Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT I. - Goethe's Works, vol. 2 (Faust 1 & 2, Egmont, Natural Daughter, Sorrows of Young Werther)
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ACT I. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 2 (Faust 1 & 2, Egmont, Natural Daughter, Sorrows of Young Werther) 
Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 2.
Part of: Goethe’s Works, 5 vols.
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Our fleeting goal attracting dogs and man
To follow swift along the winding course—
The noble stag has led us far astray
O’er vales and mountains, till I needs must own
That I myself, although so country-wise,
Am quite at loss. Where are we, uncle? Duke,
Pray tell me what these hills are that we cross’d!
The brook that babbles past us, Sire, arises
Upon thy servant’s near domain, for which
He has to thank the generous grace bestow’d
By thee and by thy royal ancestors
Upon him, as first vassal of the realm.
Beyond the rocks of yonder eminence
A pleasant house stands hid by veils of green,
Not built at all for housing royalty,
But ready to receive thee, if thou wilt.
Nay! let the lofty arches of these trees
Give shelter for the moment that we rest,
And let the gentle stirring of the breeze
Weave round us, while the joy of peaceful scenes
Succeeds the joy of dashing o’er the course.
The pleasure that thou feelest here, O King,
Behind this lovely screen of Nature’s work,
In absolute seclusion, I also feel.
Here comes not nigh the voice of discontent,
Nor yet the hand of shameless violence.
Here in the freedom born of loneliness
Thou seest not the ungrateful slink away.
The restless world, which ever makes demand
And never lends its aid, is vanish’d now.
If I shall e’er forget what once oppress’d me
Then let no word recall me to its trials.
Ye echoes of the distant world’s commotion,
Little by little vanish from my ears!
Yea, prithee, uncle, suit thy fair discourse
To circumstances fitter for this spot.
Here wife and husband, hand-in-hand, should roam,
Rejoicing in the sight of comely children,
The highest reach of joy; here friend with friend
Draw nigh, disclosing every secret pleasure.
And didst not thou erewhile drop gentle hints
That when a quiet moment could be ours
Thou hadst some weighty secret to confess,
Some contemplated favor to demand,
Which, granted, would rejoice your faithful heart?
O Sire, no greater kindness could’st thou show me
Than setting free the fountain of my speech.
And what I fain would tell who else could hear
More fitly than my King, among whose treasures
None shine with such a lustre as his children,—
Who, I am sure, will give his sympathy
In all the father’s joy his servant feels?
Of father’s joy thou speakest! Know’st thou then
Its heavenly rapture? Has thy only son
Not torn thy loving heart by lawless actions,
By disobedience, by unfilial scorn,
Until thy sadden’d life reach’d bitter age?
Has he then lately chang’d his evil ways?
From him I have no hope of happier days,
His idle mind gives birth to clouds alone
Which ever gloom the horizon of my life.
A different star it is that sheds its light
Upon me. As in cheerless caverns shine,
Mysterious with their wonder-working rays,
Bright precious stones (so fairy legends say),
And gleam across the murky night which reigns,
So in my gloomy life a magic gift
Was granted, blessing me beyond all words—
A gift I cherish more than lands and gold
Inherited or won by deeds of war,
Yea, more than sight, more than the light of life,
And guard with joy and fear, with pain and pleasure.
Speak not so darkly of the mystery dark.
’Twould not be easy to confess our faults
In ears of royalty, were royalty
Alone not able to convert their harm
To fair results of right and good report.
The treasure guarded with such watchful love?
That treasure is a daughter.
What! a daughter?
And like the gods in fable, uncle, stole
In secret hither to earth’s lower circles
To take delight in earthly love and bliss?
Small things as well as great compell’d us, Sire,
To hide our actions from the world’s dispraise.
The lady, bound to me by wondrous Fate
In secret union, stood so high in rank:—
And even now thy court wears mourning garb
And secret sorrow gnaws my heart for her.
The Princess? She who lately died
So honor’d and so mourn’d?
She was the mother.
But let me speak of her alone—my child,
Who, living better than her parents liv’d,
Rejoices in the noble joys of life—
And all the rest leave buried in the grave
Of her the gifted, lofty-minded woman.
Her death at last unseals my lips. I dare
Before my King to name my daughter now—
I dare demand of him to lift her up
Upon a level with me and her peers,
To recognize her right to princely birth
Before his court, his kingdom and the world,
So sure am I of favor in his heart!
