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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 1 (Poems) [1885]

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 1. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2110

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About this Title:

Volume 1 of a five volume collection of Goethe’s works. This edition is sumptuously illustrated. Vol. 1 contains Goethe’s poems and a life of Goethe by Dr. Boyesen.

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [none]
Goethe’s Works
Volume One
Edition: current; Page: [none]
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Goethe’s Works Illustrated by the best German Artists
VOL. I.
George Barrie
Philadelphia New York & Boston
Edition: current; Page: [ii]

COPYRIGHT, 1885, BY GEORGE BARRIE.

Edition: current; Page: [iii]

The Life of Goethe BY HJALMAR H. BOYESEN, PH.D.

Edition: current; Page: [iv] Edition: current; Page: [v]

IT is told of the philosopher Hegel that he once complained because so few understood his writings. “Of all living men,” he said, “there is but one who has understood me; and,” he added, after a moment’s reflection, “he misunderstood me.” The common judgment of a man who spoke thus would be that he was himself at fault, that his utterance was needlessly obscure if it failed to appeal to ordinary human intelligence. In Hegel’s case such a judgment would not have been far wrong. German philosophers, as a rule, cultivate involved obscurity of diction, and perhaps even pride themselves on their unintelligibility. But for all that it is not to be denied that there is a region of thought which lies beyond the range of the ordinary intellect, and which is none the less exalted and beautiful, because of its inaccessibility to the multitude. The fact that you or I do not see anything in works of this or that poet does not, of necessity, prove that there is nothing in them. That which you or I do not understand is not on that account unintelligible. If the second part of “Faust” fails to convey any meaning to the ordinary omniscient critic of the daily papers, it is generally supposed that the second part of “Faust” stands thereby condemned. That Goethe has opened a new realm of thought to which even a college degree is not necessarily a passport, that he has in “Faust” expounded a deep philosophy Edition: current; Page: [vi] of life, for the comprehension of which a more than ordinary largeness of vision and grasp of intellect are required, is scarcely dreamed of by the herd of shallow, nimble-witted critics who pat him kindly on the shoulder and compare him blandly with Byron, Coleridge and Wordsworth.

Of English writers, only Carlyle seems to have had an adequate conception of Goethe’s greatness, although he, too, was certainly at variance with the fundamental principles which underlay his hero’s life and poetic activity. That he unconsciously distorted the meaning of “Faust” is very obvious to any student of Goethe who reads his essay on “Helena.” And yet he said to Bayard Taylor, when the latter asked him what he thought of Goethe: “That man, sir, was my salvation!”—an answer which struck Taylor as being in no wise paradoxical. If Carlyle had been an exact thinker, to whom a rational solution of the riddle of existence had been an urgent need, it would have been easier to comprehend in what sense he owed his “salvation” to Goethe. It was the direct purpose of Goethe to be the intellectual deliverer of his age, as he distinctly avowed to Eckermann when he said that the name which he would prefer to all others was “Befreier.” The tendency of his life and his writings, after his return from Italy, is all in the same direction. They all teach, even where no didactic purpose is apparent, that liberty is attainable, not by defiance of moral and physical law, but by obedience to it; that happiness is to be found only in a cheerful acquiescence in the rationality of existence. In this lesson there is deliverance to him who properly estimates and apprehends it. Thus barrenly stated it sounds commonplace enough to us of the nineteenth century; but it is largely due to Goethe’s influence that it has become so generally accepted. Before “Faust” was written there were few who would have been able to defend such a proposition, even though they might profess to accept it.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe was born in Frankfort-on-the-Main, August 28th, 1749. His family, a few generations back, had been plain artisans, and had by dint of talent and energy risen to prosperity and social importance. Goethe’s father had inherited a respectable fortune, enjoyed a good education, and had travelled considerably in his own country and in Italy. He was a stern and methodical man, rigidly upright, impatient of all irregularities and somewhat pedantic in his habits and opinions. His bearing was dignified, his disposition despotic. At the age of thirty-eight he married Katharine Elizabeth, daughter of the Magistrate Textor, and bought the title of imperial counsellor. There were no duties connected with this Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [vii] office, but it conferred a social rank which in those days was highly prized. The young wife whom the counsellor installed in his spacious house in the Hirschgraben was a contrast to him in almost everything. She was genial and full of wholesome mirth. Her culture was probably moderate enough, but she possessed a nature which readily compensated for all deficiencies of education. An exuberant fancy, inexhaustible good-humor, and an everready mother-wit made her the most delightful of companions; and no one valued more highly her many charming gifts than her son Johann Wolfgang. As he grew out of infancy she became his playmate and friend, and the confidant of all his boyish sorrows. She listened with delight to his improvisations, and secretly took his part in his occasional rebellion against the paternal authority.

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CORNELIA PROCLAIMING FROM KLOPSTOCK’S MESSIAH.

Goethe was a precocious child, richly endowed physically and mentally. He absorbed knowledge spontaneously and without effort. His fancy, too, was active, and he took delight in relating the most marvelous tales, which he himself invented, to a company of admiring friends. The two fairy tales, “The New Paris” and “The New Melusine,” which he reprinted in a somewhat improved shape in his autobiography, belong to this period.

A charming anecdote is related of his fondness for Klopstock’s biblical epic, “The Messiah,” before he had yet emerged from the nursery. Frau Aja, his mother, had surreptitiously borrowed this book, and went about with it in her pocket, because her husband highly disapproved of Klopstock’s wild and rebellious rhapsodies. Goethe and his younger sister Cornelia, sharing their mother’s predilections, therefore committed the precious verses to memory, and amused themselves with personating the enraged Satan and his subordinate fiends. Standing on chairs in the nursery they would hurl the most delightfully polysyllabic maledictions at each other. One Saturday evening, while their father was receiving a professional visit from his barber, the two children (who were always hushed and subdued in his presence) were seated behind the stove whispering sonorous curses in each other’s ears. Cornelia, however, carried away by the impetus of her inspiration, forgot her father’s presence, and spoke with increasing violence:

  • “Help me! help! I implore thee, and if thou demand’st it
  • Worship thee, outcast! Thou monster and black malefactor!
  • Help me! I suffer the torments of death, the eternal avenger!” etc.

The barber, frightened out of his wits by such extraordinary language, poured the soap-lather over the counsellor’s bosom. The culprits were Edition: current; Page: [viii] summoned for trial, and Klopstock was placed upon the index expurgatorius.

In 1765 Goethe was sent to the University of Leipsic, where he was matriculated as a student of law. It was his father’s wish that he should fit himself for the legal profession, and in time inherit the paternal dignity as a counsellor and honored citizen of the free city of Frankfort. Agreeably to this plan Goethe attended lectures on logic and Roman law, but soon grew so heartily tired of these barren disciplines that he absented himself from lectures altogether. A brief and innocent love affair with Käthchen Schönkopf, the daughter of the lady with whom he took his dinners, may have tended to distract his attention. Loving your landladies’ daughters is as a rule antagonistic both to law and logic. A serious illness further interfered with his studies, and in 1768, after three years’ sojourn at the university, Goethe was called home to Frankfort, where he spent two years, regaining his health.

Goethe’s earliest sojourn in Leipsic brought him into contact with the French rococo culture, which then predominated in all the higher circles of Germany. The periwig period, with its elaborately artificial manners and “elegant” sentiments, had set its monuments in German literature as in that of France. Gottschedd, who was a servile imitator of the authors of the age of Louis XIV. and Louis XV., was a professor in Leipsic while Goethe was there, though his influence as the dictator of taste was greatly on the wane. Nevertheless the tone of Leipsic society remained French, and it was natural that an impressible young poet like Goethe should assume the tone of his surroundings. We therefore see that his first literary efforts, a volume of poems published as texts for musical compositions, bear the rococo stamp and are as frivolous and full of artificial conceits as if they had been addressed to one of the beauties of Versailles. A youthful drama, “The Accomplices” (“Die Mitschuldigen”), is in the same strain, only more ingenious and more radically alien to German morality.

In April, 1770, Goethe was sufficiently restored to health to resume his studies. He did not, however, return to Leipsic, but went to the University of Strassburg, where the faculty of law was then in a flourishing condition. The city of Strassburg was then, as it has ever since remained, essentially German, though there was an infusion of Gallic life from the French officials who governed the conquered province. It was here, where Gallic and Teutonic life ran in friendly parallelism, that Goethe first discovered the distinctive features of each. It was here he met Herder, whose oracular Edition: current; Page: [ix] utterances on the subjects of poetry, religion and society powerfully affected him. Herder was a disciple of Rousseau, and had declared war, not against civilization in general, but against that phase of it which was represented by France. He detested the entire periwig spirit, and denounced in vigorous rhetoric the hollow frivolity which it had imparted to the literature of the day. He clamored for a return to nature, and selected from the literature of all nations certain books in which he detected the strong and uncorrupted voice of nature. Among these were the Bible, Homer, Shakespere, Ossian and the ballad literature of all nations. It is curious, indeed, to find Ossian in such a company, but it must be remembered that MacPherson’s fraud had not then been exposed.

Goethe drank in eagerly these new and refreshing doctrines. He began to read the writers Herder recommended, and in his enthusiasm for Shakespere soon went beyond his teacher. He condemned his own frivolous imitations of French models, and wrestled with gigantic plans for future productions which should infuse new vigor into the enervated literature of the Fatherland. It was during this period of Titanic enthusiasm that he conceived the idea of “Faust,” for the complete embodiment of which he labored, though with many interruptions, for sixty years, until a few months before his death. A lively interest in natural science also began to develop itself in him, while his disinclination for the law showed no signs of abating. At lectures he was not a frequent guest; but for all that his intellectual life was thoroughly aroused and he was by no means idle. With his great absorptive capacity he assimilated a large amount of the most varied knowledge, but insisted upon exercising his choice as to the kind of learning which his nature and faculties craved. The result was that when the time came for taking the doctor’s degree, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, unquestionably the most brilliant intellect Germany has produced, failed to pass his examinations. He was, however, not ignominiously “flunked,” but was permitted to depart with the more modest title of “Licentiate of the Law.” This was not what the old gentleman in Frankfort had looked forward to, and it is presumable that the reception he gave his son, when he returned in 1771 to the city of his fathers, was not over cordial. He was probably not wise enough to see that he himself was to blame for having compelled the boy to devote himself to a study for which he had neither taste nor inclination.

An incident of Goethe’s life in Strassburg, which greatly influenced his literary activity, was his meeting with Frederika Brion, the daughter of Edition: current; Page: [x] the parson at Sesenheim. The parsonage was about six hours’ journey from the city, and Goethe was in the habit of visiting there with his friend Weigand, who was a relative of the family. The parson was a plain, God-fearing man, who went about in dressing-gown and slippers and with a long pipe in his mouth. His daughters Salome and Frederika were what the daughters of country clergymen are apt to be,—nice, domestic girls, who would make charming wives for almost anybody who would have the good sense to propose to them. Frederika was pretty, and moreover she had an unfortified heart. She possessed a few artless accomplishments—such as playing and singing—but when she was to show these off before company, everything went wrong. Her portrait, as drawn by Goethe in his autobiography, is one of the loveliest things in literature. Her simple talk and strictly practical interests, far removed from all sentimentality, seemed to be in perfect accord with her little “tip-tilted nose” and her half-rustic Alsatian costume. It is obvious that she appealed to Goethe’s artistic nature; that he gloried in the romantic phases of his simple life at the parsonage. He had already then the keenest appreciation of what one might call the literary aspect of his experiences. He knew at once, and probably anticipated in spirit, how they would look in a book. But he was at the same time an inflammable youth, whose heart was readily touched through the medium of his fancy. By degrees, as he established himself in the favor of every member of the Brion family, his relation to Frederika became that of a lover. The father and the mother accepted him in this capacity, and Frederika herself was overflowing with deep and quiet happiness. By an unlucky chance, however, the two Brion sisters were invited to spend some time with friends in Strassburg. Goethe was charmed at the prospect. But, strange to say, torn out of the idyllic frame in which he had been wont to see her, Frederika seemed no longer so miraculous. She needed the rural parsonage and the yellow wheat-fields for a setting; amid the upholstered furniture and gilded conventionalities of the city she seemed only a simple-hearted country girl, perhaps, a little deficient in manners. From that time the charm was broken. Frederika returned to her home; Goethe, too, soon left Strassburg. Frederika waited for him month after month, but he did not come. He lacked courage to tell her of the changed state of his feelings, and left her to pine away between hope and cruel disappointment. A serious illness was the result, which came near costing her her life. Eight years later Goethe, then a world-renowned man, revisited Sesenheim and found her yet unmarried. She was as frank and friendly as Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xi] ever, but her youthful gayety was gone; she was pale, hushed and subdued. She made no allusion to the relation which had once existed between them, but she conducted him silently to the arbor in the garden where they had spent so many rapturous hours together. There they sat down and talked of indifferent things; but many strange thoughts arose in the minds of both.

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YOUNG GOETHE IN PRIVATE THEATRICALS.

Frederika died of consumption in 1813.

After his return to Frankfort, in 1771, Goethe made an earnest effort to please his father by laying the foundation of a legal practice. The counsellor himself aided him in every possible way, looked up his authorities, and acted as a private referee in all doubtful questions. For all that, it was literature and not law which filled Goethe’s mind and fashioned his visions of the future. In the intervals of business he paid visits to the city of Darmstadt, where he made the acquaintance of Herder’s fiancée, Caroline Flachsland, and of Merck, who became his model for Mephistopheles. It was an interesting society which he here encountered, a society animated by an exalted veneration of poetic and intellectual achievements and devoted to a kind of emotional extravagance—an artificial heightening of every fine feeling and sentiment. Caroline Flachsland and her circle, recognizing Goethe’s extraordinary endowment, and feeling, perhaps, doubly inclined in his favor by his beautiful exterior, accepted him, as it were, on trust, and honored him for what he was going to do rather than for anything which he had actually accomplished. His love affair with Frederika, which was here sentimentally discussed, also added to the interest with which he was regarded. A man who is known to have broken many hearts is naturally invested with a tantalizing charm to women who have yet hearts to be broken. At all events the great expectations which were entertained of him in the Darmstadt circle, stimulated him to justify the reputation which had been thrust upon him. In 1772 he published the drama, “Götz von Berlichingen,” which at one stroke established his position as the foremost among German poets. It must be remembered, however, that Germany had at that time no really great creative poet. Lessing was, indeed, alive, and had written dramas which, in point of theatrical effectiveness and brilliancy, were superior to “Götz.” But Lessing disclaimed the title of poet, and his prominence as a critic and polemic defender of rationalism overshadowed, in the minds of his contemporaries, his earlier activity in the service of the muses. Moreover, it is not to be denied that “Götz,” with all its crudity of construction, is a warmer and more full-blooded production than any of the plays which Lessing had written Edition: current; Page: [xii] for the purpose of demonstrating the soundness of his canons of dramatic criticism.

As a stage play “Götz” is unquestionably very bad. It violates, whether purposely or not, every law of dramatic construction. It is a touching and poetical story, told in successive acts and scenes, full of deep psychological insight and vigorous characterization. But it takes a nimble fancy to keep up with the perpetual changes of scene; and even the tendency and morale of the piece are open to criticism. Goethe enlists the reader’s sympathies in behalf of the law-breaker, whose sturdy manhood and stubborn independence bring him into conflict with the state. Götz, in spite of his personal merits, represents the wild and disorderly individualism of the Middle Ages, at war with the forces of order and social progress, represented by the Emperor and the free cities. Therefore it is scarcely proper to apostrophize him as the martyr of a noble cause.

After having practiced law in a leisurely fashion in Frankfort, Goethe removed, at his father’s recommendation, to Wetzlar, where he was admitted as a practitioner at the Imperial Chamber of Justice. This removal took place in May, 1774. Among the first acquaintances which he made in this city were a young jurist named Kestner and his fiancée, Charlotte Buff. Kestner and Goethe became good friends, in spite of differences of temperament and character, and their friendship soon came to include Lotte. Kestner, who was a plain, practical man and the soul of honor, could see no danger in the daily association of his betrothed with a handsome and brilliant young poet, who confided to her his hopes and ambitions, romped with her small brothers and sisters, and captivated the entire family by the reckless grace and charm of his manners. Kestner did not suspect that there were depths in Lotte’s nature which he had never sounded, regions of sentiment and fancy which he could never hope to explore. For Lotte, though she had a strong sense of duty, had by no means as well-regulated and business-like a heart as her practical lover. Thus the strange thing came to pass: Lotte fell in love with Goethe, and Goethe with Lotte. They made no confession of their secret even to each other, but they revelled in each other’s company, undisturbed by Kestner’s presence. At last, however, a crisis occurred. Goethe began to see that he was treading on dangerous ground. One evening as he was lounging at Lotte’s feet, playing with the flounces on her dress, and the talk had taken a serious turn, he remarked, referring to a brief journey which he was about to undertake, that he hoped they would meet “jenseits” (beyond), Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xiii] meaning beyond the mountains which he was going to cross. Lotte misunderstood the allusion, and, quite forgetting Kestner’s presence, answered, fervently, that she could well be reconciled to losing him in this world, if she could only be sure of being united to him in the hereafter. It was a sudden flash which revealed to Goethe the fact that Lotte loved him. He was Kestner’s friend, was trusted by him, and could not act dishonorably. So he took his leave, packed his trunks that very night, and wrote three despairing letters to Kestner and Lotte—in which he avowed his love for the latter, and gave this as the reason of his departure. He made it appear, probably in order to shield Lotte, that his love was hopeless and that her happiness was dearer to him than his own. That this is the true version of the Wetzlar affair is made plain, beyond dispute, by the documents published by Herman Grimm, in his “Lectures on Goethe.

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Fr. Pecht del.

published by george barrie

[Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word]

Johann Heinrich-Merck

This episode with Charlotte Buff and Kestner furnished Goethe with the material for his celebrated romance, “The Sorrows of Werther,” which he published in September, 1774. As was usual with him, and indeed with every great poet, he did not copy the actual relation, but he borrowed from it what was typical and immortal and left out what was accidental and insignificant. Thus Lotte in “Werther” is not Charlotte Buff, though she sat for her model and furnished the main features of the beautiful type. In a still less degree is the pitiful Albert the author’s friend Kestner, though he is sufficiently like the latter to justify him in being offended. The character of Werther himself is more of a free creation, though his external fate was borrowed from that of a young secretary named Jerusalem, who shot himself for love of a married woman. In all other respects Werther is Goethe himself in his “Storm and Stress” period, while all the vital juices of his being were in ferment, while his youthful heart beat loudly in sympathy with the world’s woe; while the tumultuous currents of emotion swayed him hither and thither and would not be made to run in the safe conventional channels. And yet, even in those days there was a still small voice of reason in Goethe’s soul which restrained him from excesses—an undercurrent of sanity and sobriety which kept him always sound in his innermost core. If Werther had been like his prototype in this respect he would not have killed himself—in other words, he would not have been Werther.

The amazing popularity which “The Sorrows of Werther” attained, not only in Germany but throughout the civilized world, cannot be due to the story as such, which is as simple as any episode of daily life. It is only Edition: current; Page: [xiv] explainable on the supposition, that the book for the first time voiced a sentiment which was well-nigh universal in Europe, during the eighteenth century. The Germans call it Weltschmerz—i.e., world-woe. It takes in “Werther” the form of a tender melancholy, a sense of poetic sadness, which, after the unhappy love affair, deepens into a gentle despair and leads to self-destruction. Psychologically this is a very interesting phenomenon. The pent-up energy of the nation, which was denied its natural sphere of action in public and political life, takes a morbid turn and wastes itself in unwholesome introspection, coddling of artificial sentiment, and a vague discontent with the world in general.

During the year 1774 Goethe also published the tragedy “Clavigo,” which was a great disappointment to his friends. Its plot is borrowed from the Memoirs of Beaumarchais, and deals with the problem of faithlessness. In poetic intensity and fervor it is inferior to “Götz” and “Werther,” while, in point of dramatic construction, it marks a distinct advance. It is his own faithlessness to Frederika which Goethe obviously has in mind and which he is endeavoring psychologically to justify. But even from this point of view the tragedy can scarcely be called a success; for the reader closes the book with the conviction that Clavigo was, if not a villain, at all events a weak poltroon, though as such a perfectly comprehensible one.

After his departure from Wetzlar Goethe once more took up his residence in his native city, and, before long, was again involved in a tender relation. This time, it was a rich and beautiful lady of society who attracted him,—quite a contrast to the rural Frederika and the amiable and domestic Lotte. Anna Elizabeth Schönemann, generally known as Lilli, was about sixteen years old, when Goethe fell a victim to her charms. She was a spoiled child, wilful and coquettish, but high-bred and with a charm of manner, when she chose to be agreeable, which fully explains the poet’s devotion to her. Moreover, there was nothing meek and abjectly admiring about her. She teased her adorer, tormented him by her whims, and took delight in exercising her power over him. This was quite a new experience to a young man who had been accustomed to easy conquests and uncritical adoration. He was now drawn into general society, and, after his engagement with Lilli had been made public, was compelled to dance attendance upon her, early and late, at balls and dinner-parties. As an experience this might be valuable enough, but Goethe soon tired of it, and protested in prose and verse against his servitude. Lilli, however, though she was sincerely attached to him, could not be made to give up the youthful Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xv] gayety which seemed so attractive to her. Quarrels ensued, alienations and reconciliations, and finally a complete rupture. In many poems from this period Goethe chronicles the various stages of his love for Lilli and laments her loss. There is no doubt she had the making of a noble woman in her; her later life, and particularly her utterances concerning her relation to Goethe, show that she was neither frivolous nor shallow-hearted. But she was young and beautiful, and had a sense of power which it was but natural she should exercise. The meek and submissive maiden is in undue favor with men, and Goethe’s biographers, being all men, have done their best to revile the memory of Lilli.

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GRETCHEN AND GOETHE.

Among the friends who were warmly attached to Goethe at this time, Fritz Jacobi and Lavater demand a passing notice. Both presented a queer mixture of character, which accounts for their subsequent alienation from the poet. It is worthy of remark that scarcely any of the associates of Goethe’s youth maintained their intimate relations with him through life. He valued a friend only as long as he was in sympathy with him, and as he outgrew his youthful self, the friends who had been identified with this self lapsed into the distance. He did not value fidelity in the ordinary sense of the term, when it involved a perpetual strain upon the heart—when it had become a matter of duty rather than of affection. As regards Lavater, he was, with all his ostentatious spirituality, a good deal of a charlatan, even so much so as to justify Goethe’s epigram in the “Xenien:

  • “Oh, what a pity that Nature but one man made out of you, friend!
  • Besides for an honest man, there was also the stuff for a knave.”

He reminds one of Carlyle’s friend Irving, who also started as an honest zealot and lapsed into emotional excesses, which leave one no choice but to question either his sanity or his honesty. The so-called science of physiognomy, which Lavater claimed to have discovered, at one time interested Goethe greatly; but later, when he became familiar with scientific methods of research, he could no longer accept Lavater as a guide.

Fritz Jacobi was an honest sentimentalist, who ardently revered Goethe for his great powers of mind and intellect. They travelled together, and revelled in the emotions of love and sympathy which welled forth from the souls of both. Everything that they saw filled them with ecstatic wonder, and furnished themes for extravagant discourses and poetic dreams. Jacobi, even though the years sobered him, never completely outgrew this Edition: current; Page: [xvi] state, and when he published his sentimental romance “Woldemar,” which Goethe could not admire, their friendship began to cool. They drifted slowly apart, though there was no rupture to signalize their estrangement.

In spite of all his efforts, Goethe could not obtain any lasting satisfaction from his occupation with the law, and he grew lax in his attention to professional duties. The counsellor was grievously disappointed, and the relation between father and son grew so strained that all the diplomacy of the mother was required to keep them from open disagreement. It was therefore a godsend to Goethe when, in 1775, the two princes of Saxe-Weimar arrived in Frankfort, and extended to him an invitation to visit their court. The eldest of the brothers, Karl August, took a great fancy to the author of “Werther,” and made every effort to keep him as a friend and companion. To this end he conferred upon Goethe the title of Privy Counsellor, with an annual salary of twelve hundred thalers and a vote in the ducal cabinet. Goethe had thus at last got firm ground under his feet, and could now, without fear of the future, give himself up to his favorite pursuits. His arrival in Weimar made a great sensation. His fame, his extraordinary beauty and his winning manners gave him at once a prestige, which he maintained undiminished to the end of his days. The duke, who was a blunt and honest fellow, fond of pleasure and yet zealous for the welfare of his subjects, found in Goethe a firm support for his noblest endeavors. As a boon-companion in pleasure he found the poet no less attractive; though it is now conceded that the tales which were circulated concerning the excesses of the two friends, at court festivals and rural excursions, were greatly exaggerated. It is true, a pause occurs in Goethe’s literary activity after his arrival in Weimar; but this was due not to preoccupation with pleasure but to the zeal with which he devoted himself to his official duties. It was important to Goethe as a poet to gain a deeper insight into practical reality, and he seized the present opportunity to familiarize himself with many phases of life which hitherto had lain beyond his horizon. Strange as it may seem to those who identify with the name of poet everything that is fantastic and irregular, he made a model official—punctual and exact in all his dealings, painstaking, upright and inflexible.

During his early youth, Goethe had been identified with the school in German literature known as the “Storm and Stress” (“Sturm und Drang”). The members of this school had clamored for a return to Nature—meaning by Nature absence of civilization. Civilization was held responsible for all the ills to which flesh is heir, and the remedy was held to Edition: current; Page: [xvii] be the abolishment of all the artificial refinements of life which interfered with the free expression of Nature. Goethe never went to the same length in these doctrines as some of his associates (Klinger, Lenz, Leisewitz), but he was for all that, like them, a disciple of Rousseau, and had, both in “Götz” and “Werther,” made war upon civilized society. It is therefore notable that, after his arrival in Weimar and his closer contact with the actualities of life, a profound change came over him, which amounted to a revolution in his convictions. The wild ferment of his youth had found its natural expression in the fervid, tumultuous diction of the “Storm and Stress,” but his maturer manhood demanded a clearer, soberer and more precise utterance. The change that took place in his style during the first ten years of his sojourn in Weimar was therefore a natural one, and ought to have caused no surprise to those who knew him.

A very exhaustive record of Goethe’s inner and outer life during this period is contained in his correspondence with Frau von Stein, the wife of Baron von Stein, a nobleman in the duke’s service. She was seven years older than the poet and the mother of seven children. Beautiful she was not, but she was a woman of exceptional culture and finely attuned mind, capable of comprehending subtle shades of thought and feeling. Her face, as the portraits show, was full of delicacy and refinement. Her marriage was unhappy, and, without any protest on the part of her husband, she sought in daily intercourse with Goethe a consolation for the miseries of her life. Whether the relation was anything more than a bond of sympathy and intellectual friendship it is difficult to determine. His letters, appointing interviews and overflowing with affectionate assurances, are those of a lover. Unfortunately Frau von Stein’s own letters have not been preserved; she took the precaution to demand them back and burn them, when their friendship came to an end.

In September, 1786, Goethe started from Karlsbad for Italy, and arrived in October in Rome. For many years it had been his dearest desire to see the Eternal City, and to study with his own eyes the masterpieces of ancient art. In his trunk he carried several unfinished manuscripts, and in his head a number of literary plans which he here hoped to mature, in the presence of the marble gods and heroes of the ancient world. He associated chiefly with the artists Tischbein, Meyer, Philip Hackert and Angelica Kaufmann, and revelled in art talk and criticism. He took up again the study of Homer, and began to meditate upon an Homeric drama, to be called “Nausicaa.” Italy, with its bright sky, its gently sloping mountains, Edition: current; Page: [xviii] clad with silvery olive trees, and its shores washed by the blue Mediterranean waves, became a revelation to him, and he apprehended keenly her deepest poetic meaning. A cheerful paganism henceforth animates his writings, a delight in sensuous beauty and a certain impatience with the Christian ideal of self-abnegation. The Hellenic ideal of harmonious culture—an even development of all the powers of body and soul—appealed powerfully to him. He flung away his Gothic inheritance, undervaluing, in his devotion to the Greeks, what was noble and beautiful in the sturdy self-denying manhood of the North. His drama “Iphigenia,” which he had first written in prose, he now rewrote in classical pentameters and sent it home to his friends in Weimar, who were completely mystified, and did not quite dare to say that they could make neither head nor tail of it. For all that, this drama is a very remarkable production, uniting, as it were, the Greek and the Germanic ideal, and being in spirit as close to the latter as it is in form to the former. Goethe dealt with this old classic tale as no Greek could ever have done it. He makes the gentle womanhood of Iphigenia soften the manners of the fierce Taurians, and by her noble character act as a civilizing influence in the midst of the barbarous race. The Greeks had not arrived at such an estimate of woman; nor would Euripides, who dealt with the same legend, have understood Goethe’s version of it any better than did Herder and his friends in Weimar.

In June, 1788, Goethe again turned his face northward, after an absence of nearly two years. One of the first effects of his Italian experience was that he took a mistress, named Christiane Vulpius, whom many years later he married. Christiane was a bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked girl, with an abundance of curly hair, in no wise intellectual, and belonging to a family in which drunkenness was hereditary. She was of redundant physical development, had always a bright smile, and was sufficiently intelligent to take a mild interest in her lover’s literary and scientific pursuits. But that his liaison with her was, for all that, a deplorable mistake can scarcely be questioned. In the first place she developed, as she grew older, her hereditary vice, and was frequently unpresentable on account of intoxication. The son whom she bore to Goethe inherited the same failing, and died suddenly in Rome, as has been surmised, from the effects of a carouse. The young man, who was handsome in person and well endowed, had been married some years before and was the father of two sons, both of whom died unmarried. Walter von Goethe, who lived until April, 1885, Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xix] was a chamberlain at the Court of Weimar, and at one time cherished poetical aspirations. With his death the race of Goethe became extinct in the direct line. It is, indeed, true that the sins of the fathers avenge themselves upon the children.

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artist: k. kögler.

GOETHE DISCUSSING WITH THE SHOEMAKER.

Christiane’s removal to Goethe’s house, where he henceforth claimed for her the place and respect due to a wife, caused a grievous commotion in Weimar. Frau von Stein was the first to take offence, and a rupture of their former relation was the result. Herder also remonstrated, and soon ceased to count himself among Goethe’s friends.

In 1789 Goethe completed a drama which, like the “Iphigenia,” had existed in an earlier prose version. It was entitled “Tasso,” and dealt with the history of the Italian poet of that name. Its purpose seems to be to protest against the over-estimation of a poet’s calling, then in vogue, and to assert the rights of practical reason as against those of the imagination. Tasso is represented as an impulsive and warm-hearted man who is violently swayed by his emotions, while the cool-headed man of the world, Antonio, represents the opposite type. In the contest which arises between them Tasso is worsted; and it is Goethe’s purpose to convince the reader that he deserves his fate. In this, however, he is not entirely successful. Antonio, the adroit and sagacious diplomat, is an unattractive character as compared with the noble and generous Tasso, who errs from inability to restrain his passionate adoration of the Princess Leonora. The world is apt to sympathize more with generous folly than with far-seeing sagacity and nicely-adjusted calculation. And yet, when we have advanced another century, I am inclined to think that we shall agree that Goethe’s judgment was right.

As an acting play “Tasso” is even less effective than “Götz” and “Iphigenia,” being rather a poetic and admirably conceived story, told in dramatic form, than a drama in the ordinary acceptation of the term.

If further proof were needed that Goethe was not a dramatist, “Egmont” furnishes the most conclusive evidence. Here were again a series of delightful characterizations, subtle, and yet vigorous; and picturesquely effective scenes, strung together most entertainingly, but only with remote reference to the requirements of the stage. There is no perceptible acceleration of the action, as it progresses, no sharp accentuation of motives and effects, and no inexorable necessity, either internal or external, which hurries the hero on to his destruction. No poet, however great, can emancipate himself from these laws, if he wishes to produce a Edition: current; Page: [xx] successful tragedy. As a mere literary production, “Egmont” is fully worthy of the author of “Götz” and “Werther,” and deserves the immortality which it has earned. The types of Clärchen and Egmont have a perennial beauty, of which no critic can deprive them. The great elemental passion, which is the mainspring of their speech and action, appeals to all hearts alike, and invests them with a charm which can never grow old.

The critic who first expressed substantially the above opinion of “Egmont” was a young man named Frederick Schiller, who was just then glorying in his first fame as the author of “The Robbers” and other sensational dramas. He had had a great desire to make the acquaintance of Goethe, whom he profoundly revered; though he was probably aware of the dislike which Goethe entertained of the violent and declamatory school which he represented. At a meeting which took place in September, 1788, Schiller was quite grieved at the coolness with which the elder poet received him; and at a subsequent interview he likewise failed to make any advance in the latter’s favor. It was not until six years later that a literary enterprise (“Die Horen”), which Schiller had started, brought them into closer contact; and Goethe learned to value the genius of the man whom he had politely repelled. From this time forth they saw much of each other, and remained in correspondence whenever chance separated them. A beautiful friendship, founded upon mutual respect and community of interests, sprung up between them, and deepened with every year, until death separated them. Literature has no more perfect relation to show between two great men than this between Goethe and Schiller. No jealousy, no passing disagreement, clouded the beautiful serenity of their intercourse. They met, as it were, only upon the altitudes of the soul, where no small and petty passions have the power to reach. Their correspondence, which has been published, is a noble monument to the worth of both. The earnestness with which they discuss the principles of their art, the profound conscientiousness and high-bred courtesy with which they criticize each other’s works, and their generous rivalry in the loftiest excellence have no parallel in the entire history of literature.

It was chiefly due to the influence of Schiller that Goethe determined to resume work upon the fragment of “Faust,” which he had kept for many years in his portfolio, and finally published incomplete in the edition of 1790. Schiller saw at once the magnificent possibilities of this theme, and the colossal dimensions of the thought which underlay the daring conception. Goethe, being preoccupied with the classical fancies which the Edition: current; Page: [xxi] Italian journey had revived, was at first unwilling to listen to his friend’s advice, and spoke disparagingly of the fragment as something too closely allied with his Gothic “Storm and Stress” period, which he had now outgrown. So long, however, did Schiller persevere, that Goethe’s interest was reawakened, the plan widened and matured, and for the rest of his life Goethe reserved his best and noblest thought for this work, fully conscious that upon it his claim to immortality would rest. Still, it was not until 1808 that the First Part finally appeared in its present form. In the meanwhile several works of minor consequence occupied Goethe’s mind besides the romance “Wilhelm Meister,” the fundamental thought of which is kindred to that of “Faust.” The satirical poem “Reynard the Fox,” founded upon an older popular model, was published in 1794 and made some passing stir, and a rather prolix and uninteresting romance, entitled “The Conversations of German Emigrants,” also engaged his attention. In 1795 the first two volumes of “Wilhelm Meister” were published, and were received with enthusiasm by some and with censure by many. The public at large, being unable to comprehend the philosophical purpose of the work, were puzzled. As a story the book was sufficiently entertaining, but it hinted everywhere at meanings which it did not fully reveal. It was obvious that it was this hidden significance which the author had at heart amid this bewildering panorama of shifting scenes and persons. The plot is altogether too complex to be unravelled here, but the philosophy of the book may be briefly stated.

Wilhelm Meister” aims at nothing less than to portray the disintegration of feudal society, then visibly commencing—the transition from a feudal to an industrial civilization. The nobleman’s prerogatives cannot endure unless they are founded upon qualities of mind and character which make him indispensable to the state. In other words, it is a man’s utility which in the end must establish his place in society. All other distinctions are artificial and evanescent. That society had not yet reached this state Goethe was well aware, but he merely wished to indicate the direction which the development of the future must inevitably take. The quest for the ideal which drives Wilhelm from the routine of the paternal counting-house into a life of wild adventure, is merely the individual manifestation of the restless discontent which animates society at large, and is slowly revolutionizing it, in accordance with the changed conditions of modern life. The world’s ideal, like that of Wilhelm Meister, is perpetually changing, and each achievement in social reform is but a stepping-stone to still nobler Edition: current; Page: [xxii] achievements. Wilhelm when young seeks his ideal in a free and unrestrained life among actors and strolling vagabonds; then the freedom from care and the commanding position of a nobleman seem to offer the highest felicity, and at last, after having had this illusion dispelled, he finds happiness in self-forgetful devotion to duty. Not in freedom from labor but in devotion to labor; not in unrestrained pursuit of pleasure, but in a well-defined sphere of daily utility, can man alone find happiness. This is the lesson of “Wilhelm Meister,” and a most noble lesson it is. The Second Part of the book, which was not completed until 1821, only emphasizes this same moral, though the moral is concealed under a mass of more or less obscure symbols, which often seem needlessly perplexing.

The first fruit of Goethe’s union with Schiller was a series of satirical epigrams, called “Die Xenien,” (1797). These were intended in part to punish the enemies and detractors of the literary firm of Goethe and Schiller, but, though they do not spare persons who are exponents of false and dangerous tendencies, they seem chiefly intended to attack pretence, charlatanism and unsound canons of criticism. They do not only tear down, they also build up. They praise what is noble and chastise what is ignoble. Witty in the French sense are but few of them; but all of them have a weighty meaning.

Immediately in the wake of the “Xenien” followed the rural idyl “Hermann and Dorothea” (1797), which suddenly revived Goethe’s popularity with the mass of readers, who since his Italian journey had gradually drifted away from him. It was as if Goethe had meant to show them that he could be as simple and popular as anybody, if he chose. Here was a story of German rural life in which no one had seen any poetry before, except Voss, who in his “Luise” had delivered a turgid homily in hexameters on the rural virtues. Goethe well knew this poem, but he was not afraid of incurring the charge of having imitated Voss, because he knew that a literary subject belongs, not to him who deals with it first, but to him who deals with it best. There is a delightful Homeric flavor in his hexameters; they roll and march along with splendid resonance. In the characterization of the Landlord of the Golden Lion and his wife and neighbors, the same easy mastery is visible which gave the vivid form and color to the features of Egmont, Götz and Werther.

Far less successful, both in point of popularity and literary excellence, was the tragedy, “The Natural Daughter,” which owed its origin to Goethe’s excessive admiration of Sophocles and Æschylus. The types are Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xxiii] here quite colorless—not because Goethe could not individualize them, but from conscientious motives—because the Greek poets deal merely with general types and avoid a too vivid individualization. Far more worthy specimens of Græco-Germanic art are the beautiful classical elegies “Alexis and Dora,” “Euphrosyne” and “Amyntor.” Also a host of fine, spirited ballads, vigorous in tone and exquisite in color, date from this period. Goethe had long ago discovered the charm of the German folk-song, and had estimated the poetic force of this simple national strain.

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artist: k. kögler.

CHARLOTTE, GOETHE AND KESTNER.

In 1805 Schiller died, and Goethe was once more alone; for among his neighbors and townsmen he found no more congenial companions. Scientific pursuits began more and more to occupy him, and the opinion became prevalent that he had now ceased to be a poet, and that his absurd ambition to be a scientist had disqualified him for further literary production. Goethe was not in the least disturbed by these rumors, but pursued his investigations in botany, geology and optics with undiminished zeal. All the while he worked quietly on “Faust” and his “Doctrine of Color,” and made experiments with the sun spectrum—in which he believed he had discovered phenomena which were at variance with the Newtonian theory of color. That he was here on a wrong track we may now freely admit, but Professor Tyndale asserts that his very mistakes afford evidences of his genius. The fact is, he was in advance of his age in the value he attached to scientific education; and having had no opportunities for such education in his youth, he made up for what he had missed by an increased zeal during his mature years. He saw Nature in her grand unity, and his penetrating vision saw the great causal chain which unites her most varied phenomena. In this, and in this alone, consisted his greatness as a scientist. He was the Faust who by a daring synthesis brought order into the chaos of dispersed facts, which a hundred pedantic and pains-taking Wagners had accumulated. The Wagners therefore did not love him, and their hostile opinions made enough noise in their day to have even reached as a faint echo down to the present. Nevertheless the scientists of to-day have recognized the value of Goethe’s theory of the typical plant, and of the leaf as the typical organ of plant life, which he has fully developed in his book on “The Metamorphoses of Plants.” A kindred thought, applied to the animal kingdom, led to the discovery of the intermaxillary bone, which finally established the identity of the human skeleton with that of other mammals; and in geology to his championing the so-called Neptunic theory of the development of the earth against Humboldt’s Vulcanism, which attributed to volcanic agencies Edition: current; Page: [xxiv] the principal influence in fashioning the globe’s surface. In all these controversies he emphasized the essential identity of Nature in all her phenomena; the unity and organic coherence of all her varied life; and he did not, in the end, hesitate to draw the logical conclusion from these premises, and declare himself a believer in the theory of evolution, half a century before Darwin had advanced the same doctrine.

All these heterogeneous studies became tributary to Goethe’s greatest work, “Faust” (1790 and 1808), in which the highest results of his colossal knowledge are deposited. It is his philosophy of life which he has here expounded, under a wealth of symbols and images which dazzle the eye, and to the superficial reader often obscure the profounder meaning. To the majority of English and American critics “Faust” is but a touching and beautiful love-story, and the opinion is unblushingly expressed by hoary wiseacres that the Second Part is a mistake of Goethe’s old age, and in no wise worthy of the First. If nothing is worth saying except that which appeals to the ordinary intellect, trained in the common schools, then this criticism is not to be cavilled with; but Goethe had during the latter part of his life entered a realm of thought, where he was hidden from the multitude; where but a few congenial minds could follow him. To these I would endeavor to demonstrate what “Faust” means if the space permitted.* All I can do here is briefly to indicate the fundamental thought.

Goethe borrowed from Spinoza the daring proposition that God is responsible for evil. He undertook to demonstrate that evil was not an afterthought on the part of God, which stole into his system of the universe by an unforeseen chance, but an essential part of that system from the beginning. In other words, as it is expressed in the “Prologue in Heaven,” God gave Mephistopheles as a companion to Faust. Selfishness, which is merely another form of the instinct of self-preservation, is the lever of the world’s history, and if a man were born who was entirely free from it he would be unable to maintain his place in the world as it is now constituted. He would be trampled down, and would perish. The unrestrained egoism of barbaric times has gradually been limited, as civilization has advanced, by laws, which in each age expresses the average moral sense, and are intended to secure the preservation of society. But egoism, though variously disguised and turned into useful channels, is yet the leading Edition: current; Page: [xxv] motive in men’s actions—Mephistopheles, though a most civilized gentleman, still is at Faust’s elbow, and stimulates him to daring enterprise of which, without this unlovely companion, he would never have dreamed.

Faust, then, is meant to symbolize mankind, and Mephistopheles the devil, the principle of selfishness or of evil, in whatever way disguised. In the symbolic fable, Mephistopheles makes a wager with the Lord, that if the Lord will give him the right to accompany Faust, Faust will in the end be the devil’s. This wager is accepted, and Mephistopheles proceeds to introduce Faust to all phases of sensual pleasure, in the hope of corrupting him. Faust, however, though he sins, is in no wise corrupted. The love affair and the subsequent tragedy with Margaret are merely episodes in Faust’s development, from the author’s point of view, cruel as it may seem. Faust, in his typical capacity, rises above the error which came near crippling him, to higher phases of being. His ideal changes; he goes in search of culture and intellectual achievement. Mephistopheles’s attempts to lead him astray are turned directly to useful purposes. The devil, who in the sensual stage of his development had had a certain predominance over him, becomes now more and more subservient to him. Faust’s intellectual powers are especially employed in statesmanship and political activity for the welfare of the state. Then comes the pursuit of the beautiful, regarded as an educational agency, symbolized in the quest of Helen of Troy and the pilgrimage to Greece. Particularly in the classical Walpurgis Night are the spiritual value and the ennobling influence of Greek art emphasized. The last and concluding phase of man’s development, which is logically derived from the preceding ones, is altruism—a noble devotion to humanity, and self-forgetful labor for the common weal. In this activity Faust finds happiness, and exclaims to the flying moment, “Stay, thou art so fair.”

It is scarcely necessary to add that Faust remained a sealed book to the majority of Goethe’s contemporaries. Some few saw the scope and purpose of the work and valued it accordingly; others pretended to understand more than they did; and a whole literature of commentaries was supplied by the learned ingenuity and zeal of the Fatherland. Goethe sat at home and smiled at his critics, but never undertook either to confirm or to refute their theories.

In 1809 he again published a book which was a puzzle both to his admirers and his enemies. This was a novel entitled “Elective Affinities.” He had at that time made the acquaintance of a young girl named Minna Herzlieb, an adopted daughter of the bookseller Frommann in Jena. He Edition: current; Page: [xxvi] became greatly interested in her, addressed sonnets to her, and quite turned her head. To be loved by Goethe, even though he was no longer young, was a distinction which no girl could contemplate with indifference. Moreover he was, apart from his celebrity, a man of majestic presence and a kind of serene Olympian beauty. Minna Herzlieb’s parents fearing that she might lose her heart, as she already had her head, made haste to send her beyond the reach of Goethe’s influence. Out of this relation, or rather out of its possibilities, grew “Elective Affinities.” Goethe was married to Christiane, whose unfortunate propensity for drink had then already developed. Minna was young and fair, and attracted him strongly. Here were the elements for a tragedy. In the book the situation is essentially the same, though Charlotte, Edward’s wife, is afflicted by no vice. It might be described as a four-cornered attachment, in which everybody loves the one he cannot have. These attachments are described by analogy, with chemical laws, as entirely irresponsible natural forces which assert themselves in the individual without any guilty agency of his own. The conclusion is, however, not that marriage, which interferes with the consummation of these elective affinities, is wrong, and ought to be abolished. If there is any moral at all (which is not perfectly obvious), it is that every man and woman should be aware of encouraging such relations, as they are sure to lead to unhappiness and disaster.

Christiane, Goethe’s wife, died in 1816, and he mourned her sincerely. Habit had bred a certain attachment, of which, with all her failings, she was not entirely undeserving. In her early youth, before she had yet assumed the name of wife, she had inspired the immortal Roman “Elegies,” in which her lover, with pagan unrestraint, had sung the delight of the senses. She had been his associate, too, in his botanical studies, and had assisted him in his search for the typical plant. But a wife in the noblest sense—a friend and a companion of her husband’s higher life—she had not been and could not have been.

In the last decades of his life, Goethe was largely absorbed in scientific researches and in arranging and editing the labors of his early life. Of particular importance is his autobiography, “Fact and Fiction” (“Aus Meinem Leben, Dichtung und Wahrheit”), which relates with extraordinary vividness that portion of his life which preceded his removal to Weimar. The book is an historical document of the highest importance. It gives the intellectual and moral complexion of the eighteenth century in Germany, as no other work has ever done. Also his letters from Italy to Herder and Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xxvii] Frau von Stein he carefully edited and collected under the title “Italian Journey.” Then, as if by a miracle, came a poetic Indian summer, a fresh flow of lyrical verse, full of youthful spontaneity and fervor. This collection, which was published in 1819 under the title “The West-Eastern Divan,” was a free imitation of Oriental models, translated into German by Hammer Purgstall (1813). The first half of the book is chiefly didactic, while the latter half contains love lyrics, which in freshness of fancy and sweetness of melody rival the productions of Goethe’s best years. A few of these poems were written by Marianne Willemer, the wife of a merchant in Frankfort, and with her consent included in the collection. She cherished an ardent admiration for the old poet, and he highly valued her friendship. She is supposed to be “the beloved one” whom he celebrates in the book of “Zuleika.” The book of “Timur” is a free poetic moralization, concerning the rise and fall of Napoleon, disguised in Oriental forms. What is particularly remarkable in these melodious meditations is the novelty of their metres. Goethe discards, for the time, the classical measures in which his genius had moved with such sovereign ease, and adopts the strangely involved verse of an entirely alien civilization. It is the metrical forms which Platen, Heine, Rückert and Bodenstedt have made so familiar to German readers, and which German poets even to-day are assiduously cultivating. Although Goethe did not go into any such minute study of Oriental prosody as for instance Rückert, yet he was in this field, as in many other departments of literary labor, the path-breaking pioneer.

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artist: k. kögler.

GOETHE DESPATCHING THE MANUSCRIPT OF GOETZ.

Another work which, though seemingly unassuming, gained, in the course of time, much importance for the intellectual life of Germany was the “Italian Journey,” which was given to the public in 1817. Altogether this collection of letters, containing only the simplest and most direct descriptions of what the writer saw, differs widely from every other description of Italy which has ever been published. It has no fine writing, and makes no pretentious display of knowledge. But for all that it is a model of good style. The words are absolutely transparent, and serve no purpose but to convey an accurate idea of the objects described. The marvelously many-sided knowledge of the author, and, above all, his wholesome and universal curiosity, are highly impressive. A fact, whether it belong to the realm of art or of nature, or of political history, commands his immediate interest. He has at all times and in all places a strong, healthful appetite for facts. On the Lido, near Venice, he sits and contemplates with a fascinated gaze the phenomena of marine life; with exactly the same Edition: current; Page: [xxviii] devotion he listens to the responsive song of the fishermen across the lagoons, or studies the architecture of Palladio and the paintings of Rafael and Titian. The Adriatic, with its blue isles reflected in the sun-bathed waves, furnishes him with a setting for the Homeric epics, and Homeric life becomes clear to him, by analogy, from the study of the physical conditions of the old Magna Græcia. In every direction his comment is pregnant with new meaning. He throws out with heedless prodigality seed-corns of thought, and they fall into good soil and bear fruit a hundred and a thousand fold in the distant future.

Of Goethe’s other autobiographical works “Fiction and Fact” is the most important. The title is significant, because it implies that the author does not mean to tie himself down to the narration of the mere barren details of his life, but reserves for himself the right of artistic arrangement and poetical interpretation. It has, indeed, been proved that he has now and again reversed the sequence of events, where a more poetic effect could be attained at the expense of the true chronology. It was his purpose to emphasize the organic coherence of his life; its continuous and unbroken development, according to certain laws which presided over his destiny. His father and mother (upon whom he bestows the minutest description) being what they were, and the environment of his early life (which he likewise depicts with the most pains-taking exactness) being what it was, it was natural and necessary that he should become what he was. This seems to be the sum and moral of the whole. Law and organic evolution were the watchwords of his life. All that was accidental and appeared miraculous interested him only as an incentive to find in it the hidden law. So in every science which he approached his touch seemed creative—it brought order out of chaos. The slow and beautiful processes of the earth’s cooling and preparation for the habitation of living creatures, the gradual growth and decay of the mountains, and the uses of all these agencies in the grand cosmic economy—these were things which in the latter half of his career most profoundly absorbed him. He loved to gather about him scientific specialists, and to hear from them the latest results of their investigations. As his isolation in Weimar grew more complete, he came to depend almost entirely upon such company as he could find in travelling artists and scientists. As an instance of his interest in scientific questions, an anecdote related by his friend Soret is highly characteristic. In the first days of August, 1830, Weimar was agitated by the intelligence which had just arrived from Paris of the breaking out of the July Revolution. Edition: current; Page: [xxix] Soret hurried to Goethe to discuss the political situation with him. The moment Goethe saw him he exclaimed, “Well, what do you think of this great event? The volcano has at last come to eruption; everything is in flames, and there is no longer any question of debate behind closed doors.”

“It is a terrible story,” answered Soret, “but what was to be expected under such conditions and with such a ministry, except that it would have to end with the expulsion of the royal family.”

Goethe stared in the utmost astonishment. “We seem to misunderstand each other, my dear,” he said after a moment’s pause; “I am not talking of those people. What interests me is quite a different affair. I am referring to the quarrel which has just broken out in the Academy between Cuvier and Geoffroy St. Hillaire, which is of the utmost significance to science. The matter is of the highest importance,” he continued after another pause, “and you can have no idea of the feelings which the session of July 19th has aroused in me. We have now in St. Hillaire a mighty ally for a long time to come. . . . The best of all, however, is that the synthetic treatment of nature, introduced by him in France, can now no more be overthrown.”

It is to me a most sublime trait, this lofty scientific absorption. Wars and revolutions and expulsions of kings are of small consequence compared to the great eternal laws which hold the planets in their spheres, and guide the progressive march of God’s vast creation. Cuvier held that a series of violent catastrophes had taken place in the earth’s history, sharply separating each geologic age from the subsequent and the preceding one. St. Hillaire, on the other hand, defended Goethe’s proposition that the development of the earth and its life had been an uninterrupted sequence of progressive stages. How deeply Goethe felt upon this subject is further evident from his remark to Chancellor von Müller: “About aesthetic matters everyone may think and feel as he likes, but in natural science the false and the absurd are absolutely unendurable.” “This friend,” he remarked on the same occasion, referring to Alexander von Humboldt, who, as he thought, had given undue weight to volcanic agencies, “has, in fact, never had any higher method; only much common sense, zeal and persistence.”

