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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Goldsmith's Apprentice


My neighbour, none can e'er deny,
Is a most beauteous maid;
Her shop is ever in mine eye,
When working at my trade.

To ring and chain I hammer then
The wire of gold assayed,
And think the while: "For Kate, oh, when
Will such a ring be made?"

And when she takes her shutters down,
Her shop at once invade,
To buy and haggle, all the town,
For all that's there displayed.

I file, and maybe overfile
The wire of gold assayed,
My master grumbles all the while,—
Her shop the mischief made.

To ply her wheel she straight begins
When not engaged in trade;
I know full well for what she spins,—
'Tis hope guides that dear maid.

Her leg, while her small foot treads on,
Is in my mind portrayed;
Her garter I recall anon,—
I gave it that dear maid.

Then to her lips the finest thread
Is by her hand conveyed.
Were I there only in its stead,
How I would kiss the maid!