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Poems of Goethe

TO A GOLDEN HEART THAT HE WORE ROUND HIS NECK.

[Addressed, during the Swiss tour already mentioned, to a present Lily had given him, during the time of their happy connection, which was then about to be terminated for ever.]

OH thou token loved of joys now perish'd

That I still wear from my neck suspended,
Art thou stronger than our spirit-bond so cherish'd?

Or canst thou prolong love's days untimely ended?

Lily, I fly from thee! I still am doom'd to range
Thro' countries strange,

Thro' distant vales and woods, link'd on to thee!
Ah, Lily's heart could surely never fall

So soon away from me!

As when a bird bath broken from his thrall,

And seeks the forest green,
Proof of imprisonment he bears behind him,
A morsel of the thread once used to bind him;

The free-born bird of old no more is seen,

For he another's prey bath been.

                                1775.