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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Scenes from ‘Faust’
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
 
See full text: Translation of Bayard Taylor

FAUST and WAGNER

FAUST
OH, happy he, who still renews
      The hope from Error’s deeps to rise forever!
    That which one does not know, one needs to use,
      And what one knows, one uses never.
    But let us not, by such despondence, so        5
        The fortune of this hour embitter!
    Mark how, beneath the evening sunlight’s glow,
        The green-embosomed houses glitter!
    The glow retreats; done is the day of toil;
      It yonder hastes, new fields of life exploring;        10
    Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil,
      Upon its track to follow, follow soaring!
    Then would I see eternal Evening gild
        The silent world beneath me glowing,
On fire each mountain-peak, with peace each valley filled,        15
    The silver brook to golden rivers flowing.
    The mountain chain, with all its gorges deep,
  Would then no more impede my godlike motion;
  And now before mine eyes expands the ocean
        With all its bays, in shining sleep!        20
    Yet finally the weary god is sinking;
        The new-born impulse fires my mind,—
    I hasten on, his beams eternal drinking,
      The Day before me and the Night behind,
Above me heaven unfurled, the floor of waves beneath me,—        25
    A glorious dream! though now the glories fade.
    Alas! the wings that lift the mind no aid
  Of wings to lift the body can bequeath me.
      Yet in each soul is born the pleasure
    Of yearning onward, upward and away,        30
  When o’er our heads, lost in the vaulted azure,
      The lark sends down his flickering lay,
      When over crags and piny highlands
        The poising eagle slowly soars,
      And over plains and lakes and islands        35
        The crane sails by to other shores.
 
WAGNER
    I’ve had, myself, at times, some odd caprices,
    But never yet such impulse felt, as this is.
    One soon fatigues on woods and fields to look,
      Nor would I beg the bird his wing to spare us:        40
      How otherwise the mental raptures bear us
        From page to page, from book to book!
      Then winter nights take loveliness untold,
    As warmer life in every limb had crowned you;
And when your hands unroll some parchment rare and old,        45
    All heaven descends, and opens bright around you!
 
FAUST
    One impulse art thou conscious of, at best;
      Oh, never seek to know the other!
    Two souls, alas! reside within my breast,
  And each withdraws from, and repels, its brother.        50
    One with tenacious organs holds in love
  And clinging lust the world in its embraces;
    The other strongly sweeps, this dust above,
          Into the high ancestral spaces.
          If there be airy spirits near,        55
  ’Twixt heaven and earth on potent errands fleeing,
    Let them drop down the golden atmosphere,
  And bear me forth to new and varied being!
    Yea, if a magic mantle once were mine,
        To waft me o’er the world at pleasure,        60
  I would not for the costliest stores of treasure—
    Not for a monarch’s robe—the gift resign.
 
FAUST and MEPHISTOPHELES

FAUST
CANST thou, poor Devil, give me whatsoever?
When was a human soul, in its supreme endeavor,
      E’er understood by such as thou?        65
Yet hast thou food which never satiates now:
      The restless, ruddy gold hast thou,
That runs quicksilver-like one’s fingers through;
A game whose winnings no man ever knew;
      A maid that even from my breast        70
Beckons my neighbor with her wanton glances,
          And Honor’s godlike zest,
      The meteor that a moment dances,—
  Show me the fruits that, ere they’re gathered, rot,
And trees that daily with new leafage clothe them!        75
 
MEPHISTOPHELES
      Such a demand alarms me not:
    Such treasures have I, and can show them.
But still the time may reach us, good my friend,
  When peace we crave, and more luxurious diet.
 
FAUST
When on an idler’s bed I stretch myself in quiet,
        80
      There let at once my record end!
    Canst thou with lying flattery rule me,
      Until self-pleased myself I see,—
    Canst thou with rich enjoyment fool me,
      Let that day be the last for me!        85
The bet I offer.

MEPHISTOPHELES
            Done!

