Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Ha! What is this dance of bliss (from Faust)

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

English version by Ivan M. Granger
Original Language German

Ha! What is this dance of bliss
Cascading through my senses?
I feel new life, holy rapture
Burning through my nerves and veins.
Was it a god who shaped these symbols
Summoning this inner ecstasy,
Filling my impoverished heart with joy,
And revealing, through some mysterious impulse,
Nature's secret sinews
     surrounding me?

Am I a god? I am filled with such light!
In this pure array of emblems I see
Nature's workings laid bare before me.
Only now do I comprehend the sage's wise words:
“The realm of spirit is not barred.
It is your mind that is closed, your heart that is lifeless!
Student, rise without fright,
And bathe your earthly breast
     in the rosy dawn's light!”

As all things, one in one, are woven,
Each in the other works and lives and is whole!
While heavenly beings climb and descend
Passing down their golden pails,
And with their incense-pinioned wings
All heaven and earth are blessed;
They sing in symphony
     through all things!

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