.

Over each other crack and crash they all

In terrible and intertangled fall;

And through the ruins of the shaken mountain
The airs hiss and howl-

It is not the voice of the fountain,

Nor the wolf in his midnight prowl.

Dost thou not hear?

Strange accents are ringing

Aloft, afar, anear;

The witches are singing!

The torrent of a raging wizard song
Streams the whole mountain along.


The stubble is yellow, the corn is green,
Now to the Brocken the witches go;
The mighty multitude here may be seen
Gathering, wizard and witch, below.
Sir Urean is sitting aloft in the air;
Hey over stock! and hey over stone!

'Twixt witches and incubi, what shall be done?
Tell it who dare! tell it who dare!


Upon a sow-swine, whose farrows were nine,
Old Baubo rideth alone.


Honour her to whom honour is due,
Old mother Baubo, honour to you!
An able sow, with old Baubo upon her,

Is worthy of glory, and worthy of honour!
The legion of witches is coming behind,

Darkening the night, and outspeeding the wind—


Which way comest thou?


Over Ilsenstein;

The owl was awake in the white moonshine;

I saw her at rest in her downy nest,

And she stared at me with her broad, bright eye.


And you may now as well, take your course on to Hell, Since you ride by so fast, on the headlong blast.


She dropt poison upon me as I past.

Here are the wounds


Come away! come along!

The way is wide, the way is long,

But what is that for a Bedlam throng?"

Stick with the prong, and scratch with the broom.
The child in the cradle lies strangled at home,

And the mother is clapping her hands.


We glide in

Like snails when the women are all away;
And from a house once given over to sin
Woman has a thousand steps to stray.


A thousand steps must a woman take,
Where a man but a single spring will make.


Come with us, come with us, from Felunsee.


With what joy would we fly, through the upper sky!
We are washed, we are 'nointed, stark naked are we;
But our toil and our pain, is for ever in vain.


The wind is still, the stars are fled,
The melancholy moon is dead;
The magic notes, like spark on spark,
Drizzle, whistling through the dark.
Come away!


Stay, oh stay!


Out of the crannies of the rocks,

Who calls?


Oh, let me join your flocks!

I, three hundred years have striven

To catch your skirt and mount to Heaven,—
And still in vain. Oh, might I be

With company akin to me!


Some on a ram and some on a prong,

On poles and on broomsticks we flutter along;
Forlorn is the wight, who can rise not to-night.


I have been tripping this many an hour;
Are the others already so far before?
No quiet at home, and no peace abroad!
And less methinks is found by the road.


Come onward away! aroint thee, aroint!
A witch to be strong must anoint-anoint-
Then every trough, will be boat enough;

With a rag for a sail we can sweep through the sky,
Who flies not to-night, when means he to fly?


We cling to the skirt, and we strike on the ground;
Witch-legions thicken around and around:
Wizard-swarms cover the heath all over.

[They descend.

Mep. What thronging, dashing, raging, rustling; What whispering, babbling, hissing, bustling;


« AnteriorContinua »