Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

The Legend Of The Horseshoe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749 (Frankfurt) – 1832 (Weimar)

WHAT time our Lord still walk'd the earth,
Unknown, despised, of humble birth,
And on Him many a youth attended
(His words they seldom comprehended),
It ever seem'd to Him most meet
To hold His court in open street,
As under heaven's broad canopy
One speaks with greater liberty.
The teachings of His blessed word
From out His holy mouth were heard;
Each market to a fane turn'd He
With parable and simile.

One day, as tow'rd a town He roved,
In peace of mind with those He loved,
Upon the path a something gleam'd;
A broken horseshoe 'twas, it seem'd.
So to St. Peter thus He spake:
"That piece of iron prythee take!"
St. Peter's thoughts had gone astray,--
He had been musing on his way
Respecting the world's government,
A dream that always gives content,
For in the head 'tis check'd by nought;
This ever was his dearest thought,
For him this prize was far too mean
Had it a crown and sceptre been!
But, surely, 'twasn't worth the trouble
For half a horseshoe to bend double!
And so he turn'd away his head,
As if he heard not what was said,

The Lord, forbearing tow'rd all men,
Himself pick'd up the horseshoe then
(He ne'er again like this stoop'd down).
And when at length they reach'd the town,
Before a smithy He remain'd,
And there a penny for 't obtain'd.
As they the market-place went by,
Some beauteous cherries caught His eye:
Accordingly He bought as many
As could be purchased for a penny,
And then, as oft His wont had been,
Placed them within His sleeve unseen.

They went out by another gate,
O'er plains and fields proceeding straight,
No house or tree was near the spot,
The sun was bright, the day was hot;
In short, the weather being such,
A draught of water was worth much.
The Lord walk'd on before them all,
And let, unseen, a cherry fall.
St. Peter rush'd to seize it hold,
As though an apple 'twere of gold;
His palate much approv'd the berry;
The Lord ere long another cherry
Once more let fall upon the plain;
St. Peter forthwith stoop'd again.
The Lord kept making him thus bend
To pick up cherries without end.
For a long time the thing went on;
The Lord then said, in cheerful tone:
"Had'st thou but moved when thou wert bid,
Thou of this trouble had'st been rid;
The man who small things scorns, will next,
By things still smaller be perplex'd."

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:15 min read
34 Views

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

All Johann Wolfgang von Goethe poems | Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Books

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Discuss this Johann Wolfgang von Goethe poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Legend Of The Horseshoe" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/21838/the-legend-of-the-horseshoe>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    The way the lines look on the page is known as ________.
    • A. Paragraph
    • B. Form
    • C. Line
    • D. Stanza

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »
    Poetry.com

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.