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ACT V. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 3 (Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia in Tauris, Tarquato Tasso, etc) 
Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 3.
Part of: Goethe’s Works, 5 vols.
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Obedient to thy wish, I went to Tasso
A second time: I come from him but now.
I sought to move him, yea, I strongly urg’d;
But from his fix’d resolve he swerveth not;
He earnestly entreats that for a time
Thou would’st permit him to repair to Rome.
His purpose much annoys me, I confess;—
I rather tell thee my vexation now,
Than let it strengthen, smother’d in my breast.
He fain would travel, good! I hold him not.
He will depart, he will to Rome; so be it!
Let not the crafty Medici, nor yet
Scipio Gonzaga wrest him from me though!
’Tis this hath made our Italy so great,
That rival neighbors zealously contend
To foster and employ the ablest men.
Like chief without an army, shows a prince
Who round him gathers not superior minds;
And who the voice of Poesy disdains
Is a barbarian, be he who he may.
Tasso I found, I chose him for myself,
I number him with pride among my train;
And having done so much for him already,
I should be loath to lose him without cause.
I feel embarrass’d, prince, for in thy sight
I bear the blame of what to-day befell;
That I was in the wrong. I frankly own,
And look for pardon to thy clemency:
But I were inconsolable could’st thou,
E’en for a moment, doubt my honest zeal
In seeking to appease him. Speak to me
With gracious look, that so I may regain
My self-reliance and my wonted calm.
Feel no disquietude, Antonio;—
In no wise do I count the blame as thine;
Too well I know the temper of the man,
Know all too well what I have done for him,
How often I have spar’d him, and how oft
Towards him I have o’erlook’d my rightful claims.
O’er many things we gain the mastery,
But stern necessity and lengthen’d time
Scarce give a man dominion o’er himself.
When other men toil in behalf of one,
’Tis fit this one with diligence inquire
How he may profit others in return.
He who hath fashion’d his own mind so well,
Who hath aspir’d to make each several science
And the whole range of human lore, his own,
Is he not doubly bound to rule himself?
Yet doth he ever give it e’en a thought?
Continu’d rest is not ordain’d for man!
Still, when we purpose to enjoy ourselves,
To try our valor, fortune sends a foe,
To try our equanimity, a friend.
Does Tasso e’en fulfil man’s primal duty,
To regulate his appetite, in which
He is not, like the brute, restrain’d by nature?
Does he not rather, like a child, indulge
In all that charms and gratifies his taste?
When has he mingled water with his wine?
Comfits and condiments, and potent drinks,
One with another still he swallows down,
And then complains of his bewilder’d brain,
His hasty temper, and his fever’d blood,
Railing at nature and at destiny.
How oft I’ve heard him in a bitter style
With childish folly argue with his leech!
’Twould raise a laugh, if aught were laughable
Which teases others and torments one’s self.
“Oh, this is torture!” anxiously he cries,
Then in splenetic mood, “Why boast your art?
Prescribe a cure!” “Good!” then exclaims the leech.
“Abstain from this or that.” “That can I not.”
“Then take this potion.” “No, it nauseates me;
The taste is horrid, nature doth rebel.”—
“Well then, drink water.” “Water! never more!
Like hydrophobia is my dread of it.”
“Then your disease is hopeless.” “Why, I pray?”
“One evil symptom will succeed another,
And though your ailment should not fatal prove,
’Twill daily more torment you.” “Fine, indeed;
Then wherefore play the leech? You know my case,
You should devise a remedy, and one
That’s palatable too, that I may not
First suffer pain before reliev’d from it.”
I see thee smile, my prince, ’tis but the truth;
Doubtless thyself hast heard it from his lips.
Oft I have heard, and have as oft excus’d.
It is most certain, an intemperate life.
As it engenders wild, distemper’d dreams,
At length doth make us dream in open day.
What’s his suspicion but a troubled dream?
He thinks himself environ’d still by foes.
None can discern his gift who envy not,
And all who envy, hate and persecute.
Oft with complaints he has molested thee:
Notes intercepted, violated locks,
Poison, the dagger! All before him float!
Thou dost investigate his grievance,—well,
Doth aught appear? Why, scarcely a pretext.
No sovereign’s shelter gives him confidence.
The bosom of no friend can comfort him.
Would’st promise happiness to such a man,
Or look to him for joy unto thyself?
