FAUST [with a bunch of keys and a lamp, before an iron door]
A long unwonted chill comes o'er me,
I feel the whole great load of human woe.
Within this clammy wall that frowns before me
Lies one whom blinded love, not guilt, brought low!
Thou lingerest, in hope to grow bolder!
Thou fearest again to behold her!
On! Thy shrinking slowly hastens the blow!
[He grasps the key. Singing from within.]
My mother, the harlot,
That strung me up!
My father, the varlet,
That ate me up!
My sister small,
She gathered up all
The bones that day,
And in a cool place did lay;
Then I woke, a sweet bird, at a magic call;
Fly away, fly away!
She little dreams, her lover is so near,
The clanking chains, the rustling straw can hear;
Margaret [burying herself in the bed].
They come. O death of bitterness!
Hush! hush! I come to free thee; thou art dreaming.
Margaret [prostrating herself before him].
Art thou a man, then feel for my distress.
Thou'lt wake the guards with thy loud screaming!
[He seizes the chains to tin lock them.]
Margaret [on her knees].
Headsman, who's given thee this right
O'er me, this power!
Thou com'st for me at dead of night;
In pity spare me, one short hour!
Wilt't not be time when Matin bell has rung?
[She stands up.]
Ah, I am yet so young, so young!
And death pursuing!
Fair was I too, and that was my undoing.
My love was near, far is he now!
Tom is the wreath, the scattered flowers lie low.
Take not such violent hold of me!
Spare me! what harm have I done to thee?
Let me not in vain implore thee.
Thou ne'er till now sawft her who lies before thee!
O sorrow worse than death is o'er me!
Now I am wholly in thy power.
But first I'd nurse my child--do not prevent me.
I hugged it through the black night hour;
They took it from me to torment me,
And now they say I killed the pretty flower.
I shall never be happy again, I know.
They sing vile songs at me! 'Tis bad in them to do it!
There's an old tale that ends just so,
Who gave that meaning to it?
Faust [prostrates himself].
A lover at thy feet is bending,
Thy bonds of misery would be rending.
Margaret [flings herself beside him].
O let us kneel, the saints for aid invoking!
See! 'neath the threshold smoking,
Hell is seething!
And grim under cover,
Satan is howling!
That was the voice of my lover!
[She springs up. The chains fall off.]
Where is he? Where? He calls. I hear him.
I'm free! Who hinders? I will be near him.
I'll fly to his neck! I'll hold him!
To my bosom I'll enfold him!
He stood on the threshold--called Margery plainly!
Hell's howling and clattering to drown it sought vainly,--
Through the devilish, grim scoffs, that might turn one to stone,
I caught the sweet, loving, enrapturing tone.
'Tis thou! O say it once again.
'Tis he! 'tis he! Where now is all my pain?
And where the dungeon's anguish? Joy-giver!
'Tis thou! And come to deliver!
I am delivered!
Again before me lies the street,
Where for the first time thou and I did meet.
And the garden-bower,
Where we spent that evening hour.
Faust [trying to draw her away].
Come! Come with me!
I tarry so gladly where thou tarriest.
Unless thou hurriest,
Bitterly we both must rue it.
Kiss me! Canst no more do it?
So short an absence, love, as this,
And forgot how to kiss?
What saddens me so as I hang about thy neck?
When once, in thy words, thy looks, such a heaven of blisses
Came o'er me, I thought my heart would break,
And it seemed as if thou wouldst smother me with kisses.
Kiss thou me!
Else I kiss thee!
[She embraces him.]
Woe! woe! thy lips are cold,
Where's thy love left?
Oh! I'm bereft!
Who robbed me?
[She turns from him]
Take courage, my darling! Let us go;
I clasp-thee with unutterable glow;
But follow me! For this alone I plead!
Margaret [turning to him].
Is it, then, thou?
And is it thou indeed?
'Tis I! Come, follow me!
