The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/God, Soul and World



[The Distichs, of which these are given as a specimen, are about forty in number.]

How? when? and where?—No answer comes from high;
Thou waitest for the Because, and yet thou askest not Why?

If the whole is ever to gladden thee,
That whole in the smallest thing thou must see.

Water its living strength first shows,
When obstacles its course oppose.

Transparent appears the radiant air,
Though steel and stone in its breast it may bear;
At length they'll meet with fiery power,
And metal and stones on the earth will shower.

Whate'er a living flame may surround,
No longer is shapeless, or earthly bound.
'Tis now invisible, flies from earth,
And hastens on high to the place of its birth.

This truth may be by all believed:
Whom God deceives, is well deceived.

Who trusts in God,
Fears not His rod.