HELENA and FAUST
Follows on joy new-born
EUPHORION’S VOICE, (from the depths)
Leave me in realms forlorn,
Mother, not all alone! [Pause.]
Not alone—for hope we cherish,
Where thou bidest thee to know!
Ah, from daylight though thou perish,
Ne’er a heart will let thee go!
Scarce we venture to bewail thee,
Envying we sing thy fate:
Did sunshine cheer, or storm assail thee,
Song and heart were fair and great.
Earthly fortune was thy dower,
Lofty lineage, ample might,
Ah, too early lost, thy flower
Withered by untimely blight!
Glance was thine the world discerning,
Sympathy with every wrong,
Woman’s love for thee still yearning,
And thine own enchanting song.
Yet the beaten path forsaking,
Thou didst run into the snare;
So with law and usage breaking,
On thy wilful course didst fare;
Yet at last high thought has given
To thy noble courage weight,
For the loftiest thou has striven—
It to win was not thy fate.
Who does win it? Unreplying,
Destiny the question hears,
When the bleeding people lying,
Dumb with grief, no cry uprears!—
Now new songs chant forth, in sorrow
Deeply bowed lament no more;
Them the earth brings forth tomorrow,
As she brought them forth of yore!
[Full pause. The music ceases.]
* * * * *
Yes, ’tis they, their branches rearing,
Hoary lindens, strong in age;—
There I find them, reappearing,
After my long pilgrimage!
’Tis the very spot;—how gladly
Yonder hut once more I see,
By the billows raging madly,
Cast ashore, which sheltered me!
My old hosts, I fain would greet them,
Helpful they, an honest pair;
May I hope today to meet them?
Even then they aged were.
Worthy folk, in God believing!
Shall I knock? or raise my voice?
Hail to you if, guest receiving,
In good deeds ye still rejoice!
BAUCIS (a very aged woman)
Stranger dear, beware of breaking
My dear husband’s sweet repose!
Strength for brief and feeble waking
Lengthened sleep on age bestows.
Mother, say then, do I find thee,
To receive my thanks once more,
In my youth who didst so kindly,
With thy spouse, my life restore?
Baucis, to my lips half-dying,
Art thou, who refreshment gave?
[The husband steps forth.]
Thou Philemon, strength who plying,
Snatched my treasure from the wave?
By your flames, so promptly kindled,
By your bell’s clear silver sound—
That adventure, horror-mingled,
Hath a happy issue found.
Forward let me step, and gazing
Forth upon the boundless main,
Kneel, and thankful prayers upraising,
Ease of my full heart the strain!