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Johann Georg Fischer, Schiller’s Works Illustrated by Great German Artists, Vol. 1 [1883]

Edition used:

Johann Georg Fischer, Schiller’s Works, illustrated by the greatest German artists, ed. J.G. Fischer with Biographical Introduction by Hjalmar H. Boysen (Philadelphia: George Barrie, 1883). Vol. 1. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/115

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About this Title:

A lavishly illustrated English edition of Schiller’s poems and plays.

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The text is in the public domain.

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Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]

Fr Pecht del.

published by george barrie

J. L. Raab sc.

Frederick Schiller

Edition: current; Page: [ii] Edition: current; Page: [iii] Edition: current; Page: [1]
SCHILLER’S WORKS
illustrated by the GREATEST GERMAN ARTISTS
edited by J. G. FISCHER with BIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION by HJALMAR H. BOYESEN, Ph. D.
VOLUME I
PHILADELPHIA
George Barrie, Publisher
Edition: current; Page: [2]

COPYRIGHT, 1883, BY GEORGE BARRIE.

Edition: current; Page: [3]

Poems.

Edition: current; Page: [4] Edition: current; Page: [5]

Poems

POEMS OF THE First Period.

HECTOR’S FAREWELL.

ANDROMACHE.

  • ART thou, Hector, hence for ever going
  • Where Achilles, with fierce vengeance glowing
  • To Patroclus piles a hecatomb?
  • Who, alas! will teach thine Infant truly
  • Spears to hurl, the Gods to honor duly,
  • When thou’rt buried in dark Orcus’ womb?
  • Edition: current; Page: [6]
  • For thy clashing arms I vain shall listen,
  • In thy halls thy glaive will idly glisten,
  • Priam’s hero-race in dust will lie;
  • Thou wilt go, where day can enter never,
  • Where Cocytus wails ’mid deserts ever,
  • And thy Love in Lethe’s stream will die.

HECTOR.

  • Dearest wife, restrain thy tearful sadness!
  • For the fray my bosom pants with madness,
  • This stout arm must Pergamus defend;
  • For my household Gods all dangers braving,
  • Should I fall, my Fatherland in saving,
  • To the Stygian flood I’ll glad descend.
  • Edition: current; Page: [6]
  • Though the ardent hopes, the thoughts I cherish,
  • All in Lethe’s silent stream may perish,
  • Yet my Love shall never die!
  • Hark! I hear the foe the walls assailing!
  • Gird my sword around me,—cease thy wailing!
  • Hector’s Love in Lethe cannot die!
Figure 1

AMALIA.

    • ANGEL-FAIR, Walhalla’s charms displaying,
    • Fairer than all mortal youths was he;
    • Mild his look, as May-day sunbeams straying
    • Gently o’er the blue and glassy sea.
    • And his kisses!—what ecstatic feeling!
    • Like two flames that lovingly entwine,
    • Like the harp’s soft tones together stealing
    • Into one sweet harmony divine,—
    • Soul and soul embraced, commingled, blended,
    • Lips and cheeks with trembling passion burn’d,
    • Heav’n and Earth, in pristine chaos ended,
    • Round the blissful Lovers madly turn’d.
    • He is gone—and, ah! with bitter anguish
    • Vainly now I breathe my mournful sighs;
    • He is gone—in hopeless grief I languish,
    • Earthly joys I ne’er again can prize!

A FUNERAL PHANTASY.

    • LO! on high the moon, her lustre dead,
    • O’er the death-like grove uplifts her head,
    • Sighing flits the spectre through the gloom—
    • Misty clouds are shivering,
    • Pallid stars are quivering,
    • Looking down, like lamps within a tomb.
    • Spirit-like, all silent, pale, and wan,
    • Marshall’d in procession dark and sad,
    • To the sepulchre a crowd moves on,
    • In the grave-night’s dismal emblems clad.
    • Who is he, who, trembling on his crutch,
    • Walks with gloomy and averted eye,
    • And bow’d down by Destiny’s harsh touch,
    • Vents his sorrow in a mournful sigh
    • O’er the coffin borne in silence by?
    • Was it “Father!” from the youth’s lips came?
    • Soon a damp and fearful shudder flies
    • Through his grief-emaciated frame,
    • And his silv’ry hairs on end uprise.
    • All his fiery wounds now bleed anew!
    • Thro’ his soul, hell’s bitter torments run!
    • “Father!” ’twas that from the youth’s lips flew,
    • And the Father’s heart hath whisper’d, “Son!”
    • Ice-cold, ice-cold, in his shroud he lies,—
    • By thy dream, so sweet and golden erst,
    • Sweet and golden, Father, thou art curst!
    • Ice-cold, ice-cold, in his shroud he lies,
    • Who was once thy joy, thy Paradise!
    • Mild, as when, fann’d by Elysian gale,
    • Flora’s son over the verdant plain skips,
    • Girded with roses that fragrance exhale,
    • When from the arms of Aurora he slips,—
    • Onward he sped o’er the sweet-smelling field,
    • Mirror’d below in the silvery flood;
    • Rapturous flames in his kiss were conceal’d,
    • Chasing the maidens in amorous mood.
    • Boldly he sprang ’mid the stir of mankind,
    • As o’er the mountains a youthful roe springs;
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    • Heav’nward ascended his wish unconfin’d,
    • High as the eagle his daring flight wings.
    • Proud as the steeds that in passion their manes,
    • Foaming and champing, toss round in wild waves,
    • Rearing in majesty under the reins,
    • Stood he alike before monarchs and slaves.
    • Bright as a spring-day, his life’s joyous round
    • Fleeted in Hesperus’ glory away;
    • Sighs in the grape’s juice all golden he drown’d,
    • Sorrow he still’d in the dance light and gay.
    • Worlds were asleep in the promising boy,
    • Ha! when he once as a man shall be ripe,—
    • Father, rejoice—in thy promising boy,
    • Soon as the slumbering germ shall be ripe!
    • Not so, Father—hark! the churchyard gates
    • Groan, and lo, the iron hinges creak!—
    • See the dreaded tomb its prey awaits!—
    • Not so—let the tears course down thy cheek!
    • Tow’rd Perfection, lov’d one, hasten on,
    • In the sun’s bright path with joy proceed!
    • Quench thy noble thirst for bliss alone
    • In Walhalla’s peace, from sorrow freed!
    • Ye will meet—oh, thought of rapture full!—
    • Yonder, at the gate of Paradise!
    • Hark! the coffin sinks with echo dull;
    • As it re-ascends the death-rope sighs!
    • Then, with sorrow drunk, we madly roll’d,
    • Lips were silent, but the mute eye spoke—
    • Stay, oh, stay!—we grudg’d the tomb so cold;
    • But soon warmer tears in torrents broke.
    • Lo! on high the moon, her lustre dead,
    • O’er the deathlike grove uplifts her head,
    • Sighing flits the spectre through the gloom,
    • Misty clouds are shivering,
    • Pallid stars are quivering,
    • Looking down, like lamps within a tomb.
    • Dully o’er the coffin earth-flakes rise,—
    • All the wealth of earth for one look more!
    • Now the grave barr’d up for ever lies;
    • Duller, duller o’er the coffin earth-flakes rise
    • Never will the grave its prey restore!
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PHANTASY.

  • TO LAURA.

    • NAME, my Laura, name the whirl-compelling
    • Bodies to unite in one blest whole—
    • Name, my Laura, name the wondrous magic
    • By which soul rejoins its kindred soul!
    • See! it teaches yonder roving Planets
    • Round the sun to fly in endless race;
    • And as children play around their mother,
    • Checker’d circles round the orb to trace.
    • Every rolling star, by thirst tormented,
    • Drinks with joy its bright and golden rain—
    • Drinks refreshment from its fiery chalice,
    • As the limbs are nourish’d by the brain.
    • ’Tis through Love that atom pairs with atom,
    • In a harmony eternal, sure;
    • And ’tis Love that links the spheres together—
    • Through her only, systems can endure.
    • Were she but effaced from Nature’s clockwork,
    • Into dust would fly the mighty world;
    • O’er thy systems thou wouldst weep, great Newton,
    • When with giant force to Chaos hurl’d!
    • Blot the goddess from the Spirit Order,
    • It would sink in death, and ne’er arise.
    • Were Love absent, spring would glad us never;
    • Were Love absent, none their God would prize!
    • What is that, which, when my Laura kisses,
    • Dyes my cheek with flames of purple hue,
    • Bids my bosom bound with swifter motion,
    • Like a fever wild my veins runs through?
    • Ev’ry nerve from out its barriers rises,
    • O’er its banks the blood begins to flow;
    • Body seeks to join itself to Body,
    • Spirits kindle in one blissful glow.
    • Powerful as in the dead creations
    • That eternal impulses obey,
    • O’er the web Arachne-like of Nature,—
    • Living Nature,—Love exerts her sway.
    • Laura, see how Joyousness embraces
    • E’en the overflow of sorrows wild!
    • How e’en rigid desperation kindles
    • On the loving breast of Hope so mild.
    • Sisterly and blissful rapture softens
    • Gloomy Melancholy’s fearful night,
    • And, delivered of its golden Children,
    • Lo, the eye pours forth its radiance bright!
    • Does not awful Sympathy rule over
    • E’en the realms that Evil calls its own?
    • For ’tis Hell our crimes are ever wooing,
    • While they bear a grudge ’gainst heaven alone!
    • Shame, Repentance, pair Eumenides-like,
    • Weave round Sin their fearful serpent-coils;
    • While around the eagle-wings of Greatness
    • Treach’rous danger winds its dreaded toils.
    • Ruin oft with Pride is wont to trifle,
    • Envy upon Fortune loves to cling;
    • On her brother, Death, with arms extended,
    • Lust, his sister, oft is wont to spring.
    • On the wings of Love the Future hastens
    • In the arms of ages past to lie;
    • And Saturnus, as he onward speeds him,
    • Long has sought his bride—Eternity!
    • Soon Saturnus will his bride discover,—
    • So the mighty Oracle hath said;
    • Blazing worlds will turn to marriage torches
    • When Eternity with Time shall wed!
    • Then a fairer, far more beauteous morning,
    • Laura, on our love shall also shine,
    • Long as their blest bridal-night enduring:—
    • So rejoice thee, Laura—Laura mine!
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TO LAURA AT THE HARPSICHORD.

    • WHEN o’er the chords thy fingers stray,
    • My spirit leaves its mortal clay,
    • A statue there I stand;
    • Thy spell controls e’en life and death,
    • As when the nerves a living breath
    • Receive by Love’s command!
    • More gently Zephyr sighs along
    • To listen to thy magic song:
    • The systems formed by heav’nly love
    • To sing for ever as they move,
    • Pause in their endless-whirling round
    • To catch the rapture-teeming sound;
    • ’Tis for thy strains they worship thee,—
    • Thy look, enchantress, fetters me!
    • From yonder chords fast-thronging come
    • Soul-breathing notes with rapturous speed,
    • As when from out their heav’nly home
    • The new-born seraphim proceed;
    • The strains pour forth their magic might,
    • As glitt’ring suns burst through the night,
    • When, by Creation’s storm awoke,
    • From Chaos’ giant-arm they broke.
    • Now sweet, as when the silv’ry wave
    • Delights the pebbly beach to lave;
    • And now majestic as the sound
    • Of rolling thunder gath’ring round;
    • Now pealing more loudly, as when from yon height
    • Descends the mad mountain-stream, foaming and bright;
    • Now in a song of love
    • Dying away,
    • As thro’ the aspen grove
    • Soft zephyrs play;
    • Now heavier and more mournful seems the strain,
    • As when across the desert, death-like plain,
    • Whence whispers dread and yells despairing rise,
    • Cocytus’ sluggish, wailing current sighs.
    • Maiden fair, oh, answer me!
    • Are not spirits leagued with thee?
    • Speak they in the realms of bliss
    • Other language e’er than this?
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RAPTURE.

  • TO LAURA.

    • FROM earth I seem to wing my flight,
    • And sun myself in Heaven’s pure light,
    • When thy sweet gaze meets mine
    • I dream I quaff ethereal dew,
    • When mine own form I mirror’d view
    • In those blue eyes divine!
    • Blest notes from Paradise afar,
    • Or strains from some benignant star
    • Enchant my ravish’d ear;
    • My muse feels then the shepherd’s hour
    • When silv’ry tones of magic power
    • Escape those lips so dear!
    • Young loves around thee fan their wings—
    • Behind, the madden’d fir-tree springs,
    • As when by Orpheus fir’d;
    • The poles whirl round with swifter motion,
    • When in the dance, like waves o’er ocean,
    • Thy footsteps float untir’d!
    • Thy look, if it but beam with love,
    • Could make the lifeless marble move,
    • And hearts in rocks enshrine;
    • My visions to reality
    • Will turn, if, Laura, in thine eye
    • I read—that thou art mine!

THE SECRET OF REMINISCENCE.

  • TO LAURA.

    • WHAT unveils to me the yearning glow
    • Fix’d for ever to thy lips to grow?
    • What the longing wish thy breath to drink,—
    • In thy being blest, in death to sink
    • When thy look steals o’er me?
    • As when slaves without resistance yield
    • To the victor in the battle-field,
    • So my senses in the moment fly
    • O’er the bridge of life tumultuously
    • When thou stand’st before me!
    • Speak! why should they from their master roam?
    • Do my senses yonder seek their home?
    • Or do sever’d brethren meet again,
    • Casting off the body’s heavy chain,
    • Where thy foot hath lighted?
    • Were our beings once together twin’d?
    • Was it therefore that our bosoms pin’d?
    • Were we in the light of suns now dead,
    • In the days of rapture long since fled,
    • Into one united?
    • Aye! we were so! thou wert link’d with me,
    • In Æone that has ceas’d to be;
    • On the mournful page of vanish’d time,
    • By my muse were read these words sublime:
    • Nought thy love can sever!
    • And in being closely twin’d and fair,
    • I, too, wondering saw it written there,—
    • We were then a life, a Deity,—
    • And the world seem’d order’d then to lie
    • ’Neath our sway for ever.
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    • And, to meet us, nectar-fountains still
    • Pour’d for ever forth their blissful rill;
    • Forcibly we broke the seal of Things,
    • And to Truth’s bright sunny hill our wings
    • Joyously were soaring.
    • Laura, weep!—this Deity hath flown,—
    • Thou and I his ruins are alone;
    • By a thirst unquenchable we’re driven
    • Our lost Being to embrace;—tow’rd Heaven
    • Turns our gaze imploring.
    • Therefore, Laura, is this yearning glow
    • Fix’d for ever to thy lips to grow,
    • And the longing wish thy breath to drink,
    • In thy Being blest, in death to sink
    • When thy look steals o’er me!
    • And as Slaves without resistance yield,
    • To the Victor in the battle-field,
    • Therefore do my ravish’d Senses fly
    • O’er the bridge of Life tumultuously,
    • When thou stand’st before me!
    • Therefore do they from their Master roam!
    • Therefore do my Senses seek their home!
    • Casting off the Body’s heavy chain,
    • Those long-sever’d brethren kiss again,
    • Hush’d is all their sighing!
    • And thou, too—when on me fell thine eye,
    • What disclos’d thy cheek’s deep-purple dye?
    • Tow’rd each other, like relations dear,
    • As an exile to his home draws near,
    • Were we not then flying?

MELANCHOLY.

  • TO LAURA.

