Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: To Luna

SISTER of the earliest light,
Type of loveliness in sorrow,
Silver mists thy radiance borrow,
Even as they cross thy sight.
When thou comest to the sky,
In their dusky hollows waken,
Spirits that are sad, forsaken,
Birds that shun the day, and I.

Looking downward far and wide,
Hidden things thou dost discover.
Luna! help a hapless lover,
Lift him kindly to thy side!
Aided by thy friendly beams,
Let him through the lattice peeping,
Look into the room where, sleeping,
Lies the maiden of his dreams.

Ah, I see her! Now I gaze,
Bending in a trance Elysian,
And I strain my inmost vision,
And I gather all thy rays.
Bright and brighter yet I see
Charms no envious robes encumber;
And she draws me to her slumber
As Endymion once drew thee.


Written around 1768, translation by John Storer Cobb.

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