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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses

18) ... Ach wenn in unserer engen Zelle ...

Ach wenn in unsrer engen Zelle
Die Lampe freundlich wieder brennt,
Dann wird's in unserm Busen helle,
Im Herzen, das sich selber kennt.
Vernunft fängt wieder an zu sprechen,
Und Hoffnung wieder an zu blühn,
Man sehnt sich nach des Lebens Bächen,
Ach! nach des Lebens Quelle hin.
Ah, when the friendly lamp is glowing
Again within our narrow cell,
Through heart and bosom light comes flowing
If but the heart knows itself well.
Then Reason once again discourses
And Hope begins to bloom again;
Man yearns to reach life's flowing sources,
Ah! to the Fount of Life attain.

Here we have another example of a very precise description of the mood of Faust. These moods change with frequency and in only a few hours his state of mind changes from deep depression to believing to be a super-man. He feels to be reborn by spring and the tranquillity of his study. The next moment he falls back to his absolute desperation. Today one would call him a depressive. In this mood he meets Mephistopheles for the first time.