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Poems of Goethe

NEW LOVE, NEW LIFE.

[Written at the time of Goethe's connection with Lily.]

HEART! my heart! what means this feeling?

What oppresseth thee so sore?
What strange life is o'er me stealing!

I acknowledge thee no more.
Fled is all that gave thee gladness,
Fled the cause of all thy sadness,

Fled thy peace, thine industry--

Ah, why suffer it to be?

Say, do beauty's graces youthful,

Does this form so fair and bright,
Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful,

Chain thee with unceasing might?
Would I tear me from her boldly,
Courage take, and fly her coldly,

Back to her. I'm forthwith led

By the path I seek to tread.


By a thread I ne'er can sever,

For 'tis 'twined with magic skill,
Doth the cruel maid for ever

Hold me fast against my will.
While those magic chains confine me,
To her will I must resign me.

Ah, the change in truth is great!

Love! kind love! release me straight!

                                1775.