Thou would’st be right, Antonio, if from him
I sought my own immediate benefit.
But I have learn’d no longer to expect
Service direct and unconditional.
All do not serve us in the selfsame way;
Who needeth much, according to his gifts
Must each employ, so is he ably serv’d.
This lesson from the Medici we learn’d;
’Tis practis’d even by the popes themselves.
With what forbearance, magnanimity
And princely patience, have they not endur’d
Full many a genius, who seem’d not to need
Their ample favor, yet who needed it!
Who knows not this, my prince? The toil of life
Alone can tutor us life’s gifts to prize.
In youth he hath already won so much;
He cannot relish aught in quietness.
Oh, that he were compell’d to earn the blessings
Which now with liberal hand are thrust upon him!
With manly courage he would brace his strength,
And at each onward step feel new content.
The needy noble has attain’d the height
Of his ambition, it his gracious prince
Raise him, with hand benign, from poverty,
And choose him as an inmate of the court.
Should he then honor him with confidence,
And before others raise him to his side,
Consulting him in war, or state affairs,
Why then methinks, with silent gratitude,
The modest man may bless his lucky fate.
And with all this, Tasso enjoys besides
Youth’s purest happiness:—his fatherland
Esteems him highly, looks to him with hope.
Trust me for this,—his peevish discontent
On the broad pillow of his fortune rests.
He comes, dismiss him kindly, give him time
In Rome, in Naples, wheresoe’er he will,
To search in vain for what he misses here,
Yet here alone can ever hope to find.
Back to Ferrara will he first return?
He rather would remain in Belriguardo.
And, for his journey, what he may require,
He will request a friend to forward to him.
I am content. My sister, with her friend,
Return immediately to town, and I,
Riding with speed, hope to reach home before them.
Thou’lt follow straight when thou for him hast car’d;
Give needful orders to the castellan,
That in the castle he may here abide
So long as he desires, until his friend
Forward his equipage, and till the letters,
Which we shall give him to our friends at Rome,
Have been transmitted. Here he comes. Farewell!
(With embarrassment.) The favor thou so oft has shown me, prince,
Is manifest, in clearest light, to-day.
The deed which, in the precincts of thy palace,
I lawlessly committed, thou hast pardon’d;
Thou hast appeas’d and reconcil’d my foe;
Thou dost permit me for a time to leave
The shelter of thy side, and rich in bounty.
Wilt not withdraw from me thy generous aid.
Inspir’d with confidence, I now depart,
And trust that this brief absence will dispel
The heavy gloom that now oppresses me.
My renovated soul shall plume her wing.
And pressing forward on the bright career,
Which, glad and bold, encourag’d by thy glance,
I enter’d first, deserve thy grace anew.
Prosperity attend thee on thy way!
With joyous spirit, and to health restor’d,
Return again amongst us. Thus thou shalt
To us, in double measure, for each hour
Thou now depriv’st us of, requital bring.
Letters I give thee to my friends at Rome,
And also to my kinsmen, and desire
That to my people everywhere thou should’st
Confidingly attach thyself;—though absent,
Thee I shall certainly regard as mine.
Thou dost, O prince, o’erwhelm with favors one
Who feels himself unworthy, who e’en wants
Ability to render fitting thanks.
Instead of thanks I proffer a request!
My poem now lies nearest to my heart.
My labors have been strenuous, yet I feel
That I am far from having reach’d my aim.
Fain would I there resort, where hovers yet
The inspiring genius of the mighty dead,
Still raining influence; there would I become
Once more a learner, then more worthily
My poem might rejoice in thine applause.
Oh, give me back the manuscript, which now
I feel asham’d to know within thy hand.
Thou wilt not surely take from me to-day
What but to-day to me thou hast consign’d.
Between thy poem, Tasso, and thyself
Let me now stand as arbiter. Beware—
Nor, through assiduous diligence, impair
The genial nature that pervades thy rhymes:
And give not ear to every critic’s word!
With nicest tact the poet reconciles
The judgments thousandfold of different men,
In thoughts and life at variance with each other;
And fears not numbers to displease, that he
Still greater numbers may enchant the more.
And yet I say not but that here and there
Thou may’st, with modest care, employ the file.
I promise thee at once, that in brief space,
Thou shalt receive a copy of thy poem.
Meanwhile I will retain it in my hands,
That I may first enjoy it with my sisters.
