And sadnessAnd pensiveness blending
1803.*-----COMFORT IN TEARS.
Then the father straightway replied, with eagerness speaking:--"Sensible is your opinion, and true is also the storyWhich you have told us, good mother, for so did ev'rything happen.But what is better is better. 'Tis not the fortune of all menAll their life and existence to find decided beforehand;All are not doom'd to such troubles as we and others have suffer'd.O, how happy is he whose careful father and motherHave a house ready to give him, which he can successfully manage!All beginnings are hard, and most so the landlords profession.Numberless things a man must have, and ev'rything dailyDearer becomes, so he needs to scrape together more money.So I am hoping that you, dear Hermann, will shortly be bringingHome to us a bride possessing an excellent dowry,For a worthy husband deserves a girl who is wealthy,And 'tis a capital thing for the wish'd-for wife to bring with herPlenty of suitable articles stow'd in her baskets and boxes.Not in vain for years does the mother prepare for her daughterStocks of all kinds of linen, both finest and strongest in texture;Not in vain do god-parents give them presents of silver,Or the father lay by in his desk a few pieces of money.For she hereafter will gladden, with all her goods and possessions,That happy youth who is destined from out of all others to choose her.Yes! I know how pleasant it makes a house for a young wife,When she finds her own property placed in the rooms and the kitchen,And when she herself has cover'd the bed and the table.Only well-to-do brides should be seen in a house, I consider,For a poor one is sure at last to be scorn'd by her husband,And he'll deem her a jade who as jade first appear'd with her bundle.Men are always unjust, but moments of love are but transient.Yes, my Hermann, you greatly would cheer the old age of your fatherIf you soon would bring home a daughter-in-law to console me,Out of the neighbourhood too,--yes, out of yon dwelling, the green one!Rich is the man, in truth his trade and his manufacturesMake him daily richer, for when does a merchant not prosper?He has only three daughters; the whole of his wealth they'll inherit.True the eldest's already engaged; but then there's the second,And the third, who still (not for long) may be had for the asking.Had I been in your place, I should not till this time have waited;Bring home one of the girls, as I brought your mother before you.
[This song was intended to be introduced in a dramatic poementitled Mahomet, the plan of which was not carried out byGoethe. He mentions that it was to have been sung by Ali towardsthe end of the piece, in honor of his master, Mahomet, shortlybefore his death, and when at the height of his glory, of whichit is typical.]
"Neighbour," rejoin'd forthwith young Hermann, with emphasis speaking"Altogether I differ, and greatly blame your opinions.Can that man be deem'd worthy, who both in good and ill fortuneThinks alone of himself, and knows not the secret of sharingSorrows and joys with others, and feels no longing to do so?I could more easily now than before determine to marryMany an excellent maiden needs a husband's protection,Many a man a cheerful wife, when sorrow's before him."Smilingly said then the father:--"I'm pleas'd to hear what you're saying,Words of such wisdom have seldom been utter'd by you in my presence.
She may, crowned with roses,With staff twined round with lilies,Roam thro' flow'ry valleys,Rule the butterfly-people,And soft-nourishing dewWith bee-like lipsDrink from the blossom:
Rises the breeze,Then in a moment