Goethe and Frederika.


Wander, O wander, maiden sweet,1
In the fairy bower, while yet you may.2
See, in rapture he lies at your feet :3
Rest on the truth of the glorious youth,4
Rest—for a summer day.5
That great clear spirit of flickering fire6
You have lulled awhile in magic sleep,7
But you cannot fill his wide desire.8
His heart is tender, his eyes are deep,9
His words divinely flow ;10
But his voice and his glance are not for you ;11
He never can be to a maiden true ;12
Soon will he wake and go.13


Well, well, ’twere a piteous thing14
To chain for ever that strong young wing.15
Let the butterfly break for his own sweet sake16
The gossamer threads that have bound him :17
Let him shed in free flight his rainbow light,18
And gladden the world around him.19
Short is the struggle and slight is the strain :20
Such a web was made to be broken,21
And she that wove it may weave again.22
Or if no power of love to bless23
Can heal the wound in her bosom true,24
It is but a lorn heart more or less,25
And hearts are many and poets few ;”26
So his pardon is lightly spoken.27