The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Joy and Sorrow


As fisher-boy I fared
To the black rock in the sea,
And, while false gifts I prepared,
Listened and sang merrily,
Down descended the decoy,
Soon a fish attacked the bait;
One exulting shout of joy,—
And the fish was captured straight.

Ah! on shore, and to the wood,
Past the cliffs, o'er stock and stone,
One foot's traces I pursued,
And the maiden was alone.
Lips were silent, eyes downcast
As a clasp-knife snaps the bait,
With her snare she seized me fast,
And the boy was captured straight.

Heaven knows who's the happy swain
That she rambles with anew!
I must dare the sea again,
Spite of wind and weather, too.
When the great and little fish
Wail and flounder in my net,
Straight returns my eager wish
In her arms to revel yet!