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The Poems of Goethe

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Listen'd and sang merrily,
Down descended the decoy,

Soon a fish attack'd the bait;
One exultant shout of joy,--

And the fish was captured straight.

Ah! on shore, and to the wood

Past the cliffs, o'er stock and stone,
One foot's traces I pursued,

And the maiden was alone.
Lips were silent, eyes downcast

As a clasp-knife snaps the bait,
With her snare she seized me fast,

And the boy was captured straight.

Heav'n knows who's the happy swain

That she rambles with anew!
I must dare the sea again,

Spite of wind and weather too.
When the great and little fish

Wail and flounder in my net,
Straight returns my eager wish

In her arms to revel yet!


THE snow-flakes fall in showers,

The time is absent still,
When all Spring's beauteous flowers,
When all Spring's beauteous flowers

Our hearts with joy shall fill.

With lustre false and fleeting

The sun's bright rays are thrown;
The swallow's self is cheating:
The swallow's self is cheating,

And why? He comes alone!

Can I e'er feel delighted

Alone, though Spring is near?
Yet when we are united,
Yet when we are united,

The Summer will be here.


TELL me, eyes, what 'tis ye're seeking;

For ye're saying something sweet,

Fit the ravish'd ear to greet,
Eloquently, softly speaking.

Yet I see now why ye're roving;

For behind those eyes so bright,

To itself abandon'd quite,
Lies a bosom, truthful, loving,--

One that it must fill with pleasure

'Mongst so many, dull and blind,

One true look at length to find,
That its worth can rightly treasure.

Whilst I'm lost in studying ever

To explain these cyphers duly,--

To unravel my looks truly
In return be your endeavour!


LIGHT and silv'ry cloudlets hover

In the air, as yet scarce warm;
Mild, with glimmer soft tinged over,

Peeps the sun through fragrant balm.
Gently rolls and heaves the ocean

As its waves the bank o'erflow.
And with ever restless motion

Moves the verdure to and fro,

Mirror'd brightly far below.

What is now the foliage moving?

Air is still, and hush'd the breeze,
Sultriness, this fullness loving,

Through the thicket, from the trees.
Now the eye at once gleams brightly,

See! the infant band with mirth
Moves and dances nimbly, lightly,

As the morning gave it birth,

Flutt'ring two and two o'er earth.

* * * *


SHE behind yon mountain lives,
Who my love's sweet guerdon gives.
Tell me, mount, how this can be!
Very glass thou seem'st to me,
And I seem to be close by,
For I see her drawing nigh;
Now, because I'm absent, sad,
Now, because she sees me, glad!

Soon between us rise to sight
Valleys cool, with bushes light,
Streams and meadows; next appear

Mills and wheels, the surest token
That a level spot is near,

Plains far-stretching and unbroken.
And so onwards, onwards roam,
To my garden and my home!

But how comes it then to pass?
All this gives no joy, alas!--
I was ravish'd by her sight,
By her eyes so fair and bright,
By her footstep soft and light.
How her peerless charms I praised,
When from head to foot I gazed!
I am here, she's far away,--
I am gone, with her to stay.

If on rugged hills she wander,

If she haste the vale along,
Pinions seem to flutter yonder,

And the air is fill'd with song;
With the glow of youth still playing,

Joyous vigour in each limb,
One in silence is delaying,

She alone 'tis blesses him.

Love, thou art too fair, I ween!
Fairer I have never seen!
From the heart full easily
Blooming flowers are cull'd by thee.
If I think: "Oh, were it so,"
Bone and marrow seen to glow!
If rewarded by her love,
Can I greater rapture prove?

And still fairer is the bride,
When in me she will confide,
When she speaks and lets me know
All her tale of joy and woe.
All her lifetime's history
Now is fully known to me.
Who in child or woman e'er
Soul and body found so fair?


THE bed of flowers

Loosens amain,
The beauteous snowdrops

Droop o'er the plain.
The crocus opens

Its glowing bud,
Like emeralds others,

Others, like blood.
With saucy gesture

Primroses flare,
And roguish violets,

Hidden with care;
And whatsoever

There stirs and strives,
The Spring's contented,

If works and thrives.

'Mongst all the blossoms

That fairest are,
My sweetheart's sweetness

Is sweetest far;
Upon me ever

Her glances light,
My song they waken,

My words make bright,
An ever open

And blooming mind,
In sport, unsullied,

In earnest, kind.
Though roses and lilies

By Summer are brought,
Against my sweetheart

Prevails he nought.


[Goethe relates that a remarkable situation he was in one bright
moonlight night led to the composition of this sweet song, which
was "the dearer to him because he could not say whence it came
and whither it would."]

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,

My love I follow'd, as she onward moved,
With stars and northern lights o'er head in strife,

Going and coming, perfect bliss I proved

At midnight hour.

Until at length the full moon, lustre-fraught,

Burst thro' the gloom wherein she was enshrined;
And then the willing, active, rapid thought

Around the past, as round the future twined,

At midnight hour.


Dornburg, 25th August, 1828.

WILT thou suddenly enshroud thee,

Who this moment wert so nigh?
Heavy rising masses cloud thee,

Thou art hidden from mine eye.

Yet my sadness thou well knowest,

Gleaming sweetly as a star!
That I'm loved, 'tis thou that showest,

Though my loved one may be far.

Upward mount then! clearer, milder,

Robed in splendour far more bright!
Though my heart with grief throbs wilder,

Fraught with rapture is the night!


(Not in the English sense of the word, but the German, where it
has the meaning of betrothed.)

I SLEPT,--'twas midnight,--in my bosom woke,

As though 'twere day, my love-o'erflowing heart;
To me it seemed like night, when day first broke;

What is't to me, whate'er it may impart?

She was away; the world's unceasing strife

For her alone I suffer'd through the heat
Of sultry day; oh, what refreshing life

At cooling eve!--my guerdon was complete.

The sun now set, and wand'ring hand in hand,

His last and blissful look we greeted then;
While spake our eyes, as they each other scann'd:

"From the far east, let's trust, he'll come again!"

At midnight!--the bright stars, in vision blest,

Guide to the threshold where she slumbers calm:
Oh be it mine, there too at length to rest,--

Yet howsoe'er this prove, life's full of charm!


FLY, dearest, fly! He is not nigh!

He who found thee one fair morn in Spring

In the wood where thou thy flight didst wing.
Fly, dearest, fly! He is not nigh!
Never rests the foot of evil spy.

Hark! flutes' sweet strains and love's refrains

Reach the loved one, borne there by the wind,

In the soft heart open doors they find.
Hark! flutes' sweet strains and love's refrains,
Hark!--yet blissful love their echo pains.

Erect his head, and firm his tread,

Raven hair around his smooth brow strays,

On his cheeks a Spring eternal plays.
Erect his head, and firm his tread,
And by grace his ev'ry step is led.

Happy his breast, with pureness bless'd,

And the dark eyes 'neath his eyebrows placed,

With full many a beauteous line are graced.
Happy his breast, with pureness bless'd,
Soon as seen, thy love must be confess'd.

His mouth is red--its power I dread,

On his lips morn's fragrant incense lies,

Round his lips the cooling Zephyr sighs.
His mouth is red--its power I dread,
With one glance from him, all sorrow's fled.

His blood is true, his heart bold too,

In his soft arms, strength, protection, dwells

And his face with noble pity swells.
His blood is true, his heart bold too,
Blest the one whom those dear arms may woo!


YE black and roguish eyes,

If ye command.
Each house in ruins lies,

No town can stand.
And shall my bosom's chain,--

This plaster wall,Ä
To think one moment, deign,--

Shall ii not fall?


Up in th' mountain
I was a-sitting,
With the bird there
As my guest,
Blithely singing,
Blithely springing,
And building
His nest.

In the garden
I was a-standing,
And the bee there
Saw as well,
Buzzing, humming,
Going, coming,
And building
His cell.

O'er the meadow
I was a-going,
And there saw the
Sipping, dancing,
Flying, glancing,
And charming
The eyes.

And then came my
Dear Hansel,
And I show'd them
With glee,
Sipping, quaffing,
And he, laughing,
Sweet kisses
Gave me.


IF the loved one, the well-known one,
Should return as he departed,
On his lips would ring my kisses,
Though the wolf's blood might have dyed them;
And a hearty grasp I'd give him,
Though his finger-ends were serpents.

Wind! Oh, if thou hadst but reason,
Word for word in turns thou'dst carry,
E'en though some perchance might perish
'Tween two lovers so far distant.

All choice morsels I'd dispense with,
Table-flesh of priests neglect too,
Sooner than renounce my lover,
Whom, in Summer having vanquish'd,
I in Winter tamed still longer.


IN the drizzling mist, with the snow high-pil'd,
In the Winter night, in the forest wild,
I heard the wolves with their ravenous howl,
I heard the screaming note of the owl:

Wille wau wau wau!

Wille wo wo wo!

Wito hu!

I shot, one day, a cat in a ditch--
The dear black cat of Anna the witch;
Upon me, at night, seven were-wolves came down,
Seven women they were, from out of the town.

Wille wau wau wau!

Wille wo wo wo!

