“Stay a while, you are so beautiful.” Goethe, Faust
Goethe was right about the present moment,
how futile our attempts to make it last,
distilling gold from the baser elements
of lead and hope to hold the moment fast.
The devil’s clever challenge cannot be met.
No flattery will stay the moment’s haste,
departing, ungrateful guest, before the fête
is over, leaving in its wake time’s waste.
Its easy passage, almost unnoticed, still
aches like the memory of another life.
The one we failed to live because the will
refused its harder course of love and strife.
Discarded moments piled like shells on a midden
are turned to unyielding stone by age and ruin.
But still the childish heart speaks out unbidden:
Verweile doch du bist so schön.
by Louis Hunt
Editor’s Note: Some poems read so easy and smooth that one almost doesn’t realize that they are teaching us a lesson (iambic pentameter has a way of doing that).