There fade I to shadow.
There cease I to be.
His visage the pampered still turneth from me.
Ye sisters, ye cannot, ye dare not go in;
But Care through the key-hole an entrance may win.
Sisters, gray sisters, away let us glide!
I bind myself to thee, quite close to thy side.
And Need at your heels doth with yours blend her breath.
Fast gather the clouds, they eclipse star on star.
Behind there, behind, from afar, from afar,
There comes he, our brother, there cometh he—
FAUST (in the palace)
Four saw I come, but only three went hence.
Of their discourse I could not catch the sense;
There fell upon mine ear a sound like breath,
Thereon a gloomy rhyme-word followed—Death;
Hollow the sound, with spectral horror fraught!
Not yet have I, in sooth, my freedom wrought;
Could I my pathway but from magic free,
And quite unlearn the spells of sorcery,
Stood I, oh nature, man alone ’fore thee,
Then were it worth the trouble man to be!
Such was I once, ere I in darkness sought,
And curses dire, through words with error fraught,
Upon myself and on the world have brought;
So teems the air with falsehood’s juggling brood,
That no one knows how them he may elude!
If but one day shines clear, in reason’s light—
In spectral dream envelopes us the night;
From the fresh fields, as homeward we advance—
There croaks a bird: what croaks he? some mischance!
Ensnared by superstition, soon and late;
As sign and portent, it on us doth wait—
By fear unmanned, we take our stand alone;
The portal creaks, and no one enters,—none.
Is some one here?
The question prompteth, yes!
What art thou then?
Here, once for all, am I.
My proper place is this.
FAUST (first angry, then appeased. Aside)
Take heed, and speak no word of sorcery.
Though by outward ear unheard,
By my moan the heart is stirred;
And in ever-changeful guise,
Cruel force I exercise;
On the shore and on the sea,
Comrade dire hath man in me
Ever found, though never sought,
Flattered, cursed, so have I wrought.
Hast thou as yet Care never known?