Youth and Love

Once only by the garden gate

our lips we joined and parted.

I must fulfill an empty fate

and travel the uncharted.

Hail and farewell! I must arise,

Leave here the fatted cattle,

And paint on foreign lands and skies

My Odyssey of battle.

The untented Kosmos my abode,

I pass, a wilful stranger:

My mistress still the open road

And the bright eyes of danger.

Come ill or well, the cross, the crown

The rainbow or the thunder

I fling my soul and body down

For God to plough them under.


(1850 – 1894)

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