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Poems of Goethe

THE VIOLET.

UPON the mead a violet stood,
Retiring, and of modest mood,

In truth, a violet fair.
Then came a youthful shepherdess,
And roam'd with sprightly joyousness,
And blithely woo'd

With carols sweet the air

"Ah!" thought the violet, "had I been
For but the smallest moment e'en

Nature's most beauteous flower,
'Till gather'd by my love, and press'd,
When weary, 'gainst her gentle breast,
For e'en, for e'en

One quarter of an hour!"

Alas! alas! the maid drew nigh,
The violet failed to meet her eye,

She crush'd the violet sweet.
It sank and died, yet murmur'd not:
"And if I die, oh, happy lot,
For her I die,

And at her very feet!"

                                1775.*