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Poems of Goethe

THE UNLIMITED.

THAT thou can't never end, doth make thee great,
And that thou ne'er beginnest, is thy fate.
Thy song is changeful as yon starry frame,
End and beginning evermore the same;
And what the middle bringeth, but contains
What was at first, and what at last remains.
Thou art of joy the true and minstrel-source,
From thee pours wave on wave with ceaseless force.
A mouth that's aye prepared to kiss,

A breast whence flows a loving song,
A throat that finds no draught amiss,

An open heart that knows no wrong.

And what though all the world should sink!

Hafis, with thee, alone with thee

Will I contend! joy, misery,

The portion of us twain shall be;
Like thee to love, like thee to drink,--

This be my pride,--this, life to me!

Now, Song, with thine own fire be sung,--
For thou art older, thou more young!

                                1817.*