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Doctor Faustus

Ah, Faustus,
Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damned perpetually!
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come:
Fair Nature’s eye, rise, rise again and make
Perpetual day; or let this hour be but
A year, a month, a week, a natural day,
That Faustus may repent and save his soul!
O lente, lente, currite noctis equi!
The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike,
The Devil will come, and Faustus will be damned.
Oh I’ll leap up to my God! Who pulls me dowm?
See, see where Christ’s blood streams in the firmament!
One drop would save my soul--half a drop. Ah, my Christ!
Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ!
Yet will I call on him: Oh spare me, Lucifer!--
Where is it now? ‘Tis gone; and see where God
Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows!
Mountains and hills, come, come and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!
No! No!
Then will I headlong run into the earth;
Earth gape! On, no, it will not habor me!
You stars that reigned at my nativity,
Whose influence hath alloted death and hell,
Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist
Into the entrails of yon laboring clouds,
That when you vomit forth into the air,
My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths,
So that my soul may but ascend to heaven.
(The clock strikes the half hour)
An, half the hour is past! ‘Twill all be past anon!
O God!
If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
Yet for Christ’s sake whose blood hath ransomed me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years--
A hundred thousand, and--at last--be saved!
Oh, no end is limited to damned souls!
Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul?
Or why is this immortal that thou hast?
An, Pythagoras’ metempsychosis! Were that true,
This soul should fly from me, and I be changed
Unto some brutish beast! all beasts are happy,
For, when they die,
Their souls are soon dissolved in elements;
But mine must live, still to be plagued in hell.
Cursed be the parents that engendered me!
No, Faustus: curse thyself; curse Lucifer
That hath deprived thee of the joys of Heaven.
(The clock strikes twelve)
Oh, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air,
Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell.
(Thunder and lightning)
O soul, be changed into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean--ne’er be found.
My God! my God! look not so fierce on me!

Enter Devils

Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile!
Ugly hell, gape not! Come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books!--Ah, Mephistopheles!

Enter C HORUS .

Chorus . Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo's laurel bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.
Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall,
Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise,
Onely to wonder at unlawful things,
Whose deepnesse doth intise such forward wits,
To practise more than heavenly power permits.

Terminat hora diem, Terminat Author opus.

Poem by Christopher Marlowe
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