Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paean to Enemies

WHEN through the nations stalks contagion wild,

We from them cautiously should steal away.

E'en I have oft with ling'ring and delay
Shunn'd many an influence, not to be defil'd.

And e'en though Amor oft my hours beguil'd,

At length with him preferr'd I not to play,

And so, too, with the wretched sons of clay,
When four and three-lined verses they compil'd.

But punishment pursues the scoffer straight,

As if by serpent-torch of furies led

From bill to vale, from land to sea to fly.

I hear the genie's laughter at my fate;

Yet do I find all power of thinking fled

In sonnet-rage and love's fierce ecstasy.
-Goethe (1807-8)

3 comments:

Always On Watch said...

WHEN through the nations stalks contagion wild,

We from them cautiously should steal away.

E'en I have oft with ling'ring and delay
Shunn'd many an influence, not to be defil'd.


Sounds like a condemnation of all the vitriolic politics -- particularly on this morning after the VP debate.

PS: Turtles rule! I have a particular fondness for tortoises, and they for me.

PPS: Have you seen these offerings? Mr. AOW and I plan to attend one of them. He may not enjoy himself, but I bought two tickets anyway. And, if Mr. AOW decides to go, we can go into town via MetroAccess.

-FJ said...

Yes, I have lost my appetite for electioneering, and no, I had no idea that such a resource was available so close by. Thanks for sharing that! I've always been a big fan of the bard, and Emerson, who apparently inspired the founder to amass his collection.

Always On Watch said...

I thought you might be interested in the link.

Somehow, I got on the mailing list this year. I'm glad, for once, to be on a mailing list.