By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation from German (Deutsch) to English By Emily Ezust
Behold this rocky spring,
bright with joy
like a twinkling star;
above the clouds
its youth was nourished
by good spirits
among the cliffs in the bushes.
Fresh as a youth
it dances out of the cloud
down to the marble rocks,
to the sky.
Along mountainous paths
it chases after colorful pebbles,
and with the step of a young leader
its companion-springs journey
with it onward.
Below in the valley
flowers appear from its footprints,
and the meadow
derives life from its breath.
But no shaded valley can stop it,
clasping its knees
and imploring it with loving eyes:
toward the Plains it presses its course,
twisting like a snake.
Brooks nuzzle up
sociably. Now it treads
into the Plain, resplendent with silver,
and the Plain grows silver too,
and the rivers of the Plain
and the brooks of the mountains
cheer and shout: "Brother!
Brother, take your brothers with,
take them with you to your ancient father,
to the eternal ocean,
whose outstretched arms
who, ah! has opened them in vain
to embrace his yearning children;
for the bleak wasteland's
greedy sand devours us; the sun above
sucks up all our blood; a hill
clogs us into a pool! Brother,
take your brothers from this Plain,
take your brothers from the mountains,
take them with you to your ancient father!
Come all of you! -
and now [the spring] swells
more grandly: an entire race
lifts the prince up high!
And in rolling triumph
it gives names to the lands and cities
that grow in its path.
Irresistibly it rushes onward,
leaving a wake of flaming-tipped towers
and houses of marble - creations
of its bounty.
Like Atlas it bears cedar houses
upon its giant's shoulders;
over its head, the wind noisily
blows a thousand flags
as testimony of its glory.
And so it brings its brothers,
its treasures, its children,
effervescent with joy,
to the waiting parent's bosom.
Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust
(With permission from Emily Ezust)