Wito hu!

I knew them all; ay, I knew them straight;
First, Anna, then Ursula, Eve, and Kate,
And Barbara, Lizzy, and Bet as well;
And forming a ring, they began to yell:

Wille wau wau wau!

Wille wo wo wo!

Wito hu!

Then call'd I their names with angry threat:
"What wouldst thou, Anna? What wouldst thou, Bet?"
At hearing my voice, themselves they shook,
And howling and yelling, to flight they took.

Wille wau wau wau!

Wille wo wo wo!

Wito hu!


[For a fine account of the fearful sack of Magdeburg, by Tilly,
in the year 1613, see SCHILLER's History of the Thirty Years'

OH, Magdeberg the town!
Fair maids thy beauty crown,
Thy charms fair maids and matrons crown;
Oh, Magdeburg the town!

Where all so blooming stands,
Advance fierce Tilly's bands;
O'er gardens and o'er well--till'd lands
Advance fierce Tilly's bands.

Now Tilly's at the gate.
Our homes who'll liberate?
Go, loved one, hasten to the gate,
And dare the combat straight!

There is no need as yet,
However fierce his threat;
Thy rosy cheeks I'll kiss, sweet pet!
There is no need as yet.

My longing makes me pale.
Oh, what can wealth avail?
E'en now thy father may be pale.
Thou mak'st my courage fail.

Oh, mother, give me bread!
Is then my father dead?
Oh, mother, one small crust of bread!
Oh, what misfortune dread!

Thy father, dead lies he,
The trembling townsmen flee,
Adown the street the blood runs free;
Oh, whither shall we flee?

The churches ruined lie,
The houses burn on high,
The roofs they smoke, the flames out fly,
Into the street then hie!

No safety there they meet!
The soldiers fill the Street,
With fire and sword the wreck complete:
No safety there they meet!

Down falls the houses' line,
Where now is thine or mine?
That bundle yonder is not thine,
Thou flying maiden mine!

The women sorrow sore.
The maidens far, far more.
The living are no virgins more;
Thus Tilly's troops make war!


What we sing in company
Soon from heart to heart will fly.

THE Gesellige Lieder, which I have angicisled as above, as
several of them cannot be called convivial songs, are separated
by Goethe from his other songs, and I have adhered to the same
arrangement. The Ergo bibamus is a well-known drinking song in
Germany, where it enjoys vast popularity.


[Composed for a merry party that used to meet, in 1802, at
Goethe's house.]

FATE now allows us,

'Twixt the departing

And the upstarting,
Happy to be;
And at the call of

Memory cherish'd,

Future and perish'd
Moments we see.

Seasons of anguish,--

Ah, they must ever

Truth from woe sever,
Love and joy part;
Days still more worthy

Soon will unite us,

Fairer songs light us,
Strength'ning the heart.

We, thus united,

Think of, with gladness,

Rapture and sadness,
Sorrow now flies.
Oh, how mysterious

Fortune's direction!

Old the connection,

New-born the prize!

Thank, for this, Fortune,

Wavering blindly!

Thank all that kindly
Fate may bestow!
Revel in change's

Impulses clearer,

Love far sincerer,
More heartfelt glow!

Over the old one,

Wrinkles collected,

Sad and dejected,
Others may view;
But, on us gently

Shineth a true one,

And to the new one
We, too, are new.

As a fond couple

'Midst the dance veering,

First disappearing,
Then reappear,
So let affection

Guide thro' life's mazy

Pathways so hazy
Into the year!


[This little song describes the different members of the party
just spoken of.]

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;
She gave him a refreshing draught,

A kiss, too, she impress'd.

My cousin is a prudent wight,

The cook's by him ador'd;
He turns the spit round ceaselessly,

To gain love's sweet reward.

We six together then began

A banquet to consume,
When lo! a fourth pair singing came,

And danced into the room.

Welcome were they,--and welcome too

Was a fifth jovial pair.
Brimful of news, and stored with tales

And jests both new and rare.

For riddles, spirit, raillery,

And wit, a place remain'd;
A sixth pair then our circle join'd,

And so that prize was gain'd.

And yet to make us truly blest,

One miss'd we, and full sore;
A true and tender couple came,--

We needed them no more.

The social banquet now goes on,

Unchequer'd by alloy;
The sacred double-numbers then

Let us at once enjoy!


OH prophetic bird so bright,
Blossom-songster, cuckoo bight!
In the fairest time of year,
Dearest bird, oh! deign to hear
What a youthful pair would pray,
Do thou call, if hope they may:
Thy cuck-oo, thy cuck-oo.
Ever more cuck-oo, cuck-oo!

