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The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

With bare soles, he walked composedly over the hot sand; and a deep inward sorrow seemed to blunt him against all external things.

If stones may rest in thy bosom, let me be changed to stone; if thy touch kills, I will die by thy hands.

With a still look at the mirror, she touched the harp; now melting tones proceeded from the strings, now her pain seemed to mount, and the music in strong notes responded to her woe; sometimes she opened her lips to sing, but her voice failed her; and ere long her sorrow melted into tears, two maidens caught her helpfully in their arms, the harp sank from her bosom, scarcely could the quick servant snatch the instrument and carry it aside.

Lily dissolved in tears.

Whether I can help, I know not; an individual helps not, but he who combines himself with many at the proper hour.

We will postpone the evil, and keep hoping.

"What hast thou resolved on?"
"To sacrifice myself rather than be sacrificed."

She had scarcely spoken, when she clasped the old Man still faster; for the ground began to move beneath them; the Youth and the old Woman also held by one another; the Lights alone did not regard it.

There are three which have rule on Earth: Wisdom, Appearance and Strength.

"The sword on left, the right free!" cried the brazen voice.

the old Man said with a smile: "Love does not rule; but it trains, and that is more."

we and our gifts are powerless against this powerless monster.

by some hand or another, charitable decency had spread over the resting-place of the fallen King a gorgeous curtain, which no eye can penetrate, and no hand may dare to draw aside.