The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Anniversary Song


[This little song describes the different members of the party just spoken of.]

Why pacest thou, my neighbour fair,
The garden all alone?
If house and land thou seek'st to guard,
I'd thee as mistress own.

My brother sought the cellar-maid.
And suffered her no rest;
She gave him a refreshing draught,
A kiss, too, she impressed.

My cousin is a prudent wight,
The cook's by him adored;
He turns the spit round ceaselessly,
To gain love's sweet reward.

We six together then began
A banquet to consume,
When lo! a fourth pair singing came,
And danced into the room.

Welcome were they,—and welcome, too,
Was a fifth jovial pair,
Brimful of news, and stored with tales
And jests both new and rare.

For riddles, spirit, raillery,
And wit, a place remained;
A sixth pair then our circle joined,
And so that prize was gained.

And yet, to make us truly blest,
One missed we, and full sore;
A true and tender couple came,—
We needed then no more.

The social banquet now goes on,
Unchequered by alloy;
The sacred double-numbers then
Let all at once enjoy!