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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

Resistance, stubborn selfishness,
Can trouble lordliest success,
Till, in deep angry pain one must
Grow tired at last of being first!

MEPHISTOPHELES

Why let thyself be troubled here? 
Is colonizing not thy sphere?

FAUST

Then go, to move them be thy care! 
Thou knowest well the homestead fair,
I’ve chosen for the aged pair—­

MEPHISTOPHELES

We’ll bear them off, and on new ground
Set them, ere one can look around. 
The violence outlived and past,
Shall a fair home atone at last.
              [He whistles shrilly.]

THE THREE enter

MEPHISTOPHELES

Come! straight fulfil the lord’s behest;
The fleet tomorrow he will feast.

THE THREE

The old lord us did ill requite;
A sumptuous feast is ours by right.

MEPHISTOPHELES (to the spectators)

What happ’d of old, here happens too: 
Still Naboth’s vineyard meets the view.

(I Kings, xvi.)

DEEP NIGHT

LYNCEUS THE WARDER (on the watch-tower singing)

Keen vision my birth-dower,
I’m placed on this height,
Still sworn to the watch-tower,
The world’s my delight. 
I gaze on the distant,
I look on the near,
On moon and on planet,
On wood and the deer: 
The beauty eternal
In all things I see;
And pleased with myself
All bring pleasure to me. 
Glad eyes, look around ye
And gaze, for whate’er
The sight they encounter,
It still hath been fair!

(Pause)

Not alone for pleasure-taking
Am I planted thus on high;
What dire vision, horror-waking,
From yon dark world scares mine eye! 
Fiery sparkles see I gleaming
Through the lindens’ two-fold night;
By the breezes fanned, their beaming
Gloweth now with fiercer light! 
Ah! the peaceful hut is burning;
Stood its moss-grown walls for years;
They for speedy help are yearning—­
And no rescue, none appears! 
Ah the aged folk, so kindly,
Once so careful of the fire,
Now, to smoke a prey, they blindly
Perish, oh misfortune dire! 
’Mid red flames, the vision dazing,
Stands the moss-hut, black and bare;
From the hell, so fiercely blazing,
Could we save the honest pair! 
Lightning-like the fire advances,
’Mid the foliage, ’mid the branches;
Withered boughs,—­they flicker, burning,
Swiftly glow, then fall;—­ah me! 
Must mine eyes, this woe discerning,
Must they so far-sighted be! 
Down the lowly chapel crashes
‘Neath the branches’ fall and weight;
Winding now, the pointed flashes
To the summit climb elate. 
Roots and trunks the flames have blighted,
Hollow, purple-red, they glow!

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