Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Street

VII

Street

Faust Margaret (passing by)

Faust

Fair lady, let it not offend you,
That arm and escort I would lend you!

Margaret

I’m neither lady, neither fair,
And home I can go without your care.

         [She releases herself, and exit.

Faust

By Heaven, the girl is wondrous fair!
Of all I’ve seen, beyond compare;
So sweetly virtuous and pure,
And yet a little pert, be sure!
The lip so red, the cheek’s clear dawn,

So sweetly virtuous and pure,and yet a little pert be sure.

I’ll not forget while the world rolls on!
How she cast down her timid eyes,
Deep in my heart imprinted lies:
How short and sharp of speech was she,
Why, ’twas a real ecstasy!

(Mephistopheles enters)

Faust

Hear, of that girl I’d have possession!

Mephistopheles

Which, then?

Faust

   The one who just went by.

Mephistopheles

She, there? She’s coming from confession,
Of every sin absolved; for I,
Behind her chair, was listening nigh.
So innocent is she, indeed,
That to confess she had no need.
I have no power o’er souls so green.

Faust

And yet, she’s older than fourteen.

Mephistopheles

How now! You’re talking like Jack Rake,
Who every flower for himself would take,
And fancies there are no favors more,
Nor honors, save for him in store;
Yet always doesn’t the thing succeed.

Faust

Most Worthy Pedagogue, take heed!
Let not a word of moral law be spoken!
I claim, I tell thee, all my right;
And if that image of delight
Rest not within mine arms to-night,
At midnight is our compact broken.

Mephistopheles

But think, the chances of the case!
I need, at least, a fortnight’s space,
To find an opportune occasion.

Faust

Had I but seven hours for all,
I should not on the Devil call,
But win her by my own persuasion.

Mephistopheles

You almost like a Frenchman prate;
Yet, pray, don’t take it as annoyance!
Why, all at once, exhaust the joyance?
Your bliss is by no means so great
As if you’d use, to get control,
All sorts of tender rigmarole,
And knead and shape her to your thought,
As in Italian tales ’tis taught.

Faust

Without that, I have appetite.

Mephistopheles

But now, leave jesting out of sight!
I tell you, once for all, that speed
With this fair girl will not succeed;
By storm she cannot captured be;
We must make use of strategy.

Faust

Get me something the angel keeps!
Lead me thither where she sleeps!
Get me a kerchief from her breast —
A garter that her knee has pressed!

Mephistopheles

That you may see how much I’d fain
Further and satisfy your pain,
We will no longer lose a minute;
I’ll find her room to-day, and take you in it.

Faust

And shall I see — possess her?

Mephistopheles

      No!

Unto a neighbor she must go,
And meanwhile thou, alone, mayst glow
With every hope of future pleasure,
Breathing her atmosphere in fullest measure.

Faust

Can we go thither?

Mephistopheles

’Tis too early yet.

Faust

A gift for her I bid thee get!

         [Exit.

Mephistopheles

Presents at once? That’s good: he’s certain to get at her!
Full many a pleasant place I know,
And treasures, buried long ago:
I must, perforce, look up the matter. [Exit.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:14