The Neighbour's House
 

MARTHA (alone)

God pardon my dear husband, he
Doth not in truth act well by me!
Forth in the world abroad to roam,
And leave me on the straw at home.
And yet his will I ne'er did thwart,
God knows, I lov'd him from my heart.
(She weeps.)

Perchance he's dead !--oh wretched state !--
Had I but a certificate!

(MARGARET comes)

MARGARET

Dame Martha!

MARTHA

Gretchen?

MARGARET

Only think!
My knees beneath me well-nigh sink!
Within my press I've found to-day,
Another case, of ebony.
And things--magnificent they are,
More costly than the first, by far.

MARTHA

You must not name it to your mother!
It would to shrift, just like the other.

MARGARET

Nay look at them! now only see!

MARTHA (dresses her up)

Thou happy creature!

MARGARET

Woe is me!
Them in the street I cannot wear,
Or in the church, or any where.

MARTHA

Come often over here to me,
The gems put on quite privately;
And then before the mirror walk an hour or so,
Thus we shall have our pleasure too.
Then suitable occasions we must seize,
As at a feast, to show them by degrees:
A chain at first, pearl ear-drops then,--your mother
Won't see them, or we'll coin some tale or other.

MARGARET

But, who, I wonder, could the caskets bring?
I fear there's something wrong about the thing!
(a knock,)

MARTHA (peering through the blind)

'Tis a strange gentleman, I see.
Come in!

(MEPHISTOPHELES enters)

MEPHISTOPHELES

I've ventur'd to intrude to-day.
Ladies, excuse the liberty, I pray.
(He steps back respectfully before MARGARET.)

After dame Martha Schwerdtlein I inquire!

MARTHA

'Tis I. Pray what have you to say to me?

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside to her)

I know you now,--and therefore will retire;
At present you've distinguished company.
Pardon the freedom, Madam, with your leave,
I will make free to call again at eve.

MAPTHA (aloud)

Why, child, of all strange notions, he
For some grand lady taketh thee!

MARGARET

I am, in truth, of humble blood--
The gentleman is far too good--
Nor gems nor trinkets are my own.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Oh 'tis not the mere ornaments alone;
Her glance and mien far more betray.
Rejoiced I am that I may stay.

MARTHA

Your buiness, Sir? I long to know

MEPHISTOPHELES

Would I could happier tidings show!
I trust mine errand you'll not let me rue;
Your husband's dead, and greeteth you.

MARTHA

Is dead? True heart! Oh misery!
My husband dead! Oh, I shall die!

MARGARET

Alas! good Martha! don't despair!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Now listen to the sad affair!

MARGARET

I for this cause should fear to love.
The loss my certain death would prove.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Joy still must sorrow, sorrow joy attend.

MARTHA

Proceed, and tell the story of his end!

MEPHISTOPHELES

At Padua, in St. Anthony's,
In holy ground his body lies;
Quiet and cool his place of rest,
With pious ceremonials blest.

MARTHA

And had you naught besides to bring?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Oh yes! one grave and solemn prayer;
Let them for him three hundred masses sing!
But in my pockets, I have nothing there.

MARTHA

No trinket! no love-token did he send!
What every journeyman safe in his pouch will hoard
There for remembrance fondly stored,
And rather hungers, rather begs than spend!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Madam, in truth, it grieves me sore,
But he his gold not lavishly bath spent.
His failings too he deeply did repent,
Ay! and his evil plight bewail'd still more.

MARGARET

Alas! That men should thus be doomed to woe!
I for his soul will many a requiem pray.

MEPHISTOPHELES

A husband you deserve this very day;
A child so worthy to be loved.

MARGARET

Ah no,
That time bath not yet come for me.

MEPHISTOPHELES

If not a spouse, a gallant let it be.
Among heaven's choicest gifts, I place,
So sweet a darling to embrace.

MARGARET

MEPHISTOPHELES

Usage or not, it happens so.

MARTHA

Go on, I pray!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I stood by his bedside. Something less foul it was than dung;
'Twas straw half rotten; yet, he as a Christian died.
And sorely hath remorse his conscience wrung.
"Wretch that I was," quoth he, with parting breath,
"So to forsake my business and my wife!
Ah! the remembrance is my death,
Could I but have her pardon in this life! "--

MARTHA (weeping)

Dear soul! I've long forgiven him, indeed!