FAUST
                    And heartily!
  When thus I hail the Moment flying:
    “Ah, still delay—thou art so fair!”—
  Then bind me in thy bonds undying,
    My final ruin then declare!        90
  Then let the death-bell chime the token,
    Then art thou from thy service free!
  The clock may stop, the hand be broken,
    Then Time be finished unto me!
 
FOREST AND CAVERN

FAUST  [alone]
SPIRIT sublime, thou gav’st me, gav’st me all
        95
For which I prayed. Not unto me in vain
Hast thou thy countenance revealed in fire.
Thou gav’st me nature as a kingdom grand,
With power to feel and to enjoy it. Thou
Not only cold, amazed acquaintance yield’st,        100
But grantest that in her profoundest breast
I gaze, as in the bosom of a friend.
The ranks of living creatures thou dost lead
Before me, teaching me to know my brothers
In air and water and the silent wood.        105
And when the storm in forests roars and grinds,
The giant firs, in falling, neighbor boughs
And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down,
And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders,—
Then to the cave secure thou leadest me,        110
Then show’st me mine own self, and in my breast
The deep mysterious miracles unfold.
And when the perfect moon before my gaze
Comes up with soothing light, around me float
From every precipice and thicket damp        115
The silvery phantoms of the ages past,
And temper the austere delight of thought.
 
That nothing can be perfect unto Man
I now am conscious. With this ecstasy,
Which brings me near and nearer to the gods,        120
Thou gav’st the comrade, whom I now no more
Can do without, though, cold and scornful, he
Demeans me to myself, and with a breath,
A word, transforms thy gifts to nothingness.
Within my breast he fans a lawless fire,        125
Unwearied, for that fair and lovely form:
Thus in desire I hasten to enjoyment,
And in enjoyment pine to feel desire.
 
MARGARET  [At the spinning-wheel, alone]
            MY peace is gone,
            My heart is sore:        130
            I never shall find it,
            Ah, nevermore!
 
            Save I have him near,
            The grave is here;
            The world is gall        135
            And bitterness all.
 
            My poor weak head
              Is racked and crazed;
            My thought is lost,
              My senses mazed.        140
 
            My peace is gone,
              My heart is sore:
            I never shall find it,
              Ah, nevermore!
 
            To see him, him only,        145
              At the pane I sit;
            To meet him, him only,
              The house I quit.
 
            His lofty gait,
              His noble size,        150
            The smile of his mouth,
              The power of his eyes,
 
            And the magic flow
              Of his talk, the bliss
            In the clasp of his hand,        155
              And ah! his kiss!
 
            My peace is gone,
              My heart is sore:
            I never shall find it,
              Ah, nevermore!        160
 
            My bosom yearns
              For him alone;
            Ah, dared I clasp him,
              And hold, and own!
 
            And kiss his mouth        165
              To heart’s desire,
            And on his kisses
              At last expire!
 
MARTHA’S GARDEN

MARGARET
PROMISE me, Henry!—

FAUST
                        What I can!
 
MARGARET
  How is ’t with thy religion, pray?
        170
Thou art a dear, good-hearted man,
  And yet, I think, dost not incline that way.
 
FAUST
Leave that, my child! Thou know’st my love is tender;
For love, my blood and life would I surrender,
And as for faith and church, I grant to each his own.        175
 
MARGARET
That’s not enough: we must believe thereon.
 
FAUST
Must we?

MARGARET
            Would that I had some influence!
Then, too, thou honorest not the Holy Sacraments.
 
FAUST
I honor them.

MARGARET
                Desiring no possession.
’Tis long since thou hast been to mass or to confession.        180
Believest thou in God?

FAUST
                My darling, who shall dare
        “I believe in God!” to say?
  Ask priest or sage the answer to declare,
      And it will seem a mocking play,
A sarcasm on the asker.

