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.
Mills and wheels, the surest tokenThat a level spot is near,
EARLY one day, the Muse, when eagerly bent on adornment,Follow'd a swift-running streamlet, the quietest nook by it seeking.Quickly and noisily flowing, the changeful surface distortedEver her moving form; the goddess departed in anger.Yet the stream call'd mockingly after her, saying: "What, truly!Wilt thou not view, then, the truth, in my mirror so clearly depicted?"But she already was far away, on the brink of the ocean,In her figure rejoicing, and duly arranging her garland.
So they hasten'd and came, and found that the youngster was leaning'Gainst his carriage under the lime-trees. The horses were pawingWildly the turf; he held them in check and stood there all pensive,Silently gazing in front, and saw not his friends coming near him,Till, as they came, they called him and gave him signals of triumph.Some way off the druggist already began to address him,But they approach'd the youth still nearer, and then the good pastorSeized his hand and spoke and took the word from his comrade"Friend, I wish you joy! Your eye so true and your true heartRightly have chosen! May you and the wife of your young days be happy!She is full worthy of you; so come and turn around the carriage,That we may reach without delay the end of the village,So as to woo her, and shortly escort the dear creature home with us."But the youth stood still, and without any token of pleasureHeard the words of the envoy, though sounding consoling and heav'nly,Deeply sigh'd and said:--"We came full speed in the carriageAnd shall probably go back home ashamed and but slowly;For, since I have been waiting care has fallen upon me,Doubt and suspicion and all that a heart full of love is exposed to.Do you suppose we have only to come, for the maiden to follow,Just because we are rich, and she poor and wandering in exile?Poverty, when undeserved, itself makes proud. The fair maidenSeems to be active and frugal; the world she may claim as her portion.Do you suppose that a woman of such great beauty and mannersCan have grown up without exciting love in man's bosom?Do you suppose that her heart until now has to love been fast closed?Do not drive thither in haste, for perchance to our shame and confusionWe shall have slowly to turn towards home the heads of our horses.Yes, some youth, I fear me, possesses her heart, and alreadyShe has doubtless promised her hand and her solemn troth plighted,And I shall stand all ashamed before her, When making my offer."
-----Lovingly I'll sing of love;Ever comes she from above.-----THE FRIENDLY MEETING.
Gleaming sweetly as a star!That I'm loved, 'tis thou that showest,
ACT IV. SCENE 5.
THE Gesellige Lieder, which I have angicisled as above, asseveral of them cannot be called convivial songs, are separatedby Goethe from his other songs, and I have adhered to the samearrangement. The Ergo bibamus is a well-known drinking song inGermany, where it enjoys vast popularity.
Through my mother's sick-bed phantasy.
I pine in silent sadness;I've thrown away my only true bliss