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Preservation


My maiden she proved false to me;

To hate all joys I soon began,

Then to a flowing stream I ran,--
The stream ran past me hastily.

There stood I fix'd, in mute despair;

My head swam round as in a dream;

I well-nigh fell into the stream,
And earth seem'd with me whirling there.

Sudden I heard a voice that cried--

I had just turn'd my face from thence--

It was a voice to charm each sense:
"Beware, for deep is yonder tide!"

A thrill my blood pervaded now,

I look'd and saw a beauteous maid

I asked her name--twas Kate, she said--
"Oh lovely Kate! how kind art thou!

"From death I have been sav'd by thee,

'Tis through thee only that I live;

Little 'twere life alone to give,
My joy in life then deign to be!"

And then I told my sorrows o'er,

Her eyes to earth she sweetly threw;

I kiss'd her, and she kiss'd me too,
And--then I talked of death no more.

1775.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe