Dr. Weeks’ Comment: a wise poem, inspirational and calling for courage.
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749 – 1832
Tell no one but the wise,
For philistines are quick to scoff:
What is alive I want to praise,
What longs for death by fire.
In love-nights’ acquiescence,
That begot you, where you begot,
An alien touch is seizing you,
When the calm candlelight shines forth.
No longer are you caught
Obscured by darkness,
And new desire sweeps you
Up toward higher union.
No distance holds you back,
You come flying and spell-bound,
And lastly, craving for the light,
You, butterfly, are burnt.
And so long as you have not got that,
This: Die and be anew!
You are but a troubled guest
On the dark earth.
(translation by Alexander Corvey)