    • LAURA,—in thy golden gaze
    • Burns the morning sunbeam’s glow,
    • In thy cheek the red blood plays,
    • And thy tears, that pearl-like flow,
    • Rapture as their Mother know—
    • He whom those fair drops bedew,
    • Who therein a God can view,
    • Ah, the youth who thus rewarded sighs,
    • Sees new suns begin to rise!
    • And thy Spirit, bright and clear,
    • As the glassy waves appear,
    • Turns to May the Autumn sad;
    • Deserts wild, inspiring fear,
    • In thy genial rays are glad.
    • Distant Future, gloomy, cold,
    • In thy star is turn’d to gold;
    • Smil’st thou at the Graces’ harmony?
    • I must weep those charms to see!
    • Have not Night’s all-dreaded Powers
    • Undermin’d Earth’s fastness long?
    • Yes! our proudly-soaring towers,
    • And our cities, stately, strong,
    • All on mould’ring bones repose;
    • From Decay their fragrant bloom
    • Drink thy flowers; thy current flows
    • From the hollow of a—tomb!
    • Laura, yonder floating planets see!
    • Let them of their Worlds discourse to thee!
    • ’Neath their magic Circle’s sway,
    • Thousand springs have pass’d away,
    • Thousand thrones the skies have sought,
    • Thousand fearful fights been fought.
    • Wouldst thou find their trace again,
    • Seek it on the iron plain!
    • Earlier, later, ripe to pass
    • To the grave,—the wheels, alas,
    • Of the Planets clogg’d remain!
    • Thrice look round,—and lo! the sun’s bright rays
    • In the death-night’s Ocean quench their blaze;
    • Ask me how thy beams are fann’d to flame!
    • Dost thou boast thy sparkling eye,
    • Or thy cheek’s fresh purple dye,
    • That from crumbling Mould first came?
    • For the hues he lent to thee,
    • Maiden, Death with usury
    • Heavy interest soon will claim!
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    • Maiden, do not scorn that mighty one!
    • On the cheek a fairer, brighter dye
    • Is, alas! but Death’s more beauteous throne;
    • From behind that flow’ry tapestry
    • Marks his prey the Spoiler for his own.
    • Laura—in thy Worshipper confide!
    • ’Tis tow’rd Death alone thine eyes now strain;
    • And thy beaming glances only drain
    • Life’s frail lamp so niggardly supplied.
    • “Yet my pulses,” boastest thou,
    • “Throb in joyous youthful play”—
    • Ah! the Tyrant’s creatures now
    • Are but hast’ning tow’rds Decay.
    • And this smile the blast of Death
    • Scatters, as the zephyr’s breath
    • Scatters rainbow-colored foam.
    • Vain thou seek’st to find its trace,
    • E’en from Nature’s spring-like grace,
    • E’en from Life, as from his home,
    • Sallies the Destroyer base!
    • Stripp’d of leaves I see thy lifeless roses,
    • Pale and dead thy mouth so sweet of yore,
    • And thy cheek, that dimples soft discloses,
    • By the wintry tempest furrow’d o’er.
    • Gloomy years will, gathering blacker, stronger,
    • Cloud the silver-spring of Infancy—
    • Then will Laura—Laura love no longer,
    • Then will Laura lovely cease to be!
    • Maiden! as an oak thy Bard still rears his head;
    • Blunt against my rock-like youthful might
    • Falls the death-spear’s shaft, its vigor fled;
    • And my glances,—burning as the light
    • Of yon Heaven,—my Soul more fiercely glowing
    • Than the light of yon eternal Heaven,
    • O’er its own World’s heaving Ocean driven,
    • Piling rocks and overthrowing;
    • Boldly through the world my thoughts are steering,
    • Nothing save their barriers fearing!
    • Glow’st thou, Laura?—Swells thy haughty breast?
    • Learn then, Maiden, that this drink so blest,
    • That this cup of god-like seeming,
    • Laura, is with Poison teeming!
    • Hapless they who ever trust
    • Sparks divine to forge from dust!
    • Ah! the boldest Harmony
    • ’Mongst the notes but discord breeds,
    • Genius, glowing Spark from high,
    • On Life’s glimm’ring lamp but feeds.
    • Lur’d from Life’s bright throne away,
    • Ev’ry Gaoler marks him as his prey!
    • Ah! e’en now, with shameless passion fir’d,
    • ’Gainst me all my Spirits have conspir’d!
    • Let—I feel it—two short springs fleet by,
    • Laura—and this tott’ring house of clay
    • Will with fearful ruin on me lie,
    • Quenching me in my self-kindled ray!—
    • Weep’st thou, Laura?—Be that tear denied
    • Which as Age’s penance is supplied!
    • Hence! away! thou tear, thou sinner mean!
    • Wouldst thou, Laura, that my strength should sink?—
    • That I trembling from that Sun should shrink
    • Who the stripling’s eagle-course hath seen?
    • That my bosom’s heav’nly flame so bright
    • ’Neath a frozen heart’s cold touch should perish?—
    • That my Spirit should be reft of sight?—
    • Must I curse the Sins that most I cherish?
    • No! away! thou tear, thou sinner mean!
    • Break the flow’ret in its fairest bloom!
    • Quench, O Youth, with that deep look of gloom,
    • Quench with bitter tears my torch’s ray!
    • As when o’er the scene that most enthrals
    • On the tragic stage, the curtain falls
    • Though each shadow flies,—the crowds all-breathless stay!
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THE INFANTICIDE.

    • HARK!—the bells are tolling mournfully,
    • And the dial’s hand hath run its race.
    • In the name of God, so let it be!
    • Grave-attendants,—to the fatal place!
    • Take, O World, this last departing kiss!
    • Take, O World, these bitter tears away!
    • Yet thy poison had a taste of bliss!—
    • Bosom-poisoner, we are quit to-day!
    • Fare thee well, thou happiness of Earth,
    • Now to be exchang’d for crumbling mould!
    • Fare ye well, ye days of rosy birth,
    • That the maiden revell’d in of old!
    • Fare ye well, ye gold-embroider’d dreams,
    • Heaven-descended Phantasies so bright!
    • Ah, they perish’d in their morning beams,
    • Ne’er again to blossom to the light!
    • I was deck’d with rosy ribbons fair,
    • Clad in Innocence’s swan-like dress,
    • And my bright and loosely flowing hair
    • Rosebuds sweet then carelessly did press.
    • Woe, oh woe! though garments white still grace
    • Her who now is Hell’s sad sacrifice,
    • Yet, alas, those rosy ribbons’ place
    • Now the fillet black of Death supplies!
    • Weep for me, oh, ye who never fell!
    • Ye for whom the guileless lily blows,—
    • On whose gentle bosoms as they swell
    • Nature her heroic strength bestows!
    • Woe!—this heart has felt frail passion’s charms,
    • Feeling now my judgment-sword must be!
    • Woe!—encircl’d in the False One’s arms,
    • Slept my Virtue,—ah, too easily!
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    • Ah, forgetting me, that serpent heart
    • Makes Another now perchance its prey,—
    • Overflows, when I to Death depart,
    • At her toilet in some amorous play!—
    • Sports, it may be, with his Maiden’s hair,
    • Drinks the kiss that she responsive brings,
    • When upon the death-block spurting there,
    • From my body, high the life-blood springs!
    • Joseph! Joseph! many a weary mile
    • May Louisa’s death-song follow thee!
    • And the belfry’s hollow peal the while
    • On thy startled ear strike fearfully!
    • When Love’s soft and murmuring tones may swell
    • Tow’rd thee from some Maiden’s tender lips,
    • Sudden let them plant a Wound from Hell,
    • Where Joy’s rosy form its Being sips!
    • Traitor! heed’st thou not Louisa’s smart?—
    • Not, thou Cruel one, a Woman’s shame?—
    • Not the unborn Life beneath my heart?—
    • Not what e’en the tiger fierce would tame?
    • See! his sails now proudly leave this land,
    • Sadly after them is turn’d mine eye,
    • While around the Maids on Seine’s far strand,
    • Breathes he forth his false and treach’rous sigh!
    • And my baby,—wrapp’d in soft repose—
    • Calmly lay it on its mother’s breast;
    • In the beauty of the morning rose
    • Sweetly on me smil’d the infant blest.
    • Deadly-lovely was each feature fair
    • Of its blissful image tow’rd me bent;
    • While by Love and visions of Despair
    • Was its mother’s tortured bosom rent.
    • “Woman, where’s my Father?”—Thus it spoke
    • In its innocent mute thunder-tone;
    • “Woman, where’s thy Spouse?”—responsive broke
    • From my inmost heart, with heavy groan.
    • Him who now may other children kiss,
    • Orphan, thou, alas, wilt seek in vain!
    • Thou wilt curse the moment of our bliss,
    • When the Bastard’s name inflicts its stain.
    • And thy mother—in her heart is Hell!
    • Lonely sits she in wide Nature’s All,
    • Thirsting ever at the blissful well,
    • Which thy sight converts to bitter gall.
    • Ah! with ev’ry sound from thee arise
    • Madden’d feelings of departed joy,
    • And Death’s bitter arrow ’gainst me flies,
    • From the smiling glances of my Boy.
    • Hell surrounds me when thy form I miss;
    • Hell, whene’er mine eyes thy form behold!
    • And the Furies’ lash is now thy kiss,
    • That from his lips ravish’d me of old!
    • From the Grave his Oath still thunders back,
    • Ever does his Perjury kill on—
    • Here around me twined the Hydra black,
    • And the work of Murder soon was done!
    • Joseph! Joseph! many a weary mile
    • May the phantom dread thy steps pursue,
    • Catch thee in its ice-cold arms the while,
    • From thy dream of rapture wake thee, too!
    • May thine infant’s dying gaze so sad
    • Glare down from the softly glimm’ring star,
    • Meet thee in its bloody vesture clad,
    • Scourge thee back from Paradise afar!
    • See! there lay it lifeless at my feet,—
    • Coldly staring-with a mind confus’d
    • Saw I then its Life-blood’s current fleet,
    • And my own Life with that current ooz’d;—
    • Fearfully the messengers of doom
    • Knock e’en now,—more fearfully my heart!
    • Gladly haste I, in the chilly tomb
    • Evermore to quench my burning smart.
    • Joseph! thou may’st pardon’d be by Heaven,
    • Thou art pardon’d by the Sinner, too!
    • To the Earth my wrongs be henceforth given!
    • Rake, ye Flames, the Death-pile thro’ and thro’!
    • Joy! oh, Joy! His letters burn on high,
    • And a conquering flame his oath devours,
    • While his kisses upwards blazing fly!—
    • Yet was aught so dear in happier hours!
    • Sisters, trust your youthful roses ne’er,
    • Trust them ne’er to false Man’s treach’rous vow!
    • Beauty for my Virtue laid its snare,—
    • On the Place of Death I curse it now!
    • Tears?—From stranglers’ eyes can tears, then, gush?
    • Let my face the bandage quickly veil.
    • Hangman, canst not thou a lily crush?
    • Do not tremble, Hangman pale!
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THE GREATNESS OF THE WORLD.

    • THROUGH the world which the Spirit creative and kind
    • First form’d out of Chaos, I fly like the wind,
    • Until on the strand
    • Of its billows I land,
    • My anchor cast forth where the breeze blows no more,
    • And Creation’s last boundary stands on the shore.
    • I saw infant stars into Being arise,
    • For thousands of years to roll on through the skies;
    • I saw them in play
    • Seek their goal far away,—
    • For a moment my fugitive gaze wander’d on,
    • I look’d round me, and lo!—all those bright stars had flown!
    • Madly yearning to reach the dark Kingdom of Night,
    • I boldly steer on with the speed of the light;
    • All misty and drear
    • The dim Heavens appear,
    • While embryo systems and seas at their source
    • Are whirling around the Sun - Wanderer’s course.
    • When sudden a Pilgrim I see drawing near
    • Along the lone path,—“Stay! What seekest thou here?”
    • “My bark, tempest-tost,
    • “Seeks the world’s distant coast,
    • “I sail tow’rd the land where the breeze blows no more,
    • “And Creation’s last boundary stands on the shore.”
    • “Stay, thou sailest in vain! ’Tis Infinity yonder!”—
    • “Tis Infinity, too, where thou, Pilgrim, wouldst wander!
    • “Eagle thoughts that aspire,
    • “Let your proud pinions tire!
    • “For ’tis here that sweet Phantasy, bold to the last,
    • “Her anchor in hopeless dejection must cast!”
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ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG MAN.

    • MOURNFUL groans, as when a Tempest lowers,
    • Echo from the dreary house of Woe;
    • Death-notes rise from yonder Minster’s towers!
    • Bearing out a youth, they slowly go;
    • Yes! a youth—unripe yet for the Bier,
    • Gather’d in the spring-time of his days,
    • Thrilling yet with pulses strong and clear,
    • With the flame that in his bright eye plays—
    • Yes! a Son—the Idol of his Mother,
    • (Oh, her mournful sigh shows that too well!)
    • Yes! my Bosom-friend,—alas, my Brother!—
    • Up! each Man, the sad Procession swell!
    • Do ye boast, ye Pines, so grey and old,
    • Storms to brave, with thunderbolts to sport?
    • And, ye Hills, that ye the Heavens uphold?
    • And, ye Heavens, that ye the Suns support?
    • Boasts the greybeard, who on haughty Deeds
    • As on billows, seeks Perfection’s height?
    • Boasts the Hero, whom his Prowess leads
    • Up to future Glory’s Temple bright?
    • If the gnawing worms the flow’ret blast,
    • Who can madly think he’ll ne’er decay?
    • Who above, below, can hope to last,
    • If the young man’s life thus fleets away?
    • Joyously his days of youth so glad
    • Danced along, in rosy garb beclad,
    • And the world, the world was then so sweet!
    • And how kindly, how enchantingly
    • Smiled the Future,—with what golden eye
    • Did Life’s Paradise his moments greet!
    • While the tear his Mother’s eye escap’d,
    • Under him the Realm of Shadows gap’d,
    • And the Fates his thread began to sever,—
    • Earth and Heaven then vanish’d from his sight,
    • From the Grave - Thought shrank he in affright—
    • Sweet the World is to the Dying ever!
    • Dumb and deaf ’tis in that narrow place,
    • Deep the Slumbers of the Buried One!
    • Brother! Ah, in ever-slack’ning race
    • All thy hopes their circuit cease to run!
    • Sunbeams oft thy native hill still lave,
    • But their glow thou never more canst feel;
    • O’er its flowers the Zephyr’s pinions wave,
    • O’er thine ear its murmur ne’er can steal;
    • Love will never tinge thine eye with gold,
    • Ne’er wilt thou embrace thy blooming bride,
    • Not e’en though our tears in torrents roll’d—
    • Death must now thine eye for ever hide!
    • Yet ’tis well!—for precious is thy Rest;
    • In that narrow house the Sleep is calm;
    • There, with Rapture, Sorrow leaves the breast,—
    • Man’s afflictions there no longer harm.
    • Slander now may wildly rave o’er thee,
    • And Temptation vomit Poison Fell,
    • O’er thee wrangle on the Pharisee,
    • Murd’rous bigots banish thee to Hell!
    • Rogues beneath Apostle-masks may leer,
    • And the Bastard Child of Justice play,
    • As it were with dice, with mankind here,
    • And so on, until the Judgment Day!
    • O’er thee Fortune still may juggle on,
    • For her minions blindly look around,—
    • Man now totter on his staggering throne,
    • And in dreary puddles now be found!
    • Blest art thou, within thy narrow cell!
    • To this stir of tragi-comedy,
    • To these Fortune-Waves that madly swell,
    • To this vain and childish Lottery,
    • To this busy crowd effecting naught,
    • To this rest with labour teeming o’er,
    • Brother!—to this Heaven with Devils fraught,
    • Now thine eyes have closed for evermore.
    • Fare thee well, oh, thou to memory dear,
    • By our blessings lull’d to slumbers sweet!
    • Sleep on calmly in thy prison drear,—
    • Sleep on calmly till again we meet!
    • Till the loud Almighty trumpet sounds,
    • Echoing through these corpse-encumber’d hills,—
    • Till God’s storm-wind, bursting through the bounds
    • Placed by Death, with Life those Corpses fills—
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    • Till, impregnate with Jehovah’s blast,
    • Graves bring forth, and at His menace dread,
    • In the smoke of Planets melting fast,
    • Once again the tombs give up their Dead!
    • Not in Worlds, as dreamt of by the Wise,
    • Not in Heavens, as sung in Poets’ song,
    • Not in e’en the People’s Paradise—
    • Yet we shall o’ertake thee, and ere long.
    • Is that true which cheer’d the Pilgrims’ gloom?
    • Is it true that Thoughts can yonder be?
    • True, that Virtue guides us o’er the tomb?
    • That ’tis more than empty Phantasy?
    • All these riddles are to thee unveil’d!
    • Truth thy Soul ecstatic now drinks up,
    • Truth in radiance thousandfold exhal’d
    • From the Mighty Father’s blissful cup.
    • Dark and silent Bearers draw, then, nigh!
    • To the Slayer serve the Feast the while!
    • Cease, ye Mourners, cease your wailing cry!
    • Dust on dust upon the Body pile!
    • Where’s the Man who God to tempt presumes?
    • Where the eye that thro’ the Gulf can see?
    • Holy, holy, holy art Thou, God of Tombs!
    • We, with awful trembling, worship Thee!
    • Dust may back to native dust be ground,
    • From its crumbling house the Spirit fly,
    • And the storm its ashes strew around,—
    • But its Love, its Love shall never die!
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THE BATTLE.

    • STORM-CLOUD like, overhead,
    • With a dull, heavy tread,
    • Moves the march through the wide plain so green;
    • And the field for the strife,
    • Where the stake is man’s life,
    • In its boundless expanse is now seen.
    • Tow’rd the ground every eye is uneasily cast,
    • And each warrior’s heart ’gainst his ribs beateth fast.
    • To the front now the Major with thundering pace
    • Gallops on past each pallid and death-lighted face—
    • Halt!
    • And the regiments obey that stern word of command,
    • While in silence unbroken the front takes its stand.
    • Glittering in the morning beam,
    • See ye on yon hill the gleam?
    • Is’t the banner of the foe?
    • Yes, their waving flag we know!
    • Wife and children of my love,
    • God protect ye from above!
    • Now merrily, merrily rise on the ear
    • The roll of the drum and the fife’s note so clear;
    • Oh! hark to the wildly harmonious tone,
    • How it thrills through the marrow and thrills through the bone!
    • God be with ye, comrades brave,—
    • We shall meet beyond the grave!
    • Soon the vivid lightning flashes,
    • Soon the rolling thunder crashes
    • From the fierce artillery;
    • Eyelids quiver,—loud are heard
    • Fearful sounds,—the signal word
    • Through each rank runs rapidly.
    • In God’s name, so let it be!—
    • Every breast now breathes more free.
    • Death is loose, the din grows louder,—
    • Sharper rings the musketry;
    • Driven by the deadly powder
    • Iron bullets fill the sky.
    • Almost touching each other the armies now stand,—
    • From platoon to platoon runs the word of command:
    • “Make ready!” with thundering roar;
    • And sudden the foremost on knee sinking low,
    • Their death-laden weapons discharge on the foe;
    • But many, alas! rise no more.
    • By the grapeshot resistless whole ranks are o’erthrown;
    • But as fast as the ranks in the front are mown down,
    • O’er their bodies the hinder ranks pour.
    • Devastation spreads around,
    • Whole battalions bite the ground.
    • The sun now sinks to rest,—hot burns the fight,
    • While o’er the armies broods the murky night.
    • God be with ye, comrades brave,—
    • We shall meet beyond the grave!
    • The life-blood in torrents spurts high as the head,
    • The living confusedly mix with the dead;
    • The foot as it moves stumbles over the slain.
    • While the conflict ’gins raging more wildly again.
    • “What, Frank! And thou, too?”—“Kiss my Charlotte for me!”
    • “Aye, Friend, that I will! . . . Good God! Comrades, see, see,
    • “How the grapeshot bursts full on our rear!
    • “. . . I will kiss her for thee! Now in peace slumber on,
    • “While I, left, alas! in the world all-alone,
    • “Seek the fast-falling balls without fear.”
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    • Now hither, and now thither bends the fight,
    • Still murkier o’er the armies broods the night.
    • God be with ye comrades brave—
    • We shall meet beyond the grave.
    • What means this sudden trampling sound?
    • The Adjutants are flying round,
    • Dragoons are rattling ’gainst the foe,
    • Whose thund’ring guns are lying low,
    • While they in all directions fly,—
    • Hurrah, my Comrades, Victory!
    • Their coward limbs in terror shrink,
    • And down their boasting banners sink!
    • Decided is the fearful fight,
    • The day gleams brightly through the night!
    • And hark, how triumphantly rise on the ear,
    • The roll of the drum and the fife’s note so clear!
    • Farewell, ye perish’d comrades brave—
    • Oh, we shall meet beyond the grave!

ROUSSEAU.

  • MONUMENT of our own Age’s shame,
  • On thy Country casting endless blame,
  • Rousseau’s Grave, how dear thou art to me!
  • Calm repose be to thy ashes blest!
  • In thy life thou vainly sought’st for rest,
  • But at length ’twas here obtain’d by thee!
  • When will ancient wounds be cover’d o’er?
  • Wise men died in heathen days of yore;
  • Now ’tis lighter—yet they die again.
  • Socrates was kill’d by Sophists vile,
  • Rousseau meets his death through Christians’ wile,—
  • Rousseau—who would fain make Christians men!
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FRIENDSHIP.
From the “Letters of Julius to Raphael;” an unpublished Romance.

    • TEMPERATE is the Being - Ruler, Friend!—
    • On those Thinkers mean let Shame attend
    • Who so anxiously seek Laws to solve!
    • Living-Worlds, and Regions of the Soul
    • On one Flywheel, tow’rd their limit roll;
    • Here my Newton saw that Wheel revolve!
    • Spheres,—the slaves of but one rein,—it tells
    • Round the mighty World’s heart, as it swells,
    • Labyrinthine paths to cause to rise—
    • Spirits, in entwining Systems laced,
    • Tow’rd the mighty Spirit-Sun to haste,
    • As the stream to join the ocean flies.
    • Was’t not this Machinery divine,
    • That compell’d our Bosoms to entwine
    • In the blest and endless bonds of Love?
    • Raphael, on thine Arm—oh, ecstasy!
    • Tow’rd that mighty Spirit-Sun, e’en I
    • On Perfection’s path would gladly rove.
    • Joy, oh, Joy! Thou now art found by me!
    • I, of millions, have embraced but thee,
    • And, of millions, mine art thou alone—
    • Let this World in Chaos still be lost,
    • Atoms in confusion wild be tost,
    • Into one our Hearts for aye have flown!
    • Must not I, from out thy flaming gaze,
    • Of my Rapture seek the answering rays?
    • ’Tis in thee alone myself I view—
    • Fairer still appears the earth so fair,
    • Brighter in the Loved One’s features there
    • Heaven is mirror’d,—of more dazzling hue.
    • Sweeter from the Passions’ storm to rest,
    • Melancholy casts upon Love’s breast
    • All the burden of her tearful gloom;
    • Does not e’en tormenting Rapture seek,
    • In thine eyes that eloquently speak,
    • Eagerly to find a blissful tomb?
    • Stood I in Creation all alone,
    • Spirits I would dream into each stone,
    • And their forms with kisses then would greet,—
    • When my wailings echoed far and wide,
    • Would be happy, if the Rocks replied,
    • Fool, enough! to Sympathy so sweet.
    • Lifeless groups are we, if hate we prove,
    • Gods—if we embrace in kindly love!
    • While we languish for the Fetters blest—
    • Upwards through the thousand-varying scale
    • Of unnumber’d Souls that nought avail,
    • Does this godlike impulse raise the breast.
    • Arm in arm, tow’rd some still higher sphere,
    • From the Mongol to the Grecian seer,
    • Who is with the last of seraphs bound,
    • Roam we on, in dancing orbit bright,
    • Till in yonder Sea of endless light
    • Time and Measure evermore are drown’d!
    • Friendless was the Mighty Lord of Earth,
    • Felt a Want—so gave the Spirit birth,
    • Mirror blest where His own glories shine!—
    • Ne’er his Like has found that Being high,—
    • Nought e’er gushes—save Infinity—
    • From the Spirit-Region’s Cup Divine!
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GROUP FROM TARTARUS.

    • HARK! Like the sea in wrath the Heav’ns assailing,
    • Or like a brook through rocky basin wailing,
    • Comes from below, in groaning agony,
    • A heavy, vacant, torment-breathing sigh!
    • Their faces marks of bitter torture wear,
    • While from their lips burst curses of despair;
    • Their eyes are hollow, and full of woe.
    • And their looks with heartfelt anguish
    • Seek Cocytus’ stream that runs wailing below,
    • For the bridge o’er its waters they languish.
    • And they say to each other in accents of fear,
    • “Oh, when will the time of Fulfilment appear?”
    • High over them boundless Eternity quivers,
    • And the scythe of Saturnus all-ruthlessly shivers!

ELYSIUM.

    • THOSE groans of deep anguish no longer resound,
    • Each accent of sorrow, each sigh, is now drown’d
    • In Elysium’s banquets so bright;
    • In bliss never-ending, in rapturous song,
    • As when thro’ the meadows a brook sings along,
    • Elysium’s days take their flight.
    • A May-day enduring, a ne’er changing spring
    • All gently its youthful and balm-laden wing
    • Waves over the sweet smiling plain;
    • In visions ecstatic the days fleet apace,
    • The Spirit expands through the wide realms of space,
    • And Truth rends the Cov’ring in twain.
    • ’Tis here that the bosom is swelling alone,
    • With rapture eternal and free from alloy;
    • The name of affliction is here e’er unknown,
    • And sorrow means nought but a more tranquil joy.
    • The pilgrim beneath these cool shades lays to rest
    • His feverish limbs by long wand’ring opprest,
    • His burden behind him forever he leaves;
    • The sickle escapes from the hand of the reaper,
    • And, lull’d by the harp’s strains seraphic, the sleeper
    • Beholds in his vision the harvest’s ripe sheaves
    • He whose banner war’s fierce thunder woke,
    • On whose ears the din of slaughter broke,
    • ’Neath whose foot the mountain quak’d in fear,
    • Slumbers calmly by the streamlet’s side,
    • While its silv’ry waters onward glide,
    • And forgets his wildly-clanging spear.
    • Here all faithful lovers meet again,
    • Kiss each other on the verdant plain,
    • Scented by the balmy zephyr’s breath;
    • Love here finds once more his crown of gold
    • ’Gins his endless marriage-feast to hold,
    • Safe for ever from the stroke of Death!
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THE FUGITIVE.

    • THE air is perfum’d with the morning’s fresh breeze,
    • From the bush peer the sunbeams all purple and bright,
    • While they gleam through the clefts of the dark-waving trees,
    • And the cloud-crested mountains are golden with light.
    • With joyful, melodious, ravishing strain,
    • The lark, as he wakens, salutes the glad sun,
    • Who glows in the arms of Aurora again,
    • And blissfully smiling, his race ’gins to run.
    • All hail, light of day!
    • Thy sweet gushing ray
    • Pours down its soft warmth over pasture and field;
    • With hues silver-tinged
    • The Meadows are fringed,
    • And numberless suns in the dewdrop reveal’d.
    • Young Nature invades
    • The whispering shades,
    • Displaying each ravishing charm;
    • The soft zephyr blows,
    • And kisses the rose,
    • The plain is sweet-scented with balm.
    • How high from yon city the smoke-clouds ascend!
    • Their neighing, and snorting, and bellowing blend
    • The horses and cattle;
    • The chariot-wheels rattle
    • As down to the valley they take their mad way;
    • And even the forest with life seems to move,
    • The eagle, and falcon, and hawk soar above,
    • And flutter their pinions in Heaven’s bright ray.
    • In search of repose
    • From my heart-rending woes,
    • Oh, where shall my sad spirit flee?
    • The earth’s smiling face,
    • With its sweet youthful grace,
    • A tomb must, alas, be for me!
    • Arise, then, thou sunlight of morning, and fling
    • O’er plain and o’er forest thy purple-dyed beams!
    • Thou twilight of evening, all noiselessly sing
    • In melody soft to the world as it dreams!
    • Ah, sunlight of morning, to me thou but flingest
    • Thy purple-dyed beams o’er the grave of the past!
    • Ah, twilight of evening, thy strains thou but singest
    • To one whose deep slumbers for ever must last!
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artist: edmund kanoldt.

THE FUGITIVE.

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THE FLOWERS.

    • YE offspring of the morning sun,
    • Ye flowers that deck the smiling plain,
    • Your lives, in joy and bliss begun,
    • In Nature’s love unchanged remain.
    • With hues of bright and godlike splendor
    • Sweet Flora graced your forms so tender,
    • And clothed ye in a garb of light;
    • Spring’s lovely children, weep for ever,
    • For living Souls she gave ye never,
    • And ye must dwell in endless night!
    • The nightingale and lark still sing
    • In your tranced ears the bliss of love;
    • The toying sylphs, on airy wing,
    • Around your fragrant bosoms rove.
    • Of yore, Dione’s daughter twining
    • In garlands sweet your cup so shining,
    • A pillow form’d where Love might rest!
    • Spring’s gentle children, mourn for ever,
    • The joys of Love she gave ye never,
    • Ne’er let ye know that feeling blest!
    • But when ye’re gather’d by my hand,
    • A token of my love to be,
    • Now that her mother’s harsh command
    • From Nanny’s sight has banish’d me,—
    • E’en from that passing touch ye borrow
    • Those heralds mute of pleasing sorrow,
    • Life, language, hearts, and souls divine;
    • And to your silent leaves ’tis given,
    • By him who mightiest is in Heaven,
    • His glorious Godhead to enshrine

ODE TO SPRING.

    • THOU’RT welcome, lovely stripling!
    • Thou Nature’s fond delight!
    • With thy basket fill’d with flowers,
    • Thou’rt welcome to my sight!
    • Huzza! once more we greet thee!
    • How fair and sweet thou art!
    • To usher in thy presence
    • We haste with joyful heart!
    • Remember’st thou my Maiden?
    • Thou never canst forget!
    • My Maiden lov’d me dearly,—
    • My Maiden loves me yet!
    • For my Maiden many a flow’ret
    • I begg’d of yore from thee—
    • Once more I make entreaty,
    • And thou?—thou giv’st them me!
    • Thou’rt welcome, lovely stripling!
    • Thou Nature’s fond delight!
    • With thy basket fill’d with flowers,
    • Thou’rt welcome to my sight!
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TO MINNA.

