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The Shepherd's Lament

ON yonder lofty mountain

A thousand times I stand,
And on my staff reclining,

Look down on the smiling land.

My grazing flocks then I follow,

My dog protecting them well;
I find myself in the valley,

But how, I scarcely can tell.

The whole of the meadow is cover'd

With flowers of beauty rare;
I pluck them, but pluck them unknowing

To whom the offering to bear.

In rain and storm and tempest,

I tarry beneath the tree,
But closed remaineth yon portal;

'Tis all but a vision to me.

High over yonder dwelling,

There rises a rainbow gay;
But she from home hath departed

And wander'd far, far away.

Yes, far away bath she wander'd,

Perchance e'en over the sea;
Move onward, ye sheep, then, move onward!

Full sad the shepherd must be.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe