AT MIDNIGHT HOUR.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

[Goethe relates that a remarkable situation
he was in one bright moonlight night led to the composition of this
sweet song, which was "the dearer to him because he could not say
whence it came and whither it would."]

AT midnight hour I went, not willingly,

A little, little boy, yon churchyard past,
To Father Vicar's house; the stars on high

On all around their beauteous radiance cast,

At
midnight hour.

And when, in journeying o'er the path of life,

My love I follow'd, as she onward moved,
With stars and northern lights o'er head in strife,

Going and coming, perfect bliss I proved

At
midnight hour.

Until at length the full moon, lustre-fraught,

Burst thro' the gloom wherein she was enshrined;
And then the willing, active, rapid thought

Around the past, as round the future twined,

At
midnight hour.

1818.

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