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Poets and Poetry, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The Fisherman

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Main Page | an Impressive Goethe Poetry Sampler | Thought Provoking Quotes by Goethe | Goethe : One of the Giants of World Literature | Goethe's Extremely Happy Childhood | Literary and Social Duties -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Goethe Takes Refuge in Nature | Goethe's Relation to the Romantics | Mr. Goethe's Epistolary Style, Social Conduct | Goethe's Introspection and Religious Mysticism | Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : Books and Reviews | Katharena's Essential Goethe, Ground Zero!

The water washed, the water rose;
A fellow fishing sat
And watched his bobbin coolly drift,
His blood was cool as that.
A while he sits, a while he harks
---Like silk the ripples tear,
And up in swirls of foam arose
A girl with dripping hair.

She sang to him, she spoke to him:
"Cajole my minnows so
With lore of men, with lure of men,
To death's unholy glow?
If you could know my silver kin,
What cozy hours they passed,
You'd settle under, clothes and all
---A happy life at last.

"The sun, it likes to bathe and bathe;
The moon---now doesn't she?
And don't they both, to breathe the wave,
Look up more brilliantly?
You're not allured by lakes of sky,
More glorious glossy blue?
Not by your very face transformed
In this eternal dew?"

The water washed, the water rose;
It lapped his naked toe,
As longing for the one he loved
He yearned to sink below.
She spoke to him, she sang to him;
The fellow, done for then,
Half yielded too as half she drew,
Was never seen again.

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