Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Well, he was a master in his native tongue.


Thou knowst how heappily they Friend
Walks upon florid Ways;
Thou knowst how heavens bounteous hand
Leads him to golden days.

But hah! a cruel enemy
Destroies all that Bless;
In Moments of Melancholy
Flies all my Happiness.

Then fogs of doubt do fill my mind
With deep obscurity;
I search myself, and cannot find
A spark of Worth in me.

When tender friends to, tender kiss,
Run up with open arms;
I think I merit not that bliss
That like a kiss me warmeth.

Hah! when my child, I love thee, sayd,
And gave the kiss I sought;
Then I - forgive me tender maid-
She is a false one, thought.

She cannot love a peevish boy,
She with her godlike face.
O could I, friend, that thought destroy.
It leads the golden days.

And other thought is misfortune
Is death and night to me:
I hum no supportable tune,
I can no poet be.

When to the Altar of the Nine
A triste incense I bring,
I beg let Poetry be mine
O Sistres let me sing.

But when they then my prayer not hear
I break my wispring lyre;
Then from my eyes runns down a tear,
Extinguish th'incensed fire.

Then curse I, Freind, the fated sky,
And from th'altar I fly;
And to my Freinds aloud I cry
Be happier than I.

-Johann Wolfgang Goethe

This sort of makes me feel better about the bad poetry of my youth in another language.

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