The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Violet
Upon the mead a violet stood,
Retiring, and of modest mood,
In truth, a violet fair.
Then came a youthful shepherdess,
And roamed with sprightly joyousness,
And blithely wooed
With carols sweet the air.
"Ah!" thought the violet, "had I been
For but the smallest moment e'en
Nature's most beauteous flower,
Till gathered by my love, and pressed,
When weary, 'gainst her gentle breast,
For e'en, for e'en
One quarter of an hour!
"Alas! alas! the maid drew nigh,
The violet failed to meet her eye,
She crushed the violet sweet.
It sank and died, yet murmured not:
"And if I die, oh, happy lot,
For her I die,
And at her very feet!"