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EFFECTS AT A DISTANCE.

Written by: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Biography
 | Quotes (340) |
 THE queen in the lofty hall takes her place,

The tapers around her are flaming;
She speaks to the page: "With a nimble pace

Go, fetch me my purse for gaming.

'Tis lying, I'll pledge,

On my table's edge."
Each nerve the nimble boy straineth,
And the end of the castle soon gaineth.

The fairest of maidens was sipping sherbet

Beside the queen that minute;
Near her mouth broke the cup,--and she got so wet!

The very devil seem'd in it

What fearful distress

'Tis spoilt, her gay dress.
She hastens, and ev'ry nerve straineth,
And the end of the castle soon gaineth.

The boy was returning, and quickly came,

And met the sorrowing maiden;
None knew of the fact,--and yet with Love's flame,

Those two had their hearts full laden.

And, oh the bliss

Of a moment like this!
Each falls on the breast of the other,
With kisses that well nigh might smother.

They tear themselves asunder at last,

To her chamber she hastens quickly,
To reach the queen the page hies him fast,

Midst the swords and the fans crowded thickly.

The queen spied amain

On his waistcoat a stain;
For nought was inscrutable to her,
Like Sheba's queen--Solomon's wooer.

To her chief attendant she forthwith cried

"We lately together contended,
And thou didst assert, with obstinate pride,

That the spirit through space never wended,--

That traces alone

By the present were shown,--
That afar nought was fashion'd--not even
By the stars that illumine you heaven.

"Now see! while a goblet beside me they drain'd,

They spilt all the drink in the chalice;
And straightway the boy had his waistcoat stain'd

At the furthermost end of the palace.--

Let them newly be clad!

And since I am glad
That it served as a proof so decided,
The cost will by me be provided."

1808.



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