This noble spirit saved alive
Has foiled the Devil’s will!
“He who strives on and lives to strive
Can earn redemption still.”

[Gerettet ist das edle Glied
Der Geisterwelt vom Bösen,
„Wer immer strebend sich bemüht,
Den können wir erlösen.“]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Faust: a Tragedy [eine Tragödie], Part 2, Act 5, sc. 7 “Mountain Gorges,” l. 11934ff [Angels] (1808-1829) [tr. Luke (1994)]

(Source (German)). The portion in quotation marks is not actually a quote from anything, but Goethe's thesis being highlighted. Alternate translations:

Freed is the noble scion of
The Spirit-world from evil.
Him can we save that tireless strove
Ever to higher level.
[tr. Latham (1790)]

Rescued is the noble limb
Of the spirit-world from the bad one:
For he who toils and ever strives
Him can we aye deliver.
[tr. Bernays (1839)]

Saved is the spirit kingdom's flower
From evil and the grave.
"Who strives with all his power,
We are allowed to save."
[tr. Kaufmann (1961)]

Pure spirits' peer, from evil coil
He was vouchsafed exemption;
Whoever strives in ceaseless toil,
Him we may grant redemption.
[tr. Arndt (1976)]

He's saved from evil, the great soul,
Confounding clever Satan:
"Who strives, and keeps on striving still,
For him there is redemption!"
[tr. Greenberg (1998); in his 2004 revision, the last line reads "For him there is salvation."]

He’s escaped, this noble member
Of the spirit world, from evil,
Whoever strives, in his endeavour,
We can rescue from the devil.
[tr. Klein (2003)]

Added on 25-Oct-22 | Last updated 25-Oct-22
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