    • AM I dreaming? Is mine eye
    • Dimm’d by some deceiving ray?
    • Is’t my Minna passing by,
    • Turning her cold look away?
    • She, who vain of each fair charm,
    • Fans herself so haughtily,
    • Leaning on some fopling’s arm,—
    • Is’t my Minna?—’Tis not she!
    • On her light hat, feathers proud,
    • Once my gift, are waving yet;
    • While her breast-knots cry aloud,
    • Saying: “Minna, ne’er forget!”
    • Flowers still grace her breast, her brow,
    • Foster’d by my loving care;
    • Ah, that breast is faithless now,—
    • Yet those flowers still blossom there!
    • Go! Ador’d by empty wits,
    • Go! Without a thought of me!
    • Prey to venal hypocrites—
    • Scorn is all I feel for thee!
    • Go! for thee once throbb’d a heart
    • Fill’d with stainless purity,
    • Great enough to bear the smart
    • That it throbb’d for such as thee!
    • ’Tis by beauty thou’rt betray’d—
    • By thy features, shameless one!
    • But their roses soon will fade,
    • Soon their transient charms be gone!
    • Swallows that in spring-time play,
    • Fly when north winds cold return;
    • Age will scare thy wooers gay,
    • Yet a friend thou now canst spurn!
    • Ah! methinks I hear thee sigh,
    • Wreck of what thou once hast been,
    • Looking back with streaming eye
    • To thy May-day’s flowery scene.
    • They who once thy kisses sought,
    • On the wings of rapture borne,
    • Make thy vanish’d youth their sport,
    • Laugh thy winter sad to scorn.
    • ’Tis by beauty thou’rt betray’d—
    • By thy features, shameless one!
    • But their roses soon will fade,
    • Soon thy transient charms be gone!
    • How I then will scoff and jeer!—
    • Scoff! Great Heavens! oh, pardon me!
    • I will weep full many a tear—
    • Tears of anguish weep for thee!
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THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE.
A HYMN.

    • SURE Love doth bless the Gods on high!
    • Frail man becomes a Deity
    • When love to him is given;
    • ’Tis Love that makes the Heavens shine
    • With hues more radiant, more divine,
    • And turns dull Earth to Heaven!
    • In Pyrrha’s rear (so poets sang
    • In ages past and gone),
    • The world from rocky fragments sprang—
    • Mankind from lifeless stone.
    • Their soul was but a thing of night,
    • Like stone and rock their heart;
    • The flaming torch of Heav’n so bright
    • Its glow could ne’er impart.
    • Young Loves, all gently hov’ring round,
    • Their souls as yet had never bound
    • In soft and rosy chains;
    • No feeling Muse had sought to raise
    • Their bosoms with ennobling lays,
    • Or sweet, harmonious strains.
    • Around each other lovingly
    • No garlands then entwin’d;
    • The sorrowing Springs fled tow’rd the sky,
    • And left the Earth behind.
    • From out the sea Aurora rose
    • With none to hail her then;
    • The sun unhail’d, at daylight’s close,
    • In ocean sank again.
    • In forests wild, man went astray,
    • Misled by Luna’s cloudy ray,—
    • He bore an iron yoke;
    • He pin’d not for the stars on high,
    • With yearning for a Deity
    • No tears in torrents broke.
    • * * * * *
    • But see! from out the deep-blue Ocean
    • Fair Venus springs with gentle motion;
    • The graceful Naiad’s smiling band
    • Conveys her to the gladden’d strand.
    • A May-like, youthful, Magic power
    • Entwines, like morning’s twilight hour,
    • Around that form of godlike birth,
    • The charms of air, sea, heaven and earth.
    • The day’s sweet eye begins to bloom
    • Across the forest’s midnight gloom;
    • Narcissuses, their balm distilling,
    • The path her footstep treads are filling.
    • A song of Love sweet Philomel
    • Soon caroll’d through the grove;
    • The streamlet, as it murmuring fell,
    • Discours’d of nought but Love.
    • Pygmalion! Happy one! Behold!
    • Life’s glow pervades thy marble cold!
    • Oh, Love, thou conqueror all-divine,
    • Embrace each happy child of thine!
    • * * * * *
    • By Love are blest the Gods on high,—
    • Frail man becomes a Deity
    • When Love to him is given;
    • ’Tis Love that makes the Heavens shine
    • With hues more radiant, more divine,
    • And turns dull Earth to Heaven!
    • * * * * *
    • The Gods their days forever spend
    • In banquets bright that have no end,—
    • In one voluptuous morning-dream,
    • And quaff the Nectar’s golden stream.
    • Enthron’d in awful majesty,
    • Kronion wields the bolt on high:
    • In abject fear Olympus rocks
    • When wrathfully he shakes his locks.
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    • To other Gods he leaves his throne,
    • And fills, disguis’d as Earth’s frail son,
    • The grove with mournful numbers;
    • The thunders rest beneath his feet,
    • And lull’d by Leda’s kisses sweet,
    • The Giant-Slayer slumbers.
    • Through the boundless realms of light
    • Phœbus’ golden reins so bright,
    • Guide his horses white as snow,
    • While his darts lay Nations low.
    • But when Love and Harmony
    • Fill his breast, how willingly
    • Ceases Phœbus then to heed
    • Rattling dart and snow-white steed!
    • See! Before Kronion’s spouse
    • Every great Immortal bows;
    • Proudly soar the peacock pair
    • As her chariot throne they bear,
    • While she decks with crown of might
    • Her ambrosial tresses bright.
    • Beauteous Princess, ah! with fear
    • Quakes, before thy splendor, Love,
    • Seeking, as he ventures near,
    • With his power thy breast to move!
    • Soon from her immortal throne
    • Heaven’s great Queen must fain descend,
    • And in prayer for Beauty’s zone,
    • To the Heart-Enchainer bend!
    • * * * * *
    • By Love are blest the Gods on high,
    • Frail man becomes a Deity
    • When Love to him is given;
    • ’Tis Love that makes the Heavens shine
    • With hues more radiant, more divine,
    • And turns dull Earth to Heaven!
    • * * * * *
    • ’Tis Love illumes the realms of Night,
    • For Orcus dark obeys his might,
    • And bows before his magic spell:
    • All-kindly looks the King of Hell
    • At Ceres’ daughter’s smile so bright,—
    • Yes—Love illumes the realms of Night!
    • In Hell were heard, with heavenly sound,
    • Holding in chains its warder bound,
    • Thy lays, O Thracian one!
    • A gentler doom dread Minos pass’d,
    • While down his cheeks the tears cours’d fast,
    • And e’en around Megæra’s face
    • The serpents twin’d in fond embrace,
    • The lashes’ work seemed done.
    • Driven by Orpheus’ lyre away,
    • The Vulture left his Giant-prey;
    • With gentler motion roll’d along
    • Dark Lethe and Cocytus’ River,
    • Enraptur’d, Thracian, by thy song,—
    • And Love its burden was for ever!
    • * * * * *
    • By Love are blest the Gods on high,
    • Frail man becomes a Deity
    • When Love to him is given;
    • ’Tis Love that makes the Heavens shine
    • With hues more radiant, more divine,
    • And turns dull Earth to Heaven!
    • * * * * *
    • Wherever Nature’s sway extends,
    • The fragrant balm of Love descends,
    • His golden pinions quiver;
    • If ’twere not Venus’ eye that gleams
    • Upon me in the moon’s soft beams,
    • In sun-lit hill or river,—
    • If ’twere not Venus smiles on me
    • From yonder bright and starry sea,
    • Not stars, not sun, not moonbeams sweet
    • Could make my heart with rapture beat.
    • ’Tis Love alone that smilingly
    • Peers forth from Nature’s blissful eye,
    • As from a mirror ever!
    • Love bids the silv’ry streamlet roll
    • More gently as it sighs along,
    • And breathes a living, feeling Soul
    • In Philomel’s sweet plaintive song;
    • ’Tis Love alone that fills the air
    • With strains from Nature’s lute so fair.
    • Thou Wisdom with the glance of fire,
    • Thou mighty Goddess, now retire,
    • Love’s power thou now must feel!
    • To victor proud, to monarch high,
    • Thou ne’er hast knelt in slavery,—
    • To Love thou now must kneel!
    • Who taught thee boldly how to climb
    • The steep, but starry path sublime,
    • And reach the seats Immortal?
    • Who rent the mystic Veil in twain,
    • And showed thee the Elysian plain
    • Beyond Death’s gloomy portal?
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    • If Love had beckon’d not from high,
    • Had we gain’d Immortality?
    • If Love had not inflam’d each thought,
    • Had we the Master Spirit sought?
    • ’Tis Love that guides the Soul alone
    • To Nature’s Father’s heavenly throne!
    • By Love are blest the Gods on high,
    • Frail man becomes a Deity
    • When Love to him is given;
    • ’Tis Love that makes the Heavens shine
    • With hues more radiant, more divine,
    • And turns dull Earth to Heaven!

