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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/From Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship


He that with tears did never eat his bread,
He that hath never lain through night's long hours,
Weeping in bitter anguish on his bed—
He knows ye not, ye dread celestial powers.
Ye lead us onward into life. Ye leave
The wretch to fall; then yield him up, in woe,
Remorse, and pain, unceasingly to grieve;
For every sin is punished here below.

Who gives himself to solitude,
Soon lonely will remain;
Each lives, each loves in joyous mood,
And leaves him to his pain.
Yes! leave me to my grief!
Were solitude's rellef
E'er granted me,
Alone I should not be.

A lover steals, on footstep light,
To learn if his love's alone;
Thus o'er me steals, by day and night,
Anguish before unknown;
Thus o'er me steals deep grief.
Ah, when I find relief
Within the tomb so lonely,
Will rest be met with only!

My grief no mortals know,
Except the yearning!
Alone, a prey to woe,
All pleasure spurning,
Up towards the sky I throw
A gaze discerning.

He who my love can know
Seems ne'er returning;
With strange and fiery glow
My heart is burning.
My griefs no mortals know,
Except the yearning!