Foiled again

“I now curse all that would enamor
The human soul with lures and lies,
Enticing it with flattering glamour
To live on in this cave of sighs.
Cursed above all our high esteem,
The spirit’s smug self-confidence,
Cursed be illusion, fraud, and dream
That flatter our guileless sense!
Cursed be the pleasing make-believe
Of fame and long posthumous life!
Cursed be possessions that deceive,
As slave and plough, and child and wife!
Cursed, too, be Mammon when with treasures
He spurs us on to daring feats,
Or lures us into slothful pleasures
With sumptuous cushions and smooth sheets!
A curse on wine that mocks our thirst!
A curse on love’s last consummations!
A curse on hope! Faith, too, be cursed!
And cursed above all else be patience!”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

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