Hearest thou? A loving pair
Fain would to the altar fare;
Yes! a pair in happy youth,
Full of virtue, full of truth.
Is the hour not fix'd by fate?
Say, how long must they still wait?
Hark! cuck-oo! hark! cuck-oo!
Silent yet! for shame, cuck-oo!

'Tis not our fault, certainly!
Only two years patient be!
But if we ourselves please here,
Will pa-pa-papas appear?
Know that thou'lt more kindness do us,
More thou'lt prophesy unto us.
One! cuck-oo! Two! cuck-oo!
Ever, ever, cuck-oo, cuck-oo, coo!

If we've calculated clearly,
We have half a dozen nearly.
If good promises we'll give,
Wilt thou say how long we'II live?
Truly, we'll confess to thee,
We'd prolong it willingly.
Coo cuck-oo, coo cuck-oo,
Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo!

Life is one continued feast--
(If we keep no score, at least).
If now we together dwell,
Will true love remain as well?
For if that should e'er decay,
Happiness would pass away.
Coo cuck-oo, coo cuck-oo,
Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo!

(Gracefully in infinitum.)

AFTER these vernal rains

That we so warmly sought,
Dear wife, see how our plains

With blessings sweet are fraught!
We cast our distant gaze

Far in the misty blue;
Here gentle love still strays,

Here dwells still rapture true.

Thou seest whither go

Yon pair of pigeons white,
Where swelling violets blow

Round sunny foliage bright.
'Twas there we gather'd first

A nosegay as we roved;
There into flame first burst

The passion that we proved.

Yet when, with plighted troth,

The priest beheld us fare
Home from the altar both,

With many a youthful pair,--
Then other moons had birth,

And many a beauteous sun,
Then we had gain'd the earth

Whereon life's race to run.

A hundred thousand fold

The mighty bond was seal'd;
In woods, on mountains cold,

In bushes, in the field,
Within the wall, in caves,

And on the craggy height,
And love, e'en o'er the waves,

Bore in his tube the light.

Contented we remain'd,

We deem'd ourselves a pair;
'Twas otherwise ordain'd,

For, lo! a third was there;
A fourth, fifth, sixth appear'd,

And sat around our board;
And now the plants we've rear'd

High o'er our heads have soar'd!

How fair and pleasant looks,

On yonder beauteous spot,
Embraced by poplar-brooks,

The newly-finish'd cot!
Who is it there that sits

In that glad home above?
Is't not our darling Fritz

With his own darling love?

Beside yon precipice,

Whence pent-up waters steal,
And leaving the abyss,

Fall foaming through the wheel,
Though people often tell

Of millers' wives so fair,
Yet none can e'er excel

Our dearest daughter there!

Yet where the thick-set green

Stands round yon church and sad,
Where the old fir-tree's seen

Alone tow'rd heaven to nod,--
'Tis there the ashes lie

Of our untimely dead;
From earth our gaze on high

By their blest memory's led.

See how yon hill is bright

With billowy-waving arms!
The force returns, whose might

Has vanquished war's alarms.
Who proudly hastens here

With wreath-encircled brow?
'Tis like our child so dear

Thus Charles comes homeward now.

That dearest honour'd guest

Is welcom'd by the bride;
She makes the true one blest,

At the glad festal tide.
And ev'ry one makes haste

To join the dance with glee;
While thou with wreaths hast graced

The youngest children three.

To sound of flute and horn

The time appears renew'd,
When we, in love's young morn,

In the glad dance upstood;
And perfect bliss I know

Ere the year's course is run,
For to the font we go

With grandson and with son!


[Written and sung in honour of the birthday of the Pastor Ewald
at the time of Goethe's happy connection with Lily.]

IN ev'ry hour of joy

That love and wine prolong,
The moments we'll employ

To carol forth this song!
We're gathered in His name,

Whose power hath brought us here;
He kindled first our flame,

He bids it burn more clear.

Then gladly glow to-night,

And let our hearts combine!
Up! quaff with fresh delight

This glass of sparkling wine!
Up! hail the joyous hour,

And let your kiss be true;
With each new bond of power

The old becomes the new!

Who in our circle lives,

And is not happy there?
True liberty it gives,

And brother's love so fair.
Thus heart and heart through life

With mutual love are fill'd;
And by no causeless strife

Our union e'er is chill'd.

Our hopes a God has crown'd

With life-discernment free,
And all we view around,

Renews our ecstasy.
Ne'er by caprice oppress'd,

Our bliss is ne'er destroy'd;
More freely throbs our breast,

By fancies ne'er alloy'd.

Where'er our foot we set,

The more life's path extends,
And brighter, brighter yet

Our gaze on high ascends.
We know no grief or pain,

Though all things fall and rise;
Long may we thus remain!

Eternal be our ties!


COULD this early bliss but rest

Constant for one single hour!
But e'en now the humid West

Scatters many a vernal shower.
Should the verdure give me joy?

'Tis to it I owe the shade;
Soon will storms its bloom destroy,

Soon will Autumn bid it fade.

Eagerly thy portion seize,

If thou wouldst possess the fruit!
Fast begin to ripen these,

And the rest already shoot.
With each heavy storm of rain

Change comes o'er thy valley fair;
Once, alas! but not again

Can the same stream hold thee e'er.

And thyself, what erst at least

Firm as rocks appear'd to rise,
Walls and palaces thou seest

But with ever-changing eyes.
Fled for ever now the lip

That with kisses used to glow,
And the foot, that used to skip

O'er the mountain, like the roe.

And the hand, so true and warm,

Ever raised in charity,
And the cunning-fashion'd form,--

All are now changed utterly.
And what used to bear thy name,

When upon yon spot it stood,
Like a rolling billow came,

Hast'ning on to join the flood.

Be then the beginning found

With the end in unison,
Swifter than the forms around

Are themselves now fleeting on!
Thank the merit in thy breast,

Thank the mould within thy heart,
That the Muses' favour blest
Ne'er will perish, ne'er depart.


[Composed for the merry party already mentioned, on the occasion
of the departure for France of the hereditary prince, who was one
of the number, and who is especially alluded to in the 3rd

O'ER me--how I cannot say,--

Heav'nly rapture's growing.
Will it help to guide my way

To yon stars all-glowing?
Yet that here I'd sooner be,

To assert I'm able,
Where, with wine and harmony,

I may thump the table.

Wonder not, my dearest friends,

What 'tis gives me pleasure;
For of all that earth e'er lends,

'Tis the sweetest treasure.
Therefore solemnly I swear,

With no reservation,
That maliciously I'll ne'er

Leave my present station.

Now that here we're gather'd round,

Chasing cares and slumbers,
Let, methought, the goblet sound

To the bard's glad numbers!
Many a hundred mile away,

Go those we love dearly;
Therefore let us here to-day

Make the glass ring clearly!

Here's His health, through Whom we live!

I that faith inherit.
To our king the next toast give,

Honour is his merit,
'Gainst each in-- and outward foe

He's our rock and tower.
Of his maintenance thinks he though,

More that grows his power.

Next to her good health I drink,

Who has stirr'd my passion;
Of his mistress let each think,

Think in knightly fashion.
If the beauteous maid but see

Whom 'tis I now call so,
Let her smiling nod to me:

"Here's my love's health also!"

To those friends,--the two or three,--

Be our next toast given,
In whose presence revel we,

In the silent even,--
Who the gloomy mist so cold

Scatter gently, lightly;
To those friends, then, new or old,

Let the toast ring brightly.

Broader now the stream rolls on,

With its waves more swelling,
While in higher, nobler tone,

Comrades, we are dwelling,--
We who with collected might,

Bravely cling together,
Both in fortune's sunshine bright,

And in stormy weather.

Just as we are gather'd thus,

Others are collected;
On them, therefore, as on us,

Be Fate's smile directed!
From the springhead to the sea,

Many a mill's revolving,
And the world's prosperity

Is the task I'm solving.


I HAVE loved; for the first time with passion I rave!
I then was the servant, but now am the slave;

I then was the servant of all:
By this creature so charming I now am fast bound,
To love and love's guerdon she turns all around,

And her my sole mistress I call.

l've had faith; for the first time my faith is now strong!
And though matters go strangely, though matters go wrong,

To the ranks of the faithful I'm true:
Though ofttimes 'twas dark and though ofttimes 'twas drear,
In the pressure of need, and when danger was near,

Yet the dawning of light I now view.

I have eaten; but ne'er have thus relish'd my food!
For when glad are the senses, and joyous the blood,

At table all else is effaced
As for youth, it but swallows, then whistles an air;
As for me, to a jovial resort I'd repair,

Where to eat, and enjoy what I taste.

I have drunk; but have never thus relish'd the bowl!
For wine makes us lords, and enlivens the soul,

And loosens the trembling slave's tongue.
Let's not seek to spare then the heart-stirring drink,
For though in the barrel the old wine may sink,

In its place will fast mellow the young.

I have danced, and to dancing am pledged by a vow!
Though no caper or waltz may be raved about now,

In a dance that's becoming, whirl round.
And he who a nosegay of flowers has dress'd,
And cares not for one any more than the rest,

With a garland of mirth is aye crown'd.

