On The New Year – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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!

New Love, New Life  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

HEART! my heart! what means this feeling? 
What oppresseth thee so sore? 

What strange life is o’er me stealing! 
I acknowledge thee no more. 

Fled is all that gave thee gladness, 

Fled the cause of all thy sadness, 
Fled thy peace, thine industry- 
Ah, why suffer it to be? 
Say, do beauty’s graces youthful, 
Does this form so fair and bright, 

Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful, 
Chain thee with unceasing might? 

Would I tear me from her boldly, 

Courage take, and fly her coldly, 
Back to her. I’m forthwith led 
By the path I seek to tread. 

By a thread I ne’er can sever, 
For ’tis ‘twined with magic skill, 

Doth the cruel maid for ever 
Hold me fast against my will. 

While those magic chains confine me, 

To her will I must resign me. 
Ah, the change in truth is great! 
Love! kind love! release me straight!

Declaration Of War – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

OH, would I resembled 
The country girls fair, 

Who rosy-red ribbons 
And yellow hats wear! 
To believe I was pretty 
I thought was allow’d; 

In the town I believed it 
When by the youth vow’d. 
Now that Spring hath return’d, 
All my joys disappear; 

The girls of the country 
Have lured him from here. 
To change dress and figure, 
Was needful I found, 

My bodice is longer, 
My petticoat round. 
My hat now is yellow. 
My bodice like snow; 

The clover to sickle 
With others I go. 
Something pretty, e’er long 
Midst the troop he explores; 

The eager boy signs me 
To go within doors. 
I bashfully go,– 
Who I am, he can’t trace; 

He pinches my cheeks, 
And he looks in my face. 
The town girl now threatens 
You maidens with war; 

Her twofold charms pledges . 
Of victory are.

Lover In All Shapes – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To be like a fish, 

Brisk and quick, is my wish; 

If thou cam’st with thy line. 

Thou wouldst soon make me thine. 

To be like a fish, 

Brisk and quick, is my wish. 
Oh, were I a steed! 

Thou wouldst love me indeed. 

Oh, were I a car 

Fit to bear thee afar! 

Oh, were I a steed! 

Thou wouldst love me indeed. 
I would I were gold 

That thy fingers might hold! 

If thou boughtest aught then, 

I’d return soon again. 

I would I were gold 

That thy fingers might hold! 
I would I were true, 

And my sweetheart still new! 

To be faithful I’d swear, 

And would go away ne’er. 

I would I were true, 

And my sweetheart still new! 
I would I were old, 

And wrinkled and cold, 

So that if thou said’st No, 

I could stand such a blow! 

I would I were old, 

And wrinkled and cold. 
An ape I would be, 

Full of mischievous glee; 

If aught came to vex thee, 

I’d plague and perplex thee. 

An ape I would be, 

Full of mischievous glee 
As a lamb I’d behave, 

As a lion be brave, 

As a lynx clearly see, 

As a fox cunning be. 

As a lamb I’d behave, 

As a lion be brave. 
Whatever I were, 

All on thee I’d confer; 

With the gifts of a prince 

My affection evince. 

Whatever I were, 

All on thee I’d confer. 
As nought diff’rent can make me, 

As I am thou must take me! 

If I’m not good enough, 

Thou must cut thine own stuff. 

As nought diff’rent can make me, 

As I am thou must take me!

Joy And Sorrow – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As a fisher-boy I fared 
To the black rock in the sea, 

And, while false gifts I prepared. 
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!

Happiness And Vision – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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. 
The purest rapture we then knew, 

The joy those happy hours gave too, 
When tasted, fled, as time fleets on. 

What now avails my joy to me? 

Like dreams the warmest kisses flee, 
Like kisses, soon all joys are gone.

 Hatem 02 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Book Of Suleika

O, SAY, ‘neath what celestial sign 
The day doth lie, 

When ne’er again this heart of mine 
Away will fly? 

And e’en though fled (what thought divine!) 
Would near me lie?– 

On the soft couch, on whose sweet shrine 
My heart near hers will lie!

 Hatem 01  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Book Of Suleika 
NOT occasion makes the thief; 
She’s the greatest of the whole; 

For Love’s relics, to my grief, 
From my aching heart she stole. 
She hath given it to thee,– 
All the joy my life had known, 

So that, in my poverty, 
Life I seek from thee alone. 
Yet compassion greets me straight 
In the lustre of thine eye, 

And I bless my newborn fate, 
As within thine arms I lie.

 Suleika’s Love – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Book Of Suleika 
ONCE, methought, in the night hours cold, 

That I saw the moon in my sleep; 

But as soon as I waken’d, behold 

Unawares rose the sun from the deep. 

THAT Suleika’s love was so strong 

For Joseph, need cause no surprise; 

He was young, youth pleaseth the eyes,– 

He was fair, they say, beyond measure 

Fair was she, and so great was their pleasure. 

But that thou, who awaitedst me long, 

Youthful glances of fire dost throw me, 

Soon wilt bless me, thy love now dost show me, 

This shall my joyous numbers proclaim, 

Thee I for ever Suleika shall name.

