Welcome and Departure

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To horse! my pounding heart kept crying,
No sooner was it thought than done.
In evening's lap the earth was lying,
And on the peaks the night was spun;
Already clad in mist, the giant,
The oak, stood towering eerily,
Where darkness from the copse defiant
Turned many somber eyes on me.

The moon, from clouded hill appeared
And frowned upon the hazy lea,
The wind by quite wings was steered
And roared with horror over me;
To countless shapes the night was turned,
My feelings though were fresh and gay,
For in my veins, what ardor burned,
And in my heart, what glowing lay!

I saw you, felt the joyful sweetness
Of your kind eyes come over me.
My heart was yours in all completeness,
And every breath was yours to be.
A day in spring with roses blended,
It wreathed your face in loveliness, -
Tenderness, gods, for me intended,
Deserving no such hoped-for bliss!

But soon at sunlight's earliest minute
My heart grows faint to say goodbye.
Your kisses' warmth, what rapture in it,
What sorrow lingers in your eye!
I want; your head was lowered in sadness,
You watched me go, in deep distress.
And yet, to be so loved, what gladness!
To love, o gods, what happiness!
1771, translation by Edwin Zeydel, 1955      

Versions --> German - English:  Bowring / Cobb / Dyrsen
Interact --> Dual language - German & dictionary

© 1994-1999 Robert Godwin-Jones
Virginia Commonwealth University