The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/Second Life


After life's departing sigh,
To the spots I loved most dearly,
In the sunshine and the shadow,
By the fountain welling clearly,
Through the wood and o'er the meadow,
Flit I like a butterfly.

There a gentle pair I spy.
Bound the maiden's tresses flying,
From her chaplet I discover
All that I had lost in dying,
Still with her and with her lover,
Who so happy then as I?

For she smiles with laughing eyes;
And his lips to her he presses,
Vows of passion interchanging,
Stifling her with sweet caresses,
O'er her budding beauties ranging;
And around the twain I fly.

And she sees me fluttering nigh;
And beneath his ardour trembling,
Starts she up—then off I hover.
"Look there, dearest!" Thus dissembling,
Speaks the maiden to her lover—
"Come and catch that butterfly!"