Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1749, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was tutored extensively in languages as a child. ...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Farewell

 
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring

To break one's word is pleasure–fraught,

To do one's duty gives a smart;
While man, alas! will promise nought,

That is repugnant to his heart.

Using some magic strains of yore,

Thou lurest him, when scarcely calm,
On to sweet folly's fragile bark once more,

Renewing, doubling chance of harm.

Why seek to hide thyself from me?

Fly not my sight—be open then!

Known late or early it must be,

And here thou hast thy word again.

My duty is fulfill'd to–day,

No longer will I guard thee from surprise;
But, oh, forgive the friend who from thee turns away,

And to himself for refuge flies!



Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.