If all the virtues of her noble parents
Are found united in this niece whom thou
Preparest to present me ready grown,
Then must the court, then must our royal house,
From which a brilliant star set all too soon,
Give welcome to the new star rising fair.
Oh, learn to know her ere thou judgest her
With prejudice. Let not a father’s pride
Pervert thee. Much has Nature done for her
Which I with rarest pleasure contemplate.
And all the culture which our rank demands
Has, since her babyhood, been warmly foster’d.
Her steps were guided from her earliest days
By a skilful governess, a wise professor.
With what light-heartedness and pleasant wit
She makes the present serve her ready mind,
While poet Fancy paints with flattering hues
The fortune which she waits with eager joy!
Her gentle heart clings to her loving father,
Although her spirit willingly gives heed
To wise discourse of noble-thinking men,
Leading her slowly up the hill of learning.
And all the exercise of princely virtues
Is manifest in her fair graceful form.
Sire! thou thyself hast seen her unbeknown,
While round thee whirl’d the tumult of the chase.
To-day a daughter of the Amazons
She first upon the traces of the stag
Dash’d gallantly across the swelling stream.
We trembled when we saw the noble maid.
I am rejoic’d to know she is my kin.
And not to-day alone I learn’d to know
How pride and apprehension, joy and trouble
Commingle in a father’s yearning breast.
With mighty force and panting strove the steed
To land his rider on the farther shore,
Where thick-grown bushes hide the dusky hill,
And thus she vanish’d from my sight.
My eyes beheld her ere the labyrinth
Of bosky forest led us thus astray.
Who knows what distant field she now explores
With heart on fire because she miss’d the goal,
Where now alone it is permitted her
To approach the presence of her King revered,
And humbly wait until with royal favor
She is acknowledg’d as his kith and kin—
The latest blossom of his ancient line.
But what is yonder tumult that I see?
What means the running towards the precipice?
Why are the people gathering with such haste?
The eager huntress whom we all admir’d
Has fallen headlong from yon rocky height.
And are her wounds severe?
They sent away to call thy surgeon, Sire.
Why do I linger? If she’s dead, then naught
Remains for me to live for in the world.
What was it caus’d the accident, Sir Count?
It happen’d right before my very eyes:
A band of many riders found themselves
By fortune separated from the hunt,
And, led by that fair lady, prick’d their way
Upon the wood-crown’d summit of yon height.
They hear, they see below them in the valley
That all is over, see the noble stag
Succumb before the pack of yelping hounds,
And quickly then the company disbands,
Each seeking by the path where each may best,—
One here, one there,—a prosperous exit down.
But she alone no instant hesitates,
But spurs her steed from crag to crag sheer down;
We marvel at the luck of recklessness.
Bravely it goes with her awhile; at last
When she has reach’d the ultimate descent,
A steep bold cliff, the horse mistakes his steps
So insecure, and down he goes with her.
Thus much I saw and then the hurrying throng
Hid her from sight. I heard them call the surgeon;
And so I now am here to tell thee, Sire.
Oh, that she may be spar’d him! Dangerous
Is that man who has nothing more to lose.
Has then this sudden fright compell’d the secret,
Which, until now, he strove so hard to hide?
His confidence was freely given ere now.
The Princess’s death remov’d the seal of silence
From lips which tell a history long disclos’d—
An open secret unto court and city.
It is a curious and absurd conceit
That we through silence can annihilate
For others or ourselves the deeds we do.
Oh, leave to man this noble touch of pride!
He can, he must do many, many things
Which are not suitable to put in words.
They bring her hither, lifeless I’m afraid.
Oh, what an unexpected, sad event!
Eugenielaid apparently dead on woven boughs of pine.
Duke. Surgeon. Attendants.
(To theSurgeon.) Oh, if thy art and skill have any power,
Experienc’d sir, to whom our monarch’s life,
A priceless treasure, is entrusted, let
Her bright eyes once more open to the day,
That hope may shine upon me in her glance,
That from the depths of grief I may be sav’d,
If only for a fleeting moment now.
And then if nothing more, if thou canst keep her
Only a fleeting moment for me, then,
Oh, let me haste and pass away before her,
That in the very article of death
I still may say, consol’d, “My daughter lives.”
Pray, leave us, uncle! Let me undertake
The faithful service of a father’s love.
This worthy man will nothing leave undone;
As though myself lay wounded sore, he will—
Doubt not—exert his skill upon thy daughter.
Art thou assur’d of it?
Her eyes are open wide; she glances round!
She lives! She lives!
(Stepping back a little.) Redouble your exertions!
