WHY pacest thou, my neighbour fair,
The garden all alone?
If house and land thou seek'st to guard,
I'd thee as mistress own.
My brother sought the cellar-maid,
And suffered her no rest;
She gave him a refreshing draught,
A kiss, too, she impress'd.
My cousin is a prudent wight,
The cook's by him ador'd;
He turns the spit round ceaselessly,
To gain love's sweet reward.
We six together then began
A banquet to consume,
When lo! a fourth pair singing came,
And danced into the room.
Welcome were they,--and welcome too
Was a fifth jovial pair.
Brimful of news, and stored with tales
And jests both new and rare.
For riddles, spirit, raillery,
And wit, a place remain'd;
A sixth pair then our circle join'd,
And so that prize was gain'd.
And yet to make us truly blest,
One miss'd we, and full sore;
A true and tender couple came,--
We needed them no more.
The social banquet now goes on,
Unchequer'd by alloy;
The sacred double-numbers then
Let us at once enjoy!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe