Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Song of the Harper

WHO never ate his bread in tears,
Who never through the mournful night
Sat weeping on his bed with fears—
He knows not, heavenly powers, your might!

You plunge him into life amain,
You lead him into sin from dearth,
Then leave the poor man to his pain—
For all sin is revenged on earth.


From Wilhelm Meister (1795). Translation by Margarete Münsterberg, first published 1916.

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