Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “At Midnight”

At Midnight

At midnight, I went out, a kid far from glad
To walk across the fields where stone graves lie
To the house that my father, the pastor, had
As stars shone almost too beautifully in the sky
At midnight

And when, years later, I went even farther for
The woman I loved (it was she I had to see!)
I saw the same stars and northern lights at war
And as I walked, ecstasy overflowed in me
At midnight

And now, as an old man, the moon has cut to my core
Bringing courage and light to the darkness at last
And my thoughts leap up now, as never before
To embrace the future as well as the past
At midnight

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Translated from German by Paul Weinfield, © 2014

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