MEPHISTOPHELES

"Though she, God knows, was more to blame than 1."

MARTHA

He lied! What, on the brink of death to lie!

MEPHISTOPHELES

If I am skill'd the countenance to read,
He doubtless fabled as he parted hence.--
"No time had I to gape, or take my ease," he said,
"First to get children, and then get them bread;
And bread, too, in the very widest sense;
Nor could I eat in peace even my proper share."

MARTHA

What, all my truth, my love forgotten quite?
My weary drudgery by day and night!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Not so! He thought of you with tender care.
Quoth he: "Heaven knows how fervently I prayed,

For wife and children when from Malta bound;--
The prayer hath heaven with favour crowned;
We took a Turkish vessel which conveyed
Rich store of treasure for the Sultan's court;
It's own reward our gallant action brought;
The captur'd prize was shared among the crew
And of the treasure I received my due."

MARTHA

How? Where? The treasure hath he buried, pray?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Where the four winds have blown it, who can say?
In Naples as he stroll'd, a stranger there,--
A comely maid took pity on my friend;
And gave such tokens of her love and care,
That he retained them to his blessed end.

MARTHA

Scoundrel! to rob his children of their bread!
And all this misery, this bitter need,
Could not his course of recklessness impede!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Well, he bath paid the forfeit, and is dead.
Now were I in your place, my counsel hear;
My weeds I'd wear for one chaste year,
And for another lover meanwhile would look out.

MARTHA

Alas, I might search far and near,
Not quickly should I find another like my first!
There could not be a fonder fool than mine,
Only he loved too well abroad to roam;
Loved foreign women too, and foreign wine.
And loved besides the dice accurs'd.

MEPHISTOPHELES

All had gone swimmingly, no doubt,
Had he but given you at home,
On his side, just as wide a range.
Upon such terms, to you I swear,
Myself with you would gladly rings exchange!

MARTHA

The gentleman is surely pleas'd to jest!

MEPHISTOPIIELES (aside)

Now to be off in time, were best!
She'd make the very devil marry her.
(To MARGARET.)

How fares it with your heart?

MARGARET

How mean you, Sir?

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside)

The sweet young innocent!
(aloud)

Ladies, farewell!

MARGARET

Farewell!

MARTHA

But ere you leave us, quickly tell!
I from a witness fain had heard,
Where, how, and when my husband died and was interr'd.
To forms I've always been attached indeed,
His death I fain would in the journals read.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ay, madam, what two witnesses declare
Is held as valid everywhere;
A gallant friend I have, not far from here,
Who will for you before the judge appear.
I'll bring him straight.

MARTHA

I pray you do!

MEPHISTOPHELES

And this young lady, we shall find her too?
A noble youth, far travelled, he
Shows to the sex all courtesy.

MARGARET

I in his presence needs must blush for shame.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Not in the presence of a crowned king!

MARTH A

The garden, then, behind my house, we'll name,
There we'll await you both this evening.

A STREET

FAUST. MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST

How is it now? How speeds it? Is't in train?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Bravo! I find you all aflame!
Gretchen full soon your own you'll name.
This eve, at neighbour Martha's, her you'll meet again;
The woman secins expressly made
To drive the pimp and gipsy's trade.

FAUST

Good!

MEPHISTOPHELES

But from us she something would request.

FAUST

A favour claims return as this world goes.

MEPHISTOPHELES

We have on oath but duly to attest,
That her dead husband's limbs, outstretch'd, repose
In holy ground at Padua.

FAUST

Sage indeed!
So I suppose we straight must journey there!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Sancta simplicitas! For that no need!
Without much knowledge we have but to swear.

FAUST

If you have nothing better to suggest,
Against your plan I must at once protest.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Oh, holy man! methinks I have you there!
In all your life say, have you ne'er
False witness borne, until this hour?
Have you of God, the world, and all it doth contain,
Of man, and that which worketh in his heart and brain,
Not definitions given, in words of weight and power,
With front unblushing, and a dauntless breast?
Yet, if into the depth of things you go,
Touching these matters, it must be confess'd,
As much as of Herr Schwerdtlein's death you know!

