Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
The Maiden Speaks
By Johann Wofgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
 
Translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring

HOW grave thou lookest, loved one,—wherefore so?
  Thy marble image seems a type of thee;—
  Like it, no sign of life thou giv’st to me;
Compared with thee, the stone appears to glow.
 
Behind his shield in ambush lurks the foe,        5
  The friend’s brow all-unruffled should we see:
  I seek thee, but thou seek’st away to flee;—
Fixed as this sculptured figure, learn to grow!
 
Tell me, to which should I the preference pay?
  Must I from both with coldness meet alone?        10
  This one is lifeless, thou with life art blest.
 
In short, no longer to throw words away,
  I’ll fondly kiss, and kiss, and kiss this stone,
  Till thou dost tear me hence with envious breast.
 
 
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