Thou break'st my chain,
And tak'st me to thy breast again!
How comes it, then, that thou art not afraid of me?
And dost thou know, my friend, who 'tis thou settest free?
Come! come! The night is on the wane.
Woe! woe! My mother I've slain!
Have drowned the babe of mine!
Was it not sent to be mine and thine?
Thine, too--'tis thou! Scarce true doth it seem.
Give me thy hand! 'Tis not a dream!
Thy blessed hand!--But ah! there's dampness here!
Go, wipe it off! I fear
There's blood thereon.
Ah God! what hast thou done!
Put up thy sword again;
I pray thee, do!
The past is past--there leave it then,
Thou kill'st me too!
No, thou must longer tarry!
I'll tell thee how each thou shalt bury;
The places of sorrow
Make ready to-morrow;
Must give the best place to my mother,
The very next to my brother,
Me a little aside,
But make not the space too wide!
And on my right breast let the little one lie.
No one else will be sleeping by me.
Once, to feel thy heart beat nigh me,
Oh, 'twas a precious, a tender joy!
But I shall have it no more--no, never;
I seem to be forcing myself on thee ever,
And thou repelling me freezingly;
And 'tis thou, the same good soul, I see.
If thou feelest 'tis I, then come with me
Into the open air.
If the grave is there,
If death is lurking; then come!
From here to the endless resting-place,
And not another pace--Thou
go'st e'en now? O, Henry, might I too.
Thou canst! 'Tis but to will! The door stands open.
I dare not go; for me there's no more hoping.
What use to fly? They lie in wait for me.
So wretched the lot to go round begging,
With an evil conscience thy spirit plaguing!
So wretched the lot, an exile roaming--And
then on my heels they are ever coming!
I shall be with thee.
Make haste! make haste!
No time to waste!
Save thy poor child!
Quick! follow the edge
Of the rushing rill,
Over the bridge
And by the mill,
Then into the woods beyond
On the left where lies the plank
Over the pond.
Seize hold of it quick!
To rise 'tis trying,
It struggles still!
Bethink thyself, pray!
A single step and thou art free!
Would we were by the mountain. See!
There sits my mother on a stone,
The sight on my brain is preying!
There sits my mother on a stone,
And her head is constantly swaying;
She beckons not, nods not, her head falls o'er,
So long she's been sleeping, she'll wake no more.
She slept that we might take pleasure.
O that was bliss without measure!
Since neither reason nor prayer thou hearest;
I must venture by force to take thee, dearest.
Let go! No violence will I bear!
Take not such a murderous hold of me!
I once did all I could to gratify thee.
The day is breaking! Dearest! dearest!
Day! Ay, it is day! the last great day breaks in!
My wedding-day it should have been!
Tell no one thou hast been with Margery!
Alas for my garland! The hour's advancing!
Retreat is in vain!
We meet again,
But not at the dancing.
The multitude presses, no word is spoke.
Square, streets, all places--
sea of faces--
The bell is tolling, the staff is broke.
How they seize me and bind me!
They hurry me off to the bloody block.
The blade that quivers behind me,
Quivers at every neck with convulsive shock;
Dumb lies the world as the grave!
O had I ne'er been born!
Mephistopheles [appears without].
Up! or thou'rt lost! The morn
Flushes the sky.
Idle delaying! Praying and playing!
My horses are neighing,
They shudder and snort for the bound.
What's that, comes up from the ground?
He! He! Avaunt! that face!
What will he in the sacred place?
He seeks me!
Thou shalt live!
Great God in heaven!
Unto thy judgment my soul have I given!
Mephistopheles [to Faust].
Come! come! or in the lurch I leave both her and thee!
Thine am I, Father! Rescue me!
Ye angels, holy bands, attend me!
And camp around me to defend me I
Henry! I dread to look on thee.
Voice [from above].
Mephistopheles [to Faust].
Come thou to me!
[Vanishes with FAUST.]
Voice [from within, dying away].