THE POETICAL WORKS OF GOETHE - FAUST : PART I 

 

A DISMAL DAY. A FIELD.

                     FAUST. MEPHISTOPHELES.
  Faust. In misery! Despairing! Long pitiably astray upon the earth
    and now imprisoned! That lovely, ill-starred creature locked up
    in a prison as a criminal, to suffer horrible tortures. To that
    has it come! to that!- Treacherous, contemptible spirit, and
    that you have concealed from me!- Stay, then, stay! Roll your
    devilish eyes ragingly in your head! Stay and defy me with your
    intolerable presence! Imprisoned! In irreparable misery!
    Delivered up to evil spirits and to condemning, feelingless
    mankind! And me, meanwhile, you cradle in insipid diversions,
    hide from me her increasing wretchedness, and let her, helpless,
    go to ruin!
  Mephistopheles. She's not the first one.
  Faust. Dog! Detestable monster! Turn him, Thou Spirit Infinite,
    turn the worm back into his dog's-form, as at night it often
    pleased him to trot along before me, to roll in a heap before
    the feet of the innocent wanderer, and as he fell, to spring
    upon his shoulders. Turn him back into his favourite form, that
    he may crawl on his belly, before me in the sand, that I may
    trample him beneath my feet, the outcast!- Not the first one!
    -Woe! Woe! that no human soul can grasp it, that more than one
    creature has sunk down into the depths of this misery, that the
    first one, in writhing, deathly agony, did not atone for the
    guilt of all the others in the sight of the Eternal Pardoner!
    The misery of this single one pierces the marrow of my life; and
    you are calmly grinning at the fate of thousands!
  Mephistopheles. Now we are again at our wits' end, there where the
    reason of you mortals snaps from over-stretching. Why do you
    enter into fellowship with us if you can not carry it through?
    Will you fly and are not safe from dizziness? Did we force
    ourselves on you, or you on us?
  Faust. Bare not so your greedy fangs at me! It fills me with
    loathing! Great, glorious Spirit, Thou who didst deign to
    appear to me, Thou who knowest my heart and my soul, why fetter
    me to the infamous comrade who feeds on mischief and slakes his
    thirst in destruction?
  Mephistopheles. Have you ended?
  Faust. Save her! or woe to you! The most hideous curses be on you
    for thousands of years!
  Mephistopheles. I can not loose the bonds of the avenger, nor undo
    his bolts. Save her! Who was it that plunged her into ruin? I
    or you?
                                           FAUST looks around wildly.
  Mephistopheles. Will you reach for the thunder? 'Tis well that it
    was not given to you miserable mortals! To smash to pieces the
    man who blamelessly answers back, that is the tyrant's way of
    venting himself when embarrassed.
  Faust. Take me to her! She shall be free!
  Mephistopheles. And the danger to which you will expose yourself?
    Know that the guilt of blood, from your hand, still lies upon
    the town. Over the spot where a man was slain, avenging spirits
    hover and lie in wait for the returning murderer.
  Faust. That too from you? The murder and death of a world be upon
    you, monster! Lead me to her, I say, and set her free!
  Mephistopheles. I will lead you, and what I can do, hear! Have I
    all power in Heaven and on earth? The warder's senses I will
    becloud; make yourself master of the keys and lead her forth
    with human hand. I'll watch! The magic horses are ready, I will
    carry you away. That I can do.
  Faust. Up and away!