Words

Wonder or dream from distant land
I carried to my country’s strand

And waited till the twilight norn
Had found the name within her bourn—

Then I could grasp it close and strong
It blooms and shines now the front along…

Once I returned from happy sail,
I had a prize so rich and frail,

She sought for long and tidings told:
“No like of this these depths enfold.”

And straight it vanished from my hand,
The treasure never graced my land…

So I renounced and sadly see:
Where words break off no thing may be.

— Stefan George (tr. P. Hertz)

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