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Oh, let me join your flocks!
I three hundred years have striven
To catch your skirt and mount to Heaven,
And still in vain. Oh, might I be
With company akin to me!
Some on a ram, and some on a prong,
On poles and on broomsticks we flutter along ;
Forlorn is the wight who can rise not to-night.
A Half-witch below.
I have been tripping this many an hour :
Are the others already so far before ?
No quiet at home, and no peace abroad!
And less methinks is found by the road.
Chorus of Witches.
Come onward, away! aroint thee, aroint!
A witch to be strong must anoint-anoint-
Then every trough will be boat enough;
With a rag for a sail we can sweep through the sky,
Who flies not to-night, when means he to fly?
We cling to the skirt, and we strike on the ground;
Witch legions thicken around and around;
Wizard swarms cover the heath all over.
What thronging, dashing, raging, rustling;
What whispering, babbling, hissing, bustling;
What glimmering, spurting, stinking, burning,
As Heaven and Earth were overturning.
There is a true witch element about us.
Take hold on me, or we shall be divided.
Where are you?
Faust. (From a distance. )
Meph. I must exert my.authority in the house.
make way, good people.
Take hold on me, doctor, and with one step
Let us escape from this unpleasant crowd:
They are too mad for people of my sort.
Just there shines a peculiar kind of light-
Something attracts me in those bushes. Come
This way; we shall slip down there in a minute.
Faust. Spirit of Contradiction! Well, lead on
"Twere a wise feat indeed to wander out
Into the Brocken upon May-day night,
And then to isolate oneself in scorn,
Disgusted with the humours of the time.
Meph. See yonder, round a many coloured flame
A merry club is huddled all together:
Even with such little people as sit there
One would not be alone.
Faust. Would that I were
Up yonder in the glow and whirling smoke,
Where the blind million rush impetuously
To meet the evil ones; there might I solve
Many a riddle that torments me!
Many a riddle there is tied anew
Inextricably. Let the great world rage!
We will stay here safe in the quiet dwellings.
'Tis our old custom. Men have ever built
Their own small world in the great world of all.
I see young witches naked there, and old ones
Wisely attired with greater decency.
Be guided now by me, and you shall buy
A pound of pleasure with a dram of trouble.
I hear them tune their instruments--one must
Get used to this damned scraping. Come, I'll lead you
Among them; and what you there do and see,
As a fresh compact 'twixt us two shall be.
How say you now? this space is wide enough
Look forth, you cannot see the end of it-
An hundred bonfires burn in rows, and they
Who throng around them seem innumerable :
Dancing and drinking, jabbering, making love,
And cooking, are at work. Now tell me, friend,
What is there better in the world than this?
Faust. In introducing us, do you assume
The character of wizard or of devil ?
Meph. In truth, I generally go about
In strict incognito; and yet one likes
To wear one's orders upon gala days.
I have no ribbon at knee; but here
At home the cloven foot is honourable.
See you that snail there?—she comes creeping up,
And with her feeling eyes has smelt out something.
I could not, if I would, mask myself here.
Come now, we'll go about from fire to fire:
I'll be the pimp, and you shall he the lover.
(To some old women, who are sitting round a heap of
Old gentlewomen, what do you do out here?
You ought to be with the young rioters
Right in the thickest of the revelry-
But every one is best content at home.
Who dare confide in night or a just claim?
So much as I had done for them! and now-
With women and the people 'tis the same,
Youth will stand foremost ever,--age may go
To the dark grave unhonoured.
People assert their rights: they go too far;
But as for me, the good old times I praise;
Then we were all in all, 'twas something worth
One's while to be in place and wear a star;
That was indeed the golden age on earth.
We too are active, and we did and do
What we ought not, perhaps; and yet we now
Will seize, whilst all things are whirled round and round,
A spoke of Fortune's wheel, and keep our ground.
Who now can taste a treatise of deep sense
And wonderous volume? 'tis impertinence
To write what none will read, therefore will I
To please the young and thoughtless people try.
Meph. (Who at once appears to have grown very old.)
I find the people ripe for the last day,
Since I last came up to the wizard mountain;
And as my little cask runs turbid now,
So is the world drained to the dregs.
Pedlar-Witch. Look here,
Gentlemen; do not hurry on so fast
And lose the chance of a good pennyworth.
I have a pack full of the choicest wares
Of every sort, and yet in all my bundle
Is nothing like what may be found on earth;
Nothing that in a moment will make rich
* A sort of fundholder, ,
Men and the world with fine malicious mischief-
There is no dagger drunk with blood; no bowl
From which consuming poison may be drained
By innocent and healthy lips; no jewel
The price of an abandoned maiden's shame;
No sword which cuts the bond it cannot loose,
Or stabs the wearer's enemy in the back ;
Meph. Gossip, you know little of these times.
What has been, has been ; what is done, is past.
They shape themselves into the innovations,
They breed, and innovation drags us with it.
The torrent of the crowd sweeps over us :
You think to impel, and are yourself impelled.
Faust. Who is that yonder?
Meph. Mark her well. It is Lilith.
Meph. Lilith, the first wife of Adam.
Beware of her fair hair, for she excels
All women in the magic of her locks;
And when she winds them round a young man's neck,
She will not ever set him free again.
Faust. There sit a girl and an old woman—they
Seem to be tired with pleasure and with play.
Meph. There is rest to night for any one: When one dance ends another is begun; Come, let us to it! We shall have rare fun.
(Faust dances and sings with a girl, and Mephistopheles
with an old woman.)
Brocto-phantasmist. What is this cursed multitude about?