Previous Contents Index Next

The Sorrows of Werter

By Johann Wolfgang Goethe



December 17.

I KNOW not how it is, my dear friend, my imagination is full of terror! Is not my love for her the purest and the most sacred? Is it not the love of a brother for his sister? Did ever my heart form a wish that was criminal? -- I will make no vows. -- And now a dream -- Oh! they were much in the right who attributed contending passions to powers that are foreign to us! -- This very night -- I tremble as I write it -- this very night I held her in my arms, I pressed her to my bosom, devoured her trembling lips with kisses. The most melting softness was in her eyes, in mine equal extasy. When I now at this moment recall these transports with delight, am I guilty of a crime? Oh! Charlotte! Charlotte! 'tis all over; -- my senses are disordered, and for these seven days I have {179} not been myself; -- my eyes are full of tears; -- all places are alike to me; in none am I at peace; -- I desire nothing, I ask nothing. -- Ah! 'twere better far that I should depart!