Then, if thou bring’st it back more perfect still,
Our joy will be enhanc’d, and here and there,
We’ll hint corrections, only as thy friends.
I can but modestly repeat my prayer;
Let me receive the copy with all speed.
My spirit resteth solely on this work,
Its full completion it must now attain.
I praise the ardor that inspires thee, Tasso!
Yet, were it possible, thou for awhile
Should’st rest thy mind, seek pleasure in the world,
And find some means to cool thy heated blood.
Then would thy mental powers restor’d to health,
Through their sweet harmony, spontaneous yield,
What now, with anxious toil, in vain thou seekest.
My prince, it seems so, but I am in health
When I can yield myself to strenuous toil,
And this my toil again restores my health.
Long hast thou known me, thou must long have seen
I thrive not in luxurious indolence.
Rest brings no rest to me. Alas, I feel it;
My mind, by nature, never was ordain’d,
Borne on the yielding billows of the hour,
To float in pleasure o’er time’s ample sea.
Thine aims, thy dreams, all whelm thee in thyself.
Around us there doth yawn full many a gulf,
Scoop’d by the hand of destiny; but here,
In our own bosoms, lies the deepest;—ay!
And tempting ’tis to hurl one’s self therein!
I charge thee, Tasso, snatch thee from thyself!
The man will profit, though the bard may lose.
To quell the impulse I should vainly strive,
Which ceaseless in my bosom, day and night
Alternates ever. Life were life no more
Were I to cease to poetize, to dream.
Would’st thou forbid the cunning worm to spin,
For that to nearer death he spins himself?
From his own being he unfoldeth still
The costly texture, nor suspends his toil,
Till in his shroud he hath immur’d himself.
Oh, to us mortals may some gracious power
Accord the insect’s enviable doom,
In some new sunny vale, with sudden joy,
To spread our eager pinions!
List to me!
Thou givest still to others to enjoy
Life with a twofold relish. Learn thyself
To know the worth of life, whose richest boon
In tenfold measure is bestow’d on thee.
Now fare thee well! The sooner thou returnest
All the more cordial will thy welcome be.
(Alone.) Hold fast, my heart, thy work has been well done!
The task was arduous, for ne’er before
Didst thou or wish or venture to dissemble.
Ay, thou didst hear it, that was not his mind,
Nor his the words; to me it still appear’d,
As if I heard again Antonio’s voice.
Only give heed! Henceforth on every side
Thou’lt hear that voice. Be firm, my heart, be firm!
’Tis only for a moment. He who learns
The trick of simulation late in life,
Doth outwardly the natural semblance wear
Of honest faith; practise, and thou’lt succeed.
(After a pause.)
Too soon thou triumphest, for lo! she comes!
The gentle princess comes! Oh, what a feeling!
She enters now, suspicion in my breast
And angry sullenness dissolve in grief.
(Towards the end of the Scene the others.)
Thou thinkest to forsake us, or remainest
Rather behind in Belriguardo, Tasso.
And then thou wilt withdraw thyself from us?
I trust thine absence will not be for long.
To Rome thou goest?
Thither first I wend,
And if, as I have reason to expect,
I from my friends kind welcome there receive,
With care and patient toil I may, at length,
Impart its highest finish to my poem.
Full many men I find assembled there,
Masters who may be styl’d in every art.
Ay, and in that first city of the world.
Hath not each site, yea, every stone a tongue?
How many thousand silent monitors,
With earnest men, majestic, beckon us!
There if I fail to make my work complete,
I never shall complete it. Ah, I feel it—
Success doth wait on no attempt of mine!
Still altering, I ne’er shall perfect it.
I feel, yea, deeply feel, the noble art
That quickens others, and does strength infuse
Into the healthy soul, will drive me forth,
And bring me to destruction. Forth I haste!
I will to Naples first.
Darest thou venture?
Still is the rigid sentence unrepeal’d
Which banish’d thee, together with thy father.
I know the danger, and have ponder’d it.
Disguis’d I go, in tatter’d garb, perchance
Of shepherd, or of pilgrim, meanly clad.
Unseen I wander through the city, where
The movements of the many shroud the one.
Thee to the shore I hasten, find a bark,
With people of Sorrento, peasant folk,
Returning home from market, for I too
Must hasten to Sorrento. There resides
My sister, ever to my parents’ heart,
Together with myself, a mournful joy.
