by: Johann Wolfgang von
- 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.
MORE POEMS BY GOETHE
John Storer Cobb's English translation
of 'The Reunion' was first published in Goethe: Poetical Works,
vol. II. Boston: Francis A Niccolls & Company, 1902.