This once I must admit your plea;—
For truly I must own that we
Each other have not seen for many a day.
The culture, too, that shapes the world, at last
Hath e’en the devil in its sphere embraced;
The northern phantom from the scene hath pass’d;
Tail, talons, horns, are nowhere to be traced!
As for the foot, with which I can’t dispense,
’Twould injure me in company, and hence,
Like many a youthful cavalier,
False calves I now have worn for many a year.
THE WITCH (dancing)
I am beside myself with joy,
To see once more the gallant Satan here!
Woman, no more that name employ!
But why? what mischief hath it done?
To fable-books it now doth appertain;
But people from the change have nothing won.
Rid of the evil one, the evil ones remain.
Lord Baron call thou me, so is the matter good;
Of other cavaliers the mien I wear.
Dost make no question of my gentle blood;
See here, this is the scutcheon that I bear!
[He makes an unseemly gesture.]
THE WITCH (laughing immoderately)
Ha! Ha! Just like yourself! You are,
The same mad wag that you have ever been!
MEPHISTOPHELES (to FAUST)
My friend, learn this to understand, I pray!
To deal with witches this is still the way.
Now tell me, gentlemen, what you desire?
Of your known juice a goblet we require.
But for the very oldest let me ask;
Double its strength with years doth grow.
Most willingly! And here I have a flask,
From which I’ve sipp’d myself ere now;
What’s more, it doth no longer stink;
To you a glass I joyfully will give.
If unprepar’d, however, this man drink,
He hath not, as you know, an hour to live.
He’s my good friend, with whom ’twill
I grudge him not the choicest of thy store.
Now draw thy circle, speak thy spell,
And straight a bumper for him pour!
[The WITCH, with extraordinary gestures, describes a circle, and places strange things within it. The glasses meanwhile begin to ring, and the caldron to sound and make music. Lastly, she brings a great book; places the MONKEYS in the circle to serve her as a desk, and to hold the torches. She beckons FAUST to approach.]