Goethe’s attitude toward politics, and particularly toward the efforts of his countrymen to throw off the Napoleonic yoke, has been the subject of much heated controversy. The fact is, he was a German only in name; Edition: current; Page: [xxx] because the German nationality was in his day not yet resuscitated. In the free city of Frankfort, where Goethe spent his childhood and early youth, there existed no such feeling as national pride and patriotism. A kind of local town-feeling was quite pronounced, and Goethe had his share of it. But the miserable separatistic policy of the petty German princes had begun to bear fruit long ago, and had extinguished all sense of responsibility to the empire at large and all devotion for the common nationality. Where there is no national life there can be no patriotism. It is responsibility which engenders devotion. When, finally, Napoleon’s tyranny awakened this sentiment in the hearts of the scattered and dismembered nation, Goethe was too old to be affected by it. “Shake your fetters,” he exclaimed to his struggling countrymen, “you cannot break them. The man is too strong for you.”

That such language was resented by a bleeding people, fighting for its existence, is not to be wondered at. At the same time the apparent indifference of Goethe was not as serious a reflection upon his character as his friends then assumed. He was essentially a child of the eighteenth century, and had imbibed its individualism. All he demanded of the state was the right to pursue his own avocations in peace; and anything that broke in upon his literary and scientific meditation (even though it were a war of liberation) he was apt to resent as an intrusion. In 1813, when, after the battle of Jena, the French plundered Weimar and the grenadiers even stormed into his bed-room, he had a taste of the tribulations of war, and a deep horror of its terrific waste of life and barbarizing influence took possession of him. He stood no longer then, as he did in the campaign in France in 1792, watching the bursting shells with a purely scientific interest, taking down his observations in his note-book. The fiery rain was no longer a mere experiment in optics.

Goethe has somewhere remarked, that all his writings are one continued confession—his life entered into his work; every experience became transfused into the very life-blood of his thought, and gained in time its poetic expression. Only war remained so repugnant to him that he nowhere felt called upon to interpret the emotion which it aroused.

“How could I take up arms,” he said to Soret, “without hatred; and how could I hate without youth? If such an emergency had befallen me when I was twenty years old, I should certainly not have been the last. . . . To write military songs and sit in my room! That, for sooth, was my duty! To have written them in the bivouac, while the Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [xxxi] outposts of the enemy’s horses are heard neighing in the night, would have been well enough! . . . But I am no warlike nature, and have no warlike sense; war-songs would have been a mask which would have fitted my face badly. I have never affected anything in poetry. I have never uttered anything which I have not experienced and which has not urged me to production. I have composed love-songs when I loved! How could I write songs of hate without hating? And, between ourselves, I did not hate the French; althought I thanked God when we were rid of them. How could I, to whom culture and barbarism alone are of importance, hate a nation which is among the most cultivated of the earth, and to which I owe so much of my own culture. Altogether, national hatred is a peculiar thing, and you will always find it strongest at the lowest stage of culture.”

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artist: p. grotjohann.

GOETHE AT CARLSRUHE.

I have already alluded to the fact that Goethe in his old age found himself isolated from the society of friends and neighbors. Altogether, his relations with his great contemporaries need a word of comment. His friendship with Schiller, as we have seen, remained uninterrupted to the end; and with Wieland, who was a cheerful, easy-going epicurean, he also remained on amicable terms. But Wieland had never been very near to him; and a friendly acquaintance will take care of itself much more easily than a closer intimacy. With Herder, on the other hand, who in natural endowment was a worthier rival to Goethe than the prolific author of “Oberon,” he had many misunderstandings which, finally, after the Vulpius affair, led to a lasting alienation. Herder was, with all his great qualities, testy and irritable, and could not conquer a certain envy of Goethe. He had largely influenced Goethe’s intellectual life and therefore resented his pupil’s tendency to grow above his head. That he protested against Goethe’s liaison is certainly to his honor; and Goethe would have saved himself and his posterity much unhappiness had he heeded Herder’s advice. On the whole, it is obvious that Goethe, as he grew to his full intellectual stature, no longer desired relations of personal intimacy. He valued this friend for his proficiency in this branch of knowledge, and that friend for his proficiency in another; but he took pains, as it were, to confine each man to his own department in which he was likely to be useful and interesting. Even men with blots upon their reputations he invited to his house, if he had respect for their acquirements. But let them beware, if they desired to continue on an amicable footing, not to stray beyond their respective departments. Even in his relation to the duke, Karl August, Goethe Edition: current; Page: [xxxii] maintained in later years a reserve, which so old and tried a friend might have felt justified in resenting. But the duke understood Goethe, and thought his attitude natural. He found him a useful and highly ornamental figure in his small duchy; and did everything in his power to further the objects for which he lived. Perhaps he even liked the stately reserve of the old poet. “As genuine grands seigneurs,” says Grimm, “they walked side by side, and the distance which separated them was exactly to their tastes. . . . From having been friends, Goethe and the duke became allies.”

During the last years of his life it was chiefly the Second Part of “Faust” and his periodical “For Art and Antiquity” which occupied Goethe. Like the aged Faust, he marched serenely toward the Valley of the Shadow of Death, cheerfully awaiting whatever fate there might be in store for him:

  • “Yes, let me dare those gates to fling asunder,
  • Which every man would fain go slinking by!
  • ’Tis time through deeds this word of truth to thunder:
  • That with the height of Gods man’s dignity may vie!
  • Nor from that gloomy gulf to shrink affrighted
  • Where Fancy damns herself to self-wrought woes.
  • . . . . . . . . . .
  • Upon this step with cheerful heart resolving,
  • If even into naught the risk were of dissolving.”*

His activity was as many-sided and unwearied as in his most vigorous manhood. Not only the scientific, but also the literary currents of thought in all civilized lands he watched with the liveliest interest. So great was the elasticity of his mind, that he was in his old age capable of appreciating what was good in the Romantic school, in spite of his former dislike and his diametrically opposed intellectual tendency. The reactionary spirit of the Romanticists, and their wild enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, remained as repugnant to Goethe as ever; and their morbid mysticism and predilection for Catholicism did not commend them to one to whom the cheerful sensuousness and innate saneness of the Greek civilization had always strongly appealed. But the efforts of the Romantic authors to revive the feeling for native art seemed to him praiseworthy; and Sulpiz Boisserée, who was laboring earnestly for the restoration of the Cologne Cathedral, actually succeeded in convincing him of the national importance of his Edition: current; Page: [xxxiii] undertaking. The drawings and paintings of Albrecht Dürer also began to impress him, and his entire attitude toward the Middle Ages underwent a gradual change.

As the years progressed, the effects of Goethe’s activity began to be felt also in foreign lands, and he watched with interest and gratification his growing influence in every domain of human knowledge. Particularly in France, a school of rising authors, which also assumed the title of Romantic, strove through its organ, The Globe, to establish his authority beyond the Rhine. Although undoubtedly with the ulterior object of gaining a mighty ally against their enemies at home—the Academicians—these men, among whom Quinet, Ampère and Prosper Mérimée were the most prominent, paid their enthusiastic homage to the German poet, and, in spite of their defective comprehension of the spirit of his teachings, contributed not a little toward bringing his writings to the notice of the French public. In England also his writings were published, and commented upon with more or less intelligence in newspapers and reviews. Carlyle translated “Wilhelm Meister,” Walter Scott “Götz von Berlichingen” (1799), and Byron borrowed his ideas with his usual nonchalance. In Italy, too, he gained many admirers, and entertained a desultory correspondence with Manzoni. The ready recognition which he thus found on all hands gradually developed in him the idea of a world literature, which, independently of race and country, should appeal to the highest sense of excellence which the most cultured in all countries have in common. He had himself gathered the chief intellectual currents of his age, and made them pulsate through his own being. National differences and conflicting interests, which drew the peoples apart, seemed to him of small consequence compared to the great and abiding interests which all mankind has in common. Truth has no nationality, and a great thought is great in whatever language it is uttered. In the upper regions of the intellect men meet merely as men—as poets, thinkers, scientists—and all accidental distinctions of party, rank and nationality vanish. The ancient Greeks, who were the only people whose culture had been founded upon this universally human basis, would always remain authorities in matters of art. They were not to be imitated, however, but the spirit of their work, if properly comprehended, would stimulate the modern poet and artist to noble and independent creation.

Thus, in brief, was Goethe’s poetic creed. His prophecy of the world-literature is, however; yet far from fulfilment.

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During the last years of Goethe’s life death reaped a rich harvest among those who were dearest to him. In June, 1828, died his oldest friend, Duke Karl August. Frau von Stein had died a few years before (1825). But the hardest blow of all was the loss of his only son, August von Goethe, who died in Rome in 1830. His daughter-in-law Ottilia remained his faithful companion and did the honors of his household. She read aloud to him from Plutarch—who was one of his favorite authors. To Eckermann he said as he sealed the package containing the completed MS. of “Faust,” “Henceforth I look upon my life purely as a gift; it is now really of little consequence what I do.”

A few months later (March 22d, 1832), as he was seated in his cosychair, suffering from a slight cold, he expired quietly and without a struggle. His last words were: “Light! more light!”

“The morning after Goethe’s death,” says Eckermann, “a deep desire seized me to look upon his earthly remains. His faithful servant Frederick opened for me the chamber where he was lying. Stretched upon his back, he reposed as if asleep; profound peace and firmness reigned in the features of his sublime, noble countenance. The mighty brow seemed yet to harbor thoughts. . . . The body lay naked, only wrapped in a winding-sheet. . . . The servant drew aside the sheet, and I marveled at the divine magnificence of those limbs. The breast was extraordinarily powerful, broad and arched; the arms and thighs were full and softly muscular; the feet shapely and of the purest form; nowhere on the whole body was there any trace of fat, or leanness, or decay. A perfect man lay in great beauty before me; and the rapture occasioned by this sight made me forget for a moment that the immortal spirit had left such an abode. I placed my hand on his heart; there was a deep stillness, and I turned away to give free vent to my suppressed tears.”

It is difficult to overestimate the value of Goethe’s work to humanity. The bequest which he left to the world in his writings, and in the whole intellectual result of his life, is not as yet appreciated at its full worth; because, intellectually, the world has not yet caught up with him. His influence to-day asserts itself in a hundred minute ways—even where no one suspects it. The century has received the stamp and impress of his mighty personality. The intellectual currents of the age, swelled and amplified by later tributaries, flow to-day in the directions which Goethe indicated.

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Poems

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DEDICATION.

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THE morn arriv’d; his footstep quickly scar’d

The gentle sleep that round my senses clung,

And I, awak’ning, from my cottage far’d,

And up the mountain’s side with light heart sprung;

At ev’ry step I felt my gaze ensnar’d

By new-born flow’rs that full of dewdrops hung;

The youthful day awoke with ecstasy,

And all things quicken’d were, to quicken me.

And as I mounted, from the valley rose

A streaky mist, that upward slowly spread,

Then bent, as though my form it would enclose,

Then, as on pinions, soar’d above my head:

My gaze could now on no fair view repose,

In mournful veil conceal’d, the world seem’d dead;

The clouds soon clos’d around me, as a tomb,

And I was left alone in twilight gloom.

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At once the sun his lustre seem’d to pour,

And through the mist was seen a radiant light;

Here sank it gently to the ground once more,

There parted it, and climb’d o’er wood and height.

How did I yearn to greet him as of yore,

After the darkness waxing doubly bright!

The airy conflict ofttimes was renew’d,

Then blinded by a dazzling glow I stood.

Ere long an inward impulse prompted me

A hasty glance with boldness round to throw;

At first mine eyes had scarcely strength to see,

For all around appear’d to burn and glow.

Then saw I, on the clouds borne gracefully,

A godlike woman hov’ring to and fro.

In life I ne’er had seen a form so fair—

She gaz’d at me, and still she hover’d there.

“Dost thou not know me?” were the words she said

In tones where love and faith were sweetly bound;

“Knowest thou not Her who oftentimes hath shed

The purest balsam in each earthly wound?

Thou know’st me well; thy panting heart I led

To join me in a bond with rapture crown’d.

Did I not see thee, when a stripling, yearning

To welcome me with tears heartfelt and burning?”

“Yes!” I exclaim’d, whilst, overcome with joy,

I sank to earth: “I long have worshipp’d thee;

Thou gav’st me rest, when passions rack’d the boy.

Pervading ev’ry limb unceasingly;

Thy heav’nly pinions thou didst then employ

The scorching sunbeams to ward off from me.

From thee alone Earth’s fairest gifts I gain’d,

Through thee alone true bliss can be obtain’d.

“Thy name I know not; yet I hear thee nam’d

By many a one who boasts thee as his own;

Each eye believes that tow’rd thy form ’tis aim’d,

Yet to most eyes thy rays are anguish-sown.

Ah! whilst I err’d, full many a friend I claim’d,

Now that I know thee, I am left alone;

With but myself can I my rapture share,

I needs must veil and hide thy radiance fair.”

She smil’d, and answering said: “Thou seest how wise.

How prudent ’twas but little to unveil!

Scarce from the clumsiest cheat are clear’d thine eyes,

Scarce hast thou strength thy childish bars to scale,

When thou dost rank thee ’mongst the deities,

And so man’s duties to perform would’st fail!

How dost thou differ from all other men?

Live with the world in peace, and know thee then!”

“Oh, pardon me!” I cried, “I meant it well;

Not vainly didst thou bless mine eyes with light;

For in my blood glad aspirations swell,

The value of thy gifts I know aright!

Those treasures in my breast for others dwell,

The buried pound no more I’ll hide from sight.

Why did I seek the road so anxiously,

If hidden from my brethren ’twere to be?”

And as I answer’d, tow’rd me turn’d her face,

With kindly sympathy, that godlike one;

Within her eye full plainly could I trace

What I had fail’d in, and what rightly done.

She smil’d, and cur’d me with that smile’s sweet grace,

To new-born joys my spirit soar’d anon;

With inward confidence I now could dare

To draw yet closer, and observe her there.

Through the light cloud she then stretch’d forth her hand,

As if to bid the streaky vapor fly:

At once it seem’d to yield to her command,

Contracted, and no mist then met mine eye.

My glance once more survey’d the smiling land,

Unclouded and serene appear’d the sky.

Nought but a veil of purest white she held,

And round her in a thousand folds it swell’d.

“I know thee, and I know thy wav’ring will,

I know the good that lives and glows in thee!”—

Thus spake she, and methinks I hear her still—

“The prize long destin’d, now receive from me;

That bless’d one will be safe from ev’ry ill,

Who takes this gift with soul of purity,—

The veil of Minstrelsy from Truth’s own hand,

Of sunlight and of morn’s sweet fragrance plann’d.

And when thou and thy friends at fierce noonday

Are parch’d with heat, straight cast it in the air!

Then Zephyr’s cooling breath will round you play,

Distilling balm and flowers’ sweet incense there;

The tones of earthly woe will die away,

The grave become a bed of clouds so fair,

To sing to rest life’s billows will be seen,

The day be lovely, and the night serene.”—

Come, then, my friends! and whensoe’er ye find

Upon your way increase life’s heavy load;

If by fresh-waken’d blessings flowers are twin’d

Around your path, and golden fruits bestow’d,

We’ll seek the coming day with joyous mind!

Thus bless’d, we’ll live, thus wander on our road,

And when our grandsons sorrow o’er our tomb,

Our love, to glad their bosoms, still shall bloom.

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Songs

Late resounds the early strain;

Weal and woe in song remain.

SOUND, SWEET SONG.

  • SOUND, sweet song, from some far land,
  • Sighing softly close at hand,
  • Now of joy, and now of woe!
  • Stars are wont to glimmer so.
  • Sooner thus will good unfold;
  • Children young and children old
  • Gladly hear thy numbers flow.

TO THE KIND READER.

    • NO one talks more than a Poet;
    • Fain he’d have the people know it,
    • Praise or blame he ever loves;
    • None in prose confess an error,
    • Yet we do so, void of terror,
    • In the Muses’ silent groves.
    • What I err’d in, what corrected,
    • What I suffer’d, what effected,
    • To this wreath as flow’rs belong;
    • For the ag’d, and the youthful,
    • And the vicious, and the truthful,
    • All are fair when view’d in song.
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THE NEW AMADIS

    • IN my boyhood’s days so drear
    • I was kept confin’d;
    • There I sat for many a year,
    • All alone I pin’d,
    • As within the womb.
    • Yet thou drov’st away my gloom,
    • Golden phantasy!
    • I became a hero true,
    • Like the Prince Pipi,
    • And the world roam’d through;
    • Many a crystal palace built,
    • Crush’d them with like art,
    • And the Dragon’s life-blood spilt
    • With my glitt’ring dart.
    • Yes! I was a man!
    • Next I form’d the knightly plan
    • Princess Fish to free;
    • She was much too complaisànt,
    • Kindly welcom’d me,—
    • And I was gallant.
    • Heav’nly bread her kisses prov’d,
    • Glowing as the wine;
    • Almost unto death I lov’d.
    • Suns appear’d to shine
    • In her dazzling charms.
    • Who hath torn her from mine arms?
    • Could no magic band
    • Make her in her flight delay?
    • Say, where now her land?
    • Where, alas, the way?

WHEN THE FOX DIES, HIS SKIN COUNTS.

    • WE young people in the shade
    • Sat one sultry day;
    • Cupid came, and “Dies the Fox”
    • With us sought to play.
    • Each one of my friends then sat
    • By his mistress dear;
    • Cupid, blowing out the torch,
    • Said: “The taper’s here!”
    • Then we quickly sent around
    • The expiring brand;
    • Each one put it hastily
    • In his neighbor’s hand.
    • Dorilis then gave it me,
    • With a scoffing jest;
    • Sudden into flame it broke,
    • By my fingers press’d.
    • And it sing’d my eyes and face,
    • Set my breast on fire;
    • Then above my head the blaze
    • Mounted ever higher.
    • Vain I sought to put it out;
    • Ever burn’d the flame;
    • ’Stead of dying, soon the Fox
    • Livelier still became.
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artist: k. kögler.

THE HEATHROSE.

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THE HEATHROSE.

    • ONCE a boy a Rosebud spi’d,
    • Heathrose fair and tender,
    • All array’d in youthful pride,—
    • Quickly to the spot he hi’d,
    • Ravish’d by her splendor.
    • Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
    • Heathrose fair and tender!
    • Said the boy, “I’ll now pick thee,
    • Heathrose fair and tender!”
    • Said the rosebud, “I’ll prick thee,
    • So that thou’lt remember me,
    • Ne’er will I surrender!”
    • Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
    • Heathrose fair and tender!
    • Now the cruel boy must pick
    • Heathrose fair and tender;
    • Rosebud did her best to prick,—
    • Vain ’twas ’gainst her fate to kick—
    • She must needs surrender.
    • Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red,
    • Heathrose fair and tender!

BLINDMAN’S BUFF.

    • OH, my Theresa dear!
    • Thine eyes I greatly fear
    • Can through the bandage see!
    • Although thine eyes are bound,
    • By thee I’m quickly found,
    • And wherefore should’st thou
    • catch but me?
    • Ere long thou held’st me fast,
    • With arms around me cast,
    • Upon thy breast I fell;
    • Scarce was thy bandage gone,
    • When all my joy was flown,
    • Thou coldly didst the blind repel.
    • He grop’d on ev’ry side,
    • His limbs he sorely tried,
    • While scoffs arose all round;
    • If thou no love wilt give,
    • In sadness I shall live,
    • As if mine eyes remain’d still bound.

CHRISTEL.

    • MY senses ofttimes are oppress’d,
    • Oft stagnant is my blood;
    • But when by Christel’s sight I’m bless’d,
    • I feel my strength renew’d.
    • I see her here, I see her there,
    • And really cannot tell
    • The manner how, the when, the where,
    • The why I love her well.
    • If with the merest glance I view
    • Her black and roguish eyes,
    • And gaze on her black eyebrows too,
    • My spirit upward flies.
    • Has any one a mouth so sweet,
    • Such love-round cheeks as she?
    • Ah, when the eye her beauties meet,
    • It ne’er content can be.
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    • And when in airy German dance
    • I clasp her form divine,
    • So quick we whirl, so quick advance,
    • What rapture then like mine!
    • And when she’s giddy, and feels warm,
    • I cradle her, poor thing,
    • Upon my breast, and in mine arm,—
    • I’m then a very king!
    • And when she looks with love on me,
    • Forgetting all but this,
    • When press’d against my bosom, she
    • Exchanges kiss for kiss,
    • All through my marrow runs a thrill,
    • Runs e’en my foot along!
    • I feel so well, I feel so ill,
    • I feel so weak, so strong!
    • Would that such moments ne’er would end!
    • The day ne’er long I find;
    • Could I the night too with her spend,
    • E’en that I should not mind.
    • If she were in mine arms but held,
    • To quench love’s thirst I’d try;
    • And could my torments not be quell’d,
    • Upon her breast would die.

THE COY ONE.

lf0841-01_figure_012.jpg
    • ONE Spring morning bright and fair,
    • Roam’d a shepherdess and sang;
    • Young and beauteous, free from care,
    • Through the fields her clear notes rang:
    • So, la, la! le ralla, etc.
    • Of his lambs some two or three
    • Thyrsis offer’d for a kiss;
    • First she ey’d him roguishly,
    • Then for answer sang but this:
    • So, la, la! le ralla, etc.
    • Ribbons did the next one offer,
    • And the third, his heart so true;
    • But, as with the lambs, the scoffer
    • Laugh’d at heart and ribbons too,—
    • Still ’twas la! le ralla, etc.
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THE CONVERT.

    • BEFORE sunset I was straying
    • Silently the wood along,
    • Damon on his flute was playing,
    • And the rocks gave back the song,
    • So la, la! etc.
    • Softly tow’rds him then he drew me;
    • Sweet each kiss he gave me then!
    • And I said, “Play once more to me!”
    • And he kindly play’d again,
    • So la, la! etc.
    • All my peace for aye has fleeted,
    • All my happiness has flown;
    • Yet my ears are ever greeted
    • With that olden, blissful tone,
    • So la, la! etc.

PRESERVATION.

    • MY maiden she prov’d false to me;
    • To hate all joys I soon began,
    • Then to a flowing stream I ran,—
    • The stream ran past me hastily.
    • There stood I fix’d, in mute despair;
    • My head swam round as in a dream;
    • I well-nigh fell into the stream,
    • And earth seem’d with me whirling there.
    • Sudden I heard a voice that cried—
    • I had just turn’d my face from thence—
    • It was a voice to charm each sense:
    • “Beware, for deep is yonder tide!”
    • A thrill my blood pervaded now,
    • I look’d, and saw a beauteous maid;—
    • I ask’d her name—’twas Kate, she said—
    • “Oh, lovely Kate! how kind art thou!
    • “From death I have been sav’d by thee,
    • ’Tis through thee only that I live;
    • Little ’twere life alone to give,
    • My joy in life then deign to be!”
    • And then I told my sorrows o’er,
    • Her eyes to earth she sweetly threw;
    • I kiss’d her, and she kiss’d me too,
    • And—then I talk’d of death no more.

THE MUSES’ SON.

    • THROUGH field and wood to stray,
    • And pipe my tuneful lay,—
    • ’Tis thus my days are pass’d;
    • And all keep tune with me,
    • And move in harmony,
    • And so on, to the last.
    • To wait I scarce have pow’r
    • The garden’s earliest flow’r,
    • The tree’s first bloom in Spring;
    • They hail my joyous strain,—
    • When Winter comes again,
    • Of that sweet dream I sing.
    • My song sounds far and near,
    • O’er ice it echoes clear,
    • Then Winter blossoms bright;
    • And when his blossoms fly,
    • Fresh raptures meet mine eye,
    • Upon the well-till’d height.
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    • When ’neath the linden tree,
    • Young folks I chance to see,
    • I set them moving soon;
    • His nose the dull lad curls,
    • The formal maiden whirls,
    • Obedient to my tune.
    • Wings to the feet ye lend,
    • O’er hill and vale ye send
    • The lover far from home;
    • When shall I, on your breast,
    • Ye kindly Muses, rest,
    • And cease at length to roam?

FOUND.

    • ONCE through the forest
    • Alone I went;
    • To seek for nothing
    • My thoughts were bent.
    • I saw in the shadow
    • A flower stand there;
    • As stars it glisten’d,
    • As eyes ’twas fair.
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    • I sought to pluck it,—
    • It gently said:
    • “Shall I be gather’d
    • Only to fade?”
    • With all its roots
    • I dug it with care,
    • And took it home
    • To my garden fair.
    • In silent corner
    • Soon it was set;
    • There grows it ever,
    • There blooms it yet.
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LIKE AND LIKE.

  • EARLY a bell-flower
  • Sprang up from the ground;
  • And sweetly its fragrance
  • It shed all around;
  • A bee came thither
  • And sipp’d from its bell;—
  • That they for each other
  • Were made, we see well.

RECIPROCAL INVITATION TO THE DANCE.

    • The Indifferent.

    • COME to the dance with me, come with me, fair one!
    • Dances a feast-day like this may well crown.
    • If thou my sweetheart art not, thou canst be so,
    • But if thou wilt not, we still will dance on.
    • Come to the dance with me, come with me, fair one!
    • Dances a feast-day like this may well crown.
    • The Tender.

    • Lov’d one, without thee, what then would all feasts be?
    • Sweet one, without thee, what then were the dance?
    • If thou my sweetheart wert not, I would dance not,
    • If thou art still so, all life is one feast.
    • Lov’d one, without thee, what then would all feasts be?
    • Sweet one, without thee, what then were the dance?
    • The Indifferent.

    • Let them but love, then, and leave us the dancing!
    • Languishing love cannot bear the glad dance.
    • Let us whirl round in the waltz’s gay measure,
    • And let them steal to the dim-lighted wood.
    • Let them but love, then, and leave us the dancing!
    • Languishing love cannot bear the glad dance.
    • The Tender.

    • Let them whirl round, then, and leave us to wander!
    • Wand’ring to love is a heavenly dance.
    • Cupid, the near one, o’erhears their deriding,
    • Vengeance takes suddenly, vengeance takes soon.
    • Let them whirl round, then, and leave us to wander!
    • Wand’ring to love is a heavenly dance.
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SELF-DECEIT.

    • MY neighbor’s curtain, well I see;
    • Is moving to and fro.
    • No doubt she’s list’ning eagerly,
    • If I’m at home or no,
    • And if the jealous grudge I bore
    • And openly confess’d,
    • Is nourish’d by me as before,
    • Within my inmost breast.
    • Alas! no fancies such as these
    • E’er cross’d the dear child’s thoughts.
    • I see ’tis but the ev’ning breeze
    • That with the curtain sports.

DECLARATION OF WAR.

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    • OH, would I resembl’d
    • The country girls fair,
    • Who rosy-red ribbons
    • And yellow hats wear!
    • To believe I was pretty
    • I thought was allow’d;
    • In the town I believ’d it
    • When by the youth vow’d.
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    • Now that Spring hath return’d,
    • All my joys disappear;
    • The girls of the country
    • Have lured him from here.
    • To change dress and figure
    • Was needful I found;
    • My bodice is longer,
    • My petticoat round.
    • My hat now is yellow,
    • My bodice like snow;
    • The clover to sickle
    • With others I go.
    • Something pretty, ere long
    • Midst the troop he explores;
    • The eager boy signs me
    • To go within doors.
    • I bashfully go,—
    • Who I am, he can’t trace;
    • He pinches my cheeks,
    • And he looks in my face.
    • The town girl now threatens
    • You maidens with war;
    • Her twofold charms pledges
    • Of victory are.

LOVER IN ALL SHAPES.

    • TO be like a fish,
    • Brisk and quick, is my wish;
    • If thou cam’st with thy line,
    • Thou would’st soon make me thine.
    • To be like a fish,
    • Brisk and quick, is my wish.
    • Oh, were I a steed!
    • Thou would’st love me indeed.
    • Oh, were I a car
    • Fit to bear thee afar!
    • Oh, were I a steed!
    • Thou would’st love me indeed.
    • I would I were gold
    • That thy fingers might hold!
    • If thou boughtest aught then,
    • I’d return soon again.
    • I would I were gold
    • That thy fingers might hold!
    • I would I were true,
    • And my sweetheart still new!
    • To be faithful I’d swear,
    • And would go away ne’er.
    • I would I were true,
    • And my sweetheart still new!
    • I would I were old,
    • And wrinkled and cold,
    • So that if thou said’st No,
    • I could stand such a blow!
    • I would I were old,
    • And wrinkled and cold.
    • An ape I would be,
    • Full of mischievous glee;
    • If aught came to vex thee
    • I’d plague and perplex thee.
    • An ape I would be,
    • Full of mischievous glee.
    • As a lamb I’d behave,
    • As a lion be brave,
    • As a lynx clearly see,
    • As a fox cunning be.
    • As a lamb I’d behave,
    • As a lion be brave.
    • Whatever I were,
    • All on thee I’d confer;
    • With the gifts of a prince
    • My affection evince.
    • Whatever I were,
    • All on thee I’d confer.
    • As nought diff’rent can make me,
    • As I am thou must take me!
    • If I’m not good enough,
    • Thou must cut thine own stuff.
    • As nought diff’rent can make me,
    • As I am thou must take me!
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THE GOLDSMITH’S APPRENTICE.

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    • MY neighbor, none can e’er deny,
    • Is a most beauteous maid;
    • Her shop is ever in mine eye
    • When working at my trade.
    • To ring and chain I hammer then
    • The wire of gold assay’d,
    • And think the while: “For Kate, oh, when
    • Will such a ring be made?”
    • And when she takes her shutters down,
    • Her shop at once invade,
    • To buy and haggle, all the town,
    • For all that’s there display’d.
    • I file, and maybe overfile
    • The wire of gold assay’d;
    • My master grumbles all the while,—
    • Her shop the mischief made.
    • To ply her wheel she straight begins,
    • When not engag’d in trade;
    • I know full well for what she spins,—
    • ’Tis hope guides that dear maid.
    • Her leg, while her small foot treads on,
    • Is in my mind portray’d;
    • Her garter I recall anon,—
    • I gave it that dear maid.
    • Then to her lips the finest thread
    • Is by her hand convey’d.
    • Were I there only in its stead,
    • How I would kiss the maid!
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JOY AND SORROW.

    • AS a fisher-boy I far’d
    • To the black rock in the sea,
    • And, while false gifts I prepar’d,
    • Listen’d and sang merrily.
    • Down descended the decoy,
    • Soon a fish attack’d the bait;
    • One exulting shout of joy,—
    • And the fish was captur’d straight.
    • Ah! on shore, and to the wood
    • Past the cliffs, o’er stock and stone,
    • One foot’s traces I pursu’d,
    • And the maiden was alone.
    • Lips were silent, eyes downcast
    • As a clasp-knife snaps the bait,
    • With her snare she seiz’d me fast,
    • And the boy was captur’d straight.
    • Heav’n knows who’s the happy swain
    • That she rambles with anew!
    • I must dare the sea again,
    • Spite of wind and weather too.
    • When the great and little fish
    • Wail and flounder in my net,
    • Straight returns my eager wish
    • In her arms to revel yet!

March.

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    • THE snow-flakes fall in showers,
    • The time is absent still,
    • When all spring’s beauteous flowers,
    • When all spring’s beauteous flowers,
    • Our hearts with joy shall fill.
    • With lustre false and fleeting
    • The sun’s bright rays are thrown;
    • The swallow’s self is cheating,
    • The swallow’s self is cheating:
    • And why? He comes alone!
    • Can I e’er feel delighted
    • Alone, though spring is near?
    • Yet when we are united,
    • Yet when we are united,
    • The summer will be here.

ANSWERS IN A GAME OF QUESTIONS.

    • The Lady.

    • IN the small and great world too,
    • What most charms a woman’s heart?
    • It is doubtless what is new,
    • For its blossoms joy impart;
    • Nobler far is what is true,
    • For fresh blossoms it can shoot
    • Even in the time of fruit.
    • The Young Gentleman.

    • With the Nymphs in wood and cave
    • Paris was acquainted well,
    • Till Zeus sent, to make him rave,
    • Three of those in heav’n who dwell;
    • And the choice more trouble gave
    • Than e’er fell to mortal lot,
    • Whether in old times or not.
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    • The Experienced.

    • Tenderly a woman view,
    • And thou’lt win her, take my word;
    • He who’s quick and saucy too,
    • Will of all men be preferr’d;
    • Who ne’er seems as if he knew
    • If he pleases, if he charms,—
    • He ’tis injures, he ’tis harms.
    • The Contented.

    • Manifold is human strife,
    • Human passion, human pain;
    • Many a blessing yet is rife,
    • Many pleasures still remain.
    • Yet the greatest bliss in life,
    • And the richest prize we find,
    • Is a good, contented mind.
    • The Merry Counsel.

    • He by whom man’s foolish will
    • Is each day review’d and blam’d,
    • Who, when others fools are still,
    • Is himself a fool proclaim’d,—
    • Ne’er at mill was beast’s back press’d
    • With a heavier load than he.
    • What I feel within my breast
    • That in truth’s the thing for me!

DIFFERENT EMOTIONS ON THE SAME SPOT.

    • The Maiden.

    • I’VE seen him before me!
    • What rapture steals o’er me!
    • Oh, heavenly sight!
    • He’s coming to meet me;
    • Perplex’d, I retreat me,
    • With shame take to flight.
    • My mind seems to wander!
    • Ye rocks and trees yonder,
    • Conceal ye my rapture,
    • Conceal my delight!
    • The Youth.

    • ’Tis here I must find her,
    • ’Twas here she enshrin’d her,
    • Here vanish’d from sight.
    • She came, as to meet me,
    • Then fearing to greet me,
    • With shame took to flight.
    • Is’t hope? Do I wander?
    • Ye rocks and trees yonder,
    • Disclose ye the lov’d one,
    • Disclose my delight!
    • The Languishing.

    • O’er my sad fate I sorrow,
    • To each dewy morrow,
    • Veil’d here from man’s sight.
    • By the many mistaken,
    • Unknown and forsaken,
    • Here wing I my flight!
    • Compassionate spirit!
    • Let none ever hear it,—
    • Conceal my affliction,
    • Conceal thy delight!
    • The Hunter.

    • To-day I’m rewarded;
    • Rich booty’s afforded
    • By Fortune so bright.
    • My servant the pheasants
    • And hares fit for presents
    • Takes homeward at night;
    • Here see I enraptur’d
    • In nets the birds captur’d!—
    • Long life to the hunter!
    • Long live his delight!
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WHO’LL BUY GODS OF LOVE?

    • OF all the beauteous wares
    • Expos’d for sale at fairs,
    • None will give more delight
    • Than those that to your sight
    • From distant lands we bring.
    • Oh, hark to what we sing!
    • These beauteous birds behold,
    • They’re brought here to be sold.
    • And first the big one see,
    • So full of roguish glee!
    • With light and merry bound
    • He leaps upon the ground;
    • Then springs up on the bough.
    • We will not praise him now.
    • The merry bird behold,—
    • He’s brought here to be sold.
    • And now the small one see!
    • A modest look has he,
    • And yet he’s such another
    • As his big roguish brother.
    • ’Tis chiefly when all’s still
    • He loves to show his will.
    • The bird so small and bold,—
    • He’s brought here to be sold.
    • Observe this little love,
    • This darling turtle dove!
    • All maidens are so neat,
    • So civil, so discreet!
    • Let them their charms set loose,
    • And turn your love to use;
    • The gentle bird behold,—
    • She’s brought here to be sold.
    • Their praises we won’t tell;
    • They’ll stand inspection well.
    • They’re fond of what is new,—
    • And yet, to show they’re true,
    • Nor seal nor letter’s wanted;
    • To all have wings been granted.
    • The pretty birds behold,—
    • Such beauties ne’er were sold!

THE MISANTHROPE.

  • AT first awhile sits he,
  • With calm, unruffled brow;
  • His features then I see,
  • Distorted hideously,—
  • An owl’s they might be now.
  • What is it, askest thou?
  • is’t love, or is’t ennui?
  • ’Tis both at once, I vow.
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TRUE ENJOYMENT.

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    • VAINLY would’st thou, to gain a heart,
    • Heap up a maiden’s lap with gold;
    • The joys of love thou must impart,
    • Would’st thou e’er see those joys unfold.
    • The voices of the throng gold buys,
    • No single heart ’twill win for thee;
    • Would’st thou a maiden make thy prize,
    • Thyself alone the bribe must be.
    • If by no sacred tie thou’rt bound,
    • O youth, thou must thyself restrain!
    • Well may true liberty be found,
    • Tho’ man may seem to wear a chain.
    • Let One alone inflame thee e’er,
    • And if her heart with love o’erflows,
    • Let tenderness unite you there,
    • If duty’s self no fetter knows.
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    • First feel, O youth! A girl then find
    • Worthy thy choice,—let her choose thee,—
    • In body fair, and fair in mind,
    • And then thou wilt be bless’d, like me.
    • I who have made this art mine own,
    • A girl have chosen such as this;
    • The blessing of the priest alone
    • Is wanting to complete our bliss.
    • Nought but my rapture is her guide,
    • Only for me she cares to please,—
    • Ne’er wanton save when by my side,
    • And modest when the world she sees;
    • That time our glow may never chill,
    • She yields no right through frailty;
    • Her favor is a favor still,
    • And I must ever grateful be.
    • Yet I’m content, and full of joy,
    • If she’ll but grant her smile so sweet,
    • Or if at table she’ll employ,
    • To pillow hers, her lover’s feet,
    • Give me the apple that she bit,
    • The glass from which she drank, bestow,
    • And when my kiss so orders it,
    • Her bosom, veil’d till then, will show.
    • And when she wills of love to speak,
    • In fond and silent hours of bliss,
    • Words from her mouth are all I seek,
    • Nought else I crave,—not e’en a kiss.
    • With what a soul her mind is fraught,
    • Wreath’d round with charms unceasingly!
    • She’s perfect,—and she fails in nought,
    • Save in her deigning to love me.
    • My rev’rence throws me at her feet,
    • My longing throws me on her breast;
    • This, youth, is rapture true and sweet,
    • Be wise, thus seeking to be bless’d.
    • When death shall take thee from her side,
    • To join th’ angelic choir above,
    • In heaven’s bright mansions to abide,—
    • No diff’rence at the change thou’lt prove.

HAPPINESS AND VISION.

    • TOGETHER at the altar we
    • In vision oft were seen by thee,
    • Thyself as bride, as bridegroom I.
    • Oft from thy mouth full many a kiss
    • In an unguarded hour of bliss
    • I then would steal, while none were by.
    • The purest rapture we then knew,
    • The joy those happy hours gave too,
    • When tasted, fled, as time fleets on.
    • What now avails my joy to me?
    • Like dreams the warmest kisses flee,
    • Like kisses, soon all joys are gone.

THE FAREWELL.

    • LET mine eye the farewell say,
    • That my lips can utter ne’er;
    • Fain I’d be a man to-day,
    • Yet ’tis hard, oh, hard to bear!
    • Mournful in an hour like this
    • Is love’s sweetest pledge, I ween;
    • Cold upon thy mouth the kiss,
    • Faint thy fingers’ pressure e’en.
    • Oh, what rapture to my heart
    • Us’d each stolen kiss to bring!
    • As the violets joy impart,
    • Gather’d in the early spring.
    • Now no garlands I entwine,
    • Now no roses pluck for thee.
    • Though ’tis springtime, Fanny mine,
    • Dreary autumn ’tis to me!
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THE BEAUTIFUL NIGHT.

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    • NOW I leave this cottage lowly,
    • Where my love hath made her home,
    • And with silent footstep slowly
    • Through the darksome forest roam.
    • Luna breaks through oaks and bushes,
    • Zephyr hastes her steps to meet,
    • And the waving birch tree blushes,
    • Scattering round her incense sweet.
    • Grateful are the cooling breezes
    • Of this beauteous summer night,
    • Here is felt the charm that pleases,
    • And that gives the soul delight.
    • Boundless is my joy; yet, Heaven,
    • Willingly I’d leave to thee
    • Thousand such nights, were one given
    • By my maiden lov’d to me!
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APPARENT DEATH.

  • WEEP, maiden, weep here o’er the tomb of Love;
  • He died of nothing—by mere chance was slain.
  • But is he really dead?—oh, that I cannot prove:
  • A nothing, a mere chance, oft gives him life again.

PROXIMITY.

  • I KNOW not, wherefore, dearest love,
  • Thou often art so strange and coy!
  • When ’mongst man’s busy haunts we move,
  • Thy coldness puts to flight my joy.
  • But soon as night and silence round us reign,
  • I know thee by thy kisses sweet again!

LIVING REMEMBRANCE.

    • HALF vex’d, half pleas’d, thy love will feel,
    • Should’st thou her knot or ribbon steal;
    • To thee they’re much—I won’t conceal;
    • Such self-deceit may pardon’d be;
    • A veil, a kerchief, garter, rings,
    • In truth are no mean trifling things,
    • But still they’re not enough for me.
    • She who is dearest to my heart,
    • Gave me, with well-dissembl’d smart,
    • Of her own life, a living part,
    • No charm in aught beside I trace;
    • How do I scorn thy paltry ware!
    • A lock she gave me of the hair
    • That wantons o’er her beauteous face.
    • If, lov’d one, we must sever’d be,
    • Would’st thou not wholly fly from me,
    • I still possess this legacy,
    • To look at, and to kiss in play.
    • My fate is to the hair’s alli’d,
    • We used to woo her with like pride,
    • And now we both are far away.
    • Her charms with equal joy we press’d,
    • Her swelling cheeks anon caress’d,
    • Lur’d onward by a yearning bless’d,
    • Upon her heaving bosom fell.
    • Oh, rival, free from envy’s sway,
    • Thou precious gift, thou beauteous prey,
    • Remain my joy and bliss to tell!

THE BLISS OF ABSENCE.

    • DRINK, O youth, joy’s purest ray
    • From thy lov’d one’s eyes all day,
    • And her image paint at night!
    • Better rule no lover knows,
    • Yet true rapture greater grows,
    • When far sever’d from her sight.
    • Powers eternal, distance, time,
    • Like the might of stars sublime,
    • Gently rock the blood to rest.
    • O’er my senses softness steals,
    • Yet my bosom lighter feels,
    • And I daily am more bless’d.
    • Though I can forget her ne’er,
    • Yet my mind is free from care,
    • I can calmly live and move;
    • Unperceiv’d infatuation
    • Longing turns to adoration,
    • Turns to reverence my love.
    • Ne’er can cloud, however light,
    • Float in ether’s regions bright,
    • When drawn upwards by the sun,
    • As my heart in rapturous calm.
    • Free from envy and alarm,
    • Ever love I her alone!
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TO LUNA.

    • SISTER of the first-born light,
    • Type of sorrowing gentleness!
    • Quivering mists in silv’ry dress
    • Float around thy features bright;
    • When thy gentle foot is heard,
    • From the day-clos’d caverns then
    • Wake the mournful ghosts of men,
    • I, too, wake, and each night-bird.
    • O’er a field of boundless span
    • Looks thy gaze both far and wide.
    • Raise me upwards to thy side!
    • Grant this to a raving man!
    • And to heights of rapture rais’d,
    • Let the knight so crafty peep
    • At his maiden while asleep,
    • Through her lattice-window glaz’d.
    • Soon the bliss of this sweet view,
    • Pangs by distance caus’d allays;
    • And I gather all thy rays,
    • And my look I sharpen too.
    • Round her unveil’d limbs I see
    • Brighter still become the glow,
    • And she draws me down below,
    • As Endymion once drew thee.

THE WEDDING NIGHT.

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    • WITHIN the chamber, far away
    • From the glad feast, sits Love in dread
    • Lest guests disturb, in wanton play,
    • The silence of the bridal bed.
    • His torch’s pale flame serves to gild
    • The scene with mystic sacred glow;
    • The room with incense-clouds is fill’d,
    • That ye may perfect rapture know.
    • How beats thy heart, when thou dost hear
    • The chime that warns thy guests to fly!
    • How glow’st thou for those lips so dear,
    • That soon are mute, and nought deny!
    • With her into the holy place
    • Thou hast’nest then, to perfect all;
    • The fire the warder’s hands embrace
    • Grows, like a night-light, dim and small.
    • How heaves her bosom, and how burns
    • Her face at every fervent kiss!
    • Her coldness now to trembling turns,
    • Thy daring now a duty is.
    • Love helps thee to undress her fast,
    • But thou art twice as fast as he;
    • And then he shuts both eyes at last
    • With sly and roguish modesty.
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MISCHIEVOUS JOY.

    • AS a butterfly renew’d,
    • When in life I breath’d my last,
    • To the spots my flight I wing,
    • Scenes of heav’nly rapture past,
    • Over meadows, to the spring,
    • Round the hill, and through the wood.
    • Soon a tender pair I spy,
    • And I look down from my seat
    • On the beauteous maiden’s head—
    • When embodied there I meet
    • All I lost as soon as dead—
    • Happy as before am I.
    • Him she clasps with silent smile,
    • And his mouth the hour improves,
    • Sent by kindly Deities;
    • First from breast to mouth it roves,
    • Then from mouth to hands it flies,
    • And I round him sport the while.
    • And she sees me hov’ring near;
    • Trembling at her lover’s rapture,
    • Up she springs—I fly away.
    • “Dearest! let’s the insect capture!
    • Come! I long to make my prey
    • Yonder pretty little dear!”

FAREWELL.

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    • O break one’s word is pleasure-fraught,
    • To do one’s duty gives a smart;
    • While man, alas! will promise nought,
    • That is repugnant to his heart.
    • Using some magic strains of yore,
    • Thou lurest him, when scarcely calm,
    • On to sweet folly’s fragile bark once more,
    • Renewing, doubling chance of harm.
    • Why seek to hide thyself from me?
    • Fly not my sight—be open then!
    • Known late or early it must be,
    • And here thou hast thy word again.
    • My duty is fulfill’d to-day,
    • No longer will I guard thee from surprise;
    • But, oh, forgive the friend who from thee turns away,
    • And to himself for refuge flies!

THE EXCHANGE.

  • THE stones in the streamlet I make my bright pillow,
  • And open my arms to the swift-rolling billow,
  • That lovingly hastens to fall on my breast.
  • Then fickleness soon bids it onward be flowing;
  • A second draws nigh, its caresses bestowing,—
  • And so by a twofold enjoyment I’m bless’d.
  • And yet thou art trailing in sorrow and sadness
  • The moments that life, as it flies, gave for gladness,
  • Because by thy love thou’rt remember’d no more!
  • Oh, call back to mind former days and their blisses!
  • The lips of the second will give as sweet kisses
  • As any the lips of the first gave before!
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NOVEMBER SONG.

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    • TO the great archer—not to him
    • To meet whom flies the sun,
    • And who is wont his features dim
    • With clouds to overrun—
    • But to the boy be vow’d these rhymes,
    • Who ’mongst the roses plays,
    • Who hears us, and at proper times
    • To pierce fair hearts essays.
    • Through him the gloomy winter night,
    • Of yore so cold and drear,
    • Brings many a lov’d friend to our sight,
    • And many a woman dear.
    • Henceforward shall his image fair
    • Stand in yon starry skies,
    • And, ever mild and gracious there,
    • Alternate set and rise.

TO THE CHOSEN ONE.

    • HAND in hand! and lip to lip:
    • Oh, be faithful, maiden dear!
    • Fare thee well! thy lover’s ship
    • Past full many a rock must steer;
    • But should he the haven see,
    • When the storm has ceas’d to break,
    • And be happy, reft of thee,—
    • May the Gods fierce vengeance take!
    • Boldly dar’d is well nigh won!
    • Half my task is solv’d aright;
    • Ev’ry star’s to me a sun,
    • Only cowards deem it night.
    • Stood I idly by thy side,
    • Sorrow still would sadden me;
    • But when seas our paths divide,
    • Gladly toil I,—toil for thee!
    • Now the valley I perceive,
    • Where together we will go,
    • And the streamlet watch each eve,
    • Gliding peacefully below.
    • Oh, the poplars on yon spot!
    • Oh, the beech trees in yon grove!
    • And behind we’ll build a cot,
    • Where to taste the joys of love!
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FIRST LOSS.

  • AH! who’ll e’er those days restore,
  • Those bright days of early love!
  • Who’ll one hour again concede,
  • Of that time so fondly cherish’d!
  • Silently my wounds I feed,
  • And with wailing evermore
  • Sorrow o’er each joy now perish’d.
  • Ah! who’ll e’er the days restore
  • Of that time so fondly cherish’d!

AFTER-SENSATIONS.

    • WHEN the vine again is blowing,
    • Then the wine moves in the cask;
    • When the rose again is glowing,
    • Wherefore should I feel oppress’d?
    • Down my cheeks run tears all-burning,
    • If I do, or leave my task;
    • I but feel a speechless yearning,
    • That pervades my inmost breast.
    • But at length I see the reason,
    • When the question I would ask:
    • ’Twas in such a beauteous season,
    • Doris glow’d to make me bless’d!

PROXIMITY OF THE BELOVED ONE.

    • I THINK of thee, whene’er the sun his beams
    • O’er ocean flings;
    • I think of thee, whene’er the moonlight gleams
    • In silv’ry springs.
    • I see thee, when upon the distant ridge
    • The dust awakes;
    • At midnight’s hour, when on the fragile bridge
    • The wand’rer quakes.
    • I hear thee, when yon billows rise on high,
    • With murmur deep.
    • To tread the silent grove oft wander I,
    • When all’s asleep.
    • I’m near thee, though thou far away may’st be:
    • Thou, too, art near!
    • The sun then sets, the stars soon lighten me.
    • Would thou wert here!
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PRESENCE.

    • ALL things give token of thee!
    • As soon as the bright sun is shining,
    • Thou too wilt follow, I trust.
    • When in the garden thou walkest,
    • Thou then art the rose of all roses,
    • Lily of lilies as well.
    • When thou dost move in the dance,
    • Then each constellation moves also;
    • With thee and round thee they move.
    • Night! oh, what bliss were the night!
    • For then thou o’ershadow’st the lustre,
    • Dazzling and fair, of the moon.
    • Dazzling and beauteous art thou,
    • And flowers, and moon and the planets
    • Homage pay, Sun, but to thee.
    • Sun! to me also be thou
    • Creator of days bright and glorious;
    • Life and Eternity this!

TO THE DISTANT ONE.

    • AND have I lost thee evermore?
    • Hast thou, O fair one, from me flown?
    • Still in mine ear sounds, as of yore,
    • Thine ev’ry word, thine ev’ry tone.
    • As when at morn the wand’rer’s eye
    • Attempts to pierce the air in vain,
    • When, hidden in the azure sky,
    • The lark high o’er him chants his strain:
    • So do I cast my troubl’d gaze
    • Through bush, through forest, o’er the lea;
    • Thou art invok’d by all my lays;
    • Oh, come then, lov’d one, back to me!

BY THE RIVER.

  • FLOW on, ye lays so lov’d, so fair,
  • On to Oblivion’s ocean flow!
  • May no rapt boy recall you e’er,
  • No maiden in her beauty’s glow!
  • My love alone was then your theme,
  • But now she scorns my passion true.
  • Ye were but written in the stream;
  • As it flows on, then, flow ye too!
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NIGHT SONG.

    • WHEN on thy pillow lying,
    • Half listen, I implore,
    • And at my lute’s soft sighing,
    • Sleep on! what would’st thou more?
    • For at my lute’s soft sighing
    • The stars their blessings pour
    • On feelings never-dying;
    • Sleep on! what would’st thou more?
    • Those feelings never-dying
    • My spirit aid to soar
    • From earthly conflicts trying;
    • Sleep on! what would’st thou more?
    • From earthly conflicts trying
    • Thou driv’st me to this shore;
    • Through thee I’m hither flying,—
    • Sleep on! what would’st thou more?
    • Through thee I’m hither flying,
    • Thou wilt not list before
    • In slumbers thou art lying:
    • Sleep on! what would’st thou more?

CALM AT SEA.

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    • SILENCE deep rules o’er the waters,
    • Calmly slumb’ring lies the main,
    • While the sailor views with trouble
    • Nought but one vast level plain.
    • Not a zephyr is in motion!
    • Silence fearful as the grave!
    • In the mighty waste of ocean
    • Sunk to rest is ev’ry wave.
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THE PROSPEROUS VOYAGE.

  • DISPELL’D are the vapors,
  • And radiant is heaven,
  • Whilst Æolus loosens
  • Our anguish-fraught bond;
  • The zephyrs are sighing,
  • Alert is the sailor.
  • Quick! nimbly be plying!
  • The billows are riven,
  • The distance approaches;
  • I see land beyond!

COURAGE.

    • CARELESSLY over the plain away,
    • Where by the boldest man no path
    • Cut before thee thou canst discern,
    • Make for thyself a path!
    • Silence, lov’d one, my heart!
    • Cracking, let it not break!
    • Breaking, break not with thee!

ADMONITION.

  • WHEREFORE ever ramble on?
  • For the Good is lying near.
  • Fortune learn to seize alone,
  • For that Fortune’s ever here.

WELCOME AND FAREWELL.

    • QUICK throbb’d my heart: to horse! haste, haste!
    • And lo! ’twas done with speed of light;
    • The evening soon the world embrac’d,
    • And o’er the mountains hung the night.
    • Soon stood, in robe of mist, the oak,
    • A tow’ring giant in his size,
    • Where darkness through the thicket broke,
    • And glar’d with hundred gloomy eyes.
    • From out a hill of clouds the moon
    • With mournful gaze began to peer:
    • The winds their soft wings flutter’d soon,
    • And murmur’d in mine awe-struck ear;
    • The night a thousand monsters made,
    • Yet fresh and joyous was my mind;
    • What fire within my veins then play’d!
    • What glow was in my bosom shrin’d!
    • I saw thee, and with tender pride
    • Felt thy sweet gaze pour joy on me;
    • While all my heart was at thy side,
    • And ev’ry breath I breath’d for thee.
    • The roseate hues that Spring supplies
    • Were playing round thy features fair,
    • And love for me—ye Deities!
    • I hope it, I deserv’d it ne’er!
    • But when the morning sun return’d,
    • Departure fill’d with grief my heart:
    • Within thy kiss, what rapture burn’d!
    • But in thy look, what bitter smart!
    • I went—thy gaze to earth first rov’d—
    • Thou follo’dst me with tearful eye:
    • And yet, what rapture to be lov’d!
    • And, gods, to love—what ecstasy!
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artist: e. kanoldt.

WELCOME AND FAREWELL.

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NEW LOVE, NEW LIFE.

    • HEART! my heart! what means this feeling?
    • What oppresseth thee so sore?
    • What strange life is o’er me stealing!
    • I acknowledge thee no more.
    • Fled is all that gave thee gladness,
    • Fled the cause of all thy sadness,
    • Fled thy peace, thine industry—
    • Ah, why suffer it to be?
    • Say, do beauty’s graces youthful,
    • Does this form so fair and bright,
    • Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful,
    • Chain thee with unceasing might?
    • Would I tear me from her boldly,
    • Courage take, and fly her coldly,
    • Back to her I’m forthwith led
    • By the path I seek to tread.
    • By a thread I ne’er can sever,
    • For ’tis ’twin’d with magic skill,
    • Doth the cruel maid forever
    • Hold me fast against my will.
    • While those magic chains confine me,
    • To her will I must resign me.
    • Ah, the change in truth is great!
    • Love! kind love! release me straight!

TO BELINDA.

    • WHEREFORE drag me to yon glitt’ring eddy,
    • With resistless might?
    • Was I, then, not truly bless’d already
    • In the silent night?
    • In my secret chamber refuge taking,
    • ’Neath the moon’s soft ray,
    • And her awful light around me breaking,
    • Musing there I lay.
    • And I dream’d of hours with joy o’erflowing,
    • Golden, truly bless’d,
    • While thine image so belov’d was glowing
    • Deep within my breast.
    • Now to the card-table hast thou bound me,
    • ’Midst the torches’ glare?
    • Whilst unhappy faces are around me,
    • Dost thou hold me there?
    • Spring-flowers are to me more rapture-giving,
    • Now conceal’d from view;
    • Where thou, angel, art, is Nature living,
    • Love and kindness too.

MAY SONG.

    • HOW fair doth Nature
    • Appear again!
    • How bright the sunbeams!
    • How smiles the plain!
    • The flowers are bursting
    • From ev’ry bough,
    • And thousand voices
    • Each bush yields now.
    • And joy and gladness
    • Fill ev’ry breast:
    • O earth!—O sunlight!
    • Oh, rapture bless’d!
    • O love! O lov’d one!
    • As golden bright,
    • As clouds of morning
    • On yonder height!
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    • Thou blessest gladly
    • The smiling field,—
    • The world in fragrant
    • Vapor conceal’d.
    • Oh, maiden, maiden,
    • How love I thee!
    • Thine eye, how gleams it!
    • How lov’st thou me!
    • The blithe lark loveth
    • Sweet song and air,
    • The morning floweret
    • Heav’n’s incense fair,
    • As I now love thee
    • With fond desire,
    • For thou dost give me
    • Youth, joy and fire,
    • For new-born dances
    • And minstrelsy.
    • Be ever happy,
    • As thou lov’st me!
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WITH A PAINTED RIBBON.

    • LITTLE leaves and flow’rets too,
    • Scatter we with gentle hand,
    • Kind young spring-gods to the view,
    • Sporting on an airy band.
    • Zephyr, bear it on thy wing,
    • Twine it round my lov’d one’s dress;
    • To her glass then let her spring,
    • Full of eager joyousness.
    • Roses round her let her see,
    • She herself a youthful rose.
    • Grant, dear life, one look to me!
    • ’Twill repay me all my woes.
    • What this bosom feels, feel thou,
    • Freely offer me thy hand;
    • Let the band that joins us now
    • Be no fragile rosy band!

WITH A GOLDEN NECKLACE.

    • DEVOTION a chain to bring thee burns,
    • That, train’d to suppleness of old,
    • On thy fair neck to nestle, yearns,
    • In many a hundred little fold.
    • To please the silly thing consent!
    • ’Tis harmless, and from boldness free!
    • By day a trifling ornament,
    • At night ’tis cast aside by thee.
    • But if the chain they bring thee ever,
    • Heavier, more fraught with weal or woe,
    • I’d then, Lisette, reproach thee never
    • If thou should’st greater scruples show.

TO CHARLOTTE.

    • ’MIDST the noise of merriment and glee,
    • ’Midst full many a sorrow, many a care,
    • Charlotte, I remember, we remember thee,
    • How, at evening’s hour so fair,
    • Thou a kindly hand didst reach us,
    • When thou, in some happy place
    • Where more fair is Nature’s face,
    • Many a lightly-hidden trace
    • Of a spirit lov’d didst teach us.
    • Well ’tis that thy worth I rightly knew,—
    • That I, in the hour when first we met,
    • While the first impression fill’d me yet,
    • Call’d thee then a girl both good and true.
    • Rear’d in silence, calmly, knowing nought,
    • On the world we suddenly are thrown;
    • Hundred thousand billows round us sport;
    • All things charm us—many please alone,
    • Many grieve us, and as hour on hour is stealing,
    • To and fro our restless natures sway;
    • First we feel, and then we find each feeling
    • By the changeful world-stream borne away.
    • Well I know, we oft within us find
    • Many a hope and many a smart.
    • Charlotte, who can know our mind?
    • Charlotte, who can know our heart?
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    • Ah! ’twould fain be understood, ’twould fain o’erflow
    • In some creature’s fellow-feelings bless’d,
    • And, with trust, in twofold measure know
    • All the grief and joy in Nature’s breast.
    • Then thine eye is oft around thee cast,
    • But in vain, for all seems clos’d forever;
    • Thus the fairest part of life is madly pass’d
    • Free from storm, but resting never;
    • To thy sorrow thou’rt to-day repell’d
    • By what yesterday obey’d thee.
    • Can that world by thee be worthy held
    • Which so oft betray’d thee?
    • Which, ’mid all thy pleasures and thy pains,
    • Liv’d in selfish, unconcern’d repose?
    • See, the soul its secret cells regains,
    • And the heart—makes haste to close.
    • Thus found I thee, and gladly went to meet thee;
    • “She’s worthy of all love!” I cried,
    • And pray’d that Heaven with purest bliss might greet thee,
    • Which in thy friend it richly hath supplied.

ON THE LAKE.

    • I DRINK fresh nourishment, new blood
    • From out this world more free;
    • The Nature is so kind and good
    • That to her breast clasps me!
    • The billows toss our bark on high,
    • And with our oars keep time,
    • While cloudy mountains tow’rd the sky
    • Before our progress climb.
    • Say, mine eye, why sink’st thou down?
    • Golden visions, are ye flown?
    • Hence, thou dream, tho’ golden-twin’d;
    • Here, too, love and life I find.
    • Over the waters are blinking
    • Many a thousand fair star;
    • Gentle mists are drinking
    • Round the horizon afar.
    • Round the shady creek lightly
    • Morning zephyrs awake,
    • And the ripen’d fruit brightly
    • Mirrors itself in the lake.

FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

  • IF I, dearest Lily, did not love thee,
  • How this prospect would enchant my sight!
  • And yet if I, Lily, did not love thee,
  • Could I find, or here or there, delight?

Flower Salute.

  • THIS nosegay,—’twas I dress’d it,—
  • Greets thee a thousand times!
  • Oft stoop’d I, and caress’d it,
  • Ah! full a thousand times,
  • And ’gainst my bosom press’d it
  • A hundred thousand times!
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MAY SONG.

    • BETWEEN wheatfield and corn,
    • Between hedgerow and thorn,
    • Between pasture and tree,
    • Where’s my sweetheart?
    • Tell it me!
    • Sweetheart caught I
    • Not at home;
    • She’s then, thought I,
    • Gone to roam.
    • Fair and loving
    • Blooms sweet May;
    • Sweetheart’s roving,
    • Free and gay.
    • By the rock near the wave,
    • Where her first kiss she gave,
    • On the greensward, to me,—
    • Something I see!
    • Is it she?

PREMATURE SPRING.

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    • DAYS full of rapture,
    • Are ye renew’d?—
    • Smile in the sunlight,
    • Mountain and wood?
    • Streams richer laden
    • Flow through the dale.
    • Are these the meadows?
    • Is this the vale?
    • Coolness cerulean!
    • Heaven and height!
    • Fish crowd the ocean,
    • Golden and bright.
    • Birds of gay plumage
    • Sport in the grove,
    • Heavenly numbers
    • Singing above.
    • Under the verdure’s
    • Vigorous bloom,
    • Bees, softly humming,
    • Juices consume.
    • Gentle disturbance
    • Quivers in air,
    • Sleep-causing fragrance,
    • Motion so fair.
    • Soon with more power
    • Rises the breeze,
    • Then in a moment
    • Dies in the trees.
    • But to the bosom
    • Comes it again.
    • Aid me, ye Muses,
    • Bliss to sustain!
    • Say what has happen’d
    • Since yester e’en?
    • Oh, ye fair sisters,
    • Her I have seen!
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Autumn Feelings

  • FLOURISH greener, as ye clamber,
  • O ye leaves, to seek my chamber,
  • Up the trellis’d vine on high!
  • May ye swell, twin-berries tender,
  • Juicier far,—and with more splendor
  • Ripen, and more speedily!
  • O’er ye broods the sun at even
  • As he sinks to rest, and heaven
  • Softly breathes into your ear
  • All its fertilizing fulness,
  • While the moon’s refreshing coolness,
  • Magic-laden, hovers near;
  • And, alas! ye’re water’d ever
  • By a stream of tears that rill
  • From mine eyes,—tears ceasing never,
  • Tears of love that nought can still!

RESTLESS LOVE.

    • THROUGH rain, through snow,
    • Through tempest go!
    • ’Mongst steaming caves,
    • O’er misty waves,
    • On, on! still on!
    • Peace, rest have flown!
    • Sooner through sadness
    • I’d wish to be slain,
    • Than all the gladness
    • Of life to sustain;
    • All the fond yearning
    • That heart feels for heart,
    • Only seems burning
    • To make them both smart!
    • How shall I fly?
    • Forestwards hie?
    • Vain were all strife!
    • Bright crown of life,
    • Turbulent bliss,—
    • Love, thou art this!

THE SHEPHERD’S LAMENT.

    • ON yonder lofty mountain
    • A thousand times I stand,
    • And on my staff reclining,
    • Look down on the smiling land.
    • My grazing flocks then I follow,
    • My dog protecting them well;
    • I find myself in the valley,
    • But how, I scarcely can tell.
    • The whole of the meadow is cover’d
    • With flowers of beauty rare;
    • I pluck them, but pluck them unknowing
    • To whom the offering to bear.
    • In rain and storm and tempest,
    • I tarry beneath the tree,
    • But clos’d remaineth yon portal;
    • ’Tis all but a vision to me.
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    • High over yonder dwelling,
    • There rises a rainbow gay;
    • But she from home hath departed,
    • And wander’d far, far away.
    • Yes, far away hath she wander’d,
    • Perchance e’en over the sea;
    • Move onward, ye sheep, then, move onward!
    • Full sad the shepherd must be.
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COMFORT IN TEARS.

    • HOW happens it that thou art sad,
    • While happy all appear?
    • Thine eye proclaims too well that thou
    • Hast wept full many a tear.
    • “If I have wept in solitude,
    • None other shares my grief,
    • And tears to me sweet balsam are,
    • And give my heart relief.”
    • Thy happy friends invite thee now,—
    • Oh, come, then, to our breast!
    • And let the loss thou hast sustain’d
    • Be there to us confess’d!
    • “Ye shout, torment me, knowing not
    • What ’tis afflicteth me;
    • Ah, no! I have sustain’d no loss,
    • Whate’er may wanting be.”
    • If so it is, arise in haste!
    • Thou’rt young and full of life.
    • At years like thine, man’s bless’d with strength
    • And courage for the strife.
    • “Ah, no! in vain ’twould be to strive,
    • The thing I seek is far;
    • It dwells as high, it gleams as fair
    • As yonder glitt’ring star.”
    • The stars we never long to clasp,
    • We revel in their light,
    • And with enchantment upward gaze,
    • Each clear and radiant night.
    • “And I with rapture upward gaze,
    • On many a blissful day;
    • Then let me pass the night in tears,
    • Till tears are wip’d away!”
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LONGING.

    • WHAT pulls at my heart so?
    • What tells me to roam?
    • What drags me and lures me
    • From chamber and home?
    • How round the cliffs gather
    • The clouds high in air!
    • I fain would go thither,
    • I fain would be there!
    • The sociable flight
    • Of the ravens comes back;
    • I mingle amongst them,
    • And follow their track.
    • Round wall and round mountain
    • Together we fly;
    • She tarries below there,
    • I after her spy.
    • Then onward she wanders,
    • My flight I wing soon
    • To the wood fill’d with bushes,
    • A bird of sweet tune.
    • She tarries and hearkens,
    • And smiling, thinks she:
    • “How sweetly he’s singing!
    • He’s singing to me!”
    • The heights are illum’d
    • By the fast setting sun;
    • The pensive fair maiden
    • Looks thoughtfully on;
    • She roams by the streamlet,
    • O’er meadows she goes,
    • And darker and darker
    • The pathway fast grows.
    • I rise on a sudden,
    • A glimmering star;
    • “What glitters above me,
    • So near and so far?”
    • And when thou with wonder
    • Hast gaz’d on the light,
    • I fall down before thee,
    • Entranc’d by thy sight!

TO MIGNON.

    • OVER vale and torrent far
    • Rolls along the sun’s bright car.
    • Ah! he wakens in his course
    • Mine, as thy deep-seated smart
    • In the heart,
    • Ev’ry morning with new force.
    • Scarce avails night aught to me;
    • E’en the visions that I see
    • Come but in a mournful guise;
    • And I feel this silent smart
    • In my heart
    • With creative power arise.
    • During many a beauteous year
    • I have seen ships ’neath me steer,
    • As they seek the shelt’ring bay;
    • But, alas, each lasting smart
    • In my heart
    • Floats not with the stream away.
    • I must wear a gala dress,
    • Long stor’d up within my press,
    • For to-day to feasts is given;
    • None know with what bitter smart
    • Is my heart
    • Fearfully and madly riven.
    • Secretly I weep each tear,
    • Yet can cheerful e’en appear,
    • With a face of healthy red;
    • For if deadly were this smart
    • In my heart,
    • Ah, I then had long been dead!

THE MOUNTAIN CASTLE

    • THERE stands on yonder high mountain
    • A castle built of yore,
    • Where once lurk’d horse and horseman
    • In rear of gate and of door.
    • Now door and gate are in ashes,
    • And all around is so still;
    • And over the fallen ruins
    • I clamber just as I will.
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    • Below once lay a cellar,
    • With costly wines well stor’d;
    • No more the glad maid with her pitcher
    • Descends there to draw from the hoard.
    • No longer the goblet she places
    • Before the guests at the feast;
    • The flask at the meal so hallow’d
    • No longer she fills for the priest.
    • No more for the eager squire
    • The draught in the passage is pour’d;
    • No more for the flying present
    • Receives she the flying reward.
    • For all the roof and the rafters,
    • They all long since have been burn’d,
    • And stairs and passage and chapel
    • To rubbish and ruins are turn’d.
    • Yet when with lute and with flagon,
    • When day was smiling and bright,
    • I’ve watch’d my mistress climbing
    • To gain this perilous height,
    • Then rapture joyous and radiant
    • The silence so desolate broke,
    • And all, as in days long vanish’d,
    • Once more to enjoyment awoke;
    • As if for guests of high station
    • The largest rooms were prepar’d;
    • As if from those times so precious
    • A couple thither had far’d;
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    • As if there stood in his chapel
    • The priest in his sacred dress,
    • And ask’d: “Would ye twain be united?”
    • And we, with a smile, answer’d, “Yes!”
    • And songs that breath’d a deep feeling,
    • That touch’d the heart’s innermost chord,
    • The music-fraught mouth of sweet echo,
    • Instead of the many, outpour’d.
    • And when at eve all was hidden
    • In silence unbroken and deep,
    • The glowing sun then look’d upwards,
    • And gaz’d on the summit so steep.
    • And squire and maiden then glitter’d
    • As bright and gay as a lord,
    • She seiz’d the time for her present,
    • And he to give her reward.
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THE SPIRIT’S SALUTE.

    • THE hero’s noble shade stands high
    • On yonder turret gray;
    • And as the ship is sailing by,
    • He speeds it on his way.
    • “See with what strength these sinews thrill’d!
    • This heart, how firm and wild!
    • These bones, what knightly marrow fill’d!
    • This cup, how bright it smil’d!
    • “Half of my life I strove and fought,
    • And half I calmly pass’d;
    • And thou, oh, ship, with beings fraught,
    • Sail safely to the last!”

TO A GOLDEN HEART THAT HE WORE ROUND HIS NECK.

    • OH, thou token lov’d of joys now perish’d
    • That I still wear from my neck suspended,
    • Art thou stronger than our spirit-bond so cherish’d?
    • Or canst thou prolong love’s days untimely ended?
    • Lily, I fly from thee! I still am doom’d to range,
    • Thro’ countries strange,
    • Thro’ distant vales and woods, link’d on to thee!
    • Ah, Lily’s heart could surely never fall
    • So soon away from me!
    • As when a bird hath broken from his thrall,
    • And seeks the forest green,
    • Proof of imprisonment he bears behind him,
    • A morsel of the thread once used to bind him;
    • The free-born bird of old no more is seen,
    • For he another’s prey hath been.

THE BLISS OF SORROW.

  • NEVER dry, never dry,
  • Tears that eternal love sheddeth!
  • How dreary, how dead doth the world still appear,
  • When only half-dried on the eye is the tear!
  • Never dry, never dry,
  • Tears that unhappy love sheddeth!

THE WANDERER’S NIGHT-SONG.

    • THOU who comest from on high,
    • Who all woes and sorrows stillest,
    • Who, for twofold misery,
    • Hearts with twofold balsam fillest,
    • Would this constant strife would cease!
    • What are pain and rapture now?
    • Blissful Peace,
    • To my bosom hasten thou!
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THE SAME.

  • HUSH’D on the hill
  • Is the breeze;
  • Scarce by the zephyr
  • The trees
  • Softly are press’d;
  • The woodbird’s asleep on the bough.
  • Wait, then, and thou
  • Soon wilt find rest.

TO THE MOON.

    • FILL’D are bush and vale again
    • With thy misty ray,
    • And my spirit’s heavy chain
    • Castest far away.
    • Thou dost o’er my fields extend
    • Thy sweet soothing eye,
    • Watching like a gentle friend,
    • O’er my destiny.
    • Vanish’d days of bliss and woe
    • Haunt me with their tone,
    • Joy and grief in turns I know,
    • As I stray alone.
    • Stream belov’d, flow on! flow on!
    • Ne’er can I be gay!
    • Thus have sport and kisses gone,
    • Truth thus pass’d away.
    • Once I seem’d the lord to be
    • Of that prize so fair!
    • Now, to our deep sorrow, we
    • Can forget it ne’er.
    • Murmur, stream, the vale along,
    • Never cease thy sighs;
    • Murmur, whisper to my song
    • Answering melodies!
    • When thou in the winter’s night
    • Overflow’st in wrath,
    • Or in spring-time sparklest bright,
    • As the buds shoot forth.
    • He who from the world retires,
    • Void of hate, is bless’d;
    • Who a friend’s true love inspires,
    • Leaning on his breast!
    • That which heedless man ne’er knew,
    • Or ne’er thought aright,
    • Roams the bosom’s labyrinth through,
    • Boldly into night.

THE HUNTER’S EVEN-SONG.

    • THE plain with still and wand’ring feet,
    • And gun full-charg’d, I tread,
    • And hov’ring see thine image sweet,
    • Thine image dear, o’erhead.
    • In gentle silence thou dost fare
    • Through field and valley dear;
    • But doth my fleeting image ne’er
    • To thy mind’s eye appear?
    • His image, who, by grief oppress’d,
    • Roams through the world forlorn,
    • And wanders on from east to west
    • Because from thee he’s torn?
    • When I would think of none but thee,
    • Mine eyes the moon survey;
    • A calm repose then steals o’er me,
    • But how, ’twere hard to say.
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MY ONLY PROPERTY.

  • I FEEL that I’m possess’d of nought,
  • Saving the free unfetter’d thought
  • Which from my bosom seeks to flow,
  • And each propitious passing hour
  • That suffers me in all its power
  • A loving fate with truth to know.

TO LINA.

    • SHOULD these songs, love, as they fleet,
    • Chance again to reach thy hand,
    • At the piano take thy seat,
    • Where thy friend was wont to stand!
    • Sweep with finger bold the string,
    • Then the book one moment see:
    • But read not! do nought but sing!
    • And each page thine own will be!
    • Ah, what grief the song imparts
    • With its letters, black on white,
    • That, when breath’d by thee, our hearts
    • Now can break and now delight!
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Fr. Pecht del

published by george barrie

[Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word]

Goethe's Mother

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Familiar Songs

What we sing in company

Soon from heart to heart will fly.

ON THE NEW YEAR.

    • FATE now allow us,
    • ’Twixt the departing
    • And the upstarting,
    • Happy to be;
    • And at the call of
    • Memory cherish’d,
    • Future and perish’d
    • Moments we see.
    • Seasons of anguish,—
    • Ah, they must ever
    • Truth from woe sever,
    • Love and joy part;
    • Days still more worthy
    • Soon will unite us,
    • Fairer songs light us,
    • Strength’ning the heart.
    • We, thus united,
    • Think of, with gladness,
    • Rapture and sadness,
    • Sorrow now flies.
    • Oh, how mysterious
    • Fortune’s direction!
    • Old the connection,
    • New-born the prize!
    • Thank, for this, Fortune,
    • Wavering blindly!
    • Thank all that kindly
    • Fate may bestow!
    • Revel in change’s
    • Impulses clearer,
    • Love far sincerer,
    • More heartfelt glow!
    • Over the old one,
    • Wrinkles collected,
    • Sad and dejected,
    • Others may view;
    • But, on us gently
    • Shineth a true one,
    • And to the new one
    • We, too, are new.
    • As a fond couple
    • ’Midst the dance veering,
    • First disappearing,
    • Then reappear,
    • So let affection
    • Guide thro’ life’s mazy
    • Pathways so hazy
    • Into the year!
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ANNIVERSARY SONG.

    • WHY pacest thou, my neighbor fair,
    • The garden all alone?
    • If house and land thou seek’st to guard,
    • I’d thee as mistress own.
    • My brother sought the cellar-maid,
    • And suffer’d her no rest;
    • She gave him a refreshing draught,
    • A kiss, too, she impress’d.
    • My cousin is a prudent wight,
    • The cook’s by him ador’d;
    • He turns the spit round ceaselessly,
    • To gain love’s sweet reward.
    • We six-together then began
    • A banquet to consume,
    • When lo! a fourth pair singing came,
    • And danc’d into the room.
    • Welcome were they,—and welcome too
    • Was a fifth jovial pair,
    • Brimful of news, and stor’d with tales
    • And jests both new and rare.
    • For riddles, spirit, raillery,
    • And wit, a place remain’d;
    • A sixth pair then our circle join’d,
    • And so that prize was gain’d.
    • And yet to make us truly bless’d,
    • One miss’d we, and full sore;
    • A true and tender couple came,—
    • We needed then no more.
    • The social banquet now goes on,
    • Unchequer’d by alloy;
    • The sacred double-numbers then
    • Let all at once enjoy!

THE SPRING ORACLE.

    • OH, prophetic bird so bright,
    • Blossom-songster, cuckoo hight!
    • In the fairest time of year,
    • Dearest bird, oh! deign to hear
    • What a youthful pair would pray;
    • Do thou call, if hope they may:
    • Thy cuck-oo, thy cuck-oo,
    • Ever more cuck-oo, cuck-oo!
    • Hearest thou? A loving pair
    • Fain would to the altar fare;
    • Yes! a pair in happy youth,
    • Full of virtue, full of truth.
    • Is the hour not fix’d by fate?
    • Say, how long must they still wait?
    • Hark! cuck-oo! hark! cuck-oo!
    • Silent yet! for shame, cuck-oo!
    • ’Tis not our fault, certainly!
    • Only two years patient be!
    • But if we ourselves please here,
    • Will pa-pa-papas appear?
    • Know that thou’lt more kindness do us,
    • More thou’lt prophesy unto us.
    • One! cuck-oo! Two! cuck-oo!
    • Ever, ever, cuck-oo, cuck-oo, coo!
    • If we’ve calculated clearly,
    • We have half a dozen nearly.
    • If good promises we’ll give,
    • Wilt thou say how long we’ll live?
    • Truly, we’ll confess to thee,
    • We’d prolong it willingly.
    • Coo cuck-oo, coo cuck-oo,
    • Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo!
    • Life is one continued feast—
    • (If we keep no score, at least.)
    • If now we together dwell,
    • Will true love remain as well?
    • For if that should e’er decay,
    • Happiness would pass away.
    • Coo cuck-oo, coo cuck-oo,
    • Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo!
    • (Gracefully ad infinitum.)
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THE HAPPY COUPLE.

lf0841-01_figure_031.jpg
    • AFTER these vernal rains
    • That we so warmly sought,
    • Dear wife, see how our plains
    • With blessings sweet are fraught!
    • We cast our distant gaze
    • Far in the misty blue;
    • Here gentle love still strays,
    • Here dwells still rapture true.
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    • Thou seest whither go
    • Yon pair of pigeons white,
    • Where swelling violets blow
    • Round sunny foliage bright.
    • ’Twas there we gather’d first
    • A nosegay as we rov’d;
    • There into flame first burst
    • The passion that we prov’d.
    • Yet when, with plighted troth,
    • The priest beheld us fare
    • Home from the altar both,
    • With many a youthful pair,—
    • Then other moons had birth,
    • And many a beauteous sun,
    • Then we had gain’d the earth
    • Whereon life’s race to run.
    • A hundred thousand fold
    • The mighty bond was seal’d;
    • In woods, on mountains cold,
    • In bushes, in the field,
    • Within the wall, in caves,
    • And on the craggy height,
    • And love, e’en o’er the waves,
    • Bore in his tube the light.
    • Contented we remain’d,
    • We deem’d ourselves a pair;
    • ’Twas otherwise ordain’d,
    • For, lo! a third was there;
    • A fourth, fifth, sixth appear’d,
    • And sat around our board;
    • And now the plants we’ve rear’d
    • High o’er our heads have soar’d!
    • How fair and pleasant looks,
    • On yonder beauteous spot,
    • Embrac’d by poplar-brooks,
    • The newly-finish’d cot!
    • Who is it there that sits
    • In that glad home above?
    • Is’t not our darling Fritz
    • With his own darling love?
    • Beside yon precipice,
    • Whence pent-up waters steal,
    • And, leaving the abyss,
    • Fall foaming through the wheel,—
    • Though people often tell
    • Of millers’ wives so fair,
    • Yet none can e’er excel
    • Our dearest daughter there!
    • Yet where the thick-set green
    • Stands round yon church and sod,
    • Where the old fir tree’s seen
    • Alone tow’rd heaven to nod,—
    • ’Tis there the ashes lie
    • Of our untimely dead;
    • From earth our gaze on high
    • By their bless’d memory’s led.
    • See how yon hill is bright
    • With billowy-waving arms!
    • The force returns, whose might
    • Has vanquish’d war’s alarms.
    • Who proudly hastens here
    • With wreath-encircl’d brow?
    • ’Tis like our child so dear!—
    • Thus Charles comes homeward now.
    • That dearest honor’d guest
    • Is welcom’d by the bride;
    • She makes the true one bless’d,
    • At the glad festal tide.
    • And ev’ry one makes haste
    • To join the dance with glee;
    • While thou with wreaths hast grac’d
    • The youngest children three.
    • To sound of flute and horn
    • The time appears renew’d,
    • When we, in love’s young morn,
    • In the glad dance upstood;
    • And perfect bliss I know
    • Ere the year’s course is run,
    • For to the font we go
    • With grandson and with son!
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SONG OF FELLOWSHIP.

    • IN ev’ry hour of joy
    • That love and wine prolong,
    • The moments we’ll employ
    • To carol forth this song!
    • We’re gather’d in His name,
    • Whose power hath brought us here;
    • He kindled first our flame,
    • He bids it burn more clear.
    • Then gladly glow to-night,
    • And let our hearts combine!
    • Up! quaff with fresh delight
    • This glass of sparkling wine!
    • Up! hail the joyous hour,
    • And let your kiss be true;
    • With each new bond of power
    • The old becomes the new!
    • Who in our circle lives,
    • And is not happy there?
    • True liberty it gives,
    • And brother’s love so fair.
    • Thus heart and heart through life
    • With mutual love are fill’d;
    • And by no causeless strife
    • Our union e’er is chill’d.
    • Our hopes a God has crown’d
    • With life-discernment free,
    • And all we view around,
    • Renews our ecstasy.
    • Ne’er by caprice oppress’d,
    • Our bliss is ne’er destroy’d;
    • More freely throbs our breast,
    • By fancies ne’er alloy’d.
    • Where’er our foot we set,
    • The more life’s path extends,
    • And brighter, brighter yet
    • Our gaze on high ascends.
    • We know no grief or pain,
    • Though all things fall and rise;
    • Long may we thus remain!
    • Eternal be our ties!

CONSTANCY IN CHANGE.

    • COULD this early bliss but rest
    • Constant for one single hour!
    • But e’en now the humid West
    • Scatters many a vernal shower.
    • Should the verdure give me joy?
    • ’Tis to it I owe the shade;
    • Soon will storms its bloom destroy,
    • Soon will Autumn bid it fade.
    • Eagerly thy portion seize,
    • If thou would’st possess the fruit!
    • Fast begin to ripen these,
    • And the rest already shoot.
    • With each heavy storm of rain
    • Change comes o’er thy valley fair;
    • Once, alas! but not again
    • Can the same stream hold thee e’er.
    • And thyself, what erst at least
    • Firm as rocks appear’d to rise,
    • Walls and palaces thou seest
    • But with ever-changing eyes.
    • Fled forever now the lip
    • That with kisses used to glow,
    • And the foot, that used to skip
    • O’er the mountain, like the roe.
    • And the hand, so true and warm,
    • Ever rais’d in charity,
    • And the cunning-fashion’d form,—
    • All are now chang’d utterly.
    • And what used to bear thy name,
    • When upon yon spot it stood,
    • Like a rolling billow came,
    • Hast’ning on to join the flood.
    • Be then the beginning found
    • With the end in unison,
    • Swifter than the forms around
    • Are themselves now fleeting on!
    • Thank the merit in thy breast,
    • Thank the mould within thy heart,
    • That the Muses’ favor bless’d
    • Ne’er will perish, ne’er depart.
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TABLE SONG.

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    • O’ER me,—how I cannot say,—
    • Heav’nly rapture’s growing.
    • Will it help to guide my way
    • To yon stars all-glowing?
    • Yet that here I’d sooner be,
    • To assert I’m able,
    • Where, with wine and harmony,
    • I may thump the table.
    • Wonder not, my dearest friends,
    • What ’tis gives me pleasure;
    • For of all that earth e’er lends,
    • ’Tis the sweetest treasure.
    • Therefore solemnly I swear,
    • With no reservation,
    • That maliciously I’ll ne’er
    • Leave my present station.
    • Now that here we’re gather’d round,
    • Chasing cares and slumbers,
    • Let, methought, the goblet sound
    • To the bard’s glad numbers!
    • Many a hundred mile away,
    • Go those we love dearly;
    • Therefore let us here to-day
    • Make the glass ring clearly!
    • Here’s His health, through Whom we live!
    • I that faith inherit.
    • To our king the next toast give,
    • Honor is his merit,
    • ’Gainst each in- and outward foe
    • He’s our rock and tower.
    • Of his maintenance thinks he though,
    • More that grows his power.
    • Next to her good health I drink,
    • Who has stirr’d my passion;
    • Of his mistress let each think,
    • Think in knightly fashion.
    • If the beauteous maid but see
    • Whom ’tis I now call so,
    • Let her smiling nod to me:
    • “Here’s my love’s health also!”
    • To those friends,—the two or three,—
    • Be our next toast given,
    • In whose presence revel we,
    • In the silent even,—
    • Who the gloomy mist so cold
    • Scatter gently, lightly;
    • To those friends, then, new or old,
    • Let the toast ring brightly.
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    • Broader now the stream rolls on,
    • With its waves more swelling,
    • While in higher, nobler tone,
    • Comrades, we are dwelling,—
    • We who with collected might,
    • Bravely cling together,
    • Both in fortune’s sunshine bright,
    • And in stormy weather.
    • Just as we are gather’d thus,
    • Others are collected;
    • On them, therefore, as on us,
    • Be Fate’s smile directed!
    • From the springhead to the sea,
    • Many a mill’s revolving,
    • And the world’s prosperity
    • Is the task I’m solving.

WONT AND DONE.

    • I HAVE lov’d; for the first time with passion I rave!
    • I then was the servant, but now am the slave;
    • I then was the servant of all:
    • By this creature so charming I now am fast bound,
    • To love and love’s guerdon she turns all around,
    • And her my sole mistress I call.
    • I’ve had faith; for the first time my faith is now strong!
    • And though matters go strangely, though matters go wrong,
    • To the ranks of the faithful I’m true:
    • Though ofttimes ’twas dark and though oftimes ’twas drear,
    • In the pressure of need, and when danger was near,
    • Yet the dawning of light I now view.
    • I have eaten; but ne’er have thus relish’d my food!
    • For when glad are the senses, and joyous the blood,
    • At table all else is effac’d:
    • As for youth, it but swallows, then whistles an air;
    • As for me, to a jovial resort I’d repair,
    • Where to eat, and enjoy what I taste.
    • I have drunk; but have never thus relish’d the bowl!
    • For wine makes us lords, and enlivens the soul,
    • And loosens the trembling slave’s tongue.
    • Let’s seek not to spare then the heart-stirring drink,
    • For though in the barrel the old wine may sink,
    • In its place will fast mellow the young.
    • I have danc’d, and to dancing am pledg’d by a vow!
    • Though no caper or waltz may be rav’d about now,
    • In a dance that’s becoming, whirl round.
    • And he who a nosegay of flowers has dress’d,
    • And cares not for one any more than the rest,
    • With a garland of mirth is aye crown’d.
    • Then once more be merry, and banish all woes!
    • For he who but gathers the blossoming rose,
    • By its thorns will be tickl’d alone.
    • To-day still, as yesterday, glimmers the star;
    • Take care from all heads that hang down to keep far,
    • And make but the future thine own.
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GENERAL CONFESSION.

    • IN this noble ring to-day
    • Let my warning shame ye!
    • Listen to my solemn voice,—
    • Seldom does it name ye.
    • Many a thing have ye intended,
    • Many a thing have badly ended,
    • And now I must blame ye.
    • At some moment in our lives
    • We must all repent us!
    • So confess, with pious trust,
    • All your sins momentous!
    • Error’s crooked pathways shunning,
    • Let us, on the straight road running,
    • Honestly content us!
    • Yes! we’ve oft, when waking, dream’d,
    • Let’s confess it rightly;
    • Left undrain’d the brimming cup,
    • When it sparkl’d brightly;
    • Many a shepherd’s-hour’s soft blisses,
    • Many a dear mouth’s flying kisses
    • We’ve neglected lightly.
    • Mute and silent have we sat,
    • Whilst the blockheads prated,
    • And above e’en song divine
    • Have their babblings rated;
    • To account we’ve even call’d us
    • For the moments that enthrall’d us,
    • With enjoyment freighted.
    • If thou’lt absolution grant
    • To thy true ones ever,
    • We, to execute thy will,
    • Ceaseless will endeavor,
    • From half-measures strive to wean us,
    • Wholly, fairly, well demean us,
    • Resting, flagging never.
    • At all blockheads we’ll at once
    • Let our laugh ring clearly,
    • And the pearly-foaming wine
    • Never sip at merely.
    • Ne’er with eye alone give kisses,
    • But with boldness suck in blisses
    • From those lips lov’d dearly.

COPTIC SONG.

    • LEAVE we the pedants to quarrel and strive,
    • Rigid and cautious the teachers to be!
    • All of the wisest men e’er seen alive
    • Smile, nod, and join in the chorus with me:
    • “Vain ’tis to wait till the dolt grows less silly!
    • Play then the fool with the fool, willy-nilly,—
    • Children of wisdom,—remember the word!”
    • Merlin the old, from his glittering grave,
    • When I, a stripling, once spoke to him,—gave
    • Just the same answer as that I’ve preferr’d:
    • “Vain ’tis to wait till the dolt grows less silly!
    • Play then the fool with the fool, willy-nilly,—
    • Children of wisdom,—remember the world!”
    • And on the Indian breeze as it booms,
    • And in the depths of Egyptian tombs,
    • Only the same holy saying I’ve heard:
    • “Vain ’tis to wait till the dolt grows less silly!
    • Play then the fool with the fool, willy-nilly,—
    • Children of wisdom,—remember the world!”

ANOTHER.

  • O! obedient to my call,
  • Turn to profit thy young days,
  • Wiser make betimes thy breast!
  • In Fate’s balance as it sways,
  • Seldom is the cock at rest;
  • Thou must either mount or fall,
  • Thou must either rule and win
  • Or submissively give in,
  • Triumph, or else yield to clamor:
  • Be the anvil or the hammer.
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VANITAS! VANITATUM VANITAS!

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    • MY trust in nothing now is plac’d,
    • Hurrah!
    • So in the world true joy I taste,
    • Hurrah!
    • Then he who would be a comrade of mine
    • Must rattle his glass, and in chorus combine,
    • Over these dregs of wine.
    • I plac’d my trust in gold and wealth,
    • Hurrah!
    • But then I lost all joy and health,
    • Lack-a-day!
    • Both here and there the money roll’d,
    • And when I had it here, behold,
    • From there had fled the gold!
    • I plac’d my trust in women next,
    • Hurrah!
    • But there in truth was sorely vex’d,
    • Lack-a-day!
    • The False another portion sought,
    • The True with tediousness were fraught,
    • The Best could not be bought.
    • My trust in travels then I plac’d,
    • Hurrah!
    • And left my native land in haste,
    • Lack-a-day!
    • But not a single thing seem’d good,
    • The beds were bad, and strange the food,
    • And I not understood.
    • I plac’d my trust in rank and fame,
    • Hurrah!
    • Another put me straight to shame,
    • Lack-a-day!
    • And as I had been prominent,
    • All scowl’d upon me as I went,
    • I found not one content.
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    • I plac’d my trust in war and fight,
    • Hurrah!
    • We gain’d full many a triumph bright,
    • Hurrah!
    • Into the foeman’s land we cross’d,
    • We put our friends to equal cost,
    • And there a leg I lost.
    • My trust is plac’d in nothing now,
    • Hurrah!
    • At my command the world must bow,
    • Hurrah!
    • And as we’ve ended feast and strain,
    • The cup we’ll to the bottom drain;
    • No dregs must there remain!

SWISS SONG.

    • UP in the mountain
    • I was a-sitting,
    • With the bird there
    • As my guest,
    • Blithely singing,
    • Blithely springing,
    • And building
    • His nest.
    • In the garden
    • I was a-standing,
    • And the bee there
    • Saw as well,
    • Buzzing, humming,
    • Going, coming,
    • And building
    • His cell.
    • O’er the meadow
    • I was a-going,
    • And there saw the
    • Butterflies,
    • Sipping, dancing,
    • Flying, glancing,
    • And charming
    • The eyes.
    • And then came my
    • Dear Hansel,
    • And I show’d them
    • With glee,
    • Sipping, quaffing,
    • And he, laughing,
    • Sweet kisses
    • Gave me.

FORTUNE OF WAR.

    • NOUGHT more accurs’d in war I know
    • Than getting off scot-free;
    • Inur’d to danger, on we go
    • In constant victory;
    • We first unpack, then pack again,
    • With only this reward,
    • That when we’re marching, we complain,
    • And when in camp, are bor’d.
    • The time for billeting comes next,—
    • The peasant curses it;
    • Each nobleman is sorely vex’d,
    • ’Tis hated by the cit.
    • Be civil, bad though be thy food,
    • The clowns politely treat;
    • If to our hosts we’re ever rude,
    • Jail-bread we’re forc’d to eat.
    • And when the cannons growl around,
    • And small arms rattle clear,
    • And trumpet, trot, and drum resound,
    • We merry all appear;
    • And as it in the fight may chance,
    • We yield, then charge amain,
    • And now retire, and now advance,
    • And yet a cross ne’er gain.
    • At length there comes a musket-ball,
    • And hits the leg, please Heaven;
    • And then our troubles vanish all,
    • For to the town we’re driven,
    • (Well cover’d by the victor’s force,)
    • Where we in wrath first came,—
    • The women, frighten’d then, of course,
    • Are loving now and tame.
    • Cellar and heart are open’d wide,
    • The cook’s allow’d no rest;
    • While beds with softest down suppli’d
    • Are by our members press’d.
    • The nimble lads upon us wait,
    • No sleep the hostess takes;
    • Her shift is torn in pieces straight,—
    • What wondrous lint it makes!
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    • If one has tended carefully
    • The hero’s wounded limb,
    • Her neighbor cannot rest, for she
    • Has also tended him.
    • A third arrives in equal haste,
    • At length they all are there,
    • And in the middle he is plac’d
    • Of the whole band so fair!
    • On good authority the king
    • Hears how we love the fight,
    • And bids them cross and ribbon bring,
    • Our coat and breast to dight.
    • Say if a better fate can e’er
    • A son of Mars pursue!
    • ’Midst tears at length we go from there,
    • Belov’d and honor’d too.
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OPEN TABLE.

    • MANY a guest I’d see to-day,
    • Met to taste my dishes!
    • Food in plenty is prepar’d,
    • Birds, and game, and fishes.
    • Invitations all have had,
    • All propos’d attending.
    • Johnny, go and look around!
    • Are they hither wending?
    • Pretty girls I hope to see,
    • Dear and guileless misses,
    • Ignorant how sweet it is
    • Giving tender kisses.
    • Invitations all have had,
    • All propos’d attending.
    • Johnny, go and look around!
    • Are they hither wending?
    • Women also I expect,
    • Loving tow’rd their spouses,
    • Whose rude grumbling in their breasts
    • Greater love but rouses.
    • Invitations they’ve had too,
    • All propos’d attending!
    • Johnny, go and look around!
    • Are they hither wending?
    • I’ve too ask’d young gentlemen,
    • Who are far from haughty,
    • And whose purses are well-stock’d,
    • Well-behav’d, not naughty.
    • These especially I ask’d,
    • All propos’d attending.
    • Johnny, go and look around!
    • Are they hither wending?
    • Men I summon’d with respect,
    • Who their own wives treasure;
    • Who in ogling other Fair
    • Never take a pleasure.
    • To my greetings they replied,
    • All propos’d attending.
    • Johnny, go and look around!
    • Are they hither wending?
    • Then to make our joy complete,
    • Poets I invited,
    • Who love other’s songs far more
    • Than what they’ve indited.
    • All acceded to my wish,
    • All propos’d attending.
    • Johnny, go and look around!
    • Are they hither wending?
    • Not a single one appears,
    • None seem this way posting.
    • All the soup boils fast away,
    • Joints are over-roasting.
    • Ah, I fear that we have been
    • Rather too unbending!
    • Johnny, tell me what you think!
    • None are hither wending.
    • Johnny, run and quickly bring
    • Other guests to me now!
    • Each arriving as he is—
    • That’s the plan, I see now.
    • In the town at once ’tis known,
    • Ev’ry one’s commending.
    • Johnny, open all the doors:
    • All are hither wending!

THE RECKONING.

  • Leader.

  • LET no cares now hover o’er us!
  • Let the wine unsparing run!
  • Wilt thou swell our merry chorus?
  • Hast thou all thy duty done?
    • Solo.

    • Two young folks—the thing is curious—
    • Lov’d each other; yesterday
    • Both quite mild, to-day quite furious,
    • Next day, quite the deuce to pay!
    • If her neck she there was stooping,
    • He must here needs pull his hair.
    • I reviv’d their spirits drooping,
    • And they’re now a happy pair.
  • Chorus.

  • Surely we for wine may languish!
  • Let the bumper then go round!
  • For all sighs and groans of anguish
  • Thou to-day in joy hast drown’d.
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  • Solo.

  • Why, young orphan, all this wailing?
  • “Would to heaven that I were dead!
  • For my guardian’s craft prevailing
  • Soon will make me beg my bread.”
  • Knowing well the rascal genus,
  • Into court I dragg’d the knave;
  • Fair the judges were between us,
  • And the maiden’s wealth did save.
  • Chorus.

  • Surely we for wine may languish!
  • Let the bumper then go round!
  • For all sighs and groans of anguish
  • Thou to-day in joy hast drown’d.
  • Solo.

  • To a little fellow, quiet,
  • Unpretending and subdu’d,
  • Has a big clown, running riot,
  • Been to-day extremely rude.
  • I bethought me of my duty,
  • And my courage swell’d apace,
  • So I spoil’d the rascal’s beauty,
  • Slashing him across the face.
  • Chorus.

  • Surely we for wine may languish!
  • Let the bumper then go round!
  • For all sighs and groans of anguish
  • Thou to-day in joy hast drown’d.
  • Solo.

  • Brief must be my explanation,
  • For I really have done nought.
  • Free from trouble and vexation,
  • I a landlord’s business bought.
  • There I’ve done, with all due ardor,
  • All that duty order’d me;
  • Each one ask’d me for the larder,
  • And there was no scarcity.
  • Chorus.

  • Surely we for wine may languish!
  • Let the bumper then go round!
  • For all sighs and groans of anguish
  • Thou to-day in joy hast drown’d.
  • Leader.

  • Each should thus make proclamation
  • Of what he did well to-day!
  • That’s the match whose conflagration
  • Should inflame our tuneful lay.
  • Let it be our precept ever
  • To admit no waverer here!
  • For to act the good endeavor,
  • None but rascals meek appear.
  • Chorus.

  • Surely we for wine may languish!
  • Let the bumper then go round!
  • For all sighs and groans of anguish
  • We have now in rapture drown’d.
  • Trio.

  • Let each merry minstrel enter,
  • He’s right welcome to our hall!
  • ’Tis but with the self-tormentor
  • That we are not liberal;
  • For we fear that his caprices,
  • That his eyebrows dark and sad,
  • That his grief that never ceases
  • Hide an empty heart, or bad.
  • Chorus.

  • No one now for wine shall languish!
  • Here no minstrel shall be found,
  • Who all sighs and groans of anguish,
  • Has not first in rapture drown’d!
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ERGO BIBAMUS!

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    • FOR a praiseworthy object we’re now gather’d here,
    • So, brethren, sing: Ergo bibamus!
    • Tho’ talk may be hush’d, yet the glasses ring clear,
    • Remember then: Ergo bibamus!
    • In truth ’tis an old, ’tis an excellent word,
    • With its sound so befitting each bosom is stirr’d,
    • And an echo the festal hall filling is heard,
    • A glorious Ergo bibamus!
    • I saw mine own love in her beauty so rare,
    • And bethought me of: Ergo bibamus!
    • So I gently approach’d, and she let me stand there,
    • While I help’d myself, thinking: Bibamus!
    • And when she’s appeas’d, and will clasp you and kiss;
    • Or when those embraces and kisses ye miss,
    • Take refuge, till found is some worthier bliss,
    • In the comforting Ergo bibamus!
    • I am call’d by my fate far away from each friend;
    • Ye lov’d ones, then: Ergo bibamus!
    • With wallet light-laden from hence I must wend,
    • So double our Ergo bibamus!
    • Whate’er to his treasures the niggard may add,
    • Yet regard for the joyous will ever be had,
    • For gladness lends ever its charms to the glad,
    • So, brethren, sing: Ergo bibamus!
    • And what shall we say of to-day as it flies?
    • I thought but of: Ergo Bibamus!
    • ’Tis one of those truly that seldom arise,
    • So again and again sing: Bibamus!
    • For joy through a wide-open portal it guides,
    • Bright glitter the clouds, as the curtain divides,
    • And a form, a divine one, to greet us in glides,
    • While we thunder our: Ergo bibamus!
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EPIPHANIAS.

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    • THE three holy kings with their star’s bright ray,—
    • They eat and they drink, but had rather not pay;
    • They like to eat and drink away,
    • They eat and drink, but had rather not pay.
    • The three holy kings have all come here,
    • In number not four, but three they appear;
    • And if a fourth join’d the other three,
    • Increas’d by one their number would be.
    • The first am I,—the fair and the white,
    • I ought to be seen when the sun shines bright!
    • But, alas! with all my spices and myrrh,
    • No girl now likes me,—I please not her.
    • The next am I,—the brown and the long,
    • Known well to women, known well to song.
    • Instead of spices, ’tis gold I bear,
    • And so I’m welcome everywhere.
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    • The last am I,—the black and small,
    • And fain would be right merry withal.
    • I like to eat and to drink full measure,
    • I eat and drink, and give thanks with pleasure.
    • The three holy kings are friendly and mild,
    • They seek the Mother, and seek the Child;
    • The pious Joseph is sitting by,
    • The ox and the ass on their litter lie.
    • We’re bringing gold, we’re bringing myrrh,
    • The women incense always prefer;
    • And if we have wine of a worthy growth,
    • We three to drink like six are not loth.
    • As here we see fair lads and lasses,
    • But not a sign of oxen or asses,
    • We know that we have gone astray
    • And so go further on our way.

FINNISH SONG.

    • IF the lov’d one, the well-known one,
    • Should return as he departed,
    • On his lips would ring my kisses,
    • Though the wolf’s blood might have dy’d them;
    • And a hearty grasp I’d give him,
    • Though his finger-ends were serpents.
    • Wind! Oh, if thou hadst but reason,
    • Word for word in turns thou’dst carry,
    • E’en though some perchance might perish
    • ’Tween two lovers so far distant.
    • All choice morsels I’d dispense with,
    • Table-flesh of priests neglect too,
    • Sooner than renounce my lover,
    • Whom, in Summer having vanquish’d,
    • I in Winter tam’d still longer.

GYPSY SONG.

    • IN the drizzling mist, with the snow high-pil’d,
    • In the Winter night, in the forest wild,
    • I heard the wolves with their ravenous howl,
    • I heard the screaming note of the owl:
    • Wille wau wau wau!
    • Wille wo wo wo!
    • Wito hu!
    • I shot, one day, a cat in a ditch—
    • The dear black cat of Anna the witch;
    • Upon me, at night, seven were-wolves came down,
    • Seven women they were, from out of the town.
    • Wille wau wau wau!
    • Wille wo wo wo!
    • Wito hu!
    • I knew them all; ay, I knew them straight;
    • First, Anna, then Ursula, Eve and Kate,
    • And Barbara, Lizzy and Bet as well;
    • And forming a ring, they began to yell:
    • Wille wau wau wau!
    • Wille wo wo wo!
    • Wito hu!
    • Then call’d I their names with angry threat:
    • “What would’st thou, Anna? What would’st thou, Bet?”
    • At hearing my voice, themselves they shook,
    • And howling and yelling, to flight they took.
    • Wille wau wau wau!
    • Wille wo wo wo!
    • Wito hu!
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From Wilhelm Meister.

MIGNON.

    • WHO never eat with tears his bread,
    • Who never through night’s heavy hours
    • Sat weeping on his lonely bed,—
    • He knows you not, ye heavenly powers!
    • Through you the paths of life we gain,
    • Ye let poor mortals go astray,
    • And then abandon them to pain,—
    • E’en here the penalty we pay.

THE SAME.

  • MY grief no mortals know,
  • Except the yearning!
  • Alone, a prey to woe,
  • All pleasure spurning,
  • Up tow’rds the sky I throw
  • A gaze discerning.
  • He who my love can know
  • Seems ne’er returning;
  • With strange and fiery glow
  • My heart is burning.
  • My grief no mortals know,
  • Except the yearning!

THE HARPER.

    • WHO gives himself to solitude,
    • Soon lonely will remain;
    • Each lives, each loves in joyous mood,
    • And leaves him to his pain.
    • Yes! leave me to my grief!
    • Were solitude’s relief
    • E’er granted me,
    • Alone I should not be.
    • A lover steals, on footstep light,
    • To learn if his love’s alone;
    • Thus o’er me steals, by day and night,
    • Anguish before unknown,
    • Thus o’er me steals deep grief.
    • Ah, when I find relief
    • Within the tomb so lonely,
    • Will rest be met with only!

PHILINE.