MARGARET
                Then thou believest not!
        185
 
FAUST
Hear me not falsely, sweetest countenance!
          Who dare express Him?
          And who profess Him,
        Saying: I believe in Him!
          Who, feeling, seeing,        190
          Deny His being,
        Saying: I believe Him not!
          The All-enfolding,
          The All-upholding,
        Folds and upholds he not        195
          Thee, me, Himself?
    Arches not there the sky above us?
    Lies not beneath us, firm, the earth?
      And rise not, on us shining
      Friendly, the everlasting stars?        200
      Look I not, eye to eye, on thee,
      And feel’st not, thronging
      To head and heart, the force,
      Still weaving its eternal secret,
      Invisible, visible, round thy life?        205
  Vast as it is, fill with that force thy heart,
And when thou in the feeling wholly blessed art,
      Call it, then, what thou wilt,—
    Call it Bliss! Heart! Love! God!—
      I have no name to give it!        210
          Feeling is all in all:
      The Name is sound and smoke,
      Obscuring Heaven’s clear glow.
 
MARGARET
  All that is fine and good, to hear it so:
  Much the same way the preacher spoke,        215
Only with slightly different phrases.
 
FAUST
          The same thing, in all places,
All hearts that beat beneath the heavenly day—
    Each in its language—say;
  Then why not I in mine as well?        220
 
MARGARET
To hear it thus, it may seem passable;
And yet some hitch in’t there must be,
For thou hast no Christianity.
 
FAUST
Dear love!

MARGARET
            I’ve long been grieved to see
That thou art in such company.        225
 
FAUST
How so?

MARGARET
            The man who with thee goes, thy mate,
  Within my deepest, inmost soul I hate.
        In all my life there’s nothing
Has given my heart so keen a pang of loathing
    As his repulsive face has done.        230
 
FAUST
    Nay, fear him not, my sweetest one!
 
MARGARET
    I feel his presence like something ill.
    I’ve else, for all, a kindly will,
    But, much as my heart to see thee yearneth,
    The secret horror of him returneth;        235
    And I think the man a knave, as I live!
    If I do him wrong, may God forgive!
 
FAUST
  There must be such queer birds, however.
 
MARGARET
    Live with the like of him may I never!
    When once inside the door comes he,        240
    He looks around so sneeringly,
            And half in wrath:
  One sees that in nothing no interest he hath:
    ’Tis written on his very forehead
    That love, to him, is a thing abhorrèd.        245
    I am so happy on thine arm,
    So free, so yielding, and so warm,
    And in his presence stifled seems my heart.
 
FAUST
    Foreboding angel that thou art!
 
IN THE DUNGEON
In a niche of the wall a shrine, with an image of the
Mater Dolorosa.  Pots of flowers before it


MARGARET  [Putting fresh flowers in the pots]
          INCLINE, O Maiden,
        250
          Thou sorrow-laden,
Thy gracious countenance upon my pain!
 
          The sword thy heart in,
          With anguish smarting,
Thou lookest up to where thy Son is slain!        255
 
          Thou seest the Father;
          The sad sighs gather,
And bear aloft thy sorrow and his pain!
 
          Ah, past guessing,
          Beyond expressing,        260
The pangs that wring my flesh and bone!
  Why this anxious heart so burneth,
  Why it trembleth, why it yearneth,
Knowest thou, and thou alone!
 
  Where’er I go, what sorrow,        265
  What woe, what woe and sorrow
    Within my bosom aches!
  Alone, and ah! unsleeping,
  I’m weeping, weeping, weeping,—
    The heart within me breaks.        270
 
  The pots before my window,
    Alas! my tears did wet,
  As in the early morning
    For thee these flowers I set.
  Within my lonely chamber        275
    The morning sun shone red:
  I sat in utter sorrow,
    Already on my bed.
 
Help! rescue me from death and stain!
              O Maiden!        280
            Thou sorrow-laden,
Incline thy countenance upon my pain!
 
