From the Chinese-German Book of Hours and Seasons
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
White as lilies, purest candles
Like the stars, now gently bowing,
Red-rimmed from their hearts’ centres
Radiance of affection glowing.
So the earliest Narcissi
Flower in garden rows, and maybe
In their goodness they know why
And for whom they’re neatly waiting.
Twilight sinks down from above us,
Swiftly all the near is far:
But first shining high above us
Radiant is the evening star!
Everything is drifting vaguely,
Mist steals upwards to the height:
And the still lake mirrors darkly
Black abysses of the night.
Now in all the eastern distance
I suspect moon’s gleam and glow,
Slender willow’s trailing branches
Dally with the neighbouring flow.
Through the play of moving shadows
Trembling lunar magic shines,
And a soothing coolness follows,
To the heart now, through the eyes.