To Minna.

A poem by Friedrich Schiller

Do I dream? can I trust to my eye?
My sight sure some vapor must cover?
Or, there, did my Minna pass by
My Minna and knew not her lover?
On the arm of the coxcomb she crossed,
Well the fan might its zephyr bestow;
Herself in her vanity lost,
That wanton my Minna? Ah, no!

In the gifts of my love she was dressed,
My plumes o'er her summer hat quiver;
The ribbons that flaunt in her breast
Might bid her remember the giver!
And still do they bloom on thy bosom,
The flowerets I gathered for thee!
Still as fresh is the leaf of each blossom,
'Tis the heart that has faded from me!

Go and take, then, the incense they tender;
Go, the one that adored thee forget!
Go, thy charms to the feigner surrender,
In my scorn is my comforter yet!
Go, for thee with what trust and belief
There beat not ignobly a heart
That has strength yet to strive with the grief
To have worshipped the trifler thou art!

Thy beauty thy heart hath betrayed
Thy beauty shame, Minna, to thee!
To-morrow its glory will fade,
And its roses all withered will be!
The swallows that swarm in the sun
Will fly when the north winds awaken,
The false ones thine autumn will shun,
For whom thou the true hast forsaken!

'Mid the wrecks of the charms in December,
I see thee alone in decay,
And each spring shall but bid thee remember
How brief for thyself was the May!
Then they who so wantonly flock
To the rapture thy kiss can impart,
Shall scoff at thy winter, and mock
Thy beauty as wrecked as thy heart!

Thy beauty thy heart hath betrayed
Thy beauty shame, Minna, to thee
To-morrow its glory will fade
And its roses all withered will be!
O, what scorn for thy desolate years
Shall I feel! God forbid it in me!
How bitter will then be the tears
Shed, Minna, O Minna, for thee!

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