Then once more be merry, and banish all woes!
For he who but gathers the blossoming rose.

By its thorns will be tickled alone.
To-day still, as yesterday, glimmers the star;
Take care from all heads that hang down to keep far,

And make but the future thine own.


In this noble ring to-day

Let my warning shame ye!
Listen to my solemn voice,--

Seldom does it name ye.
Many a thing have ye intended,

Many a thing have badly ended,
And now I must blame ye.

At some moment in our lives

We must all repent us!
So confess, with pious trust,

All your sins momentous!
Error's crooked pathways shunning.

Let us, on the straight road running,
Honestly content us!

Yes! we've oft, when waking, dream'd,

Let's confess it rightly;
Left undrain'd the brimming cup,

When it sparkled brightly;
Many a shepherd's-hour's soft blisses,

Many a dear mouth's flying kisses
We've neglected lightly.

Mute and silent have we sat,

Whilst the blockheads prated,
And above e'en song divine

Have their babblings rated;
To account we've even call'd us

For the moments that enthrall'd us,
With enjoyment freighted.

If thou'lt absolution grant

To thy true ones ever,
We, to execute thy will,

Ceaseless will endeavour,
From half-measures strive to wean us,

Wholly, fairly, well demean us,
Resting, flagging never.

At all blockheads we'll at once

Let our laugh ring clearly,
And the pearly-foaming wine

Never sip at merely.
Ne'er with eye alone give kisses,

But with boldness suck in blisses
From those lips loved dearly.


LEAVE we the pedants to quarrel and strive,

Rigid and cautious the teachers to be!
All of the wisest men e'er seen alive

Smile, nod, and join in the chorus with me:
"Vain 'tis to wait till the dolt grows less silly!
Play then the fool with the fool, willy-nilly,--

Children of wisdom,--remember the word!"

Merlin the old, from his glittering grave,
When I, a stripling, once spoke to him,--gave

Just the same answer as that I've preferr'd;
"Vain 'tis to wait till the dolt grows less silly!
Play then the fool with the fool, willy-nilly,--

Children of wisdom,--remember the word!"

And on the Indian breeze as it booms,
And in the depths of Egyptian tombs,

Only the same holy saying I've heard:
"Vain 'tis to wait till the dolt grows less silly!
Play then the fool with the fool, willy-nilly,--

Children of wisdom,--remember the word!"


Go! obedient to my call,

Turn to profit thy young days,

Wiser make betimes thy breast

In Fate's balance as it sways,

Seldom is the cock at rest;
Thou must either mount, or fall,

Thou must either rule and win,

Or submissively give in,
Triumph, or else yield to clamour:
Be the anvil or the hammer.


MY trust in nothing now is placed,

So in the world true joy I taste,

Then he who would be a comrade of mine
Must rattle his glass, and in chorus combine,
Over these dregs of wine.

I placed my trust in gold and wealth,

But then I lost all joy and health,

Both here and there the money roll'd,
And when I had it here, behold,
From there had fled the gold!

I placed my trust in women next,

But there in truth was sorely vex'd,

The False another portion sought,
The True with tediousness were fraught,
The Best could not be bought.

My trust in travels then I placed,

And left my native land in haste.

But not a single thing seem'd good,
The beds were bad, and strange the food,
And I not understood.

I placed my trust in rank and fame,

Another put me straight to shame,

And as I had been prominent,
All scowl'd upon me as I went,
I found not one content.

I placed my trust in war and fight,

We gain'd full many a triumph bright,

Into the foeman's land we cross'd,
We put our friends to equal cost,
And there a leg I lost.

My trust is placed in nothing now,

At my command the world must bow,

And as we've ended feast and strain,
The cup we'll to the bottom drain;
No dregs must there remain!


NOUGHT more accursed in war I know

Than getting off scot-free;
Inured to danger, on we go

In constant victory;
We first unpack, then pack again,

With only this reward,
That when we're marching, we complain,

And when in camp, are bor'd.

The time for billeting comes next,--

The peasant curses it;
Each nobleman is sorely vex'd,

'Tis hated by the cit.
Be civil, bad though be thy food,

The clowns politely treat;
If to our hosts we're ever rude,

Jail-bread we're forced to eat.

And when the cannons growl around,

And small arms rattle clear,
And trumpet, trot, and drum resound,

We merry all appear;
And as it in the fight may chance,

We yield, then charge amain,
And now retire, and now advance,

And yet a cross ne'er gain.

At length there comes a musket-ball,

And hits the leg, please Heaven;
And then our troubles vanish all,

For to the town we're driven,
(Well cover'd by the victor's force,)

Where we in wrath first came,--
The women, frightened then, of course,

Are loving now and tame.

