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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/A Symbol


A SYMBOL.

[This fine poem is given by Goethe amongst a small collection of what he calls Loge (Lodge) meaning thereby Masonic pieces.]

The mason's trade
Resembles life,
With all its strife,—
Is like the stir made
By man on earth's face.

Though weal and woe
The future may hide,
Unterrified
We onward go
In ne'er-changing race.

A veil of dread
Hangs heavier still.
Deep slumbers fill
The stars overhead,
And the foot-trodden grave.

Observe them well,
And watch them revealing
How solemn feeling
And wonderment swell
The hearts of the brave.

The voice of the blest,
And of spirits on high
Seems loudly to cry:
"To do what is best,
Unceasing endeavour!

"In silence eterne
Here chaplets are twined,
That each noble mind
Its guerdon may earn,—
Then hope ye for ever!"