Poems of Goethe


I AM now,--what joy to hear it!--

Of the old magician rid;
And henceforth shall ev'ry spirit

Do whate'er by me is bid;

    I have watch'd with rigour

      All he used to do,

    And will now with vigour

      Work my wonders too.

  Wander, wander

   Onward lightly,

   So that rightly

     Flow the torrent,

  And with teeming waters yonder

     In the bath discharge its current!

And now come, thou well-worn broom,

And thy wretched form bestir;
Thou hast ever served as groom,

So fulfil my pleasure, sir!

    On two legs now stand,

      With a head on top;

    Waterpail in hand,

      Haste, and do not stop!

  Wander, wander

    Onward lightly,

  So that rightly

    Flow the torrent,

  And with teeming waters yonder

    In the bath discharge its current!

See! he's running to the shore,

And has now attain'd the pool,
And with lightning speed once more

Comes here, with his bucket full!

    Back he then repairs;

      See how swells the tide!

    How each pail he bears

      Straightway is supplied!

  Stop, for, lo!

    All the measure

    Of thy treasure

      Now is right!--

  Ah, I see it! woe, oh woe!

      I forget the word of might.

Ah, the word whose sound can straight

Make him what he was before!
Ah, he runs with nimble gait!

Would thou wert a broom once more!

    Streams renew'd for ever

      Quickly bringeth he;

    River after river

      Rusheth on poor me!

  Now no longer

    Can I bear him;

    I will snare him,

      Knavish sprite!

  Ah, my terror waxes stronger!

      What a look! what fearful sight

Oh, thou villain child of hell!

Shall the house through thee be drown'd
Floods I see that wildly swell,

O'er the threshold gaining ground.

    Wilt thou not obey,

      Oh, thou broom accurs'd?

    Be thou still I pray,

      As thou wert at first!

  Will enough

    Never please thee?

    I will seize thee,

      Hold thee fast,

  And thy nimble wood so tough,

      With my sharp axe split at last.

See, once more he hastens back!

Now, oh Cobold, thou shalt catch it!
I will rush upon his track;

Crashing on him falls my hatchet.

    Bravely done, indeed!

      See, he's cleft in twain!

    Now from care I'm freed,

      And can breathe again.

  Woe, oh woe!

    Both the parts,

    Quick as darts,

      Stand on end,

  Servants of my dreaded foe!

      Oh, ye gods protection send!

And they run! and wetter still

Grow the steps and grows the hail.
Lord and master hear me call!

Ever seems the flood to fill,

    Ah, he's coming! see,

      Great is my dismay!

    Spirits raised by me

      Vainly would I lay!

   "To the side

     Of the room

     Hasten, broom,

       As of old!

   Spirits I have ne'er untied

       Save to act as they are told."