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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/New Love, New Life


NEW LOVE, NEW LIFE.

[Written at the time of Goethe's connection with Lili.]

Heart! my heart! what means this feeling?
What oppresseth thee so sore?
What strange life is o'er me stealing!
I acknowledge thee no more,
Fled is all that gave thee gladness,
Fled the cause of all thy sadness,
Fled thy peace, thine industry—
Ah, why suffer it to be?

Say, do beauty's graces youthful,
Does this form so fair and bright,
Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful,
Chain thee with unceasing might?
Would I tear me from her boldly,
Courage take, and fly her coldly,
Back to her I'm forthwith led
By the path I seek to tread.

By a thread I ne'er can sever,
For 'tis 'twined with magic skill,
Doth the cruel maid for ever
Hold me fast against my will.
While those magic charms confine me,
To her will I must resign me.
Ah, the change in truth is great!
Love! kind love! release me straight!