I must confess, my stepping o’er
Thy threshold a slight hindrance doth impede;
The wizard-foot doth me retain.
The pentagram thy peace doth mart
To me, thou son of hell, explain,
How camest thou in, if this thine exit bar?
Could such a spirit aught ensnare?
Observe it well, it is not drawn with care;
One of the angles, that which points without,
Is, as thou seest, not quite closed.
Chance hath the matter happily dispos’d!
So thou my captive art? No doubt!
By accident thou thus art caught!
In sprang the dog, indeed, observing naught;
Things now assume another shape,
The devil’s in the house and can’t escape.
Why through the window not withdraw?
For ghosts and for the devil ’tis a law,
Where they stole in, there they must forth. We’re free
The first to choose; as to the second, slaves are we.
E’en hell hath its peculiar laws, I see!
I’m glad of that! a pact may then be made,
The which you gentlemen will surely keep?
Whate’er therein is promised thou shalt reap,
No tittle shall remain unpaid.
But such arrangements time require;
We’ll speak of them when next we meet;
Most earnestly I now entreat,
This once permission to retire.
Another moment prithee here remain,
Me with some happy word to pleasure.
Now let me go! Ere long I’ll come again;
Then thou may’st question at thy leisure.
’Twas not my purpose thee to lime;
The snare hast entered of thine own free will:
Let him who holds the devil, hold him still!
So soon he’ll catch him not a second time.
If it so please thee, I’m at thy command;
Only on this condition, understand;
That worthily thy leisure to beguile,
I here may exercise my arts awhile.
Thou’rt free to do so! Gladly I’ll
But be thine art a pleasant one!