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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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WHO rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasp'd in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.
"My son, wherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to hide...
WHEN the vine again is blowing,
Then the wine moves in the cask;
When the rose again is glowing,
Wherefore should I feel oppress'd?
Down my cheeks run tears all-burning,
If I do, or leave my task...
No living atom comes at last to naught!
Active in each is still the eternal Thought:
Hold fast to Being if thou wouldst be blest.
Being is without end; for changeless laws
Bind that from which the All its glory draws
Of living treasures endlessly possessed...
FLOURISH greener, as ye clamber,
Oh ye leaves, to seek my chamber,
Up the trellis'd vine on high!
May ye swell, twin-berries tender,
Juicier far,--and with more splendour
Ripen, and more speedily...
COVER thy spacious heavens, Zeus,
With clouds of mist,
And, like the boy who lops
The thistles' heads,
Disport with oaks and mountain-peaks,
Yet thou must leave...
Together at the altar we
In vision oft were seen by thee,
Thyself as bride, as bridegroom I.
Oft from thy mouth full many a kiss
In an unguarded hour of bliss
I then would steal, while none were by...
Eyes tell, tell me, what you tell me,
telling something all too sweet,
making music out of beauty,
with a question hidden deep.

Still I think I know your meaning...
THE warder looks down at the mid hour of night,
On the tombs that lie scatter'd below:
The moon fills the place with her silvery light,
And the churchyard like day seems to glow.
When see! first one grave, then another opes wide,
And women and men stepping forth are descried...
I PICKED a rustic nosegay lately,
And bore it homewards, musing greatly;
When, heated by my hand, I found
The heads all drooping tow'rd the ground.
I plac'd them in a well-cool'd glass,
And what a wonder came to pass...
AT midnight hour I went, not willingly,
A little, little boy, yon churchyard past,
To Father Vicar's house; the stars on high
On all around their beauteous radiance cast,
At midnight hour.
And when, in journeying o'er the path of life...
IN the small and great world too,
What most charms a woman's heart?
It is doubtless what is new,
For its blossoms joy impart;
Nobler far is what is true...
WHY pacest thou, my neighbour fair,
The garden all alone?
If house and land thou seek'st to guard,
I'd thee as mistress own.
My brother sought the cellar-maid,
And suffered her no rest...
LOVE's torments sought a place of rest,
Where all might drear and lonely be;
They found ere long my desert breast,
And nestled in its vacancy
WEEP, maiden, weep here o'er the tomb of Love;
He died of nothing--by mere chance was slain.
But is he really dead?--oh, that I cannot prove:
A nothing, a mere chance, oft gives him life again
A PLAN the Muses entertain'd
Methodically to impart
To Psyche the poetic art;
Prosaic-pure her soul remain'd.
No wondrous sounds escaped her lyre
E'en in the fairest Summer night...
LOVE for love, and moments sweet,
Lips returning kiss for kiss,
Word for word, and eyes that meet;
Breath for breath, and bliss for bliss.
Thus at eve, and thus the morrow!
Yet thou feeblest, at my lay...
A MASTER of a country school
Jump'd up one day from off his stool,
Inspired with firm resolve to try
To gain the best society;
So to the nearest baths he walk'd...
HERE where the roses blossom, where vines round the laurels are twining,
Where the turtle-dove calls, where the blithe cricket is heard,
Say, whose grave can this be, with life by all the Immortals
Beauteously planted and deck'd?--Here doth Anacreon sleep
Spring and summer and autumn rejoiced the thrice-happy minstrel,
And from the winter this mound kindly hath screen'd him at last...
THE mason's trade Observe them well,
Resembles life, And watch them revealing
With all its strife,-- How solemn feeling
Is like the stir made And wonderment swell
By man on earth's face. The hearts of the brave.
Though weal and woe The voice of the blest...
To break one's word is pleasure-fraught,
To do one's duty gives a smart;
While man, alas! will promise nought,
That is repugnant to his heart.
Using some magic strains of yore,
Thou lurest him, when scarcely calm...
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