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

For works with similar titles, see Valediction.


I once was fond of fools,
And bid them come each day;
Then each one brought his tools,
The carpenter to play;
The roof to strip first choosing,
Another to supply,
The wood as trestles using,
To move it by-and-by.
While here and there they ran,
And knocked against each other;
To fret I soon began,
My anger could not smother,
So cried, "Get out, ye fools!"
At this they were offended;
Then each one took his tools,
And so our friendship ended.

Since that I've wiser been,
And sit beside my door;
When one of them is seen,
I cry, "Appear no more!"
"Hence, stupid knave!" I bellow:
At this he's angry, too:
"You impudent old fellow!
And pray, sir, who are you?
Along the streets we riot,
And revel at the fair:
But yet we're pretty quiet,
And folks revile us ne'er.
Don't call us names, then, please!"
At length I meet with ease,
For now they leave my door—
'Tis better than before!