I speak not in the bark, I step ashore
Also in silence, slowly I ascend
The upward path, and at the gate inquire:
Where may she dwell, Cornelia Sersale?
With friendly mien, a woman at her wheel
Shows me the street, the house; I hasten on;
The children run beside me, and survey
The gloomy stranger, with the shaggy locks.
Thus I approach the threshold. Open stands
The cottage door; I step into the house—
O Tasso! if ’tis possible, look up,
And see the danger that environs thee!
I spare thy feelings, else I well might ask,
Is’t noble so to speak as now thou speakest?
Is’t noble of thyself alone to think,
As if thou didst not wound the heart of friends?
My brother’s sentiments, are they conceal’d?
And how we sisters prize and honor thee,—
Hast thou not known and felt it? Can it be
That a few moments should have alter’d all?
O Tasso, if thou wilt indeed depart,
Yet do not leave behind thee grief and care.
How soothing to the sorrowing heart to give,
To the dear friend who leaves us for a season,
Some trifling present, though ’twere nothing more
Than a new mantle, or a sword perchance!
There’s naught, alas, that we can offer thee,
For thou ungraciously dost fling aside
E’en what thou hast. Thou choosest for thyself
The pilgrim’s scallop shell, his sombre weeds.
His staff to lean on, and departing thus,
In willing poverty, from us thou takest
The only pleasure we could share with thee.
Then thou wilt not reject me utterly?
O precious words! O comfort dear and sweet!
Do thou defend me! Shield me with thy care!—
Oh, send me to Consandoli, or here,
Keep me in Belriguardo, where thou wilt!
The prince is lord of many a pleasant seat,
Of many a garden, which the whole year round
Is duly kept, whose paths ye scarcely tread
A single day, perchance but for an hour.
Then, choose among them all the most remote
Which through long years ye have not visited.
And which perchance e’en now untended lies.
Oh, send me thither! There let me be yours!
And I will tend thy trees! With screen and tile
Will shield thy citrons from autumnal blasts,
Fencing them round with interwoven reeds!
Flowers of the fairest hue shall in the beds
Strike deep their spreading roots; with nicest care
Each pathway, every corner shall be kept.
And of the palace also give me charge!
At proper times the windows I will open,
Lest noxious vapor should the pictures mar;
The walls, with choicest stucco-work adorn’d,
I with light feather-work will free from dust;
There shall the polish’d pavement brightly shine,
There shall no stone, no tiling be misplac’d;
There shall no weeds sprout from the crevices!
I find no counsel in my troubled breast,
And find no comfort for thyself and—us.
Around I look to see if some kind god
Will haply grant us succor, and reveal
Some healing plant, or potion, to restore
Peace to thy ’wilder’d senses, peace to us!
The truest word that floweth from the lip,
The surest remedy hath lost its power.
Leave thee I must,—yet doth my heart refuse
From thee to part.
Ye gods! And is it she?
She who thus pities, who thus speaks with thee?
And could’st thou e’er mistake that noble heart?
And in her presence, was it possible,
That thee despondency could seize, could master?
No, no, ’tis thou! I am myself again!
Oh, speak once more! Sweet comfort let me hear
Again from thy dear lips! Speak, nor withdraw
Thy counsel from me.—Say, what must I do,
That I may win the pardon of the prince,
That thou thyself may’st freely pardon me,
That ye may both with pleasure take me back
Into your princely service? Speak to me.
It is but little we require from thee.
And yet that little seemeth all too much.
Freely should’st thou resign thyself to us.
We wish not from thee aught but what thou art,
If only with thyself thou wert at peace.
When joy thou feelest, thou dost cause us joy,
When thou dost fly from it, thou grievest us;
And if sometimes we are impatient with thee,
’Tis only that we fain would succor thee,
And feel, alas, our succor all in vain,
If thou the friendly hand forbear to grasp,
Stretch’d longingly, which yet doth reach thee not.
’Tis thou thyself, a holy angel still,
As when at first thou didst appear to me!
The mortal’s darken’d vision, oh, forgive,
If while he gaz’d, he for a moment err’d;
Now he again discerns thee, and his soul
Aspires to honor thee eternally.
A flood of tenderness o’erwhelms my heart—
She stands before me! She! What feeling this?
Is it distraction draws me unto thee?
