From the ice they are freed, the stream and brook,
By the Spring’s enlivening, lovely look;
The valley’s green with joys of hope;
The Winter old and weak ascends back to the rugged mountain slope.
From there, as he flees, he downward sends an impotent shower of icy hail
Streaking over the verdant vale.
Ah! but the Sun will suffer no white,
Growth and formation stir everywhere,
Twould fain with colours make all things bright,
Though in the landscape are no blossoms fair.
Instead it takes gay-decked humanity.
Now turn around and from this height,
Looking backward, townward see.
Forth from the cave-like, gloomy gate crowds a motley and swarming array.
Everyone suns himself gladly today.
The Risen Lord they celebrate,
For they themselves have now arisen From lowly houses’ mustiness,
From handicraft’s and factory’s prison,
From the roof and gables that oppress,
From the bystreets’ crushing narrowness, from the churches’ venerable night,
They are all brought out into light.
See, only see, how quickly the masses scatter through gardens and fields remote;
How down and across the river passes so many a merry pleasure-boat.
And over-laden, almost sinking, the last full wherry moves away.
From yonder hill’s far pathways blinking, flash to us colours of garments gay.
Hark! Sounds of village joy arise;
Here is the people’s paradise,
Contented, great and small shout joyfully:
“Here I am Man, here dare it to be!”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Easter Walk”. English version found here, plus the German original.