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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Open Table


OPEN TABLE.

Many a guest I'd see to-day,
Met to taste my dishes!
Food in plenty is prepared,
Birds, and game, and fishes.
Invitations all have had,
All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!
Are they hither wending?

Pretty girls I hope to see,
Dear and guileless misses,
Ignorant how sweet it is
Giving tender kisses.
Invitations all have had,
All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!
Are they hither wending?

Women also I expect,
Loving toward their spouses,
Whose rude grumbling in their breasts
Greater love but rouses.
Invitations they've had, too,
All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!
Are they hither wending?

I've too asked young gentlemen,
Who are far from haughty,
And whose purses are all well-stocked,
Well behaved, not naughty.
These especially I asked,
All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!
Are they hither wending?

Men I summoned with respect,
Who their own wives treasure;
Who in ogling other Fair
Never take a pleasure.
To my greetings they replied,
All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!
Are they hither wending?

Then to make our joy complete,
Poets I invited,
Who love others' songs far more
Than what they've indited.
All acceded to my wish,
All proposed attending.
Johnny, go and look around!
Are they hither wending?

Not a single one appears,
None seem this way posting.
All the soup boils fast away,
Joints are over-roasting.
Ah, I fear that we have been
Rather too unbending!
Johnny, tell me what you think!
None are hither wending.

Johnny, run, and quickly bring
Other guests to me now!
Each arriving as he is—
That's the plan, I see now.
In the town at once 'tis known
Every one's commending.
Johnny, open all the doors:
All are hither wending.