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Full Online Book HomePlaysFaust - Part 1 - BEFORE THE GATE.
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Faust - Part 1 - BEFORE THE GATE. Post by :Edsyd Category :Plays Author :Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Date :June 2011 Read :2419

Click below to download : Faust - Part 1 - BEFORE THE GATE. (Format : PDF)

Faust - Part 1 - BEFORE THE GATE.

BEFORE THE GATE


BEFORE THE GATE
Promenaders of all sorts pass out.

 

ARTISANS

Why choose ye that direction, pray?

OTHERS

To the hunting-lodge we're on our way.

THE FIRST

We towards the mill are strolling on.

A MECHANIC

A walk to Wasserhof were best.

A SECOND

The road is not a pleasant one.

THE OTHERS

What will you do?

A THIRD

I'll join the rest.

A FOURTH

Let's up to Burghof, there you'll find good cheer,
The prettiest maidens and the best of beer,
And brawls of a prime sort.

A FIFTH

You scapegrace! How;
Your skin still itching for a row?
Thither I will not go, I loathe the place.

SERVANT GIRL

No, no! I to the town my steps retrace.

ANOTHER

Near yonder poplars he is sure to be.

THE FIRST

And if he is, what matters it to me!
With you he'll walk, he'll dance with none but you,
And with your pleasures what have I to do?

THE SECOND

To-day he will not be alone, he said
His friend would be with him, the curly-head.

STUDENT

Why how those buxom girls step on!
Come, brother, we will follow them anon.
Strong beer, a damsel smartly dress'd,
Stinging tobacco,--these I love the best.

BURGHER'S DAUGHTER

Look at those handsome fellows there!
'Tis really shameful, I declare,
The very best society they shun,
After those servant girls forsooth, to run.

SECOND STUDENT (to the first)

Not quite so fast! for in our rear,
Two girls, well-dress'd, are drawing near;
Not far from us the one doth dwell,
And sooth to say, II like her well.
They walk demurely, yet you'll see,
That they will let us join them presently.

THE FIRST

Not 1! restraints of all kinds I detest.
Quick! let us catch the wild-game ere it flies,
The hand on Saturday the mop that plies,
Will on the Sunday fondle you the best.

BURGHER

No, this new Burgomaster, I like him not, God knows,
Now, he's in office, daily more arrogant he grows;
And for the town, what doth he do for it?
Are not things worse from day to day?
To more restraints we must submit;
And taxes more than ever pay.

BEGGAR (sings)

Kind gentleman and ladies fair,
So rosy-cheek'd and trimly dress'd,
Be pleas'd to listen to my prayer,
Relieve and pity the distress'd.
Let me not vainly sing my lay!
His heart's most glad whose hand is free.
Now when all men keep holiday,
Should be a harvest-day to me.

ANOTHER BURGHER

On holidays and Sundays naught know I more inviting
Than chatting about war and war's alarms,
When folk in Turkey, up in arms,
Far off, are 'gainst each other fighting.
We at the window stand, our glasses drain,
And watch adown the stream the painted vessels gliding,
Then joyful we at eve come home again,
And peaceful times we bless, peace long-abiding.

THIRD BURGHER

Ay, neighbour! So let matters stand for me!
There they may scatter one another's brains,
And wild confusion round them see--
So here at home in quiet all remains!

OLD WOMAN (to the BURGHERS' DAUGHTERS)

Heyday! How smart! The fresh young blood!
Who would not fall in love with you?
Not quite so proud! 'Tis well and good!
And what you wish, that I could help you to.

BURGHER'S DAUGHTER

Come, Agatha! I care not to be seen
Walking in public with these witches. True,
My future lover, last St. Andrew's E'en,
In flesh and blood she brought before my view.

ANOTHER

And mine she show'd me also in the glass,
A soldier's figure, with companions bold;
I look around, I seek him as I pass,
In vain, his form I nowhere can behold.

SOLDIERS

Fortress with turrets
And walls high in air,
Damsel disdainful,
Haughty and fair,
These be my prey!
Bold is the venture,
Costly the pay!

Hark how the trumpet
Thither doth call us,
Where either pleasure
Or death may befall us.
Hail to the tumult!
Life's in the field!
Damsel and fortress
To us must yield.
Bold is the venture,
Costly the pay!
Gaily the soldier
Marches away.

FAUST and WAGNER

FAUST

Loosed from their fetters are streams and rills
Through the gracious spring-tide's all-quickening glow;
Hope's budding joy in the vale doth blow;
Old Winter back to the savage hills
Withdraweth his force, decrepid now.
Thence only impotent icy grains
Scatters he as he wings his flight,
Striping with sleet the verdant plains;
But the sun endureth no trace of white;
Everywhere growth and movement are rife,
All things investing with hues of life:
Though flowers are lacking, varied of dye,
Their colours the motly throng supply.
Turn thee around, and from this height,
Back to the town direct thy sight.
Forth from the hollow, gloomy gate,
Stream forth the masses, in bright array.
Gladly seek they the sun to-day;
The Lord's Resurrection they celebrate:
For they themselves have risen, with joy,

From tenement sordid, from cheerless room,
From bonds of toil, from care and annoy,
From gable and roof's o'er-hanging gloom,
From crowded alley and narrow street,
And from the churches' awe-breathing night,
All now have come forth into the light.
Look, only look, on nimble feet,
Through garden and field how spread the throng,
How o'er the river's ample sheet,
Many a gay wherry glides along;
And see, deep sinking in the tide,
Pushes the last boat now away.
E'en from yon far hill's path-worn side,
Flash the bright hues of garments gay.
Hark! Sounds of village mirth arise;
This is the people's paradise.

