Poetics Of The Day

FIRST PART OF THE TRAGEDY.

SCENE III.

FAUST.
Thou nam’st thyself a part, yet show’st complete to me ?

MEPHISTOPHELES.
The modest truth I speak to thee.
If Man, that microcosmic fool, can see
Himself a whole so frequently,
Part of the Part am I, once All, in primal Night,—
Part of the Darkness which brought forth the Light,
The haughty Light, which now disputes the space,
And claims of Mother Night her ancient place.
And yet, the struggle fails ; since Light, howe’er it weaves,
Still, fettered, unto bodies cleaves :
It flows from bodies, bodies beautifies ;
By bodies is its course impeded ;
And so, but little time is needed,
I hope, ere, as the bodies die, it dies I
FAUST.
I see the plan thou art pursuing :
Thou canst not compass general ruin.
And hast on smaller scale begun.
MEPHISTOPHELES.
And truly ’tis mot much, when all is done.
That which to Naught is in resistance set,—
The Something of this clumsy world,—has yet,
With all that I have undertaken,
Not been by me disturbed or shaken :
From earthquake, tempest, wave, volcano’s brand,
Back into quiet settle sea and land !
And that damned stuff, the bestial, human brood,—
What use, in having that to play with ?
How many have I made away with !
And ever circulates a newer, fresher blood.
It makes me furious, such things beholding:
From Water, Earth, and Air unfolding,
A thousand germs break forth and grow,
In dry, and wet, and warm, and chilly ;
And had I not the Flame reserved, why, really.
There’s nothing special of my own to show !
FAUST.
So, to the actively eternal
Creative force, in cold disdain
You now oppose the fist infernal.
Whose wicked clench is all in vain !

Thou nam’st thyself a part, yet show’st complete to me ?
MEPHISTOPHELES.
The modest truth I speak to thee.
If Man, that microcosmic fool, can see
Himself a whole so frequently,
Part of the Part am I, once All, in primal Night,—
Part of the Darkness which brought forth the Light,
The haughty Light, which now disputes the space,
And claims of Mother Night her ancient place.
And yet, the struggle fails ; since Light, howe’er it weaves,
Still, fettered, unto bodies cleaves :
It flows from bodies, bodies beautifies ;
By bodies is its course impeded ;
And so, but little time is needed,
I hope, ere, as the bodies die, it dies I
FAUST.
I see the plan thou art pursuing :
Thou canst not compass general ruin.
And hast on smaller scale begun.
MEPHISTOPHELES.
And truly ’tis mot much, when all is done.
That which to Naught is in resistance set,—
The Something of this clumsy world,—has yet,
With all that I have undertaken,
Not been by me disturbed or shaken :
From earthquake, tempest, wave, volcano’s brand,
Back into quiet settle sea and land !
And that damned stuff, the bestial, human brood,—
What use, in having that to play with ?
How many have I made away with !
And ever circulates a newer, fresher blood.
It makes me furious, such things beholding:
From Water, Earth, and Air unfolding,
A thousand germs break forth and grow,
In dry, and wet, and warm, and chilly ;
And had I not the Flame reserved, why, really.
There’s nothing special of my own to show !
FAUST.
So, to the actively eternal
Creative force, in cold disdain
You now oppose the fist infernal.
Whose wicked clench is all in vain !

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