Jul 072014
 

sylvie    An anguish’d heart whose loss hath been so great?
Where are the hours that fled so swiftly by?

In vain the fairest thou didst gain from fate;
Sad is the soul, confused the enterprise;

The glorious world, how on the sense it dies!

In million tones entwined for evermore,

Music with angel-pinions hovers there,
To pierce man’s being to its inmost core,

Eternal beauty has its fruit to bear;
The eye grows moist, in yearnings blest reveres
The godlike worth of music as of tears.

And so the lighten’d heart soon learns to see

That it still lives, and beats, and ought to beat,
Off’ring itself with joy and willingly,

In grateful payment for a gift so sweet.
And then was felt, oh may it constant prove!
The twofold bliss of music and of love.

Goethe, Atonement

Dec 252012
 

He feels anew the faith of all on earth,
The power of salvation streaming thence;
But as he looks, he feels his very soul
Pervaded by a new and unknown sense:
Who added to the cross the wreath of roses?
It is entwined by blooming clusters dense,
Profusely spreading just as though they could
Endow with softness e’en the rigid wood.

While light and silv’ry clouds, around it soaring,
Seem heavenward with cross and roses flowing,
And from the midst like living waters streaming
A threefold ray from out one core is glowing;
But not a word surrounds the holy token,
The meaning of the symbol clearly showing.
And while the dusk is gath’ring grey and greyer,
He stands and ponders and is lost in prayer.

At last he knocks. The myriad stars above him
Look down with shining eyes as they appear.
The portal opes, and he is bidden welcome
By brethren wont to comfort and to cheer.
So he relates how far by hill and valley
The will of higher Beings led him here.
They stand amazed, for well they see their guest
Was sent to them by heavenly behest.

They crowd around him, and their inmost being
They feel by a mysterious power stirred,
Their breath they hold to listen, for he rouses
An echo in their hearts with ev’ry word.
Like deepest lore, yet uttered by a child,
The wisdom flowing from his lips is heard:
He seems so innocent, like crystal clear,
As though descended from another sphere.

The Mysteries, Goethe

Oct 132010
 

He saw raised up majestically the sign

That brings hope and comfort to all human souls,

The sign to which many thousand hearts ardently confess –

The sign that overcame the power of bitter death

Fluttering in so many victorious flags:

A refreshing stream filled his heavy limbs

He saw the Cross and dropped his eyes.

He felt again the salvation that sprang from thence,

He felt the faith of half the earth;

But, as he saw the image before his eye,

He felt himself inspired by new, unknown meaning –

The Cross stood densely hung about with roses!

Who added  the roses to the Cross?

The garland of roses swelled, spread on all sides

To surround the hard wood with softness.

Light, silvery clouds soared,

Rose upward with Cross and roses,

And from the centre sprang holy life –

A threefold ray from a single point.

But not a word surrounded the image

To give the mystery sense and clarity.

In the gathering dusk growing grey and greyer,

The pilgrim stood, pondered, and felt himself raised up.

Goethe, The Mysteries

May 082010
 

I have made a wonderful song for you –

Hear it gladly! Call everyone to listen!

The way leads you through mountains and valleys.

Now your view is restricted, now it is free again.

If the path gently disappears into the bushes,

Don’t think it’s a mistake –

When the time is right, when we have climbed enough,

We shall approach our goal.

Let no one think, no matter how deeply they reflect,

That they will unravel all the wonders hidden here.

Nevertheless, many people will gain many things on this way

For Mother Earth produces many flowers.

Some may  leave with downcast eyes,

But others, with cheerful gestures, will stay:

This way will bring everyone a different pleasure.

For the spring flows for many pilgrims.

Goethe, The Mysteries