The Goldsmith's Apprentice

My neighbour, none can e'er deny,

Is a most beauteous maid;
Her shop is ever in mine eye,

When working at my trade.

To ring and chain I hammer then

The wire of gold assay'd,
And think the while: "For Kate, oh when

Will such a ring be made?"

And when she takes her shutters down,

Her shop at once invade,
To buy and haggle, all the town,

For all that's there displayd.

I file, and maybe overfile

The wire of gold assay'd;
My master grumbles all the while,--

Her shop the mischief made.

To ply her wheel she straight begins,

When not engaged in trade;
I know full well for what she spins,--

'Tis hope guides that dear maid.

Her leg, while her small foot treads on,

Is in my mind portray'd;
Her garter I recall anon,--

I gave it that dear maid.

Then to her lips the finest thread

Is by her hand convey'd.
Were I there only in its stead,

How I would kiss the maid!


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1808



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2008 Selected Poetry
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