Epiphanias

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EPIPHANIAS

by Goethe


THE 3 holy kings with their star's bright ray
They eat and they drink
but had rather not pay
They like to eat and drink away
They eat and drink
but had rather not pay

The three holy kings have all come here
In number not four, but three they appear
And if a fourth join'd the other three
Increased by one their number would be

The first am I, the fair and the white
I ought to be seen when the sun shines bright!
But, alas! with all my spices and myrrh
No girl now likes me, I please not her

The next am I, the brown and the long
Known well to women
known well to song
Instead of spices, 'tis gold I bear
And so I'm welcome everywhere

The last am I, the black and small
And fain would be right merry withal
I like to eat and to drink full measure
I eat and drink, and give thanks with pleasure

The three holy kings are friendly and mild
They seek the Mother and seek the Child
The pious Joseph is sitting by
The ox and the ass on their litter lie

We're bringing gold We're bringing myrrh
The incense women always prefer
And if we have wine of a worthy growth
We three to drink like six are not loth

As here we see fair lads and lasses
But not a sign of oxen or asses
We know that we have gone astray
And so go further on our way
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