Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Aug. 28, 1749 - Mar. 22, 1832


The Violet

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A violet blossom'd on the lea,
Half hidden from the eye,
As fair a flower as you might see;
When there came tripping by
A shepherd maiden fair and young,
Lightly, lightly o'er the lea;
Care she knew not, and she sung Merrily!

O were I but the fairest flower,
That blossoms on the lea;
If only for one little hour,
That she might gather me
Clasp me in her bonny breast!

Thought the little flower.
O that in it I might rest
But an hour!

Lack-a-day! Up came the lass,
Heeded not the violet;
Trod it down into the grass;
Though it died,'twas happy yet.
Trodden down although I lie,
Yet my death is very sweet --
O the happiness to die
At her feet!


Poems And Ballads Of Goethe
Copyright 1859
William Edmondstoune Aytoun, D.C.L. ("A.")
and Theodore Martin ("M.")
Delisser & Procter
508 Broadway, New York