She lives! She lives! Again the light of day
Her eyes behold. Yes! soon she’ll recognize
Her loving father and her friends once more!
My darling child, gaze not so wild around
As though uncertain: towards me turn thy face,
Oh, turn thy face upon thy father first.
Dost thou not know me? Let thy father’s voice
Be first to reach thy ear, as thou returnest
From gloomy shades of everlasting night!
(Who little by little has returned to consciousness and sits up.) Where am I? What has happen’d to me?
Oh, speak to me! Dost thou not know me?
Yes, ’tis thy father whom with these sweet tones
Thou savest from the arms of grim despair!
Who brought me here among these trees?
(To whom the surgeon has handed a white handkerchief.) Be calm,
My daughter! Take this strengthening draught,
Take it with confidence, with quiet soul.
(Takes the handkerchief from her father as he holds it in his hands, and buries her face in it; then suddenly gets to her feet, taking the handkerchief from her face.)
There! I’m myself again! Now I remember!
On yonder height I rein’d my horse and dar’d
Ride down, sheer down the rocky side. Forgive me—
I stumbled, did I not? Canst thou forgive me?
They took me up for dead? My darling father!
And canst thou ever love thy child again,
Who caus’d such bitter anguish to thy heart?
I thought I knew how precious was the treasure
God granted when he gave me thee, my daughter!
But now the loss I fear’d has caused my gain
To rise to estimation infinite.
(Who till now has remained in the background conversing with theSurgeonand theCount—to the others.)
Let all withdraw! I wish to speak with them.
King. Duke. Eugenie.
(Approaching.) And is the gallant huntress quite recover’d?
Has she escap’d unharm’d?
Yes! quite, my King!
And all the sad remains of fright and woe,
Thou, Sire, dispellest by thy gentle glance,
And by the magic of thy tender tones.
Pray tell me who the lovely maiden is.
(After a pause.) Since thou art pleas’d to ask, I will confess—
Since thou demandest, I will solve my pledge,
And introduce my daughter.
What! thy daughter?
Then, uncle, Fortune has been kinder to thee,
Yea, infinitely kinder than the law.
Am I indeed brought back to life again?
Has that strange deathlike faintness pass’d away?
And is this scene no fiction of a dream?
My father in the presence of his King
Declares his daughter! Nay! I do not dream.
The uncle of a monarch recognizes
That I’m his child. So then am I the niece—
The niece of the great King! Oh, pardon me,
Your Majesty, if brought so suddenly
From out the mystery of my dark retreat,
Expos’d to all the blinding light of day,
I totter, and cannot control myself.
[She throws herself at the feet of theKing.
May reverence mark thy life from youth to age.
The reverence symboliz’d before me now!
And sweet humility whose narrow duties
Thou, fully conscious of thy lofty birth,
Hast practis’d many a year far from the world.
[He raises her and presses her gently to his heart.
And now if from before my feet I lift thee
And take thee to my heart, if on thy brow
I print the fond kiss of paternal love,
Let this be also as a seal, a symbol:
Thee my relation do I recognize;
And soon what I have done in secret here,
Before my courtiers’ eyes will I repeat.
Such splendid grace demands a life of thanks,
Of undivided boundless loyalty.
From noble teachers many things I’ve learn’d,
And much instruction from my heart have gain’d,
Yet when it comes to speaking to my King
I find the preparation sadly lacking.
Yet if I cannot speak as I would wish,
Expressing all my duty, still thy presence
Forbids me awkwardly to stand in silence.
What could I give thee? What return devise?
The abundance ever flowing to thy hands,
For good of others streams away again.
Here thousands stand to give their lives for thine,
Here thousands work obedient to thy orders,
And if a single subject freely offers
His heart and soul, his arm and life for thee,
Among such numbers he is lost from sight,
Forgot by thee and by himself forgot.
If unto thee the masses seem o’erwhelming,
Thou lovely child, it is not strange indeed.
They are o’erwhelming, yet the noble few,
By Nature made to stand above the masses
Through skill and culture and the power to rule,
Are more imposing. If the King thereto
Was call’d by birth, then are his next of kin
Born counsellors, who, closely knit to him,
Are bound to guard the realm and foster it.
Oh, never let dissension mask’d come in,
With dark insidious working, to these regions
Where stand this band of patriotic watchmen.
To thee, my noble cousin, I give a father
By virtue of our royal power supreme.
Preserve him to me, use thy winsome ways
To keep my kinsman’s heart and voice in faith,
For many enemies oppose a prince;
Oh, let him stand aloof from treacherous paths.