Cellar and heart are open'd wide,

The cook's allow'd no rest;
While beds with softest down supplied

Are by our members press'd.
The nimble lads upon us wait,

No sleep the hostess takes
Her shift is torn in pieces straight,--

What wondrous lint it makes!

If one has tended carefully

The hero's wounded limb,
Her neighbour cannot rest, for she

Has also tended him.
A third arrives in equal haste,

At length they all are there,
And in the middle he is placed

Of the whole band so fair!

On good authority the king

Hears how we love the fight,
And bids them cross and ribbon bring,

Our coat and breast to dight.
Say if a better fate can e'er

A son of Mars pursue!
'Midst tears at length we go from there,

Beloved and honour'd too.


MANY a guest I'd see to-day,

Met to taste my dishes!
Food in plenty is prepar'd,

Birds, and game, and fishes.
Invitations all have had,

All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!

Are they hither wending?

Pretty girls I hope to see,

Dear and guileless misses,
Ignorant how sweet it is

Giving tender kisses.
Invitations all have had,

All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!

Are they hither wending?

Women also I expect,

Loving tow'rd their spouses,
Whose rude grumbling in their breasts

Greater love but rouses.
Invitations they've had too,

All proposed attending!
Johnny, go and look around!

Are they hither wending?

I've too ask'd young gentlemen,

Who are far from haughty,
And whose purses are well-stock'd,

Well-behaved, not haughty.
These especially I ask'd,

All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!

Are they hither wending?

Men I summon'd with respect,

Who their own wives treasure;
Who in ogling other Fair

Never take a pleasure.
To my greetings they replied,

All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!

Are they hither wending?

Then to make our joy complete,

Poets I invited,
Who love other's songs far more

Than what they've indited.
All acceded to my wish,

All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!

Are they hither wending?

Not a single one appears,

None seem this way posting.
All the soup boils fast away,

Joints are over-roasting.
Ah, I fear that we have been

Rather too unbending!
Johnny, tell me what you think!

None are hither wending.

Johnny, run and quickly bring

Other guests to me now!
Each arriving as he is--

That's the plan, I see now.
In the town at once 'tis known,

Every one's commending.
Johnny, open all the doors:

All are hither wending!



LET no cares now hover o'er us

Let the wine unsparing run!
Wilt thou swell our merry chorus?

Hast thou all thy duty done?


Two young folks--the thing is curious--

Loved each other; yesterday
Both quite mild, to-day quite furious,

Next day, quite the deuce to pay!
If her neck she there was stooping,

He must here needs pull his hair.
I revived their spirits drooping,

And they're now a happy pair.


Surely we for wine may languish!

Let the bumper then go round!
For all sighs and groans of anguish

Thou to-day in joy hast drown'd.


Why, young orphan, all this wailing?

"Would to heaven that I were dead!
For my guardian's craft prevailing

Soon will make me beg my bread."
Knowing well the rascal genus,

Into court I dragg'd the knave;
Fair the judges were between us,

And the maiden's wealth did save.


Surely we for wine may languish!

Let the bumper then go round!
For all sighs and groans of anguish

Thou to-day in joy hast drown'd.


To a little fellow, quiet,

Unpretending and subdued,
Has a big clown, running riot,

Been to-day extremely rude.
I bethought me of my duty,

And my courage swell'd apace,
So I spoil'd the rascal's beauty,

Slashing him across the face.


Surely we for wine may languish!

Let the bumper then go round!
For all sighs and groans of anguish

Thou to-day in joy hast drown'd.


Brief must be my explanation,

For I really have done nought.
Free from trouble and vexation,

I a landlord's business bought.
There I've done, with all due ardour,

All that duty order'd me;
Each one ask'd me for the larder,

And there was no scarcity.


Surely we for wine may languish!

Let the bumper then go round!
For all sighs and groans of anguish

Thou to-day in joy hast drown'd.


Each should thus make proclamation

Of what he did well to-day!
That's the match whose conflagration

Should inflame our tuneful lay.
Let it be our precept ever

To admit no waverer here!
For to act the good endeavour,

None but rascals meek appear.


Surely we for wine may languish!

Let the bumper then go round!
For all sighs and groans of anguish

We have now in rapture drown'd.


Let each merry minstrel enter,

He's right welcome to our hall!
'Tis but with the selfÄtormentor

That we are not liberal;

For we fear that his caprices,

That his eye-brows dark and sad,
That his grief that never ceases

Hide an empty heart, or bad.


No one now for wine shall languish!

Here no minstrel shall be found,
Who all sighs and groans of anguish,

Has not first in rapture drown'd!


