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Poems of Goethe

COMFORT IN TEARS.

How happens it that thou art sad,

While happy all appear?
Thine eye proclaims too well that thou

Hast wept full many a tear.

"If I have wept in solitude,

None other shares my grief,
And tears to me sweet balsam are,

And give my heart relief."

Thy happy friends invite thee now,--

Oh come, then, to our breast!
And let the loss thou hast sustain'd

Be there to us confess'd!

"Ye shout, torment me, knowing not

What 'tis afflicteth me;
Ah no! I have sustained no loss,

Whate'er may wanting be."

If so it is, arise in haste!

Thou'rt young and full of life.
At years like thine, man's blest with strength.

And courage for the strife.

"Ah no! in vain 'twould be to strive,

The thing I seek is far;
It dwells as high, it gleams as fair

As yonder glitt'ring star."

The stars we never long to clasp,

We revel in their light,
And with enchantment upward gaze,

Each clear and radiant night.

"And I with rapture upward gaze,

On many a blissful day;
Then let me pass the night in tears,

Till tears are wip'd away!

                                1803.*