THE FOOL'S EPILOGUE. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
MANY good works I've done and ended, Ye take the praise--I'm not offended; For in the world, I've always thought Each thing its true position hath sought. When praised for foolish deeds am I, I set off laughing heartily; When blamed for doing something good, I take it in an easy mood. If some one stronger gives me hard blows, That it's a jest, I feign to suppose: But if 'tis one that's but my own like, I know the way such folks to strike. When Fortune smiles, I merry grow, And sing in dulci jubilo; When sinks her wheel, and tumbles me o'er, I think 'tis sure to rise once more.
In the sunshine of summer I ne'er lament, Because the winter it cannot prevent; And when the white snow-flakes fall around, I don my skates, and am off with a bound. Though I dissemble as I will, The sun for me will ne'er stand still; The old and wonted course is run, Until the whole of life is done; Each day the servant like the lord, In turns comes home, and goes abroad; If proud or humble the line they take, They all must eat, drink, sleep, and wake. So nothing ever vexes me; Act like the fool, and wise ye'll be!