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Poems of Goethe

WHEN THE FOX DIES, HIS SKIN COUNTS.*

(* The name of a game, known in English as "Jack's alight.")

WE young people in the shade

Sat one sultry day;
Cupid came, and "Dies the Fox"

With us sought to play.

Each one of my friends then sat

By his mistress dear;
Cupid, blowing out the torch,

Said: "The taper's here!"

Then we quickly sent around

The expiring brand;
Each one put it hastily

ln his neighbour's hand.

Dorilis then gave it me,

With a scoffing jest;
Sudden into flame it broke,

By my fingers press'd.

And it singed my eyes and face,

Set my breast on fire;
Then above my head the blaze

Mounted ever higher.

Vain I sought to put it out;

Ever burned the flame;
Stead of dying, soon the Fox

Livelier still became.

                                1770.
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