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From Faust, part I - In Faust's Study

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


With hot devotion have I studied
The law, medicine, philosophy.
Unfortunately I've been worried
As well by grim theology.
Now here I sit like any bore
No wiser than I was before.
Master, Doctor I am called,
But ten years later I'm appalled
To find that all my learning knows
Is to lead my students by the nose.
I see that we have nothing learned,
And this my heart has badly burned.
More clever than the Pope am I,
Than doctors, judges, priests most high;
I have no scruples to reveal,
No hell deters me, nor any Devil.
All joy from me has long been torn,
To knowledge have I not been born,
To ignorance must I now conform,
Humanity's folly I'll not reform.
I neither gold nor goods possess,
To earthly honor cannot attest.
No dog would want to live so longer,
So I've become a magic monger.
Perhaps the Spirit's voice and strength,
Some secrets will reveal at length,
So that I no more come and go
Explaining things I do not know;
And thus such things to me be told
That world and life together hold;
To see all power from the peak
And not in worthless words to seek.

Translation: FTS




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