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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 92 / 106





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The Sorrows ofYoung Werther

deny herself; and, as he entered, she exclaimed, with a sort of ill concealed confusion, “You have not kept your word!” “I promised nothing,” he answered. “But you should have com- plied, at least for my sake,” she continued. “I implore you, for both our sakes.”

She scarcely knew what she said or did; and sent for some friends, who, by their presence, might prevent her being left alone with Werther. He put down some books he had brought with him, then made inquiries about some others, until she began to hope that her friends might arrive shortly, entertain- ing at the same time a desire that they might stay away.

At one moment she felt anxious that the servant should remain in the adjoining room, then she changed her mind. Werther, meanwhile, walked impatiently up and down. She went to the piano, and determined not to retire. She then collected her thoughts, and sat down quietly at Werther’s side, who had taken his usual place on the sofa.

“Have you brought nothing to read?” she inquired. He had nothing. “There in my drawer,” she continued, “you will find

your own translation of some of the songs of Ossian. I have not yet read them, as I have still hoped to hear you recite

them; but, for some time past, I have not been able to ac- complish such a wish.” He smiled, and went for the manu- script, which he took with a shudder. He sat down; and, with eyes full of tears, he began to read.

“Star of descending night! fair is thy light in the west! thou liftest thy unshorn head from thy cloud; thy steps are stately on thy hill. What dost thou behold in the plain? The stormy winds are laid. The murmur of the torrent comes from afar. Roaring waves climb the distant rock. The flies of evening are on their feeble wings: the hum of their course is on the field. What dost thou behold, fair light? But thou dost smile and depart.The waves come with joy around thee: they bathe thy lovely hair. Farewell, thou silent beam! Let the light of Ossian’s soul arise!

“And it does arise in its strength! I behold my departed friends. Their gathering is on Lora, as in the days of other years. Fingal comes like a watery column of mist! his heroes are around: and see the bards of song, gray-haired Ullin! stately Ryno! Alpin with the tuneful voice: the soft complaint of Minona! How are ye changed, my friends, since the days of Selma’s feast! when we contended, like gales of spring as they


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