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Welcome and Farewell

[Another of the love-songs addressed to Frederica.]

QUICK throbb'd my heart: to norse! haste, haste,

And lo! 'twas done with speed of light;
The evening soon the world embraced,

And o'er the mountains hung the night.
Soon stood, in robe of mist, the oak,

A tow'ring giant in his size,
Where darkness through the thicket broke,

And glared with hundred gloomy eyes.

From out a hill of clouds the moon

With mournful gaze began to peer:
The winds their soft wings flutter'd soon,

And murmur'd in mine awe-struck ear;
The night a thousand monsters made,

Yet fresh and joyous was my mind;
What fire within my veins then play'd!

What glow was in my bosom shrin'd!

I saw thee, and with tender pride

Felt thy sweet gaze pour joy on me;
While all my heart was at thy side.

And every breath I breath'd for thee.
The roseate hues that spring supplies

Were playing round thy features fair,
And love for me--ye Deities!

I hoped it, I deserved it ne'er!

But, when the morning sun return'd,

Departure filled with grief my heart:
Within thy kiss, what rapture burn'd!

But in thy look, what bitter smart!
I went--thy gaze to earth first roved

Thou follow'dst me with tearful eye:
And yet, what rapture to be loved!

And, Gods, to love--what ecstasy!

1771.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe