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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 46 / 106





46 / 106

The Sorrows ofYoung Werther

ing senses. I am sometimes unconscious whether I really ex- ist. If in such moments I find no sympathy, and Charlotte does not allow me to enjoy the melancholy consolation of bathing her hand with my tears, I feel compelled to tear my-

ing her. I must away. She has returned to town, and is at the house of a friend. And then, Albert—yes, I must go.


self from her, when I either wander through the country, climb some precipitous cliff, or force a path through the trackless thicket, where I am lacerated and torn by thorns and briers; and thence I find relief. Sometimes I lie stretched on the ground, overcome with fatigue and dying with thirst; some- times, late in the night, when the moon shines above me, I recline against an aged tree in some sequestered forest, to rest my weary limbs, when, exhausted and worn, I sleep till break of day. O Wilhelm! the hermit’s cell, his sackcloth, and girdle

of thorns would be luxury and indulgence compared with what I suffer. Adieu! I see no end to this wretchedness except the grave.


I MUST AWAY. Thank you, Wilhelm, for determining my wa- vering purpose. For a whole fortnight I have thought of leav-

OH, WHAT A NIGHT, Wilhelm! I can henceforth bear anything. I shall never see her again. Oh, why cannot I fall on your neck, and, with floods of tears and raptures, give utterance to all the passions which distract my heart! Here I sit gasping for breath, and struggling to compose myself. I wait for day, and at sunrise the horses are to be at the door.

And she is sleeping calmly, little suspecting that she has seen me for the last time. I am free. I have had the courage, in an interview of two hours’ duration, not to betray my inten- tion. And O Wilhelm, what a conversation it was!

Albert had promised to come to Charlotte in the garden immediately after supper. I was upon the terrace under the tall chestnut trees, and watched the setting sun. I saw him sink for the last time beneath this delightful valley and silent stream. I had often visited the same spot with Charlotte, and witnessed that glorious sight; and now—I was walking up


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