&th great and small send up a cheer;
Here am I man, I feel it here.

WAGNER

Sir Doctor, in a walk with you
There's honour and instruction too;
Yet here alone I care not to resort,
Because I coarseness hate of every Sort.
This fiddling, shouting, skittling, I detest;
I hate the tumult of the vulgar throng;
They roar as by the evil one possess'd,
And call it pleasure, call it song.

PEASANTS (under the linden-tree)
Dance and song
The shepherd for the dance was dress'd,
With ribbon, wreath, and coloured vest,
A gallant show displaying.
And round about the linden-trees,
They footed it right merrily. Juchhe! Juchhe!
Juchheisa! Heisa! He!
So fiddle-bow was braying.

Our swain amidst the circle press'd,
He push'd a maiden trimly dress'd,
And jogg'd her with his elbow;
The buxom damsel turn'd her head,
"Now that's a stupid trick!" she said, Juchhe! Juchhe!
Juchhesia! Heisa! He!
Don't be so rude, good fellow!

Swift in the circle they advanced,
They danced to right, to left they danced,
And all the skirts were swinging.
And they grew red, and they grew warm,
Panting, they rested arm in arm, Juchhe! Juchhe!
Juchheisa! Heisa! He!
To hip their elbow bringing.

D~n"t make so free! How many a maid
Has been betroth'd and then betray'd;
And has repented after!
Yet still he flatter'd her aside,
Andfrom the linden, far and wide, Juchhe! Juchhe!
Juchheisa! Heisa! He!
Rang fiddle-bow and laughter.

OLD PEASANT

Doctor, 'tis really kind of you,
To condescend to come this way,
A highly learned man like you,
To join our mirthful throng to-day.
Our fairest cup I offer you,
Which we with sparkling drink have crown'd,
And pledging you, I pray aloud,
That every drop within its round,

While it your present thirst allays,
May swell the number of your days.

FAUST

I take the cup you kindly reach,
Thanks and prosperity to each!
(The crowd gather round in a circle.)

OLD PEASANT

Ay, truly! 'tis well done, that you
Our festive meeting thus attend;
You, who in evil days of yore,
So often show'd yourself our friend I
Full many a one stands living here,
Who from the fever's deadly blast,
Your father rescu'd, when his skill
The fatal sickness stay'd at last.
A young man then, each house you sought,
Where reign'd the mortal pestilence.
Corpse after corpse was carried forth,
But still unscath'd you issued thence.

Sore then your trials and severe;
The Helper yonder aids the helper here.

ALL

Heaven bless the trusty friend, and long
To help the poor his life prolong!

FAUST

To Him above in homage bend,
Who prompts the helper and Who help doth send.
(He proceeds with WAGNER.)

WAGNER

What feelings, great man, must thy breast inspire,
At homage paid thee by this crowd! Thrice blest
Who from the gifts by him possessed
Such benefit can draw! The sire
Thee to his boy with reverence shows;
They press around, inquire, advance,
Hush'd is the fiddle, check'd the dance.
Where thou dost pass they stand in rows,
And each aloft his bonnet throws,
But little fails and they to thee,
As though the Host came by, would bend the knee.

FAUST

A few steps further, up to yonder stone!
Here rest we from our walk. In times long past,
Absorb'd in thought, here oft I sat alone,
And disciplin'd myself with prayer and fast.
Then rich in hope, with faith sincere,
With sighs, and hands in anguish press'd,
The end of that sore plague, with many a tear,
From heaven's dread Lord, I sought to wrest.
The crowd's applause assumes a scornful tone.
Oh, could'st thou in my inner being read,
How little either sire or son,
Of such renown deserves the meed!
My sire, of good repute, and sombre mood,
O'er nature's powers and every mystic zone,
With honest zeal, but methods of his own,
With toil fantastic loved to brood;
His time in dark aichemic cell,
With brother adepts he would spend,
And there antagonists compel,
Through numberless receipts to blend.
A ruddy lion there, a suitor bold,
In tepid bath was with the lily wed.
Thence both, while open flames around them roll'd,
Were tortur'd to another bridal bed.
Was then the youthful queen descried
With varied colours in the flask
This was our medicine; the patients died,
"Who were restored?" none cared to ask.
With our infernal mixture thus, ere long,
These hills and peaceful vales among,
We rag'd more fiercely than the pest;
Myself the deadly poison did to thousands give;
They pined away, I yet must live,
To hear the reckless murderers blest.

