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Poems of Goethe

THE SPINNER.

As I calmly sat and span,

Toiling with all zeal,
Lo! a young and handsome man

Pass'd my spinning-wheel.

And he praised,--what harm was there?--

Sweet the things he said--
Praised my flax-resembling hair,

And the even thread.

He with this was not content,

But must needs do more;
And in twain the thread was rent,

Though 'twas safe before.

And the flax's stonelike weight

Needed to be told;
But no longer was its state

Valued as of old.

When I took it to the weaver,

Something felt I start,
And more quickly, as with fever,

Throbb'd my trembling heart.

Then I bear the thread at length

Through the heat, to bleach;
But, alas, I scarce have strength

To the pool to reach.

What I in my little room

Span so fine and slight,--
As was likely. I presume--

Came at last to light.

                                1800.*