IN THE DUNGEON

FAUST
With a bunch of keys and a lamp, before an iron door
A SHUDDER, long unfelt, comes o’er me;
Mankind’s collected woe o’erwhelms me here.
She dwells within the dark, damp walls before me,        285
      And all her crime was a delusion dear!
          What! I delay to free her?
          I dread, once again to see her?
On! my shrinking but lingers Death more near.
 
[He grasps the lock: the sound of singing is heard inside.]
        My mother the harlot,
        290
          Who put me to death;
        My father the varlet,
          Who eaten me hath!
        Little sister, so good,
        Laid my bones in the wood,        295
      In the damp moss and clay:
Then was I a beautiful bird o’ the wood:
        Fly away! Fly away!
 
FAUST  [unlocking]
      She does not dream her lover listens near;
That he the rattling chain, the rustling straw, can hear.        300
 
MARGARET  [hiding herself on the pallet]
Woe! woe! They come. O death of bitterness!
 
FAUST  [whispering]
Hush! hush! The hour is come that frees thee.
 
MARGARET  [throwing herself before him]
    Art thou a man? then pity my distress!
 
FAUST
Thy cries will wake the guards, and they will seize thee!  
[He takes hold of the fetters to unlock them.
 
MARGARET  [on her knees]
    Who, headsman! unto thee such power
        305
          Over me could give?
    Thou’rt come for me at midnight hour:
      Have mercy on me; let me live!
Is’t not soon enough when morning chime has rung?  [She rises.
 
      And I am yet so young, so young!        310
      And now death comes, and ruin!
  I, too, was fair, and that was my undoing.
      My love was near, but now he’s far;
Torn lies the wreath, scattered the blossoms are.
      Seize me not thus so violently!        315
  Spare me! What have I done to thee?
      Let me not vainly entreat thee!
I never chanced, in all my days, to meet thee!
 
FAUST
          Shall I outlive this misery?
 
MARGARET
      Now am I wholly in thy might.
        320
            But let me suckle, first, my baby!
      I blissed it all this livelong night;
            They took ’t away, to vex me, maybe,
      And now they say I killed the child outright.
          And never shall I be glad again.        325
They sing songs about me! ’tis bad of the folk to do it!
      There’s an old story has the same refrain;
          Who bade them so construe it?
 
FAUST  [falling upon his knees]
          Here lieth one who loves thee ever,
          The thraldom of thy woe to sever.        330
 
MARGARET  [flinging herself beside him]
Oh let us kneel, and call the saints to hide us!
          Under the steps beside us,
          The threshold under,
          Hell heaves in thunder!
          The Evil One        335
          With terrible wrath
          Seeketh a path
          His prey to discover!
 
FAUST  [aloud]
            Margaret! Margaret!
 
MARGARET  [attentively listening]
      That was the voice of my lover!  
[She springs to her feet: the fetters fall off.
        340
      Where is he? I heard him call me.
      I am free! No one shall enthrall me.
            To his neck will I fly,
            On his bosom lie!
On the threshold he stood, and Margaret! calling,        345
’Midst of hell’s howling and noises appalling,
’Midst of the wrathful, infernal derision,
I knew the sweet sound of the voice of the vision!
 
FAUST
’Tis I!

MARGARET
        ’Tis thou! O, say it once again!  [Clasping him.
’Tis he! ’tis he! Where now is all my pain?        350
The anguish of the dungeon, and the chain?
    ’Tis thou! Thou comest to save me,
                And I am saved!
            Again the street I see
            Where first I looked on thee;        355
    And the garden, brightly blooming,
    Where I and Martha wait thy coming.
 
FAUST  [struggling to leave]
          Come! Come with me!
 
MARGARET
            Delay, now!
    So fain I stay, when thou delayest!  [Caressing him.        360
 
FAUST              Away, now!
      If longer here thou stayest,
  We shall be made to dearly rue it.
 
