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Poems of Goethe

VALEDICTION.

I ONCE was fond of fools,

And bid them come each day;
Then each one brought his tools

The carpenter to play;
The roof to strip first choosing,

Another to supply,
The wood as trestles using,

To move it by-and-by,
While here and there they ran,

And knock'd against each other;
To fret I soon began,

My anger could not smother,
So cried, "Get out, ye fools!"

At this they were offended
Then each one took his tools,

And so our friendship ended.

Since that, I've wiser been,

And sit beside my door;
When one of them is seen,

I cry, "Appear no more!"
"Hence, stupid knave!" I bellow:

At this he's angry too:
"You impudent old fellow!

And pray, sir, who are you?
Along the streets we riot,

And revel at the fair;
But yet we're pretty quiet,

And folks revile us ne'er.
Don't call us names, then, please!"--
At length I meet with ease,

For now they leave my door--
'Tis better than before!

                                1827.*