In a Thousand Forms

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

English version by John White
Original Language German

You may hide yourself in a thousand forms,
Still, All-beloved, I recognize you;
You may cover yourself in magic mists,
All-present, I can always tell that it is you.

I discover you as well, All-beautifully-growing,
In the cypress's pure young surge,
In the stream's fresh, living rush,
All-enchanting, I know you well.

When rising jets of water unfurl,
All-playful, how glad I am to see you;
When clouds form and transform themselves,
All-manifold, I discern you in them.

In the blossoming tapestry that covers the meadow,
I see your All-colorful, starry beauty;
When ivies reach their thousand arms around,
I meet you, All-embracing.

When morning lights the mountain range
I greet you there too, All-brightening,
Then, as the sky grows round above me,
All-heart-expanding, it is you I inhale.

What, with out and inner senses, I know,
I know only through you, All-teaching;
When I name Allah's hundred names,
A name, with each name, re-echoes for you.

-- from Art & Wonder: An Illustrated Anthology of Visionary Poetry, Edited by Kate Farrell

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In a Thousand Forms