Why dost thou pain my heart with such reproaches?
Incomprehensible are these thy words!
May fortune keep thee long from comprehending!
The portals of our royal house I open,
Inviting thee to enter. By the hand
I lead thee in o’er slippery marble pavements.
Thou art amaz’d; thyself and all thou seest
Are strange to thee. Thou thinkest here within
To find sure worth and perfect peace united—
Thou art deceiv’d! Thou comest at a time
Not mark’d by joyous bright festivities,
E’en though the King invite thee to partake
In welcoming the day that gave him birth.
Yet shall the day for thy sake have its joy;
There shall I see thee in the merry throng,
The cynosure of every wondering eye.
Right royally has Nature fashion’d thee;
And that thy jewels meet thy princely rank
Thy father and thy monarch will provide.
How could the sudden cry of pleas’d surprise,
The eager gesture’s quick significance,
Express the language of the beating heart,
Rejoic’d by such high generosity?
Sire, let me kneel in silence at thy feet!
[She offers to kneel.
Thou must not kneel!
Oh, let me here enjoy
The pleasant fortune of complete submission!
If we in tense and sudden moments stand
Erect upon our feet and boldly wage
To bear the earnest of our own support,
We seem the owners of the earth and heaven.
Yet what in moments of keen ravishment
Causes the knee to bend is also joy.
And all of sweet thanksgiving, love unmeasur’d,
Which we might bring as purest offering
To father, monarch, God. is best express’d
In such an humble attitude as this.
[Again kneeling before theKing.
Renew’d allegiance would I offer thee!
As ever-faithful vassals look upon us!
Up! then! arise and take thy place beside me,
Within the circle of those trusty few
Sworn to defend the right and reasonable!
Oh, fearful are the portents of these days.
The dregs boil up, the high-born sink below
As though each in the other’s place might find
Fulfilment of his unrestrain’d desires,
As though enjoyment only were in store
When class distinctions were all wash’d away,
And when we all commingl’d in one stream
Were hurl’d unnotic’d to the boundless ocean.
Oh, let us fight against it, let us boldly
With new-united double might hold fast
To what may hold us and the people fast.
And lastly let us heal the ancient strife
That stirs the great against the great, within
The ship of State makes weak the walls protecting
The battling crew against the angry waves without.
What clear beneficent rays enlighten me
And stir to deeds instead of blinding me!
What! does our King so highly honor us
That he confesses that he needs our aid?
We are not only kinsfolk to him, we
Are rais’d to loftiest station by his trust.
And if the nobles of his kingdom press
Around him to protect his royal breast,
Of us he asks a nobler service yet.
The highest duty of the well dispos’d
Is ever to uphold the monarch’s heart.
For if he flinch, then flinches all the State,
And if he fall, then all things fall with him.
Youth, people say, has too much confidence
In its own strength, and in its will to do,
Yet all this will, this strength, and their endeavor
Is dedicate to thee, O King, forever.
The child’s assurance, Highness, thou wilt honor,
And thou wilt pardon for its kind intent.
And if her father, taught by many years,
Appreciates and treasures the full worth
Of this day’s gift and of the future promise,
Then art thou sure of his recognizance.
’Twill not be long before we meet again.
Upon my birthday when my faithful friends
Unite to celebrate the festal season,
That day, O noble maid, I will present thee
Before the wondering world, the court, thy father,
Myself. The glory of the throne will shield thee.
But till that hour let both of you keep counsel,
Let no one know the history of this day.
Distrustful jealousy is lurking round.
Wave follows wave; storm treads the heel of storm.
Our journey trends along the jagged shore
Where e’en the helmsman scarcely knows the course.
Close secrecy alone secures our acts.
A plan disclos’d has pass’d beyond thy power.
This very moment chance makes sport of will.
E’en he who can command must work in secret.
Yea! with the best will in the world we fail
Accomplishment, a thousand crossing ours.
Oh, if my honest wishes had the aid
Of perfect power for but a little time,
The meanest hearthstone in my kingdom’s bounds
Should feel a father’s warm solicitude,
Content should dwell beneath the humblest roof,
Content should dwell in ev’ry stately palace,
And when I once had tasted this delight,
I’d gladly yield my crown, renounce the world.
Oh, what a day of jubilant surprises!
Oh, might I live from day to day like this!
What wealth of fortune has the King bestow’d!
Take pure delight in his unlook’d-for favor.
He seems unhappy, and he is so good.