FAUST

Thou art and dost remain liar and sophist too.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Ay, if one did not take a somewhat deeper view!
To-morrow, in all honour, thou
Poor Gretchen wilt befool, and vow
Thy soul's deep love, in lover's fashion.

FAUST

And from my heart.

MEPHISTOPHELES

All good and fair!
Then deathless constancy thou'lt swear;
Speak of one all o'ermastering passion,--
Will that too issue from the heart?

FAUST

Forbear!
When passion sways me, and I seek to frame
Fit utterance for feeling, deep, intense,
And for my frenzy finding no fit name,
Sweep round the ample world with every sense,
Grasp at the loftiest words to speak my flame,
And call the glow, wherewith I burn,
Quenchless, eternal, yea, eterne--
Is that of sophistry a devilish play?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yet am I right!

FAUST

Mark this, my friend,
And spare my lungs; who would the right maintain,
And hath a tongue wherewith his point to gain,
Will gain it in the end.
But come, of gossip I am weary quite;
Because I've no resource, thou'rt in the right.

GARDEN

MARGARET on FAUST'S arm. MARTHA with
MEPHISTOPHELES walking up and down

MARGARET

I feel it, you but spare my ignorance,
The gentleman to shame me stoops thus low.
A traveller from complaisance,
Still makes the best of things; I know
Too well, my humble prattle never can
Have power to entertain so wise a man.

FAUST

One glance, one word from thee doth charm me more,
Than the world's wisdom or the sage's lore.
(He kisses her hand.)

MARGARET

Nay! trouble not yourself! A hand so coarse,
So rude as mine, how can you kiss!
What constant work at home must I not do perforce!
My mother too exacting is.
(They pass on.)

MARTHA

Thus, sir, unceasing travel is your lot?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Traffic and duty urge us! With what pain
Are we compelled to leave full many a spot,
Where yet we dare not once remain!

MARTU A

In youth's wild years, with vigour crown'd,
'Tis not amiss thus through the world to sweep;
But ah, the evil days come round!
And to a lonely grave as bachelor to creep,
A pleasant thing has no one found.

MEPHISTOPHELES

The prospect fills me with dismay.

MARTHA

Therefore in time, dear sir, reflect, I pray.
(They pass on.)

MARGARET

Ay, out of sight is out of mind!
Politeness easy is to you;
Friends everywhere, and not a few,
Wiser than I am, you will find.

FAUST

O dearest, trust me, what doth pass for sense
Full oft is self-conceit and blindness!

MARGARET

How?

FAUST

Simplicity and holy innocence,--
When will ye learn your hallow'ed worth to know!
Ah, when will meekness and humility,
Kind and all-bounteous nature's loftiest dower--

MARGARET

Only one little moment think of me!
To think of you I shall have many an hour.

FAUST

You are perhaps much alone?

MARGARET

Yes, small our household is, I own,
Yet must I see to it. No maid we keep,
And I must cook, sew, knit, and Sweep,
Still early on my feet and late;
My mothcr is in all things, great and small,
So accurate!
Not that for thrift there is such pressing need;
Than others we might make more show indeed;
My father left behind a small estate,
A house and garden near the city-wall.
But fairly quiet now my days, I own;
As soldier is my brother gone;
My little sister's dead; the babe to rear
Occasion'cl me some care and fond annoy;
But I would go through all again with joy,
The darling was to mc so dear.

FAUST

An angel, sweet, if it resembled thee!

MARGARET

I reared it up, and it grew fond of me.
After my father's death it saw the day;
We gave my mother up for lost, she lay
In such a wretched plight, and then at length
So very slowly she regain'd her strength.
Weak as she was, 'twas vain for her to try
Herself to suckle the poor babe, so I
Reared it on milk and water all alone;
And thus the child became as 'twere roy own;
Within my arms it stretched itself and grew,
And smiling, nestled in my bosom too.

FAUST

Doubtless the purest happiness was thine.

MARGARET

But many weary hours, in sooth, were also mine.
At night its little cradle stood
Close to my bed; so was I wide awake
If it but stirred;
One while I was obliged to give it food,
Or to my arms the darling take;
From bed full oft must rise, whene'er its cry I heard,
And, dancing it. must pace the chamber to and fro;
Stand at the wash-tub early; forthwith go
To market, and then mind the cooking too--
To-morrow like to-day, the whole year through.
Ah, sir, thus living, it must be confess'd
One's spirits are not always of the best;
Yet it a relish gives to food and rest.
(They pass on.)

MARTHA

Poor women! we are badly off, I own;
A bachelor's conversion's hard, indeed!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Madam, with one like you it rests alone,
To tutor me a better course to lead.

MARTHA

Speak frankly, sir, none is there you have met?
Has your heart ne'er attach'd itself as yet?

MEPHISTOPHELES

One's own fire-side and a good wife are gold
And pearls of price, so says the proverb old.

MARTHA

I mean, has passion never stirred your breast?

MEPIIISTOPHELES

I've everywhere been well received, I own.

MARTHA

Yet hath your heart no earnest preference known?

MEPHISTOPHELES

With ladies one should ne'er presume to jest.

MARTHA

Ah! you mistake!

MEPHISTOPHELES

I'm sorry I'm so blind!
But this I know--that you are very kind.
(They pass on.)

FAUST

Me, little angel, didst thou recognise,
When in the garden first I came?

MARGARET

Did you not see it? I cast down my eyes.

FAUST

Thou dost forgive my boldness, dost not blame
The liberty I took that day,
When thou from church didst lately wend thy way?

MARGARET

I was confused. So had it never been;
No one of me could any evil say.
Alas, thought I, he doubtless in thy mien,
Something unmaidenly or bold hath seen?
It seemed as if it struck him suddenly,
Here's just a girl with whom one may make free!
Yet I must own that then I scarcely knew
What in your favour here began at once to plead;
Yet I was angry with myself indeed,
That I more angry could not feel with you.

FAUST

Sweet love!

MARGARET

Just wait awhile!
(She gathers a star-flower and plucks off the leaves one after
another.)

FAUST

A nosegay may that be?

MARGARET

No! It is but a game.

FAUST

How?

MARGARET

Go, you'll laugh at me!
(She plucks off the leaves and murmurs to herself.)

FAUST

What murmurest thou?

MARGARET (half aloud)'

He loves me--loves me not.

FAUST

Sweet angel, with thy face of heavenly bliss!

MARGARET (continues)

He loves me--not--he loves me--not--
(Plucking off the last leaf with fond joy.)

He loves me!

FAUST

Yes!
And this flower-language, darling, let it be,
A heavenly oracle! He loveth thee!
Know'st thou the meaning of, He loveth thee?
(He seizes both her hands.)

MARGARET

I tremble so!

FAUST

Nay! Do not tremble, love!
Let this hand-pressure, let this glance reveal
Feelings, all power of speech above;
To give oneself up wholly and to feel
A joy that must eternal prove!
Eternal !--Yes, its end would be despair.
No end !--It cannot end!
(MARGARET presses his hand, estricates herself,
and runs away. He stands a moment in thought, and then follows
her.)

MARTHA (approaching)

Night's closing.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Yes, we'll presently away.

MARTHA

I would entreat you longer yet to stay;
But 'tis a wicked place, just here about;
It is as if the folk had nothing else to do,
Nothing to think of too,
But gaping watch their neighbours, who goes in and out;
And scandal's busy still, do whatsoe'er one may.
And our young couple?

MEPHISTOPHELES

They have flown up there.
The wanton butterflies!

MARTHA

He seems to take to her.

MEPHISTOPHELES

And she to him. 'Tis of the world the way!

A SUMMER-HOUSE

(MARGARET runs in, hides behind the door, holds the tip of her
finger to her lip, and peeps through the crevice.)

MARGARET

He comes!

FAUST

Ah, little rogue, so thou
Think'st to provoke me! I have caught thee now!
(He kisses her.)

MARGARET

(embracing him, and returning the kiss)

Dearest of men! I love thee from my heart!
(MEPHISTOPHELES knocks.)

Who's there?

FAUST (stamping)

MEPHISTOPHELES

A friend!

FAUST

A brute!

MEPHISTOPHELES

MARTHA (comes)

Ay, it is late, good sir.

FAUST

Mayn't I attend you, then?

MARGARET

Oh no--my mother would--adieu, adieu!

FAUST

And must I really then take leave of you? Farewell!

MARTHA

Good-bye!

MARGARET

Ere long to meet again!

(Exeunt FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES.)

MARGARET

Good heavens! how all things far and near
Must fill his mind,--a man like this!
Abash'd before him I appear,
And say to all things only, yes.
Poor simple child, I cannot see,
What 'tis that he can find in me.
(Exit.)

FOREST AND CAVERN

FAUST (alone)

Spirit sublime! Thou gav'st me, gav'st me all
For which I prayed! Not vainly hast thou turn'd
To me thy countenance in flaming fire:
Gayest me glorious nature for my realm,
And also power to feel her and enjoy;
Not merely with a cold and wondering glance,
Thou dost permit me in her depths profound,
As in the bosom of a friend to gaze.
Before me thou dost lead her living tribes,
And dost in silent grove, in air and stream
Teach me to know my kindred. And when roars
The howling storm-blast through the groaning wood,
Wrenching the giant pine, which in its fall
Crashing sweeps down its neighbour trunks and boughs,
While hollow thunder from the hill resounds;
Then thou dost lead me to some shelter'd cave,
Dost there reveal me to myself, and show
Of my own bosom the mysterious depths.
And when with soothing beam, the moon's pale orb
Full in my view climbs up the pathless sky,
From crag and dewy grove, the silvery forms
Of by-gone ages hover, and assuage
The joy austere of contemplative thought.

Oh, that naught perfect is assign'd to man,
I feel, alas! With this exalted joy,
Which lifts me near and nearer to the gods,
Thou gav'st me this companion, unto whom
I needs must cling, though cold and insolent,
He still degrades me to myself, and turns
Thy glorious gifts to nothing, with a breath.
He in my bosom with malicious zeal
For that fair image fans a raging fire;
From craving to enjoyment thus I reel,
And in enjoyment languish for desire. (MEPHISTOPHELES
enters.)

MEPHISTOPHELES

Of this lone life have you not had your fill?
How for so long can it have charms for you?
'Tis well enough to try it if you will;
But then away again to something new I

FAUST

Would you could better occupy your leisure,
Than in disturbing thus my hours of joy.

MEPHISTOPHELES

Well! Well! I'll leave you to yourself with pleasure,
A serious tone you hardly dare employ.
To part from one so crazy, harsh, and cross,
Were not in truth a grievous loss.
The live-long day, for you I toil and fret;
Ne'er from his worship's face a hint I get,
What pleases him, or what to let alone.

FAUST

Ay truly! that is just the proper tone!
He wearies me, and would with thanks be paid

MEPHISTOPHELES

Poor Son of Earth, without my aid,
How would thy weary days have flown?
Thee of thy foolish whims I've cured,
Thy vain imaginations banished,
And but for me, be well assured,
Thou from this sphere must soon have vanished.
In rocky hollows and in caverns drear,
Why like an owl sit moping here?
Wherefore from dripping stones and moss with ooze embued,
Dost suck, like any toad, thy food?
A rare, sweet pastime. Verily!
The doctor cleaveth still to thee.

FAUST

Dost comprehend what bliss without alloy
From this wild wand'ring in the desert springs?--
Couldst thou but guess the new life-power it brings,
Thou wouldst be fiend enough to envy me my joy.

MEPHISTOPHELES

What super-earthly ecstasy! at night,
To lie in darkness on the dewy height,
Embracing heaven and earth in rapture high,
The soul dilating to a deity;
With prescient yearnings pierce the core of earth,
Feel in your labouring breast the six-days' birth,
Enjoy, in proud delight what no one knows,
While your love-rapture o'er creation flows,--
The earthly lost in beatific vision,
And then the lofty intuition--.
(With a gesture.)

I need not tell you how--to close!

FAUST

Fie on you!

