In 1775 Goethe was attracted by still another type of woman, Lili Schonemann, whose mother was the widow of a wealthy Frankfort banker.
A formal betrothal took place, and the beauty of the lyrics which Lili inspired leaves no room for doubt that here was a passion no less genuine than that for Friederike or Charlotte.
But Goethe - more worldly wise than on former occasions - felt instinctively that the gay, social world in which Lili moved was not really congenial to him.
As Friederike had fitted into the background of Goethe's Strassburg life, Lotte into that of Wetzlar, and Lili into the gaieties of Frankfort, so now Charlotte von Stein, the wife of a Weimar official, was the personification of the more aristocratic ideals of Weimar society.
On the second of these journeys he revisited Friederike in Sesenheim, saw Lili, who had married and settled in Strassburg, and made the personal acquaintance of Lavater in Zurich.
The literary results of these years cannot be compared with those of the preceding period; they are virtually limited to a few wonderful lyrics, such as Wanderers Nachtlied, An den Mond, Gesang der Geister fiber den Wassern, or ballads, such as Der Erlkonig, a charming little drama, Die Geschwister (1776), in which the poet's relations to both Lili and Frau von Stein seem to be reflected, a dramatic satire, Der Triumph der Empfindsamkeit (1778), and a number of Singspiele, Lila (1777), Die Fischerin, Scherz, List and Rache, and Jery and Beitely (1780).