To Charlotte Von Stein
Fate, why did you grant us this depth
Of insightful vision into our future,
So that our love, earthly happiness,
Is a thing we can trust in happily never?
Why did you grant us such intuition,
Such power to know each other’s heart,
To see, among life’s scattered throng,
The true relationship where we are?
Oh, many thousands of us drift dumbly
Through life, our hearts scarcely known,
Floating here and there, and aimlessly
Fleeing unexpected pain, without hope:
Rejoicing again, at the unexpected
Morning radiance of swift delight:
Only we two, love-filled, wretched
Souls are denied that mutual light
Of loving without knowing one another,
Of seeing in each what each never was,
Setting out anew towards the Dream Lover,
Faltering at phantom Danger’s course.