But, who, I wonder, could the caskets bring?
I fear there’s something wrong about the thing!
Good heavens! can that my mother be?
MARTHA (peering through the blind)
’Tis a strange gentleman, I see.
I’ve ventur’d to intrude today.
Ladies, excuse the liberty, I pray.
[He steps back respectfully before MARGARET.]
After dame Martha Schwerdtlein I inquire!
’Tis I. Pray what have you to say to me?
MEPHISTOPHELES (aside to her)
I know you now,—and therefore will retire;
At present you’ve distinguished company.
Pardon the freedom, Madam, with your leave,
I will make free to call again at eve.
Why, child, of all strange notions, he
For some grand lady taketh thee!
I am, in truth, of humble blood—
The gentleman is far too good—
Nor gems nor trinkets are my own.
Oh ’tis not the mere ornaments alone;
Her glance and mien far more betray.
Rejoiced I am that I may stay.
Your business, Sir? I long to know—
Would I could happier tidings show!
I trust mine errand you’ll not let me rue;
Your husband’s dead, and greeteth you.
Is dead? True heart! Oh misery!
My husband dead! Oh, I shall die!
Alas! good Martha! don’t despair!
Now listen to the sad affair!
I for this cause should fear to love.
The loss my certain death would prove.
Joy still must sorrow, sorrow joy attend.
Proceed, and tell the story of his end!
At Padua, in St. Anthony’s,
In holy ground his body lies;
Quiet and cool his place of rest,
With pious ceremonials blest.
And had you naught besides to bring?