Book Of Gloom – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

IT is a fault oneself to praise, 

And yet ’tis done by each whose deeds are kind; 

And if there’s no deceit in what he says, 

The good we still as good shall find. 

Let, then, ye fools, that wise man taste 
Of joy, who fancies that he s wise, 

That he, a fool like you, may waste 

Th’ insipid thanks the world supplies.

Book Of Contemplation – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For Woman

FOR woman due allowance make! 
Form’d of a crooked rib was she,– 
By Heaven she could not straightened be. 

Attempt to bend her, and she’ll break; 

If left alone, more crooked grows madam; 

What well could be worse, my good friend, Adam?– 

For woman due allowance make; 

‘Twere grievous, if thy rib should break!

A Parable – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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 

The heads soon raised themselves once more. 

The stalks were blooming as before, 

And all were in as good a case 

As when they left their native place. 

So felt I, when I wond’ring heard 

My song to foreign tongues transferr’d.

Book Of Proverbs – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CALL on the present day and night for nought, 

Save what by yesterday was brought. 


THE sea is flowing ever, 

The land retains it never. 


BE stirring, man, while yet the day is clear; 

The night when none can work fast Draweth near. 


WHEN the heavy-laden sigh, 

Deeming help and hope gone by, 

Oft, with healing power is heard, 

Comfort-fraught, a kindly word. 


How vast is mine inheritance, how glorious and sublime! 

For time mine own possession is, the land I till is time! 


UNWARY saith,–ne’er lived a man more true; 

The deepest heart, the highest head he knew,– 

“In ev’ry place and time thou’lt find availing 

Uprightness, judgment, kindliness unfailing.” 


THOUGH the bards whom the Orient sun bath bless’d 

Are greater than we who dwell in the west, 

Yet in hatred of those whom our equals we find. 

In this we’re not in the least behind. 

WOULD we let our envy burst, 

Feed its hunger fully first! 

To keep our proper place, 

We’ll show our bristles more; 

With hawks men all things chase, 

Except the savage boar. 


BY those who themselves more bravely have fought 

A hero’s praise will be joyfully told. 

The worth of man can only be taught 

By those who have suffer’d both heat and cold. 


“WHEREFORE is truth so far from our eyes, 

Buried as though in a distant land?” 

None at the proper moment are wise! 
Could they properly understand, 

Truth would appear in her own sweet guise, 

Beauteous, gentle, and close at hand. 


WHY these inquiries make, 

Where charity may flow? 

Cast in the flood thy cake,– 

Its eater, who will know? 


ONCE when I a spider had kill’d, 

Then methought: wast right or wrong? 

That we both to these times should belong, 

This had God in His goodness willed. 


MOTLEY this congregation is, for, lo! 

At the communion kneel both friend and foe. 


IF the country I’m to show, 

Thou must on the housetop go. 


A MAN with households twain 

Ne’er finds attention meet, 

A house wherein two women reign 

Is ne’er kept clean and neat. 


BLESS, thou dread Creator, 

Bless this humble fane; 

Man may build them greater,– 

More they’ll not contain. 


LET this house’s glory rise, 

Handed to far ages down, 

And the son his honour prize. 

As the father his renown. 


O’ER the Mediterranean sea 

Proudly hath the Orient sprung; 

Who loves Hafis and knows him, he 

Knows what Caldron hath sung. 


IF the ass that bore the Saviour 

Were to Mecca driven, he 

Would not alter, but would be 

Still an ass in his behavior. 


THE flood of passion storms with fruitless strife 

‘Gainst the unvanquished solid land.– 

It throws poetic pearls upon the strand, 

And thus is gain’d the prize of life. 


WHEN so many minstrels there are, 

How it pains me, alas, to know it! 

Who from the earth drives poetry far? 

Who but the poet!

Before A Court Of Justice – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

THE father’s name ye ne’er shall be told 
Of my darling unborn life; 

“Shame, shame,” ye cry, “on the strumpet bold!” 
Yet I’m an honest wife. 
To whom I’m wedded, ye ne’er shall be told, 
Yet he’s both loving and fair; 

He wears on his neck a chain of gold, 
And a hat of straw doth he wear. 
If scorn ’tis vain to seek to repel, 
On me let the scorn be thrown. 

I know him well, and he knows me well, 
And to God, too, all is known. 
Sir Parson and Sir Bailiff, again, 
I pray you, leave me in peace! 

My child it is, my child ’twill remain, 
So let your questionings cease!

A Symbol – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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, 
The future may hide, And of spirits on high 
Unterrified Seems loudly to cry: 

We onward go “To do what is best, 
In ne’er changing race. Unceasing endeavour! 
A veil of dread “In silence eterne 
Hangs heavier still. Here chaplets are twin’d, 
Deep slumbers fill That each noble mind 

The stars over-head, Its guerdon may earn.– 
And the foot-trodden grave. Then hope ye for ever!”

Autumn Feelings – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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! 

O’er ye broods the sun at even 

As he sinks to rest, and heaven 
Softly breathes into your ear 

All its fertilising fullness, 

While the moon’s refreshing coolness, 
Magic-laden, hovers near; 

And, alas! ye’re watered ever 
By a stream of tears that rill 

From mine eyes–tears ceasing never, 
Tears of love that nought can still!