MEPHISTOPHELES

This displeases you? "For shame I"
You are forsooth entitled to exclaim;
We to chaste ears it seems must not pronounce
What, nathless, the chaste heart cannot renounce.
Well, to be brief, the joy as fit occasions rise,
I grudge you not, of specious lies.
But long this mood thou'lt not retain.
Already thou'rt again outworn,
And should this last, thou wilt be torn
By frenzy or remorse and pain.
Enough of this! Thy true love dwells apart,
And all to her seems flat and tame;
Alone thine image fills her heart,
She loves thee with an all-devouring flame.
First came thy passion with o'erpowering rush,
Like mountain torrent, swollen by the melted snow;
Pull in her heart didst pour the sudden gush,
Now has thy brookiet ceased to flow.
Instead of sitting throned midst forests wild,
It would become so great a lord
To comfort the enamour'd child,
And the young monkey for her love reward.
To her the hours seem miserably long;
She from the window sees the clouds float by
As o'er the lofty city-walls they fly,
"If I a birdie were! " so runs her song,
Half through the night and all day long.
Cheerful sometimes, more oft at heart full sore;
Fairly outwept seem now her tears,
Anon she tranquil is, or so appears,
And love-sick evermore.

FAUST

Snake! Serpent vile!

MEPHISTOPHELES (aside)

Good! If I catch thee with my guile!

FAUST

Vile reprobate! go get thee hence;
Forbear the lovely girl to name!
Nor in my half-distracted sense,
Kindle anew the smouldering flame!

MEPHISTOPHELES

What wouldest thou! She thinks you've taken flight;
It seems, she's partly in the right.

FAUST

I'm near her still--and should I distant rove,
Her I can ne'er forget, ne'er lose her love;
And all things touch'd by those sweet lips of hers,
Even the very Host, my envy stirs.

MEPHISTOPHELES

'Tis well! I oft have envied you indeed,
The twin-pair that among the roses feed.

FAUST

Pander, avaunt!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Go to! I laugh, the while you rail,
The power which fashion'd youth and maid,
Well understood the noble trade;
So neither shall occasion fail.
But hence !--A mighty grief I trow!
Unto thy lov'd one's chamber thou
And not to death shouldst go.

FAUST

What isto me heaven's joy within her arms?
What though my life her bosom warms !--
Do I not ever feel her woe?
The outcast am I not, unhoused, unblest,
Inhuman monster, without aim or rest,
Who, like the greedy surge, from rock to rock,
Sweeps down the dread abyss with desperate shock?
While she, within her lowly cot, which graced
The Alpine slope, beside the waters wild,
Her homely cares in that small world embraced,
Secluded lived, a simple, artless child.
Was't not enough, in thy delirious whirl
To blast the stedfast rocks;
Her, and her peace as well,
Must I, God-hated one, to ruin hurl!
Dost claim this holocaust, remorseless Hell!
Fiend, help me to cut short the hours of dread!
Let what must happen, happen speedily!
Her direful doom fall crushing on my head,
And into ruin let her plunge with me!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why how again it seethes and glows I
Away, thou fool! Her torment ease 1
When such a head no issue sees,
It pictures straight the final close.
Long life to him who boldly dares!
A devil's pluck thou'rt wont to show;
As for a devil who despairs,
Nothing I find so mawkish here below.

MARGARET'S ROOM

MARGARET
(alone at her spinning wheel)

My peace is gone,
My heart is Sore,
I find it never,
And nevermore!

Where him I have not,
Is the grave; and all
The world to me
Is turned to gall

My wilder'd brain
Is overwrought;
My feeble senses
Are distraught.

My peace is gone,
My heart is sore,
I find it never,
And nevermore!

For him from the window
I gaze, at home;
For him and him only
Abroad I roam.

His lofty step,
His bearing high,
The smile of his lip,
The power of his eye,

His witching words,
Their tones of bliss,
His hand's fond pressure,
And ah--his kiss!

My peace is gone,
My heart is sore,
I find it never,
And nevermore.

My bosom aches
To feel him near;
Ah, could I clasp
And fold him here!

Kiss him and kiss him
Again would I,
And on his kisses
I fain would die.

MARTHA'S GARDEN

MARGARET and FAUST

MARGARET

Promise me, Henry!

FAUST

What I can!

MARGARET

How thy religion fares, I fain would hear.
Thou art a good kind-hearted man,
Only that way not well-disposed, I fear.

FAUST

Forbear, my child! Thou feelest thee I love;
My heart, my blood I'd give, my love to prove,
And none would of their faith or church bereave.