MARGARET
    Kiss me!—canst no longer do it?
  My friend, so short a time thou ’rt missing,        365
    And hast unlearned thy kissing?
  Why is my heart so anxious, on thy breast?
Where once a heaven thy glances did create me,
  A heaven thy loving words expressed,
And thou didst kiss as thou wouldst suffocate me—        370
                    Kiss me!
                Or I’ll kiss thee!  [She embraces him.
          Ah, woe! thy lips are chill,
                And still.
          How changed in fashion        375
                Thy passion!
          Who has done me this ill?  [She turns away from him.
 
FAUST
Come, follow me! My darling, be more bold:
I’ll clasp thee, soon, with warmth a thousandfold;
    But follow now! ’Tis all I beg of thee.        380
 
MARGARET  [turning to him]
    And is it thou? Thou, surely, certainly?
 
FAUST
’Tis I! Come on!

MARGARET
            Thou wilt unloose my chain,
And in thy lap wilt take me once again.
How comes it that thou dost not shrink from me?—
Say, dost thou know, my friend, whom thou mak’st free?        385
 
FAUST
    Come! come! The night already vanisheth.
 
MARGARET
      My mother have I put to death;
      I’ve drowned the baby born to thee.
      Was it not given to thee and me?
Thee, too!—’Tis thou! It scarcely true doth seem—        390
    Give me thy hand! ’Tis not a dream!
    Thy dear, dear hand!—But, ah, ’tis wet!
    Why, wipe it off! Methinks that yet
            There’s blood thereon.
        Ah, God! what hast thou done?        395
        Nay, sheathe thy sword at last!
            Do not affray me!
 
FAUST
        Oh, let the past be past!
          Thy words will slay me!
 
MARGARET
        No, no! Thou must outlive us.
        400
    Now I’ll tell thee the graves to give us:
        Thou must begin to-morrow
            The work of sorrow!
        The best place give to my mother,
        Then close at her side my brother,        405
            And me a little away,
        But not too very far, I pray!
    And here, on my right breast, my baby lay!
        Nobody else will lie beside me!—
        Ah, within thine arms to hide me,        410
    That was a sweet and a gracious bliss,
    But no more, no more can I attain it!
  I would force myself on thee and constrain it,
        And it seems thou repellest my kiss:
        And yet ’tis thou, so good, so kind to see!        415
 
FAUST
    If thou feelest it is I, then come with me!
 
MARGARET
                Out yonder?
 
FAUST
            To freedom.
 
MARGARET
          If the grave is there,
      Death lying in wait, then come!        420
      From here to eternal rest:
      No further step—no, no!
Thou goest away! O Henry, if I could go!
 
FAUST
Thou canst! Just will it! Open stands the door.
 
MARGARET
I dare not go: there’s no hope any more.
        425
Why should I fly? They’ll still my steps waylay!
It is so wretched, forced to beg my living,
And a bad conscience sharper misery giving!
It is so wretched, to be strange, forsaken,
And I’d still be followed and taken!        430
 
FAUST
        I’ll stay with thee.
 
MARGARET
          Be quick! Be quick!
          Save thy perishing child!
          Away! Follow the ridge
          Up by the brook,        435
          Over the bridge,
          Into the wood,
To the left, where the plank is placed
          In the pool!
          Seize it in haste!        440
          ’Tis trying to rise,
          ’Tis struggling still!
          Save it! Save it!
 
FAUST
    Recall thy wandering will!
One step, and thou art free at last!        445
 
MARGARET
If the mountain we had only passed!
    There sits my mother upon a stone,—
            I feel an icy shiver!
      There sits my mother upon a stone,
        And her head is wagging ever.        450
She beckons, she nods not, her heavy head falls o’er;
    She slept so long that she wakes no more.
      She slept, while we were caressing:
      Ah, those were the days of blessing!
 
FAUST
    Here words and prayers are nothing worth;
        455
    I’ll venture, then, to bear thee forth.
 
MARGARET
    No—let me go! I’ll suffer no force!
    Grasp me not so murderously!
    I’ve done, else, all things for the love of thee.
 
