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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Chorus of the Archangels
By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
 
From ‘Faust,’ the Prologue in Heaven: Translation of Percy Bysshe Shelley

RAPHAEL—The sun makes music as of old
  Amid the rival spheres of heaven,
On its predestined circle rolled
  With thunder speed; the angels even
Draw strength from gazing on its glance,        5
  Though none its meaning fathom may;
The world’s unwithered countenance
  Is bright as at creation’s day.
Gabriel—And swift and swift with rapid lightness
  The adorned earth spins silently,        10
Alternating Elysian brightness
  With deep and dreadful night; the sea
Foams in broad billows from the deep
  Up to the rocks, and rocks and ocean,
Onward, with spheres which never sleep,        15
  Are hurried in eternal motion.
Michael—And tempests in contention roar
  From land to sea, from sea to land;
And raging, weave a chain of power,
  Which girds the earth as with a band.        20
A flashing desolation there
  Flames before the thunder’s way;
But thy servants, Lord, revere
  The gentle changes of thy day.
 
CHORUS OF THE THREE
The angels draw strength from thy glance,
        25
  Though no one comprehend thee may;
Thy world’s unwithered countenance
  Is bright as on creation’s day.
 
 
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