FAUST—SELECTIONS FROM PART II (1832)
A PLEASING LANDSCAPE
FAUST, reclining upon flowery turf, restless, seeking sleep
Circle of spirits, hovering, flit around;—Graceful, tiny forms.
Song, accompanied by AEolian harps When, in vernal showers descending, Blossoms gently veil the earth, When the fields’ green wealth, up-tending, Gleams on all of mortal birth; Tiny elves, where help availeth, Large of heart, there fly apace; Pity they whom grief assaileth, Be he holy, be he base.
Ye round this head on airy wing careering,
Attend, in noble Elfin guise appearing;
Assuage the cruel strife that rends his heart,
The burning shaft remove of keen remorse,
From rankling horror cleanse his inmost part:
Four are the pauses of the nightly course;
Them, without rest, fill up with kindly art.
And first his head upon cool pillow lay,
Then bathe ye him in dew from Lethe’s stream;
His limbs, cramp-stiffen’d, will more freely play,
If sleep-refreshed he wait morn’s wakening beam.
Perform the noblest Elfin-rite,
Restore ye him to the holy light!
CHORUS (singly, two or more, alternately and together)
Softly when warm gales are stealing
O’er the green-environed ground,
Twilight sheddeth all-concealing
Mists and balmy odors round:
Whispers low sweet peace to mortals,
Rocks the heart to childlike rest,
And of day-light shuts the portals
To these eyes, with care oppressed.
Night hath now descended darkling,
Holy star is linked to star;
Sovereign fires, or faintly sparkling,
Glitter near and shine afar;
Glitter here lake-mirror’d, yonder
Shine adown the clear night sky;
Sealing bliss of perfect slumber,
Reigns the moon’s full majesty.
Now the hours are cancelled; sorrow,
Happiness, have passed away:
Whole thou shalt be on the morrow!
Feel it! Trust the new-born day!
Swell the hills, green grow the valleys,
In the dusk ere breaks the morn;
And in silvery wavelets dallies,
With the wind, the ripening corn.
Cherish hope, let naught appall thee!
Mark the East, with splendor dyed!
Slight the fetters that enthrall thee;
Fling the shell of sleep aside!
Gird thee for the high endeavor;
Shun the crowd’s ignoble ease!
Fails the noble spirit never,
Wise to think, and prompt to seize.
[A tremendous tumult announces the uprising of the Sun.]