“The Holy Longing” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tell a wise person or else keep silent
For the massman will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive
And what longs to be burned to death.
In the calm waters of the nights of love
Where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
A strange feeling comes over you
When you see the silent candle burning.
Now you are no longer caught
In this obsession with darkness
And a desire for higher love-making sweeps you up.
Distance does not make you falter.
And now, arriving in wonder, flying,
And, finally, insane for the light,
You are the butterfly,
And you are gone.
And so long as you haven’t
Experienced this—to die
And so to grow—you are only
Another troubled guest darkening the earth.