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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 477 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.


Forbear!  The problem solve for me,
Why man and wife so wretchedly agree? 
Upon this point, my friend, thou’lt ne’er be clear;
The mannikin wants work, he’ll find it here.


What’s to be done?

MEPHISTOPHELES (pointing to a side door)

Yonder thy gifts display!

WAGNER (still gazing into the phial)

A very lovely boy, I needs must say!

(The side door opens; FAUST is seen stretched upon a couch)



(The phial slips from WAGNER’s hands, hovers over FAUST, and sheds a light upon him)

Girt with beauty!—­Water clear
In the thick grove; fair women, who undress;
Most lovely creatures!—­grows their loveliness: 
But o’er the rest one shines without a peer,
As if from heroes, nay from gods she came;
In the transparent sheen her foot she laves;
The tender life-fire of her noble frame
She cools in yielding crystal of the waves.—­
Of swiftly moving wings what sudden noise? 
What plash, what plunge the liquid glass destroys? 
The maidens fly, alarmed; alone, the queen,
With calm composure gazes on the scene;
With womanly and proud delight, she sees
The prince of swans press fondly to her knees,
Persistent, tame; familiar now he grows.—­
But suddenly up-floats a misty shroud,
And with thick-woven veil doth over-cloud
The loveliest of all lovely shows.


Why thou in sooth canst everything relate! 
Small as thou art, as phantast thou art great. 
I can see nothing—­


I believe it.  Thou,
Bred in the north, in the dark ages, how,
In whirl of priesthood and knight-errantry,
Have for such sights thy vision free! 
In darkness only thou’rt at home.

(Looking round)

Ye brown, repulsive blocks of stone,
Arch-pointed, low, with mould o’ergrown! 
Should he awake, new care were bred,
He on the spot would straight be dead. 
Wood-fountains, swans, fair nymphs undressed,
Such was his dream, presageful, rare;
In place like this how could he rest,
Which I, of easy mood, scarce bear! 
Away with him!


 I like your plan, proceed!


Command the warrior to the fight,
The maiden to the dancers lead! 
They’re satisfied, and all is right. 
E’en now a thought occurs, most bright;
’Tis classical
Walpurgis-night—­Most fortunate!  It suits his bent,
So bring him straightway to his element!


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