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Poems of Goethe

THE SUBLIME TYPE.

THE sun, whom Grecians Helms call,

His heavenly path with pride doth tread,
And, to subdue the world's wide all,

Looks round, beneath him, high o'er head.

He sees the fairest goddess pine,

Heaven's child, the daughter of the clouds,--
For her alone he seems to shine;

In trembling grief his form he shrouds,

Careless for all the realms of bliss,--

Her streaming tears more swiftly flow:
For every pearl he gives a kiss,

And changeth into joy her woe.

She gazeth upward fixedly,

And deeply feels his glance of might,
While, stamped with his own effigy,

Each pearl would range itself aright.

Thus wreath'd with bows, with hues thus grac'd,

With gladness beams her face so fair,
While he, to meet her, maketh haste,

And yet, alas! can reach her ne'er.

So, by the harsh decree of Fate,

Thou modest from me, dearest one;
And were I Helms e'en, the Great,

What would avail his chariot-throne?

                                1815.