Vanitas! Vanitatum Vanitas!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749 (Frankfurt) – 1832 (Weimar)

MY trust in nothing now is placed,

  Hurrah!
So in the world true joy I taste,

  Hurrah!
Then he who would be a comrade of mine
Must rattle his glass, and in chorus combine,
Over these dregs of wine.

I placed my trust in gold and wealth,

  Hurrah!
But then I lost all joy and health,

  Lack-a-day!
Both here and there the money roll'd,
And when I had it here, behold,
From there had fled the gold!

I placed my trust in women next,

  Hurrah!
But there in truth was sorely vex'd,

  Lack-a-day!
The False another portion sought,
The True with tediousness were fraught,
The Best could not be bought.

My trust in travels then I placed,

  Hurrah!
And left my native land in haste.

  Lack-a-day!
But not a single thing seem'd good,
The beds were bad, and strange the food,
And I not understood.

I placed my trust in rank and fame,

  Hurrah!
Another put me straight to shame,

  Lack-a-day!
And as I had been prominent,
All scowl'd upon me as I went,
I found not one content.

I placed my trust in war and fight,

  Hurrah!
We gain'd full many a triumph bright,

  Hurrah!
Into the foeman's land we cross'd,
We put our friends to equal cost,
And there a leg I lost.

My trust is placed in nothing now,

  Hurrah!
At my command the world must bow,

  Hurrah!
And as we've ended feast and strain,
The cup we'll to the bottom drain;
No dregs must there remain!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and politician. more…

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"Vanitas! Vanitatum Vanitas!" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/21920/vanitas!-vanitatum-vanitas!>.

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