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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses

12) ...Such' Er den redlichen Gewinn!...

Such Er den redlichen Gewinn!
Sei Er kein schellenlauter Tor!
Es trägt Verstand und rechter Sinn
Mit wenig Kunst sich selber vor!
Und wenn's euch Ernst ist, was zu sagen,
Ist's nötig, Worten nachzujagen?
Ja, eure Reden, die so blinkend sind,
In denen ihr der Menschheit Schnitzel kräuselt,
Sind unerquicklich wie der Nebelwind,
Der herbstlich durch die dürren Blätter säuselt!
Seek for the really honest gain!
Don't be a fool in loudly tinkling dress!
Intelligence and good sense will express
Themselves with little art and strain.
And if in earnest you would say a thing,
Is it needful to chase after words? Ah, yes,
Your eloquence that is so glittering,
In which you twist up gewgaws for mankind,
Is unrefreshing as the misty wind,
Through withered leaves in autumn whispering.

The meaning of this is more or less the same like the one in verse 11) but the language here is even more beautiful. Those lectures of professors that use all those quotes of, be it because of cowardice, their incompetence or just because they think it makes a good impression are as "unrefreshing as the misty wind, through withered leaves in autumn whispering".