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The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Spinner

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THE SPINNER.

As I calmly sat and span,
Toiling with all zeal,
Lo! a young and handsome man
Passed my spinning-wheel.

And he praised,—what harm was there?
Sweet the things he said—
Praised my flax-resembling hair,
And the even thread.

He with this was not content.
But must needs do more;
And in twain the thread was rent,
Though 'twas safe before.

And the flax's stonelike weight
Needed to be told;
But no longer was its state
Valued as of old.

When I took it to the weaver,
Something felt I start,
And more quickly, as with fever.
Throbbed my trembling heart.

Then I bear the thread at length
Through the heat, to bleach;
But, alas, I scarce have strength
To the pool to reach.

What I in my little room
Span so fine and slight,—
As was likely, I presume—
Came at last to light.