Goodness itself oft rouses opposition.
Who is so hateful as to set against him?
The advantage of the whole needs strenuous vigor.
The mildness of the King should breed like mildness.
The mildness of the King breeds insolence.
With what nobility has Nature form’d him!
Yet far too high in station has she plac’d him.
With what consummate virtues rich endow’d!
Domestic virtues not the gift of ruling.
The blossom of an ancient stock of heroes!
Perchance the vigor fails in later scions.
It is our duty to defend all weakness.
Unless our greater strength he should suspect.
(Aside.) His subtile reasoning fills me with suspicion.
What are thy thoughts? Hide not thy heart from me!
(After a pause.) Thou art then one of those whom he distrusts.
Let him distrust those worthy of distrust.
Shall we see secret foes invest his throne?
He who conceals a danger is a foe.
But whither do our counsels lead us, daughter?
How has the most extraordinary fortune
Brought us, short cut, upon the goal desir’d.
I build without foundation, filling thy mind
With wild confusion when I should enlighten.
Yet must thy rapturous joy of childhood vanish
When once thou steppest foot within the world.
Not long the intoxicating sweets of peace
Could’st thou delight in mid its blinding scenes.
The goal is thine, but its false crown has torn
Thy tender hand with cruel hidden spines.
Beloved child, I would it were not so!
Far better were it, as I fondly hop’d,
To wont thee by degrees to all its trials,
To teach thee by degrees the bitter lesson
That dearest hopes must fade, fond wishes fail.
But now a sudden change has come upon thee!
As though thy fall from yonder crag were symbol,
Down thou hast plung’d where cares and danger dwell.
The very air is poison’d with suspicion,
And Envy keeps the feverish blood astir,
And gives its victims to Anxiety.
Alas! for aye the wall of Paradise,
Which safely held thee, has been torn away.
The holy lesson of thy innocence
No longer shields me from the world’s temptations.
Forth must thou with me till the net surround us—
Perplex’d, sore wounded, needing pity, both!
Not so, my father! If until to-day
Inactive, kept aloof, immur’d alone,
A childish cypher, yet by very force
Of lacking individuality
I caus’d thee consolation, comfort, pleasure,
How vastly more then should thy daughter be
Now that her fate is woven into thine,
And all its threads in varied glory shine!
Part will I take in ev’ry noble deed,
In ev’ry great transaction which will bring
My father dearer to the State and King.
My eager mind, the force of youth and health
Inspiring me, will give thee freshen’d zeal,
Will drive away those visions of despair
Which rise when on the laboring breast of man
The monstrous burden of the world is laid.
If once, a child, in moments of depression
I offer’d thee good-will however helpless,
Love poor in deeds, and idle fond caresses,
So now I hope to win a daughter’s birthright
By faithful service, having learn’d thy wishes,
Initiated in the secrets of thy plans.
What thou through this important step wilt lose
Seems worthless to thee and without reward.
What thou expectest thou dost prize too high.
To share with highly-gifted, fortunate men
The use of power, the wealth of influence!
For generous souls what more attractive prize!
’Tis true! Forgive me if thou findest me
At this hour weaker than becomes a man.
Most wonderful is this exchange of duties,
I ought to lead thee and thou art my leader.
Well, then, my father, let us boldly climb
Up to those regions where before my ken
A new sun rises with enkindling rays.
And at this happy moment only smile,
If I disclose to thee in turn the cares
That burden me.
Yea, tell me what they are.
A host of weighty moments fill men’s lives,
Besieging now with joy and now with sorrow
Their hearts. The man may in such circumstances
Forget his outward show before the world;
Not so the woman; she desires to shine
By fair appropriate habit and adornment,—
An envied object in the eyes of others.
This have I often heard and often notic’d.
And now the crowning moment of my life
Has come, and I am willing to confess
That I am guilty of this woman’s weakness.
What canst thou wish for that will not be thine?
Thou art inclin’d, I know, to grant me all.
And yet the all-important day is nigh—
Too nigh to make the fitting preparation.
And all the silks, embroideries and laces,
And all the jewelry needful for adornment,
How can they be provided, how completed?
A long-desir’d good fortune has surpris’d us,
Yet not quite unprepar’d may we receive it;
All that thou now desirest is at hand.
This very day gifts that thou didst not dream of
Lie waiting for thee in a worthy coffer.
But one slight trial must I put upon thee—
The foretaste of severer ones to come!
Here is the key; take watchful care of it,
And curb thy longing. Open not the box
Which holds this treasure till I give thee leave.