FAUST
      The day dawns: Dearest! Dearest!
        460
 
MARGARET
Day? Yes, the day comes,—the last day breaks for me!
          My wedding day it was to be!
    Tell no one thou hast been with Margaret!
        Woe for my garland! The chances
          Are over—’tis all in vain!        465
          We shall meet once again,
            But not at the dances!
      The crowd is thronging, no word is spoken:
              The square below
          And the streets overflow:        470
      The death-bell tolls, the wand is broken.
      I am seized, and bound, and delivered—
        Shoved to the block—they give the sign!
      Now over each neck has quivered
        The blade that is quivering over mine.        475
          Dumb lies the world like the grave!
 
FAUST
          Oh, had I ne’er been born!
 
MEPHISTOPHELES  [appears outside]
          Off! or you’re lost ere morn.
        Useless talking, delaying, and praying!
        My horses are neighing:        480
        The morning twilight is near.
 
MARGARET
      What rises up from the threshold here?
            He! he! suffer him not!
      What does he want in this holy spot?
      He seeks me!

FAUST
                    Thou shalt live.
        485
 
MARGARET
    Judgment of God! myself to thee I give.
 
MEPHISTOPHELES  [to Faust]
Come! or I’ll leave her in the lurch, and thee!
 
MARGARET
      Thine am I, Father! rescue me!
      Ye angels, holy cohorts, guard me,
      Camp around, and from evil ward me!        490
      Henry! I shudder to think of thee.
 
MEPHISTOPHELES
    She is judged!
 
VOICE  [from above]
                She is saved!
 
MEPHISTOPHELES  [to Faust]
            Hither to me!  [He disappears with Faust.
 
VOICE  [from within, dying away]
          Henry! Henry!
        495
 
THE DEATH OF FAUST

LEMURES  [Digging with mocking gestures]
IN youth when I did love, did love,
  Methought it was very sweet;
When ’twas jolly and merry every way,
  And I blithely moved my feet.
 
But now old Age, with his stealing steps,        500
  Hath clawed me with his crutch:
I stumbled over the door of a grave;
  Why leave they open such?
 
FAUST
[Comes forth from the palace, groping his way along the door-posts]
How I rejoice to hear the clattering spade!
  It is the crowd, for me in service moiling,        505
      Till Earth be reconciled to toiling,
    Till the proud waves be stayed,
  And the sea girded with a rigid zone.
 
MEPHISTOPHELES  [aside]
And yet thou’rt laboring for us alone,
  With all thy dikes and bulwarks daring;        510
  Since thou for Neptune art preparing—
The Ocean Devil—carousal great.
  In every way shall ye be stranded;
  The elements with us are banded,
And ruin is the certain fate.        515
 
FAUST
Overseer!

MEPHISTOPHELES
            Here!

FAUST
                However possible,
  Collect a crowd of men with vigor,
  Spur by indulgence, praise, or rigor,—
  Reward, allure, conscript, compel!
Each day report me, and correctly note        520
How grows in length the undertaken moat.
 
MEPHISTOPHELES  [half aloud]
When they to me the information gave,
They spake not of a moat, but of—a grave.
 
FAUST
    Below the hills a marshy plain
Infects what I so long have been retrieving;        525
    This stagnant pool likewise to drain
Were now my latest and my best achieving.
To many millions let me furnish soil,
Though not secure, yet free to active toil;
Green, fertile fields, where men and herds go forth        530
At once, with comfort, on the newest earth,
And swiftly settled on the hill’s firm base,
Created by the bold, industrious race.
A land like Paradise here, round about;
Up to the brink the tide may roar without,        535
And though it gnaw, to burst with force the limit,
By common impulse all unite to hem it.
Yes! to this thought I hold with firm persistence;
  The last result of wisdom stamps it true:
He only earns his freedom and existence        540
  Who daily conquers them anew.
Thus here, by dangers girt, shall glide away
Of childhood, manhood, age, the vigorous day:
And such a throng I fain would see,—
Stand on free soil among a people free!        545
Then dared I hail the Moment fleeing:
  “Ah, still delay—thou art so fair!”
The traces cannot, of mine earthly being,
  In æons perish,—they are there!
In proud fore-feeling of such lofty bliss,        550
I now enjoy the highest Moment,—this!

