A broomstick dost thou not at least desire?
The roughest he-goat fain would I bestride,
By this road from our goal we’re still far wide.
While fresh upon my legs, so long I naught require,
Except this knotty staff. Beside,
What boots it to abridge a pleasant way?
Along the labyrinth of these vales to creep,
Then scale these rocks, whence, in eternal spray,
Adown the cliffs the silvery fountains leap:
Such is the joy that seasons paths like these!
Spring weaves already in the birchen trees;
E’en the late pine-grove feels her quickening powers;
Should she not work within these limbs of ours?
Naught of this genial influence do I know!
Within me all is wintry. Frost and snow
I should prefer my dismal path to bound.
How sadly, yonder, with belated glow
Rises the ruddy moon’s imperfect round,
Shedding so faint a light, at every tread
One’s sure to stumble ’gainst a rock or tree!
An Ignis Fatuus I must call instead.
Yonder one burning merrily, I see.
Holla! my friend! may I request your light?
Why should you flare away so uselessly?
Be kind enough to show us up the height!
Through reverence, I hope I may subdue
The lightness of my nature; true,
Our course is but a zigzag one.
So men, forsooth, he thinks to imitate!
Now, in the devil’s name, for once go straight!
Or out at once your flickering life I’ll blow.
That you are master here is obvious quite;
To do your will, I’ll cordially essay;
Only reflect! The hill is magic-mad tonight;
And if to show the path you choose a meteor’s light,
You must not wonder should we go astray.
FAUST, MEPHISTOPHELES, IGNIS FATUUS (in alternate song)
Through the dream and magic-sphere,
As it seems, we now are speeding;
Honor win, us rightly leading,
That betimes we may appear
In yon wide and desert region!
Trees on trees, a stalwart legion,
Swiftly past us are retreating,
And the cliffs with lowly greeting;
Rocks long-snouted, row on row,
How they snort, and how they blow!
Through the stones and heather springing,
Brook and brooklet haste below;
Hark the rustling! Hark the singing!
Hearken to love’s plaintive lays;
Voices of those heavenly days—
What we hope, and what we love!
Like a tale of olden time,
Echo’s voice prolongs the chime.
To-whit! To-who! It sounds more near;
Plover, owl, and jay appear,