The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Distichs
Chords are touched by Apollo,—the death-laden bow, too, he bendeth;
While he the shepherdess charms, Python he lays in the dust.
What is merciful censure? to make thy faults appear smaller?
May be to veil them? No, no! O'er them to raise thee on high!
Democratic food soon cloys on the multitude's stomach;
But I'll wager, ere long, other thou'lt give them instead.
What in France has passed by, the Germans continue to practise,
For the proudest of men flatters the people and fawns.
Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others,
And in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own.
Not in the morning alone, not only at mid-day he charmeth;
Even at setting, the sun is still the same glorious planet.