beloved, believe me

Beloved, don’t fret that you gave yourself so quickly!
Believe me, I don’t think badly or wrongly of you.
The arrows of Love are various: some scratch us,
And our hearts suffer for years from their slow poison.
But others strong-feathered with freshly sharpened points
Pierce to the marrow, and quickly inflame the blood.
In the heroic ages, when gods and goddesses loved,
Desire followed a look, and joy followed desire.

Images: © Gonzalo Benard
Text: From Roman Elegies (1789) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)


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