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Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Faust Part II

(Act I: Scenes I to VII)

A. S. Kline ã2003 All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored, and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose.

Act I

Scene I: A Pleasant Landscape

(Faust is lying on flowery turf, tired and restless, trying to sleep. A circle of tiny, graceful spirits hovers round him.)

Ariel (Chanting, accompanied by Aeolian Harps.)

When the springtime blossoms, falling,

Shower down, and cover all things,

When the fields with greener blessing 4615

Dazzle all the world of earthlings,

Little elves, but great in spirit,

Haste to help, where help they can,

And, be he holy, be he wicked,

Pity they the luckless man. 4620

You, hovering in airy circles, round his head

Show yourselves in proud elf-form, instead,

Calm all the fierce resistance of his heart,

Remove the bitter barbs of sharp remorse,

Free him from past terrors, by your art. 4625

Four are the watches night makes in its course,

At once, now, mercifully, let the dark depart.

Let his head sink down on pillow’s coolness,

Next sprinkle him with dew from Lethe’s stream:

Then let his joints be free of cramps and stiffness, 4630

So that he’s strong enough to greet day’s gleam:

Elves exert your sweetest right,

Return him to the holy light!

Choir (Singly, and two or more, alternately and together.)

When the balmy breezes smother

All the green-encircled land, 4635

Sweetly fragrant and mist-covered,

Twilight gathers all around.

Sweet peace then whispers softly,

Rocks the heart on childhood’s shores,

And on the eyelids, tired and weary,

Closes daylight’s golden doors.

Here the night’s already passing,

Sacred stars set, star by star,

Great lights, and the lesser glittering,

Sparkling near, and gleaming far: 4645

Sparkling, where the lake reflects her,

Gleaming bright in cloudless height,

Protecting the deep bliss of rest, there,

Moon, in splendour, rules the night.

The hours have vanished now, already 4650

Joy and pain have flown away,

You are whole! Recover, wholly:

Trust the sight of breaking day.

Greening valleys, swelling hills there,

Rise from out their shadowy sleep: 4655

And, drifting in its waves of silver,

On to harvest, flows the wheat.

Wish then, to achieve your wishes,

Gaze up, at the brightness there!

You are lightly tangled: this is 4660

Sleep, a shell, so now emerge!

Don’t delay, walk bravely, tall,

When the crowd waits, hesitating:

The noblest man achieves his all,

By seeing, and then, swiftly, taking. 4665


Listen! Hear the hour nearing!

Ringing out to spirit-hearing,

Now, the new day is appearing.

Doors of stone creak and chatter,

Phoebus’ wheels roll and clatter, 4670

What a din the daylight’s bringing!

Trombone- and trumpeting,

Eyes amazed, and ears ringing,

The Unheard drops out of hearing.

Slip into the flowers presence, 4675

Deeper, deeper, lie there silent,

In the pebbles, where the leaves bend:

If it strikes you, you’ll be deafened.


Life’s pulses beating now, with new existence,

Greet the mild ethereal half-light round me: 4680

You, Earth, stood firm tonight, as well: I sense

Your breath is quickening all the things about me,

Already, with that joy you give, beginning

To stir the strengthening resolution in me,

That strives, forever, towards highest Being. – 4685

Now the world unfolds, in half-light’s gleam,

The wood’s alive, its thousand harmonies singing,

While through the valleys, misted ribbons stream:

And heavenly light now penetrates the deep:

Twigs, branches shoot, with fresher life it seems, 4690

From fragrant gulfs, where they were sunk in sleep:

Colour on colour lifts now from the ground,

As leaf and flower with trembling dewdrops weep –

And a paradise reveals itself, all round.

Gaze upwards! – The vast mountain heights 4695

Already with the solemn hour resound:

They are the first to enjoy the eternal light

That later, for us, will work its way below.

Now, to the sloping Alpine meadows bright,

It gives a fresh clarity, a newer glow, 4700

And step by step it reaches us down here: –

It blazes out! – Ah, already blinded, though

I turn away, my eyesight wounded, pierced.

So it is, when to the thing we yearn for

The highest wish so intimately rehearsed, 4705

We find fulfilment opening wide the door:

And then, from eternal space, there breaks

A flood of flame, we stand amazed before:

We wished to set the torch of life ablaze,

A sea of fire consumes us, and such fire! 4710

Love, is it, then? Or hate? This fierce embrace,

The joy and pain of alternating pyres,

So that, gazing back to earth again,

We seek to veil ourselves in youth’s desire.

Let the sun shine on, behind me, then! 4715

The waterfall that splits the cliffs’ broad edge,

I gaze at with a growing pleasure, when

A thousand torrents plunge from ledge to ledge,

And still a thousand more pour down that stair,

Spraying the bright foam skywards from their beds. 4720

And in lone splendour, through the tumult there,

The rainbow’s arch of colour, bending brightly,

Is clearly marked, and then dissolved in air,

Around it the cool showers, falling lightly.

There the efforts of mankind they mirror. 4725

Reflect on it, you’ll understand precisely:

We live our life amongst refracted colour.

Scene II: The Emperor’s Castle: The Throne Room

(A council of state waits for the Emperor. Trumpets.)

(Enter court attendants of all kinds, splendidly dressed. The Emperor approaches the throne: the Astrologer is to his right.)

The Emperor

I greet you all, the loved, and true,

Gathered here from far and wide: -

I see a wise man’s at my side, 4730

But where on earth’s the fool?


Right behind your mantle there,

He suddenly tumbled on the stair,

They dragged away the pile of fat.

Dead: or drunk? No man knows that. 4735

A Second Attendant

At once, and at a wondrous pace,

Another came to take his place.

Quite extravagantly dressed,

Yet troubling, since he’s so grotesque:

Guards closed the door in his face, 4740

Their halberds held crosswise too –

Yet here he comes, the daring fool!

Mephistopheles (Kneeling in front of the throne.)

What is cursed, and yet is welcomed?

What’s desired, yet chased away?

What’s always carefully defended? 4745

What’s abused: condemned, I say?

What do you not dare appeal to?

What will all, happily, hear named?

What stands on the step before you?

What’s banished from here, all the same? 4750

The Emperor

For once, at least, spare us your babble!

This is no time or place for riddles,

They’re a matter for these gentlemen. –

Solve it! I’ll gladly hear it all again.

I fear my old fool’s wandered far in space: 4755

Come to my side, here, and take his place.

(Mephistopheles places himself on the Emperor’s ...

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