SING no more in mournful tones
Of the loneliness of night;
For 'tis made, ye beauteous ones,
For all social pleasures bright.
As of old to man a wife
As his better half was given,
So the night is half our life,
And the fairest under heaven.
How can ye enjoy the day,
Which obstructs our rapture's tide?
Let it waste itself away;
Worthless 'tis for aught beside.
But when in the darkling hours
From the lamp soft rays are glowing,
And from mouth to mouth sweet showers,
Now of jest, now love, are flowing,--
When the nimble, wanton boy,
Who so wildly spends his days,
Oft amid light sports with joy
O'er some trifling gift delays,
When the nightingale is singing
Strains the lover holds so dear,
Though like sighs and wailings ringing
In the mournful captive's ear,--
With what heart-emotion blest
Do ye hearken to the bell,
Wont of safety and of rest
With twelve solemn strokes to tell!
Therefore in each heavy hour,
Let this precept fill your heart:
O'er each day will sorrow loud,
Rapture ev'ry night impart.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe