Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

lie

FAUST.
“ One impulse you have left alone.
Oh ! let the other rest unknown.
Alas ! in me two souls at variance dwell,
Could they but separate, for both 'twere well.
One, ever wedded to the grosser earth,
Clings to the soulless clay that gave it birth;
The other feels that somewhere lie
Glad realms, to which it fain would fly;
Spirits (if such unearthly forms there be)

To whom the reign of middle air is given,
From clouds of downy gold descend, to free

A soul that pines for your transparent heaven. Oh, were a magic mantle mine,

O’er foreign climes at will to range, No emperor's robe, of sables fine,

Should tempt my avarice to exchange !

WAGNER. For mercy's sake, invoke no more

The troop whose being is known too well!
Too near at hand those viewless agents soar,

Too ready to obey the spell.
When the north blows, I know whose frosty fang

Vexes, who fret me with their arrowy tongues,
While others ride the arid east, and hang

Upon the panting chest, and husky lungs. When mid-day from the desert has despatch'd

The swarm that cauterize the maddening brain, Far in the west their opposites are hatch'd,

Who calm the fever and refresh the plain; . Prompt listeners to what heard shall make us grievem Prompt slaves to serve their masters, and deceive.”

While they are thus discoursing, a black hound is seen circling inwards, nearer and nearer, around them.”

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

66 The next scene is in the study of Faust, the dog is with him. Why Lord Francis should have called the hell-hound poodle, I cannot imagine. It tends to make the reader believe that it was some new apparition,—but there is poetry and beauty in what passes."

FAUST.

While gloomy night o’erspreads the plain,
I leave the shadowy waste behind,
Where darkness rouses not in vain
The better genius of the mind;
Each impulse wild its rest is taking,
Each passion slumbers in its den,
Nought but the love of God is waking,
And love as pure for fellow-men.

[ocr errors]

Resi thee, poodle. Why runnest thou so,
On the threshold wandering to and fro?
Lay thee down the stove beneath,
Stop thy whining, and still thy breath.
Poor dog, thou hast merrily cheer'd my way
With thy wanton springs and thy frolicsome play :
But welcome then here as an innocent guest,
Still thy whining, and take thy rest.

“ Ah! when again within our cell
We bid the lamp of midnight glow,
The inward light is trimm'd as well
In hearts that learn themselves to know :
While reason's voice adorns its theme,
And hope blooms brighter than at first,
The soul springs onward to the stream
Which flows to quench our mortal thirst.

Howl not, poodle! thy fiendish cries

Disturb the bosom's celestial tone,

Which accords but ill with thy yelling moan.
But aught that is hid from human eyes,
Human folly will oft condemn,
· They will murmur at all that is fair and good,

If its fairness be hard to be understood.
Would the critical hound but imitate them?
But already, will I what I may,
Joy's brief star has quench'd its fickle ray.
Why must the stream so soon be dried,
Ere my thirst be satisfied ?
How oft such fortune has been mine:

And yet by each blessing the world denies

We are taught the things of heaven to prize, And for revelation's light to pine. And nowhere brighter it was sent Than in our Saviour's Testament. Great is my wish to labour o'er My version of its holy lore; And, with a Christian's good design, To make it German line by line.

56 In the beginning was the Word, I write,

And straight erase what fails to satisfy;
I cannot rate the Word sufficient quite;

A worthier version I must try.
Will not the spirit guide me such to find ?
I write, in the beginning was the Mind.
But let me, ere the opening line be done,
Consider if the pen the sense outrun.
Did Mind work all things in creation's hour ?
No, thus: in the beginning was the power.
Yet, while I write it down, a warning voice
Still makes me discontented with my choice

'Tis done! the spirit helps me at my need, And writes, in the beginning was the Deed.

In my chamber would you rest,
Be silent, poodle-you had best.
Cease to bellow !
For with such a clamorous fellow,
Truly, I could well dispense:
One incontinent must hence.
Though patient, I can bear no more,
Though to a guest I ope the door.
But, what wonders do I see!
Natural sight it cannot be !
Long and broad my poodle grows,
And a wondrous shape he shows,
Such the limbs and such the force
Of the Delta's river-horse;

*.lf-begotten brood of hell,
Solomon's key shall fit him well.

Less than five, and more than three,
Fit the beast whate'er he be.
Salamanders, burn and glow;
Water-spirits, twine and flow;
Up, ye sylphs, in æther blue;
Earthly goblins, down with you.

“ He who could not win consent
From each subject element,
Could not govern at his will
Spirits, be they good or ill.

“ Salamanders, mix in flame;
In your waters, sprites, the same;
Sylphs, shine out in meteor beauty;
Goblins, help to do your duty.

Incubus, Incubus,
Make the spell complete for us.

“ None of the four

Stand in the door.
He lies and he grins at me calmly still:
And yet I have not work'd him ill;
But the spell he shall hear
Shall shake him with fear.

“ Art thou, tell,
An exile of hell ?
Then look at this sign,
At the sight of which all

The fallen must fall.
His form swells out and bristles his hair.

Son of a fallen line,
Say, canst thou read the sign?

“ Swelling like an elephant,
He will make the chamber scant.
Rise not to the ceiling's crown:

At my bidding lay thee down.
You see that I threaten never in vain ;
Be still ere I vex thee with fiery pain.

Wait not till the fiery light .

From its third eclipse be bright:
Wait not the force of the deadliest flame,
And the terrible sound of the Holiest name.
[MEPHISTOPHELES appears from behind the

stove, dressed as a travelling Student.“ The dialogue between Faust and Mephistopheles is not good—it is trifling for the most part, though here and there one meets with touches mediocre enough-of poetry. The conversation between the

« PreviousContinue »