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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Gone’s for once the old magician
With his countenance forbidding; 
I ‘m now master, 
I ‘m tactician,
All his ghosts must do my bidding. 
Know his incantation,
Spell and gestures too; 
By my mind’s creation
Wonders shall I do.

Come, old broom! 
For work get ready, 
Dress yourself, put on your tatters 
You ‘re, I know, a servant steady
And proficient in such matters.
On two legs stand gravely,
Have a head, besides,
With your pail now bravely
Off, and do take strides!

Like a whirlwind he is going
To the stream, and then in
Like an engine he is throwing
Water for my use; with flurry
Do I watch the steady;
Not a drop is spilled,
Basin, bowls already
Are with water filled.

For the magic charm undoing 
What I did, 
I have forgotten.
Be a broom! 
Be not renewing
Now your efforts, spell-begotten! 
Still his work abhorrent
Does the wretch resume; 
Where I look a torrent
Threatens me with doom.

You, hell’s miscreate abortion,
Is this house doomed to perdition?
Signs I see in every portion
Of impending demolition.
Servant, cursed and senseless,
Do obey my will!
Be a broom defenseless,
Be a stick! 
Stand still!

There he comes again with water! — 
How my soul for murder itclies!
First I stun and then I slaughter, 
That is good for beasts and witches. 
Well! he ‘s gone! — and broken
Is the stick in two.
He ‘s not worth a token; 
Now I hope, I do!

Both are running, both are plodding 
And with still increased persistence
Hall and work-shop they are flooding.
Master, come to my assistance! — 
Wrong I was in calling 
Spirits, I avow, 
For I find them galling,
Cannot rule them now.