Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

To My Friend - Ode I - Poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

TRANSPLANT the beauteous tree!
Gardener, it gives me pain;
A happier resting-place
Its trunk deserved.

Yet the strength of its nature
To Earth's exhausting avarice,
To Air's destructive inroads,
An antidote opposed.

See how it in springtime
Coins its pale green leaves!
Their orange-fragrance
Poisons each flyblow straight.

The caterpillar's tooth
Is blunted by them;
With silv'ry hues they gleam
In the bright sunshine,

Its twigs the maiden
Fain would twine in
Her bridal-garland;
Youths its fruit are seeking.

See, the autumn cometh!
The caterpillar
Sighs to the crafty spider,--
Sighs that the tree will not fade.

Hov'ring thither
From out her yew-tree dwelling,
The gaudy foe advances
Against the kindly tree,

And cannot hurt it,
But the more artful one
Defiles with nauseous venom
Its silver leaves;

And sees with triumph
How the maiden shudders,
The youth, how mourns he,
On passing by.

Transplant the beauteous tree!
Gardener, it gives me pain;
Tree, thank the gardener
Who moves thee hence!


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Read poems about / on: tree, sunshine, autumn, pain, strength, silver, nature, green, friend, ode, thanks



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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