A song the angels sing

It's the Summer Solstice tonight, here in the Northern Hemisphere, and that makes me think of these lines from Goethe in praise of the Sun:

Ihr Anblick gibt den Engeln Starke,
Wenn keiner sie ergrunden mag;
Die unbegreiflich hohen Werke
Sind herrlich wie am ersten Tag.

Your shining gives the angels power,
Yet none can understand your ways;
Incomprehensible Creation
Stuns as it did on the first day.

"Song of the Archangels"
from Faust, Part One, lines 247-50 (1787-1808)
Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Translated by Frank Beck

Portrait of Goethe by Angelika Kaufmann, 1787
(Goethe National Museum, Weimar; detail)

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