by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749‐1832)
As a fisher-boy I fared To the black rock in the sea, And, while false gifts I prepared Listen'd and sang merrily, Down descending the decoy, Soon a fish attacked the bait; One exultant shout of joy, -- And the fish was captured straight. Ah, on shore, and to the wood Past the cliffs, o'er stock and stone, One foot's traces I pursued, And the maiden was alone. Lips were silent, eyes downcast As a clasp-knife snaps the bait, With her snare she seized me fast, And the boy was captured straight. Heaven knows who's the happy swain That she rambles with anew! I must dare the sea again, Spite of wind and weather too, When the great and little fish Wail and flounder in my net, Straight returns my eager wish In her arms to revel yet!