OBERON AND TITANIA's GOLDEN WEDDING
Sons of Mieding, rest to-day!
Needless your machinery:
Misty vale and mountain gray,
That is all the scenery.
That the wedding golden be.
Must fifty years be rounded:
But the Golden give to me,
When the strife's compounded.
Spirits, if you're here, be seen—
Show yourselves, delighted!
Fairy king and fairy queen,
They are newly plighted.
Cometh Puck, and, light of limb,
Whisks and whirls in measure:
Come a hundred after him,
To share with him the pleasure.
Ariel's song is heavenly-pure,
His tones are sweet and rare ones:
Though ugly faces he allure,
Yet he allures the fair ones.
Spouses, who would fain agree,
Learn how we were mated!
If your pairs would loving be,
First be separated!
If her whims the wife control,
And the man berate her,
Take him to the Northern Pole,
And her to the Equator!
Snout of fly, mosquito-bill,
And kin of all conditions,
Frog in grass, and cricket-trill,—
These are the musicians!
See the bagpipe on our track!
'Tis the soap-blown bubble:
Hear the schnecke-schnicke-schnack
Through his nostrils double!
SPIRIT, JUST GROWING INTO FORM
Spider's foot and paunch of toad,
And little wings—we know 'em!
A little creature 'twill not be,
But yet, a little poem.
A LITTLE COUPLE
Little step and lofty leap
Through honey-dew and fragrance:
You'll never mount the airy steep
With all your tripping vagrance.
Is't but masquerading play?
See I with precision?
Oberon, the beauteous fay,
Meets, to-night, my vision!
Not a claw, no tail I see!
And yet, beyond a cavil,
Like "the Gods of Greece," must he
Also be a devil.
I only seize, with sketchy air,
Some outlines of the tourney;
Yet I betimes myself prepare
For my Italian journey.
My bad luck brings me here, alas!
How roars the orgy louder!
And of the witches in the mass,
But only two wear powder.
Powder becomes, like petticoat,
A gray and wrinkled noddy;
So I sit naked on my goat,
And show a strapping body.
We've too much tact and policy
To rate with gibes a scolder;
Yet, young and tender though you be,
I hope to see you moulder.
LEADER OF THE BAND
Fly-snout and mosquito-bill,
Don't swarm so round the Naked!
Frog in grass and cricket-trill,
Observe the time, and make it!
WEATHERCOCK (towards one side)
Society to one's desire!
Brides only, and the sweetest!
And bachelors of youth and fire.
And prospects the completest!
WEATHERCOCK (towards the other side)
And if the Earth don't open now
To swallow up each ranter,
Why, then will I myself, I vow,
Jump into hell instanter!
Us as little insects see!
With sharpest nippers flitting,
That our Papa Satan we
May honor as is fitting.
How, in crowds together massed,
They are jesting, shameless!
They will even say, at last,
That their hearts are blameless.
Among this witches' revelry
His way one gladly loses;
And, truly, it would easier be
Than to command the Muses.
CI-DEVANT GENIUS OF THE AGE
The proper folks one's talents laud:
Come on, and none shall pass us!
The Blocksberg has a summit broad,
Like Germany's Parnassus.
Say, who's the stiff and pompous man?
He walks with haughty paces:
He snuffles all he snuffle can:
"He scents the Jesuits' traces."
Both clear and muddy streams, for me
Are good to fish and sport in:
And thus the pious man you see
With even devils consorting.
Yes, for the pious, I suspect,
All instruments are fitting;
And on the Blocksberg they erect
Full many a place of meeting.
A newer chorus now succeeds!
I hear the distant drumming.
"Don't be disturbed! 'tis, in the reeds,
The bittern's changeless booming."
How each his legs in nimble trip
Lifts up, and makes a clearance!
The crooked jump, the heavy skip,
Nor care for the appearance.
The rabble by such hate are held,
To maim and slay delights them:
As Orpheus' lyre the brutes compelled,
The bagpipe here unites them.
I'll not be led by any lure
Of doubts or critic-cavils:
The Devil must be something, sure,—
Or how should there be devils?
This once, the fancy wrought in me
Is really too despotic:
Forsooth, if I am all I see,
I must be idiotic!
This racking fuss on every hand,
It gives me great vexation;
And, for the first time, here I stand
On insecure foundation.
With much delight I see the play,
And grant to these their merits,
Since from the devils I also may
Infer the better spirits.
The flame they follow, on and on,
And think they're near the treasure:
But Devil rhymes with Doubt alone,
So I am here with pleasure.
LEADER OF THE BAND
Frog in green, and cricket-trill.
Fly-snout and mosquito-bill,—
Each one's a fine musician!
Sans souci, we call the clan
Of merry creatures so, then;
Go a-foot no more we can,
And on our heads we go, then.
Once many a bit we sponged, but now,
God help us! that is done with:
Our shoes are all danced out, we trow,
We've but naked soles to run with.
From the marshes we appear,
Where we originated;
Yet in the ranks, at once, we're here
As glittering gallants rated.
Darting hither from the sky,
In star and fire light shooting,
Cross-wise now in grass I lie:
Who'll help me to my footing?
THE HEAVY FELLOWS
Room! and round about us, room!
Trodden are the grasses:
Spirits also, spirits come,
And they are bulky masses.
Enter not so stall-fed quite,
Like elephant-calves about one!
And the heaviest weight to-night
Be Puck, himself, the stout one!
If loving Nature at your back,
Or Mind, the wings uncloses,
Follow up my airy track
To the mount of roses!
Cloud and trailing mist o'erhead
Are now illuminated:
Air in leaves, and wind in reed,
And all is dissipated.