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Poems of Goethe

VII.  TIMUR NAME.

BOOK OF TIMUR.

THE WINTER AND TIMUR.

So the winter now closed round them
With resistless fury. Scattering
Over all his breath so icy,
He inflamed each wind that blithe
To assail them angrily.
Over them he gave dominion
To his frost-unsharpened tempests;
Down to Timur's council went he,
And with threat'ning voice address'd him:--
"Softly, slowly, wretched being!
Live, the tyrant of injustice;
But shall hearts be scorch'd much longer
By thy flames,--consume before them?
If amongst the evil spirits
Thou art one,--good! I'm another.
Thou a greybeard art--so I am;
Land and men we make to stiffen.
Thou art Mars! And I Saturnus,--
Both are evil-working planets,
When united, horror-fraught.
Thou dost kill the soul, thou freezes
E'en the atmosphere; still colder
Is my breath than thine was ever.
Thy wild armies vex the faithful
With a thousand varying torments;
Well! God grant that I discover
Even worse, before I perish!
And by God, I'll give thee none.
Let God hear what now I tell thee!
Yes, by God! from Death's cold clutches
Nought, O greybeard, shall protect thee,
Not the hearth's broad coalfire's ardour,
Not December's brightest flame."

                                1814.