[This song was intended to be introduced in a dramatic poem entitled Mahomet, the plan of which was not carried out by Goethe. He mentions that it was to have been sung by Ali towards the end of the piece, in honor of his master, Mahomet, shortly before his death, and when at the height of his glory, of which it is typical.]
SEE the rock-born stream! Like the gleam Of a star so bright Kindly spirits High above the clouds Nourished him while youthful In the copse between the cliffs.
Young and fresh. From the clouds he danceth Down upon the marble rocks; Then tow'rd heaven Leaps exulting.
Through the mountain-passes Chaseth he the colour'd pebbles, And, advancing like a chief, Tears his brother streamlets with him In his course.
In the valley down below 'Neath his footsteps spring the flowers, And the meadow In his breath finds life.
Yet no shady vale can stay him, Nor can flowers, Round his knees all-softly twining With their loving eyes detain him; To the plain his course he taketh, Serpent-winding,
Social streamlets Join his waters. And now moves he O'er the plain in silv'ry glory, And the plain in him exults, And the rivers from the plain, And the streamlets from the mountain, Shout with joy, exclaiming: "Brother, Brother, take thy brethren with thee, With thee to thine aged father, To the everlasting ocean, Who, with arms outstretching far, Waiteth for us; Ah, in vain those arms lie open To embrace his yearning children; For the thirsty sand consumes us In the desert waste; the sunbeams Drink our life-blood; hills around us Into lakes would dam us! Brother, Take thy brethren of the plain, Take thy brethren of the mountain With thee, to thy father's arms!
Let all come, then!-- And now swells he Lordlier still; yea, e'en a people Bears his regal flood on high! And in triumph onward rolling, Names to countries gives he,--cities Spring to light beneath his foot.
Ever, ever, on he rushes, Leaves the towers' flame-tipp'd summits, Marble palaces, the offspring Of his fullness, far behind.
Cedar-houses bears the Atlas On his giant shoulders; flutt'ring In the breeze far, far above him Thousand flags are gaily floating, Bearing witness to his might.
And so beareth he his brethren, All his treasures, all his children, Wildly shouting, to the bosom Of his long-expectant sire.