WAGNER

Why let this thought your soul o'ercast?
Can man do more than with nice skill,
With firm and conscientious will,
Practise the art transmitted from the past?
If thou thy sire dost honour in thy youth,
His lore thou gladly wilt receive;
In manhood, dost thou spread the bounds of truth,
Then may thy son a higher goal achieve.

FAUST

How blest, in whom the fond desire
From error's sea to rise, hope still renews!
What a man knows not, that he doth require,
And what he knoweth, that he cannot use.
But let not moody thoughts their shadow throw
O'er the calm beauty of this hour serene!
In the rich sunset see how brightly glow

Yon cottage homes, girt round with verdant green!
Slow sinks the orb, the day is now no more;
Yonder he hastens to diffuse new life.
Oh for a pinion from the earth to soar,
And after, ever after him to strive!
Then should I see the world below,
Bathed in the deathless evening-beams,
The vales reposing, every height a-glow,
The silver brooklets meeting golden streams.
The savage mountain, with its cavern'd side,
Bars not my godlike progress. Lo, the ocean,
Its warm bays heaving with a tranquil motion,
To my rapt vision opes its ample tide!
But now at length the god appears to sink;
A new-born impulse wings my flight,
Onward I press, his quenchiess light to drink,
The day before me, and behind the night,
The pathless waves beneath, and over me the skies.
Fair dream, it vanish'd with the parting day!
Alas! that when on spirit-wing we rise,
No wing material lifts our mortal clay.
But 'tis our inborn impulse, deep and strong,
Upwards and onwards still to urge our flight,
When far above us pours its thrilling song
The sky-lark, lost in azure light,
When on extended wing amain
O'er pine-crown'd height the eagle soars,
And over moor and lake, the crane
Still striveth towards its native shores.

WAGNER

To strange conceits oft I myself must own,
But impulse such as this I ne'er have known:
Nor woods, nor fields, can long our thoughts engage,
Their wings I envy not the feather'd kind;
Far otherwise the pleasures of the mind,
Bear us from book to book, from page to page!
Then winter nights grow cheerful; keen delight
Warms every limb; and ah! when we unroll
Some old and precious parchment, at the sight
All heaven itself descends upon the soul.

FAUST

Thy heart by one sole impulse is possess'd;
Unconscious of the other still remain!
Two souls, alas! are lodg'd within my breast,
Which struggle there for undivided reign:
One to the world, with obstinate desire,
And closely-cleaving organs, still adheres;
Above the mist, the other doth aspire,
With sacred vehemence, to purer spheres.
Oh, are there spirits in the air,
Who float 'twixt heaven and earth dominion wielding,
Stoop hither from your golden atmosphere,
Lead me to scenes, new life and fuller yielding!
A magic mantle did I but possess,
Abroad to waft me as on viewless wings,
I'd prize it far beyond the costliest dress,
Nor would I change it for the robe of kings.

WAGNER

Call not the spirits who on mischief wait!
Their troop familiar, streaming through the air,
From every quarter threaten man's estate,
And danger in a thousand forms prepare!
They drive impetuous from the frozen north,
With fangs sharp-piercing, and keen arrowy tongu~
From the ungenial east they issue forth,
And prey, with parching breath, upon thy lungs;
If, waft'd on the desert's flaming wing,
They from the south heap fire upon the brain,
Refreshment from the west at first they bring,
Anon to drown thyself and field and plain.
In wait for mischief, they are prompt to hear;
With guileful purpose our behests obey;
Like ministers of grace they oft appear,
And lisp like angels, to betray.
But let us hence! Grey eve doth all things blend,

The air grows chill, the mists descend!
'Tis in the evening first our home we prize--
Why stand you thus, and gaze with wondering eyes?
What in the gloom thus moves you?

FAUST

Yon black hound
See'st thou, through corn and stubble scampering round?

WAGNER

I've mark'd him long, naught strange in him I see!

FAUST

Note him! What takest thou the brute to be?

WAGNER

But for a poodle, whom his instinct serves
His master's track to find once more.

FAUST

Dost mark how round us, with wide spiral curves,
He wheels, each circle closer than before?
And, if I err not, he appears to me
A line of fire upon his track to leave.

WAGNER

Naught but a poodle black of hue I see;
'Tis some illusion doth your sight deceive.

FAUST

Methinks a magic coil our feet around,
He for a future snare doth lightly spread.

WAGNER

FAUST

The circle narrows, he's already near!

WAGNER

A dog dost see, no spectre have we here;
He growls, doubts, lays him on his belly, too,
And wags his tail--as dogs are wont to do.

FAUST

Come hither, Sirrah! join our company!

WAGNER

A very poodle, he appears to be!
Thou standest still, for thee he'll wait;
Thou speak'st to him, he fawns upon thee straight;
Aught thou mayst lose, again he'll bring,
And for thy stick will into water spring.

FAUST

Thou'rt right indeed; no traces now I see
Whatever of a spirit's agency.
'Tis training.--nothing more.

WAGNER

A dog well taught
E'en by the wisest of us may be sought.
Ay, to your favour he's entitled too,
Apt scholar of the students, 'tis his due!
(They enter the gate of the town.)

Content of BEFORE THE GATE (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play/drama: Faust Part 1)

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