Share trust with no one, be it who it may.
Wisdom advises and the King demands it.
Thou layest a heavy burden on a maiden,
Yet I will bear it, father, take my oath.
My wild unworthy son is on the watch
To spy the quiet paths where thou art led.
The little portion of my substance treasur’d
For thy protection he already covets.
And if he knew that thou by royal favor
Wert lifted to a higher station where
Thy right and his were on an equal level,
How he would rage! And would he not exert
All spiteful wiles to block our pleasant plan?
Then let us quietly await that day!
And when the deed is done that justifies me
In calling him my brother, be it mine,
By gentle words, by courteous behavior,
To win him back to reverence and affection.
He is thy son, and should he not, like thee,
Be fashion’d in the mould of love and reason?
No miracle would be too great for thee.
But work them for the advantage of my house.
And now farewell! Yet now—alas! in parting
I feel once more the pangs of cruel fear.
Here in my arms I held thee lying dead!
And here Despair with tiger clutches tore me.
Who will dispel the vision from my eyes?
I saw thee dead! Thus wilt thou oft appear
Before me in the watches of the night,
In visions of the day. Away from thee
Have I not ever been distraught by fear?
No longer will it be the mind’s distemper;
It is a real irradicable vision:
My child, Eugenie, of my life the life,
Wan, prostrate, breathless, lifeless there.
Oh, call not back what thou should’st now forget.
My fall and my escape should rather seem
The earnest of my wonderful good fortune.
Living, thou seest me before thy eyes.
And living, on thy heart thou feelest me.
So let me ever, ever thus return!
And with the touch of glowing, loving life
Blot out the loathsome sight of hated Death.
How can a child appreciate the pangs
A father feels at thought of threaten’d loss?
I will confess that oftentimes thy courage,
Almost o’erweening, when, upon the steed
Seeming a part of thee, and full of fire,
More like a Centaur with its doubled vigor,
Thou hast o’er vale and mountain boldly dash’d,
Through stream and gully flashing like a bird,
Has fill’d my heart with greater fear than joy.
Henceforth I pray thy gallant course conform
More moderately to knighthood’s joyous practice.
Before the careless, Danger yields the palm;
She often takes the careful by surprise.
Oh, feel once more that limitless keen joy
Which thou didst feel when, as a little child,
I boldly waged to do the deeds of prowess
Taught by thy knightly pride of fatherhood.
My fault has found me out, and now a life
Of ceaseless worriment must punish me.
Does not the courting of the dangerous
Invite the danger that it holds in store?
’Tis Luck not Carefulness that conquers danger.
Farewell, my father; follow now thy King,
And be, if only for thy daughter’s sake,
His blameless vassal and his faithful friend.
Oh, do not go! Remain with me,
Yet standing in this place alive, erect,
As when thou cam’st to life again, rejoicing
With healing balm my sadly riven heart.
Let not this hour of bliss remain unfruitful.
This spot I dedicate to be a lasting
Memorial. Here shall rise a splendid temple
To keep the record of thy fortunate healing.
Thy hand shall here create a fairy kingdom.
A labyrinth of gentle ways shall join
The savage forest and the bristling jungle;
The steep crag shall become accessible;
This brook shall fall in musical cascades,
And loiter with its sparkling waters pure.
The stranger wandering through this novel scene
Shall deem that he has found a Paradise.
Here, while I live, no gun shall loudly echo,
No bird shall miss her mate, no antler’d stag
Fly frighten’d, wounded, shatter’d, from his haunt.
And hither, when my eyes have lost their sight,
My limbs their strength, with thee, my child, for guide,
My steps will gladly turn in pilgrimage.
Ever shall gratitude my bosom fill.
And now farewell! But stay. Why dost thou weep?
Oh, if my father tremblingly forebodes
The losing of his daughter, how shall I
Not likewise feel (how can I say it, think it?)
The pain of separation which must come?
Fathers bereav’d might draw an angel’s pity;
But sadder is the lot of children orphan’d.
And I, most miserable, should stand alone
Within the desert of this wild, fierce world!
How could I bear to lose my sole protector?
As thou hast given me strength, I now return it.
Take comfort! let us boldly onward press.
Life is the pledge of life! Upon itself
It builds and for itself alone must answer.
So let us quickly make our last adieu,
And may a joyous meeting recompense
The sorrow and the weakness of this parting!
[They hastily embrace and separate: from a distance they turn and wave a last greeting with outstretched hand and exit.