False seeing one, false speaking one, thou!
Through thy horrible, single-tooth’d lips,
Ghastly, what exhaleth
From such terrible loathsome gulf!
For the malignant one, kindliness feigning,
Rage of wolf ’neath the sheep’s woolly fleece,
Far more terrible is unto me than
Jaws of the hound three-headed.
Anxiously watching stand we here:
When? How? Where of such malice
Bursteth the tempest
From this deep-lurking brood of Hell?
Now, ’stead of friendly words, freighted with comfort,
Lethe-bestowing, gracious and mild,
Thou art summoning from times departed,
Thoughts of the past most hateful,
Overshadowing not alone
All sheen gilding the present,
Also the future’s
Mildly glimmering light of hope.
That fair Helena’s soul,
Ready e’en now to take flight,
Still may keep, yea firmly keep
The form of all forms, the loveliest,
Ever illumined of old by the sun.
[HELENA has revived, and again stands in the midst.]
* * * * *
(The scene is entirely changed. Close arbors recline against a series of rocky caverns. A shady grove extends to the base of the encircling rocks. FAUST and HELENA are not seen. The CHORUS lies sleeping, scattered here and there.)
How long these maids have slept, in sooth I cannot
Or whether they have dreamed what I before mine eyes
Saw bright and clear, to me is equally unknown.
So wake I them. Amazed the younger folks shall be,
Ye too, ye bearded ones, who sit below and wait,
Hoping to see at length these miracles resolved.
Arise! Arise! And shake quickly your crisped locks!
Shake slumber from your eyes! Blink not, and list to me!
Only speak, relate, and tell us, what of wonderful
We more willingly shall hearken that which we cannot believe;
For we are aweary, weary, gazing on these rocks around.
Children, how, already weary, though you scarce have
rubbed your eyes?
Hearken then! Within these caverns, in these grottoes, in these bowers,
Shield and shelter have been given, as to lover-twain idyllic,
To our lord and to our lady—
How, within there?
From the world; and me, me only, they to secret service called.
Highly honored stood I near them, yet, as one in trust beseemeth,
Round I gazed on other objects, turning hither, turning thither,
Sought for roots, for barks and mosses, with their properties acquainted;
And they thus remained alone.