Rivers and streams are freed from ice
By Spring’s sweet enlivening glance.
Valleys, green with Hope’s happiness,
Old Winter, in his weakness, sighs,
Withdrawing to the harsh mountains.
From there, retreating, he sends down
Impotent showers of hail that show
In stripes across the quickening ground.
But the sun allows nothing white below,
Change and growth are everywhere,
He enlivens all with his colours there,
And lacking flowers of the fields outspread,
He takes these gaudy people instead.
Turn round, and from this mountain height,
Look down, where the town’s in sight.
That cavernous, dark gate,
The colourful crowd penetrate,
All will take the sun today,
The Risen Lord they’ll celebrate,
And feel they are resurrected,
From low houses, dully made,
From work, where they’re constricted,
From the roofs’ and gables’ weight,
From the crush of narrow streets,
From the churches’ solemn night
They’re all brought to the light.
Look now: see! The crowds, their feet
Crushing the gardens and meadows,
While on the river a cheerful fleet
Of little boats, everywhere it flows.
And over-laden, ready to sink,
The last barge takes to the stream.
From far off on the mountain’s brink,
All the bright clothing gleams.
I hear the noise from the village risen,
Here is the people’s true Heaven,
High and low shout happily:
Here I am Man: here, dare to be!
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-
Poem from Faust, the tragedy, first part
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