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Poems of Goethe

MOTIVES.

IF to a girl who loves us truly
Her mother gives instruction duly
In virtue, duty, and what not,--
And if she hearkens ne'er a jot,
But with fresh-strengthen'd longing flies

To meet our kiss that seems to burn,--

Caprice has just as much concerned
As love in her bold enterprise.

But if her mother can succeed
In gaining for her maxims heed,
And softening the girl's heart too,
So that she coyly shuns our view,--
The heart of youth she knows but ill;

For when a maiden is thus stern,

Virtue in truth has less concern
In this, than an inconstant will.

                                1767-9.