    • SING no more in mournful tones
    • Of the loneliness of night;
    • For ’tis made, ye beauteous ones,
    • For all social pleasures bright.
    • As of old to man a wife
    • As his better half was given,
    • So the night is half our life,
    • And the fairest under heaven.
    • How can ye enjoy the day,
    • Which obstructs our rapture’s tide?
    • Let it waste itself away;
    • Worthless ’tis for aught beside.
    • But when in the darkling hours
    • From the lamp soft rays are glowing,
    • And from mouth to mouth sweet showers,
    • Now of jest, now love, are flowing,—
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    • When the nimble, wanton boy,
    • Who so wildly spends his days,
    • Oft amid light sports with joy
    • O’er some trifling gift delays,—
    • When the nightingale is singing
    • Strains the lover holds so dear,
    • Though like sighs and wailings ringing
    • In the mournful captive’s ear,—
    • With what heart-emotion bless’d
    • Do ye hearken to the bell,
    • Wont of safety and of rest
    • With twelve solemn strokes to tell!
    • Therefore in each heavy hour,
    • Let this precept fill your heart:
    • O’er each day will sorrow lour,
    • Rapture ev’ry night impart.
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Ballads

Poets’ art is ever able

To endow with truth mere fable.

MIGNON.

    • KNOW’ST thou the land where the fair citron blows,
    • Where the bright orange midst the foliage glows,
    • Where soft winds greet us from the azure skies,
    • Where silent myrtles, stately laurels rise,
    • Know’st thou it well?
    • ’Tis there, ’tis there,
    • That I with thee, belov’d one, would repair!
    • Know’st thou the house? On columns rests its pile,
    • Its halls are gleaming, and its chambers smile,
    • And marble statues stand and gaze on me:
    • “Poor child! what sorrow hath befallen thee?”
    • Know’st thou it well?
    • ’Tis there, ’tis there,
    • That I with thee, protector, would repair!
    • Know’st thou the mountain, and its cloudy bridge?
    • The mule can scarcely find the misty ridge;
    • In caverns dwells the dragon’s olden brood,
    • The frowning crag obstructs the raging flood.
    • Know’st thou it well?
    • ’Tis there, ’tis there,
    • Our path lies—Father—thither, oh, repair!

THE HARPER.

    • “WHAT tuneful strains salute mine ear
    • Without the castle walls?
    • Oh, let the song re-echo here,
    • Within our festal halls!”
    • Thus spake the king, the page out-hied;
    • The boy return’d; the monarch cried:
    • “Admit the old man yonder!”
    • “All hail, ye noble lords to-night!
    • All hail, ye beauteous dames!
    • Star plac’d by star! What heavenly sight!
    • Who e’er can tell their names?
    • Within this glittering hall sublime,
    • Be clos’d, mine eyes! ’tis not the time
    • For me to feast my wonder.”
    • The minstrel straightway clos’d his eyes,
    • And woke a thrilling tone;
    • The knights look’d on in knightly guise,
    • Fair looks tow’rd earth were thrown.
    • The monarch, ravish’d by the strain,
    • Bade them bring forth a golden chain,
    • To be his numbers’ guerdon.
    • “The golden chain give not to me,
    • But give the chain to those
    • In whose bold face we shiver’d see
    • The lances of our foes.
    • Or give it to thy chancellor there;
    • With other burdens he may bear
    • This one more golden burden.
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    • “I sing, like birds of blithesome note,
    • That in the branches dwell;
    • The song that rises from the throat
    • Repays the minstrel well.
    • One boon I’d crave, if not too bold—
    • One bumper in a cup of gold
    • Be as my guerdon given.”
    • The bowl he rais’d, the bowl he quaff’d:
    • “Oh, drink, with solace fraught!
    • Oh, house thrice-bless’d, where such a draught
    • A trifling gift is thought!
    • When Fortune smiles, remember me,
    • And as I thank you heartily
    • As warmly thank ye Heaven!”

BALLAD
Of the Banished and Returning Count.

    • OH, enter, old minstrel, thou time-honor’d one!
    • We children are here in the hall all alone,
    • The portals we straightway will bar.
    • Our mother is praying, our father is gone
    • To the forest, on wolves to make war.
    • Oh, sing us a ballad, the tale then repeat,
    • ’Till brother and I learn it right;
    • We long have been hoping a minstrel to meet,
    • For children hear tales with delight.
    • “At midnight, when darkness its fearful veil weaves,
    • His lofty and stately old castle he leaves,
    • But first he has buried his wealth.
    • What figure is that in his arms one perceives,
    • As the Count quits the gateway by stealth?
    • O’er what is his mantle so hastily thrown?
    • What bears he along in his flight?
    • A daughter it is, and she gently sleeps on:”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
    • “The morning soon glimmers, the world is so wide,
    • In valleys and forests a home is suppli’d,
    • The bard in each village is cheer’d.
    • Thus lives he and wanders, while years onward glide,
    • And longer still waxes his beard;
    • But the maiden so fair in his arms grows amain,
    • ’Neath her star all-protecting and bright,
    • Secur’d in the mantle from wind and from rain”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
    • “And year upon year with swift footstep now steals,
    • The mantle it fades, many rents it reveals,
    • The maiden no more it can hold.
    • The father he sees her, what rapture he feels!
    • His joy cannot now be controll’d.
    • How worthy she seems of the race whence she springs,
    • How noble and fair to the sight!
    • What wealth to her dearly-lov’d father she brings!”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
    • “Then comes there a princely knight galloping by,
    • She stretches her hand out, as soon as he’s nigh,
    • But alms he refuses to give.
    • He seizes her hand, with a smile in his eye:
    • ‘Thou art mine!’ he exclaims, ‘while I live!’
    • ‘When thou know’st,’ cries the old man, ‘the treasure that’s there,
    • A princess thou’lt make her of right;
    • Betroth’d be she now, on this spot green and fair’ ”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
    • “So she’s bless’d by the priest on the hallowed place,
    • And she goes with a smiling but sorrowful face,
    • From her father she fain would not part.
    • The old man still wanders with ne’er-changing pace,
    • He covers with joy his sad heart.
    • So I think of my daughter, as years pass away,
    • And my grandchildren far from my sight;
    • I bless them by night, and I bless them by day”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
    • He blesses the children: a knocking they hear,
    • The father it is! They spring forward in fear,
    • The old man they cannot conceal—
    • “Thou beggar, would’st lure, then, my children so dear?
    • Straight seize him, ye vassals of steel!
    • To the dungeon most deep, with the fool-hardy knave!”
    • The mother from far hears the fight;
    • She hastens with flatt’ring entreaty to crave—
    • The children they hear with delight.
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    • The vassals they suffer the Bard to stand there,
    • And mother and children implore him to spare,
    • The proud prince would stifle his ire,
    • ’Till driven to fury at hearing their prayer,
    • His smouldering anger takes fire:
    • “Thou pitiful race! Oh, thou beggarly crew!
    • Eclipsing my star, once so bright!
    • Ye’ll bring me destruction, ye sorely shall rue!”—
    • The children they hear with affright.
    • The old man still stands there with dignified mien,
    • The vassals of steel quake before him, I ween,
    • The Count’s fury increases in power;
    • “My wedded existence a curse long has been,
    • And these are the fruits from that flower!
    • ’Tis ever denied, and the saying is true,
    • That to wed with the base-born is right;
    • The beggar has borne me a beggarly crew,”—
    • The children they hear with affright.
    • “If the husband, the father, thus treats you with scorn,
    • If the holiest bonds by him rashly are torn,
    • Then come to your father—to me!
    • The beggar may gladden life’s pathway forlorn,
    • Though aged and weak he may be.
    • This castle is mine! thou hast made it thy prey,
    • Thy people ’twas put me to flight;
    • The tokens I bear will confirm what I say”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
    • “The king who erst govern’d returneth again,
    • And restores to the Faithful the goods that were ta’en,
    • I’ll unseal all my treasures the while;
    • The laws shall be gentle, and peaceful thereign.”
    • The old man thus cries with a smile—
    • “Take courage, my son! all hath turn’d out for good,
    • And each hath a star that is bright,
    • Those the princess hath borne thee are princely in blood,”—
    • The children they hear with delight.
lf0841-01_figure_039.jpg

artist: ernst roeber.

THE BALLAD OF THE BANISHED COUNT.

THE VIOLET.

    • EXHALING sweet a violet stood,
    • Retiring, and of modest mood,
    • In truth, a violet fair.
    • Then came a youthful shepherdess,
    • And roam’d with sprightly joyousness,
    • And blithely woo’d
    • With carols sweet the air.
    • “Ah!” thought the violet, “had I been
    • For but the smallest moment e’en
    • Nature’s most beauteous flower,
    • ’Till gather’d by my love, and press’d,
    • When weary, ’gainst her gentle breast,
    • For e’en, for e’en
    • One quarter of an hour!”
    • Alas! alas! the maid drew nigh,
    • The violet fail’d to meet her eye,
    • She crush’d the violet sweet.
    • It sank and died, yet murmur’d not:
    • “And if I die, oh, happy lot,
    • For her I die,
    • And at her very feet!”

THE FAITHLESS BOY.

    • THERE was a wooer blithe and gay,—
    • A son of France was he,—
    • Who in his arms for many a day,
    • As though his bride were she,
    • A poor young maiden had caress’d,
    • And fondly kiss’d, and fondly press’d,
    • And then at length deserted.
    • When this was told the nut-brown maid,
    • Her senses straightway fled;
    • She laugh’d and wept, and vow’d and pray’d,
    • And presently was dead.
    • The hour her soul its farewell took,
    • The boy was sad, with terror shook,
    • Then sprang upon his charger.
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    • He drove his spurs into his side,
    • And scour’d the country round;
    • But wheresoever he might ride,
    • No rest for him was found.
    • For seven long days and nights he rode,
    • It storm’d, the waters overflow’d,
    • It bluster’d, lighten’d, thunder’d.
    • On rode he through the tempest’s din,
    • Till he a building spied;
    • In search of shelter crept he in,
    • When he his steed had tied.
    • And as he grop’d his doubtful way,
    • The ground began to rock and sway,—
    • He fell a hundred fathoms.
    • When he recover’d from the blow,
    • He saw three lights pass by;
    • He sought in their pursuit to go,
    • The lights appear’d to fly.
    • They led his footsteps all astray,
    • Up, down, through many a narrow way
    • Through ruin’d desert cellars.
    • When lo! he stood within a hall,
    • A hundred guests sat there,
    • With hollow eyes, and grinning all;
    • They bade him taste the fare.
    • He saw his sweetheart ’midst the throng,
    • Wrapp’d up in grave-clothes white and long;
    • She turn’d, and—*

THE ERL-KING.

    • WHO rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
    • The father it is, with his infant so dear;
    • He holdeth the boy tightly clasp’d in his arm,
    • He holdeth him safely, he keepeth him warm.
    • “My son, wherefore seek’st thou thy face thus to hide?”
    • “Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side!
    • Dost see not the Erl-King, with crown and with train?”
    • “My son, ’tis the mist rising over the plain.”
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    • “Oh, come, thou dear infant! oh, come thou with me!
    • Full many a game I will play there with thee;
    • On my strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold,
    • My mother shall grace thee with garments of gold.”
    • “My father, my father, and dost thou not hear
    • The words that the Erl-King now breathes in mine ear?”
    • “Be calm, dearest child, ’tis thy fancy deceives;
    • ’Tis the sad wind that sighs through the withering leaves.”
    • “Wilt go, then, dear infant, wilt go with me there?
    • My daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care;
    • My daughters by night their glad festival keep,
    • They’ll dance thee, and rock thee, and sing thee to sleep.”
    • “My father, my father, and dost thou not see,
    • How the Erl-King his daughters has brought here for me?”
    • “My darling, my darling, I see it aright,
    • ’Tis the aged gray willows deceiving thy sight.”
    • “I love thee, I’m charm’d by thy beauty, dear boy!
    • And if thou’rt unwilling, then force I’ll employ.”
    • “My father, my father, he seizes me fast,
    • Full sorely the Erl-King has hurt me at last.”
    • The father now gallops, with terror half wild,
    • He grasps in his arms the poor shuddering child;
    • He reaches his courtyard with toil and with dread,—
    • The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead.
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artist: a. baur.

JOANNA SEBUS.

JOHANNA SEBUS

    • THE dam breaks down, the ice-plain growls,
    • The floods arise, the water howls.
    • “I’ll bear thee, mother, across the swell,
    • ’Tis not yet high, I can wade right well.”
    • “Remember us too! in what danger are we!
    • Thy fellow-lodger, and children three!
    • The trembling woman!—Thou’rt going away!”
    • She bears the mother across the spray.
    • “Quick! haste to the mound, and a while there wait,
    • I’ll soon return, and all will be straight.
    • The mound’s close by, and safe from the wet;
    • But take my goat too, my darling pet!”
    • The dam dissolves, the ice-plain growls,
    • The floods dash on, the water howls.
    • She places the mother safe on the shore;
    • Fair Susan then turns tow’rd the flood once more.
    • “Oh, whither? Oh, whither? The breadth fast grows,
    • Both here and there the water o’erflows.
    • Wilt venture, thou rash one, the billows to brave?”
    • They shall, and they must be preserved from the wave!
    • The dam disappears, the water growls,
    • Like ocean billows it heaves and howls.
    • Fair Susan returns by the way she had tried,
    • The waves roar around, but she turns not aside;
    • She reaches the mound, and the neighbor straight,
    • But for her and the children, alas, too late!
    • The dam disappear’d, like a sea it growls,
    • Round the hillock in circling eddies it howls.
    • The foaming abyss gapes wide, and whirls round,
    • The women and children are borne to the ground;
    • The horn of the goat by one is seiz’d fast,
    • But, ah, they all must perish at last!
    • Fair Susan still stands there, untouch’d by the wave;
    • The youngest, the noblest, oh, who now will save?
    • Fair Susan still stands there, as bright as a star,
    • But, alas! all hope, all assistance is far.
    • The foaming waters around her roar,
    • To save her, no bark pushes off from the shore.
    • Her gaze once again she lifts up to Heaven,
    • Then gently away by the flood she is driven.
    • No dam, no plain! to mark the place
    • Some straggling trees are the only trace.
    • The rushing water the wilderness covers,
    • Yet Susan’s image still o’er it hovers.—
    • The water sinks, the plains reappear.
    • Fair Susan’s lamented with many a tear,—
    • May he who refuses her story to tell,
    • Be neglected in life and in death as well!
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THE FISHERMAN.

    • THE waters rush’d, the waters rose,
    • A fisherman sat by,
    • While on his line in calm repose
    • He cast his patient eye.
    • And as he sat, and hearken’d there,
    • The flood was cleft in twain,
    • And, lo! a dripping mermaid fair
    • Sprang from the troubled main.
    • She sang to him, and spake the while:
    • “Why lurest thou my brood,
    • With human wit and human guile
    • From out their native flood?
    • Oh, could’st thou know how gladly dart
    • The fish across the sea,
    • Thou would’st descend, e’en as thou art,
    • And truly happy be!
    • “Do not the sun and moon with grace
    • Their forms in ocean lave?
    • Shines not with twofold charms their face,
    • When rising from the wave?
    • The deep, deep heavens, then lure thee not,—
    • The moist yet radiant blue,—
    • Not thine own form,—to tempt thy lot
    • ’Midst this eternal dew?”
    • The waters rush’d, the waters rose,
    • Wetting his naked feet;
    • As if his true love’s words were those,
    • His heart with longing beat.
    • She sang to him, to him spake she,
    • His doom was fix’d, I ween;
    • Half drew she him, and half sank he,
    • And ne’er again was seen.

THE KING OF THULE.

lf0841-01_figure_042.jpg
    • IN Thule liv’d a monarch,
    • Still faithful to the grave,
    • To whom his dying mistress
    • A golden goblet gave.
    • Beyond all price he deem’d it,
    • He quaff’d it at each feast;
    • And, when he drain’d that goblet,
    • His tears to flow ne’er ceas’d.
    • And when he felt death near him,
    • His cities o’er he told,
    • And to his heir left all things,
    • But not that cup of gold.
    • A regal banquet held he
    • In his ancestral hall,
    • In yonder sea-wash’d castle,
    • ’Mongst his great nobles all.
    • There stood the aged reveller,
    • And drank his last life’s-glow,
    • Then hurl’d the holy goblet
    • Into the flood below.
    • He saw it falling, filling,
    • And sinking ’neath the main,
    • His eyes then clos’d forever,
    • He never drank again.
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THE BEAUTEOUS FLOWER.
Song of the Imprisoned Count.

lf0841-01_figure_043.jpg
    • Count.

    • I KNOW a flower of beauty rare,
    • Ah, how I hold it dear!
    • To seek it I would fain repair,
    • Were I not prison’d here.
    • My sorrow sore oppresses me,
    • For when I was at liberty,
    • I had it close beside me.
    • Though from this castle’s walls so steep
    • I cast mine eyes around,
    • And gaze oft from the lofty keep,
    • The flower cannot be found.
    • Whoe’er would bring it to my sight,
    • Whether a vassal he, or knight,
    • My dearest friend I’d deem him.
    • The Rose.

    • I blossom fair,—thy tale of woes
    • I hear from ’neath thy grate.
    • Thou doubtless meanest me, the rose,
    • Poor knight of high estate!
    • Thou hast in truth a lofty mind;
    • The queen of flowers is then enshrin’d,
    • I doubt not, in thy bosom.
    • Count.

    • Thy red, in dress of green array’d,
    • As worth all praise I hold;
    • And so thou’rt treasur’d by each maid,
    • Like precious stones or gold.
    • Thy wreath adorns the fairest face,
    • But still thou’rt not the flower whose grace
    • I honor here in silence.
    • The Lily.

    • The rose is wont with pride to swell,
    • And ever seeks to rise;
    • But gentle sweethearts love full well
    • The lily’s charms to prize.
    • The heart that fills a bosom true,
    • That is, like me, unsullied too,
    • My merit values duly.
    • Count.

    • In truth, I hope myself unstain’d,
    • And free from grievous crime;
    • Yet I am here a prisoner chain’d,
    • And pass in grief my time.
    • To me thou art an image sure
    • Of many a maiden, mild and pure,
    • And yet I know a dearer.
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    • The Pink.

    • That must be me, the pink, who scent
    • The warder’s garden here;
    • Or wherefore is he so intent
    • My charms with care to rear?
    • My petals stand in beauteous ring,
    • Sweet incense all around I fling,
    • And boast a thousand colors.
    • Count.

    • The pink in truth we should not slight,
    • It is the gardener’s pride;
    • It now must stand expos’d to light,
    • Now in the shade abide.
    • Yet what can make the Count’s heart glow
    • Is no mere pomp of outward show;
    • It is a silent flower.
    • The Violet.

    • Here stand I, modestly half hid,
    • And fain would silence keep;
    • Yet since to speak I now am bid,
    • I’ll break my silence deep.
    • If, worthy Knight, I am that flower,
    • It grieves me that I have not power
    • To breathe forth all my sweetness.
    • Count.

    • The violet’s charms I prize indeed,
    • So modest ’tis, and fair,
    • And smells so sweet; yet more I need
    • To ease my heavy care.
    • The truth I’ll whisper in thine ear:
    • Upon these rocky heights so drear,
    • I cannot find the lov’d one.
    • The truest maiden ’neath the sky
    • Roams near the stream below,
    • And breathes forth many a gentle sigh,
    • Till I from hence can go.
    • And when she plucks a flow’ret blue,
    • And says “Forget-me-not!”—I, too,
    • Though far away, can feel it.
    • Ay, distance only swells love’s might,
    • When fondly love a pair;
    • Though prison’d in the dungeon’s night,
    • In life I linger there;
    • And when my heart is breaking nigh,
    • “Forget-me-not!” is all I cry,
    • And straightway life returneth.

SIR CURT’S WEDDING-JOURNEY.

    • WITH a bridegroom’s joyous bearing,
    • Mounts Sir Curt his noble beast,
    • To his mistress’ home repairing,
    • There to hold his wedding-feast;
    • When a threatening foe advances
    • From a desert, rocky spot;
    • For the fray they couch their lances,
    • Not delaying, speaking not.
    • Long the doubtful fight continues,
    • Victory then for Curt declares;
    • Conqueror, though with wearied sinews,
    • Forward on his road he fares.
    • When he sees, though strange it may be,
    • Something ’midst the foliage move;
    • ’Tis a mother, with her baby,
    • Stealing softly through the grove!
    • And upon the spot she beckons—
    • “Wherefore, love, this speed so wild?
    • Of the wealth thy storehouse reckons,
    • Hast thou nought to give thy child!”
    • Flames of rapture now dart through him,
    • And he longs for nothing more,
    • While the mother seemeth to him
    • Lovely as the maid of yore.
    • But he hears his servants blowing,
    • And bethinks him of his bride;
    • And ere long, while onward going,
    • Chances past a fair to ride;
    • In the booths he forthwith buys him
    • For his mistress many a pledge;
    • But, alas! some Jews surprise him,
    • And long-standing debts allege.
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    • And the courts of justice duly
    • Send the knight to prison straight.
    • Oh, accursed story, truly!
    • For a hero, what a fate!
    • Can my patience such things weather?
    • Great is my perplexity.
    • Women, debts and foes together,—
    • Ah, no knight escapes scot free!
lf0841-01_figure_044.jpg

WEDDING SONG.

    • THE tale of the Count our glad song shall record
    • Who had in this castle his dwelling,
    • Where now ye are feasting the new-married lord,
    • His grandson of whom we are telling.
    • The Count as Crusader had blazon’d his fame,
    • Through many a triumph exalted his name,
    • And when on his steed to his dwelling he came,
    • His castle still rear’d its proud head,
    • But servants and wealth had all fled.
    • ’Tis true that thou, Count, hast return’d to thy home,
    • But matters are faring there ill.
    • The winds through the chambers at liberty roam,
    • And blow through the windows at will.
    • What’s best to be done in a cold autumn night?
    • Full many I’ve pass’d in more piteous plight;
    • The morn ever settles the matter aright.
    • Then quick, while the moon shines so clear,
    • To bed on the straw, without fear.
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    • And whilst in a soft pleasing slumber he lay,
    • A motion he feels ’neath his bed.
    • The rat, an he likes it, may rattle away!
    • Ay, had he but crumbs there outspread!
    • But lo! there appears a diminutive wight,
    • A dwarf ’tis, yet graceful, and bearing a light,
    • With orator-gestures that notice invite,
    • At the feet of the Count on the floor
    • Who sleeps not, though weary full sore.
    • “We’ve long been accustom’d to hold here our feast,
    • Since thou from thy castle first went;
    • And as we believ’d thou wert far in the East,
    • To revel e’en now we were bent.
    • And if thou’lt allow it, and seek not to chide,
    • We dwarfs will all banquet with pleasure and pride,
    • To honor the wealthy, the beautiful bride”—
    • Says the Count with a smile, half-asleep:—
    • “Ye’re welcome your quarters to keep!”
    • Three knights then advance, riding all in a group,
    • Who under the bed were conceal’d;
    • And then is a singing and noise-making troop
    • Of strange little figures reveal’d;
    • And wagon on wagon with all kinds of things—
    • The clatter they cause through the ear loudly rings—
    • The like ne’er was seen save in castles of kings;
    • At length, in a chariot of gold,
    • The bride and the guests too, behold!
    • Then all at full gallop make haste to advance,
    • Each chooses his place in the hall;
    • With whirling and waltzing, and light joyous dance,
    • They begin with their sweethearts the ball.
    • The fife and the fiddle all merrily sound,
    • They twine, and they glide, and with nimbleness bound,
    • They whisper, and chatter, and clatter around;
    • The Count on the scene casts his eye,
    • And seems in a fever to lie.
    • They hustle, and bustle, and rattle away
    • On table, on bench, and on stool;
    • Then all who had join’d in the festival gay
    • With their partners attempt to grow cool.
    • The hams and the sausages nimbly they bear,
    • And meat, fish and poultry in plenty are there,
    • Surrounded with wine of the vintage most rare;
    • And when they have revell’d full long,
    • They vanish at last with a song.
    • * * * * * *
    • And if we’re to sing all that further occurr’d,
    • Pray cease ye to bluster and prate;
    • For what he so gladly in small saw and heard,
    • He enjoy’d and he practis’d in great.
    • For trumpets, and singing, and shouts without end
    • On the bridal-train, chariots and horsemen attend,
    • They come and appear, and they bow and they bend,
    • In merry and countless array.
    • Thus was it, thus is it to-day.

THE TREASURE-DIGGER.

    • ALL my weary days I pass’d
    • Sick at heart and poor in purse.
    • Poverty’s the greatest curse,
    • Riches are the highest good!
    • And to end my woes at last,
    • Treasure-seeking forth I sped.
    • “Thou shalt have my soul instead!”
    • Thus I wrote, and with my blood.
    • Ring round ring I forthwith drew,
    • Wondrous flames collected there,
    • Herbs and bones in order fair,
    • Till the charm had work’d aright.
    • Then, to learned precepts true,
    • Dug to find some treasure old,
    • In the place my art foretold:
    • Black and stormy was the night.
    • Coming o’er the distant plain,
    • With the glimmer of a star,
    • Soon I saw a light afar,
    • As the hour of midnight knell’d.
    • Preparation was in vain.
    • Sudden all was lighted up
    • With the lustre of a cup
    • That a beauteous boy upheld.
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    • Sweetly seem’d his eyes to laugh
    • ’Neath his flow’ry chaplet’s load;
    • With the drink that brightly glow’d,
    • He the circle enter’d in.
    • And he kindly bade me quaff;
    • Then methought: “This child can ne’er,
    • With his gift so bright and fair,
    • To the arch-fiend be akin.”
    • “Pure life’s courage drink!” cried he:
    • “This advice to prize then learn,—
    • Never to this place return
    • Trusting in thy spells absurd;
    • Dig no longer fruitlessly.
    • Guests by night, and toil by day!
    • Weeks laborious, feast-days gay!
    • Be thy future magic-word!”

THE RAT-CATCHER.

lf0841-01_figure_033.jpg
    • I AM the bard known far and wide,
    • The travell’d rat-catcher beside;
    • A man most needful to this town,
    • So glorious through its old renown.
    • However many rats I see,
    • How many weasels there may be,
    • I cleanse the place from ev’ry one,
    • All needs must helter-skelter run.
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    • Sometimes the bard so full of cheer
    • As a child-catcher will appear,
    • Who e’en the wildest captive brings,
    • Whene’er his golden tales he sings.
    • However proud each boy in heart,
    • However much the maidens start,
    • I bid the chords sweet music make,
    • And all must follow in my wake.
    • Sometimes the skilful bard ye view
    • In form of maiden-catcher too;
    • For he no city enters e’er,
    • Without effecting wonders there.
    • However coy may be each maid,
    • Howe’er the women seem afraid,
    • Yet all will love-sick be ere long
    • To sound of magic lute and song.

THE SPINNER.

    • AS I calmly sat and span,
    • Toiling with all zeal,
    • Lo! a young and handsome man
    • Pass’d my spinning-wheel.
    • And he prais’d,—what harm was there?—
    • Sweet the things he said—
    • Prais’d my flax-resembling hair,
    • And the even thread.
    • He with this was not content,
    • But must needs do more;
    • And in twain the thread was rent,
    • Though ’twas safe before.
    • And the flax’s stonelike weight
    • Needed to be told;
    • But no longer was its state
    • Valu’d as of old.
    • When I took it to the weaver,
    • Something felt I start,
    • And more quickly, as with fever,
    • Throbb’d my trembling heart.
    • Then I bear the thread at length
    • Through the heat, to bleach;
    • But, alas, I scarce have strength
    • To the pool to reach.
    • What I in my little room
    • Span so fine and slight,—
    • As was likely, I presume—
    • Came at last to light.

BEFORE A COURT OF JUSTICE.

    • THE father’s name ye ne’er shall be told
    • Of my darling unborn life;
    • “Shame, shame,” ye cry, “on the strumpet bold!”
    • Yet I’m an honest wife.
    • To whom I’m wedded, ye ne’er shall be told,
    • Yet he’s both loving and fair;
    • He wears on his neck a chain of gold,
    • And a hat of straw doth he wear.
    • If scorn ’tis vain to seek to repel,
    • On me let the scorn be thrown.
    • I know him well, and he knows me well,
    • And to God, too, all is known.
    • Sir Parson and Sir Bailiff, again,
    • I pray you, leave me in peace!
    • My child it is, my child ’twill remain,
    • So let your questionings cease!
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THE PAGE AND THE MILLER’S DAUGHTER.

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    • Page.

    • WHERE goest thou? Where?
    • Miller’s daughter so fair!
    • Thy name, pray?
    • Miller’s Daughter.

    • ’Tis Lizzy.
    • Page.

    • Where goest thou? Where?
    • With the rake in thy hand?
    • Miller’s Daughter.

    • Father’s meadows and land
    • To visit, I’m busy.
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    • Page.

    • Dost go there alone?
    • Miller’s Daughter.

    • By this rake, sir, ’tis shown
    • That we’re making the hay;
    • And the pears ripen fast
    • In the garden at last,
    • So I’ll pick them to-day.
    • Page.

    • Is’t a silent thicket I yonder view?
    • Miller’s Daughter.

    • Oh, yes! there are two;
    • There’s one on each side.
    • Page.

    • I’ll follow thee soon;
    • When the sun burns at noon,
    • We’ll go there, ourselves from his rays to hide.
    • And then in some glade all-verdant and deep—
    • Miller’s Daughter.

    • Why, people would say—
    • Page.

    • Within mine arms thou gently wilt sleep.
    • Miller’s Daughter.

    • Your pardon, I pray!
    • Whoever is kiss’d by the miller-maid,
    • Upon the spot must needs be betray’d.
    • ’Twould give me distress
    • To cover with white
    • Your pretty dark dress.
    • Equal with equal! then all is right!
    • That’s the motto in which I delight.
    • I am in love with the miller-boy;
    • He wears nothing that I could destroy.

THE YOUTH AND THE MILLSTREAM.

    • Youth.

    • SAY, sparkling streamlet, whither thou
    • Art going!
    • With joyous mien thy waters now
    • Are flowing.
    • Why seek the vale so hastily?
    • Attend for once, and answer me!
    • Millstream.

    • Oh, youth, I was a brook indeed;
    • But lately
    • My bed they’ve deepen’d, and my speed
    • Swell’d greatly,
    • That I may haste to yonder mill,
    • And so I’m full and never still.
    • Youth.

    • The mill thou seekest in a mood
    • Contented,
    • And know’st not how my youthful blood
    • ’S tormented.
    • But doth the miller’s daughter fair
    • Gaze often on thee kindly there?
    • Millstream.

    • She opes the shutters soon as light
    • Is gleaming;
    • And comes to bathe her features bright
    • And beaming.
    • So full and snow-white is her breast,—
    • I feel as hot as steam suppress’d.
    • Youth.

    • If she in water can inflame
    • Such ardor,
    • Surely, then, flesh and blood to tame
    • Is harder.
    • When once is seen her beauteous face,
    • One ever longs her steps to trace.
    • Millstream.

    • Over the wheel I, roaring, bound,
    • All-proudly,
    • And ev’ry spoke whirls swiftly round,
    • And loudly.
    • Since I have seen the miller’s daughter,
    • With greater vigor flows the water.
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    • Youth.

    • Like others, then, can grief, poor brook,
    • Oppress thee?
    • “Flow on!”—thus she’ll, with smiling look,
    • Address thee.
    • With her sweet loving glance, oh, say,
    • Can she thy flowing current stay?
    • Millstream.

    • ’Tis sad, ’tis sad to have to speed
    • From yonder;
    • I wind, and slowly through the mead
    • Would wander;
    • And if the choice remain’d with me,
    • Would hasten back there presently.
    • Youth.

    • Farewell, thou who with me dost prove
    • Love’s sadness!
    • Perchance some day thou’lt breathe of love
    • And gladness.
    • Go, tell her straight, and often too,
    • The boy’s mute hopes and wishes true.

THE MAID OF THE MILL’S TREACHERY.

    • WHENCE comes our friend so hastily,
    • When scarce the Eastern sky is gray?
    • Hath he just ceas’d, though cold it be,
    • In yonder holy spot to pray?
    • The brook appears to hem his path,
    • Would he barefooted o’er it go?
    • Why curse his orisons in wrath,
    • Across those heights beclad with snow?
    • Alas! his warm bed he hath left,
    • Where he had look’d for bliss, I ween;
    • And if his cloak too, had been reft,
    • How fearful his disgrace had been!
    • By yonder villain sorely press’d,
    • His wallet from him has been torn;
    • Our hapless friend has been undress’d,—
    • Left well nigh naked as when born.
    • The reason why he came this road,
    • Is that he sought a pair of eyes,
    • Which, at the mill, as brightly glow’d
    • As those that are in Paradise.
    • He will not soon again be there;
    • From out the house he quickly hied,
    • And when he gain’d the open air,
    • Thus bitterly and loudly cried:—
    • “Within her gaze, so dazzling bright,
    • No word of treachery I could read;
    • She seem’d to see me with delight,
    • Yet plann’d e’en then this cruel deed!
    • Could I, when basking in her smile,
    • Dream of the treason in her breast?
    • She bade kind Cupid stay awhile,
    • And he was there, to make us bless’d.
    • “To taste of love’s sweet ecstasy
    • Throughout the night, that endless seem’d,
    • And for her mother’s help to cry
    • Only when morning sunlight beam’d!
    • A dozen of her kith and kin,
    • A very human flood, in-press’d,
    • Her cousins came, her aunts peer’d in,
    • And uncles, brothers, and the rest.
    • “Then what a tumult, fierce and loud!
    • Each seem’d a beast of prey to be;
    • The maiden’s honor all the crowd,
    • With fearful shout, demand of me.
    • Why should they, madmen-like, begin
    • To fall upon a guiltless youth?
    • For he who such a prize would win,
    • Far nimbler needs must be, in truth.
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    • “The way to follow up with skill
    • His freaks, by love betimes is known:
    • He ne’er will leave, within a mill,
    • Sweet flowers for sixteen years alone.—
    • They stole my clothes away,—yes, all!
    • And tried my cloak besides to steal.
    • How strange that any house so small
    • So many rascals could conceal!
    • “Then I sprang up, and rav’d and swore,
    • To force a passage through them there.
    • I saw the treacherous maid once more,
    • And she was still, alas, so fair!
    • They all gave way before my wrath,
    • Wild outcries flew about pell-mell;
    • At length I manag’d to rush forth,
    • With voice of thunder, from that hell.
    • “As maidens of the town we fly,
    • We’ll shun you maidens of the village!
    • Leave it to those of quality,
    • Their humble worshippers to pillage!
    • Yet if ye are of practis’d skill,
    • And of all tender ties afraid,
    • Exchange your lovers, if ye will,
    • But never let them be betray’d.”
    • Thus sings he in the winter-night,
    • While not a blade of grass was green.
    • I laugh’d to see his piteous plight,
    • For it was well-deserv’d, I ween.
    • And may this be the fate of all,
    • Who treat by day their true loves ill,
    • And, with foolhardy daring, crawl
    • By night to Cupid’s treacherous mill!

THE MAID OF THE MILL’S REPENTANCE.

    • Youth.

    • AWAY, thou swarthy witch! Go forth
    • From out my house, I tell thee!
    • Or else I needs must, in my wrath,
    • Expel thee!
    • What’s this thou singest so falsely, forsooth,
    • Of love and a maiden’s silent truth?
    • Who’ll trust to such a story!
    • Gypsy.

    • I sing of a maid’s repentant fears,
    • And long and bitter yearning;
    • Her levity’s chang’d to truth and tears
    • All-burning.
    • She dreads no more the threats of her mother,
    • She dreads far less the blows of her brother,
    • Than the dearly-lov’d one’s hatred.
    • Youth.

    • Of selfishness sing and treacherous lies,
    • Of murder and thievish plunder!
    • Such actions false will cause no surprise,
    • Or wonder.
    • When they share their booty, both clothes and purse,—
    • As bad as you gypsies, and even worse,
    • Such tales find ready credence.
    • Gypsy.

    • “Alas, alas! oh, what have I done?
    • Can listening aught avail me?
    • I hear him toward my room hasten on,
    • To hail me.
    • My heart beat high, to myself I said:
    • ‘O would that thou hadst never betray’d
    • That night of love to thy mother!’ ”
    • Youth.

    • Alas! I foolishly ventur’d there,
    • For the cheating silence misled me;
    • Ah, sweetest! let me to thee repair,—
    • Nor dread me!
    • When suddenly rose a fearful din,
    • Her mad relations came pouring in;
    • My blood still boils in my body!
    • Gypsy.

    • “Oh, when will return an hour like this?
    • I pine in silent sadness;
    • I’ve thrown away my only true bliss
    • With madness.
    • Alas, poor maid! O pity my youth!
    • My brother was then full cruel in truth
    • To treat the lov’d one so basely!”
    • The Poet.

    • The swarthy woman then went inside,
    • To the spring in the courtyard yonder;
    • Her eyes from their stain she purified,
    • And,—wonder!—
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    • Her face and eyes were radiant and bright,
    • And the maid of the mill was disclos’d to the sight
    • Of the startl’d and angry stripling!
    • The Maid of the Mill.

    • Thou sweetest, fairest, dearly-lov’d life!
    • Before thine anger I cower;
    • But blows I dread not, nor sharp-edg’d knife,—
    • This hour
    • Of sorrow and love to thee I’ll sing,
    • And myself before thy feet I’ll fling,
    • And either live or die there!
    • Youth.

    • Affection, say, why buried so deep
    • In my heart hast thou lain hidden?
    • By whom hast thou now to awake from thy sleep
    • Been bidden?
    • Ah, love, that thou art immortal I see!
    • Nor knavish cunning nor treachery
    • Can destroy thy life so godlike.
    • The Maid of the Mill.

    • If still, with as fond and heartfelt love,
    • As thou once didst swear, I’m cherish’d,
    • Then nought of the rapture we used to prove
    • Is perish’d.
    • So take the woman so dear to thy breast!
    • In her young and innocent charms be bless’d,
    • For all are thine from henceforward!
    • Both.

    • Now, sun, sink to rest! Now, sun, arise!
    • Ye stars, be now shining, now darkling!
    • A star of love now gleams in the skies,
    • All-sparkling!
    • As long as the fountain may spring and run,
    • So long will we two be blended in one,
    • Upon each other’s bosoms!
lf0841-01_figure_046.jpg
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THE TRAVELLER AND THE FARM-MAIDEN.

    • He.

    • CANST thou give, oh, fair and matchless maiden,
    • ’Neath the shadow of the lindens yonder,—
    • Where I’d fain one moment cease to wander,
    • Food and drink to one so heavy laden?
    • She.

    • Would’st thou find refreshment, traveller weary,
    • Bread, ripe fruit and cream to meet thy wishes,—
    • None but Nature’s plain and homely dishes,—
    • Near the spring may soothe thy wanderings dreary.
    • He.

    • Dreams of old acquaintance now pass through me,
    • Ne’er-forgotten queen of hours of blisses:
    • Likenesses I’ve often found, but this is
    • One that quite a marvel seemeth to me!
    • She.

    • Travellers often wonder beyond measure,
    • But their wonder soon see cause to smother;
    • Fair and dark are often like each other,
    • Both inspire the mind with equal pleasure.
    • He.

    • Not now for the first time I surrender
    • To this form, in humble adoration;
    • It was brightest midst the constellation
    • In the hall adorn’d with festal splendor.
    • She.

    • Be thou joyful that ’tis in my power
    • To complete thy strange and merry story!
    • Silks behind her, full of purple glory,
    • Floated, when thou saw’st her in that hour.
    • He.

    • No, in truth, thou hast not sung it rightly!
    • Spirits may have told thee all about it;
    • Pearls and gems they spoke of, do not doubt it,—
    • By her gaze eclips’d,—it gleam’d so brightly!
    • She.

    • This one thing I certainly collected:
    • That the fair one—(say nought, I entreat thee!)
    • Fondly hoping once again to meet thee,
    • Many a castle in the air erected.
    • He.

    • By each wind I ceaselessly was driven,
    • Seeking gold and honor, too, to capture!
    • When my wand’rings end, then oh, what rapture,
    • If to find that form again ’tis given!
    • She.

    • ’Tis the daughter of the race now banish’d
    • That thou seest, not her likeness only;
    • Helen and her brother, glad though lonely,
    • Till this farm of their estate now vanish’d.
    • He.

    • But the owner surely is not wanting
    • Of these plains, with ev’ry beauty teeming?
    • Verdant fields, broad meads, and pastures gleaming,
    • Gushing springs, all heav’nly and enchanting.
    • She.

    • Thou must hunt the world through, would’st thou find him!—
    • We have wealth enough in our possession,
    • And intend to purchase the succession,
    • When the good man leaves the world behind him.
    • He.

    • I have learn’d the owrer’s own condition,
    • And, fair maiden, thou indeed canst buy it;
    • But the cost is great, I won’t deny it,—
    • Helen is the price,—with thy permission!
    • She.

    • Did then fate and rank keep us asunder,
    • And must Love take this road, and no other?
    • Yonder comes my dear and trusty brother;
    • What will he say to it all, I wonder?
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EFFECTS AT A DISTANCE.

lf0841-01_figure_047.jpg
    • THE queen in the lofty hall takes her place,
    • The tapers around her are flaming;
    • She speaks to the page: “With a nimble pace
    • Go, fetch me my purse for gaming.
    • ’Tis lying, I’ll pledge,
    • On my table’s edge.”
    • Each nerve the nimble boy straineth,
    • And the end of the castle soon gaineth.
    • The fairest of maidens was sipping sherbet
    • Beside the queen that minute;
    • Near her mouth broke the cup,—and she got so wet!
    • The very devil seem’d in it!
    • What fearful distress!
    • ’Tis spoil’d, her gay dress!
    • She hastens, and ev’ry nerve straineth,
    • And the end of the castle soon gaineth.
    • The boy was returning, and quickly came,
    • And met the sorrowing maiden;
    • None knew of the fact,—and yet with Love’s flame,
    • Those two had their hearts full laden.
    • And, oh, the bliss
    • Of a moment like this!
    • Each falls on the breast of the other,
    • With kisses that well nigh might smother.
    • They tear themselves asunder at last,
    • To her chamber she hastens quickly;
    • To reach the queen the page hies him fast,
    • Midst the swords and the fans crowded thickly.
    • The queen spied amain
    • On his waistcoat a stain;
    • For nought was inscrutable to her,
    • Like Sheba’s queen—Solomon’s wooer.
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    • To her chief attendant she forthwith cried:
    • “We lately together contended,
    • And thou didst assert, with obstinate pride,
    • That the spirit through space never wended,—
    • That traces alone
    • By the present were shown,—
    • That afar nought was fashion’d,—not even
    • By the stars that illumine yon heaven.
    • “Now see! while a goblet beside me they drain’d,
    • They spill’d all the drink in the chalice;
    • And straightway the boy had his waistcoat stain’d
    • At the furthermost end of the palace.—
    • Let them newly be clad!
    • And since I am glad
    • That it serv’d as a proof so decided,
    • The cost will by me be provided.”

THE WALKING BELL.

lf0841-01_figure_048.jpg
    • A CHILD refus’d to go betimes
    • To church like other people;
    • He roam’d abroad, when rang the chimes
    • On Sundays from the steeple.
    • His mother said: “Loud rings the bell,
    • Its voice ne’er think of scorning;
    • Unless thou wilt behave thee well,
    • ’Twill fetch thee without warning.”
    • The child then thought: “High overhead
    • The bell is safe suspended”—
    • So to the fields he straightway sped
    • As if ’twas school-time ended.
    • The bell now ceas’d as bell to ring,
    • Rous’d by the mother’s twaddle;
    • But soon ensu’d a dreadful thing!—
    • The bell begins to waddle.
    • It waddles fast, though strange it seem;
    • The child, with trembling wonder,
    • Runs off, and flies, as in a dream;
    • The bell would draw him under.
    • He finds the proper time at last,
    • And straightway nimbly rushes
    • To church, to chapel, hastening fast
    • Through pastures, plains and bushes.
    • Each Sunday and each feast as well,
    • His late disaster heeds he;
    • The moment that he hears the bell,
    • No other summons needs he.

FAITHFUL ECKART.

    • “OH, would we were further! Oh, would we were home,
    • The phantoms of night tow’rd us hastily come,
    • The band of the Sorceress sisters.
    • They hitherward speed, and on finding us here,
    • They’ll drink, though with toil we have fetch’d it, the beer,
    • And leave us the pitchers all empty.”
    • Thus speaking, the children with fear take to flight,
    • When sudden an old man appears in their sight:
    • “Be quiet, child! children, be quiet!
    • From hunting they come, and their thirst they would still,
    • So leave them to swallow as much as they will,
    • And the Evil Ones then will be gracious.”
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    • As said, so ’twas done! and the phantoms draw near,
    • And shadowlike seem they, and gray they appear,
    • Yet blithely they sip and they revel:
    • The beer has all vanish’d, the pitchers are void;
    • With cries and with shouts the wild hunters, o’erjoy’d,
    • Speed onward o’er vale and o’er mountain.
    • The children in terror fly nimbly tow’rd home,
    • And with them the kind one is careful to come:
    • “My darlings, oh, be not so mournful!”—
    • “They’ll blame us and beat us, until we are dead.”—
    • “No, no! ye will find that all goes well,” he said;
    • “Be silent as mice, then, and listen!
    • “And he by whose counsels thus wisely ye’re taught,
    • Is he who with children loves ever to sport,
    • The trusty and faithful old Eckart.
    • Ye have heard of the wonder for many a day,
    • But ne’er had a proof of the marvellous lay,—
    • Your hands hold a proof most convincing.”
    • They arrive at their home, and their pitchers they place
    • By the side of their parents, with fear on their face,
    • Awaiting a beating and scolding.
    • But see what they’re tasting: the choicest of beer!
    • Though three times and four times they quaff the good cheer,
    • The pitchers remain still unemptied.
    • The marvel it lasts till the dawning of day;
    • All people who hear of it doubtless will say:
    • “What happen’d at length to the pitchers?”
    • In secret the children they smile, as they wait;
    • At last, though, they stammer, and stutter, and prate,
    • And straightway the pitchers were empty.
    • And if, children, with kindness address’d ye may be,
    • Whether father, or master, or alderman he,
    • Obey him, and follow his bidding!
    • And if ’tis unpleasant to bridle the tongue,
    • Yet talking is bad, silence good for the young—
    • And then will the beer fill your pitchers!
lf0841-01_figure_049.jpg

artist: c. gehrts.

FAITHFUL ECKART.

THE PUPIL IN MAGIC.

    • I AM now,—what joy to hear it!
    • Of the old magician rid;
    • And henceforth shall ev’ry spirit
    • Do whate’er by me is bid;
    • I have watch’d with rigor
    • All he used to do,
    • And will now with vigor
    • Work my wonders too.
    • Wander, wander
    • Onward lightly,
    • So that rightly
    • Flow the torrent,
    • And with teeming waters yonder
    • In the bath discharge its current!
    • And now come, thou well-worn broom,
    • And thy wretched form bestir;
    • Thou hast ever serv’d as groom,
    • So fulfil my pleasure, sir!
    • On two legs now stand,
    • With a head on top;
    • Waterpail in hand,
    • Haste, and do not stop!
    • Wander, wander
    • Onward lightly,
    • So that rightly
    • Flow the torrent,
    • And with teeming waters yonder
    • In the bath discharge its current!
    • See! he’s running to the shore,
    • And has now attain’d the pool,
    • And with lightning speed once more
    • Comes here, with his bucket full!
    • Back he then repairs;
    • See how swells the tide!
    • How each pail he bears
    • Straightway is supplied!
    • Stop, for, lo!
    • All the measure
    • Of thy treasure
    • Now is right!—
    • Ah, I see it! woe, oh, woe!
    • I forget the word of might.
    • Ah, the word whose sound can straight
    • Make him what he was before!
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    • Ah, he runs with nimble gait!
    • Would thou wert a broom once more!
    • Streams renew’d forever
    • Quickly bringeth he;
    • River after river
    • Rusheth on poor me!
    • Now no longer
    • Can I bear him;
    • I will snare him,
    • Knavish sprite!
    • Ah, my terror waxes stronger!
    • What a look! what fearful sight!
    • Oh, thou villain child of hell!
    • Shall the house through thee be drown’d?
    • Floods I see that wildly swell,
    • O’er the threshold gaining ground.
    • Wilt thou not obey,
    • Oh, thou broom accurs’d?
    • Be thou still, I pray,
    • As thou wert at first!
    • Will enough
    • Never please thee?
    • I will seize thee,
    • Hold thee fast,
    • And thy nimble wood so tough,
    • With my sharp axe split at last.
    • See, once more he hastens back!
    • Now, oh, Cobold, thou shalt catch it!
    • I will rush upon his track;
    • Crashing on him falls my hatchet.
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    • Bravely done, indeed!
    • See, he’s cleft in twain!
    • Now from care I’m freed,
    • And can breathe again.
    • Woe, oh, woe!
    • Both the parts,
    • Quick as darts,
    • Stand on end,
    • Servants of my dreaded foe!
    • Oh, ye gods, protection send!
    • And they run! and wetter still
    • Grow the steps and grows the hall.
    • Lord and master, hear me call!
    • Ever seems the flood to fill,
    • Ah, he’s coming! see,
    • Great is my dismay!
    • Spirits rais’d by me
    • Vainly would I lay!
    • “To the side
    • Of the room
    • Hasten, broom,
    • As of old!
    • Spirits I have ne’er untied
    • Save to act as they are told.”
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THE DANCE OF DEATH.

lf0841-01_figure_051.jpg
    • THE warder looks down at the mid hour of night,
    • On the tombs that lie scatter’d below;
    • The moon fills the place with her silvery light,
    • And the churchyard like day seems to glow.
    • When see! first one grave, then another opes wide,
    • And women and men stepping forth are descried,
    • In cerements snow-white and trailing.
    • In haste for the sport soon their ankles they twitch,
    • And whirl round in dances so gay;
    • The young and the old, and the poor, and the rich,
    • But the cerements stand in their way;
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    • And as modesty cannot avail them aught here,
    • They shake themselves all, and the shrouds soon appear
    • Scatter’d over the tombs in confusion.
    • Now waggles the leg, and now wriggles the thigh,
    • As the troop with strange gestures advance,
    • And a rattle and clatter anon rises high,
    • As of one beating time to the dance.
    • The sight to the warder seems wondrously queer,
    • When the villanous Tempter speaks thus in his ear:
    • “Seize one of the shrouds that lie yonder!”
    • Quick as thought it was done! and for safety he fled
    • Behind the church-door with all speed;
    • The moon still continues her clear light to shed
    • On the dance that they fearfully lead.
    • But the dancers at length disappear one by one,
    • And their shrouds, ere they vanish, they carefully don,
    • And under the turf all is quiet.
    • But one of them stumbles and shuffles there still,
    • And gropes at the graves in despair;
    • Yet ’tis by no comrade he’s treated so ill;—
    • The shroud he soon scents in the air.
    • So he rattles the door—for the warder ’tis well
    • That ’tis bless’d, and so able the foe to repel,
    • All cover’d with crosses in metal.
    • The shroud he must have, and no rest will allow,
    • There remains for reflection no time;
    • On the ornaments Gothic the wight seizes now,
    • And from point on to point hastes to climb.
    • Alas for the warder! his doom is decreed!
    • Like a long-legged spider, with ne’er-changing speed,
    • Advances the dreaded pursuer.
    • The warder he quakes, and the warder turns pale,
    • The shroud to restore fain had sought;
    • When the end,—now can nothing to save him avail,—
    • In a tooth form’d of iron is caught.
    • With vanishing lustre the moon’s race is run,
    • When the bell thunders loudly a powerful One,
    • And the skeleton falls, crush’d to atoms.

THE BRIDE OF CORINTH.

    • ONCE a stranger youth to Corinth came,
    • Who in Athens liv’d, but hop’d that he
    • From a certain townsman there might claim,
    • As his father’s friend, kind courtesy.
    • Son and daughter, they
    • Had been wont to say
    • Should thereafter bride and bridegroom be.
    • But can he that boon so highly priz’d,
    • Save ’tis dearly bought, now hope to get?
    • They are Christians and have been baptiz’d,
    • He and all of his are heathens yet.
    • For a newborn creed,
    • Like some loathsome weed,
    • Love and truth to root out oft will threat.
    • Father, daughter, all had gone to rest,
    • And the mother only watches late;
    • She receives with courtesy the guest,
    • And conducts him to the room of state.
    • Wine and food are brought,
    • Ere by him besought;
    • Bidding him good-night, she leaves him straight.
    • But he feels no relish now, in truth,
    • For the dainties so profusely spread;
    • Meat and drink forgets the wearied youth,
    • And, still dress’d, he lays him on the bed.
    • Scarce are clos’d his eyes,
    • When a form in-hies
    • Through the open door with silent tread.
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    • By his glimmering lamp discerns he now
    • How, in veil and garment white array’d,
    • With a black and gold band round her brow,
    • Glides into the room a bashful maid.
    • But she, at his sight,
    • Lifts her hand so white,
    • And appears as though full sore afraid.
    • “Am I,” cries she, “such a stranger here,
    • That the guest’s approach they could not name?
    • Ah, they keep me in my cloister drear,
    • Well nigh feel I vanquish’d by my shame.
    • On thy soft couch now
    • Slumber calmly thou!
    • I’ll return as swiftly as I came.”
    • “Stay, thou fairest maiden!” cries the boy,
    • Starting from his couch with eager haste:
    • “Here are Ceres’, Bacchus’ gifts of joy;
    • Amor bringest thou, with beauty grac’d!
    • Thou art pale with fear!
    • Lov’d one, let us here
    • Prove the raptures the Immortals taste.”
    • “Draw not nigh, O youth! afar remain!
    • Rapture now can never smile on me;
    • For the fatal step, alas! is ta’en,
    • Through my mother’s sick-bed phantasy.
    • Cur’d, she made this oath:
    • ‘Youth and nature both
    • Shall henceforth to Heav’n devoted be.’
    • “From the house, so silent now, are driven
    • All the gods who reign’d supreme of yore;
    • One Invisible now rules in heaven,
    • On the cross a Saviour they adore.
    • Victims slay they here,
    • Neither lamb nor steer,
    • But the altars reek with human gore.”
    • And he lists, and ev’ry word he weighs,
    • While his eager soul drinks in each sound:
    • “Can it be that now before my gaze
    • Stands my lov’d one on this silent ground?
    • Pledge to me thy troth!
    • Through our father’s oath,
    • With Heav’n’s blessing will our love be crown’d.”
    • “Kindly youth, I never can be thine!
    • ’Tis my sister they intend for thee.
    • When I in the silent cloister pine,
    • Ah, within her arms remember me!
    • Thee alone I love,
    • While love’s pangs I prove;
    • Soon the earth will veil my misery.”
    • “No! for by this glowing flame I swear,
    • Hymen hath himself propitious shown:
    • Let us to my father’s house repair,
    • And thou’lt find that joy is not yet flown.
    • Sweetest, here then stay,
    • And without delay
    • Hold we now our wedding-feast alone!”
    • Then exchange they tokens of their truth;
    • She gives him a golden chain to wear,
    • And a silver chalice would the youth
    • Give her in return of beauty rare.
    • “That is not for me;
    • Yet I beg of thee,
    • One lock only give me of thy hair.”
    • Now the ghostly hour of midnight knell’d,
    • And she seem’d right joyous at the sign;
    • To her pallid lips the cup she held,
    • But she drank of nought but blood-red wine.
    • For to taste the bread
    • There before them spread,
    • Nought he spoke could make the maid incline.
    • To the youth the goblet then she brought,—
    • He too quaff’d with eager joy the bowl.
    • Love to crown the silent feast he sought,
    • Ah! full love-sick was the stripling’s soul.
    • From his prayer she shrinks,
    • Till at length he sinks
    • On the bed and weeps without control.
    • And she comes, and lays her near the boy:
    • “How I grieve to see thee sorrowing so!
    • If thou think’st to clasp my form with joy,
    • Thou must learn this secret sad to know:
    • Yes! the maid, whom thou
    • Call’st thy lov’d one now,
    • Is as cold as ice, though white as snow.”
    • Then he clasps her madly in his arm,
    • While love’s youthful might pervades his frame:
    • “Thou might’st hope, when with me, to grow warm,
    • E’en if from the grave thy spirit came!
    • Breath for breath, and kiss!
    • Overflow of bliss!
    • Dost not thou, like me, feel passion’s flame?”
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    • Love still closer rivets now their lips,
    • Tears they mingle with their rapture blest,
    • From his mouth the flame she wildly sips,
    • Each is with the other’s thought possess’d.
    • His hot ardor’s flood
    • Warms her chilly blood,
    • But no heart is beating in her breast.
    • From the door she will not now remove,
    • ’Till she gains full certainty of this;
    • And with anger hears she vows of love,
    • Soft caressing words of mutual bliss.
    • “Hush! the cock’s loud strain!
    • But thou’lt come again,
    • When the night returns!”—then kiss on kiss.
    • In her care to see that nought went wrong,
    • Now the mother happen’d to draw near;
    • At the door long hearkens she, full long,
    • Wond’ring at the sounds that greet her ear.
    • Tones of joy and sadness,
    • And love’s blissful madness,
    • As of bride and bridegroom they appear.
    • Then her wrath the mother cannot hold,
    • But unfastens straight the lock with ease:—
    • “In this house are girls become so bold,
    • As to seek e’en strangers’ lusts to please?”
    • By her lamp’s clear glow
    • Looks she in,—and oh!
    • Sight of horror!—’tis her child she sees.
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    • Fain the youth would, in his first alarm,
    • With the veil that o’er her had been spread,
    • With the carpet, shield his love from harm;
    • But she casts them from her, void of dread,
    • And with spirit’s strength,
    • In its spectre length,
    • Lifts her figure slowly from the bed.
    • “Mother! mother!”—Thus her wan lips say:
    • “May not I one night of rapture share?
    • From the warm couch am I chas’d away?
    • Do I waken only to despair?
    • It contents not thee
    • To have driven me
    • An untimely shroud of death to wear?
    • “But from out my coffin’s prison-bounds
    • By a wondrous fate I’m forc’d to rove,
    • While the blessings and the chaunting sounds
    • That your priests delight in, useless prove.
    • Water, salt, are vain
    • Fervent youth to chain,
    • Ah, e’en Earth can never cool down love!
    • “When that infant vow of love was spoken,
    • Venus’ radiant temple smiled on both.
    • Mother! thou that promise since hast broken,
    • Fetter’d by a strange, deceitful oath.
    • Gods, though, hearken ne’er,
    • Should a mother swear
    • To deny her daughter’s plighted troth.
    • “From my grave to wander I am forc’d,
    • Still to seek The Good’s long-sever’d link,
    • Still to love the bridegroom I have lost,
    • And the life-blood of his heart to drink;
    • When his race is run,
    • I must hasten on,
    • And the young must ’neath my vengeance sink.
    • “Beauteous youth! no longer may’st thou live;
    • Here must shrivel up thy form so fair;
    • Did not I to thee a token give,
    • Taking in return this lock of hair?
    • View it to thy sorrow!
    • Gray thou’lt be to-morrow,
    • Only to grow brown again when there.
    • “Mother, to this final prayer give ear!
    • Let a funeral pile be straightway dress’d;
    • Open then my cell so sad and drear,
    • That the flames may give the lovers rest!
    • When ascends the fire
    • From the glowing pyre,
    • To the gods of old we’ll hasten, bless’d.”
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THE GOD AND THE BAYADERE.
An Indian Legend.

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    • MAHADEVA, Lord of earth,
    • For the sixth time comes below,
    • As a man of mortal birth,—
    • Like him, feeling joy and woe.
    • Hither loves he to repair,
    • And his power behind to leave;
    • If to punish or to spare,
    • Men as man he’d fain perceive.
    • And when he the town as a trav’ller hath seen,
    • Observing the mighty, regarding the mean,
    • He quits it, to go on his journey, at eve.
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    • He was leaving now the place,
    • When an outcast met his eyes,—
    • Fair in form, with painted face,—
    • Where some straggling dwellings rise.
    • “Maiden, hail!”—“Thanks! welcome here!
    • Stay!—I’ll join thee in the road.”—
    • “Who art thou!”—“A Bayadere,
    • And this house is love’s abode.”
    • The cymbal she hastens to play for the dance,
    • Well skill’d in its mazes the sight to entrance,
    • Then by her with grace is the nosegay bestow’d.
    • Then she draws him, as in play,
    • O’er the threshold eagerly:
    • “Beauteous stranger, light as day
    • Thou shalt soon this cottage see.
    • I’ll refresh thee, if thou’rt tir’d,
    • And will bathe thy weary feet;
    • Take whate’er by thee’s desir’d,
    • Toying, rest, or rapture sweet.”—
    • She busily seeks his feign’d suff’rings to ease;
    • Then smiles the Immortal; with pleasure he sees
    • That with kindness a heart so corrupted can beat.
    • And he makes her act the part
    • Of a slave; he’s straight obey’d.
    • What at first had been but art,
    • Soon is nature in the maid.
    • By degrees the fruit we find,
    • Where the buds at first obtain;
    • When obedience fills the mind,
    • Love will never far remain.
    • But sharper and sharper the maiden to prove,
    • The Discerner of all things below and above,
    • Feigns pleasure, and horror, and maddening pain.
    • And her painted cheeks he kisses,
    • And his vows her heart enthral;
    • Feeling love’s sharp pangs and blisses,
    • Soon her tears begin to fall.
    • At his feet she now must sink,
    • Not with thoughts of lust or gain,—
    • And her slender members shrink,
    • And devoid of power remain.
    • And so the bright hours with gladness prepare
    • Their dark, pleasing veil of a texture so fair,
    • And over the couch softly, tranquilly reign.
    • Late she falls asleep, thus bless’d,—
    • Early wakes, her slumbers fled,
    • And she finds the much-lov’d guest
    • On her bosom lying dead.
    • Screaming falls she on him there,
    • But, alas, too late to save!
    • And his rigid limbs they bear
    • Straightway to their fiery grave.
    • Then hears she the priests and the funeral song,
    • Then madly she runs, and she severs the throng:
    • “Why press tow’rd the pile thus? Why scream thus, and rave?”
    • Then she sinks beside his bier,
    • And her screams through air resound:
    • “I must seek my spouse so dear,
    • E’en if in the grave he’s bound.
    • Shall those limbs of grace divine
    • Fall to ashes in my sight?
    • Mine he was! Yes, only mine!
    • Ah, one single blissful night!”
    • The priests chaunt in chorus: “We bear out the old,
    • When long they’ve been weary, and late they’ve grown cold;
    • We bear out the young, too, so thoughtless and light.
    • “To thy priests’ commands give ear!
    • This one was thy husband ne’er;
    • Live still as a Bayadere,
    • And no duty thou need’st share.
    • To death’s silent realms from life,
    • None but shades attend man’s frame,
    • With the husband, none but wife,—
    • That is duty, that is fame.
    • Ye trumpets, your sacred lament haste to raise!
    • Oh, welcome, ye gods, the bright lustre of days!
    • Oh, welcome to heaven the youth from the flame!”
    • Thus increas’d her torments are
    • By the cruel, heartless quire;
    • And with arms outstretching far
    • Leaps she on the glowing pyre.
    • But the youth divine outsprings
    • From the flame with heav’nly grace,
    • And on high his flight he wings,
    • While his arms his love embrace.
    • In the sinner repentant the Godhead feels joy;
    • Immortals delight thus their might to employ,
    • Lost children to raise to a heavenly place.
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THE PARIAH.
The Pariah’s Prayer.

    • DREADED Brama, lord of might!
    • All proceed from thee alone;
    • Thou art he who judgeth right!
    • Dost thou none but Brahmins own?
    • Do but Rajahs come from thee?
    • None but those of high estate?
    • Didst not thou the ape create,
    • Aye, and even such as we?
    • We are not of noble kind,
    • For with woe our lot is rife;
    • And what others deadly find
    • Is our only source of life.
    • Let this be enough for men,
    • Let them, if they will, despise us;
    • But thou, Brama, thou should’st prize us,
    • All are equal in thy ken.
    • Now that, Lord, this prayer is said,
    • As thy child acknowledge me;
    • Or let one be born instead,
    • Who may link me on to thee!
    • Didst not thou a Bayadere
    • As a goddess heavenward raise?
    • And we too, to swell thy praise,
    • Such a miracle would hear.

LEGEND.

    • WATER-FETCHING goes the noble
    • Brahmin’s wife, so pure and lovely;
    • He is honor’d, void of blemish,
    • And of justice rigid, stern.
    • Daily from the sacred river
    • Brings she back refreshment precious;—
    • But where is the pail and pitcher?
    • She of neither stands in need.
    • For with pure heart, hands unsullied,
    • She the water lifts, and rolls it
    • To a wondrous ball of crystal;
    • This she bears with gladsome bosom,
    • Modestly, with graceful motion,
    • To her husband in the house.
    • She to-day at dawn of morning
    • Praying comes to Ganges’ waters,
    • Bends her o’er the glassy surface—
    • Sudden, in the waves reflected,
    • Flying swiftly far above her,
    • From the highest heavens descending,
    • She discerns the beauteous form
    • Of a youth divine, created
    • By the God’s primeval wisdom
    • In his own eternal breast.
    • When she sees him, straightway feels she
    • Wondrous, new, confus’d sensations
    • In her inmost, deepest being;
    • Fain she’d linger o’er the vision,
    • Then repels it,—it returneth,—
    • And, perplex’d, she bends her floodwards
    • With uncertain hands to draw it;
    • But, alas, she draws no more!
    • For the water’s sacred billows
    • Seem to fly, to hasten from her;
    • She but sees the fearful chasm
    • Of a whirlpool black disclos’d.
    • Arms drop down, and footsteps stumble,
    • Can this be the pathway homewards?
    • Shall she fly, or shall she tarry?
    • Can she think, when thought and counsel,
    • When assistance, all are lost?
    • So before her spouse appears she—
    • On her looks he—look is judgment—
    • Proudly on the sword he seizes,
    • To the hill of death he drags her,
    • Where delinquents’ blood pays forfeit.
    • What resistance could she offer?
    • What excuses could she proffer,
    • Guilty, knowing not her guilt?
    • And with bloody sword returns he,
    • Musing, to his silent dwelling,
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    • When his son before him stands:
    • “Whose this blood? Oh, father! father!”
    • “The delinquent woman’s!”—“Never!
    • For upon the sword it dries not,
    • Like the blood of the delinquent;
    • Fresh it flows, as from the wound.
    • Mother! mother! hither hasten!
    • Unjust never was my father,
    • Tell me what he now hath done.”—
    • “Silence! silence! hers the blood is!”
    • “Whose, my father?”—“Silence! Silence!”
    • “What! oh, what! my mother’s blood!
    • What her crime? What did she? Answer!
    • Now, the sword! the sword now hold I;
    • Thou thy wife perchance might’st slaughter,
    • But my mother might’st not slay!
    • Through the flames the wife is able
    • Her beloved spouse to follow,
    • And his dear and only mother
    • Through the sword her faithful son.”
    • “Stay! oh, stay!” exclaim’d the father:
    • “Yet ’tis time, so hasten, hasten!
    • Join the head upon the body,
    • With the sword then touch the figure,
    • And, alive, she’ll follow thee.”
    • Hastening, he, with breathless wonder,
    • Sees the bodies of two women
    • Lying crosswise, and their heads too;
    • Oh, what horror! which to choose!
    • Then his mother’s head he seizes,—
    • Does not kiss it, deadly pale ’tis,—
    • On the nearest headless body
    • Puts it quickly, and then blesses
    • With the sword the pious work.
    • Then a giant form uprises.—
    • From the dear lips of his mother,
    • Lips all godlike—changeless—blissful,
    • Sound these words with horror fraught:
    • “Son, O son! what overhast’ning!
    • Yonder is thy mother’s body,
    • Near it lies the impious head
    • Of the woman who hath fallen
    • Victim to the judgment-sword!
    • To her body I am grafted
    • By thy hand for endless ages;
    • Wise in counsel, wild in action,
    • I shall be amongst the gods.
    • E’en the heav’nly boy’s own image,
    • Though in brow and eye so lovely,
    • Sinking downwards to the bosom
    • Mad and raging lust will stir.
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    • “ ’Twill return again forever,
    • Ever rising, ever sinking,
    • Now obscur’d, and now transfigur’d,—
    • So great Brama hath ordain’d.
    • He ’twas sent the beauteous pinions,
    • Radiant face, and slender members
    • Of the only God-begotten,
    • That I might be prov’d and tempted;
    • For from high descends temptation,
    • When the gods ordain it so.
    • And so I, the Brahmin woman,
    • With my head in heaven reclining,
    • Must experience, as a Pariah,
    • The debasing power of earth.
    • “Son, I send thee to thy father!
    • Comfort him! Let no sad penance,
    • Weak delay, or thought of merit,
    • Hold thee in the desert fast;
    • Wander on through ev’ry nation,
    • Roam abroad throughout all ages,
    • And proclaim to e’en the meanest,
    • That great Brama hears his cry!
    • “None is in his eyes the meanest—
    • He whose limbs are lame and palsied,
    • He whose soul is wildly riven,
    • Worn with sorrow, hopeless, helpless,
    • Be he Brahmin, be he Pariah,
    • If tow’rd heaven he turns his gaze,
    • Will perceive, will learn to know it:
    • Thousand eyes are glowing yonder,
    • Thousand ears are calmly list’ning,
    • From which nought below is hid.
    • “If I to his throne soar upward,
    • If he sees my fearful figure
    • By his might transform’d to horror,
    • He forever will lament it,—
    • May it to your good be found!
    • And I now will kindly warn him,
    • And I now will madly tell him
    • Whatsoe’er my mind conceiveth,
    • What within my bosom heaveth.
    • But my thoughts, my inmost feelings—
    • Those a secret shall remain.”
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THE PARIAH’S THANKS.

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    • MIGHTY Brama, now I’ll bless thee!
    • ’Tis from thee that worlds proceed!
    • As my ruler I confess thee,
    • For of all thou takest heed.
    • All thy thousand ears thou keepest
    • Open to each child of earth;
    • We, ’mongst mortals sunk the deepest,
    • Have from thee receiv’d new birth.
    • Bear in mind the woman’s story,
    • Who, through grief, divine became;
    • Now I’ll wait to view His glory,
    • Who omnipotence can claim.
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THE FIRST WALPURGIS-NIGHT.

    • A Druid.

    • SWEET smiles the May!
    • The forest gay
    • From frost and ice is freed;
    • No snow is found,
    • Glad songs resound
    • Across the verdant mead.
    • Upon the height
    • The snow lies light,
    • Yet thither now we go,
    • There to extol our Father’s name,
    • Whom we for ages know.
    • Amid the smoke shall gleam the flame;
    • Thus pure the heart will grow.
    • The Druids.

    • Amid the smoke shall gleam the flame;
    • Extol we now our Father’s name,
    • Whom we for ages know!
    • Up, up, then, let us go!
    • One of the People.

    • Would ye, then, so rashly act?
    • Would ye instant death attract?
    • Know ye not the cruel threats
    • Of the victors we obey?
    • Round about are plac’d their nets
    • In the sinful heathen’s way.
    • Ah! upon the lofty wall
    • Wife and children slaughter they;
    • And we all
    • Hasten to a certain fall.
    • Chorus of Women.

    • Ay, upon the camp’s high wall
    • All our children lov’d they slay.
    • Ah, what cruel victors they!
    • And we all
    • Hasten to a certain fall.
    • A Druid.

    • Who fears to-day
    • His rites to pay,
    • Deserves his chains to wear.
    • The forest’s free!
    • This wood take we,
    • And straight a pile prepare!
    • Yet in the wood
    • To stay ’tis good
    • By day, till all is still,
    • With watchers all around us plac’d,
    • Protecting you from ill.
    • With courage fresh, then, let us haste
    • Our duties to fulfil.
    • Chorus of Watchers.

    • Ye valiant watchers, now divide
    • Your numbers through the forest wide,
    • And see that all is still,
    • While they their rites fulfil.
    • A Watcher.

    • Let us, in a cunning wise,
    • Yon dull Christian priests surprise!
    • With the devil of their talk
    • We’ll those very priests confound.
    • Come with prong, and come with fork,
    • Raise a wild and rattling sound
    • Through the livelong night, and prowl
    • All the rocky passes round.
    • Screech-owl, owl,
    • Join in chorus with our howl!
    • Chorus of Watchers.

    • Come with prong, and come with fork
    • Like the devil of their talk,
    • And with wildly rattling sound,
    • Prowl the desert rocks around!
    • Screech-owl, owl,
    • Join in chorus with our howl!
    • A Druid.

    • Thus far ’tis right,
    • That we by night
    • Our Father’s praises sing;
    • Yet when ’tis day,
    • To Thee we may
    • A heart unsullied bring.
    • ’Tis true that now,
    • And often, Thou
    • Fav’rest the foe in fight.
    • As from the smoke is freed the blaze,
    • So let our faith burn bright!
    • And if they crush our olden ways,
    • Who e’er can crush Thy light?
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    • A Christian Watcher.

    • Comrades, quick! your aid afford!
    • All the brood of hell’s abroad:
    • See how their enchanted forms
    • Through and through with flames are glowing!
    • Dragon-women, men-wolf swarms,
    • On in quick succession going!
    • Let us, let us haste to fly!
    • Wilder yet the sounds are growing,
    • And the arch-fiend roars on high;
    • From the ground
    • Hellish vapors rise around.
    • Chorus of Christian Watchers.

    • Terrible enchanted forms,
    • Dragon-women, men-wolf swarms!
    • Wilder yet the sounds are growing!
    • See, the arch-fiend comes, all-glowing!
    • From the ground
    • Hellish vapors rise around.
    • Chorus of Druids.

    • As from the smoke is freed the blaze,
    • So let our faith burn bright!
    • And if they crush our olden ways,
    • Who e’er can crush Thy light?
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DEATH-LAMENT OF THE NOBLE WIFE OF ASAN AGA.

    • WHAT is yonder white thing in the forest?
    • Is it snow, or can it swans perchance be?
    • Were it snow, ere this it had been melted,
    • Were it swans, they all away had hasten’d.
    • Snow, in truth, it is not, swans it is not;
    • ’Tis the shining tents of Asan Aga.
    • He within is lying, sorely wounded;
    • To him come his mother and his sister;
    • Bashfully his wife delays to come there.
    • When the torment of his wounds had lessen’d,
    • To his faithful wife he sent this message:
    • “At my court no longer dare to tarry,
    • At my court, or e’en amongst my people.”
    • When the woman heard this cruel message,
    • Mute and full of sorrow stood that true one.
    • At the doors she hears the feet of horses,
    • And bethinks that Asan comes,—her husband,
    • To the tower she springs, to leap thence head-long.
    • Her two darling daughters follow sadly,
    • And whilst weeping bitter tears, exclaim they:
    • “These are not our father Asan’s horses;
    • ’Tis thy brother Pintorowich coming!”
    • So the wife of Asan turns to meet him,
    • Clasps her arms in anguish round her brother:
    • “See thy sister’s sad disgrace, O brother!
    • How I’m banish’d—mother of five children!”
    • Silently her brother from his wallet,
    • Wrapp’d in deep red silk, and ready written,
    • Draweth forth the letter of divorcement,
    • To return home to her mother’s dwelling,
    • Free to be another’s wife thenceforward.
    • When the woman saw that mournful letter,
    • Fervently she kiss’d her two sons’ foreheads,
    • And her two girls’ cheeks with fervor kiss’d she.
    • But she from the suckling in the cradle
    • Could not tear herself, so deep her sorrow!
    • So she’s torn thence by her fiery brother;
    • On his nimble steed he lifts her quickly,
    • And so hastens, with the heart-sad woman,
    • Straightway tow’rd his father’s lofty dwelling.
    • Short the time was—seven days had pass’d not,
    • Yet enough ’twas; many mighty princes
    • Sought the woman in her widow’s mourning,
    • Sought the woman,—as their wife they sought her.
    • And the mightiest was Imoski’s Cadi,
    • And the woman weeping begg’d her brother:
    • “By thy life, my brother, I entreat thee,
    • Let me not another’s wife be ever,
    • Lest my heart be broken at the image
    • Of my poor, my dearly-cherish’d children!”
    • To her prayer her brother would not hearken,
    • Fix’d to wed her to Imoski’s Cadi.
    • Yet the good one ceaselessly implor’d him:
    • “Send, at least a letter, O my brother,
    • With this message to Imoski’s Cadi:
    • ‘The young widow sends thee friendly greeting;
    • Earnestly she prays thee, through this letter,
    • That, when thou com’st hither, with thy Suatians,
    • A long veil thou’lt bring me, ’neath whose shadow
    • I may hide, when near the house of Asan,
    • And not see my dearly-cherish’d orphans.’ ”
    • Scarcely had the Cadi read this letter,
    • Than he gather’d all his Suatians round him,
    • And then tow’rd the bride his course directed,
    • And the veil she ask’d for, took he with him.
    • Happily they reach’d the princess’ dwelling,
    • From the dwelling happily they led her.
    • But when they approach’d the house of Asan,
    • Lo! the children saw from high their mother,
    • And they shouted: “To thy halls return thou!
    • Eat thy supper with thy darling children!”
    • Mournfully the wife of Asan heard it,
    • Tow’rd the Suatian prince then turn’d she, saying:
    • “Let, I pray, the Suatians and the horses
    • At the lov’d ones’ door a short time tarry,
    • That I may give presents to my children.”
    • And before the lov’d ones’ door they tarried,
    • And she presents gave to her poor children,
    • To the boys gave gold-embroider’s buskins,
    • To the girls gave long and costly dresses,
    • To the suckling, helpless in the cradle,
    • Gave a garment, to be worn hereafter.
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    • This aside saw Father Asan Aga,—
    • Sadly cried he to his darling children:
    • “Hither come, ye dear unhappy infants,
    • For your mother’s breast is turn’d to iron,
    • Lock’d forever, clos’d to all compassion!”
    • When the wife of Asan heard him speak thus,
    • On the ground, all pale and trembling, fell she,
    • And her spirit fled her sorrowing bosom
    • When she saw her children flying from her.
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Antiques

LEOPOLD, DUKE OF BRUNSWICK.
1785.

  • THOU wert forcibly seiz’d by the hoary lord of the river,—
  • Holding thee, ever he shares with thee his streaming domain.
  • Calmly sleepest thou near his urn as it silently trickles,
  • Till thou to action art rous’d, wak’d by the swift-rolling flood.
  • Kindly be to the people, as when thou still wert a mortal,
  • Perfecting that as a god, which thou didst fail in, as man.

TO THE HUSBANDMAN.

  • SMOOTHLY and lightly the golden seed by the furrow is cover’d;
  • Yet will a deeper one, friend, cover thy bones at the last.
  • Joyously plough’d and sow’d! Here food all living is budding,
  • E’en from the side of the tomb Hope will not vanish away.

ANACREON’S GRAVE.

  • HERE where the roses blossom, where vines round the laurels are twining,
  • Where the turtle-dove calls, where the blithe cricket is heard,
  • Say, whose grave can this be, with life by all the Immortals
  • Beauteously planted and deck’d?—Here doth Anacreon sleep!
  • Spring and summer and autumn rejoic’d the thrice-happy minstrel,
  • And from the winter this mound kindly hath screen’d him at last.

THE BRETHREN.

  • SLUMBER and Sleep, two brethren ordain’d by the gods to their service,
  • Were by Prometheus implor’d, comfort to give to his race;
  • But though so light to the gods, too heavy for man was their burden,
  • We in their slumber find sleep, we in their sleep meet with death.

MEASURE OF TIME.

  • EROS, what mean’st thou by this? In each of thine hands is an hourglass!
  • What, O thou frivolous god! twofold thy measure of time?
  • Slowly run from [Editor: illegible word] the hours of lovers when parted;
  • While through the other they rush swiftly, as soon as they meet.”

WARNING.

  • WAKEN not Amor from sleep! The beauteous urchin still slumbers;
  • Go, and complete thou the task, that to the day is assign’d!
  • Thus doth the prudent mother with care turn time to her profit,
  • While her babe is asleep, for ’twill awake but too soon.
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SAKÓNTALA.

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  • WOULD’ST thou the blossoms of spring, as well as the fruits of the autumn,
  • Would’st thou what charms and delights, would’st thou what plenteously feeds,
  • Would’st thou include both heaven and earth in one designation,
  • All that is needed is done, when I Sakóntala name.
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SOLITUDE.

  • O ye kindly nymphs, who dwell ’mongst the rocks and the thickets,
  • Grant unto each whatsoe’er he may in silence desire!
  • Comfort impart to the mourner, and give to the doubter instruction,
  • And let the lover rejoice, finding the bliss that he craves.
  • For from the gods ye receiv’d what they ever denied unto mortals,
  • Power to comfort and aid all who in you may confide.

THE CHOSEN CLIFF.

  • HERE in silence the lover fondly mus’d on his lov’d one;
  • Gladly he spake to me thus: “Be thou my witness, thou stone!
  • Yet thou must not be vainglorious, thou hast many companions;
  • Unto each rock on the plain, where I, the happy one, dwell,
  • Unto each tree of the wood that I cling to, as onward I ramble,
  • ‘Be thou a sign of my bliss!’ shout I, and then ’tis ordain’d.
  • Yet to thee only I lend a voice, as a Muse from the people
  • Chooseth one for herself, kissing his lips as a friend.”

THE CONSECRATED SPOT.

  • WHEN in the dance of the Nymphs, in the moonlight so holy assembl’d,
  • Mingle the Graces, down from Olympus in secret descending,
  • Here doth the minstrel hide, and list to their numbers enthralling,
  • Here doth he watch their silent dances’ mysterious measure.
  • All that is glorious in heaven, and all that the earth in her beauty
  • Ever hath brought into life, the dreamer awake sees before him;
  • All he repeats to the Muses, and lest the gods should be anger’d,
  • How to tell of secrets discreetly, the Muses instruct him.

THE INSTRUCTORS.

  • WHEN Diogenes quietly sunn’d himself in his barrel,
  • When Calanus with joy leap’d in the flame-breathing grave,
  • Oh, what noble lessons were those for the rash son of Philip,
  • Were not the lord of the world e’en for instruction too great!

THE UNEQUAL MARRIAGE.

  • EVEN this heavenly pair were unequally match’d when united:
  • Psyche grew older and wise, Amor remain’d still a child.

EXCUSE.

  • THOU dost complain of woman for changing from one to another?
  • Censure her not: for she seeks one who will constant remain.

THE MUSE’S MIRROR.

  • EARLY one day, the Muse, when eagerly bent on adornment,
  • Follow’d a swift-running streamlet, the quietest nook by it seeking.
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  • Quickly and noisily flowing, the changeful-surface distorted
  • Ever her moving form; the goddess departed in anger.
  • Yet the stream call’d mockingly after her, saying: “What, truly!
  • Wilt thou not view, then, the truth, in my mirror so clearly depicted?”
  • But she already was far away, on the brink of the ocean,
  • In her figure rejoicing, and duly arranging her garland.

PHŒBUS AND HERMES.

  • DELOS’ stately ruler, and Maïa’s son, the adroit one,
  • Warmly were striving, for both sought the great prize to obtain.
  • Hermes the lyre demanded, the lyre was claim’d by Apollo,
  • Yet were the hearts of the foes fruitlessly nourish’d by hope.
  • For on a sudden Ares burst in, with fury decisive,
  • Dashing in twain the gold toy, brandishing wildly his sword.
  • Hermes, malicious one, laugh’d beyond measure; yet deep-seated sorrow
  • Seiz’d upon Phœbus’s heart, seiz’d on the heart of each Muse.

THE NEW AMOR.

  • AMOR, not the child, the youthful lover of Psyche,
  • Look’d round Olympus one day, boldly, to triumph inur’d;
  • There he espied a goddess, the fairest amongst the immortals,—
  • Venus Urania she,—straight was his passion inflam’d.
  • Even the holy one powerless prov’d, alas! ’gainst his wooing,—
  • Tightly embrac’d in his arm, held her the daring one fast.
  • Then from their union arose a new, a more beauteous Amor,
  • Who from his father his wit, grace from his mother derives.
  • Ever thou’lt find him join’d in the kindly Muses’ communion,
  • And his charm-laden bolt foundeth the love of the arts.

THE GARLANDS.

  • KLOPSTOCK would lead us away from Pindus; no longer for laurel
  • May we be eager—the homely acorn alone must content us;
  • Yet he himself his more-than-epic crusade is conducting
  • High on Golgotha’s summit, that foreign gods he may honor!
  • Yet, on what hill he prefers, let him gather the angels together,
  • Suffer deserted disciples to weep o’er the grave of the just one:
  • There where a hero and saint hath died, where a bard breath’d his numbers,
  • Both for our life and our death an ensample of courage resplendent
  • And of the loftiest human worth to bequeath,—ev’ry nation
  • There will joyously kneel in devotion ecstatic, revering
  • Thorn and laurel garland, and all its charms and its tortures.

THE SWISS ALPS.

  • YESTERDAY brown was still thy head, as the locks of my lov’d one,
  • Whose sweet image so dear silently beckons afar.
  • Silver-gray is the early snow to-day on thy summit,
  • Through the tempestuous night streaming fast over thy brow.
  • Youth, alas, throughout life as closely to age is united
  • As, in some changeable dream, yesterday blends with to-day.
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Elegies

ROMAN ELEGIES.

    • I.
    • SPEAK, ye stones, I entreat! Oh, speak, ye palaces lofty!
    • Utter a word, O ye streets! Wilt thou not, Genius, awake?
    • All that thy sacred walls, eternal Rome, hold within them
    • Teemeth with life; but to me, all is still silent and dead.
    • Oh, who will whisper unto me,—when shall I see at the casement
    • That one beauteous form, which, while it scorcheth, revives?
    • Can I as yet not discern the road on which I forever
    • To her and from her shall go, heeding not time as it flies?
    • Still do I mark the churches, palaces, ruins and columns,
    • As a wise traveller should, would he his journey improve.
    • Soon all this will be past; and then will there be but one temple,
    • Amor’s temple alone, where the Initiate may go.
    • Thou art indeed a world, O Rome; and yet, were Love absent,
    • Then would the world be no world, then would e’en Rome be no Rome.
    • II.
    • DO not repent, mine own love, that thou so soon didst surrender!
    • Trust me, I deem thee not bold! reverence only I feel.
    • Manifold workings the darts of Amor possess; some but scratching,
    • Yet with insidious effect, poison the bosom for years.
    • Others mightily feather’d, with fresh and newly-born sharpness
    • Pierce to the innermost bone, kindle the blood into flame.
    • In the heroical times, when lov’d each god and each goddess,
    • Longing attended on sight; then with fruition was bless’d.
    • Think’st thou the goddess had long been thinking of love and its pleasures
    • When she, in Ida’s retreats, own’d to Anchises her flame?
    • Had but Luna delay’d to kiss the beautiful sleeper,
    • Oh, by Aurora, ere long, he had in envy been rous’d!
    • Hero Leander espied at the noisy feast, and the lover
    • Hotly and nimbly, ere long, plung’d in the night-cover’d flood.
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    • Rhea Silvia, virgin princess, roam’d near the Tiber,
    • Seeking there water to draw, when by the god she was seiz’d.
    • Thus were the sons of Mars begotten! The twins did a she-wolf
    • Suckle and nurture,—and Rome call’d herself queen of the world.
    • III.
    • ALEXANDER, and Cæsar, and Henry, and Frederick, the mighty,
    • On me would gladly bestow half of the glory they earn’d,
    • Could I but grant unto each one night on the couch where I’m lying;
    • But they, by Orcus’s night, sternly, alas! are held down.
    • Therefore rejoice, O thou living one, bless’d in thy love-lighted homestead,
    • Ere the dark Lethe’s sad wave wetteth thy fugitive foot.
    • IV.
    • THESE few leaves, O ye Graces, a bard presents in your honor,
    • On your altar so pure, adding sweet rosebuds as well,
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    • And he does it with hope. The artist is glad in his workshop,
    • When a Pantheon it seems round him forever to bring.
    • Jupiter knits his godlike brow,—hers, Juno uplifteth;
    • Phœbus strides on before, shaking his curly-lock’d head;
    • Calmly and dryly Minerva looks down, and Hermes, the light one,
    • Turneth his glances aside, roguish and tender at once.
    • But towards Bacchus, the yielding, the dreaming, raiseth Cythere
    • Looks both longing and sweet, e’en in the marble yet moist.
    • Of his embraces she thinks with delight, and seems to be asking:
    • “Should not our glorious son take up his place by our side?”
    • V.
    • AMOR is ever a rogue, and all who believe him are cheated!
    • To me the hypocrite came: “Trust me, I pray thee, this once.
    • Honest is now my intent,—with grateful thanks I acknowledge
    • That thou thy life and thy works hast to my worship ordain’d.
    • See, I have follow’d thee hither, to Rome, with kindly intention,
    • Hoping to give thee mine aid, e’en in the foreigner’s land.
    • Ev’ry trav’ller complains that the quarters he meets with are wretched;
    • Happily lodg’d, though, is he, who is by Amor receiv’d.
    • Thou dost observe the ruins of ancient buildings with wonder,
    • Thoughtfully wandering on, over each time-hallow’d spot.
    • Thou dost honor still more the worthy relics created
    • By the few artists whom I lov’d in their studios to seek.
    • I ’twas fashion’d those forms! thy pardon,—I boast not at present;
    • Presently thou shalt confess that what I tell thee is true.
    • Now that thou serv’st me more idly, where are the beauteous figures,
    • Where are the colors, the light, which thy creations once fill’d?
    • Hast thou a mind again to form? The school of the Grecians
    • Still remains open, my friend; years have not barr’d up its doors.
    • I, the teacher, am ever young, and love all the youthful,
    • Love not the subtle and old. Mother, observe what I say!
    • Still was new the Antique, when yonder bless’d ones were living;
    • Happily live,—and, in thee, ages long vanish’d will live!
    • Food for song, where hopest thou to find it? I only can give it,
    • And a more excellent style, love, and love only can teach.”
    • Thus did the Sophist discourse. What mortal, alas! could resist him?
    • And when a master commands, I have been train’d to obey.
    • Now he deceitfully keeps his word, gives food for my numbers,
    • But, while he does so, alas! robs me of time, strength and mind.
    • Looks, and pressure of hands, and words of kindness, and kisses,
    • Syllables teeming with thought, by a fond pair are exchang’d.
    • Then becomes whispering, talk,—and stammering, a language enchanting;
    • Free from all prosody’s rules, dies such a hymn on the ear.
    • Thee, Aurora, I used to own as the friend of the Muses;
    • Hath, then, Amor the rogue cheated, Aurora, e’en thee?
    • Thou dost appear to me now as his friend, and again dost awake me
    • Unto a day of delight, while at his altar I kneel.
    • All her locks I find on my bosom, her head is reposing,
    • Pressing with softness the arm, which round her neck is entwin’d;
    • Oh! what a joyous awak’ning, ye hours so peaceful, succeeded,
    • Monument sweet of the bliss which had first rock’d us to sleep!
    • In her slumber she moves, and sinks, while her face is averted,
    • Far on the breadth of the couch, leaving her hand still in mine.
    • Heartfelt love unites us forever, and yearnings unsullied,
    • And our cravings alone claim for themselves the exchange.
    • One faint touch of the hand, and her eyes so heavenly see I
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    • Once more open. Ah, no! let me still look on that form!
    • Clos’d still remain! Ye make me confus’d and drunken, ye rob me
    • Far too soon of the bliss pure contemplation affords.
    • Mighty, indeed, are these figures! these limbs, how gracefully rounded!
    • Theseus, could’st thou e’er fly, whilst Ariadne thus slept?
    • Only one single kiss on these lips! Oh, Theseus, now leave us!
    • Gaze on her eyes! she awakes!—Firmly she holds thee embrac’d!
    • VI.
    • PORTENT of Autumn, the flame in the sociable country-side mansion
    • Crackles and gleams on the earth. Quickly the brushwood takes fire.
    • How it delights my soul this evening! for now, ere the fagots
    • Crumble to glowing coals, fall into ashes gray,
    • Comes my favorite maiden! Then flame the billets and brushwood,
    • And the comforting night warms us with festival joy.
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    • When it is early morn the couch of Love she forsaketh,
    • Wakes from the ashes again agile, passionate flames.
    • For above all things Amor the power to the flatterer granted
    • Joy to awake which as yet scarcely to ashes had fallen.
    • VII.
    • “WHY, belov’d, didst thou not come to-day to the vineyard?
    • Alone, as I promis’d, I stood waiting for thee on the hill!”
    • “Dearest! scarce had I come when by chance I sighted thy uncle,
    • Watching close to the vines, turning this way and that!
    • Slyly I hurried away.” “Oh, what an error deceiv’d thee!
    • Only a scarecrow it was that thou sawest! The form
    • Skilfully fashion’d we made of reeds and ragged old raiment;
    • I myself lent a hand: how my work has recoil’d!
    • Now the old man’s wish is fulfill’d: to-day he has frighted
    • From his preserves the bird stealing his garden and niece.”
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lf0841-01_figure_060.jpg

artist: a. tsohautsch.

THE SIXTEENTH ELEGY.

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ALEXIS AND DORA.

  • FARTHER and farther away, alas! at each moment the vessel
  • Hastens, as onward it glides, cleaving the foam-cover’d flood!
  • Long is the track plough’d up by the keel where dolphins are sporting,
  • Following fast in its rear, while it seems flying pursuit.
  • All forebodes a prosperous voyage; the sailor with calmness
  • Leans ’gainst the sail, which alone all that is needed performs.
  • Forward presses the heart of each seaman, like colors and streamers;
  • Backward one only is seen, mournfully fix’d near the mast,
  • While on the blue-ting’d mountains, which fast are receding, he gazeth,
  • And as they sink in the sea, joy from his bosom departs.
  • Vanish’d from thee, too, O Dora, is now the vessel that robs thee
  • Of thine Alexis, thy friend,—ah, thy betrothed as well!
  • Thou, too, art after me gazing in vain. Our hearts are still throbbing,
  • Though, for each other, yet ah! ’gainst one another no more.
  • Oh, thou single moment, wherein I found life! thou outweighest
  • Every day which had else coldly from memory fled.
  • ’Twas in that moment alone, the last, that upon me descended
  • Life, such as deities grant, though thou perceivedst it not.
  • Phœbus, in vain with thy rays dost thou clothe the ether in glory:
  • Thine all-brightening day hateful alone is to me.
  • Into myself I retreat for shelter, and there, in the silence,
  • Strive to recover the time when she appear’d with each day.
  • Was it possible beauty like this to see, and not feel it?
  • Work’d not those heavenly charms e’en on a mind dull as thine?
  • Blame not thyself, unhappy one! Oft doth the bard an enigma
  • Thus propose to the throng, skilfully hidden in words.
  • Each one enjoys the strange commingling of images graceful,
  • Yet still is wanting the word which will discover the sense.
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  • When at length it is found, the heart of each hearer is gladden’d,
  • And in the poem he sees meaning of twofold delight.
  • Wherefore so late didst thou remove the bandage, O Amor,
  • Which thou hadst plac’d o’er mine eyes,—wherefore remove it so late?
  • Long did the vessel, when laden, lie waiting for favoring breezes,
  • Till in kindness the wind blew from the land o’er the sea.
  • Vacant times of youth! and vacant dreams of the future!
  • Ye all vanish, and nought, saving the moment, remains.
  • Yes! it remains,—my joy still remains! I hold thee, my Dora,
  • And thine image alone, Dora, by hope is disclos’d.
  • Oft have I seen thee go, with modesty clad, to the temple,
  • While thy mother so dear solemnly went by thy side.
  • Eager and nimble thou wert, in bearing thy fruit to the market,
  • Boldly the pail from the well didst thou sustain on thy head.
  • Then was reveal’d thy neck, then seen thy shoulders so beauteous,
  • Then, before all things, the grace filling thy motions was seen.
  • Oft have I fear’d that the pitcher perchance was in danger of falling,
  • Yet it ever remain’d firm on the circular cloth.
  • Thus, fair neighbor, yes, thus I oft was wont to observe thee,
  • As on the stars I might gaze, as I might gaze on the moon,
  • Glad indeed at the sight, yet feeling within my calm bosom
  • Not the remotest desire ever to call them mine own.
  • Years thus fleeted away! Although our houses were only
  • Twenty paces apart, yet I thy threshold ne’er cross’d.
  • Now by the fearful flood are we parted! Thou liest to heaven,
  • Billow! thy beautiful blue seems to me dark as the night.
  • All were now in movement; a boy to the house of my father
  • Ran at full speed and exclaim’d: “Hasten thee quick to the strand!
  • Hoisted the sail is already, e’en now in the wind it is flutt’ring,
  • While the anchor they weigh, heaving it up from the sand;
  • Come, Alexis, oh, come!”—My worthy stout-hearted father
  • Press’d, with a blessing, his hand down on my curly-lock’d head,
  • While my mother carefully reach’d me a newly-made bundle;
  • “Happy may’st thou return!” cried they—“both happy and rich!”
  • Then I sprang away, and under my arm held the bundle,
  • Running along by the wall. Standing I found thee hard by,
  • At the door of thy garden. Thou smilingly saidst then:—“Alexis!
  • Say, are yon boisterous crew going thy comrades to be?
  • Foreign coasts wilt thou visit, and precious merchandise purchase,
  • Ornaments meet for the rich matrons who dwell in the town.
  • Bring me, also, I pray thee, a light chain; gladly I’ll pay thee,
  • Oft have I wish’d to possess some such a trinket as that.”
  • There I remain’d, and ask’d, as merchants are wont, with precision
  • After the form and the weight which thy commission should have.
  • Modest, indeed, was the price thou didst name! I meanwhile was gazing
  • On thy neck which deserv’d ornaments worn but by queens.
  • Loudly now rose the cry from the ship; then kindly thou spakest:—
  • “Take, I entreat thee, some fruit out of the garden, my friend!
  • Take the ripest oranges, figs of the whitest; the ocean
  • Beareth no fruit, and, in truth, ’tis not produc’d by each land.”
  • So I enter’d in. Thou pluckedst the fruit from the branches,
  • And the burden of gold was in thine apron upheld.
  • Oft did I cry, Enough! But fairer fruits were still falling
  • Into thy hand as I spake, ever obeying thy touch.
  • Presently didst thou reach the arbor; there a basket lay,
  • Sweet blooming myrtle trees wav’d, as we drew nigh, o’er our heads.
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  • Then thou beganst to arrange the fruit with skill and in silence:
  • First the orange, which lay heavy as though ’twere of gold,
  • Then the yielding fig, by the slightest pressure disfigur’d,
  • And with myrtle the gift soon was both cover’d and grac’d.
  • But I rais’d it not up. I stood. Our eyes met together,
  • And my eyesight grew dim, seeming obscur’d by a film.
  • Soon I felt thy bosom on mine! Mine arm was soon twining
  • Round thy beautiful form; thousand times kiss’d I thy neck.
  • On my shoulder sank thy head; thy fair arms, encircling,
  • Soon render’d perfect the ring knitting the rapturous pair.
  • Amor’s hands I felt: he press’d us together with ardor,
  • And, from the firmament clear, thrice did it thunder; then tears
  • Stream’d from mine eyes in torrents; thou weptest, I wept, both were weeping,
  • And, ’mid our sorrow and bliss, even the world seem’d to die.
  • Louder and louder they call’d from the strand; my feet would no longer
  • Bear my weight, and I cried:—“Dora! and art thou not mine?”
  • “Thine forever!” thou gently didst say. Then the tears we were shedding
  • Seem’d to be wip’d from our eyes, as by the breath of a god.
  • Nearer was heard the cry “Alexis!” The stripling who sought me
  • Suddenly peep’d through the door. How he the basket snatch’d up!
  • How he urg’d me away! how press’d I thy hand! Would’st thou ask me
  • How the vessel I reach’d? Drunken I seem’d, well I know.
  • Drunken my shipmates believ’d me, and so had pity upon me;
  • And as the breeze drove us on, distance the town soon obscur’d.
  • “Thine forever!” thou, Dora, didst murmur; it fell on my senses
  • With the thunder of Zeus! while by the thunderer’s throne
  • Stood his daughter, the Goddess of Love; the Graces were standing
  • Close by her side! so the bond beareth an impress divine!
  • Oh, then hasten, thou ship, with every favoring zephyr!
  • Onward, thou powerful keel, cleaving the waves as they foam!
  • Bring me unto the foreign harbor, so that the goldsmith
  • May in his workshop prepare straightway the heavenly pledge!
  • Ay, of a truth, the chain shall indeed be a chain, O my Dora!
  • Nine times encircling thy neck, loosely around it entwin’d.
  • Other and manifold trinkets I’ll buy thee; gold-mounted bracelets,
  • Richly and skilfully wrought, also shall grace thy fair hand.
  • There shall the ruby and emerald vie, the sapphire so lovely
  • Be to the jacinth oppos’d, seeming its foil; while the gold
  • Holds all the jewels together, in beauteous union commingled.
  • Oh, how the bridegroom exults, when he adorns his betroth’d!
  • Pearls if I see, of thee they remind me; each ring that is shown me
  • Brings to my mind thy fair hand’s graceful and tapering form.
  • I will barter and buy; the fairest of all shalt thou choose thee,
  • Joyously would I devote all of the cargo to thee.
  • Yet not trinkets and jewels alone is thy lov’d one procuring;
  • With them he brings thee whate’er gives to a housewife delight.
  • Fine and woollen coverlets, wrought with an edging of purple,
  • Fit for a couch where we both, lovingly, gently may rest;
  • Costly pieces of linen. Thou sittest and sewest, and clothest
  • Me, and thyself, and, perchance, even a third with it too.
  • Visions of hope, deceive ye my heart! Ye kindly Immortals,
  • Soften this fierce-raging flame, wildly pervading my breast!
  • Yet how I long to feel them again, those rapturous torments,
  • When, in their stead, care draws nigh, coldly and fearfully calm.
  • Neither the Furies’ torch, nor the hounds of hell with their barking
  • Awe the delinquent so much, down in the plains of despair,
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  • As by the motionless spectre I’m awed, that shows me the fair one
  • Far away: of a truth, open the garden-door stands!
  • And another one cometh! For him the fruit, too, is falling,
  • And for him, also, the fig-strengthening honey doth yield!
  • Doth she entice him as well to the arbor? He follows? Oh, make me
  • Blind, ye Immortals! efface visions like this from my mind!
  • Yes, she is but a maiden! And she who to one doth so quickly
  • Yield, to another ere long, doubtless, will turn herself round.
  • Smile not, Zeus, for this once, at an oath so cruelly broken!
  • Thunder more fearfully! Strike!—Stay—thy fierce lightnings withhold!
  • Hurl at me thy quivering bolt! In the darkness of midnight
  • Strike with thy lightning this mast! make it a pitiful wreck!
  • Scatter the planks all around, and give to the boisterous billows
  • All these wares, and let me be to the dolphins a prey!—
  • Now, ye Muses, enough! In vain would ye strive to depicture
  • How, in a love-laden breast, anguish alternates with bliss.
  • Ye cannot heal the wounds, it is true, that love hath inflicted;
  • Yet from you only proceeds, kindly ones, comfort and balm.
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artist: c. brünner

ROMAN ELEGIES.

alexis and dora.

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Edition: current; Page: [108]

Epigrams

Venice, 1790.

