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possessed us in its favor. The quaintness of the
ous examination should prove its actual worth. ESSA We have given it the severe trial of a compari
s011, line by liuc, with the original, and the conLECTI
clusion is irresistible that Faust has never be. LITERLA
fore been so successfully interpreted in English WASH
verse, and if not in verse then certainly not in cts. prose. Even Shelley (could hardly have surpassed it; though the translation that Shelley
could have made has long been our ideal of an LECTŲ English Faust. Unhestatingly ascribing to Mr.
VRITIN Brooks' translation such supreme merit, it cer
tainly deserves the compliment of exact and parCHRIS: ticular criticism.
The philosophical reflections, the descriptions, the conversations of Faust with Mephistopheles,
and even the magic and witchery, are well done. POEMS It is in single expressions that Mr. Brooks fails;
its. sometimes the expressions are vital. Margaret POSTH as she first appears,-a loving, simple child, is
well given; as her character deepens and beMINST comes tragic, she seems to pass, as it were, out rice $1.50., of his power, and though his translation is still
beautiful, we miss in the last scenes, the simple, J, unconstrained and tender pathos which charac
terizes the original. The dedication has all the COMPL beauty of, but more of exactness than, Halleck's
In tw fine verses. The translation of the Archangel's
give an idea of the comparative merit of differ-
With brother-spheres, in rival song,
And, his appointed journey rounding,
With thündrous movement rolls along.
His look, new strength to angels lending,
The lofty works, past comprehending, BARRY Stand lordly as on time's first day,
With thunder speed--the angels even
IER POEMS Though none its meauing fathom may.
The world's unwithered countenance
Midst sister-spheres, in rival song,
And still in thunder rolls along.
The angels gather from his sight.
And fair as at the birth of light.
The closing lines of Michael's song have never
Doch deine Boten, Herr, verehren
Foreruns the volleyed thunder's way;
2 Vols. CH
In the dialogue between the Lord and Mephistopheles, immediately following, Mr. Brooks
OF THE GE translates the line
Ein guter Mensch in seinem dunkeln Drange
That a good man, e'en in his worst condition.
be expressed in English, we must prefer Mr. Hay: ts. HE
ward's phrase, “dark strivings." F.
The first soliloquy of Faust is very finely ren- N. Price dered. This beautiful passage can hardly be im
"O full, round moon, didst thou but shine
For the last time on this woe of mine! R.
Thou whom so many a midnight I
Have watched, at this desk, come up the sky: JOI
O'er books and papers, a dreary pile,
Then, mournful friend, up rose thy smile!
And freed from the fumes of a lore-crammed brain,
The entire scene in the study is well translated, RRING TO MI with here and there only a ferbal fault. In the
dialogue with the spirit, the latter says: AL Geburt und Grab
Ein ewiges Meer,
E. Price HE Ein glühend Leben,
So schaff' ich am sausenden Webstuhl der Zeit,
Und wirke der Gottheit lebendiges Kleid. M}
Perhaps the necessities of the metre and the
rhyme should pardon considerable freedom in TI such a passage,
but we could have wished some- e Author thing more exact in the words and phrases itali
Cradle and grave
A limitless deep
To and fro,
A restless heaving FI
Of life and glow,
So shape 1, on Destiny's thundering loom SI The Godhead's love garment, eternal in bloom.
Again, why does Mr. Brooks translate "Schlum- je had IN | mersäfte" by "soporific flowers," when “slum
berous juices" is quite as accurate and certainly
The spirit of the thought in the angel choruses is admirably given, and no one but a captious critic will find fault with the translator for having in this solitary instance preferred to retain the ring and swing of the melody rather than the exact form of the thought.
In the scene before the gate, where Faust is illustrating to Wagner the soaring of human ambition, he says (in Mr. Brooks's translation):
Ah! sure no earthly wing, in swiftest flight,
The closing couplet in the original is as follows:
Und über Flächen, über Seen
Der Kranich nach der Heimat strebt. Mr. Brooks' lines are intrinsically beautiful, but as a translation, and with respect to the context, they are faulty. He has aissed a wordpicture, and left out the very soul of an illustration. It may be a fancy of our own, but it certainly seems to us that there was an exquisite art in using, to represent the strugglings of the spirits' wings, the simile of the cranes' flight, -an exquisite art in using the simile as a final one,-and the very perfection of art in retaining for the last word of the last line the verb "strebt;" --for these reasons, that the word absolutely daguerreotypes the peculiar, straggling, laborious flight of the crane; and being used, as it is, to symbolize the soarings of human ambition, it hints, as no other word could do truly, and no other flight could so beautifully hint, of the pains and the struggles, and the labors of the human soul. If Goethe meant to symbolize by the lark, the eagle, and the crane, respectively, the joyous, dashing flight of the young,,the steady, vigorous sweep of the manly,-and the failing, arduous efforts of the aged soul, our argument still holds good.
In the scenes at the gate and in Auerbach's cellar, Mr. Brooks's translation sometimes wants straightforwardness. He resorts too often to inversion for the sake of rhyme-always an unpardonable fault, and utterly destructive of conversational ease, and the sprightliness and spirit of a dialogue. In descriptive or contemplative passages, he rarely falls into this error.
In the scene in Margaret's room, Margary at the spinning wheel never sang 'such stuff as
"To die on his kisses
Would do me good."
« On his kisses
Shelley's well known translation of the “Walpurgis Night,” provokes a comparison with Mr. Brooks'. Shelley's is the more spirited, and often superior in instances like the following, -a passage describing trees blown down by the wind :
They fall with a sound of thunder mumbling.
In the final scene in the Prison, Mr. Brooks has again missed a word-picture in the words of the sweet, Ophelia-like Margaret. She says: “Torn is the wreath, that should have decked my brow; but in the verse Schön war ich auch und das war mein verderben,
Mr. Brooks' translation is literal and exact both in thought, in measure, and even in the succession of the words;
“Fair was I too, and that was my undoing;" but as Mr. Hayward suggests, the use of the sweet word “undoing" for the more common one of “verderben”-carries with it a charm and a beauty which the original cannot possess. The line is perfect as a translation, and as the sad sorrowful plaint of Margaret's hastening soul.
Mr. Brooks has done a work which deserves gratitude. He has opened to all English lovers of poetry a sublime tragedy hitherto mysteriously locked to all but German scholars, and whose flashing glories have hitherto been veiled or far removed, or only shown by glimpses. If imper. fect now and then, (like all human work) it has an exquisite finish on almost every part, and in its unity and totality displays the hand of a master.