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A village Chorus is supposed to be assembled, and about to
commence its festive procession.

[Written for the birthday of the Duchess Louisa of Weimar.]


THE festal day hail ye

With garlands of pleasure,

And dances' soft measure,
With rapture commingled
And sweet choral song.


Oh, how I yearn from out the crowd to flee!
What joy a secret glade would give to me!
Amid the throng, the turmoil here,
Confined the plain, the breezes e'en appear.


Now order it truly,
That ev'ry one duly
May roam and may wander,
Now here, and now yonder,

The meadows along.

[The Chorus retreats gradually, and the song becomes fainter and
fainter, till it dies away in the distance.]


In vain ye call, in vain would lure me on;
True my heart speaks,--but with itself alone.

And if I may view

 A blessing-fraught land,

The heaven's clear blue,

And the plain's verdant hue,

Alone I'll rejoice,

Undisturbed by man's voice.

And there I'll pay homage

 To womanly merit,

 Observe it in spirit,

In spirit pay homage;

To echo alone

Shall my secret be known.


[Faintly mingling with Damon's song in the distance.]

To echo--alone--

Shall my secret--be known.--


My friend, why meet I here with thee?

Thou hast'nest not to join the festal throng?
No longer stay, but come with me,

And mingle in the dance and song.


Thou'rt welcome, friend! but suffer me to roam

Where these old beeches hide me from man's view:
Love seeks in solitude a home,

And homage may retreat there too.


Thou seekest here a spurious fame,

And hast a mind to-day to grieve me.
Love as thy portion thou mayst claim

But homage thou must share with all, believe me!

When their voices thousands raise,
And the dawn of morning praise,

 Rapture bringing,

 Blithely singing

  On before us,
Heart and ear in pleasure vie;

 And when thousands join in chorus,

With the feelings brightly glowing,

And the wishes overflowing,
Forcibly they'll bear thee high.

[The Chorus gradually approaches, from the distance.]


Distant strains are hither wending,

And I'm gladden'd by the throng;
Yes, they're coming,--yes, descending

To the valley from the height,


Let us haste, our footsteps blending

With the rhythm of the song!
Yes, they come; their course they're bending

Tow'rd the wood's green sward so bright.

[Gradually becoming louder.]

Yes, we hither come, attending

With the harmony of song,
As the hours their race are ending

On this day of blest delight.


Let none reveal
The thoughts we feel,
The aims we own!
Let joy alone

Disclose the story!
She'll prove it right
And her delight

Includes the glory,
Includes the bliss
Of days like this!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:25 min read

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and politician. more…

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