Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Friendly Meeting

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IN spreading mantle to my chin concealed,
I trod the rocky path, so steep and grey,
Then to the wintry plain I bent my way
Uneasily, to flight my bosom steel'd.
But sudden was the newborn day reveal'd:
A maiden came, in heavenly bright array,
Like the fair creatures of the poet's lay
In realms of song. My yearning heart was heal'd.
Yet turn'd I thence, till she had onward pass'd,
While closer still the folds to draw I tried,
As though with heat self-kindled to grow warm;
But follow'd her. She stood. The die was cast!
No more within my mantle could I hide;
I threw it off,--she lay within mine arm.

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe