The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Wedding Night
THE WEDDING NIGHT.
Within the chamber, far away
From the glad feast, sits love in dread
Lest guests disturb, in wanton play,
The silence of the bridal bed.
His torch's pale flame serves to gild
The scene with mystic sacred glow,
The room with incense-clouds is filled,
That he may perfect rapture know.
How beats thy heart, when thou dost hear
The chimes that warn thy guests to fly?
How glow'st thou for those lips so dear,
That soon are mute, and nought deny!
With her into the holy place
Thou hast'nest then to perfect all;
The fire the warder's hands embrace,
Grows, like a night-light, dim and small.
How heaves the bosom, and how burns
Her face at every fervent kiss!
Her coldness now to trembling turns,
Thy daring now a duty is.
Love helps thee to undress her fast,
But thou art twice as fast as he;
And then he shuts both eyes at last
With sly and roguish modesty.