Goethe: “The Spinner”




As I calmly sat and spun,

Toiling with all zeal,

Lo! a young and handsome man

Pass’d my spinning-wheel.


And he praised,–what harm was there?–

Sweet the things he said–

Praised my flax-resembling hair,

And the even thread.


He with this was not content,

But must needs do more;

And in twain the thread was rent,

Though ’twas safe before.


And the flax’s stone-like weight

Needed to be told;

But no longer was its state

Valued as of old.


When I took it to the weaver,

Something felt I start,

And more quickly, as with fever,

Throbb’d my trembling heart.


Then I bear the thread at length

Through the heat, to bleach;

But, alas, I scarce have strength

To the pool to reach.


What I in my little room

Spun so fine and slight,–

As was likely. I presume–

Came at last to light.