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The Sorrows of Werter

By Johann Wolfgang Goethe


May 10.

My mind is calm and serene, like the first fine mornings of spring. Solitude and tranquillity, in a country so suited to a disposition like mine, give me an enjoyment of life. Life itself is happiness, and the pleasure of mere existence so entirely absorbs me, that I neglect my {5} talents; I don't draw, I can't make a stroke with the pencil, and yet I am a greater painter than ever. Thin undulating vapours are spread over the plain; thick tufted trees defend me from the meridian sun which only checkers my shade with a few rays. Here, extended on the long grass near the fall of a brook, I admire the infinite variety of plants, and grow familiar with all the little insects that surround me, as they hum amongst the flowers, or creep in the grass. Then I feel the divine breath of that all-powerful Being which created us; whose eternal love supports and comforts us. A darkness spreads over my eyes; heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul, and absorb all its powers, like the idea of a beloved mistress. Oh! that I could express, that I could describe, these great conceptions, with the same warmth, with the same energy, that they are impressed on my soul! but the sublimity of them astonishes and overpowers me.