Of such I ne’er have heard, I frankly own.
Upon your ear indeed how should it fall?
Only romantic ghosts to you are known;
Your genuine ghost is also classical.
But whitherward to travel are we fain?
Your antique colleagues are against my grain.
North-westward, Satan, lies thy pleasure-ground;
But, this time, we to the south-east are bound.—
An ample vale Peneios floweth through,
’Mid bush and tree its curving shores it laves;
The plain extendeth to the mountain caves,
Above it lies Pharsalus, old and new.
Alas! Forbear! For ever be eschewed
Those wars of tyranny and servitude!
I’m bored with them: for they, as soon as done,
Straight recommence; and no one calls to mind
That he in sooth is only played upon
By Asmodeus, who still lurks behind.
They battle, so ’tis said, for freedom’s rights—
More clearly seen, ’tis slave ’gainst slave who fights.
Leave we to men their nature, quarrel-prone!
Each must defend himself, as best he can,
From boyhood up; so he becomes a man.
The question here is, how to cure this one?
(Pointing to FAUST)
Hast thou a means, here let it tested be;
Canst thou do naught, then leave the task to me.
Full many a Brocken-piece I might essay,
But bolts of heathendom foreclose the way.
The Grecian folk were ne’er worth much, ’tis true,
Yet with the senses’ play they dazzle you;
To cheerful sins the human heart they lure,
While ours are reckoned gloomy and obscure.
And now what next?
Of old thou wert not shy;
And if I name Thessalian witches,—why,
I something shall have said,—of that I’m sure.
Thessalian witches—well! the people they
Concerning whom I often have inquired.
Night after night, indeed, with them to stay,
That were an ordeal not to be desired;
But for a trial trip—
The mantle there
Reach hither, wrap it round the knight!
As heretofore, the rag will bear
Both him and thee; the way I’ll light.