MARGARET

That's not enough, we must ourselves believe!

FAUST

Must we?

MARGARET

Ah, could I but thy soul inspire I
Thou honourest not the sacraments, alas I

FAUST

I honour them.

MARGARET

But yet without desire;
'Tis long since thou hast been either to shrift or mass.
Dost thou believe in God?

FAUST

My darling, who dares say,
Yes, I in God believe?
Question or priest or sage, and they
Seem, in the answer you receive,
To mock the questioner.

MARGARET

Then thou dost not believe?

FAUST

Sweet one! my meaning do not misconceive!
Him who dare name?
And who proclaim,
Him I believe?
Who that can feel,
His heart can steel,
To say: I believe him not?
The All-embracer,
All-sustainer,

Holds and sustains he not
Thee, me, himself?
Lifts not the Heaven its dome above?
Doth not the firm-set earth beneath us lie?
And beaming tenderly with looks of love,
Climb not the everlasting stars on high?
Do we not gaze into each other's eyes?
Nature's impenetrable agencies,
Are they not thronging on thy heart and brain,
Viewless, or visible to mortal ken,
Around thee weaving their mysterious chain?
Fill thence thy heart, how large soe'er it be;
And in the feeling when thou utterly art blest,
Then call it, what thou wilt,--
Call it Bliss! Heart! Love! God I
I have no name for it!
'Tis feeling all;
Name is but sound and smoke
Shrouding the glow of heaven.

MARGARET

All this is doubtless good and fair;
Almost the same the parson says,
Only in slightly different phrase.

FAUST

Beneath Heaven's sunshine, everywhere,
This is the utterance of the human heart;
Each in his language doth the like impart;
Then why not I in mine?

MARGARET

What thus I hear
Sounds plausible, yet I'm not reconciled;
There's something wrong about it; much I fear
That thou art not a Christian.

FAUST

My sweet child!

MARGARET

Alas! it long bath sorely troubled me,
To see thee in such odious company.

FAUST

How so?

MARGARET

The man who comes with thee, I hate,
Yea, in my spirit's inmost depths abhor;
As his loath'd visage, in my life before,
Naught to my heart e'er gave a pang so great.

FAUST

Him fear not, my sweet love!

MARGARET

His presence chills my blood.
Towards all beside I have a kindly mood;
Yet, though I yearn to gaze on thee, I feel
At sight of him strange horror o'er me steal;
That he's a villain my conviction's strong.
May Heaven forgive me, if I do him wrong!

FAUST

Yet such strange fellows in the world must be!

MARGARET

I would not live with such an one as he.
If for a moment he but enter here,
He looks around him with a mocking sneer,
And malice ill-conceal'd;
That he with naught on earth can sympathize is clear;
Upon his brow 'tis legibly revealed,
That to his heart no living soul is dear.
So blest I feel, within thine arms,
So warm and happy,--free from all alarms;
And still my heart doth close when he comes near.

FAUST

Foreboding angel! check thy fear!

MARGARET

It so o'ermasters me, that when,
Or wheresoe'er, his step I hear,
I almost think, no more I love thee then.
Besides, when he is near, I ne'er could pray.
This eats into my heart; with thee
The same, my Henry, it must be.

FAUST

This is antipathy!

MARGARET

I must away.

FAUST

For one brief hour then may I never rest,
And heart to heart, aud soul to soul be pressed?

MARGARET

Ah, if I slept alone! To-night
The bolt I fain would leave undrawn for thee;
But then my mother's sleep is light,
Were we surprised by her, ah me!
Upon the spot I should be dead.

FAUST

Dear angel! there's no cause for dread.
Here is a little phial,--if she take
Mixed in her drink three drops, 'twill steep
Her nature in a deep and soothing sleep.

MARGARET

What Do I not for thy dear sake!
To her it will not harmful prove?

FAUST

Should I advise it else, sweet love?

MARGARET

I know not, dearest, when thy face I see,
What doth my spirit to thy will constrain;
Already I have done so much for thee,
That scarcely more to do doth now remain.
(Exit,)

MEPHISTOPTIELES (enters)

MEPHISTOPHELES

The monkey! Is she gone?