FOR a praiseworthy object we're now gather'd here,

So, brethren, sing: ERGO BIBAMUS!
Tho' talk may be hush'd, yet the glasses ring clear,

Remember then: ERGO BIBAMUS!
In truth 'tis an old, 'tis an excellent word,
With its sound so befitting each bosom is stirr'd,
And an echo the festal hall filling is heard,

A glorious ERGO BIBAMUS!

I saw mine own love in her beauty so rare,

And bethought me of: ERGO BIBAMUS;
So I gently approach'd, and she let me stand there,

While I help'd myself, thinking: BIBAMUS!
And when she's appeased, and will clasp you and kiss,
Or when those embraces and kisses ye miss,
Take refuge, till sound is some worthier bliss,

In the comforting ERGO BIBAMUS!

I am call'd by my fate far away from each friend;

Ye loved ones, then: ERGO BIBAMUS!
With wallet light-laden from hence I must wend.

So double our ERGO BIBAMUS!
Whate'er to his treasures the niggard may add,
Yet regard for the joyous will ever be had,
For gladness lends over its charms to the glad,

So, brethren, sing; ERGO BIBAMUS!

And what shall we say of to-day as it flies?

I thought but of: ERGO BIBAMUS
'Tis one of those truly that seldom arise,

So again and again sing: BIBAMUS!
For joy through a wide-open portal it guides,
Bright glitter the clouds, as the curtain divides,
An a form, a divine one, to greet us in glides,

While we thunder our: ERGO BIBAMUS!


THE three holy kings with their star's bright ray,--
They eat and they drink, but had rather not pay;
They like to eat and drink away,
They eat and drink, but had rather not pay.

The three holy kings have all come here,
In number not four, but three they appear;
And if a fourth join'd the other three,
Increased by one their number would be.

The first am I,--the fair and the white,
I ought to be seen when the sun shines bright!
But, alas! with all my spices and myrrh,
No girl now likes me,--I please not her.

The next am I,--the brown and the long,
Known well to women, known well to song.
Instead of spices, 'tis gold I bear,
And so I'm welcome everywhere.

The last am I,--the black and small,
And fain would be right merry withal.
I like to eat and to drink full measure,
I eat and drink, and give thanks with pleasure.

The three holy kings are friendly and mild,
They seek the Mother, and seek the Child;
The pious Joseph is sitting by,
The ox and the ass on their litter lie.

We're bringing gold, we're bringing myrrh,
The women incense always prefer;
And if we have wine of a worthy growth,
We three to drink like six are not loth.

As here we see fair lads and lasses,
But not a sign of oxen or asses,
We know that we have gone astray
And so go further on our way.


Poet's art is ever able
To endow with truth mere fable.
[This universally known poem is also to be found in Wilhelm

KNOW'ST thou the land where the fair citron blows,
Where the bright orange midst the foliage glows,
Where soft winds greet us from the azure skies,
Where silent myrtles, stately laurels rise,
Know'st thou it well?

'Tis there, 'tis there,
That I with thee, beloved one, would repair.

Know'st thou the house? On columns rests its pile,
Its halls are gleaming, and its chambers smile,
And marble statues stand and gaze on me:
"Poor child! what sorrow hath befallen thee?"
Know'st thou it well?

'Tis there, 'tis there,
That I with thee, protector, would repair!

Know'st thou the mountain, and its cloudy bridge?
The mule can scarcely find the misty ridge;
In caverns dwells the dragon's olden brood,
The frowning crag obstructs the raging flood.
Know'st thou it well?

'Tis there, 'tis there,
Our path lies--Father--thither, oh repair!


[This fine poem is introduced in the second book of Wilhelm

"WHAT tuneful strains salute mine ear

Without the castle walls?
Oh, let the song re-echo here,

Within our festal halls!"
Thus spake the king, the page out-hied;
The boy return'd; the monarch cried:

"Admit the old man yonder!"

"All hail, ye noble lords to-night!

All hail, ye beauteous dames!
Star placed by star! What heavenly sight!

Whoe'er can tell their names?
Within this glittering hall sublime,
Be closed, mine eyes! 'tis not the time

For me to feast my wonder."

The minstrel straightway closed his eyes,

And woke a thrilling tone;
The knights look'd on in knightly guise,

Fair looks tow'rd earth were thrown.
The monarch, ravish'd by the strain,
Bade them bring forth a golden chain,

To be his numbers' guerdon.

"The golden chain give not to me,

But give the chain to those
In whose bold face we shiver'd see

The lances of our foes.
Or give it to thy chancellor there;
With other burdens he may bear

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