The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

On!  On!

DUNGEON

FAUST (with a bunch of keys and a lamp before a small iron door)

A fear unwonted o’er my spirit falls;
Man’s concentrated woe o’erwhelms me here! 
She dwells immur’d within these dripping walls;
Her only trespass a delusion dear! 
Thou lingerest at the fatal door? 
Thou dread’st to see her face once more? 
On!  While thou dalliest, draws her death-hour near.

[He seizes the lock.  Singing within.]

 My mother, the harlot,
 She took me and slew! 
 My father, the scoundrel,
 Hath eaten me too! 
 My sweet little sister
 Hath all my bones laid,
 Where soft breezes whisper
 All in the cool shade! 
 Then became I a wood-bird, and sang on the spray,
 Fly away! little bird, fly away! fly away!

FAUST (opening the lock)

Ah! she forebodes not that her lover’s near,
The clanking chains, the rustling straw, to hear.
                              [He enters.]

MARGARET (hiding her face in the bed of straw)

Woe! woe! they come! oh bitter ’tis to die!

FAUST (Softly)

Hush! hush! be still!  I come to set thee free.

MARGARET (throwing herself at his feet)

If thou art human, feel my misery!

FAUST

Thou wilt awake the jailer with thy cry!

[He grasps the chains to unlock them.]

MARGARET (on her knees)

Who, headsman, unto thee this power
O’er me could give? 
Thou com’st for me at midnight-hour. 
Be merciful, and let me live! 
Is morrow’s dawn not time enough?
                   [She stands up.]

I’m still so young, so young—­
And must so early die! 
Fair was I too, and that was my undoing. 
My love is now afar, he then was nigh;
Tom lies the garland, the fair blossoms strew’d. 
Nay, seize me not with hand so rude! 
Spare me!  What harm have I e’er done to thee? 
Oh let me not in vain implore! 
I ne’er have seen thee in my life before!

FAUST

Can I endure this bitter agony?

MARGARET

I now am at thy mercy quite. 
Let me my babe but suckle once again! 
I fondled it the live-long night;
They took it from me but to give me pain,
And now, they say that I my child have slain. 
Gladness I ne’er again shall know. 
Then they sing songs about me,—­’tis wicked of the throng—­
An ancient ballad endeth so;
Who bade them thus apply the song?

FAUST (throwing himself on the ground)

A lover at thy feet bends low,
To loose the bonds of wretchedness and woe.

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Project Gutenberg
The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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