Goethe’s Faust

To be great, you gotta read great literature. Right? I am reading the translation by Walter Kaufman, which is excellent – like this:

You come back, wavering shapes, out of the past
In which you first appeared to clouded eyes.
Should I attempt this time to hold you fast?
Does this old dream still thrill a heart so wise?
You crowd? You press? Have then, your way at last.
As from a mist around me you arise;
My breast is stirred and feels with youthful pain
The magic breath that hovers round your train.

With you return pictures of joyous days,
Shadows that once loved again draw near;
Like a primeval tale, half lost in haze,
First love and friendship also appear;
Grief is renewed, laments retrace the maze
Of life’s labyrinthian career,
Recalling dear ones who, by fortunes treason
Robbed of fair hours, passed before my season.


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