To introduce us, do you purpose here
As devil or as wizard to appear?
Though I am wont indeed to strict incognito,
Yet upon gala-days one must one’s orders show.
No garter have I to distinguish me,
Nathless the cloven foot doth here give dignity.
Seest thou yonder snail? Crawling this way she hies;
With searching feelers, she, no doubt,
Hath me already scented out;
Here, even if I would, for me there’s no disguise.
From fire to fire, we’ll saunter at our leisure,
The gallant you, I’ll cater for your pleasure.
(To a party seated round, some expiring embers)
Old gentleman, apart, why sit ye moping here?
Ye in the midst should be of all this jovial cheer,
Girt round with noise and youthful riot;
At home one surely has enough of quiet.
In nations put his trust, who may,
Whate’er for them one may have done;
For with the people, as with women, they
Honor your rising stars alone!
Now all too far they wander from the right;
I praise the good old ways, to them I hold,
Then was the genuine age of gold,
When we ourselves were foremost in men’s sight.
Ne’er were we ’mong your dullards found,
And what we ought not, that to do were fair;
Yet now are all things turning round and round,
When on firm basis we would them maintain.
Who, as a rule, a treatise now would care
To read, of even moderate sense?
As for the rising generation, ne’er
Has youth displayed such arrogant pretense.
MEPHISTOPHELES (suddenly appearing very old)
Since for the last time I the Brocken scale,
That folk are ripe for doomsday, now one sees;
And just because my cask begins to fail,
So the whole world is also on the lees.
Stop, gentlemen, nor pass me by,
Of wares I have a choice collection:
Pray honor them with your inspection.
Lose not this opportunity!
Yet nothing in my booth you’ll find
Without its counterpart on earth; there’s naught,
Which to the world, and to mankind,
Hath not some direful mischief wrought.
No dagger here, which hath not flow’d with blood,
No chalice, whence, into some healthy frame
Hath not been poured hot poison’s wasting flood.
No trinket, but hath wrought some woman’s shame,
No weapon but hath cut some sacred tie,
Or from behind hath stabb’d an enemy.