Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENE III. - Goethe's Works, vol. 3 (Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia in Tauris, Tarquato Tasso, etc)
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SCENE III. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 3 (Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia in Tauris, Tarquato Tasso, etc) 
Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 3.
Part of: Goethe’s Works, 5 vols.
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(Alone.) I must believe, forsooth, that no one hates me,—
That no one persecutes, that all the guile,
The subtle malice that environs me,
Is but the coinage of my own sick brain!
I must acknowledge that myself am wrong!
And am unjust to many, who in sooth
Deserve it not! What! This confess e’en now,
When clearly in the open face of day
Appear their malice and my rectitude!
I ought to feel most deeply, how the prince
To me with generous breast his grace imparts.
And in rich measure loads me with his gifts,
E’en at the time when he is weak enough
To let his eyes be blinded by my foes,
Yea, doubtless, and his hand be fetter’d too!
His own delusion he cannot perceive,
That they deluders are, I may not prove;
And that uncheck’d he may delude himself.
And they delude him whensoe’er they please,
I still must hold my peace,—must yield forsooth!
And who thus counsels me? With prudent zeal.
And thoughtful kindness, who doth urge me thus?
Leonora’s self, Leonora Santivale.
Considerate friend! Ha, ha, I know thee now!
Oh, wherefore did I ever trust her words?
She was not honest, when she utter’d forth
To me her favor and her tenderness,
With honey’d words! No, hers hath ever been
And still remains a crafty heart, she turns
With cautious, prudent step where fortune smiles.
How often have I willingly deceiv’d
Myself, in her! And yet it was in truth
But mine own vanity deluded me!
I knew her, but self-flatter’d, argu’d thus:—
True, she is so towards others, but towards thee
Her heart is honest, her intention pure.
Mine eyes are open now,—alas, too late!
I was in favor—on the favorite
How tenderly she fawn’d! I’m fallen now,
And she, like fortune, turns her back on me.
Yes, now she comes, the agent of my foe,
She glides along, the little artful snake,
Hissing, with slipp’ry tongue, her magic tones.
How gracious seem’d she! More than ever gracious!
How soothingly her honey’d accents flow’d!
Yet could the flattery not long conceal
The false intention; on her brow appear’d
Too legibly inscrib’d the opposite
Of all she utter’d. Quick I am to feel
Whene’er the entrance to my heart is sought
With a dishonest purpose. I should hence!
Should hie to Florence, with convenient speed.
And why to Florence? Ah, I see it all,
There reigns the rising house of Medici;
True, with Ferrara not in open feud,
But secret rivalry, with chilling hand,
Doth hold asunder e’en the noblest hearts.
If from those noble princes I should reap
Distinguish’d marks of favor, as indeed
I may anticipate, the courtier here
Would soon impugn my gratitude and truth;
And would, with easy wile, achieve his purpose.
Yes, I will go, but not as ye desire;
I will away, and farther than ye think.
Why should I linger? Who detains me here?
Too well I understood each several word
That I drew forth from Leonora’s lips!
With anxious heed each syllable I caught;
And now I fully know the princess’ mind—
That too is certain; let me not despair!
“Without reluctance she will let me go,
If it promote my welfare.” Would her heart
Were master’d by a passion that would whelm
Me and my welfare! Oh, more welcome far
The grasp of death than of the frigid hand
That passively resigns me!—Yes, I go!—
Now be upon thy guard, and let no show
Of love or friendship bind thee! None hath power
Now to deceive thee, if not self-deceiv’d.