Faust: A Tragedy, Parts One and Two, Fully Revised
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“Greenberg has accomplished a magnificent literary feat. He has taken a great German work, until now all but inaccessible to English readers, and made it into a sparkling English poem, full of verve and wit. Greenberg's translation lives; it is done in a modern idiom but with respect for the original text; I found it a joy to read.”—Irving Howe (on the earlier edition)
soul no longer gasping in The stink of learning’s midnight oil, Bathe in your dews till well again! Oh misery! Oh am I still Stuck here in this dismal prison? A musty goddamned hole in the wall Where even the golden light of heaven Can only weakly make its way through The painted panes of the gothic window; Where all about me shelves of books Rise up to the vault in stacks, Books gray with dust, worm-eaten, rotten, With soot-stained paper for a curtain; Where instruments, retorts and glasses Are
3350 3360 3370 forest and cavern Swollen with melted snow, overflowing Its peaceful banks, engulfed a soul unknowing, But now the flood’s thinned to a streamlet. Instead of playing monarch of the wood, My opinion is the Herr Professor Should make the silly little creature Some return in gratitude. For her the hours creep along, She stands at the window watching the clouds Pass slowly over the old town walls, “Lend me, sweet bird, your wings,” is the song She sings all day and half the night.
been in a fi x like this one. It’s true what they’re used to is pretty bad But Lord, what a terrible lot they’ve read. So how surprise them with something lively and new, A piece with some meaning that amuses them too? I don’t deny what pleases me most Are droves of people, a great host, Trying with all their might to squeeze Through the strait gate to our paradise, When it’s daylight still, not even four, Using elbow and fist to get to the ticket seller, Like starving men rushing the baker’s
Olympus, upon it assembled the gods?— That revelation of man’s powers, the poet, does! clown. Then go on and use them, your marvelous powers! Go at your business of making verses The way you go at a love adventure: A chance encounter, you’re attracted, linger, And little by little you find yourself caught. You’re so happy, later you’re not; First you’re enraptured, then it’s nothing but trouble, And before you know it it’s a whole novel, Write the play we want that way, you know how to do it!
the canvas sky, Let’s have fire and flood and dizzying steeps, All sorts of birds and beasts—do the thing liberally. And thus on a narrow platform you’re able To go all the way round Creation’s great circle At a brisk enough pace, yet deliberately as well, From Heaven, through this our world, down to Hell. 220 230 240 prologue in heaven 11 Prologue in Heaven The Lord. The Heavenly Host. Then Mephistopheles. The three Archangels advance to front. raphael. The sun as always sounds his music