PRESERVATION. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
My maiden she proved false to me;
To hate all joys I soon began,
Then to a flowing stream I ran,--
The stream ran past me hastily.
There stood I fix'd, in mute despair;
My head swam round as in a dream;
I well-nigh fell into the stream,
And earth seem'd with me whirling there.
Sudden I heard a voice that cried--
I had just turn'd my face from thence--
It was a voice to charm each sense:
"Beware, for deep is yonder tide!"
A thrill my blood pervaded now,
I look'd and saw a beauteous maid
I asked her name--twas Kate, she said--
"Oh lovely Kate! how kind art thou!
"From death I have been sav'd by thee,
'Tis through thee only that I live;
Little 'twere life alone to give,
My joy in life then deign to be!"
And then I told my sorrows o'er,
Her eyes to earth she sweetly threw;
I kiss'd her, and she kiss'd me too,
And--then I talked of death no more.