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     Literature Goethe: Faust V. Some verses

Exercise: Goethe, Faust

  V. Some verses

30) ... Ach! wenn ich nicht auf dieser Stelle bleibe ...

  Ach wenn ich nicht auf dieser Stelle bleibe,
Wenn ich es wage, nah zu gehn,
Kann ich sie nur als wie im Nebel sehn!-
  Alas! If from this spot I dare
But stir, or if I venture to go near,
Then dim as through a mist doth she appear!

The woman he sees in the mirror is more beautiful, if seen from far. The moment he approaches the magical mirror the image becomes dim. In these verses one could see a demonstration of the fact that in the moment of happiness one cannot feel the total happiness. On the other hand we know that there are only few poems of love that describe a woman like a real one. Dante Alighieri never spoke to Beatrice and Stefan George wrote these verses about a woman that appeared and disappeared.

Im Windesweben war meine Frage nur Träumerei.
Nur Lächeln war was du gegeben.
Aus nasser Nacht ein Glanz entfacht -
Nun drängt der Mai, nun muß ich gar
um dein Aug' und Haar alle Tage in Sehnen leben.
In the weavering of the wind my question was only a dream
Only a smile that you have given.
A gleamor made from a night full of humidity -
Now May is coming, now I must
live in longing for your eye and for your hair.