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Poems of Goethe

WHEN I WAS STILL A YOUTHFUL WIGHT

[Written at the age of 77.]

WHEN I was still a youthful wight,

So full of enjoyment and merry,
The painters used to assert, in spite,

That my features were small--yes, very;
Yet then full many a beauteous child
With true affection upon me smil'd.

Now as a greybeard I sit here in state,

By street and by lane held in awe, sirs;
And may be seen, like old Frederick the Great,

On pipebowls, on cups, and on saucers.
Yet the beauteous maidens, they keep afar;
Oh vision of youth! Oh golden star!

                                1826.