[Faust sinks back: the Lemures take him and lay him upon the ground.]
 
MEPHISTOPHELES
No joy could sate him, and suffice no bliss!
  To catch but shifting shapes was his endeavor:
The latest, poorest, emptiest Moment—this,—
  He wished to hold it fast forever.        555
Me he resisted in such vigorous wise,
But Time is lord, on earth the old man lies.
The clock stands still—

CHORUS
          Stands still! silent as midnight, now!
The index falls.

MEPHISTOPHELES
                It falls; and it is finished, here!
 
CHORUS
’Tis past!

MEPHISTOPHELES
          Past! a stupid word.
        560
          If past, then why?
Past and pure Naught, complete monotony!
What good for us, this endlessly creating?—
What is created then annihilating?
“And now it’s past!” Why read a page so twisted?        565
’Tis just the same as if it ne’er existed,
Yet goes in circles round as if it had, however:
I’d rather choose, instead, the Void forever.
 
THE SALVATION OF FAUST

ANGELS
[Soaring in the higher atmosphere, bearing the immortal part of Faust]
      THE NOBLE spirit now is free,
        And saved from evil scheming:        570
      Whoe’er aspires unweariedly
        Is not beyond redeeming.
      And if he feels the grace of love
        That from on high is given,
      The blessed hosts, that wait above,        575
        Shall welcome him to heaven!
 
THE YOUNGER ANGELS
      They, the roses, freely spended
        By the penitent, the glorious,
        Helped to make the fight victorious,
      And the lofty work is ended.        580
      We this precious soul have won us;
      Evil ones we forced to shun us;
      Devils fled us when we hit them:
      ’Stead of pangs of hell, that bit them,
      Love pangs felt they, sharper, vaster:        585
      Even he, old Satan Master,
      Pierced with keenest pain retreated.
Now rejoice! The work’s completed!
 
THE MORE PERFECT ANGELS
          Earth’s residue to bear
            Hath sorely pressed us;        590
          It were not pure and fair,
            Though ’twere asbestus.
          When every element
            The mind’s high forces
          Have seized, subdued, and blent,        595
            No angel divorces
          Twin natures single grown,
            That inly mate them:
          Eternal love alone
            Can separate them.        600
 
THE YOUNGER ANGELS
          Mist-like on heights above,
            We now are seeing
          Nearer and nearer move
            Spiritual Being.
          The clouds are growing clear;        605
          And moving throngs appear
              Of blessed boys,
          Free from the earthly gloom,
              In circling poise,
            Who taste the cheer        610
          Of the new springtime bloom
            Of the upper sphere.
          Let them inaugurate
          Him to the perfect state,
            Now, as their peer!        615
 
THE BLESSED BOYS
          Gladly receive we now
            Him, as a chrysalis:
          Therefore achieve we now
            Pledge of our bliss.
          The earth-flakes dissipate        620
            That cling around him!
          See, he is fair and great!
            Divine Life hath crowned him.
 
DOCTOR MARIANUS  [In the highest, purest cell]
          Free is the view at last,
            The spirit lifted:        625
          There women, floating past,
            Are upward drifted:
          The Glorious One therein,
            With star-crown tender,—
          The pure, the Heavenly Queen,        630
            I know her splendor.
[Enraptured]
        Highest Mistress of the World!
          Let me in the azure
        Tent of Heaven, in light unfurled,
          Here thy Mystery measure!        635
        Justify sweet thoughts that move
          Breast of man to meet thee,
        And with holy bliss of love
          Bear him up to greet thee!
        With unconquered courage we        640
          Do thy bidding highest;
        But at once shall gentle be,
          When thou pacifiest.
        Virgin, pure in brightest sheen,
          Mother sweet, supernal,—        645
        Unto us Elected Queen,
          Peer of Gods Eternal!
            Light clouds are circling
              Around her splendor,—
            Penitent women        650
              Of natures tender,
            Her knees embracing,
              Ether respiring,
              Mercy requiring!
            Thou, in immaculate ray,        655
              Mercy not leavest,
            And the lightly led astray,
              Who trust thee, receivest!
        In their weakness fallen at length,
          Hard it is to save them:        660
        Who can crush, by native strength,
          Vices that enslave them?
        Whose the foot that may not slip
          On the surface slanting?
        Whom befool not eye and lip,        665
          Breath and voice enchanting?
 
The Mater Gloriosa soars into the space

CHORUS OF WOMEN PENITENTS
        To heights thou’rt speeding
            Of endless Eden:
          Receive our pleading,
            Transcendent Maiden,        670
            With mercy laden!
 
MAGNA PECCATRIX  [St. Luke, vii. 36]
    By the love before him kneeling,—
      Him, thy Son, a Godlike vision;
    By the tears like balsam stealing,
      Spite of Pharisees’ derision;        675
    By the box, whose ointment precious
      Shed its spice and odors cheery;
    By the locks, whose softest meshes
      Dried the holy feet and weary!—
 
MULIER SAMARITANA  [St. John, iv.]
    By that well, the ancient station
        680
      Whither Abram’s flocks were driven;
    By the jar, whose restoration
      To the Savior’s lips was given;
    By the fountain pure and vernal,
      Thence its present bounty spending,—        685
    Overflowing, bright, eternal,
      Watering the worlds unending!—
 
MARIA ÆGYPTIACA  [Acta Sanctorum]
    By the place where the immortal
      Body of the Lord hath lain;
    By the arm which, from the portal,        690
      Warning, thrust me back again;
    By the forty years’ repentance
      In the lonely desert land;
    By the blissful farewell sentence
      Which I wrote upon the sand!—        695
 
THE THREE
    Thou thy presence not deniest
      Unto sinful women ever,—
    Liftest them to win the highest
      Gain of penitent endeavor,—
    So, from this good soul withdraw not—        700
      Who but once forgot, transgressing,
    Who her loving error saw not—
      Pardon adequate, and blessing!
 
UNA PŒNITENTIUM  [Formerly named Margaret, stealing closer]
          Incline, O Maiden,
          With mercy laden,        705
          In light unfading,
Thy gracious countenance upon my bliss!
          My loved, my lover,
          His trials over
In yonder world, returns to me in this!        710
 
BLESSED BOYS  [Approaching in hovering circles]
    With mighty limbs he towers
      Already above us;
    He, for this love of ours,
      Will richlier love us.
    Early were we removed,        715
      Ere Life could reach us;
    Yet he hath learned and proved,
      And he will teach us.
 
THE PENITENT  [Formerly named Margaret]
  The spirit choir around him seeing,
    New to himself, he scarce divines        720
  His heritage of new-born Being,
    When like the Holy Host he shines.
  Behold, how he each band hath cloven
    The earthly life had round him thrown,
  And through his garb, of ether woven,        725
    The early force of youth is shown!
  Vouchsafe to me that I instruct him!
    Still dazzles him the Day’s new glare.
 
MATER GLORIOSA
Rise thou to higher spheres! Conduct him,
  Who, feeling thee, shall follow there!        730
 
DOCTOR MARIANUS  [Prostrate, adoring]
      Penitents, look up, elate,
        Where she beams salvation;
      Gratefully to blessed fate
        Grow, in re-creation!
      Be our souls, as they have been,        735
        Dedicate to thee!
      Virgin Holy, Mother, Queen,
        Goddess, gracious be!
 
CHORUS MYSTICUS
        All things transitory
          But as symbols are sent:        740
        Earth’s insufficiency
          Here grows to Event:
        The Indescribable,
          Here it is done:
        The Woman Soul leadeth us        745
          Upward and on!
 
 
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