Third Ode.

A poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Be void of feeling!
A heart that soon is stirr'd,
Is a possession sad
Upon this changing earth.

Behrisch, let spring's sweet smile
Never gladden thy brow!
Then winter's gloomy tempests
Never will shadow it o'er.

Lean thyself ne'er on a maiden's
Sorrow-engendering breast.
Ne'er on the arm,
Misery-fraught, of a friend.

Already envy
From out his rocky ambush
Upon thee turns
The force of his lynx-like eyes,

Stretches his talons,
On thee falls,
In thy shoulders
Cunningly plants them.

Strong are his skinny arms,
As panther-claws;
He shaketh thee,
And rends thy frame.

Death 'tis to part,
'Tis threefold death
To part, not hoping
Ever to meet again.

Thou wouldst rejoice to leave
This hated land behind,
Wert thou not chain'd to me
With friendships flowery chains.

Burst them! I'll not repine.
No noble friend
Would stay his fellow-captive,
If means of flight appear.

The remembrance
Of his dear friend's freedom
Gives him freedom
In his dungeon.

Thou go'st, I'm left.
But e'en already
The last year's winged spokes
Whirl round the smoking axle.

I number the turns
Of the thundering wheel;
The last one I bless.
Each bar then is broken, I'm free then as thou!

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