May 26, 2010
Hump Day Poetry: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tell it none except the wise,
for the common crowd defames:
of the living I shall praise
that which longs for death in flames.
In the love night which created
you where you create, a yearning
wakes: you see, intoxicated,
far away a candle burning.
Darkness now no longer snares you,
shadows lose their ancient force,
as a new desire tears you
up to higher intercourse.
Now no distance checks your flight,
charmed you come and you draw night
till, with longing for the light,
you are burnt, O butterfly.
And until you have possessed
dying and rebirth,
you are but a sullen guest
on the gloomy earth.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
translated by Walter Kaufmann