Or is it madness? or a sense sublime
Which apprehends the purest, loftiest truth?
Yes, ’tis the only feeling that on earth
Hath power to make and keep me truly bless’d,
Or that could overwhelm me with despair,
What time I wrestled with it, and resolv’d
To banish it forever from my heart.
This fiery passion I had thought to quell,
Still with mine inmost being strove and strove,
And in the strife my very self destroy’d,
Which is to thee indissolubly bound.
If thou would’st have me, Tasso, listen to thee,
Restrain this fervid glow, which frightens me.
Restrains the goblet’s rim the bubbling wine
That sparkling foams, and overflows its bounds?
Thine every word doth elevate my bliss,
With every word more brightly gleams thine eye,
Over my spirit’s depths there comes a change;
Reliev’d from dark perplexity I feel
Free as a god, and all I owe to thee!
A charm unspeakable, which masters me,
Flows from thy lips. Thou makest me all thine.
Of mine own being naught belongs to me.
Mine eye grows dim in happiness and light,
My senses fail; no more my foot sustains me,
Thou draw’st me to thee with resistless might,
And my heart rushes self-impell’d to thee.
Me hast thou won for all eternity,
Then take my whole of being to thyself.
[He throws himself into her arms, and clasps her to his bosom.
(Throwing him from her and retiring in haste.) Away!
(Who has for some time appeared in the background, hastening forward.) What hath befallen? Tasso! Tasso!
[She follows thePrincess.
(About to follow her.) O God!
(Who has for some time been approaching withAntonio.) He is distracted, hold him fast.
If that a foeman—as thou deem’st thyself
Environ’d by a multitude of foes—
Beside thee stood, how would he triumph now!
Unhappy man! I am not yet myself!
When something quite unparallel’d occurs,
When something monstrous first arrests our sight,
The stagger’d spirit stands a moment still,
For we know nothing to compare it with.
(After a long pause.) Fulfil thine office, I perceive ’tis thou!
Ay, thou deserv’st the prince’s confidence.
Fulfil thine office, since my doom is seal’d.
With ling’ring tortures, torture me to death!
Draw! draw the shaft, that I may feel the barb
That lacerates, with cruel pangs, my heart!
The tyrant’s precious instrument art thou;
Be thou his gaoler,—executioner,—
For these are offices become thee well!
(Towards the scene.)
Yes, tyrant, go! Thou could’st not to the last
Thy wonted mask retain; in triumph go!
Thy slave thou hast well pinion’d, hast reserv’d
For predetermin’d and protracted pangs:
Yes, go! I hate thee. In my heart I feel
The horror which despotic power excites,
When it is grasping, cruel and unjust.
(After a pause.)
Thus, then, at last I see myself exil’d,
Turn’d off, and thrust forth like a mendicant!
Thus they with garlands wreath’d me, but to lead
The victim to the shrine of sacrifice!
Thus, at the very last, with cunning words,
They drew from me my only property,
My poem,—ay, and they retain it too!
Now is my one possession in your hands,
My bright credential wheresoe’er I went;
My sole resource ’gainst biting poverty!
Ay, now I see why I must take mine ease.
’Tis a conspiracy, and thou the head.
Thus that my song may not be perfected,
That my renown may ne’er be spread abroad,
That envy still a thousand faults may find,
And my unhonor’d name forgotten die;
Therefore I must consent to idleness,
Therefore must spare my faculties, myself.
O precious friendship! Dear solicitude!
Odious appear’d the dark conspiracy
Which ceaseless round me wove its viewless web,
But still more odious does it now appear!
And, thou too, Siren! who so tenderly
Didst lead me on with thy celestial mien,
Thee now I know! Wherefore, O God, so late!
But we so willingly deceive ourselves,
We honor reprobates, who honor us.
True men are never to each other known;
Such knowledge is reserv’d for galley-slaves,
Chain’d to a narrow plank, who gasp for breath,
Where none hath aught to ask, nor aught to lose,
Where for a rascal each avows himself,
And holds his neighbor for a rascal too,—
Such men as these perchance may know each other.
But for the rest, we courteously misjudge them,
Hoping they may misjudge us in return.
How long thine hallow’d image from my gaze
Veil’d the coquette, working, with paltry arts!
The mask has fallen!—Now I see Armida
Denuded of her charms,—yes, thou art she,
Of whom my bodeful verse prophetic sang!
