The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/To Belinda


[This song was also written for Lili. Goethe mentions, at the end of his Autobiography, that he overheard her singing it one evening after he had taken his last farewell of her.]

With resistless power why dost thou press me
Into scenes so bright?
Had I not—good youth—so much to bless me
In the lonely night?

In my little chamber close I found me,
In the moon's cold beams;
And there quivering light fell softly round me,
While I lay in dreams.

And by hours of pure unmingled pleasure,
All my dreams were blest,
While I felt her image, as a treasure,
Deep within my breast.

Is it I, she at the table places,
'Mid so many lights?
Yes, to meet intolerable faces,
She her slave invites.

Ah! the Spring's fresh fields no longer cheer me,
Flowers no sweetness bring
Angel, where thou art, all sweets are near me,—
Love, Nature, and Spring.