Translations From Goethe: The Castle On The Mountain by George MacDonald

Up there, upon yonder mountain,
Stands a castle old, in the gorse,
Where once, behind doors and portals,
Lurking lay knight and horse.

Burnt are the doors and the portals;
All round it is very still;
Its old walls, tumbled in ruins,
I scramble about at my will.

Close hereby lay a cellar
Full of wine that was old and rare;
But the cheery maid with the pitchers
No more comes down the stair;

No more in the hall, sedately
Sets the beaker before the guest;
No more at the festival stately,
The flagon fills for the priest;

No more to the page so thirsty
Gives a draught in the corridor;
And receives for the hurried favour
The hurried thanks no more.

For every rafter and ceiling
Long ago were to ashes burned,
And stair and passage and chapel
To rubbish and ruin turned.

Yet when, with flask and cittern,
On a day in the summer’s prime,
Up to the rocky summit
I watched my darling climb–

Out came the old joy reviving
On the face of the ancient rest,
And on went the old life driving,
In its lordliness and zest;

It seemed as for strangers distinguished
Their state-rooms they did prepare,
And out of that brave time, shadowy
Came stepping a youthful pair.

And the worthy priest in his chapel
Stood already in priestly dress,
And asked–Will you two take one another?
And smiling we answered–Yes;

And the hymns with deep pulsation
Stirred every heart at once;
And instead of the congregation
The echo yelled response.

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And when, in the gathered evening,
Profound the stillness grew,
And the red-glowing sun at the broken
Gable came peering through,

Then damsel and page, in his rays, are
Grandees of the olden prime;
She tastes of his cup at her leisure,
And he to thank her takes time.

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