Friday, September 2, 2011

A Paraphrase of Goethe

(Selige Sehnsucht: "Sagt es niemand, nur den Weisen")

Tell it not but to the wise man,
For the crowd will mock entire:
I will glorify the lively,
That which yearns to die in fire.

You beget where you were gotten,
In the cool of loving night:
Strange sensations overtake you
In the silent candlelight.

Erstwhile captive of the shadows,
You will never be the same,
Taken up by higher rapture,
Drawn toward the holy flame.

Now no distance proves a hindrance;
Some enchantment gives you wings!
Maddened butterfly, you enter:
Finally, the pure flame sings.

And as long as you know not
Earth is dark, and you are homeless,
Hapless and forlorn.

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