And then the little, cunning go-between!
With what profound contempt I view her now!
I hear the rustling of her stealthy step,
As round me still she spreads her artful toils.
Ay, now I know you! And let that suffice!
And misery, though it beggar me of all,
I honor still,—for it hath taught me truth.
I hear thee with amazement, though I know
How thy rash humor, Tasso, urges thee
To rush in haste to opposite extremes.
Collect thy spirit and command thy rage!
Thou speakest slander, dost indulge in words
Which to thine anguish though they be forgiven,
Yet thou canst ne’er forgive unto thyself.
Oh, speak not to me with a gentle lip,
Let me not hear one prudent word from thee!
Leave me my sullen happiness, that I
May not regain my senses, but to lose them.
My very bones are crush’d, yet do I live;—
Ay! live to feel the agonizing pain.
Despair enfolds me in its ruthless grasp,
And, in the hell-pang that annihilates,
These sland’rous words are but the feeble cry,
Wrung from the depth of my sore agony.
I will away! If honest, point the path,
And suffer me at once to fly from hence.
In thine extremity I will not leave thee;
And should’st thou wholly lose thy self-control,
My patience shall not fail.
And must I then
Yield myself up a prisoner to thee?
Resign’d I yield myself, and it is done;
I cease to struggle, and ’tis well with me—
Now let mine anguish’d heart recall how fair
What, as in sport, I madly flung away.
They hence depart—O God! I there behold
The dust, ascending from their chariot wheels—
The riders in advance—ay, there they go,
E’en to the very place from whence I came!
Now they are gone—they are estrang’d from me.
Oh, that I once again had kiss’d his hand!
Oh, that I once again might say farewell!
Once only might I falter: O forgive!
Once only hear the word: Go, thou’rt forgiven!
Alas! I hear it not;—I ne’er shall hear it—
Yes, I will go! Let me but say farewell,
Only farewell! Give me, oh, give me back
Their long’d-for presence for a single moment!
Perchance I might recover! Never more!
I am rejected, doom’d to banishment!
Alas! I am self-banish’d, never more
To hear that gentle voice, that tender glance
To meet no more—
Yet hear the voice of one
Who, not without emotion, stands beside thee!
Thou’rt not so wretched, Tasso, as thou thinkest.
Collect thyself! Too much thou art unmann’d.
And am I then as wretched as I seem?
Am I as weak as I do show myself?
Say, is all lost? Has sorrow’s direful stroke,
As with an earthquake’s sudden shock, transform’d
The stately pile into a ruin’d heap?
Is all the genius flown that did erewhile
So richly charm, and so exalt my soul?
Is all the power extinguish’d which of yore
Stirr’d in my bosom’s depths? Am I become
A nothing? A mere nothing? No, all’s here!
I have it still, and yet myself am nothing!
I from myself am sever’d, she from me!
Though to thyself thou seemest so forlorn,
Be calm, and bear in mind what still thou art!
Ay, in due season thou remindest me!—
Hath history no example for mine aid?
Before me doth there rise no man of worth
Who more hath borne than I, that with his fate,
Mine own comparing, I may gather strength.
No, all is gone!—But one thing still remains;
Tears, balmy tears, kind nature has bestow’d.
The cry of anguish, when the man at length
Can bear no more—yea, and to me beside,
She leaves in sorrow melody and speech,
To utter forth the fulness of my woe:
Though in their mortal anguish men are dumb,
To me a God hath given to tell my grief.
[Antonioapproaches him and takes his hand.
O noble man! thou standest firm and calm,
While I am like the tempest-driven wave.
But be not boastful of thy strength. Reflect!
Nature, whose mighty power hath fix’d the rock,
Gives to the wave its instability.
She sends her storm, the passive wave is driven,
And rolls, and swells, and falls in billowy foam.
Yet in this very wave the glorious sun
Mirrors his splendor, and the quiet stars
Upon its heaving bosom gently rest.
Dimm’d is the splendor, vanish’d is the calm!
In danger’s hour I know myself no longer,
Nor am I now asham’d of the confession.
The helm is broken, and on every side
The reeling vessel splits. The riven planks,
Bursting asunder, yawn beneath my feet!
Thus with my outstretch’d arms I cling to thee!
So doth the shipwreck’d mariner at last
Cling to the rock, whereon his vessel struck.