"All my friends are in some sense incarnations of this first figure, 'who came before my clouded gaze so long ago'"

   A version of two lines from the opening 'Dedication' to Part I of Faust, a metaphysical tragedy by German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832):


YE wavering shapes, again ye do enfold me,  

As erst upon my troubled sight ye stole;  

Shall I this time attempt to clasp, to hold ye?  

Still for the fond illusion yearns my soul?


Online text of Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy, (first published 1808)