- Not marching now in fields of Thrasimene,
Where Mars did mate the Carthaginians;
Nor sporting in the dalliance of love,
In courts of kings where state is overturned;
Nor in the pomp of proud audacious deeds,(5)
Intends our Muse to vaunt her heavenly verse:
Only this, gentlemen,—we must perform
The form of Faustus' fortunes, good or bad:
To patient judgments we appeal our plaud,
And speak for Faustus in his infancy.(10)
Now is he born, his parents base of stock,
In Germany, within a town called Rhodes:
Of riper years, to Wertenberg he went,
Whereas his kinsmen chiefly brought him up.
So soon he profits in divinity,(15)
The fruitful plot of scholarism graced,
That shortly he was graced with doctor's name,
Excelling all whose sweet delight disputes
In heavenly matters of theology;
Till swollen with cunning, of a self-conceit,(20)
His waxen wings did mount above his reach,
And, melting, Heavens conspired his overthrow;
For, falling to a devilish exercise,
And glutted now with learning's golden gifts,
He surfeits upon cursed necromancy;(25)
Nothing so sweet as magic is to him,
Which he prefers before his chiefest bliss:
And this the man that in his study sits!
the Roman god of war
Although the word “mate” means “defeat,” in 217 B.C., during the Second Punic War, the Carthaginians (lead by Hannibal) defeated the Romans (lead by Flaminius) at Lake Trasimeno.
to waste time or to flirt
a magnificent display
the source of an artist's inspiration
fully mature or advanced
a study of a God-like quality or being
the study of religious truth
having too high an opinion of oneself
Faust is compared to Icarus. In Greek mythology, Daedalus's son, Icarus, flew too close to the sun, which melted the wings his father had made for him, causing Icarus to fall into the sea.
filled to excess
fills to excess
magic; the dark arts
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