The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Happy Couple


After these vernal rains
That we so warmly sought,
Dear wife, see how our plains
With blessings sweet are fraught!
We cast our distant gaze
Far in the misty blue;
Here gentle love still strays,
Here dwells still rapture true.

Thou see'st whither go
Yon pair of pigeons white,
Where swelling violets blow
Round sunny foliage bright.
'Twas there we gathered first
A nosegay as we roved;
There into flame first burst
The passion that we proved.

Yet when, with plighted troth.
The priest beheld us fare.
Home from the altar both,
With many a youthful pair,—
Then other moons had birth,
And many a beauteous sun,
Then we had gained the earth
Whereon life's race to run.

A hundred thousand fold
The mighty bond was sealed;
In woods, on mountains cold,
In bushes, in the field,
Within the wall, in caves,
And on the craggy height,
And love, e'en o'er the waves,
Bore in his tube the light.

Contented we remained,
We deemed ourselves a pair;
'Twas otherwise ordained,
For, lo! a third was there;
A fourth, fifth, sixth appeared,
And sat around our board;
And now the plants we've reared
High o'er our heads have soared.

How fair and pleasant looks,
On yonder beauteous spot,
Embraced by poplar-brooks,
The newly finished cot!
Who is it there that sits
In that glad home above?
Is't not our darling Fritz
With his own darling love?

Beside yon precipice,
Whence pent-up waters steal,
And, leaving the abyss,
Fall foaming through the wheel,—
Though people often tell
Of millers' wives so fair,
Yet none can e'er excel
Our dearest daughter there!

Yet where the thick-set green
Stands round yon church and sod,
Where the old fir-tree's seen
Alone tow'rd heaven to nod,—
'Tis there the ashes lie
Of our untimely dead;
From earth our gaze on high
By their blest memory's led.

See how yon hill is bright
With billowy-waving arms!
The force returns, whose might
Has vanquished war's alarms.
Who proudly hastens here
With wreath-encircled brow?
'Tis like our child so dear!—
Thus Charles comes homeward now.

That dearest honoured guest
Is welcomed by the bride;
She makes the true one blest,
At the glad festal tide.
And every one makes haste
To join the dance with glee;
While thou with wreaths hast graced
The youngest children three.

To sound of flute and horn
The time appears renewed,
When we, in love's young morn,
In the glad dance upstood;
And perfect bliss I know
Ere the year's course is run,
For to the font we go
With grandson and with son!