Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENE V. - Goethe's Works, vol. 2 (Faust 1 & 2, Egmont, Natural Daughter, Sorrows of Young Werther)
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SCENE V. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 2 (Faust 1 & 2, Egmont, Natural Daughter, Sorrows of Young Werther) 
Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 2.
Part of: Goethe’s Works, 5 vols.
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King. Duke. Eugenie.
(Approaching.) And is the gallant huntress quite recover’d?
Has she escap’d unharm’d?
Yes! quite, my King!
And all the sad remains of fright and woe,
Thou, Sire, dispellest by thy gentle glance,
And by the magic of thy tender tones.
Pray tell me who the lovely maiden is.
(After a pause.) Since thou art pleas’d to ask, I will confess—
Since thou demandest, I will solve my pledge,
And introduce my daughter.
What! thy daughter?
Then, uncle, Fortune has been kinder to thee,
Yea, infinitely kinder than the law.
Am I indeed brought back to life again?
Has that strange deathlike faintness pass’d away?
And is this scene no fiction of a dream?
My father in the presence of his King
Declares his daughter! Nay! I do not dream.
The uncle of a monarch recognizes
That I’m his child. So then am I the niece—
The niece of the great King! Oh, pardon me,
Your Majesty, if brought so suddenly
From out the mystery of my dark retreat,
Expos’d to all the blinding light of day,
I totter, and cannot control myself.
[She throws herself at the feet of theKing.
May reverence mark thy life from youth to age.
The reverence symboliz’d before me now!
And sweet humility whose narrow duties
Thou, fully conscious of thy lofty birth,
Hast practis’d many a year far from the world.
[He raises her and presses her gently to his heart.
And now if from before my feet I lift thee
And take thee to my heart, if on thy brow
I print the fond kiss of paternal love,
Let this be also as a seal, a symbol:
Thee my relation do I recognize;
And soon what I have done in secret here,
Before my courtiers’ eyes will I repeat.
Such splendid grace demands a life of thanks,
Of undivided boundless loyalty.
From noble teachers many things I’ve learn’d,
And much instruction from my heart have gain’d,
Yet when it comes to speaking to my King
I find the preparation sadly lacking.
Yet if I cannot speak as I would wish,
Expressing all my duty, still thy presence
Forbids me awkwardly to stand in silence.
What could I give thee? What return devise?
The abundance ever flowing to thy hands,
For good of others streams away again.
Here thousands stand to give their lives for thine,
Here thousands work obedient to thy orders,
And if a single subject freely offers
His heart and soul, his arm and life for thee,
Among such numbers he is lost from sight,
Forgot by thee and by himself forgot.
If unto thee the masses seem o’erwhelming,
Thou lovely child, it is not strange indeed.
They are o’erwhelming, yet the noble few,
By Nature made to stand above the masses
Through skill and culture and the power to rule,
Are more imposing. If the King thereto
Was call’d by birth, then are his next of kin
Born counsellors, who, closely knit to him,
Are bound to guard the realm and foster it.
Oh, never let dissension mask’d come in,
With dark insidious working, to these regions
Where stand this band of patriotic watchmen.
To thee, my noble cousin, I give a father
By virtue of our royal power supreme.
Preserve him to me, use thy winsome ways
To keep my kinsman’s heart and voice in faith,
For many enemies oppose a prince;
Oh, let him stand aloof from treacherous paths.
Why dost thou pain my heart with such reproaches?
Incomprehensible are these thy words!
May fortune keep thee long from comprehending!
The portals of our royal house I open,
Inviting thee to enter. By the hand
I lead thee in o’er slippery marble pavements.
Thou art amaz’d; thyself and all thou seest
Are strange to thee. Thou thinkest here within
To find sure worth and perfect peace united—
Thou art deceiv’d! Thou comest at a time
Not mark’d by joyous bright festivities,
E’en though the King invite thee to partake
In welcoming the day that gave him birth.
Yet shall the day for thy sake have its joy;
There shall I see thee in the merry throng,
The cynosure of every wondering eye.
Right royally has Nature fashion’d thee;
And that thy jewels meet thy princely rank
Thy father and thy monarch will provide.
How could the sudden cry of pleas’d surprise,
The eager gesture’s quick significance,
Express the language of the beating heart,
Rejoic’d by such high generosity?
Sire, let me kneel in silence at thy feet!
[She offers to kneel.
Thou must not kneel!
Oh, let me here enjoy
The pleasant fortune of complete submission!
If we in tense and sudden moments stand
Erect upon our feet and boldly wage
To bear the earnest of our own support,
We seem the owners of the earth and heaven.
Yet what in moments of keen ravishment
Causes the knee to bend is also joy.
And all of sweet thanksgiving, love unmeasur’d,
Which we might bring as purest offering
To father, monarch, God. is best express’d
In such an humble attitude as this.
[Again kneeling before theKing.
Renew’d allegiance would I offer thee!
As ever-faithful vassals look upon us!
Up! then! arise and take thy place beside me,
Within the circle of those trusty few
Sworn to defend the right and reasonable!
Oh, fearful are the portents of these days.
The dregs boil up, the high-born sink below
As though each in the other’s place might find
Fulfilment of his unrestrain’d desires,
As though enjoyment only were in store
When class distinctions were all wash’d away,
And when we all commingl’d in one stream
Were hurl’d unnotic’d to the boundless ocean.
Oh, let us fight against it, let us boldly
With new-united double might hold fast
To what may hold us and the people fast.
And lastly let us heal the ancient strife
That stirs the great against the great, within
The ship of State makes weak the walls protecting
The battling crew against the angry waves without.
What clear beneficent rays enlighten me
And stir to deeds instead of blinding me!
What! does our King so highly honor us
That he confesses that he needs our aid?
We are not only kinsfolk to him, we
Are rais’d to loftiest station by his trust.
And if the nobles of his kingdom press
Around him to protect his royal breast,
Of us he asks a nobler service yet.
The highest duty of the well dispos’d
Is ever to uphold the monarch’s heart.
For if he flinch, then flinches all the State,
And if he fall, then all things fall with him.
Youth, people say, has too much confidence
In its own strength, and in its will to do,
Yet all this will, this strength, and their endeavor
Is dedicate to thee, O King, forever.
The child’s assurance, Highness, thou wilt honor,
And thou wilt pardon for its kind intent.
And if her father, taught by many years,
Appreciates and treasures the full worth
Of this day’s gift and of the future promise,
Then art thou sure of his recognizance.
’Twill not be long before we meet again.
Upon my birthday when my faithful friends
Unite to celebrate the festal season,
That day, O noble maid, I will present thee
Before the wondering world, the court, thy father,
Myself. The glory of the throne will shield thee.
But till that hour let both of you keep counsel,
Let no one know the history of this day.
Distrustful jealousy is lurking round.
Wave follows wave; storm treads the heel of storm.
Our journey trends along the jagged shore
Where e’en the helmsman scarcely knows the course.
Close secrecy alone secures our acts.
A plan disclos’d has pass’d beyond thy power.
This very moment chance makes sport of will.
E’en he who can command must work in secret.
Yea! with the best will in the world we fail
Accomplishment, a thousand crossing ours.
Oh, if my honest wishes had the aid
Of perfect power for but a little time,
The meanest hearthstone in my kingdom’s bounds
Should feel a father’s warm solicitude,
Content should dwell beneath the humblest roof,
Content should dwell in ev’ry stately palace,
And when I once had tasted this delight,
I’d gladly yield my crown, renounce the world.