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Faust; a Tragedy.  Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Chapter 16. MARTHA'S GARDEN
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MARGARET. FAUST.

Margaret.
Promise me, Henry.

Faust.
What I can.

Margaret.
How is it now with thy religion, say?
I know thou art a dear good man,
But fear thy thoughts do not run much that way.

Faust.
Leave that, my child! Enough, thou hast my heart;
For those I love with life I'd freely part;
I would not harm a soul, nor of its faith bereave it.

Margaret.
That's wrong, there's one true faith--one must believe it?

Faust.
Must one?

Margaret.
Ah, could I influence thee, dearest!
The holy sacraments thou scarce reverest.

Faust.
I honor them.

Margaret.
But yet without desire.
Of mass and confession both thou'st long begun to tire.
Believest thou in God?

Faust.
My. darling, who engages
To say, I do believe in God?
The question put to priests or sages:
Their answer seems as if it sought
To mock the asker.

Margaret.
Then believ'st thou not?

Faust.
Sweet face, do not misunderstand my thought!
Who dares express him?
And who confess him,
Saying, I do believe?
A man's heart bearing,
What man has the daring
To say: I acknowledge him not?
The All-enfolder,
The All-upholder,
Enfolds, upholds He not
Thee, me, Himself?
Upsprings not Heaven's blue arch high o'er thee?
Underneath thee does not earth stand fast?
See'st thou not, nightly climbing,
Tenderly glancing eternal stars?
Am I not gazing eye to eye on thee?
Through brain and bosom
Throngs not all life to thee,
Weaving in everlasting mystery
Obscurely, clearly, on all sides of thee?
Fill with it, to its utmost stretch, thy breast,
And in the consciousness when thou art wholly blest,
Then call it what thou wilt,
Joy! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name to give it!
All comes at last to feeling;
Name is but sound and smoke,
Beclouding Heaven's warm glow.

Margaret.
That is all fine and good, I know;
And just as the priest has often spoke,
Only with somewhat different phrases.

Faust.
All hearts, too, in all places,
Wherever Heaven pours down the day's broad blessing,
Each in its way the truth is confessing;
And why not I in mine, too?

Margaret.
Well, all have a way that they incline to,
But still there is something wrong with thee;
Thou hast no Christianity.

Faust.
Dear child!

Margaret.
It long has troubled me
That thou shouldst keep such company.

Faust.
How so?

Margaret.
The man whom thou for crony hast,
Is one whom I with all my soul detest.
Nothing in all my life has ever
Stirred up in my heart such a deep disfavor
As the ugly face that man has got.

Faust.
Sweet plaything; fear him not!

Margaret.
His presence stirs my blood, I own.
I can love almost all men I've ever known;
But much as thy presence with pleasure thrills me,
That man with a secret horror fills me.
And then for a knave I've suspected him long!
God pardon me, if I do him wrong!

Faust.
To make up a world such odd sticks are needed.

Margaret.
Shouldn't like to live in the house where he did!
Whenever I see him coming in,
He always wears such a mocking grin.
Half cold, half grim;
One sees, that naught has interest for him;
'Tis writ on his brow and can't be mistaken,
No soul in him can love awaken.
I feel in thy arms so happy, so free,
I yield myself up so blissfully,
He comes, and all in me is closed and frozen now.

Faust.
Ah, thou mistrustful angel, thou!

Margaret.
This weighs on me so sore,
That when we meet, and he is by me,
I feel, as if I loved thee now no more.
Nor could I ever pray, if he were nigh me,
That eats the very heart in me;
Henry, it must be so with thee.

Faust.
'Tis an antipathy of thine!

Margaret.
Farewell!

Faust.
Ah, can I ne'er recline
One little hour upon thy bosom, pressing
My heart to thine and all my soul confessing?

Margaret.
Ah, if my chamber were alone,
This night the bolt should give thee free admission;
But mother wakes at every tone,
And if she had the least suspicion,
Heavens! I should die upon the spot!

Faust.
Thou angel, need of that there's not.
Here is a flask! Three drops alone
Mix with her drink, and nature
Into a deep and pleasant sleep is thrown.

Margaret.
Refuse thee, what can I, poor creature?
I hope, of course, it will not harm her!

Faust.
Would I advise it then, my charmer?

Margaret.
Best man, when thou dost look at me,
I know not what, moves me to do thy will;
I have already done so much for thee,
Scarce any thing seems left me to fulfil.
[Exit.]

Enter MEPHISTOPHELES.

Mephtftopheles.
The monkey! is she gone?

Faust.
Hast played the spy again?

Mephistopheles.
I overheard it all quite fully.
The Doctor has been well catechized then?
Hope it will sit well on him truly.
The maidens won't rest till they know if the men
Believe as good old custom bids them do.
They think: if there he yields, he'll follow our will too.

Faust.
Monster, thou wilt not, canst not see,
How this true soul that loves so dearly,
Yet hugs, at every cost,
The faith which she
Counts Heaven itself, is horror-struck sincerely
To think of giving up her dearest man for lost.

Mephistopheles.
Thou supersensual, sensual wooer,
A girl by the nose is leading thee.

Faust.
Abortion vile of fire and sewer!

Mephistopheles.
In physiognomy, too, her skill is masterly.
When I am near she feels she knows not how,
My little mask some secret meaning shows;
She thinks, I'm certainly a genius, now,
Perhaps the very devil--who knows?
To-night then?--

Faust.
Well, what's that to you?

Mephistopheles.
I find my pleasure in it, too!