by: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      AN it be! of stars the star,
      Do I press thee to my heart?
      In the night of distance far,
      What deep gulf, what bitter smart!
      Yes, 'tis thou, indeed at last,
      Of my joys the partner dear!
      Mindful, though, of sorrows past,
      I the present needs must fear.
      When the still unfashioned earth
      Lay on God's eternal breast,
      He ordained its hour of birth,
      With creative joy possessed.
      Then a heavy sigh arose,
      When He spake the sentence: -- "Be!"
      And the All, with mighty throes,
      Burst into reality.
      And when thus was born the light,
      Darkness near it feared to stay,
      And the elements with might
      Fled on every side away;
      Each on some far-distant trace,
      Each with visions wild employed,
      Numb, in boundless realms of space,
      Harmony and feeling-void.
      Dumb was all, all still and dead,
      For the first time, God alone!
      Then He formed the morning-red,
      Which soon made its kindness known:
      It unravelled from the waste
      Bright and glowing harmony,
      And once more with love was graced
      What contended formerly.
      And with earnest, noble strife,
      Each its own peculiar sought;
      Back to full, unbounded life,
      Sight and feeling soon were brought.
      Wherefore, if 'tis done, explore
      How? why give the manner, name?
      Allah need create no more,
      We his world ourselves can frame.
      So, with morning pinions brought,
      To thy mouth was I impelled;
      Stamped with thousand seals by night,
      Star-clear is the bond fast held.
      Paragons on earth are we
      Both of grief and joy sublime,
      And a second sentence: -- "Be!"
      Parts us not a second time.

John Storer Cobb's English translation of 'The Reunion' was first published in Goethe: Poetical Works, vol. II. Boston: Francis A Niccolls & Company, 1902.




[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Home · Poetry Store · Links · Email · © 2002