Monday, April 25, 2016



Goethe, Faust, Part 1, lines 3272-3279 (tr. C.F. MacIntyre):
Why do you sit in these caves and fissures like an owl,
sucking your food from dripping stones
and wet moss like a toad?
A fine and pleasant pastime!
The Doctor still sticks in your bones.
Cannot you understand the new life-energy
this roaming in the wasteland has given me?
The same, tr. Walter Kaufman:
And now, why must you sit like an old owl
In caves and rocky clefts, and scowl?
From soggy moss and dripping stones you lap your food
Just like a toad, and sit and brood.
A fair, sweet way to pass the time!
Still steeped in your doctoral slime!
How this sojourn in the wilderness
Renews my vital force, you cannot guess.
The German:
Was hast du da in Höhlen, Felsenritzen
Dich wie ein Schuhu zu versitzen?
Was schlurfst aus dumpfem Moos und triefendem Gestein
Wie eine Kröte Nahrung ein?        3275
Ein schöner, süßer Zeitvertreib!
Dir steckt der Doktor noch im Leib.
Verstehst du, was für neue Lebenskraft
Mir dieser Wandel in der Öde schafft?

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