Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832 / Frankfurt am Main)

Threatening Signs - Poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

IF Venus in the evening sky
Is seen in radiant majesty,
If rod-like comets, red as blood,
Are 'mongst the constellations view'd,
Out springs the Ignoramus, yelling:
"The star's exactly o'er my dwelling!
What woeful prospect, ah, for me!
Then calls his neighbour mournfully:
"Behold that awful sign of evil,
Portending woe to me, poor devil!
My mother's asthma ne'er will leave her,
My child is sick with wind and fever;
I dread the illness of my wife,
A week has pass'd, devoid of strife,--
And other things have reach'd my ear;
The Judgment Day has come, I fear!"

His neighbour answered: "Friend, you're right!
Matters look very had to-night.
Let's go a street or two, though, hence,
And gaze upon the stars from thence."--
No change appears in either case.
Let each remain then in his place,
And wisely do the best he can,
Patient as any other man.


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Read poems about / on: sick, evil, star, change, child, friend, mother, red, fear, wind, sky, night, spring, children



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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