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Poems of Goethe

LONGING.

WHAT pulls at my heart so?

What tells me to roam?
What drags me and lures me

From chamber and home?
How round the cliffs gather

The clouds high in air!
I fain would go thither,

I fain would be there!

The sociable flight

Of the ravens comes back;
I mingle amongst them,

And follow their track.
Round wall and round mountain

Together we fly;
She tarries below there,

I after her spy.

Then onward she wanders,

My flight I wing soon
To the wood fill'd with bushes,

A bird of sweet tune.
She tarries and hearkens,

And smiling, thinks she:
"How sweetly he's singing!

He's singing to me!"

The heights are illum'd

By the fast setting sun;
The pensive fair maiden

Looks thoughtfully on;
She roams by the streamlet,

O'er meadows she goes,
And darker and darker

The pathway fast grows.

I rise on a sudden,

A glimmering star;
"What glitters above me,

So near and so far?"

And when thou with wonder

Hast gazed on the light,
I fall down before thee,

Entranced by thy sight!

                                1803.