What a clamor! What a quaking!
Stairs are rocking, walls are shaking:
Through the windows’ quivering sheen,
Are the stormful lightnings seen;
Springs the ceiling,—thence, below,
Lime and mortar rattling flow:
And, though bolted fast, the door
Is undone by magic power!
There, in Faust’s old fleece bedight,
Stands a giant,—dreadful sight!
At his glance, his beck, at me!
I could sink upon my knee.
Shall I fly, or shall I stay?
What will be my fate today?
Come hither, friend!—Your name is Nicodemus?
Most honor’d Sir, such is my name.—Oremus!
That we’ll omit!
O joy, me you do not forget.
I know it well: old, and a student yet;
My mossy friend, even a learned man
Still studies on, because naught else he can:
Thus a card-house each builds of medium height;
The greatest spirit fails to build it quite.
Your master, though, that title well may claim—
The noble Doctor Wagner, known to fame,
First in the learned world! ’Tis he, they say,
Who holds that world together; every day
Of wisdom he augments the store!
Who crave omniscience, evermore
In crowds upon his teaching wait;
He from the rostrum shines alone;
The keys doth like Saint Peter own,
And doth of Hell and Heaven ope the gate;
As before all he glows and sparkles,
No fame, no glory but grows dim,
Even the name of Faustus darkles!
Inventor there is none like him.
Pardon, most honor’d Sir, excuse me, pray—
If I presume your utterance to gainsay—
This bears not on the question any way;
A modest mind is his allotted share.
The disappearance, unexplained as yet,
Of the great man, his mind doth sorely fret;
Comfort from his return and health are still his prayer.
The chamber, as in Doctor Faustus’ day,
Maintains, untouched, its former state,
And for its ancient lord doth wait.
Venture therein I scarcely may.
What now the aspect of the stars?—
Awe-struck the very walls appear;
The door-posts quivered, sprang the bars—
Else you yourself could not have entered here.
Where then bestowed himself hath he?
Lead me to him! bring him to me!
Alas! Too strict his prohibition,
Scarce dare I, without his permission.
Months, on his mighty work intent,
Hath he, in strict seclusion spent.
Most dainty ’mong your men of books,
Like charcoal-burner now he looks,
With face begrimed from ear to nose;
His eyes are blear’d while fire he blows;
Thus for the crisis still he longs;
His music is the clang of tongs.