Faust - Part I
Night. Street Before Margaret's Door
(a soldier, MARGARET'S brother)
When seated 'mong the jovial crowd,
Where merry comrades boasting loud
Each named with pride his favourite lass,
And in her honour drain'd his glass;
Upon my elbows I would lean,
With easy quiet view the scene,
Nor give my tongue the rein until
Each swaggering blade had talked his fill.
Then smiling I my beard would stroke,
The while, with brimming glass, I spoke;
"Each to his taste!--but to my mind,
Where in the country will you find,
A maid, as my dear Gretchen fair,
Who with my sister can compare?"
Cling! Clang! so rang the jovial sound!
Shouts of assent went circling round;
Pride of her sex is she!--cried some;
Then were the noisy boasters dumb.
And now I--I could tear out my hair,
Or dash my brains out in despair!--
Me every scurvy knave may twit,
With stinging jest and taunting sneer!
Like skulking debtor I must sit,
And sweat each casual word to hear!
And though I smash'd them one and all,--
Yet them I could not liars call.
Who comes this way? who's sneaking here?
If I mistake not, two draw near.
If he be one, have at him;--well I wot
Alive he shall not leave this spot!