The Poems of Goethe

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; Edgar Alfred Bowring | Go to book overview

PARABLES.

Joy from that in type we borrow,
Which in life gives only sorrow.


JOY.

A DRAGON-FLY with beauteous wing
Is hov'ring o'er a silv'ry spring;
I watch its motions with delight, --
Now dark its colours seem, now bright;
Chameleon-like appear, now blue,
Now red, and now of greenish hue.
Would it would come still nearer me,
That I its tints might better see!

It hovers, flutters, resting ne'er!
But hush! it settles on the mead.
I have it safe now, I declare!
And when its form I closely view,
'Tis of a sad and dingy blue --
Such, Joy-Dissector, is thy case indeed!

1767-9.


EXPLANATION OF AN ANTIQUE GEM.

A YOUNG fig-tree its form lifts high
Within a beauteous garden;
And see, a goat is sitting by,
As if he were its warden.

But oh, Quirites, how one errs!
The tree is guarded badly;
For round the other side there whirrs
And hums a beetle madly.

The hero with his well-mail'd coat
Nibbles the branches tall so;
A mighty longing feels the goat
Gently to climb up also.

-228-

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The Poems of Goethe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • The Translator's Original Dedication iii
  • Original Preface iv
  • Preface to the Second Edition vii
  • Contents ix
  • Dedication 17
  • Songs 20
  • Familiar Songs 79
  • Ballads 100
  • Cantatas 150
  • Odes 160
  • Miscellaneous Poems 183
  • Sonnets 214
  • Epigrams 222
  • Parables 228
  • Art 247
  • God, Soul, and World 256
  • Religion and Church 263
  • Antiques 268
  • Elegies 279
  • West-Eastern Divan 362
  • Songs from Various Plays, Etc. 390
  • Epilogue - To Schiller's "Song of the Bell." 409
  • L'Envoi 412
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