The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/When the Fox Dies His Skin Counts

"Dorilis then Gave It Me"

Photogravure from the painting by F. Kirchbach

Dorilis then Gave it Me (The Works of J. W. von Goethe, Volume 9).png


We young people in the shade
Sat one sultry day;
Cupid came, and "Dies the Fox'
With us sought to play.

Each one of my friends then sat
By his mistress dear;
Cupid, blowing out the torch,
Said: "The taper's here!"

Then we quickly sent around
The expiring brand;
Each one put it hastily
In his neighbour's hand.

Dorilis then gave it me,
With a scoffing jest;
Sudden into flame it broke,
By my fingers pressed.

And it singed my eyes and face,
Set my breast on fire;
Then above my head the blaze
Mounted ever higher.

Vain I sought to put it out;
Ever burned the flame;
'Stead of dying, soon the Fox
Livelier still became.

  1. The name of a game known in English as "Jack's Alight."