THE Poems composed by Goethe under this title are five innumber, of which three are here given. The other two are entirelypersonal in their allusions, and not of general interest. One ofthem is a Requiem on the Prince de Ligne, who died in 1814, andwhom Goethe calls "the happiest man of the century," and theother was composed in honour of the 70th birthday of his friendZelter the composer, when Goethe was himself more than 79 (1828).The following sweet aria introduced in the latter is, however,worth giving:--
For ye're saying something sweet,
And appears as though full sore afraid.
Whom we for ages know!
Oft have I wish'd to possess some stich a trinket as that."There I remain'd, and ask'd, as merchants are wont, with precision
All the seven planets open throw
MILLER'S DAUGHTER.Father's meadows and land
How each pail he bears
THE Poems comprised in this collection are written in thePersian style, and are greatly admired by Oriental scholars, forthe truthfulness with which the Eastern spirit of poetry isreproduced by the Western minstrel. They were chiefly composedbetween the years 1814 and 1819, and first given to the world inthe latter year. Of the twelve books into which they are divided,that of Suleika will probably be considered the best, from themany graceful love-songs which it contains. The following isHanoi's account of the Divan, and may well serve as a substitutefor anything I could say respecting it:--
If thou shouldst greater scruples show.
We to her presence flew, that lay to sing.
And, by her wiles alluring, ledTo join the gentle company,Until as tame as they was he:(Up to a certain point, be't understood!)How fair, and, ah, how goodShe seem'd to be! I would have drain'd my bloodTo water e'en her flow'rets sweet.
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