    • I.
    • SARCOPHAGUS and urn erst were with life adorn’d by the heathen:
    • Fauns are dancing around, while with the Bacchanal troop
    • Chequer’d circles they trace; and the goat-footed, puffy-cheek’d player
    • Wildly produceth hoarse tones out of the clamorous horn.
    • Cymbals and drums resound; we see and we hear, too, the marble.
    • Fluttering bird! Oh, how sweet tastes the ripe fruit to thy bill!
    • Noise there is none to disturb thee, still less to scare away Amor,
    • Who, in the midst of the throng, learns to delight in his torch.
    • Thus doth fulness overcome death; and the ashes there cover’d
    • Seem, in that silent domain, still to be gladden’d with life.
    • Thus may the minstrel’s sarcophagus be hereafter surrounded
    • With such a scroll, which himself richly with life has adorn’d.
    • II.
    • CLASP’D in my arms forever eagerly hold I my mistress,
    • Ever my panting heart throbs wildly against her dear breast,
    • And on her knees forever is leaning my head, while I’m gazing
    • Now on her sweet-smiling mouth, now on her bright sparkling eyes.
    • “O thou effeminate!” spake one, “and thus, then, thy days thou art spending?”
    • Ah, they in sorrow are spent. List while I tell thee my tale:
    • Yes! I have left my only joy in life far behind me,
    • Twenty long days hath my car borne me away from her sight.
    • Vetturini defy me, while crafty chamberlains flatter,
    • And the sly Valet de place thinks but of lies and deceit.
    • If I attempt to escape, the Postmaster fastens upon me,
    • Postboys the upper hand get, custom-house duties enrage.
    • “Truly, I can’t understand thee! thou talkest enigmas! thou seemest
    • Wrapp’d in a blissful repose, glad as Rinaldo of yore:”—
    • Ah, I myself understand full well; ’tis my body that travels,
    • And ’tis my spirit that rests still in my mistress’s arms.
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    • III.
    • I WOULD liken this gondola unto the soft-rocking cradle,
    • And the chest on its deck seems a vast coffin to be.
    • Yes! ’tween the cradle and coffin, we totter and waver forever
    • On the mighty canal, careless our lifetime is spent.
    • IV.
    • WHY are the people thus busily moving? For food they are seeking,
    • Children they fain would beget, feeding them well as they can.
    • Traveller, mark this well, and when thou art home, do thou likewise!
    • More can no mortal effect, work with what ardor he will.
    • V.
    • I WOULD compare to the land this anvil, its lord to the hammer,
    • And to the people the plate, which in the middle is bent.
    • Sad is the poor tin-plate’s lot, when the blows are but given at random:
    • Ne’er will the kettle be made, while they uncertainly fall.
    • VI.
    • WHAT is the life of a man? Yet thousands are ever accustom’d
    • Freely to talk about man,—what he has done, too, and how.
    • Even less is a poem; yet thousands read and enjoy it,
    • Thousands abuse it.—My friend, live and continue to rhyme!
    • VII.
    • MERRY’S the trade of a poet; but somewhat a dear one, I fear me;
    • For, as my book grows apace, all of my sequins I lose.
    • VIII.
    • IF thou’rt in earnest, no longer delay, but render me happy;
    • Art thou in jest? Ah, sweet love! time for all jesting is past.
    • IX.
    • ART thou, then, vex’d at my silence? What shall I speak of? Thou markest
    • Neither my sorrowful sigh, nor my soft eloquent look.
    • Only one goddess is able the seal of my lips to unloosen,—
    • When by Aurora I’m found, slumbering calm on thy breast.
    • Ah, then my hymn in the ears of the earliest gods shall be chaunted,
    • As the Memnonian form breath’d forth sweet secrets in song.
    • X.
    • IN the twilight of morning to climb to the top of the mountain,—
    • Thee to salute, kindly star, earliest herald of day,—
    • And to await, with impatience, the gaze of the ruler of heaven,—
    • Youthful delight, oh, how oft lurest thou me out in the night!
    • O ye heralds of day, ye heavenly eyes of my mistress,
    • Now ye appear, and the sun evermore riseth too soon.
    • XI.
    • THOU art amaz’d, and dost point to the ocean. It seems to be burning,
    • Flame-crested billows in play dart round our night-moving bark.
    • Me it astonisheth not,—of the ocean was born Aphrodite,—
    • Did not a flame, too, proceed from her for us, in her son?
    • XII.
    • GLEAMING the ocean appear’d, the beauteous billows were smiling,
    • While a fresh, favoring wind, filling the sails, drove us on.
    • Free was my bosom from yearning; yet soon my languishing glances
    • Turn’d themselves backward in haste, seeking the snow-cover’d hills.
    • Treasures unnumber’d are southwards lying. Yet one to the northwards
    • Draws me resistlessly back, like the strong magnet in force.
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    • XIII.
    • SPACIOUS and fair is the world; yet oh, how I thank the kind heavens
    • That I a garden possess, small though it be, yet mine own.
    • One which enticeth me homewards; why should a gardener wander?
    • Honor and pleasure he finds when to his garden he looks.
    • XIV.
    • AH, my maiden is going! she mounts the vessel! My monarch,
    • Æolus! potentate dread! keep every storm far away!
    • “O thou fool!” cried the god: “ne’er fear the blustering tempest;
    • When Love flutters his wings, then may’st thou dread the soft breeze.”
    • XV.
    • WILT thou enjoy the pleasures of Love with purest of feelings?
    • Keep conceit from thy heart—banish solemnity!
    • Love is scared by the one, the other hopes vainly to chain him:
    • Ill-affected to both smiles the mischievous god.
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artist: th. von eckenbrecher.

FIFTH EPIGRAM.

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artist: a schmitz.

EIGHTY-FOURTH EPIGRAM.

Edition: current; Page: [111]

The Four Seasons.

Lovely children large and small

All the Four our hearts enthrall.

SPRING.

    • I.
    • ULL ye Distichs, awake! Ye lively youths in your joyance!
    • Rich are gardens and fields! Bring ye blossoms for wreaths.
    • II.
    • Rich is the meadow in flowers; yet the eye cannot claim all their beauty.
    • Others bloom for the heart. Reader, now choose for thyself!
    • III.
    • Rosebud! thou art the flower of the maiden, rosy and blooming;
    • Symbol of queenly guise, symbol of modest deport.
    • IV.
    • Violets cluster’d together and bound in a delicate nosegay
    • Making one flower; ’tis thou, home-loving maiden, I mean!
    • V.
    • One whom I knew, like a lily was slender. Purity cloth’d her
    • Pridelike. Such splendor of garb Solomon sure never saw.
    • VI.
    • Lovely the Columbine stands and hangs his radiant head down:
    • Petulance is it, or pride? Answer me now if you can!
    • VII.
    • Many odorous bells thou swingest, O Hyacinth, gayly,
    • Yet nor fragrance or bells have the gift to attract.
    • VIII.
    • Hesperus! thee in the garish day men pass without noting;
    • When the nightingale sings, then thy glory appears.
    • IX.
    • Thou, Tuberose, art haughty, and thou rejoicest in freedom,
    • Yet—away from my sight! Come not nigh to my heart!
    • X.
    • Glowing the Poppy I see in the distance; when I come nearer,
    • Ah! then I learn thee too late! thou that apest the Rose.
    • XI.
    • Tulips, I know ye are scorn’d by those who take pride in æsthetics;
    • Courage! a thought that’s robust needs a lusty leaf.
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    • XII.
    • Pinks! how lovely ye are! Yet ye all resemble each other.
    • Who can distinguish? Not I! How then, pray, can I choose?
    • XIII.
    • Flush with the colors of dawn Ranunculus, Tulips and Asters!
    • Here is a dark fragrant flower, puts you all to the blush.
    • XIV.
    • Crowsfoot! none of thy sisters attract me; desire ye awake not;
    • Yet, commingled in beds, pleasure ye give to the eye.
    • XV.
    • Tell me what perfumes the chamber? Mignonette, fragrant and pleasing,
    • Colorless, shapeless and still, modest and sensible plant.
    • XVI.
    • Ornament fit for the garden, where’er thou appearest, thou sayest:
    • “Ceres, the Queen, with her hand scatter’d me forth with the grain.”
    • XVII.
    • Sweetest of dainty flowers! thy eyes so tender they whisper
    • Always, “Forget-me-not!” always, “Forget not thy friend!”
    • XVIII.
    • If from the eye of the mind the forms of the flowers should all vanish,
    • Eleonore! thy face would’st ever remain in my heart!
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SUMMER.

    • XIX.
    • TERRIBLE, Love shows himself unto me! Ye Muses, awaken
    • Harmonies out of the pain stirr’d by the God in my heart.
    • XX.
    • Written scrolls I possess which scholars and monarchs might covet.
    • For my beloved she writes words that I turn into verse!
    • XXI.
    • As in Winter the grain only slowly sprouts, but in Summer
    • Hastens to push into bloom, so was my yearning for thee!
    • XXII.
    • Ever it seem’d to me that forests, fields, mountains and gardens
    • Were but symbols of space; Love, thou makest them real.
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    • XXIII.
    • Space and Time to my mind are idle phantoms of fancy;
    • But the corner with thee, dearest, seems without bounds.
    • XXIV.
    • Care, she sits in the saddle with thee; she embarks in the vessel.
    • Zealous is Care, but Love follows us up with more zeal.
    • XXV.
    • Hard is the conquest of Passion, but if she be strengthen’d by Custom,
    • Ancient ally and friend, she’s an invincible foe!
    • XXVI.
    • What is the scroll that twice and thrice I read in succession?
    • Manuscripts sent by my love, written warm from her heart.
    • XXVII.
    • She is my joy, but perchance she deceives me. O poets and singers,
    • Mimics! much ye might learn, knowing my sweetheart, my love!
    • XXVIII.
    • All the joy of the poet in shaping his verse to perfection,
    • Sympathizing Love, that inspir’d him, feels.
    • XXIX.
    • Think you an epigram short to express a sentiment for thee?
    • Why, Love, how can that be! Isn’t a kiss far more short?
    • XXX.
    • Know’st thou, O friend, the splendid poison of love unrequited?
    • Burning, it gives fresh strength; wasting the flesh it renews.
    • XXXI.
    • Know’st thou the splendid working of love that has found its ideal?
    • Bodies it binds in sweet union, spirits are freed.
    • XXXII.
    • True love is that which always and ever remains without changing
    • When it is granted all, all things being denied.
    • XXXIII.
    • All the world I would like, so all to share with my darling;
    • All the world would I give, if she were only mine.
    • XXXIV.
    • When a loving heart is pain’d and must suffer in silence,
    • Rhadamanthus himself could not imagine such pangs.
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    • XXXV.
    • “Why do I fade so soon, O Zeus?” ask’d Beauty in sorrow.
    • “Ah,” said the father of gods, “only the beautiful fades.”
    • XXXVI.
    • Love and youth and the dew and the flowers heard the hard saying;
    • All turn’d their faces away, weeping, from Jupiter’s throne.
    • XXXVII.
    • Live while we may and love; for life and love are both fleeting.
    • Fate, thou cuttest the threads! Both must come to an end!
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AUTUMN.

    • XXXVIII.
    • LIFE brings fruits unto man! Yet rarely they hang from the branches,
    • Rosy and bright in the sun, greeting, like apples, the eye.
    • XXXIX.
    • Hold the staff of direction o’er life and all its transactions.
    • Leave unto Love and the Muse chance for jovial sport!
    • XL.
    • Preach, for it seemeth you well; we also honor the custom;
    • Yet will the Muse not allow orders peremptorily given.
    • XLI.
    • Seize the lighted torch from Prometheus, O Muse, and inspire us!
    • Seize it from Love, and torment us with ravishing joy.
    • XLII.
    • All creation is Nature’s work. From Zeus on Olympos
    • Flashes the wonderful bolt, building and crushing the world.
    • XLIII.
    • Brothers! do all that ye do with zeal and with love. Both are virtues
    • Lovely for German hearts, easily turn’d from the path.
    • XLIV.
    • Children toss the ball to the wall and catch it rebounding;
    • This is a game that I like play’d by the friend of my choice.
    • XLV.
    • Ever strive for the whole, and if the whole should escape thee,
    • Be, as thou canst, a part useful in forming the whole.
    • XLVI.
    • Knowledge of self is fine, yet when one is treasur’d by others,
    • Object of honor and love, is it not better by far?
    • XLVII.
    • What controls the youth, holds the man, embraces the graybeard,
    • That be thy portion of joy all thy life, lovely child.
    • XLVIII.
    • Willingly age clings to youth, and youth for age has affection;
    • Yet all over the world like is attracted by like.
    • XLIX.
    • Keep in thy heart the vision of worthies: bright constellations,
    • Nature scatter’d them forth, out of measureless space.
    • L.
    • Who is the luckiest man? ’Tis he who has wisdom to welcome
    • Service of others and feel joy like his own in his friend’s.
    • LI.
    • Time gives us much and robs us of much; but the love of thy betters,
    • Graciously bestowed, ever should be thy delight.
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    • LII.
    • Were ye, foolish dreamers, able to grasp your ideals,
    • Honor to Nature ye’d pay as her merits deserve.
    • LIII.
    • Honest friend, I will tell thee what thou canst safely believe in:
    • Life is the only thing teaching better than books.
    • LIV.
    • Ev’ry blossom must fall before the fruit will rejoice us;
    • Blossoms and fruit at once only the Muses can give.
    • LV.
    • Truth that hurts I prefer to falsehood giving advantage.
    • Truth, it assuages the pain which perchance it has caus’d.
    • LVI.
    • Does an error hurt? Not always; but making the error
    • Always hurts, and how sore only the sequel can tell.
    • LVII.
    • Never so dear to us seem as our own the children of others;
    • Error, the child of our hearts, claims so much of our love.
    • LVIII.
    • Error is ever at hand. Yet a higher necessity draws us
    • Gently and steadily on, strive as we will, towards Truth.
    • LIX.
    • No one resembles another, yet each resembles the Highest.
    • How can this be explain’d? Each is complete in himself!
    • LX.
    • Why are Genius and Taste so seldom blended in union?
    • Genius hates the curb; Taste is timid at force.
    • LXI.
    • Helpless for moving the world are all the discourses of Reason;
    • Impotent also is she, crush’d in the presence of Art.
    • LXII.
    • Whom do I wish for a reader? He who is freest from bias,
    • Losing himself and the world, living alone in my book.
    • LXIII.
    • He is my dearest friend who walks with me as I struggle;
    • If he invite me to sit, forth I wander alone.
    • LXIV.
    • Ah, how it goes to my heart, that this most excellent spirit,
    • Bent on seeking the goal, uses me as a means.
    • LXV.
    • Praise the child for the toys on which it squanders its pennies
    • Recklessly! Truth, thou wilt be godlike to trader and child.
    • LXVI.
    • What is the method of Nature in joining the good and the evil,
    • Forming man? She thrusts vanity deftly between.
    • LXVII.
    • In susceptible people no good have I ever discover’d.
    • Give them only the chance, rascals they readily turn.
    • LXVIII.
    • Gallomania checks in this degenerate epoch
    • Peaceful culture as once Lutheranism did.
    • LXIX.
    • Whatever in France is past the Germans take up and encourage;
    • For the proudest man flatters the rabble and crawls.
    • LXX.
    • “Darest thou call it the rabble? Where is the rabble?” The people,
    • Could ye get your own way, soon a rabble would be.
    • LXXI.
    • Wherever parties arise each holds itself this side and that side;
    • Many years will elapse ere their centres unite.
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    • LXXII.
    • “Those men there are starting a party; what a ridiculous notion!
    • But our party indeed! That is a different thing!”
    • LXXIII.
    • Son, wilt thou always be free? then learn something useful, remaining
    • Quite content with thy lot, never aspiring too high.
    • LXXIV.
    • Who is the nobler man in ev’ry station? Whoever
    • Gives impartial advice, scorning advantage for self.
    • LXXV.
    • Know’st thou how even the small may be great? By doing their duty,
    • Small though it be; the great needs must do just the same.
    • LXXVI.
    • What is holy? ’Tis that which binds many spirits in union.
    • Bond, though ever so slight, like the grass on a wreath.
    • LXXVII.
    • What is the holiest? That which binds to-day and forever,
    • Spirits in sympathy close, union of soul unto soul.
    • LXXVIII.
    • Who is the worthiest man in the state? A respectable burgher;
    • Under whatever rule he is the soldiest prop.
    • LXXIX.
    • Who then is really a prince? My own observation has taught me
    • He alone is a prince who has it in him to be.
    • LXXX.
    • Wisdom failing in rulers, right good-will in the people,
    • Force must grasp the helm, else will destruction ensue.
    • LXXXI.
    • Many states have I seen, and that stands high above others,
    • Where the rulers must serve, leaving to others the gain.
    • LXXXII.
    • Only let every being fairly use his advantage,
    • Granting to others their share; then will peace ever reign.
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    • LXXXIII.
    • But if none is content with the share that Fate has allotted,
    • Then is the train ready laid always and ever for war.
    • LXXXIV.
    • Twain are the methods of speaking the truth if truth be unwelcome:
    • Frankly that people may know, secretly unto the prince.
    • LXXXV.
    • If thou findest fault with the individual loudly,
    • He will harden his heart as the throng do at praise.
    • LXXXVI.
    • Thou art monarch and knight and thou canst rule and do battle;
    • But if treaties are made call the chancellor’s aid.
    • LXXXVII.
    • Wise, industrious, firm, acquainted with all, understanding
    • High and low alike, thus the minister stands.
    • LXXXVIII.
    • What is the courtier I honor? The keenest and shrewdest. Whatever
    • Yet that he fails to possess comes to his service as man.
    • LXXXIX.
    • Whether thou art the wisest or not who gives an opinion?
    • But—be the upright man both at home and abroad.
    • XC.
    • Whether thou wakest or not we care not, provided thou singest.
    • Sing, O watchman, thy song, sleeping, as multitudes do.
    • XCI.
    • Now, O Autumn, thou strewest only yellowing leaflets.
    • Give me another year full-ripen’d fruit instead.
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WINTER.

    • XCII.
    • WATER is body and substance in flux. The stage that is newest
    • Shines in the glow of the sun held by the shimmering shores.
    • XCIII.
    • Truly it seems like a vision! Life in significant pictures
    • Hovers earnest and fair over the far-gleaming plains.
    • XCIV.
    • Countless centuries frozen, like ice, stretch off in our vision;
    • Reason and Sympathy glide dim in the background away.
    • XCV.
    • Only the level plain conditions the whirl of existence:
    • If it be smooth we all reck not of danger at hand.
    • XCVI.
    • All are striving and hasting, seeking and fleeing each other;
    • Yet our courses are fix’d over the slippery plain.
    • XCVII.
    • Hither and thither they glide, the pupils and master together,
    • And the common folk holding the middle way.
    • XCVIII.
    • Every one must show what he can; not praise and not glory
    • Kept this man from the goal, drove that other one on.
    • XCIX.
    • You who praise the bungler, the Master’s detractors, I see you,
    • Dumb with impotent rage, standing here on the shore.
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    • C.
    • Novice! thou totterest clumsily shunning, the dangerous mirror.
    • Keep up thy heart! thou wilt be soon the pride of the course.
    • CI.
    • Wilt thou already show prowess, and art not confident? Nonsense!
    • Only from well-pois’d force gleams true happiness forth.
    • CII.
    • Falls are the fortune of man; the pupil must fall, and the master
    • Also will meet with mishaps; let him beware how he strikes.
    • CIII.
    • If the skilfullest skater but fall, the idle spectators
    • Laugh, as over their cups men boast of whipping their foes.
    • CIV.
    • Glide away joyfully, giving advice to the novice beginning;
    • Take full pride in thy leadership, joy in the day.
    • CV.
    • See! already the Spring is at hand. The hurrying waters
    • Waste the ice from below, gentler sunbeams above.
    • CVI.
    • This generation is vanish’d, scatter’d the radiant circles.
    • Fishers and sailors once more claim the swift-rolling stream.
    • CVII.
    • Swim, thou wonderful floe, away, and if thou shalt never
    • Join the sea as a floe, drop by drop thou may’st come.
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Edition: current; Page: [119]

Sonnets.

Lovingly I’ll sing of love;

Ever comes she from above.

THE FRIENDLY MEETING.

    • ENROB’D with mantle to my chin conceal’d,
    • I trod the rocky path, so steep and gray,
    • Then to the wintry plain I bent my way
    • Uneasily, to flight my bosom steel’d.
    • But sudden was the newborn day reveal’d:
    • A maiden came, in heavenly bright array,
    • Like the fair creatures of the poet’s lay
    • In realms of song. My yearning heart was heal’d.
    • Yet turn’d I thence, till she had onward pass’d,
    • While closer still the folds to draw I tried,
    • As though with heat self-kindled to grow warm;
    • But follow’d her. She stood. The die was cast!
    • No more within my mantle could I hide;
    • I threw it off,—she lay within mine arm.
Edition: current; Page: [120]

IN A WORD.

    • THUS to be chain’d forever can I bear?
    • A very torment that, in truth, would be.
    • This very day my new resolve shall see,—
    • I’ll not go near the lately-worshipp’d Fair.
    • Yet what excuse, my heart, can I prepare
    • In such a case, for not consulting thee?
    • But courage! while our sorrows utter we
    • In tones where love, grief, gladness have a share.
    • But see! the minstrel’s bidding to obey,
    • Its melody pours forth the sounding lyre,
    • Yearning a sacrifice of love to bring.
    • Scarce would’st thou think it—ready is the lay;
    • Well, but what then? Methought in the first fire
    • We to her presence flew, that lay to sing.

THE MAIDEN SPEAKS.

    • HOW grave thou lookest, lov’d one! wherefore so?
    • Thy marble image seems a type of thee;
    • Like it, no sign of life thou giv’st to me;
    • Compar’d with thee, the stone appears to glow.
    • Behind his shield in ambush lurks the foe,
    • The friend’s brow all-unruffled we should see.
    • I seek thee, but thou seek’st away to flee;
    • Fix’d as this sculptur’d figure, learn to grow!
    • Tell me, to which should I the preference pay?
    • Must I from both with coldness meet alone?
    • The one is lifeless, thou with life art bless’d.
    • In short, no longer to throw words away,
    • I’ll fondly kiss and kiss and kiss this stone,
    • Till thou dost tear me hence with envious breast.

GROWTH.

    • O’ER field and plain, in childhood’s artless days,
    • Thou sprang’st with me, on many a springmorn fair.
    • “For such a daughter, with what pleasing care,
    • Would I, as father, happy dwellings raise!”
    • And when thou on the world didst cast thy gaze,
    • Thy joy was then in household toils to share.
    • “Why did I trust her, why she trust me e’er?
    • For such a sister, how I Heaven should praise!”
    • Nothing can now the beauteous growth retard;
    • Love’s glowing flame within my breast is fann’d.
    • Shall I embrace her form, my grief to end?
    • Thee as a queen must I, alas, regard:
    • So high above me plac’d thou seem’st to stand;
    • Before a passing look I meekly bend.

FOOD IN TRAVEL.

    • IF to her eyes’ bright lustre I were blind,
    • No longer would they serve my life to gild.
    • The will of destiny must be fulfill’d,—
    • This knowing, I withdrew with sadden’d mind.
    • No further happiness I now could find;
    • The former longings of my heart were still’d;
    • I sought her looks alone, whereon to build
    • My joy in life,—all else was left behind.
    • Wine’s genial glow, the festal banquet gay,
    • Ease, sleep, and friends, all wonted pleasures glad
    • I spurn’d, till little there remain’d to prove.
    • Now calmly through the world I wend my way:
    • That which I crave may everywhere be had,
    • With me I bring the one thing needful—love.
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DEPARTURE.

lf0841-01_figure_072.jpg
    • WITH many a thousand kiss not yet content,
    • At length with One kiss I was forc’d to go;
    • After that bitter parting’s depth of woe,
    • I deem’d the shore from which my steps I bent,
    • Its hills, streams, dwellings, mountains, as I went,
    • A pledge of joy, till daylight ceas’d to glow;
    • Then on my sight did blissful visions grow
    • In the dim-lighted, distant firmament.
    • And when at length the sea confin’d my gaze,
    • My ardent longing fill’d my heart once more;
    • What I had lost, unwillingly I sought.
    • Then Heaven appear’d to shed its kindly rays;
    • Methought that all I had possess’d of yore
    • Remain’d still mine—that I was reft of nought.

THE LOVING ONE WRITES.

    • THE look that thy sweet eyes on mine impress,
    • The pledge thy lips to mine convey,—the kiss,—
    • He who, like me, hath knowledge sure of this,
    • Can he in aught beside find happiness?
    • Remov’d from thee, friend-sever’d, in distress,
    • These thoughts I vainly struggle to dismiss:
    • They still return to that one hour of bliss,
    • The only one; then tears my grief confess.
    • But unawares the tear makes haste to dry:
    • He loves, methinks, e’en to these glades so still,—
    • And shalt not thou to distant lands extend?
    • Receive the murmurs of this loving sigh;
    • My only joy on earth is in thy will,
    • Thy kindly will tow’rd me; a token send!
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THE LOVING ONE ONCE MORE.

    • WHY do I o’er my paper once more bend?
    • Ask not too closely, dearest one, I pray:
    • For, to speak truth, I’ve nothing now to say;
    • Yet to thy hands at length ’twill come, dear friend.
    • Since I can come not with it, what I send
    • My undivided heart shall now convey,
    • With all its joys, hopes, pleasures, pains, to-day:
    • All this hath no beginning, hath no end.
    • Henceforward I may ne’er to thee confide
    • How, far as thought, wish, fancy, will, can reach,
    • My faithful heart with thine is surely blended.
    • Thus stood I once enraptur’d by thy side,
    • Gaz’d on thee, and said nought. What need of speech?
    • My very being in itself was ended.

SHE CANNOT END.

    • WHEN unto thee I sent the page all white,
    • Instead of first thereon inscribing aught,
    • The space thou doubtless filledst up in sport,
    • And sent it me, to make my joy grow bright.
    • As soon as the blue cover met my sight,
    • As well becomes a woman, quick as thought
    • I tore it open, leaving hidden nought,
    • And read the well-known words of pure delight:
    • My only being! Dearest heart! Sweet child!
    • How kindly thou my yearning then didst still
    • With gentle words, enthralling me to thee.
    • In truth methought I read thy whispers mild
    • Wherewith thou lovingly my soul didst fill,
    • E’en to myself for aye ennobling me.

NEMESIS.

    • WHEN through the nations stalks contagion wild,
    • We from them cautiously should steal away.
    • E’en I have oft with ling’ring and delay
    • Shunn’d many an influence, not to be defil’d.
    • And e’en though Amor oft my hours beguil’d,
    • At length with him preferr’d I not to play,
    • And so, too, with the wretched sons of clay,
    • When four and three-lin’d verses they compil’d.
    • But punishment pursues the scoffer straight,
    • As if by serpent-torch of furies led
    • From hill to vale, from land to sea to fly.
    • I hear the genie’s laughter at my fate;
    • Yet do I find all power of thinking fled
    • In sonnet-rage and love’s fierce ecstasy.

THE CHRISTMAS-BOX.

    • THIS box, mine own sweet darling, thou wilt find
    • With many a varied sweetmeat’s form supplied;
    • The fruits are they of holy Christmas tide,
    • But bak’d indeed, for children’s use design’d.
    • I’d fain, in speeches sweet with skill combin’d,
    • Poetic sweetmeats for the feast provide;
    • But why in such frivolities confide?
    • Perish the thought, with flattery to blind!
    • One sweet thing there is still, that from within,
    • Within us speaks,—that may be felt afar;
    • This may be wafted o’er to thee alone.
    • If thou a recollection fond canst win,
    • As if with pleasure gleam’d each well-known star,
    • The smallest gift thou never wilt disown.
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THE WARNING.

    • WHEN sounds the trumpet at the Judgment-Day,
    • And when forever all things earthly die,
    • We must a full and true account supply
    • Of ev’ry useless word we dropp’d in play.
    • But what effect will all the words convey
    • Wherein with eager zeal and lovingly,
    • That I might win thy favor, labor’d I,
    • If on thine ear alone they die away?
    • Therefore, sweet love, thy conscience bear in mind,
    • Remember well how long thou hast delay’d,
    • So that the world such sufferings may not know.
    • If I must reckon, and excuses find
    • For all things useless I to thee have said,
    • To a full year the Judgment-Day will grow.

THE DOUBTERS AND THE LOVERS.

    • The Doubters.

    • YE love, and sonnets write! Fate’s strange behest!
    • The heart, its hidden meaning to declare,
    • Must seek for rhymes, uniting pair with pair:
    • Learn, children, that the will is weak, at best.
    • Scarcely with freedom the o’erflowing breast
    • As yet can speak, and well may it beware;
    • Tempestuous passions sweep each chord that’s there,
    • Then once more sink to night and gentle rest.
    • Why vex yourselves and us, the heavy stone
    • Up the steep path but step by step to roll?
    • It falls again, and ye ne’er cease to strive.
    • The Lovers.

    • But we are on the proper road alone!
    • If gladly is to thaw the frozen soul
    • The fire of love must aye be kept alive.

THE EPOCHS.

    • ON Petrarch’s heart, all other days before,
    • In flaming letters written, was impress’d
    • Good Friday. And on mine, be it confess’d,
    • Is this year’s Advent, as it passeth o’er.
    • I do not now begin,—I still adore
    • Her whom I early cherish’d in my breast,
    • Then once again with prudence dispossess’d,
    • And to whose heart I’m driven back once more.
    • The love of Petrarch, that all-glorious love,
    • Was unrequited, and, alas, full sad;
    • One long Good Friday ’twas, one heartache drear;
    • But may my mistress’ Advent ever prove,
    • With its palm-jubilee, so sweet and glad,
    • One endless Mayday, through the livelong year!

CHARADE.

    • TWO words there are, both short, of beauty rare,
    • Whose sounds our lips so often love to frame,
    • But which with clearness never can proclaim
    • The things whose own peculiar stamp they bear.
    • ’Tis well in days of age and youth so fair
    • One on the other boldly to inflame;
    • And if those words together link’d we name,
    • A blissful rapture we discover there.
    • But now to give them pleasure do I seek;
    • And in myself my happiness would find;
    • I hope in silence, but I hope for this:
    • Gently, as lov’d one’s names, those words to speak,
    • To see them both within one image shrin’d,
    • Both in one being to embrace with bliss.
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Miscellaneous Poems.

In the wares before you spread,

Types of all things may be read.

THE GERMAN PARNASSUS.

    • ’NEATH the shadow
    • Of these bushes,
    • On the meadow
    • Where the cooling water gushes,
    • Phœbus gave me, when a boy,
    • All life’s fulness to enjoy.
    • So, in silence, as the God
    • Bade them with his sov’reign nod,
    • Sacred Muses train’d my days
    • To his praise,—
    • With the bright and silv’ry flood
    • Of Parnassus stirr’d my blood,
    • And the seal so pure and chaste
    • By them on my lips was plac’d.
    • With her modest pinions, see,
    • Philomel encircles me!
    • In these bushes, in yon grove,
    • Calls she to her sister-throng,
    • And their heavenly choral song
    • Teaches me to dream of love.
    • Fulness waxes in my breast
    • Of emotions social, bless’d;
    • Friendship’s nurtur’d,—love awakes,—
    • And the silence Phœbus breaks
    • Of his mountains, of his vales,—
    • Sweetly blow the balmy gales;
    • All for whom he shows affection,
    • Who are worthy his protection,
    • Gladly follow his direction.
    • This one comes with joyous bearing
    • And with open, radiant gaze;
    • That a sterner look is wearing,
    • This one, scarcely cured, with daring
    • Wakes the strength of former days;
    • For the sweet, destructive flame
    • Pierc’d his marrow and his frame.
    • That which Amor stole before
    • Phœbus only can restore,—
    • Peace, and joy, and harmony,
    • Aspirations pure and free.
    • Brethren, rise ye!
    • Numbers prize ye!
    • Deeds of worth resemble they.
    • Who can better than the bard
    • Guide a friend when gone astray?
    • If his duty he regard
    • More he’ll do than others may.
    • Yes! afar I hear them sing!
    • Yes! I hear them touch the string,
    • And with mighty godlike stroke
    • Right and duty they inspire,
    • And evoke,
    • As they sing, and wake the lyre,
    • Tendencies of noblest worth
    • To each type of strength give birth.
    • Phantasies of sweetest power
    • Flower
    • Round about on ev’ry bough,
    • Bending now,
    • Like the magic wood of old,
    • ’Neath the fruit that gleams like gold.
    • What we feel and what we view
    • In the land of highest bliss,—
    • This dear soil, a sun like this,—
    • Lures the best of women too.
    • And the Muses’ breathings bless’d
    • Rouse the maiden’s gentle breast,
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    • Tune the throat to minstrelsy,
    • And with cheeks of beauteous dye,
    • Bid it sing a worthy song,
    • Sit the sister-band among;
    • And their strains grow softer still
    • As they vie with earnest will.
    • One amongst the band betimes
    • Goes to wander
    • By the beeches, ’neath the limes,
    • Yonder seeking, finding yonder
    • That which in the morning-grove
    • She had lost through roguish Love,
    • All her breast’s first aspirations,
    • And her heart’s calm meditations.
    • To the shady wood so fair
    • Gently stealing,
    • Takes she that which man can ne’er
    • Duly merit,—each soft feeling,—
    • Disregards the noontide ray
    • And the dew at close of day,—
    • In the plain her path she loses.
    • Ne’er disturb her on her way!
    • Seek her silently, ye Muses!
    • Shouts I hear wherein the sound
    • Of the waterfall is drown’d.
    • From the grove loud clamors rise;
    • Strange the tumult, strange the cries.
    • See I rightly? Can it be?
    • To the very sanctuary,
    • Lo, an impious troop in-hies!
    • O’er the land
    • Streams the band;
    • Hot desire,
    • Drunken fire
    • In their gaze
    • Wildly plays,—
    • Makes their hair
    • Bristle there.
    • And the troop,
    • With fell swoop,
    • Women, men,
    • Coming then,
    • Ply their blows
    • And expose,
    • Void of shame,
    • All the frame.
    • Iron shot,
    • Fierce and hot,
    • Strike with fear
    • On the ear;
    • All they slay
    • On their way.
    • O’er the land
    • Pours the band;
    • All take flight
    • At their sight.
    • Ah, o’er ev’ry plant they rush!
    • Ah, their cruel footsteps crush
    • All the flowers that fill their path!
    • Who will dare to stem their wrath?
    • Brethren, let us venture all!
    • Virtue in your pure cheek glows.
    • Phœbus will attend our call
    • When he sees our heavy woes;
    • And that we may have aright
    • Weapons suited to the fight,
    • He the mountain shaketh now—
    • From its brow
    • Rattling down
    • Stone on stone
    • Through the thicket spread appear.
    • Brethren, seize them! Wherefore fear?
    • Now the villain crew assail
    • As though with a storm of hail,
    • And expel the strangers wild
    • From these regions soft and mild
    • Where the sun has ever smil’d!
    • What strange wonder do I see?
    • Can it be?
    • All my limbs of power are reft,
    • And all strength my hand has left.
    • Can it be?
    • None are strangers that I see!
    • And our brethren ’tis who go
    • On before, the way to show!
    • Oh, the reckless impious ones!
    • How they, with their jarring tones,
    • Beat the time as on they hie!
    • Quick, my brethren!—let us fly!
    • To the rash ones, yet a word!
    • Ay, my voice shall now be heard
    • As a peal of thunder, strong!
    • Words as poets’ arms were made,—
    • When the god will be obey’d,
    • Follow fast his darts ere long.
    • Was it possible that ye
    • Thus your godlike dignity
    • Should forget? The Thyrsus rude
    • Must a heavy burden feel
    • To the hand but wont to steal
    • O’er the lyre in gentle mood.
    • From the sparkling waterfalls,
    • From the brook that purling calls,
    • Shall Silenus’ loathsome beast
    • Be allow’d at will to feast?
    • Aganippe’s wave he sips
    • With profane and spreading lips,—
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    • With ungainly feet stamps madly,
    • Till the waters flow on sadly.
    • Fain I’d think myself deluded
    • In the sadd’ning sounds I hear;
    • From the holy glades secluded
    • Hateful tones assail the ear.
    • Laughter wild (exchange how mournful!)
    • Takes the place of love’s sweet dream;
    • Women-haters and the scornful
    • In exulting chorus scream.
    • Nightingale and turtle-dove
    • Fly their nests so warm and chaste,
    • And, inflam’d with sensual love,
    • Holds the Faun the Nymph embrac’d.
    • Here a garment’s torn away,
    • Scoffs succeed their sated bliss,
    • While the god, with angry ray,
    • Looks upon each impious kiss.
    • Vapor, smoke, as from a fire,
    • And advancing clouds I view;
    • Chords not only grace the lyre,
    • For the bow its chords hath too.
    • Even the adorer’s heart
    • Dreads the wild advancing band,
    • For the flames that round them dart
    • Show the fierce destroyer’s hand.
    • Oh, neglect not what I say,
    • For I speak it lovingly!
    • From our boundaries haste away,
    • From the god’s dread anger fly!
    • Cleanse once more the holy place,
    • Turn the savage train aside!
    • Earth contains upon its face
    • Many a spot unsanctified;
    • Here we only prize the good.
    • Stars unsullied round us burn.
    • If ye, in repentant mood,
    • From your wanderings would return,—
    • If ye fail to find the bliss
    • That ye found with us of yore,—
    • Or when lawless mirth like this
    • Gives your hearts delight no more,—
    • Then return in pilgrim guise,
    • Gladly up the mountain go,
    • While your strains repentant rise,
    • And our brethren’s advent show.
    • Let a new-born wreath entwine
    • Solemnly your temples round;
    • Rapture glows in hearts divine
    • When a long-lost sinner’s found.
    • Swifter e’en than Lethe’s flood
    • Round Death’s silent house can play
    • Ev’ry error of the good
    • Will love’s chalice wash away.
    • All will haste your steps to meet
    • As ye come in majesty,—
    • Men your blessing will entreat;—
    • Ours ye thus will doubly be!
lf0841-01_figure_073.jpg

artist: w friedrich.

THE GERMAN PARNASSUS.

MAHOMET’S SONG.

    • SEE the rock-born stream!
    • Like the gleam
    • Of a star so bright!
    • Kindly spirits
    • High above the clouds
    • Nourish’d him while youthful
    • In the copse between the cliffs.
    • Young and fresh,
    • From the clouds he danceth
    • Down upon the marble rocks;
    • Then tow’rd heaven
    • Leaps exulting.
    • Through the mountain-passes
    • Chaseth he the color’d pebbles,
    • And, advancing like a chief,
    • Tears his brother streamlets with him
    • In his course.
    • In the valley down below
    • ’Neath his footsteps spring the flowers,
    • And the meadow
    • In his breath finds life.
    • Yet no shady vale can stay him
    • Nor can flowers,
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    • Round his knees all-softly twining,
    • With their loving eyes detain him;
    • To the plain his course he taketh,
    • Serpent-winding.
    • Social streamlets
    • Join his waters. And now moves he
    • O’er the plain in silv’ry glory,
    • And the plain in him exults,
    • And the rivers from the plain,
    • And the streamlets from the mountain,
    • Shout with joy, exclaiming: “Brother,
    • Brother, take thy brethren with thee,
    • With thee to thine aged father,
    • To the everlasting ocean,
    • Who, with arms outstretching far,
    • Waiteth for us;
    • Ah, in vain those arms lie open
    • To embrace his yearning children;
    • For the thirsty sand consumes us
    • In the desert waste; the sunbeams
    • Drink our life-blood; hills around us
    • Into lakes would dam us! Brother,
    • Take thy brethren of the plain,
    • Take thy brethren of the mountain
    • With thee, to thy father’s arms!”—
    • Let all come, then!—
    • And now swells he
    • Lordlier still; yea, e’en a people
    • Bears his regal flood on high!
    • And in triumph onward rolling
    • Names to countries gives he,—cities
    • Spring to light beneath his foot.
    • Ever, ever, on he rushes,
    • Leaves the towers’ flame-tipp’d summits,
    • Marble palaces, the offspring
    • Of his fulness, far behind.
    • Cedar-houses bears the Atlas
    • On his giant shoulders; flutt’ring
    • In the breeze far, far above him
    • Thousand flags are gayly floating,
    • Bearing witness to his might.
    • And so beareth he his brethren
    • All his treasures, all his children,
    • Wildly shouting, to the bosom
    • Of his long-expectant sire.

SPIRIT SONG OVER THE WATERS.

    • THE soul of man
    • Resembleth water:
    • From heaven it cometh,
    • To heaven it soareth,
    • And then again
    • To earth descendeth,
    • Changing ever.
    • Down from the lofty
    • Rocky wall
    • Streams the bright flood,
    • Then spreadeth gently
    • In cloudy billows
    • O’er the smooth rock,
    • And welcomed kindly,
    • Veiling, on roams it,
    • Soft murmuring,
    • Toward the abyss.
    • Cliffs projecting
    • Oppose its progress,—
    • Angrily foams it
    • Down to the bottom,
    • Step by step.
    • Now, in flat channel,
    • Through the meadowland steals it,
    • And in the polish’d lake
    • Each constellation
    • Joyously peepeth.
    • Wind is the loving
    • Wooer of waters;
    • Wind blends together
    • Billows all-foaming.
    • Spirit of man,
    • Thou art like unto water!
    • Fortune of man,
    • Thou art like unto wind!
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MY GODDESS.

    • SAY, which Immortal
    • Merits the highest reward?
    • With none contend I,
    • But I will give it
    • To the aye-changing,
    • Ever-moving
    • Wondrous daughter of Jove,
    • His best-beloved offspring,
    • Sweet Phantasy.
    • For unto her
    • Hath he granted
    • All the fancies which erst
    • To none allow’d he
    • Saving himself;
    • Now he takes his pleasure
    • In the mad one.
    • She may, crown’d with roses,
    • With staff twined round with lilies,
    • Roam through flow’ry valleys,
    • Rule the butterfly-people,
    • And soft-nourishing dew
    • With bee-like lips
    • Drink from the blossom:
    • Or else she may
    • With fluttering hair
    • And gloomy looks
    • Sigh in the wind
    • Round rocky cliffs,
    • And thousand-hued,
    • Like morn and even,
    • Ever changing,
    • Like moonbeam’s light,
    • To mortals appear.
    • Let us all, then,
    • Adore the Father!
    • The old, the mighty,
    • Who such a beauteous
    • Ne’er-fading spouse
    • Deigns to accord
    • To perishing mortals!
    • To us alone
    • Doth he unite her
    • With heavenly bonds,
    • While he commands her,
    • In joy and sorrow,
    • As a true spouse
    • Never to fly us.
    • All the remaining
    • Races so poor
    • Of life-teeming earth,
    • In children so rich,
    • Wander and feed
    • In vacant enjoyment,
    • And ’mid the dark sorrows
    • Of evanescent
    • Restricted life,—
    • Bow’d by the heavy
    • Yoke of Necessity.
    • But unto us he
    • Hath his most versatile,
    • Most cherish’d daughter
    • Granted,—what joy!
    • Lovingly greet her
    • As a belov’d one!
    • Give her the woman’s
    • Place in our home!
    • And oh, may the aged
    • Stepmother Wisdom
    • Her gentle spirit
    • Ne’er seek to harm!
    • Yet know I her sister,
    • The older, sedater,
    • Mine own silent friend;
    • Oh, may she never,
    • Till life’s lamp is quench’d,
    • Turn away from me,—
    • That noble inciter,
    • Comforter,—Hope!
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lf0841-01_figure_074.jpg

artist: e. unger.

SPIRIT SONG OVER THE WATERS.

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WINTER JOURNEY OVER THE HARTZ MOUNTAINS.

lf0841-01_figure_075.jpg
    • LIKE the vulture
    • Who on heavy morning clouds
    • With gentle wing reposing
    • Looks for his prey,—
    • Hover, my song!
    • For a God hath
    • Unto each prescrib’d
    • His destin’d path,
    • Which the happy one
    • Runs o’er swiftly
    • To his glad goal:
    • He whose heart cruel
    • Fate hath contracted,
    • Struggles but vainly
    • Against all the barriers
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    • The brazen thread raises,
    • But which the harsh shears
    • Must one day sever.
    • Through gloomy thickets
    • Presseth the wild deer on,
    • And with the sparrows
    • Long have the wealthy
    • Settled themselves in the marsh.
    • Easy ’tis following the chariot
    • That by Fortune is driven,
    • Like the baggage that moves
    • Over well-mended highways
    • After the train of a prince.
    • But who stands there apart?
    • In the thicket, lost is his path;
    • Behind him the bushes
    • Are closing together,
    • The grass springs up again,
    • The desert engulfs him.
    • Ah, who’ll heal his afflictions
    • To whom balsam was poison,
    • Who, from love’s fulness,
    • Drank in misanthropy only?
    • First despis’d, and now a despiser,
    • He, in secret, wasteth
    • All that he is worth
    • In a selfishness vain.
    • If there be, on thy psaltery,
    • Father of Love, but one tone
    • That to his ear may be pleasing,
    • Oh, then, quicken his heart!
    • Clear his cloud-envelop’d eyes
    • Over the thousand fountains
    • Close by the thirsty one
    • In the desert.
    • Thou who createst much joy,
    • For each a measure o’erflowing,
    • Bless the sons of the chase
    • When on the track of the prey,
    • With a wild thirsting for blood,
    • Youthful and joyous,
    • Avenging late the injustice
    • Which the peasant resisted
    • Vainly for years with his staff.
    • But the lonely one veil
    • Within thy gold clouds!
    • Surround with wintergreen
    • Until the roses bloom again
    • The humid locks,
    • Oh, Love, of thy minstrel!
    • With thy glimmering torch
    • Lightest thou him
    • Through the fords when ’tis night,
    • Over bottomless places,
    • On desert-like plains;
    • With the thousand colors of morning
    • Gladd’nest his bosom;
    • With the fierce-biting storm
    • Bearest him proudly on high;
    • Winter torrents rush from the cliffs,—
    • Blend with his psalms;
    • An altar of grateful delight
    • He finds in the much-dreaded mountain’s
    • Snow-begirded summit,
    • Which foreboding nations
    • Crown’d with spirit-dances.
    • Thou stand’st with breast inscrutable,
    • Mysteriously disclos’d,
    • High o’er the wondering world,
    • And look’st from clouds
    • Upon its realms and its majesty,
    • Which thou from the veins of thy brethren
    • Near thee dost water.

TO FATHER KRONOS.

    • HASTEN thee, Kronos!
    • On with clattering trot!
    • Downhill goeth thy path;
    • Loathsome dizziness ever,
    • When thou delayest, assails me.
    • Quick, rattle along,
    • Over stock and stone let thy trot
    • Into life straightway lead!
    • Now once more
    • Up the toilsome ascent
    • Hasten, panting for breath!
    • Up, then, nor idle be.—
    • Striving and hoping, up, up!
    • Wide, high, glorious the view
    • Gazing round upon life,
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    • While from mount unto mount
    • Hovers the spirit eterne,
    • Life eternal foreboding.
    • Sideways a roof’s pleasant shade
    • Attracts thee,
    • And a look that promises coolness
    • On the maidenly threshold.
    • There refresh thee! And, maiden,
    • Give me this foaming draught also,
    • Give me this health-laden look!
    • Down, now! quicker still, down!
    • See where the sun sets!
    • Ere he sets, ere old age
    • Seizeth me in the morass,
    • Ere my toothless jaws mumble,
    • And my useless limbs totter;
    • While drunk with his farewell beam
    • Hurl me,—a fiery sea
    • Foaming still in mine eye,—
    • Hurl me, while dazzled and reeling,
    • Down to the gloomy portal of hell.
    • Blow, then, gossip, thy horn!
    • Speed on with echoing trot,
    • So that Orcus may know we are coming;
    • So that our host may with joy
    • Wait at the door to receive us.

THE WANDERER’S STORM-SONG.

    • HE whom thou ne’er leavest, Genius,
    • Feels no dread within his heart
    • At the tempest or the rain.
    • He whom thou ne’er leavest, Genius,
    • Will to the rain-clouds,
    • Will to the hail-storm,
    • Sing in reply
    • As the lark sings,
    • Oh, thou on high!
    • Him whom thou ne’er leavest, Genius,
    • Thou wilt raise above the mud-track
    • With thy fiery pinions.
    • He will wander
    • As, with flowery feet,
    • Over Deucalion’s dark flood,
    • Python-slaying, light, glorious,
    • Pythius Apollo.
    • Him whom thou ne’er leavest, Genius,
    • Thou wilt place upon thy fleecy pinion
    • When he sleepeth on the rock,—
    • Thou wilt shelter with thy guardian wing
    • In the forest’s midnight hour.
    • Him whom thou ne’er leavest, Genius,
    • Thou wilt wrap up warmly
    • In the snow-drift;
    • Tow’rd the warmth approach the Muses,
    • Tow’rd the warmth approach the Graces.
    • Ye Muses, hover round me!
    • Ye Graces also!
    • That is water, that is earth,
    • And the son of water and of earth
    • Over which I wander
    • Like the gods.
    • Ye are pure, like the heart of the water;
    • Ye are pure, like the marrow of earth,
    • Hov’ring round me, while I hover
    • Over water, o’er the earth
    • Like the gods.
    • Shall he then return,
    • The small, the dark, the fiery peasant?
    • Shall he then return, awaiting
    • Only thy gifts, O Father Bromius,
    • And brightly gleaming, warmth-spreading fire?
    • Return with joy?
    • And I. whom ye attended,
    • Ye Muses and ye Graces,
    • Whom all awaits that ye,
    • Ye Muses and ye Graces,
    • Of circling bliss in life
    • Have glorified—shall I
    • Return dejected?
    • Father Bromius!
    • Thou’rt the Genius,
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    • Genius of ages,
    • Thou’rt what inward glow
    • To Pindar was,
    • What to the world
    • Phœbus Apollo.
    • Woe! woe! Inward warmth,
    • Spirit-warmth,
    • Central point!
    • Glow, and vie with
    • Phœbus Apollo!
    • Coldly soon
    • His regal look
    • Over thee will swiftly glide,—
    • Envy-struck
    • Linger o’er the cedar’s strength,
    • Which to flourish
    • Waits him not.
    • Why doth my lay name thee the last?
    • Thee, from whom it began,
    • Thee, in whom it endeth,
    • Thee, from whom it flows,
    • Jupiter Pluvius!
    • Tow’rd thee streams my song,
    • And a Castalian spring
    • Runs as a fellow-brook,
    • Runs to the idle ones,
    • Mortal, happy ones,
    • Apart from thee,
    • Who cov’rest me around,
    • Jupiter Pluvius!
    • Not by the elm tree
    • Him didst thou visit,
    • With the pair of doves
    • Held in his gentle arm,—
    • With the beauteous garland of roses,—
    • Caressing him, so bless’d in his flowers,
    • Anacreon,
    • Storm-breathing godhead!
    • Not in the poplar grove
    • Near the Sybaris’ strand,
    • Not on the mountain’s
    • Sun-illumined brow
    • Didst thou seize him,
    • The flower-singing,
    • Honey-breathing,
    • Sweetly nodding
    • Theocritus.
    • When the wheels were rattling,
    • Wheel on wheel tow’rd the goal,
    • High arose
    • The sound of the lash
    • Of youths with victory glowing,
    • In the dust rolling,
    • As from the mountain fall
    • Showers of stones in the vale—
    • Then thy soul was brightly glowing, Pindar—
    • Glowing? Poor heart!
    • There, on the hill,—
    • Heavenly might!
    • But enough glow
    • Thither to wend
    • Where is my cot!

THE SEA-VOYAGE.

    • MANY a day and night my bark stood ready laden;
    • Waiting fav’ring winds, I sat with true friends round me
    • Pledging me to patience and to courage
    • In the haven.
    • And they spoke thus with impatience twofold:
    • “Gladly pray we for thy rapid passage,
    • Gladly for thy happy voyage; fortune
    • In the distant world is waiting for thee,
    • In our arms thou’lt find thy prize, and love too,
    • When returning.”
    • And when morning came arose an uproar,
    • And the sailors’ joyous shouts awoke us;
    • All was stirring, all was living, moving,
    • Bent on sailing with the first kind zephyr.
    • And the sails soon in the breeze are swelling,
    • And the sun with fiery love invites us;
    • Fill’d the sails are, clouds on high are floating,
    • On the shore each friend exulting raises
    • Songs of hope, in giddy joy expecting
    • Joy the voyage through as on the morn of sailing
    • And the earliest starry nights so radiant.
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    • But by God-sent changing winds ere long he’s driven
    • Sideways from the course he had intended,
    • And he feigns as though he would surrender
    • While he gently striveth to outwit them.
    • To his goal, e’en when thus press’d, still faithful.
    • But from out the damp gray distance rising
    • Softly now the storm proclaims its advent,
    • Presseth down each bird upon the waters,
    • Presseth down the throbbing hearts of mortals.
    • And it cometh. At its stubborn fury
    • Wisely ev’ry sail the seaman striketh;
    • With the anguish-laden ball are sporting
    • Wind and water.
    • And on yonder shore are gather’d, standing,
    • Friends and lovers, trembling for the bold one:
    • “Why, alas, remain’d he here not with us!
    • Ah, the tempest! Cast away by fortune!
    • Must the good one perish in this fashion?
    • Might not he perchance . . . Ye great immortals!”
    • Yet he, like a man, stands by his rudder;
    • With the bark are sporting wind and water,
    • Wind and water sport not with his bosom:
    • On the fierce deep looks he as a master,—
    • In his gods, or shipwreck’d or safe landed,
    • Trusting ever.
lf0841-01_figure_076.jpg

artist: f. c. welsch.

THE WANDERER’S STORM-SONG.

PROMETHEUS.

    • COVER thy spacious heavens, Zeus,
    • With clouds of mist,
    • And, like the boy who lops
    • The thistles’ heads,
    • Disport with oaks and mountain-peaks;
    • Yet thou must leave
    • My earth still standing;
    • My cottage too, which was not rais’d by thee;
    • Leave me my hearth,
    • Whose kindly glow
    • By thee is envied.
    • I know naught poorer
    • Under the sun than ye gods!
    • Ye nourish painfully,
    • With sacrifices
    • And votive prayers,
    • Your majesty;
    • Ye would e’en starve
    • If children and beggars
    • Were not trusting fools.
    • While yet a child
    • And ignorant of life
    • I turn’d my wandering gaze
    • Up tow’rd the sun, as if with him
    • There were an ear to hear my wailings,
    • A heart like mine
    • To feel compassion for distress.
    • Who help’d me
    • Against the Titans’ insolence?
    • Who rescued me from certain death,
    • From slavery?
    • Didst thou not do all this thyself,
    • My sacred glowing heart?
    • And glowedst, young and good,
    • Deceiv’d with grateful thanks,
    • To yonder slumbering one?
    • I honor thee! and why?
    • Hast thou e’er lighten’d the sorrows
    • Of the heavy-laden?
    • Hast thou e’er dried up the tears
    • Of the anguish-stricken?
    • Was I not fashion’d to be a man
    • By omnipotent Time
    • And by eternal Fate,
    • Masters of me and thee?
    • Didst thou e’er fancy
    • That life I should learn to hate
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    • And fly to deserts,
    • Because not all
    • My blossoming dreams grew ripe?
    • Here sit I, forming mortals
    • After my image;
    • A race resembling me,
    • To suffer, to weep,
    • To enjoy, to be glad,
    • And thee to scorn
    • As I!
lf0841-01_figure_077.jpg
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THE EAGLE AND DOVE.

