Old texts are often a pain in the arse. I like the ideas behind Goethe's Faust but I can only read this kind of stuff for so long
|Peace, poodle, peace! Scamper not thus; obey me!|
Why at the threshold snuffest thou so?
Behind the stove now quietly lay thee,
My softest cushion to thee I'll throw.
As thou, without, didst please and amuse me
Running and frisking about on the hill,
So tendance now I will not refuse thee;
A welcome guest, if thou'lt be still.
Ah! when the friendly taper gloweth,
Once more within our narrow cell,
Then in the heart itself that knoweth,
A light the darkness doth dispel.
Reason her voice resumes; returneth
Hope's gracious bloom, with promise rife;
For streams of life the spirit yearneth,
Ah! for the very fount of life.
Poodle, snarl not! with the tone that arises.
Hallow'd and peaceful, my soul within,
Accords not thy growl, thy bestial din.
We find it not strange, that man despises
What he conceives not;
That he the good and fair misprizes—
Finding them often beyond his ken;
Will the dog snarl at them like men?
But ah! Despite my will, it stands confessed,
Contentment welleth up no longer in my breast.
Yet wherefore must the stream, alas, so soon be dry,
That we once more athirst should lie?
Full oft this sad experience hath been mine;
Nathless the want admits of compensation;
For things above the earth we learn to pine,
Our spirits yearn for revelation,
Which nowhere burns with purer beauty blent,
Than here in the New Testament.
To ope the ancient text an impulse strong
Impels me, and its sacred lore,
With honest purpose to explore,
And render into my loved German tongue.
(He opens a volume, and applies himself to it.)
'Tis writ, "In the beginning was the Word!"
I pause, perplex'd! Who now will help afford?
I cannot the mere Word so highly prize;
I must translate it otherwise,
If by the spirit guided as I read.
"In the beginning was the Sense!" Take heed,
The import of this primal sentence weigh,
Lest thy too hasty pen be led astray!
Is force creative then of Sense the dower?
"In the beginning was the Power!"
Thus should it stand: yet, while the line I trace.
A something warns me, once more to efface.
The spirit aids! from anxious scruples freed,
I write, "In the beginning was the Deed!"
Am I with thee my room to share,
Poodle, thy barking now forbear,
Forbear thy howling!
Comrade so noisy, ever growling,
I cannot suffer here to dwell.
One or the other, mark me well,
Forthwith must leave the cell.
I'm loath the guest-right to withhold;
The door's ajar, the passage clear;
But what must now mine eyes behold!
Are nature's laws suspended here?
Real is it, or a phantom show?
In length and breadth how doth my poodle grow!
He lifts himself with threat'ning mien,
In likeness of a dog no longer seen!
What spectre have I harbour'd thus!
Huge as a hippopotamus,
With fiery eye, terrific tooth!
Ah I now I know thee, sure enough!
For such a base, half-hellish brood,
The key of Solomon is good.
Really... "forbear thy howling, comrade so noisy, ever growling"!? How hard is it to translate that into contemporary English and just say "shut the hell up, you stupid annoying dog"?