FAUST

Again hast played the spy?

MEPHISTOPHELES

Of all that pass'd I'm well apprized,
I heard the doctor catechiscd,
And trust he'll profit much thereby!
Fain would the girls inquire indeed
Touching their lover's faith and creed,
And whether pious in the good old way;
They think, if pliant there, us too he will obey.

FAUST

Thou monster, does not see that this
Pure soul, possessed by ardent love,
Full of the living faith,
To her of bliss
The only pledge, must holy anguish prove,
Holding the man she loves, Forec-doomed to endless death!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Most sensual, supersensualist? The while
A damsel leads thee by the nose!

FAUST

Of filth and fire abortion vile!

MEPHISTOPHELES

In physiognomy strange skill she shows;
She in my presence feels she knows not how;
My mask it seems a hidden sense reveals;
That I'm a genius she must needs allow,
That I'm the very devil perhaps she feels.
So then to-night--

FAUST

What's that to you?

MEPHISTOPHELES

I've my amusement in it too!

AT THE WELL

MARGARET and BESSY, with pitchers

BESSY

Of Barbara hast nothing heard?

MARGARET

I rarely go from home,--no, not a word

BESSY

'Tis true: Sybilla told me so to-day!
That comes of being proud, methinks;
She played the fool at last,

MARGARET

How so?

BESSY

They say
That two she feedeth when she eats and drinks.

MARGARET

Alas!

BESSY

She's rightly served, in sooth,
How long she hung upon the youth!
What promenades, what jaunts there were,
To dancing booth and village fair!
The first she everywhere must shine,
He always treating her to pastry and to wine.
Of her good looks she was so vain,
So shameless too, that to retain
His presents, she did not disdain;
Sweet words and kisses came anon--
And then the virgin flower was gone.

MARGARET

Poor thing!

BESSY

Forsooth dost pity her?
At night, when at our wheels we sat,
Abroad our mothers ne'er would let us stIr.
Then with her lover she must chat,
Or on the bench or in the dusky walk,
Thinking the hours too brief for their Sweet talk;
Her proud head she will have to bow,
And in white sheet do penance now!

MARGARET

But he will surely marry her?

BESSY

Not he!
He won't be such a fool! a gallant lad
Like him, can roam o'er land and sea,
Besides, he's off.

MARGARET

That is not fair!

BESSY

If she should get him, 'twere almost as bad!
Her myrtle wreath the boys would tear;
And then we girls would plague her too,
For we chopp'd straw before her door would strew!
(Exit.)

MARGARET (walking towards home)

How stoutly once I could inveigh,
If a poor maiden went astray;
Not words enough my tongue could find,
'Gainst others' sin to speak my mind!
Black as it seemed, I blacken'd it still more,
And strove to make it blacker than before.
And did myself securely bless--
Now my own trespass doth appear!
Yet ah !--what urg'd me to transgress,
God knows, it was so sweet, so dear!

ZWINGER

Enclosure between the City-wall and the Gate.
(In the niche of the wall a devotional image of the Mater
dolorosa, with flower-pots before it.)

MARGARET
(putting fresh flowers in the pots)

Ah, rich in sorrow, thou,
Stoop thy maternal brow,
And mark with pitying eye my misery!
The sword in thy pierced hearf,
Thou dost with bitter smart,
Gaze upwards on thy Son's death agony.
To the dear God on high,
Ascends thy piteous sigh,
Pleading for his and thy sore misery.
Ah, who can know
The torturing woe,
The pangs that rack me to the bone?
How my poor heart, without relief,
Trembles and throbs, its yearning grief
Thou knowest, thou alone!
Ah, wheresoe'er I go,
With woe, with woe, with woe,
My anguish'd breast is aching I
When all alone I creep,
I weep, I weep, I weep,
Alas! my heart is breaking!
The flower-pots at my window
Were wet with tears of mine,
The while I pluck'd these blossoms,
At dawn to deck thy shrine!
When early in my chamber
Shone bright the rising morn,
I sat there on my pallet,
My heart with anguish torn.
Help! from disgrace and death deliver me!
Ah! rich in sorrow, thou,
Stoop thy maternal brow,
And mark with pitying eye my misery!