    • IN search of prey once rais’d his pinions An eaglet;
    • A huntsman’s arrow came and reft
    • His right wing of all motive power.
    • Headlong he fell into a myrtle grove,
    • For three long days on anguish fed,
    • In torment writh’d
    • Throughout three long, three weary nights;
    • And then was cured,
    • Thanks to all-healing Nature’s
    • Soft, omnipresent balm.
    • He crept away from out the copse
    • And stretch’d his wing—alas!
    • Lost is all power of flight—
    • He scarce can lift himself
    • From off the ground
    • To catch some mean, unworthy prey,
    • And rests, deep-sorrowing,
    • On the low rock beside the stream.
    • Up to the oak he looks,
    • Looks up to heaven,
    • While in his noble eye there gleams a tear.
    • Then, rustling through the myrtle boughs, behold,
    • There comes a wanton pair of doves
    • Who settle down, and, nodding, strut
    • O’er the gold sands beside the stream,
    • And gradually approach;
    • Their red-tinged eyes so full of love
    • Soon see the inward-sorrowing one.
    • The male, inquisitively social, leaps
    • On the next bush, and looks
    • Upon him kindly and complacently.
    • “Thou sorrowest,” murmurs he:
    • “Be of good cheer, my friend!
    • All that is needed for calm happiness
    • Hast thou not here?
    • Hast thou not pleasure in the golden bough
    • That shields thee from the day’s fierce glow?
    • Canst thou not raise thy breast to catch
    • On the soft moss beside the brook
    • The sun’s last rays at even?
    • Here thou may’st wander through the flowers’ fresh dew,
    • Pluck from the overflow
    • The forest-trees provide
    • The choicest food,—may’st quench
    • Thy light thirst at the silvery spring.
    • O friend, true happiness
    • Lies in contentedness,
    • And that contentedness
    • Finds everywhere enough.”
    • “O wise one!” said the eagle, while he sank
    • In deep and ever-deep’ning thought—
    • “O Wisdom! like a dove thou speakest!”

GANYMEDE.

  • HOW in the light of morning
  • Round me thou glowest,
  • Spring, thou beloved one!
  • With thousand-varying loving bliss
  • The sacred emotions
  • Born of thy warmth eternal
  • Press ’gainst my bosom,
  • Thou endlessly fair one!
  • Could I but hold thee clasp’d
  • Within mine arms!
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  • Ah! upon thy bosom
  • Lay I pining,
  • And then thy flowers, thy grass,
  • Were pressing against my heart.
  • Thou coolest the burning
  • Thirst of my bosom,
  • Beauteous morning breeze!
  • The nightingale then calls me
  • Sweetly from out of the misty vale.
  • I come, I come!
  • Whither? Ah, whither?
  • Up, up, lies my course.
  • While downward the clouds
  • Are hovering, the clouds
  • Are bending to meet yearning love.
  • For me
  • Within thine arms
  • Upwards!
  • Embrac’d and embracing!
  • Upwards into thy bosom,
  • O Father all-loving!

THE BOUNDARIES OF HUMANITY.

    • WHEN the primeval
    • All-holy Father
    • Sows with a tranquil hand
    • From clouds, as they roll,
    • Bliss-spreading lightnings
    • Over the earth,
    • Then do I kiss the last
    • Hem of his garment,
    • While by a childlike awe
    • Fill’d is my breast.
    • For with immortals
    • Ne’er may a mortal
    • Measure himself.
    • If he soar upwards
    • And if he touch
    • With his forehead the stars,
    • Nowhere will rest then
    • His insecure feet,
    • And with him sport
    • Tempest and cloud.
    • Though with firm sinewy
    • Limbs he may stand
    • On the enduring
    • Well-grounded earth,
    • All he is ever
    • Able to do
    • Is to resemble
    • The oak or the vine.
    • Wherein do gods
    • Differ from mortals?
    • In that the former
    • See endless billows
    • Heaving before them;
    • Us doth the billow
    • Lift up and swallow,
    • So that we perish.
    • Small is the ring
    • Enclosing our life,
    • And whole generations
    • Link themselves firmly
    • On to existence’s
    • Chain never-ending.
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lf0841-01_figure_078.jpg

Fr. Pecht del.

published by george barrie

[Editor: illegible word]

[Editor: illegible word]

Edition: current; Page: [137]

THE GODLIKE.

    • NOBLE be man,
    • Helpful and good!
    • For that alone
    • Distinguisheth him
    • From all the beings
    • Unto us known.
    • Hail to the beings,
    • Unknown and glorious,
    • Whom we forebode!
    • From his example
    • Learn we to know them!
    • For unfeeling
    • Nature is ever:
    • On bad and on good
    • The sun alike shineth;
    • And on the wicked
    • As on the best
    • The moon and stars gleam.
    • Tempest and torrent,
    • Thunder and hail,
    • Roar on their path,
    • Seizing the while,
    • As they haste onward,
    • One after another.
    • Even so fortune
    • Gropes ’mid the throng—
    • Innocent boyhood’s
    • Curly head seizing.—
    • Seizing the hoary
    • Head of the sinner.
    • After laws mighty,
    • Brazen, eternal,
    • Must all we mortals
    • Finish the circuit
    • Of our existence.
    • Man and man only
    • Can do the impossible;
    • He ’tis distinguisheth,
    • Chooseth and judgeth;
    • He to the moment
    • Endurance can lend.
    • He and he only
    • The good can reward,
    • The bad can he punish,
    • Can heal and can save;
    • All that wanders and strays
    • Can usefully blend.
    • And we pay homage
    • To the immortals
    • As though they were men,
    • And did in the great,
    • What the best, in the small,
    • Does or might do.
    • Be the man that is noble,
    • Both helpful and good,
    • Unweariedly forming
    • The right and the useful,
    • A type of those beings
    • Our mind hath foreshadow’d

ROYAL PRAYER.

  • HA, I am the lord of earth! The noble,
  • Who ’re in my service, love me.
  • Ha, I am the lord of earth! The noble,
  • O’er whom my sway extendeth, love I.
  • Oh, grant me, God in heaven, that I may ne’er
  • Dispense with loftiness and love!

HUMAN FEELINGS.

  • AH, ye gods! ye great immortals
  • In the spacious heavens above us!
  • Would ye on this earth but give us
  • Steadfast minds and dauntless courage
  • We, O kindly ones, would leave you
  • All your spacious heavens above us!
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LILY’S MENAGERIE.

    • THERE’S no menagerie, I vow,
    • Excels my Lily’s at this minute;
    • She keeps the strangest creatures in it,
    • And catches them, she knows not how.
    • Oh, how they hop, and run, and rave,
    • And their clipp’d pinions wildly wave,—
    • Poor princes, who must all endure
    • The pangs of love that naught can cure.
    • What is the fairy’s name?—Is’t Lily?—Ask not me!
    • Give thanks to Heaven if she’s unknown to thee.
    • Oh, what a cackling, what a shrieking,
    • When near the door she takes her stand
    • With her food-basket in her hand!
    • Oh, what a croaking, what a squeaking!
    • Alive all the trees and the bushes appear,
    • While to her feet whole troops draw near;
    • The very fish within the water clear
    • Splash with impatience and their heads protrude;
    • And then she throws around the food
    • With such a look!—the very gods delighting
    • (To say naught of beasts). There begins then a biting,
    • A picking, a pecking, a sipping,
    • And each o’er the legs of another is tripping,
    • And pushing, and pressing, and flapping,
    • And chasing, and fuming, and snapping,
    • And all for one small piece of bread,
    • To which, though dry, her fair hands give a taste,
    • As though it in ambrosia had been plac’d.
    • And then her look! the tone
    • With which she calls: Pipi! Pipi!
    • Would draw Jove’s eagle from his throne;
    • Yes, Venus’ turtle-doves, I ween,
    • And the vain peacock e’en,
    • Would come, I swear,
    • Soon as that tone had reach’d them through the air.
    • E’en from a forest dark had she
    • Entic’d a bear, unlick’d, ill-bred,
    • And by her wiles alluring led
    • To join the gentle company,
    • Until as tame as they was he:
    • (Up to a certain point, be’t understood!)
    • How fair, and, ah, how good
    • She seem’d to be! I would have drain’d my blood
    • To water e’en her flow’rets sweet.
    • Thou sayest: “I! Who? How? And where?”—
    • Well, to be plain, good Sirs—I am the bear;
    • In a net-apron caught, alas!
    • Chain’d by a silk-thread at her feet.
    • But how this wonder came to pass
    • I’ll tell some day, if ye are curious;
    • Just now, my temper’s much too furious.
    • Ah, when I’m in the corner plac’d,
    • And hear afar the creatures snapping,
    • And see the flipping and the flapping,
    • I turn around
    • With growling sound,
    • And backward run a step in haste,
    • And look around
    • With growling sound,
    • Then run again a step in haste,
    • And to my former post go round.
    • But suddenly my anger grows,
    • A mighty spirit fills my nose,
    • My inward feelings all revolt.
    • A creature such as thou! a dolt!
    • Pipi, a squirrel able nuts to crack!
    • I bristle up my shaggy back,
    • Unused a slave to be.
    • I’m laugh’d at by each trim and upstart tree
    • To scorn. The bowling-green I fly,
    • With neatly-mown and well-kept grass;
    • The box makes faces as I pass,—
    • Into the darkest thicket hasten I,
    • Hoping to ’scape from the ring,
    • Over the palings to spring!
    • Vainly I leap and climb;
    • I feel a leaden spell
    • That pinions me as well;
    • And when I’m fully wearied out in time
    • I lay me down beside some mock cascade,
    • And roll myself half dead, and foam, and cry,
    • And, ah! no Oreads hear my sigh
    • Excepting those of china made!
    • But, ah, with sudden power
    • In all my members blissful feelings reign!
    • ’Tis she who singeth yonder in her bower!
    • I hear that darling, darling voice again.
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    • The air is warm, and teems with fragrance clear,
    • Sings she perchance for me alone to hear?
    • I haste, and trample down the shrubs amain;
    • The trees make way, the bushes all retreat,
    • And so—the beast is lying at her feet.
    • She looks at him: “The monster’s droll enough!
    • He’s for a bear too mild,
    • Yet for a dog too wild,
    • So shaggy, clumsy, rough!”
    • Upon his back she gently strokes her foot;
    • He thinks himself in Paradise.
    • What feelings through his seven senses shoot!
    • But she looks on with careless eyes.
    • I lick her soles, and kiss her shoes,
    • As gently as a bear well may;
    • Softly I rise, and with a clever ruse
    • Leap on her knee.—On a propitious day
    • She suffers it; my ears then tickles she,
    • And hits me a hard blow in wanton play;
    • I growl with new-born ecstasy;
    • Then speaks she in a sweet vain jest, I wot:
    • Allons tout doux! eh! la menotte!
    • Et faites serviteur
    • Comme un joli seigneur.
    • Thus she proceeds with sport and glee;
    • Hope fills the oft-deluded beast;
    • Yet if one moment he would lazy be
    • Her fondness all at once hath ceas’d.
    • She doth a flask of balsam-fire possess
    • Sweeter than honey-bees can make,
    • One drop of which she’ll on her finger take,
    • When soften’d by his love and faithfulness,
    • Wherewith her monster’s raging thirst to slake;
    • Then leaves me to myself, and flies at last,
    • And I, unbound, yet prison’d fast
    • By magic, follow in her train,
    • Seek for her, tremble, fly again.
    • The hapless creature thus tormenteth she,
    • Regardless of his pleasure or his woe;
    • Ha! oft half-open’d does she leave the door for me,
    • And sideways looks to learn if I will fly or no.
    • And I—O gods! your hands alone
    • Can end the spell that’s o’er me thrown;
    • Free me, and gratitude my heart will fill;
    • And yet from heaven ye send me down no aid—
    • Not quite in vain doth life my limbs pervade:
    • I feel it! Strength is left me still.
lf0841-01_figure_080.jpg

artist: e wagner.

LILI’S MENAGERIE.

lf0841-01_figure_079.jpg
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LOVE’S DISTRESSES.

  • WHO will hear me? Whom shall I lament to?
  • Who would pity me that heard my sorrows?
  • Ah, the lip that erst so many raptures
  • Used to taste, and used to give responsive,
  • Now is cloven, and it pains me sorely;
  • And it is not thus severely wounded
  • By my mistress having caught me fiercely,
  • And then gently bitten me, intending
  • To secure her friend more firmly to her:
  • No, my tender lip is crack’d thus only
  • By the winds, o’er rime and frost proceeding,
  • Pointed, sharp, unloving, having met me.
  • Now the noble grape’s bright juice commingled
  • With the bee’s sweet juice, upon the fire
  • Of my hearth, shall ease me of my torment.
  • Ah, what use will all this be if with it
  • Love adds not a drop of his own balsam?

TO HIS COY ONE.

  • SEEST thou yon smiling Orange?
  • Upon the tree still hangs it;
  • Already March hath vanish’d,
  • And new-born flow’rs are shooting.
  • I draw nigh to the tree then,
  • And there I say: O Orange,
  • Thou ripe and juicy Orange,
  • Thou sweet and luscious Orange—
  • I shake the tree, I shake it—
  • Oh, fall into my lap!

PETITION.

  • OH, thou sweet maiden fair,
  • Thou with the raven hair,
  • Why to the window go?
  • While gazing down below,
  • Art standing vainly there?
  • Oh, if thou stood’st for me,
  • And lett’st the latch but fly,
  • How happy should I be!
  • How soon would I leap high!

THE MUSAGETES.

    • IN the deepest nights of winter
    • To the Muses kind oft cried I:
    • “Not a ray of morn is gleaming,
    • Not a sign of daylight breaking;
    • Bring then, at the fitting moment,
    • Bring the lamp’s soft glimm’ring lustre
    • ’Stead of Phœbus and Aurora,
    • To enliven my still labors!”
    • Yet they left me in my slumbers,
    • Dull and unrefreshing, lying,
    • And to each late-waken’d morning
    • Follow’d days devoid of profit.
    • When at length return’d the springtime
    • To the nightingales thus spake I:
    • “Darling nightingales, oh, beat ye
    • Early, early at my window,—
    • Wake me from the heavy slumber
    • That chains down the youth so strongly!”
    • Yet the love-o’erflowing songsters
    • Their sweet melodies protracted
    • Through the night before my window,
    • Kept awake my loving spirit,
    • Rousing new and tender yearnings
    • In my newly-waken’d bosom.
    • And the night thus fleeted o’er me,
    • And Aurora found me sleeping,—
    • Ay, the sun could scarce arouse me.
    • Now at length is come the summer,
    • And the early fly so busy
    • Draws me from my pleasing slumbers
    • At the first-born morning-glimmer.
    • Mercilessly then returns she,
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    • Though the half-aroused one often
    • Scares her from him with impatience,
    • And she lures her shameless sisters,
    • So that from my weary eyelids
    • Kindly sleep ere long is driven.
    • From my couch then boldly spring I,
    • And I seek the darling Muses,
    • In the beechen-grove I find them
    • Full of pleasure to receive me;
    • And to the tormenting insects
    • Owe I many a golden hour.
    • Thus be ye, unwelcome beings,
    • Highly valued by the poet
    • As the flies my numbers tell of.

MORNING LAMENT.

    • O THOU cruel deadly-lovely maiden,
    • Tell me what great sin have I committed
    • That thou keep’st me to the rack thus fasten’d,
    • That thou hast thy solemn promise broken?
    • ’Twas but yestere’en that thou with fondness
    • Press’d my hand, and these sweet accents murmur’d:
    • “Yes, I’ll come, I’ll come when morn approacheth,
    • Come, my friend, full surely to thy chamber.”
    • On the latch I left my doors, unfasten’d,
    • Having first with care tried all the hinges,
    • And rejoic’d right well to find they creak’d not.
    • What a night of expectation pass’d I!
    • For I watch’d, and ev’ry chime I number’d;
    • If perchance I slept a few short moments
    • Still my heart remain’d awake forever,
    • And awoke me from my gentle slumbers.
    • Yes, then bless’d I night’s o’erhanging darkness
    • That so calmly cover’d all things round me;
    • I enjoy’d the universal silence,
    • While I listen’d ever in the silence
    • If perchance the slightest sounds were stirring.
    • “Had she only thoughts my thoughts resembling,
    • Had she only feelings like my feelings,
    • She would not await the dawn of morning,
    • But ere this would surely have been with me.”
    • Skipp’d a kitten on the floor above me,
    • Scratch’d a mouse a panel in the corner,
    • Was there in the house the slightest motion,
    • Ever hoped I that I heard thy footstep,
    • Ever thought I that I heard thee coming.
    • And so lay I long, and ever longer,
    • And already was the daylight dawning,
    • And both here and there were signs of movement.
    • “Is it yon door? Were it my door only!”
    • In my bed I lean’d upon my elbow,
    • Looking tow’rd the door, now half-apparent,
    • If perchance it might not be in motion.
    • Both the wings upon the latch continued,
    • On the quiet hinges calmly hanging.
    • And the day grew bright and brighter ever;
    • And I heard my neighbor’s door unbolted
    • As he went to earn his daily wages;
    • And ere long I heard the wagons rumbling,
    • And the city gates were also open’d,
    • While the market-place in ev’ry corner
    • Teem’d with life and bustle and confusion.
    • In the house was going now and coming
    • Up and down the stairs, and doors were creaking
    • Backwards now, now forwards, — footsteps clatter’d;
    • Yet, as though it were a thing all-living,
    • From my cherish’d hope I could not tear me.
    • When at length the sun, in hated splendor,
    • Fell upon my walls, upon my windows,
    • Up I sprang, and hasten’d to the garden,
    • There to blend my breath, so hot and yearning,
    • With the cool refreshing morning breezes,
    • And, it might be, even there to meet thee:
    • But I cannot find thee in the arbor,
    • Or the avenue of lofty lindens.
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THE VISIT.

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    • FAIN had I to-day surpris’d my mistress,
    • But soon found I that her door was fasten’d.
    • Yet I had the key safe in my pocket,
    • And the darling door I open’d softly!
    • In the parlor found I not the maiden,
    • Found the maiden not within her closet,
    • Then her chamber-door I gently open’d,
    • When I found her wrapp’d in pleasing slumbers,
    • Fully dress’d, and lying on the sofa.
    • While at work had slumber stolen o’er her;
    • For her knitting and her needle found I
    • Resting in her folded hands so tender;
    • And I placed myself beside her softly,
    • And held counsel whether I should wake her.
    • Then I look’d upon the beauteous quiet
    • That on her sweet eyelids was reposing;
    • On her lips was silent truth depicted,
    • On her cheeks had loveliness its dwelling,
    • And the pureness of a heart unsullied
    • In her bosom evermore was heaving.
    • All her limbs were gracefully reclining,
    • Set at rest by sweet and godlike balsam.
    • Gladly sat I, and the contemplation
    • Held the strong desire I felt to wake her
    • Firmer and firmer down with mystic fetters.
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    • “O thou love,” methought, “I see that slumber,
    • Slumber that betrayeth each false feature,
    • Cannot injure thee, can naught discover
    • That could serve to harm thy friend’s soft feelings.
    • “Now thy beauteous eyes are firmly closed,
    • That, when open, form mine only rapture.
    • And thy sweet lips are devoid of motion,
    • Motionless for speaking or for kissing;
    • Loosen’d are the soft and magic fetters
    • Of thine arms, so wont to twine around me,
    • And the hand, the ravishing companion
    • Of thy sweet caresses, lies unmoving.
    • “Were my thoughts of thee but based on error,
    • Were the love I bear thee self-deception,
    • I must now have found it out, since Amor
    • Is, without his bandage, placed beside me.”
    • Long I sat thus, full of heartfelt pleasure
    • At my love, and at her matchless merit;
    • She had so delighted me while slumbering
    • That I could not venture to awake her.
    • Then I on the little table near her
    • Softly placed two oranges, two roses;
    • Gently, gently stole I from her chamber.
    • When her eyes the darling one shall open
    • She will straightway spy these color’d presents,
    • And the friendly gift will view with wonder,
    • For the door will still remain unopen’d.
    • If perchance I see to-night the angel,
    • How will she rejoice!—reward me doubly
    • For this sacrifice of fond affection!

THE MAGIC NET.

    • DO I see a contest yonder?
    • See I miracles or pastimes?
    • Beauteous urchins, five in number,
    • ’Gainst five sisters fair contending,—
    • Measur’d is the time they’re beating—
    • At a bright enchantress’ bidding.
    • Glitt’ring spears by some are wielded,
    • Threads are others nimbly twining,
    • So that in their snares the weapons
    • One would think must needs be captured.
    • Soon, in truth, the spears are prison’d;
    • Yet they, in the gentle war-dance,
    • One by one escape their fetters
    • In the row of loops so tender
    • That make haste to seize a free one
    • Soon as they release a captive.
    • So with contests, strivings, triumphs,
    • Flying now, and now returning,
    • Is an artful net soon woven,
    • In its whiteness like the snow-flakes
    • That, from light amid the darkness,
    • Draw their streaky lines so varied
    • As e’en colors scarce can draw them.
    • Who shall now receive that garment
    • Far beyond all others wish’d for?
    • Whom our much-lov’d mistress favor
    • As her own acknowledg’d servant?
    • I am bless’d by kindly Fortune’s
    • Tokens true, in silence pray’d for!
    • And I feel myself held captive,
    • To her service now devoted.
    • Yet, e’en while I, thus enraptured,
    • Thus adorn’d, am proudly wand’ring,
    • See! yon wantons are entwining,
    • Void of strife, with secret ardor,
    • Other nets, each fine and finer,
    • Threads of twilight interweaving,
    • Moonbeams sweet, night-violets’ balsam.
    • Ere the net is noticed by us
    • Is a happier one imprison’d,
    • Whom we, one and all, together
    • Greet with envy and with blessings.
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The Goblet.

    • EAGERLY a well-carv’d brimming goblet
    • In my two hands tightly clasp’d I lifted;
    • Ardently the sweet wine sipp’d I from it,
    • Seeking there to drown all care and sorrow.
    • Amor enter’d in, and found me sitting,
    • And he gently smiled in modest fashion,
    • Smiled as though the foolish one he pitied.
    • “Friend, I know a far more beauteous vessel,
    • One wherein to sink thy spirit wholly;
    • Say, what wilt thou give me, if I grant it,
    • And with other nectar fill it for thee?”
    • Oh, how kindly hath he kept his promise!
    • For to me, who long had yearn’d, he granted
    • Thee, my Lida, fill’d with soft affection.
    • When I clasp mine arms around thee fondly,
    • When I drink in love’s long-hoarded balsam
    • From thy darling lips so true, so faithful,
    • Fill’d with bliss thus speak I to my spirit:—
    • “No! a vessel such as this, save Amor,
    • Never god hath fashion’d or been lord of!
    • Such a form was ne’er produc’d by Vulcan
    • With his cunning, reason-gifted hammers!
    • On the leaf-crown’d mountains may Lyæus
    • Bid his Fauns, the oldest and the wisest,
    • Pass the choicest clusters through the winepress,
    • And himself watch o’er the fermentation:
    • Such a draught no toil can e’er procure him!”

NIGHT THOUGHTS.

  • O UNHAPPY stars! your fate I mourn;
  • Ye by whom the sea-toss’d sailor’s lighted,
  • Who with radiant beams the heavens adorn,
  • But by gods and men are unrequited:
  • For ye love not,—ne’er have learn’d to love!
  • Ceaselessly in endless dance ye move,
  • In the spacious sky your charms displaying.
  • What far travels ye have hasten’d through,
  • Since, within my lov’d one’s arms delaying,
  • I’ve forgotten you and midnight too!

TO LIDA.

  • THE only one whom, Lida, thou canst love,
  • Thou claim’st, and rightly claim’st, for only thee;
  • He too is wholly thine; since doom’d to rove
  • Far from thee, in life’s turmoils naught I see
  • Save a thin veil, through which thy form I view
  • As though in clouds; with kindly smile and true
  • It cheers me, like the stars eterne that gleam
  • Across the northern lights’ far-flick’ring beam.
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FOREVER.

  • THE happiness that man, whilst prison’d here,
  • Is wont with heavenly rapture to compare,—
  • The harmony of Truth, from wavering clear,—
  • Of Friendship that is free from doubting care,—
  • The light which in stray thoughts alone can cheer
  • The wise,—the bard alone in visions fair,—
  • In my best hours I found in her all this,
  • And made mine own, to mine exceeding bliss.

FROM AN ALBUM OF 1604.

  • HOPE provides wings to thought, and love to hope.
  • Rise up to Cynthia, love, when night is clearest,
  • And say, that as on high her figure changeth,
  • So, upon earth, my joy decays and grows.
  • And whisper in her ear with modest softness
  • How doubt oft hung its head, and truth oft wept.
  • And O ye thoughts, distrustfully inclin’d,
  • If ye are therefore by the lov’d one chided,
  • Answer: ’tis true ye change, but alter not,
  • As she remains the same, yet changeth ever.
  • Doubt may invade the heart, but poisons not,
  • For love is sweeter, by suspicion flavor’d.
  • If it with anger overcasts the eye,
  • And heaven’s bright purity perversely blackens,
  • Then zephyr-sighs straight scare the clouds away,
  • And chang’d to tears dissolve them into rain.
  • Thought, hope, and love remain there as before,
  • Till Cynthia gleams upon me as of old.

TO THE RISING FULL MOON.

    • WILT thou suddenly enshroud thee,
    • Who this moment wert so nigh?
    • Heavy rising masses cloud thee,
    • Thou art hidden from mine eye.
    • Yet my sadness thou well knowest,
    • Gleaming sweetly as a star!
    • That I’m lov’d, ’tis thou that showest,
    • Though my lov’d one may be far.
    • Upward mount then! clearer, milder,
    • Rob’d in splendor far more bright!
    • Though my heart with grief throbs wilder,
    • Fraught with rapture is the night!
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BETROTHED.

    • I SLEPT,—’twas midnight,—in my bosom woke,
    • As though ’twere day, my love-o’erflowing heart;
    • To me it seem’d like night when day first broke;
    • What is’t to me, whate’er it may impart?
    • She was away; the world’s unceasing strife
    • For her alone I suffer’d through the heat
    • Of sultry day. Oh, what refreshing life
    • At cooling eve!—my guerdon was complete.
    • The sun now set, and wand’ring hand in hand
    • His last and blissful look we greeted then;
    • While spake our eyes, as they each other scann’d:
    • “From the far east, let’s trust, he’ll come again!”
    • At midnight!—the bright stars in vision bless’d
    • Guide to the threshold where she slumbers calm:
    • Oh, be it mine, there too at length to rest,—
    • Yet howsoe’er this prove, life’s full of charm!

AT MIDNIGHT HOUR.

    • AT midnight hour I went, not willingly,
    • A little, little boy, yon churchyard past,
    • To Father Vicar’s house; the stars on high
    • On all around their beauteous radiance cast,
    • At midnight hour.
    • And when, in journeying o’er the path of life,
    • My love I follow’d, as she onward mov’d,
    • With stars and northern lights o’er head in strife,
    • Going and coming, perfect bliss I prov’d
    • At midnight hour.
    • Until at length the full moon, lustre-fraught,
    • Burst through the gloom wherein she was enshrin’d;
    • And then the willing, active, rapid thought
    • Around the past, as round the future twin’d,
    • At midnight hour.

LINES ON SEEING SCHILLER’S SKULL.

  • WITHIN a gloomy charnel-house one day
  • I view’d the countless skulls, so strangely mated,
  • And of old times I thought, that now were gray.
  • Close pack’d they stand that once so fiercely hated,
  • And hardy bones that to the death contended
  • Are lying cross’d,—to lie forever, fated.
  • What held those crooked shoulder-blades suspended?
  • No one now asks; and limbs with vigor fired,
  • The hand, the foot—their use in life is ended.
  • Vainly ye sought the tomb for rest when tired;
  • Peace in the grave may not be yours; ye’re driven
  • Back into daylight by a force inspir’d;
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  • But none can love the wither’d husk, though even
  • A glorious noble kernel it contained.
  • To me, an adept, was the writing given
  • Which not to all its holy sense explained,
  • When ’mid the crowd, their icy shadows flinging,
  • I saw a form, that glorious still remained,
  • And even there, where mould and damp were clinging,
  • Gave me a bless’d, a rapture-fraught emotion,
  • As though from death a living fount were springing.
  • What mystic joy I felt! What rapt devotion!
  • That form, how pregnant with a godlike trace!
  • A look, how did it whirl me tow’rd that ocean
  • Whose rolling billows mightier shapes embrace!
  • Mysterious vessel! Oracle how dear!
  • Even to grasp thee is my hand too base,
  • Except to steal thee from thy prison here
  • With pious purpose, and devoutly go
  • Back to the air, free thoughts, and sunlight clear.
  • What greater gain in life can man e’er know
  • Than when God-Nature will to him explain
  • How into Spirit steadfastness may flow,
  • How steadfast, too, the Spirit-Born remain.

Trilogy of Passion.

TO WERTHER.

    • ONCE more, then, much-wept shadow, thou dost dare
    • Boldly to face the day’s clear light,
    • To meet me on fresh blooming meadows fair,
    • And dost not tremble at my sight.
    • Those happy times appear return’d once more.
    • When on one field we quaff’d refreshing dew,
    • And, when the day’s unwelcome toils were o’er,
    • The farewell sunbeams bless’d our ravish’d view;
    • Fate bade thee go—to linger here was mine—
    • Going the first, the smaller loss was thine.
    • The life of man appears a glorious fate:
    • The day how lovely, and the night how great!
    • And we, ’mid paradise-like raptures plac’d,
    • The sun’s bright glory scarce have learn’d to taste,
    • When strange contending feelings dimly cover,
    • Now us, and now the forms that round us hover;
    • One’s feelings by no other are supplied;
    • ’Tis dark without, if all is bright inside;
    • An outward brightness veils my sadden’d mood,
    • When Fortune smiles,—how seldom understood!
    • Now think we that we know her, and with might
    • A woman’s beauteous form instils delight;
    • The youth, as glad as in his infancy,
    • The spring-time treads, as though the spring were he.
    • Ravish’d, amaz’d, he asks, how this is done?
    • He looks around, the world appears his own.
    • With careless speed he wanders on through space,
    • Nor walls, nor palaces can check his race;
    • As some gay flight of birds round tree-tops plays,
    • So ’tis with him who round his mistress strays;
    • He seeks from Æther, which he’d leave behind him,
    • The faithful look that fondly serves to bind him.
    • Yet first too early warn’d, and then too late,
    • He feels his flight restrain’d, is captur’d straight;
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    • To meet again is sweet, to part is sad,
    • Again to meet again is still more glad,
    • And years in one short moment are enshrin’d;
    • But oh, the harsh farewell is hid behind!
    • Thou smilest, friend, with fitting thoughts inspir’d;
    • By a dread parting was thy fame acquir’d;
    • Thy mournful destiny we sorrow’d o’er;
    • For weal and woe thou left’st us evermore;
    • And then again the passions’ wavering force
    • Drew us along in labyrinthine course;
    • And we, consum’d by constant misery,
    • At length must part—and parting is to die!
    • How moving is it, when the minstrel sings,
    • To ’scape the death that separation brings!
    • Oh, grant, some god, to one who suffers so,
    • To tell, half-guilty, his sad tale of woe!

ELEGY.

  • When man had ceased to utter his lament,
  • A god then let me tell my tale of sorrow.
    • WHAT hope of once more meeting is there now
    • In the still-closed blossoms of this day?
    • Both heaven and hell thrown open seest thou;
    • What wav’ring thoughts within the bosom play!—
    • No longer doubt! Descending from the sky,
    • She lifts thee in her arms to realms on high.
    • And thus thou into paradise wert brought,
    • As worthy of a pure and endless life;
    • Nothing was left, no wish, no hope, no thought,
    • Here was the boundary of thine inmost strife:
    • And seeing one so fair, so glorified,
    • The fount of yearning tears was straightway dried.
    • No motion stirr’d the day’s revolving wheel;
    • In their own front the minutes seem’d to go;
    • The evening kiss, a true and binding seal,
    • Ne’er changing till the morrow’s sunlight glow.
    • The hours resembled sisters as they went,
    • Yet each one from another different.
    • The last hour’s kiss, so sadly sweet, effac’d
    • A beauteous network of entwining love.
    • Now on the threshold pause the feet, now haste,
    • As though a flaming cherub bade them move;
    • The unwilling eye the dark road wanders o’er,
    • Backward it looks, but clos’d it sees the door.
    • And now within itself is clos’d this breast,
    • As though it ne’er were open, and as though,
    • Vying with ev’ry star, no moments bless’d
    • Had, in its presence, felt a kindling glow;
    • Sadness, reproach, repentance, weight of care,
    • Hang heavy on it in the sultry air.
    • Is not the world still left? The rocky steeps.
    • Are they with holy shades no longer crown’d?
    • Grows not the harvest ripe? No longer creeps
    • Th’ espalier by the stream,—the copse around?
    • Doth not the wondrous arch of heaven still rise,
    • Now rich in shape, now shapeless to the eyes?
    • As, seraph-like, from out the dark clouds’ chorus,
    • With softness woven, graceful, light and fair,
    • Resembling Her, in the blue ether o’er us,
    • A slender figure hovers in the air,—
    • Thus didst thou see her joyously advance,
    • The fairest of the fairest in the dance.
    • Yet but a moment dost thou boldly dare
    • To clasp an airy form instead of hers;
    • Back to thine heart! thou’lt find it better there,
    • For there in changeful guise her image stirs;
    • What erst was one, to many turneth fast,
    • In thousand forms, each dearer than the last.
    • As at the door on meeting linger’d she,
    • And step by step my faithful ardor bless’d,
    • For the last kiss herself entreated me,
    • And on my lips the last, last kiss impress’d—
    • Thus clearly trac’d, the lov’d one’s form we view,
    • With flames engraven on a heart so true,—
    • A heart that, firm as some embattled tower,
    • Itself for her, her in itself reveres,
    • For her rejoices in its lasting power,
    • Conscious alone, when she herself appears
    • Feels itself freer in so sweet a thrall,
    • And only beats to give her thanks in all.
    • The power of loving, and all yearning sighs
    • For love responsive were effac’d and drown’d;
    • While longing hope for joyous enterprise
    • Was form’d, and rapid action straightway found;
    • If love can e’er a loving one inspire,
    • Most lovingly it gave me now its fire.
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    • And ’twas through her!—an inward sorrow lay
    • On soul and body, heavily oppress’d;
    • To mournful phantoms was my sight a prey,
    • In the drear void of a sad tortured breast;
    • Now on the well-known threshold Hope hath smil’d,
    • Herself appeareth in the sunlight mild.
    • Unto the peace of God, which, as we read,
    • Blesseth us more than reason e’er hath done,
    • Love’s happy peace would I compare indeed,
    • When in the presence of the dearest one.
    • There rests the heart, and there that sweetest thought,
    • The thought of being hers, is check’d by naught.
    • In the pure bosom doth a yearning float,
    • Unto a holier, purer, unknown Being
    • Its grateful aspirations to devote,
    • The Ever-Nameless then unriddled seeing;
    • We call it piety!—such bless’d delight
    • I feel a share in when before her sight.
    • Before her sight, as ’neath the sun’s hot ray,
    • Before her breath, as ’neath the Spring’s soft wind,
    • In its deep wintry cavern melts away
    • Self-love, so long in icy chains confin’d;
    • No selfishness and no self-will are nigh,
    • For at her advent they were forc’d to fly.
    • It seems as though she said: “As hours pass by
    • They spread before us life with kindly plan;
    • Small knowledge did the yesterday supply,
    • To know the morrow is conceal’d from man;
    • And if the thought of evening made me start,
    • The sun at setting gladden’d straight my heart.
    • “Act, then, as I, and look, with joyous mind,
    • The moment in the face; nor linger thou!
    • Meet it with speed, so fraught with life, so kind
    • In action, and in love so radiant now;
    • Let all things be where thou art, childlike ever,
    • Thus thou’lt be all, thus thou’lt be vanquish’d never.”
    • Thou speakest well, methought, for as thy guide
    • The moment’s favor did a god assign,
    • And each one feels himself, when by thy side,
    • Fate’s fav’rite in a moment so divine;
    • I tremble at thy look that bids me go;
    • Why should I care such wisdom vast to know?
    • Now am I far! And what would best befit
    • The present minute? I could scarcely tell;
    • Full many a rich possession offers it,
    • These but offend, and I would fain repel.
    • Yearnings unquenchable still drive me on;
    • All counsel, save unbounded tears, is gone.
    • Flow on, flow on in never-ceasing course,
    • Yet may ye never quench my inward fire!
    • Within my bosom heaves a mighty force,
    • Where death and life contend in combat dire.
    • Medicines may serve the body’s pangs to still;
    • Naught but the spirit fails in strength of will,—
    • Fails in conception; wherefore fails it so?
    • A thousand times her image it portrays;
    • Enchanting now, and now compell’d to go,
    • Now indistinct, now cloth’d in purest rays!
    • How could the smallest comfort here be flowing?
    • The ebb and flood, the coming and the going!
    • * * * * *
    • Leave me here now, my life’s companions true!
    • Leave me alone on rock, in moor and heath;
    • But courage! open lies the world to you,
    • The glorious heavens above, the earth beneath;
    • Observe, investigate, with searching eyes,
    • And Nature will disclose her mysteries.
    • To me is all, I to myself am lost,
    • Who the immortals’ fav’rite erst was thought;
    • They, tempting, sent Pandoras to my cost,
    • So rich in wealth, with danger far more fraught;
    • They urged me to those lips, with rapture crown’d,
    • Deserted me, and hurl’d me to the ground.
lf0841-01_figure_083.jpg

artist: c. unger.

ELEGY.

ATONEMENT.

    • PASSION brings reason,—who can pacify
    • An anguish’d heart whose loss hath been so great?
    • Where are the hours that fled so swiftly by?
    • In vain the fairest thou didst gain from Fate;
    • Sad is the soul, confus’d the enterprise;
    • The glorious world, how on the sense it dies!
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    • In million tones entwin’d for evermore,
    • Music with angel-pinions hovers there,
    • To pierce man’s being to its inmost core,
    • Eternal beauty as its fruit to bear;
    • The eye grows moist, in yearnings bless’d reveres
    • The godlike worth of music as of tears.
    • And so the lighten’d heart soon learns to see
    • That it still lives, and beats, and ought to beat,
    • Off’ring itself with joy and willingly,
    • In grateful payment for a gift so sweet.
    • And then was felt—oh, may it constant prove!—
    • The twofold bliss of music and of love.

APRIL.

    • TELL me, eyes, what ’tis ye’re seeking;
    • For ye’re saying something sweet,
    • Fit the ravish’d ear to greet,
    • Eloquently, softly speaking.
    • Yet I see now why ye’re roving;
    • For behind those eyes so bright,
    • To itself abandon’d quite,
    • Lies a bosom, truthful, loving,—
    • One that it must fill with pleasure
    • ’Mongst so many, dull and blind,
    • One true look at length to find,
    • That its worth can rightly treasure.
    • Whilst I’m lost in studying ever
    • To explain these cyphers duly,—
    • To unravel my looks truly
    • In return be your endeavor!

MAY.

    • LIGHT and silv’ry cloudlets hover
    • In the air, as yet scarce warm;
    • Mild, with glimmer soft tinged over,
    • Peeps the sun through fragrant balm.
    • Gently rolls and heaves the ocean
    • As its waves the bank o’erflow,
    • And with ever-restless motion
    • Moves the verdure to and fro,
    • Mirror’d brightly far below.
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    • What is now the foliage moving?
    • Air is still, and hush’d the breeze,
    • Sultriness, this fulness loving,
    • Through the thicket, from the trees.
    • Now the eye at once gleams brightly,
    • See! the infant band with mirth
    • Moves and dances nimbly, lightly,
    • As the morning gave it birth,
    • Flutt’ring two and two o’er earth.
lf0841-01_figure_084.jpg

JUNE.

    • SHE behind you mountain lives,
    • Who my love’s sweet guerdon gives.
    • Tell me, mount, how this can be!
    • Very glass thou seem’st to me,
    • And I seem to be close by,
    • For I see her drawing nigh;
    • Now, because I’m absent, sad,
    • Now, because she sees me, glad!
    • Soon between us rise to sight
    • Valleys cool, with bushes light,
    • Streams and meadows; next appear
    • Mills and wheels, the surest token
    • That a level spot is near,
    • Plains far-stretching and unbroken.
    • And so onward, onward roam,
    • To my garden and my home!
    • But how comes it then to pass?
    • All this gives no joy, alas!—
    • I was ravish’d by her sight,
    • By her eyes so fair and bright,
    • By her footstep soft and light.
    • How her peerless charms I prais’d,
    • When from head to foot I gaz’d!
    • I am here, she’s far away,—
    • I am gone with her to stay.
    • If on rugged hills she wander,
    • If she haste the vale along,
    • Pinions seem to flutter yonder,
    • And the air is fill’d with song;
    • With the glow of youth still playing,
    • Joyous vigor in each limb,
    • One in silence is delaying,
    • She alone ’tis blesses him.
    • Love, thou art too fair, I ween!
    • Fairer I have never seen!
    • From the heart full easily
    • Blooming flowers are cull’d by thee.
    • If I think: “Oh, were it so,”
    • Bone and marrow seem to glow!
    • If rewarded by her love,
    • Can I greater rapture prove?
    • And still fairer is the bride,
    • When in me she will confide,
    • When she speaks and lets me know
    • All her tale of joy and woe.
    • All her lifetime’s history
    • Now is fully known to me.
    • Who in child or woman e’er
    • Soul and body found so fair?

EVER AND EVERYWHERE.

    • FAR explore the mountain hollow,
    • High in air the clouds then follow!
    • To each brook and vale the Muse
    • Thousand times her call renews.
    • Soon as a flow’ret blooms in spring,
    • It wakens many a strain;
    • And when Time spreads his fleeting wing
    • The seasons come again.
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NEXT YEAR’S SPRING.

    • THE bed of flowers
    • Loosens amain,
    • The beauteous snowdrops
    • Droop o’er the plain;
    • The crocus opens
    • Its glowing bud,
    • Like emeralds others,
    • Others like blood.
    • With saucy gesture
    • Primroses flare,
    • And roguish violets,
    • Hidden with care,
    • And whatsoever
    • There stirs and strives,
    • The Spring’s contented,
    • It works and thrives.
    • ’Mongst all the blossoms
    • That fairest are,
    • My sweetheart’s sweetness
    • Is sweetest far;
    • Upon me ever
    • Her glances light,
    • My song they waken,
    • My words make bright.
    • An ever open
    • And blooming mind,
    • In sport, unsullied,
    • In earnest, kind.
    • Though roses and lilies
    • By Summer are brought,
    • Against my sweetheart
    • Prevails he naught.

SUCH, SUCH IS HE WHO PLEASETH ME.

    • FLY, dearest, fly! He is not nigh!
    • He who found thee one fair morn in spring
    • In the wood where thou thy flight didst wing.
    • Fly, dearest, fly! He is not nigh!
    • Never rests the foot of evil spy.
    • Hark! flutes’ sweet strains and love’s refrains
    • Reach the lov’d one, borne there by the wind,
    • In the soft heart open doors they find.
    • Hark! flutes’ sweet strains and love’s refrains,
    • Hark!—yet blissful love their echo pains.
    • Erect his head, and firm his tread,
    • Raven hair around his smooth brow strays,
    • On his cheeks a spring eternal plays.
    • Erect his head, and firm his tread,
    • And by grace his ev’ry step is led.
    • Happy his breast, with pureness bless’d,
    • And the dark eyes ’neath his eye brows placed,
    • With full many a beauteous line are graced.
    • Happy his breast, with pureness bless’d,
    • Soon as seen, thy love must be confess’d.
    • His mouth is red—its power I dread,
    • On his lips morn’s fragrant incense lies,
    • Round his lips the cooling zephyr sighs.
    • His mouth is red—its power I dread,
    • With one glance from him, all sorrow’s fled.
    • His blood is true, his heart bold too,
    • In his soft arms, strength, protection, dwells,
    • And his face with noble pity swells.
    • His blood is true, his heart bold too,
    • Bless’d the one whom those dear arms may woo!
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ST. NEPOMUK’S EVE.
Carlsbad, May 15, 1820.

lf0841-01_figure_085.jpg
    • CHILDREN on the bridge are singing,
    • On the river lights are glancing,
    • The cathedral bells are ringing
    • For devotion’s joy entrancing.
    • Lights and stars flash out and vanish:
    • Thus our martyr’s soul unfearing
    • Took its flight. Force could not banish
    • Secrets trusted to his hearing.
    • Glance, ye lights! Sing, youthful chorus!
    • Children, raise your tuneful voices!
    • If ye can, make plain before us
    • How one star the rest rejoices.
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THE FREEBOOTER.

    • NO door has my house,
    • No house has my door;
    • And in and out ever
    • I carry my store.
    • No grate has my kitchen,
    • No kitchen my grate;
    • Yet roasts it and boils it
    • Both early and late.
    • My bed has no trestles,
    • My trestles no bed;
    • Yet merrier moments
    • No mortal e’er led.
    • My cellar is lofty,
    • My barn is full deep,
    • From top to the bottom,—
    • There lie I and sleep.
    • And soon as I waken,
    • All moves on its race;
    • My place has no fixture,
    • My fixture no place.

RECIPROCAL.

    • MY mistress, where sits she?
    • What is it that charms?
    • The absent she’s rocking,
    • Held fast in her arms.
    • In pretty cage prison’d
    • She holds a bird still;
    • Yet lets him fly from her,
    • Whenever he will.
    • He pecks at her finger,
    • And pecks at her lips,
    • And hovers and flutters,
    • And round her he skips.
    • Then hasten thou homeward,
    • In fashion to be;
    • If thou hast the maiden,
    • She also hath thee.

SONG OF THE EMIGRANTS.

    • HALTING, hurrying, hurrying, halting.
    • Be henceforth like men of worth:
    • Useful labor is exalting
    • And deserves to rule the earth.
    • Thee to follow is a pleasure;
    • He who heeds thee finds the treasure
    • Of a glorious fatherland!
    • Hail the leader! Hail the band!
    • Thou the strength and burden bearest,
    • Thou art patron of our lives,
    • Honor with the old thou sharest,
    • Givest young men work and wives;
    • Mutual confidence arouses
    • Men to build them cosy houses,
    • Neat with gardens, lawns and woods,
    • Strong in helpful neighborhoods.
    • On the highways wisely planted
    • Men find comfort in new inns,
    • And the immigrant is granted
    • All the land his courage wins.
    • Therefore let us hasten, brothers,
    • Let us settle with the others
    • In the new-found fatherland!
    • Hail, O leader! Hail, O band!
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artist: k. kögler.

SONG OF THE EMIGRANT.

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EXPLANATION OF AN ANCIENT WOODCUT REPRESENTING HANS SACHS’ POETICAL MISSION.

    • EARLY within his workshop here,
    • On Sundays stands our master dear;
    • His dirty apron he puts away,
    • And a cleanly doublet wears to-day;
    • Lets wax’d thread, hammer and pincers rest,
    • And lays his awl within his chest;
    • The seventh day he takes repose
    • From many pulls and many blows.
    • Soon as the spring sun meets his view
    • Repose begets him labor anew;
    • He feels that he holds within his brain
    • A little world, that broods there amain,
    • And that begins to act and to live,
    • Which he to others would gladly give.
    • He had a skilful eye and true,
    • And was full kind and loving too.
    • For contemplation, clear and pure,—
    • For making all his own again, sure;
    • He had a tongue that charm’d when ’twas heard,
    • And graceful and light flow’d ev’ry word;
    • Which made the Muses in him rejoice,
    • The Master-singer of their choice.
    • And now a maiden enter’d there,
    • With swelling breast, and body fair;
    • With footing firm she took her place,
    • And mov’d with stately, noble grace;
    • She did not walk in wanton mood,
    • Nor look around with glances lewd.
    • She held a measure in her hand,
    • Her girdle was a golden band,
    • A wreath of corn was on her head,
    • Her eye the day’s bright lustre shed;
    • Her name is honest Industry,
    • Else, Justice, Magnanimity.
    • She enter’d with a kindly greeting;
    • He felt no wonder at the meeting,
    • For, kind and fair as she might be,
    • He long had known her, fancied he.
    • “I have selected thee,” she said,
    • “From all who earth’s wild mazes tread,
    • That thou should’st have clear-sighted sense,
    • And naught that’s wrong should’st e’er commence.
    • When others run in strange confusion,
    • Thy gaze shall see through each illusion;
    • When others dolefully complain,
    • Thy cause with jesting thou shalt gain,
    • Honor and right shalt value duly,
    • In everything act simply, truly,—
    • Virtue and godliness proclaim,
    • And call all evil by its name,
    • Naught soften down, attempt no quibble,
    • Naught polish up, naught vainly scribble.
    • The world shall stand before thee, then,
    • As seen by Albert Dürer’s ken,
    • In manliness and changeless life,
    • In inward strength, with firmness rife.
    • Fair Nature’s Genius by the hand
    • Shall lead thee on through every land,
    • Teach thee each different life to scan,
    • Show thee the wondrous ways of man,
    • His shifts, confusions, thrustings and drubbings,
    • Pushings, tearings, pressings and rubbings;
    • The varying madness of the crew,
    • The anthill’s ravings bring to view;
    • But thou shalt see all this express’d
    • As though ’twere in a magic chest.
    • Write these things down for folks on earth,
    • In hopes they may to wit give birth.”—
    • Then she a window open’d wide,
    • And show’d a motley crowd outside,
    • All kinds of beings ’neath the sky,
    • As in his writings one may spy.
    • Our master dear was, after this,
    • On Nature thinking, full of bliss,
    • When tow’rd him, from the other side,
    • He saw an aged woman glide;
    • The name she bears, Historia,
    • Mythologia, Fabula;
    • With footstep tottering and unstable
    • She dragg’d a large and wooden carv’d table,
    • Where, with wide sleeves and human mien,
    • The Lord was catechizing seen;
    • Adam, Eve, Eden, the Serpent’s seduction,
    • Gomorrah and Sodom’s awful destruction,
    • The twelve illustrious women, too,
    • That mirror of honor brought to view;
    • All kinds of bloodthirstiness, murder and sin;
    • The twelve wicked tyrants also were in,
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    • And all kinds of goodly doctrine and law;
    • Saint Peter with his scourge you saw,
    • With the world’s ways dissatisfied,
    • And by our Lord with power supplied.
    • Her train and dress, behind and before,
    • And e’en the seams, were painted o’er
    • With tales of worldly virtue and crime.—
    • Our master view’d all this for a time;
    • The sight right gladly he survey’d,
    • So useful for him in his trade,
    • Whence he was able to procure
    • Example good and precept sure,
    • Recounting all with truthful care,
    • As though he had been present there.
    • His spirit seem’d from earth to fly,
    • He ne’er had turn’d away his eye;
    • Did he not just behind him hear
    • A rattle of bells approaching near?
    • And now a fool doth catch his eye,
    • With goat and ape’s leap drawing nigh,
    • A merry interlude preparing
    • With fooleries and jests unsparing.
    • Behind him, in a line drawn out,
    • He dragg’d all fools, the lean and stout,
    • The great and little, the empty and full,
    • All too witty, and all too dull;
    • A lash he flourish’d overhead,
    • As though a dance of apes he led,
    • Abusing them with bitterness,
    • As though his wrath would ne’er grow less.
    • While on this sight our master gaz’d,
    • His head was growing well-nigh craz’d:
    • What words for all could he e’er find,
    • Could such a medley be combin’d?
    • Could he continue with delight
    • For evermore to sing and write?
    • When lo, from out a cloud’s dark bed
    • In at the upper window sped
    • The Muse, in all her majesty,
    • As fair as our lov’d maids we see.
    • With clearness she around him threw
    • Her truth, that ever stronger grew.
    • “I to ordain thee come,” she spake:
    • “So prosper, and my blessing take!
    • The holy fire that slumb’ring lies
    • Within thee, in bright flames shall rise;
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    • Yet that thine ever-restless life
    • May still with kindly strength be rife,
    • I, for thine inward spirit’s calm,
    • Have granted nourishment and balm,
    • That rapture may thy soul imbue,
    • Like some fair blossom bath’d in dew.”—
    • Behind his house then secretly
    • Outside the doorway pointed she,
    • Where, in a shady garden-nook,
    • A beauteous maid with downcast look
    • Was sitting where a stream was flowing,
    • With elder bushes near it growing.
    • She sat beneath an apple tree,
    • And naught around her seem’d to see.
    • Her lap was full of roses fair,
    • Which in a wreath she twin’d with care,
    • And, with them, leaves and blossoms blended:
    • For whom was that sweet wreath intended?
    • Thus sat she, modest and retir’d,
    • Her bosom throbb’d, with hope inspir’d;
    • Such deep forebodings fill’d her mind,
    • No room for wishing could she find,
    • And with the thoughts that o’er it flew,
    • Perchance a sigh was mingled too.
    • “But why should sorrow cloud thy brow?
    • That, dearest love, which fills thee now
    • Is fraught with joy and ecstasy,
    • Prepar’d in one alone for thee,
    • That he within thine eye may find
    • Solace when fortune proves unkind,
    • And be newborn through many a kiss,
    • That he receives with inward bliss;
    • Whene’er he clasps thee to his breast
    • May he from all his toils find rest;
    • When he in thy dear arms shall sink
    • May he new life and vigor drink:
    • Fresh joys of youth shalt thou obtain,
    • In merry jest rejoice again.
    • With raillery and roguish spite
    • Thou now shalt tease him, now delight.
    • Thus Love will nevermore grow old,
    • Thus will the minstrel ne’er be cold!”
    • While he thus lives, in secret bless’d,
    • Above him in the clouds doth rest
    • An oak-wreath, verdant and sublime,
    • Placed on his brow in after-time;
    • While they are banish’d to the slough,
    • Who their great master disavow.
lf0841-01_figure_087.jpg

THOUGHTS ON JESUS CHRIST’S DESCENT INTO HELL.

