Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), p. 43 (Letter of 16 June)


Werther and Lotte at the dance:

We went to the window. The thunder was passing by and a wonderful rain was falling on the land, filling the warm air with the most refreshing fragrance. She stood there resting on her elbows, gazing deep into the country about us; she looked to the heavens, and at me, and I saw there were tears in her eyes; and she laid her hand on mine and said 'Klopstock!' At once I remembered the glorious ode she had in mind, and was lost in the sensations that flooded me on hearing the name. It was more than I could bear; I bowed over her hand and kissed it, shedding tears of the greatest joy, and once again looked up to gaze into her eyes--Noble poet! if only you had seen the adoration of you in those eyes! and if only I might never hear again your oft-profaned name!

Werther's and Lotte's spirits seem to meld when she says 'Klopstock' and he understands which ode she is referring to and what emotion she is trying to express; the intimacy of the mutual understanding and the shared sentiment inspired by the ode overwhelm them in a particularly sentimental fashion.

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