The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/With a Golden Necklace


Accept, dear maid, this little token,
A supple chain that fain would lie,
And keep its tiny links unbroken
Upon a neck of ivory.

Pray, then, exalt it to this duty,
And change its humbleness to pride;
By day it will adorn your beauty,
By night 'tis quickly laid aside.

But if another hand should proffer
A chain of weightier, closer kind,
Think twice ere you accept the offer;
For there are chains will not unbind.