    • WHAT wondrous noise is heard around!
    • Through heaven exulting voices sound,
    • A mighty army marches on.
    • By thousand millions follow’d, lo,
    • To yon dark place makes haste to go
    • God’s Son, descending from His throne!
    • He goes—the tempests round Him break,
    • As Judge and Hero cometh He;
    • He goes—the constellations quake,
    • The sun, the world quake fearfully.
    • I see Him in His victor-car,
    • On fiery axles borne afar,
    • Who on the cross for us expir’d.
    • The triumph to yon realms He shows,—
    • Remote from earth, where star ne’er glows,—
    • The triumph He for us acquir’d.
    • He cometh, Hell to extirpate,
    • Whom He, by dying, well nigh kill’d;
    • He shall pronounce her fearful fate:
    • Hark! now the curse is straight fulfill’d.
    • Hell sees the victor come at last,
    • She feels that now her reign is past,
    • She quakes and fears to meet His sight;
    • She knows His thunders’ terrors dread,
    • In vain she seeks to hide her head,
    • Attempts to fly, but vain is flight;
    • Vainly she hastes to ’scape pursuit
    • And to avoid her Judge’s eye;
    • The Lord’s fierce wrath restrains her foot
    • Like brazen chains,—she cannot fly.
    • Here lies the Dragon, trampled down,
    • He lies, and feels God’s angry frown,
    • He feels, and grinneth hideously;
    • He feels Hell’s speechless agonies;
    • A thousand times he howls and sighs:
    • “O burning flames! quick, swallow me!”
    • There lies he in the fiery waves,
    • By torments rack’d and pangs infernal,
    • Instant annihilation craves,
    • And hears those pangs will be eternal.
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    • Those mighty squadrons, too, are here,
    • The partners of his curs’d career,
    • Yet far less bad than he were they.
    • Here lies the countless throng combin’d,
    • In black and fearful crowds entwin’d,
    • While round him fiery tempests play;
    • He sees how they the Judge avoid,
    • He sees the storm upon them feed,
    • Yet is not at the sight o’erjoy’d,
    • Because his pangs e’en theirs exceed.
    • The Son of Man in triumph passes
    • Down to Hell’s wild and black morasses,
    • And there unfolds His majesty.
    • Hell cannot bear the bright array,
    • For, since her first created day,
    • Darkness alone e’er govern’d she.
    • She lay remote from ev’ry light,
    • With torments fill’d in Chaos here;
    • God turn’d forever from her sight
    • His radiant features’ glory clear.
    • Within the realms she calls her own,
    • She sees the splendor of the Son,
    • His dreaded glories shining forth;
    • She sees Him clad in rolling thunder,
    • She sees the rocks all quake with wonder
    • When God before her stands in wrath.
    • She sees He comes her Judge to be,
    • She feels the awful pangs inside her,
    • Herself to slay endeavors she,
    • But e’en this comfort is denied her.
    • Now looks she back, with pains untold,
    • Upon those happy times of old,
    • When all these glories gave her joy;
    • When yet her heart revered the truth,
    • When her glad soul, in endless youth
    • And rapture dwelt, without alloy.
    • She calls to mind with madden’d thought
    • How over man her wiles prevail’d;
    • To take revenge on God she sought,
    • And feels the vengeance it entail’d.
    • God was made man, and came to earth.
    • Then Satan cried with fearful mirth:
    • “E’en He my victim now shall be!”
    • He sought to slay the Lord Most High,
    • The world’s Creator now must die;
    • But, Satan, endless woe to thee!
    • Thou thought’st to overcome Him then,
    • Rejoicing in His suffering;
    • But He in triumph comes again
    • To bind thee: Death! where is thy sting?
    • Speak, Hell! where is thy victory?
    • Thy power destroy’d and scatter’d see!
    • Know’st thou not now the Highest’s might?
    • See, Satan, see thy rule o’erthrown!
    • By thousand-varying pangs weigh’d down,
    • Thou dwell’st in dark and endless night.
    • As though by lightning struck thou liest,
    • No gleam of rapture far or wide;
    • In vain! no hope thou there descriest,—
    • For me alone Messiah died!
    • A howling rises through the air,
    • A trembling fills each dark vault there,
    • When Christ to Hell is seen to come.
    • She snarls with rage, but needs must cower
    • Before our mighty Hero’s power;
    • He signs—and Hell is straightway dumb.
    • Before His voice the thunders break,
    • On high His victor-banner blows;
    • E’en angels at His fury quake,
    • When Christ to the dread judgment goes.
    • Now speaks He, and His voice is thunder,
    • He speaks, the rocks are rent in sunder,
    • His breath is like devouring flames.
    • Thus speaks He: “Tremble, ye accurs’d!
    • He who from Eden hurl’d you erst,
    • Your kingdom’s overthrow proclaims.
    • Look up! My children once were ye,
    • Your arms against Me then ye turn’d,
    • Ye fell, that ye might sinners be,
    • Ye’ve now the wages that ye earn’d.
    • “My greatest foemen from that day,
    • Ye led My dearest friends astray,—
    • As ye had fallen, man must fall.
    • To kill him evermore ye sought,
    • ‘They all shall die the death,’ ye thought;
    • But howl! for Me I’ve won them all.
    • For them alone did I descend,
    • For them pray’d, suffer’d, perish’d I.
    • Ye ne’er shall gain your wicked end;
    • Who trusts in Me shall never die.
    • “In endless chains here lie ye now,
    • Nothing can save you from the slough,
    • Not boldness, not regret for crime.
    • Lie, then, and writhe in brimstone fire!
    • ’Twas ye yourselves drew down Mine ire,
    • Lie and lament throughout all time!
    • And also ye, whom I selected,
    • E’en ye forever I disown,
    • For ye My saving grace rejected;
    • Ye murmur? blame yourselves alone!
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    • “Ye might have liv’d with Me in bliss,
    • For I of yore had promis’d this;
    • Ye sinn’d, and all My precepts slighted.
    • Wrapp’d in the sleep of sin ye dwelt,
    • Now is My fearful judgment felt,
    • By a just doom your guilt requited.”
    • Thus spake He, and a fearful storm
    • From Him proceeds, the lightnings glow,
    • The thunders seize each wicked form,
    • And hurl them in the gulf below.
    • The God-man closeth Hell’s sad doors;
    • In all His majesty He soars
    • From those dark regions back to light:
    • He sitteth at the Father’s side.
    • O friends, what joy doth this betide!
    • For us, for us He still will fight!
    • The angels’ sacred choir around
    • Rejoice before the mighty Lord,
    • So that all creatures hear the sound:
    • “Zebaoth’s God be aye ador’d!”
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Art

Artist, fashion! talk not long!

Be a breath thine only song!

THE DROPS OF NECTAR.

    • WHEN Minerva, to give pleasure
    • To Prometheus, her well-lov’d one,
    • Brought a brimming bowl of nectar
    • From the glorious realms of heaven
    • As a blessing for his creatures,
    • And to pour into their bosoms
    • Impulses for arts ennobling,
    • She with rapid footstep hasten’d,
    • Fearing Jupiter might see her,
    • And the golden goblet trembled,
    • And there fell a few drops from it
    • On the verdant plain beneath her.
    • Then the busy bees flew thither
    • Straightway, eagerly to drink them,
    • And the butterfly came quickly
    • That he, too, might find a drop there;
    • Even the misshapen spider
    • Thither crawl’d and suck’d with vigor.
    • To a happy end they tasted,
    • They, and other gentle insects!
    • For with mortals now divide they
    • Art—that noblest gift of all.

THE WANDERER.

    • Wanderer.

    • YOUNG woman, may God bless thee,
    • Thee and the sucking infant
    • Upon thy breast!
    • Let me, ’gainst this rocky wall,
    • ’Neath the elm tree’s shadow,
    • Lay aside my burden,
    • Near thee take my rest.
    • Woman.

    • What vocation leads thee,
    • While the day is burning,
    • Up this dusty path?
    • Bring’st thou goods from out the town
    • Round the country?
    • Smil’st thou, stranger,
    • At my question?
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    • Wanderer.

    • From the town no goods I bring.
    • Cool is now the evening;
    • Show to me the fountain
    • Whence thou drinkest,
    • Woman young and kind!
    • Woman.

    • Up the rocky pathway mount;
    • Go thou first! Across the thicket
    • Leads the pathway tow’rd the cottage
    • That I live in,
    • To the fountain
    • Whence I drink.
    • Wanderer.

    • Signs of man’s arranging hand
    • See I ’mid the trees!
    • Not by thee these stones were join’d,
    • Nature, who so freely scatterest!
    • Woman.

    • Up, still up!
    • Wanderer.

    • Lo, a mossy architrave is here!
    • I discern thee, fashioning spirit!
    • On the stone thou hast impress’d thy seal.
    • Woman.

    • Onward, stranger!
    • Wanderer.

    • Over an inscription am I treading!
    • ’Tis effaced!
    • Ye are seen no longer,
    • Words so deeply graven,
    • Who your master’s true devotion
    • Should have shown to thousand grandsons!
    • Woman.

    • At these stones, why
    • Start’st thou, stranger?
    • Many stones are lying yonder
    • Round my cottage.
    • Wanderer.

    • Yonder?
    • Woman.

    • Through the thicket,
    • Turning to the left,
    • Here!
    • Wanderer.

    • Ye Muses and ye Graces!
    • Woman.

    • This, then, is my cottage.
    • Wanderer.

    • ’Tis a ruin’d temple!
    • Woman.

    • Just below it, see,
    • Springs the fountain
    • Whence I drink.
    • Wanderer.

    • Thou dost hover
    • O’er thy grave, all glowing,
    • Genius! while upon thee
    • Hath thy masterpiece
    • Fallen crumbling,
    • Thou Immortal One!
    • Woman.

    • Stay, a cup I’ll fetch thee
    • Whence to drink.
    • Wanderer.

    • Ivy circles thy slender
    • Form so graceful and godlike.
    • How ye rise on high
    • From the ruins,
    • Column-pair!
    • And thou, their lonely sister yonder,—
    • How thou,
    • Dusky moss upon thy sacred head,—
    • Lookest down in mournful majesty
    • On thy brethren’s figures
    • Lying scatter’d
    • At thy feet!
    • In the shadow of the bramble
    • Earth and rubbish veil them,
    • Lofty grass is waving o’er them!
    • Is it thus thou, Nature, prizest
    • Thy great masterpiece’s masterpiece?
    • Carelessly destroyest thou
    • Thine own sanctuary,
    • Sowing thistles there?
    • Woman.

    • How the infant sleeps!
    • Wilt thou rest thee in the cottage,
    • Stranger? Would’st thou rather
    • In the open air still linger?
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    • Now ’tis cool! take thou the child
    • While I go and draw some water.
    • Sleep on, darling! sleep!
    • Wanderer.

    • Sweet is thy repose!
    • How, with heaven-born health imbued,
    • Peacefully he slumbers!
    • O thou, born among the ruins
    • Spread by great antiquity,
    • On thee rest her spirit!
    • He whom it encircles
    • Will, in godlike consciousness,
    • Ev’ry day enjoy.
    • Full of germ, unfold,
    • As the smiling springtime’s
    • Fairest charm,
    • Outshining all thy fellows!
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    • And when the blossom’s husk is faded,
    • May the full fruit shoot forth
    • From out thy breast,
    • And ripen in the sunshine!
    • Woman.

    • God bless him!—Is he sleeping still?
    • To the fresh draught I naught can add,
    • Saving a crust of bread for thee to eat.
    • Wanderer.

    • I thank thee well.
    • How fair the verdure all around!
    • How green!
    • Woman.

    • My husband soon
    • Will home return
    • From labor. Tarry, tarry, man,
    • And with us eat our evening meal.
    • Wanderer.

    • Is’t here ye dwell?
    • Woman.

    • Yonder, within those walls we live.
    • My father ’twas who built the cottage
    • Of tiles and stones from out the ruins.
    • ’Tis here we dwell.
    • He gave me to a husbandman,
    • And in our arms expir’d.—
    • Hast thou been sleeping, dearest heart?
    • How lively, and how full of play!
    • Sweet rogue!
    • Wanderer.

    • Nature, thou ever budding one,
    • Thou formest each for life’s enjoyments,
    • And, like a mother, all thy children dear,
    • Blessest with that sweet heritage,—a home!
    • The swallow builds the cornice round,
    • Unconscious of the beauties
    • She plasters up.
    • The caterpillar spins around the bough,
    • To make her brood a winter house;
    • And thou dost patch, between antiquity’s
    • Most glorious relics,
    • For thy mean use,
    • O man, an humble cot,—
    • Enjoyest e’en ’mid tombs!—
    • Farewell, thou happy woman!
    • Woman.

    • Thou wilt not stay, then?
    • Wanderer.

    • May God preserve thee,
    • And bless thy boy!
    • Woman.

    • A happy journey!
    • Wanderer.

    • Whither conducts the path
    • Across yon hill?
    • Woman.

    • To Cuma.
    • Wanderer.

    • How far from hence?
    • Woman.

    • ’Tis full three miles.
    • Wanderer.

    • Farewell!
    • O Nature, guide me on my way!
    • The wandering stranger guide,
    • Who o’er the tombs
    • Of holy bygone times
    • Is passing,
    • To a kind sheltering place,
    • From North winds safe,
    • And where a poplar grove
    • Shuts out the noontide ray!
    • And when I come
    • Home to my cot
    • At evening,
    • Illumin’d by the setting sun,
    • Let me embrace a wife like this,
    • Her infant in her arms!
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LOVE AS A LANDSCAPE-PAINTER.

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    • ON a rocky peak once sat I early,
    • Gazing on the mist with eyes unmoving;
    • Stretch’d out like a pall of grayish texture,
    • All things round, and all above it cover’d.
    • Suddenly a boy appear’d beside me,
    • Saying, “Friend, what meanest thou by gazing
    • On the vacant pall with such composure?
    • Hast thou lost for evermore all pleasure
    • Both in painting cunningly, and forming?”
    • On the child I gaz’d, and thought in secret:
    • “Would the boy pretend to be a master?”
    • “Would’st thou be forever dull and idle,”
    • Said the boy, “no wisdom thou’lt attain to;
    • See, I’ll straightway paint for thee a figure,—
    • How to paint a beauteous figure, show thee.”
    • And he then extended his fore-finger,—
    • (Ruddy was it as a youthful rosebud)
    • Tow’rd the broad and far outstretching carpet,
    • And began to draw there with his finger.
    • First on high a radiant sun he painted,
    • Which upon mine eyes with splendor glisten’d,
    • And he made the clouds with golden border,
    • Through the clouds he let the sunbeams enter;
    • Painted then the soft and feathery summits
    • Of the fresh and quicken’d trees, behind them
    • One by one with freedom drew the mountains;
    • Underneath he left no lack of water,
    • But the river painted so like Nature,
    • That it seem’d to glitter in the sunbeams,
    • That it seem’d against its banks to murmur.
    • Ah, there blossom’d flowers beside the river.
    • And bright colors gleam’d upon the meadow.
    • Gold, and green, and purple, and enamell’d,
    • All like carbuncles and emeralds seeming!
    • Bright and clear he added then the heavens,
    • And the blue-tinged mountains far and farther,
    • So that I, as though newborn, enraptur’d
    • Gaz’d on, now the painter, now the picture.
    • Then spake he: “Although I have convinc’d thee
    • That this art I understand full surely,
    • Yet the hardest still is left to show thee.”
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    • Thereupon he trac’d, with pointed finger,
    • And with anxious care, upon the forest,
    • At the utmost verge, where the strong sunbeams
    • From the shining ground appear’d reflected,
    • Trac’d the figure of a lovely maiden,
    • Fair in form, and clad in graceful fashion,
    • Fresh the cheeks beneath her brown locks’ ambush,
    • And the cheeks possess’d the selfsame color
    • As the finger that had serv’d to paint them.
    • “O thou boy!” exclaim’d I then, “what master
    • In his school receiv’d thee as his pupil,
    • Teaching thee so truthfully and quickly
    • Wisely to begin, and well to finish?”
    • Whilst I still was speaking, lo, a zephyr
    • Softly rose, and set the tree-tops moving,
    • Curling all the wavelets on the river,
    • And the perfect maiden’s veil, too, fill’d it,
    • And to make my wonderment still greater,
    • Soon the maiden set her foot in motion.
    • On she came, approaching tow’rd the station
    • Where still sat I with my arch instructor.
    • As now all, yes, all thus mov’d together,—
    • Flowers, rivers, trees, the veil,—all moving,—
    • And the gentle foot of that most fair one,
    • Can ye think that on my rock I linger’d,
    • Like a rock, as though fast-chain’d and silent?
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Fr. Pecht del.

published by george barrie

A. Schultheiss sculp.

Frederika

ARTIST’S EVENING SONG.

    • UH, would that some celestial flower
    • Might fill the world with rapture!
    • That inspiration’s blissful power
    • My inmost soul might capture!
    • The feeling takes me in control,
    • My weakness makes me stumble;
    • Ah, Nature, recognize my soul,
    • Thy worshipper though humble!
    • How many a long and weary year
    • My heart has vainly waited,
    • As on a meadow wan and sere,
    • For fountains uncreated!
    • Ah, Nature, how I yearn for thee,
    • Thy love and faith consoling!
    • A wondrous river full and free
    • Through paradises rolling.
    • And all my song and all my strength
    • Thou turnest to endeavor,
    • Until my narrow path at length
    • Shall widen out forever.
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Parables

Joy from that in type we borrow.

Which in life gives only sorrow.

EXPLANATION OF AN ANTIQUE GEM.

    • A YOUNG fig tree its form lifts high
    • Within a beauteous garden;
    • And see, a goat is sitting by,
    • As if he were its warden.
    • But O Quirites, how one errs!
    • The tree is guarded badly;
    • For round the other side there whirrs
    • And hums a beetle madly.
    • The hero with his well-mail’d coat
    • Nibbles the branches tall so;
    • A mighty longing feels the goat
    • Gently to climb up also.
    • And so, my friends, ere long ye see
    • The tree all leafless standing;
    • It looks a type of misery,
    • Help of the gods demanding.
    • Then listen, ye ingenuous youth,
    • Who hold wise saws respected:
    • From he-goat and from beetle’s tooth
    • A tree should be protected!

CAT-PIE.

    • WHILE he is mark’d by vision clear
    • Who fathoms Nature’s treasures,
    • The man may follow, void of fear,
    • Who her proportions measures.
    • Though for one mortal, it is true,
    • These trades may both be fitted,
    • Yet, that the things themselves are two
    • Must always be admitted.
    • Once on a time there liv’d a cook
    • Whose skill was past disputing,
    • Who in his head a fancy took
    • To try his luck at shooting.
    • So, gun in hand, he sought a spot
    • Where stores of game were breeding,
    • And there ere long a cat he shot
    • That on young birds was feeding.
    • This cat he fancied was a hare,
    • Forming a judgment hasty,
    • So serv’d it up for people’s fare,
    • Well-spic’d, and in a pasty.
    • Yet many a guest with wrath was fill’d
    • (All who had noses tender):
    • The cat that’s by the sportsman kill’d
    • No cook a hare can render.
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LEGEND.

  • THERE liv’d in the desert a holy man
  • To whom a goat-footed Faun one day
  • Paid a visit, and thus began
  • To his surprise: “I entreat thee to pray
  • That grace to me and my friends may be given,
  • That we may be able to mount to heaven,
  • For great is our thirst for heav’nly bliss.”
  • The holy man made answer to this:
  • “Much danger is lurking in thy petition,
  • Nor will it be easy to gain admission;
  • Thou dost not come with an angel’s salute;
  • For I see thou wearest a cloven foot.”
  • The wild man paus’d, and then answer’d he:
  • “What doth my goat’s foot matter to thee?
  • Full many I’ve known into heaven to pass
  • Straight and with ease, with the head of an ass!”

THE CRITIC.

  • I HAD a fellow as my guest,
  • Not knowing he was such a pest,
  • And gave him just my usual fare;
  • He ate his fill of what was there,
  • And for desert my best things swallow’d;
  • Soon as his meal was o’er, what follow’d?
  • Led by the Deuce to a neighbor he went,
  • And talk’d of my food to his heart’s content:
  • “The soup might surely have had more spice,
  • The meat was ill-brown’d, and the wine wasn’t nice.”
  • A thousand curses alight on his head!
  • ’Tis a critic, I vow! Let the dog be struck dead!

AUTHORS.

    • OVER the meadows, and down the stream,
    • And through the garden-walks straying,
    • He plucks the flowers that fairest seem;
    • His throbbing heart brooks no delaying.
    • His maiden then comes—oh, what ecstasy!
    • Thy flowers thou giv’st for one glance of her eye!
    • The gard’ner next door o’er the hedge sees the youth:
    • “I’m not such a fool as that, in good truth;
    • My pleasure is ever to cherish each flower,
    • And see that no birds my fruit e’er devour.
    • But when ’tis ripe, your money, good neighbor!
    • ’Twas not for nothing I took all this labor!”
    • And such, methinks, are the author-tribe.
    • The one his pleasures around him strews,
    • That his friends, the public, may reap, if they choose:
    • The other would fain make them all subscribe.

THE DILETTANTE AND THE CRITIC.

    • A BOY a pigeon once possess’d,
    • In gay and brilliant plumage dress’d;
    • He lov’d it well, and in boyish sport
    • Its food to take from his mouth he taught,
    • And in his pigeon he took such pride,
    • That his joy to others he needs must confide.
    • An aged fox near the place chanc’d to dwell,
    • Talkative, clever, and learned as well;
    • The boy his society used to prize,
    • Hearing with pleasure his wonders and lies.
    • “My friend the fox my pigeon must see!”
    • He ran, and stretch’d ’mongst the bushes lay he.
    • “Look, fox, at my pigeon, my pigeon so fair!
    • His equal I’m sure thou hast look’d upon ne’er!”
    • “Let’s see!”—The boy gave it.—“’Tis really not bad;
    • And yet, it is far from complete, I must add.
    • The feathers, for instance, how short! ’Tis absurd!”
    • So he set to work straightway to pluck the poor bird.
    • The boy scream’d.—“Thou must now stronger pinions supply,
    • Or else ’twill be ugly, unable to fly.”—
    • Soon ’twas stripp’d—oh, the villain!—and torn all to pieces,
    • The boy was heart-broken,—and so my tale ceases.
    • * * * * *
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    • He who sees in the boy shadow’d forth his own case
    • Should be on his guard ’gainst the fox’s whole race.

CELEBRITY.

    • ON bridges small and bridges great
    • Stand Nepomuks in ev’ry state,
    • Of bronze, wood, painted, or of stone,
    • Some small as dolls, some giants grown;
    • Each passer must worship before Nepomuk,
    • Who to die on a bridge chanc’d to have the ill luck.
    • When once a man with head and ears
    • A saint in people’s eyes appears,
    • Or has been sentenced piteously
    • Beneath the hangman’s hand to die,
    • He’s as a noted person priz’d,
    • In portrait is immortaliz’d.
    • Engravings, woodcuts, are supplied,
    • And through the world spread far and wide.
    • Upon them all is seen his name,
    • And ev’ry one admits his claim;
    • Even the image of the Lord
    • Is not with greater zeal ador’d.
    • Strange fancy of the human race!
    • Half sinner frail, half child of grace
    • We see Herr Werther of the story
    • In all the pomp of woodcut glory.
    • His worth is first made duly known
    • By having his sad features shown
    • At ev’ry fair the country round;
    • In ev’ry alehouse too they’re found.
    • His stick is pointed by each dunce:
    • “The ball would reach his brain at once!”
    • And each says, o’er his beer and bread:
    • “Thank Heav’n that ’tis not we are dead!”

THE YELPERS.

    • OUR rides in all directions bend,
    • For business or for pleasure,
    • Yet yelpings on our steps attend,
    • And barkings without measure.
    • The dog that in our stable dwells,
    • After our heels is striding,
    • And all the while his noisy yells
    • But show that we are riding.

THE WRANGLER.

    • ONE day a shameless and impudent wight
    • Went into a shop full of steel wares bright,
    • Arrang’d with art upon ev’ry shelf.
    • He fancied they all were meant for himself;
    • And so, while the patient owner stood by,
    • The shining goods needs must handle and try,
    • And valued,—for how should a fool better know?—
    • The bad things high, and the good ones low,
    • And all with an easy self-satisfied face;
    • Then, having bought nothing, he left the place.
    • The tradesman now felt sorely vex’d,
    • So when the fellow went there next,
    • A lock of steel made quite red hot.
    • The other cried upon the spot:
    • “Such wares as these, who’d ever buy?
    • The steel is tarnish’d shamefully;”—
    • Then pull’d it like a fool about,
    • But soon set up a piteous shout,
    • “Pray, what’s the matter?” the shopman spoke;
    • The other scream’d: “Faith, a very cool joke!”

JOY.

    • A DRAGON-FLY with beauteous wing
    • Is hov’ring o’er a silv’ry spring;
    • I watch its motions with delight,—
    • Now dark its colors seem, now bright;
    • Chameleon-like appear now blue,
    • Now red, and now of greenish hue.
    • Would it would come still nearer me,
    • That I its tints might better see!
    • It hovers, flutters, resting ne’er!
    • But hush! it settles on the mead.
    • I have it safe now, I declare!
    • And when its form I closely view,
    • ’Tis of a sad and dingy blue—
    • Such, Joy-Dissector, is thy case indeed!
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PLAYING AT PRIESTS.

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    • WITHIN a town where parity
    • According to old form we see,—
    • That is to say, where Catholic
    • And Protestant no quarrels pick,
    • And where, as in his father’s day,
    • Each worships God in his own way,
    • We Luth’ran children used to dwell,
    • By songs and sermons taught us well.
    • The Catholic clingclang in truth
    • Sounded more pleasing to our youth,
    • For all that we encounter’d there
    • To us seem’d varied, joyous, fair.
    • As children, monkeys, and mankind
    • To ape each other are inclin’d,
    • We soon, the time to while away,
    • A game at priests resolv’d to play.
    • Their aprons all our sisters lent
    • For copes, which gave us great content;
    • And handkerchiefs, embroider’d o’er,
    • Instead of stoles we also wore;
    • Gold paper, whereon beasts were trac’d,
    • The bishop’s brow as mitre grac’d.
    • Through house and garden thus in state
    • We strutted early, strutted late,
    • Repeating with all proper unction,
    • Incessantly each holy function.
    • The best was wanting to the game;
    • We knew that a sonorous ring
    • Was here a most important thing;
    • But Fortune to our rescue came,
    • For on the ground a halter lay;
    • We were delighted, and at once
    • Made it a bellrope for the nonce,
    • And kept it moving all the day;
    • In turns each sister and each brother
    • Acted as sexton to another;
    • All help’d to swell the joyous throng;
    • The whole proceeded swimmingly,
    • And since no actual bell had we,
    • We all in chorus sang, Ding dong!
    • Our guileless child’s-sport long was hush’d
    • In memory’s tomb, like some old lay;
    • And yet across my mind it rush’d
    • With pristine force the other day.
    • The New-Poetic Catholics
    • In ev’ry point its aptness fix!
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SONGS.

    • SONGS are like painted window-panes!
    • In darkness wrapp’d the church remains,
    • If from the market-place we view it;
    • Thus sees the ignoramus through it.
    • No wonder that he deems it tame,—
    • And all his life ’twill be the same.
    • But let us now inside repair,
    • And greet the holy Chapel there!
    • At once the whole seems clear and bright,
    • Each ornament is bath’d in light,
    • And fraught with meaning to the sight.
    • God’s children! thus your fortune prize,
    • Be edified, and feast your eyes!

POETRY.

  • GOD to his untaught children sent
  • Law, order, knowledge, art, from high,
  • And ev’ry heav’nly favor lent,
  • The world’s hard lot to qualify.
  • They knew not how they should behave,
  • For all from Heav’n stark-naked came;
  • But Poetry their garments gave,
  • And then not one had cause for shame.

A PARABLE.

  • I PICK’D a rustic nosegay lately,
  • And bore it homewards, musing greatly;
  • When, heated by my hand, I found
  • The heads all drooping tow’rd the ground
  • I plac’d them in a well-cool’d glass,
  • And what a wonder came to pass!
  • The heads soon rais’d themselves once more,
  • The stalks were blooming as before,
  • And all were in as good a case
  • As when they left their native place.
  • * * * * *
  • So felt I, when I wond’ring heard
  • My song to foreign tongues transferr’d.

CUPID AND PSYCHE.

  • A PLAN the Muses entertain’d
  • Methodically to impart
  • To Psyche the poetic art;
  • Prosaic-pure her soul remain’d.
  • No wondrous sounds escap’d her lyre
  • E’en in the fairest Summer night;
  • But Amor came with glance of fire,—
  • The lesson soon was learn’d aright.

THE DEATH OF THE FLY.

  • WITH eagerness he drinks the treach’rous potion,
  • Nor stops to rest, by the first taste misled;
  • Sweet is the draught, but soon all power of motion
  • He finds has from his tender members fled;
  • No longer has he strength to plume his wing,
  • No longer strength to raise his head, poor thing!
  • E’en in enjoyment’s hour his life he loses,
  • His little foot to bear his weight refuses;
  • So on he sips, and ere his draught is o’er,
  • Death veils his thousand eyes for evermore.

BY THE RIVER.

    • WHEN by the broad stream thou dost dwell,
    • Oft shallow is its sluggish flood;
    • Then, when thy fields thou tendest well,
    • It o’er them spreads its slime and mud.
    • The ships descend ere daylight wanes,
    • The prudent fisher upward goes;
    • Round reef and rock ice casts its chains,
    • And boys at will the pathway close.
    • To this attend, then, carefully,
    • And what thou would’st, that execute!
    • Ne’er linger, ne’er o’erhasty be,
    • For time moves on with measur’d foot.
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THE FOX AND CRANE.

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    • ONCE two persons uninvited
    • Came to join my dinner table;
    • For the nonce they liv’d united,
    • Fox and crane yclept in fable.
    • Civil greetings pass’d between us;
    • Then I pluck’d some pigeons tender
    • For the fox of jackal genus,
    • Adding grapes in full-grown splendor.
    • Long-neck’d flasks I put as dishes
    • For the crane, without delaying,
    • Fill’d with gold and silver fishes,
    • In the limpid water playing.
    • Had ye witness’d Reynard planted
    • At his flat plate, all demurely,
    • Ye with envy must have granted:
    • “Ne’er was such a gourmand, surely!”
    • While the bird with circumspection
    • On one foot, as usual, cradled,
    • From the flasks his fish-refection
    • With his bill and long neck ladled.
    • One the pigeons prais’d,—the other,
    • As they went, extoll’d the fishes,
    • Each one scoffing at his brother
    • For preferring vulgar dishes.
    • * * * * *
    • If thou would’st preserve thy credit,
    • When thou askest folks to guzzle
    • At thy board, take care to spread it
    • Suited both for bill and muzzle.
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THE FOX AND HUNTSMAN.

    • HARD ’tis on a fox’s traces
    • To arrive, midst forest-glades;
    • Hopeless utterly the chase is,
    • If his flight the huntsman aids.
    • And so ’tis with many a wonder
    • (Why A B make Ab in fact),
    • Over which we gape and blunder,
    • And our head and brains distract.

THE STORK’S VOCATION.

    • THE stork who worms and frogs devours
    • That in our ponds reside,
    • Why should he dwell on high church-towers,
    • With which he’s not allied?
    • Incessantly he chatters there,
    • And gives our ears no rest;
    • But neither old nor young can dare
    • To drive him from his nest.
    • I humbly ask if,—how can he
    • Give of his title proof,
    • Save by his happy tendency
    • To soil the church’s roof?

THE FROGS.

    • A POOL was once congeal’d with frost;
    • The frogs, in its deep waters lost,
    • No longer dar’d to croak or spring;
    • But promis’d, being half asleep,
    • If suffer’d to the air to creep,
    • As very nightingales to sing.
    • A thaw dissolv’d the ice so strong,—
    • They proudly steer’d themselves along,
    • When landed, squatted on the shore,
    • And croak’d as loudly as before.

THE WEDDING.

  • A FEAST was in a village spread,—
  • It was a wedding-day, they said.
  • The parlor of the inn I found,
  • And saw the couples whirling round,
  • Each lass attended by her lad,
  • And all seem’d loving, blithe and glad;
  • But on my asking for the bride,
  • A fellow with a stare replied:
  • “ ’Tis not the place that point to raise!
  • We’re only dancing in her honor;
  • We now have danc’d three nights and days,
  • And not bestow’d one thought upon her.”
  • * * * * *
  • Whoe’er in life employs his eyes
  • Such cases oft will recognize.

BURIAL.

  • TO the grave one day from a house they bore A maiden;
  • To the window the citizens went to explore;
  • In splendor they liv’d, and with wealth as of yore
  • Their banquets were laden.
  • Then thought they: “The maid to the tomb is now borne;
  • We too from our dwellings ere long must be torn,
  • And he that is left our departure to mourn,
  • To our riches will be the successor,
  • For some one must be their possessor.”

THREATENING SIGNS.

    • IF Venus in the evening sky
    • Is seen in radiant majesty,
    • If rod-like comets, red as blood,
    • Are ’mongst the constellations view’d,
    • Out springs the Ignoramus, yelling:
    • “The star’s exactly o’er my dwelling!
    • What woful prospect, ah, for me!”—
    • Then calls his neighbor mournfully:
    • “Behold that awful sign of evil,
    • Portending woe to me, poor devil!
    • My mother’s asthma ne’er will leave her,
    • My child is sick with wind and fever;
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    • I dread the illness of my wife,
    • A week has pass’d devoid of strife,—
    • And other things have reach’d my ear;
    • The Judgment-day has come, I fear!”
    • His neighbor answers: “Friend, you’re right!
    • Matters look very bad to-night.
    • Let’s go a street or two, though, hence,
    • And gaze upon the stars from thence.”—
    • No change appears in either case.
    • Let each remain then in his place,
    • And wisely do the best he can,
    • Patient as any other man.

THE BUYERS.

  • TO an apple-woman’s stall
  • Once some children nimbly ran;
  • Longing much to purchase all,
  • They with joyous haste began
  • Snatching up the piles there rais’d,
  • While with eager eyes they gaz’d
  • On the rosy fruit so nice;
  • But when they found out the price,
  • Down they threw the whole they’d got,
  • Just as if they were red-hot.
  • * * * * *
  • The man who gratis will his goods supply
  • Will never find a lack of folks to buy!

THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE.

    • “THE mountain village was destroy’d;
    • But see how soon is fill’d the void!
    • Shingles and boards, as by magic arise,
    • The babe in his cradle and swaddling-clothes lies;
    • How bless’d to trust to God’s protection!”
    • Behold a wooden new erection,
    • So that, if sparks and wind but choose,
    • God’s self at such a game must lose!

SYMBOLS.

    • PALM Sunday at the Vatican
    • They celebrate with palms;
    • With reverence bows each holy man,
    • And chants the ancient psalms.
    • Those very psalms are also sung
    • With olive boughs in hand,
    • While holly, mountain wilds among,
    • In place of palms must stand;
    • In fine, one seeks some twig that’s green
    • And takes a willow rod,
    • So that the pious man may e’en
    • In small things praise his God.
    • And if ye have observ’d it well,
    • To gain what’s fit ye’re able,
    • If ye in faith can but excel;
    • Such are the myths of fable.

THREE PALINODIAS.

    • I.
    • “Incense is but a tribute for the gods,—
    • To mortals ’tis but poison.”
    • THE smoke that from thine altar blows,
    • Can it the gods offend?
    • For I observe thou hold’st thy nose—
    • Pray what does this portend?
    • Mankind deem incense to excel
    • Each other earthly thing,
    • So he that cannot bear its smell
    • No incense e’er should bring.
    • With unmov’d face by thee at least
    • To dolls is homage given;
    • If not obstructed by the priest
    • The scent mounts up to heaven.
  • II.
  • CONFLICT OF WIT AND BEAUTY.

  • SIR WIT, who is so much esteem’d,
  • And who is worthy of all honor,
  • Saw Beauty his superior deem’d
  • By folks who lov’d to gaze upon her;
  • At this he was most sorely vex’d.
  • Then came Sir Breath (long known as fit
  • To represent the cause of wit),
  • Beginning, rudely, I admit,
  • To treat the lady with a text.
  • To this she hearken’d not at all,
  • But hasten’d to his principal:
  • “None are so wise, they say, as you,—
  • Is not the world enough for two?
  • If you are obstinate, good-bye!
  • If wise, to love me you will try,
  • For be assur’d the world can ne’er
  • Give birth to a more handsome pair.”
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  • Ἄλλως.

  • Fair daughters were by Beauty rear’d,
  • Wit had but dull sons for his lot;
  • So for a season it appear’d
  • Beauty was constant, Wit was not.
  • But Wit’s a native of the soil,
  • So he return’d, work’d, strove amain,
  • And found—sweet guerdon for his toil!—
  • Beauty to quicken him again.
  • III.
  • RAIN AND RAINBOW.

  • DURING a heavy storm it chanc’d
  • That from his room a cockney glanc’d
  • At the fierce tempest as it broke,
  • While to his neighbor thus he spoke:
  • “The thunder has our awe inspir’d,
  • Our barns by lightning have been fir’d,—
  • Our sins to punish, I suppose;
  • But in return, to soothe our woes,
  • See how the rain in torrents fell,
  • Making the harvest promise well!
  • But is’t a rainbow that I spy
  • Extending o’er the dark-gray sky?
  • With it I’m sure we may dispense,
  • The color’d cheat! The vain pretence!”
  • Dame Iris straightway thus replied:
  • “Dost dare my beauty to deride?
  • In realms of space God station’d me
  • A type of better worlds to be
  • To eyes that from life’s sorrows rove
  • In cheerful hope to heav’n above,
  • And, through the mists that hover here,
  • God and His precepts bless’d revere.
  • Do thou, then, grovel like the swine,
  • And to the ground thy snout confine,
  • But suffer the enlighten’d eye
  • To feast upon my majesty.”

VALEDICTION.

    • I ONCE was fond of fools,
    • And bid them come each day;
    • Then each one brought his tools,
    • The carpenter to play;
    • The roof to strip first choosing,
    • Another to supply,
    • The wood as trestles using,
    • To move it by-and-by,
    • While here and there they ran,
    • And knock’d against each other;
    • To fret I soon began,
    • My anger could not smother,
    • So cried, “Get out, ye fools!”
    • At this they were offended;
    • Then each one took his tools,
    • And so our friendship ended.
    • Since that, I’ve wiser been,
    • And sit beside my door;
    • When one of them is seen,
    • I cry, “Appear no more!”
    • “Hence, stupid knave!” I bellow:
    • At this he’s angry too:
    • “You impudent old fellow!
    • And pray, sir, who are you?
    • Along the streets we riot,
    • And revel at the fair;
    • But yet we’re pretty quiet,
    • And folks revile us ne’er.
    • Don’t call us names, then, please!”—
    • At length I meet with ease,
    • For now they leave my door—
    • ’Tis better than before!

THE COUNTRY SCHOOLMASTER.

    • I.
    • A MASTER of a country school
    • Jump’d up one day from off his stool,
    • Inspir’d with firm resolve to try
    • To gain the best society;
    • So to the nearest baths he walk’d,
    • And into the saloon he stalk’d.
    • He felt quite startled at the door,
    • Ne’er having seen the like before.
    • To the first stranger made he now
    • A very low and graceful bow,
    • But quite forgot to bear in mind
    • That people also stood behind;
    • His left-hand neighbor’s paunch he struck
    • A grievous blow, by great ill luck;
    • Pardon for this he first entreated,
    • And then in haste his bow repeated.
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    • His right-hand neighbor next he hit,
    • And begg’d him, too, to pardon it;
    • But on his granting his petition
    • Another was in like condition;
    • These compliments he paid to all,
    • Behind, before, across the hall;
    • At length one who could stand no more
    • Show’d him impatiently the door.
    • * * * * *
    • May many, pond’ring on their crimes,
    • A moral draw from this betimes!
    • II.
    • As he proceeded on his way
    • He thought, “I was too weak to-day;
    • To bow I’ll ne’er again be seen;
    • For goats will swallow what is green.”
    • Across the fields he now must speed,
    • Not over stumps and stones, indeed,
    • But over meads and cornfields sweet,
    • Trampling down all with clumsy feet.
    • A farmer met him by-and-by,
    • And didn’t ask him: how? or why?
    • But with his fist saluted him.
    • “I feel new life in every limb!”
    • Our traveller cried in ecstasy.
    • “Who art thou who thus gladden’st me?
    • May Heaven such blessings ever send!
    • Ne’er may I want a jovial friend!”
lf0841-01_figure_094.jpg

artist: b plockhorst.

THE LEGEND OF THE HORSE-SHOE.

THE LEGEND OF THE HORSESHOE.

    • WHAT time our Lord still walk’d the earth,
    • Unknown, despis’d, of humble birth,
    • And on Him many a youth attended
    • (His words they seldom comprehended),
    • It ever seem’d to Him most meet
    • To hold His court in open street,
    • As under heaven’s broad canopy
    • One speaks with greater liberty.
    • The teachings of His blessed word
    • From out His holy mouth were heard;
    • Each market to a fane turn’d He
    • With parable and simile.
    • One day, as tow’rd a town He rov’d,
    • In peace of mind with those He lov’d,
    • Upon the path a something gleam’d:
    • A broken horseshoe ’twas, it seem’d.
    • So to St. Peter thus He spake:
    • “That piece of iron prithee take!”
    • St. Peter’s thoughts had gone astray;
    • He had been musing on his way
    • Respecting the world’s government—
    • A dream that always gives content,
    • For in the head ’tis check’d by naught;
    • This ever was his dearest thought.
    • For him this prize was far too mean;—
    • Had it a crown and sceptre been!
    • But surely ’twasn’t worth the trouble
    • For half a horseshoe to bend double!
    • And so he turn’d away his head
    • As if he heard not what was said.
    • The Lord, forbearing tow’rd all men,
    • Himself pick’d up the horseshoe then
    • (He ne’er again like this stoop’d down).
    • And when at length they reach’d the town,
    • Before a smithy He remain’d,
    • And there a penny for’t obtain’d.
    • As they the market-place went by,
    • Some beauteous cherries caught His eye;
    • Accordingly He bought as many
    • As could be purchas’d for a penny,
    • And then, as oft His wont had been,
    • Plac’d them within his sleeve unseen.
    • They went out by another gate,
    • O’er plains and fields proceeding straight;
    • No house or tree was near the spot;
    • The sun was bright, the day was hot;
    • In short, the weather being such,
    • A draught of water was worth much.
    • The Lord walk’d on before them all,
    • And let, unseen, a cherry fall.
    • St. Peter rush’d to seize it bold,
    • As though an apple ’twere of gold;
    • His palate much approv’d the berry.
    • The Lord ere long another cherry
    • Once more let fall upon the plain;
    • St. Peter forthwith stoop’d again.
    • The Lord kept making him thus bend
    • To pick up cherries without end.
    • For a long time the thing went on;
    • The Lord then said, in cheerful tone:
    • “Hadst thou but mov’d when thou wert bid,
    • Thou of this trouble hadst been rid;
    • The man who small things scorns will next
    • By things still smaller be perplex’d.”
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Epigrams.

In these numbers be express’d

Meaning deep, ’neath merry jest.

TO ORIGINALS.

  • AFELLOW says: “I own no school or college;
  • No master lives whom I acknowledge;
  • And pray don’t entertain the thought
  • That from the dead I e’er learn’d aught.”
  • This, if I rightly understand,
  • Means: “I’m a blockhead at first hand.”

THE SOLDIER’S CONSOLATION.

  • NO! in truth there’s here no lack:
  • White the bread, the maidens black!
  • To another town, next night:
  • Black the bread, the maidens white!

GENIAL IMPULSE.

  • THUS roll I, never taking ease,
  • My tub, like Saint Diogenes,
  • Now serious am, now seek to please;
  • Now love and hate in turns one sees;
  • The motives now are those, now these;
  • Now nothings, now realities.
  • Thus roll I, never taking ease,
  • My tub, like Saint Diogenes.

NEITHER THIS NOR THAT.

  • IF thou to be a slave should’st will,
  • Thou’lt get no pity, but fare ill;
  • And if a master thou would’st be,
  • The world will view it angrily;
  • And if in statu quo thou stay,
  • That thou art but a fool, they’ll say.

THE WAY TO BEHAVE.

  • THOUGH tempers are bad, and peevish folks swear,
  • Remember to ruffle thy brows, friend, ne’er;
  • And let not the fancies of women so fair
  • E’er serve thy pleasure in life to impair.

THE BEST.

  • WHEN head and heart are busy, say,
  • What better can be found?
  • Who neither loves nor goes astray,
  • Were better under ground.

AS BROAD AS IT’S LONG.

  • MODEST men must needs endure,
  • And the bold must humbly bow;
  • Thus thy fate’s the same, be sure,
  • Whether bold or modest thou.
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CALM AT SEA.

    • SILENCE deep rules o’er the waters,
    • Calmly slumb’ring lies the main,
    • While the sailor views with trouble
    • Naught but one vast level plain.
    • Not a zephyr is in motion!
    • Silence fearful as the grave!
    • In the mighty waste of ocean
    • Sunk to rest is ev’ry wave.
    • BE who with life makes sport
    • Can prosper never,
    • Who rules himself in naught,
    • Is a slave ever.

THE RULE OF LIFE.

  • IF thou would’st live unruffled by care,
  • Let not the past torment thee e’er;
  • As little as possible be thou annoy’d,
  • And let the present be ever enjoy’d;
  • Ne’er let thy breast with hate be supplied,
  • And to God the future confide.

THE SAME, EXPANDED.

  • IF thou would’st live unruffled by care,
  • Let not the past torment thee e’er;
  • If any loss thou hast to rue,
  • Act as though thou wert born anew;
  • Inquire the meaning of each day:
  • What each day means, itself will say;
  • In their own actions take thy pleasure,
  • What others do, thou’lt duly treasure,
  • Ne’er let thy breast with hate be supplied,
  • And to God the future confide.
lf0841-01_figure_095.jpg
  • GOOD wine is drunken everywhere.
  • For gracefulest cup the toper’s no seeker;
  • But if my wine shall taste me fair,
  • Give me a costly Grecian beaker.
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THE FAIR AT HUEHENEFELD.
July 25th, 1814.

lf0841-01_figure_096.jpg
  • I WENT with haughty nonchalance
  • To give the Fair a passing glance,
  • To see the pedlers at the booths,
  • And, using old Lavater’s truths,
  • Once whisper’d in my ear, to try
  • If I were wise yet. Bluff’d was I.
  • The first I saw were soldiers gay,
  • Dress’d in their very best array.
  • The stress and strain of war was done;
  • They had no wish for another begun.
  • Their fine coats for the girls had charms,
  • Who threw themselves in the soldiers’ arms.
  • Peasant and burgher stood amaz’d;
  • The excellent lads were almost daz’d;
  • Their pennies and pains were thoroughly wasted;
  • The cup of glory they had not tasted.
  • And so for the end they all stood waiting,
  • Not quite pleas’d in contemplating.
  • Matrons and maidens with repose
  • Fitted themselves with wooden sabots.
  • You could see by their gestures, by their faces,
  • That their hopes were set in lofty places.
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artist: h. kaulbach.

MAIDEN WISHES.

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THE LITTLE GIRL’S WISH.

  • OH, would that some friend
  • A husband would send!
  • ’Tis such a nice game,
  • Mamma is my name.
  • One needs not to go
  • To school or to sew!
  • Then one can command;
  • Has servants at hand!
  • Can choose her own dresses,
  • And, what I confess is
  • The nicest, have candy
  • And sugar-plums handy;
  • And go out to ride;
  • And at balls be a bride;
  • And not have to ask
  • Papa and mamma, or be taken to task.

EPITAPH.

  • AS a boy, reserv’d and naughty;
  • As a youth, a coxcomb and haughty;
  • As a man, for action inclin’d;
  • As a graybeard, fickle in mind.—
  • Upon thy grave will people read:
  • This was a very man, indeed!

ADMONITION.

  • WHEREFORE ever ramble on?
  • For the Good is lying near.
  • Fortune learn to seize alone,
  • For that Fortune’s ever here.

MY ONLY PROPERTY.

  • I FEEL that I’m possess’d of naught,
  • Saving the free unfetter’d thought
  • Which from my bosom seeks to flow,
  • And each propitious passing hour
  • That suffers me in all its power
  • A loving fate with truth to know.

OLD AGE.

  • OLD age is courteous—no one more:
  • For time after time he knocks at the door,
  • But nobody says, “Walk in, sir, pray!”
  • Yet turns he not from the door away,
  • But lifts the latch, and enters with speed,
  • And then they cry, “A cool one, indeed!”

COURAGE.

    • CARELESSLY over the plain away,
    • Where by the boldest man no path
    • Cut before thee thou canst discern,
    • Make for thyself a path!
    • Silence, lov’d one, my heart!
    • Cracking, let it not break!
    • Breaking, break not with thee!

RULE FOR MONARCHS.

  • IF men are never their thoughts to employ,
  • Take care to provide them a life full of joy;
  • But if to some profit and use thou would’st bend them,
  • Take care to shear them, and then defend them.

MEMORIES.

    • THE remembrance of the Good
    • Keeps us ever glad in mood.
    • The remembrance of the Fair
    • Makes a mortal rapture share.
    • The remembrance of one’s Love
    • Bless’d is, if it constant prove.
    • The remembrance of the One
    • Is the greatest joy that’s known.
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PAULO POST FUTURI.

  • WEEP ye not, ye children dear,
  • That as yet ye are unborn:
  • For each sorrow and each tear
  • Makes the father’s heart to mourn.
  • Patient be a short time to it,
  • Unproduc’d, and known to none;
  • If your father cannot do it,
  • By your mother ’twill be done.

THE FOOL’S EPILOGUE.

    • MANY good works I’ve done and ended,
    • Ye take the praise—I’m not offended;
    • For in the world, I’ve always thought
    • Each thing its true position hath sought.
    • When prais’d for foolish deeds am I,
    • I set off laughing heartily;
    • When blam’d for doing something good,
    • I take it in an easy mood.
    • If some one stronger gives me hard blows,
    • That it’s a jest, I feign to suppose;
    • But if ’tis one that’s but my own like,
    • I know the way such folks to strike.
    • When Fortune smiles, I merry grow,
    • And sing in dulci jubilo;
    • When sinks her wheel, and tumbles me o’er,
    • I think ’tis sure to rise once more.
    • In the sunshine of summer I ne’er lament,
    • Because the winter it cannot prevent;
    • And when the white snow-flakes fall around,
    • I don my skates, and am off with a bound.
    • Though I dissemble as I will,
    • The sun for me will ne’er stand still;
    • The old and wonted course is run,
    • Until the whole of life is done;
    • Each day the servant like the lord
    • In turns comes home, and goes abroad;
    • If proud or humble the line they take,
    • They all must eat, drink, sleep and wake.
    • So nothing ever vexes me;
    • Act like the fool, and wise ye’ll be!

ON THE DIVAN.

    • HE who knows himself and others
    • Here will also see,
    • That the East and West, like brothers,
    • Parted ne’er shall be.
    • Thoughtfully to float forever
    • ’Tween two worlds, be man’s endeavor
    • So between the East and West
    • To revolve, be my behest!
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God and World.

PROOEMION.

lf0841-01_figure_098.jpg
  • IN His bless’d name, who was His own creation,
  • Who from all time makes making his vocation;
  • The name of Him who makes our faith so bright,
  • Love, confidence, activity and might;
  • In that One’s name, who, nam’d though oft He be,
  • Unknown is ever in Reality:
  • As far as ear can reach, or eyesight dim,
  • Thou findest but the known resembling Him;
  • How high soe’er thy fiery spirit hovers,
  • Its simile and type it straight discovers;
  • Onward thou’rt drawn, with feelings light and gay,
  • Where’er thou goest, smiling is the way;
  • No more thou numb’rest, reckonest no time,
  • Each step is infinite, each step sublime.
  • What God would outwardly alone control,
  • And on His finger whirl the mighty Whole?
  • He loves the inner world to move, to view
  • Nature in Him, Himself in Nature too,
  • So that what in Him works, and is, and lives,
  • The measure of His strength, His s