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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Ilm, the River, to the Moon

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ILM, THE RIVER, TO THE MOON.

Fillest hill and vale again,
Still with softening light!
Loosest from the world's cold chain
All my soul to-night!

Spreadest round me far and nigh,
Soothingly, thy smile;
From thee, as from friendship's eye,
Sorrow shrinks the while.

Every echo thrills my heart,—
Glad and gloomy mood,
Joy and sorrow both have part
In my solitude.

River, river, glide along!
I am sad, alas!
Fleeting things are love and song,—
Even so they pass.

I have had and I have lost
What I long for yet;
Ah! why will we, to our cost,
Simple joys forget?

River, river, glide along,
Without stop or stay!
Murmur, whisper to my song
In melodious play.

Whether on a winter's night
Rise thy swelling floods,
Or in spring thou hast delight
Watering the young buds.

Happy he who, hating none,
Leaves the world's dull noise,
And, with trusty friends alone,
Quietly enjoys

What, for ever unexpressed,
Hid from common sight,
Through the mazes of the breast
Softly steals by night!