FORTUNE AND WISDOM.

    • ENRAGED against a quondam friend,
    • To Wisdom once proud Fortune said:
    • “I’ll give thee treasures without end,
    • “If thou wilt be my friend instead.
    • “My choicest gifts to him I gave,
    • “And ever blest him with my smile;
    • “And yet he ceases not to crave,
    • “And calls me niggard all the while.
    • “Come, Sister, let us friendship vow!
    • “So take the money, nothing loth:
    • “Why always labor at the plough?
    • “Here is enough, I’m sure, for both!”
    • Sage Wisdom laugh’d,—the prudent elf!—
    • And wip’d her brow, with moisture hot:
    • “There runs thy friend to hang himself,—
    • “Be reconcil’d—I need thee not!”

MAN’S DIGNITY.

    • I AM a man!—Let ev’ry one
    • Who is a man too, spring
    • With joy beneath God’s shining sun,
    • And leap on high, and sing!
    • To God’s own image fair on earth
    • Its stamp I’ve power to show;
    • Down to the font, where heaven has birth
    • With boldness I dare go.
    • ’Tis well that I both dare and can!
    • When I a maiden see,
    • A voice exclaims: thou art a man!
    • I kiss her tenderly.
    • And redder then the maiden grows,
    • Her bodice seems too tight—
    • That I’m a man the maiden knows,
    • Her bodice therefore’s tight.
    • Will she, perchance, for pity cry,
    • If unawares she’s caught?
    • She finds that I’m a man—then, why
    • By her is pity sought?
    • I am a man; and if alone
    • She sees me drawing near,
    • I make the emperor’s daughter run,
    • Though ragged I appear.
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    • This golden watchword wins the smile
    • Of many a princess fair;
    • They call—ye’d best look out the while,
    • Ye gold-laced fellows there!
    • That I’m a man is fully shown
    • Whene’er my lyre I sweep;
    • It thunders out a glorious tone—
    • It otherwise would creep.
    • The spirit that my veins now hold,
    • My manhood calls its brother!
    • And both command, like lions bold,
    • And fondly greet each other.
    • From out this same creative flood
    • From which we men have birth,
    • Both godlike strength and genius bud,
    • And ev’ry thing of worth.
    • My talisman all tyrants hates,
    • And strikes them to the ground;
    • Or guides us gladly through life’s gates
    • To where the dead are found.
    • E’en Pompey, at Pharsalia’s fight,
    • My talisman o’erthrew;
    • On German sand it hurl’d with might
    • Rome’s sensual children too.
    • Didst see the Roman, proud and stern,
    • Sitting on Afric’s shore?
    • His eyes like Hecla seem to burn,
    • And fiery flames outpour.
    • Then comes a frank and merry knave,
    • And spreads it through the land:
    • “Tell them that thou on Carthage’ grave
    • Hast seen great Marius stand!”
    • Thus speaks the son of Rome with pride,
    • Still mighty in his fall;
    • He is a man, and nought beside,—
    • Before him tremble all.
    • His grandsons afterwards began
    • Their portions to o’erthrow,
    • And thought it well that ev’ry man
    • Should learn with grace to crow.
    • For shame, for shame,—once more for shame!
    • The wretched ones!—they’ve even
    • Squander’d the tokens of their fame,
    • The choicest gifts of Heaven.
    • God’s counterfeit has sinfully
    • Disgrac’d his form divine,
    • And in his vile humanity
    • Has wallow’d like the swine.
    • The face of earth each vainly treads,
    • Like gourds, that boys in sport
    • Have hollow’d out to human heads,
    • With skulls, whose brains are—nought
    • Like wine that by a chemist’s art
    • Is through retorts refin’d,
    • Their spirits to the deuce depart,
    • The phlegma’s left behind.
    • From ev’ry woman’s face they fly,
    • Its very aspect dread,—
    • And if they dar’d—and could not—why,
    • ’Twere better they were dead.
    • * * * * *
    • They shun all worthies when they can,
    • Grief at their joy they prove—
    • The man who cannot make a man,
    • A man can never love!
    • The world I proudly wander o’er,
    • And plume myself and sing:
    • I am a man!—Whoe’er is more?
    • Then leap on high and spring!
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artist: alexander wagner.

COUNT EBERHARD, THE GROANER OF WÜRTEMBURG.

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TO A MORALIST

    • WHY teach that Love is nought but
    • Trifling vain?—
    • Why cavil at our youthful joyous play?
    • Thou art benumb’d in Winter’s icy chain,
    • And yet canst view with scorn the golden May!
    • When erst thou didst assail the Nymph’s bright charms,
    • A Hero of the Carnival,—didst trip
    • In German Waltz,—held’st Heaven within thine arms,
    • And from the lips of Maidens balm didst sip,—
    • Ha, Seladon! if then Earth’s pond’rous ball
    • Had from its axis slipp’d with mighty groan,
    • Thine ears would not have heard the heavy fall,
    • In Love-knot twin’d with Julia into one!
    • Oh, look back now upon thy rosy days!
    • Learn that Philosophy degenerates,
    • E’en as the pulse with feebler motion plays;
    • Thy knowledge, man Immortal ne’er creates.
    • ’Tis well when, through the ice of Sense refin’d
    • The fervent blood more fiercely can expand!
    • What ne’er can be accomplish’d by mankind,
    • Leave to the inmates of a better Land!
    • And yet in prison walls the Guide of Earth
    • Confines the Soul whose life in Heaven began;
    • He will not let me rise to Angel-worth,—
    • I fain would follow him, to be a Man!

COUNT EBERHARD, THE GROANER OF WÜRTEMBURG.
A WAR SONG.

    • NOW hearken, ye who take delight
    • In boasting of your worth!
    • To many a man, to many a knight,
    • Belov’d in peace and brave in fight;
    • The Swabian land gives birth.
    • Of Charles and Edward, Louis, Guy,
    • And Frederick, ye may boast;
    • Charles, Edward, Louis, Frederick, Guy,—
    • None with Sir Eberhard can vie—
    • Himself a mighty host!
    • And then young Ulerick, his son,
    • Ha! how he lov’d the fray!
    • Young Ulerick, the Count’s bold son,
    • When once the battle had begun,
    • No foot’s-breadth e’er gave way.
    • The Reutlingers, with gnashing teeth,
    • Saw our bright ranks reveal’d:
    • And, panting for the victor’s wreath,
    • They drew the sword from out the sheath,
    • And sought the battle-field.
    • He charged the foe,—but fruitlessly,—
    • Then, mail-clad, homeward sped;
    • Stern anger fill’d his father’s eye,
    • And made the youthful warrior fly,
    • And tears of anguish shed.
    • Now, rascals, quake!—This griev’d him sore,
    • And rankled in his brain;
    • And by his father’s beard he swore,
    • With many a craven townsman’s gore
    • To wash out this foul stain.
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    • Ere long the feud raged fierce and loud,—
    • Then hasten’d steed and man
    • To Döffingen in thronging crowd,
    • While joy inspir’d the youngster proud,—
    • And soon the strife began.
    • Our army’s signal-word that day
    • Was the disastrous fight;
    • It spurr’d us on like lightning’s ray,
    • And plunged us deep in bloody fray,
    • And in the spears’ black night.
    • The youthful Count his pond’rous mace
    • With lion’s rage swung round;
    • Destruction stalk’d before his face,
    • While groans and howlings fill’d the place,
    • And hundreds bit the ground.
    • Woe! Woe! A heavy sabre-stroke
    • Upon his neck descended;
    • The sight each warrior’s pity woke,—
    • In vain! In vain! No word he spoke—
    • His course on earth was ended.
    • Loud wept both friend and foeman then,
    • Check’d was the victor’s glow;
    • The Count cheer’d thus his Knights again—
    • “My Son is like all other men,—
    • “March, children, ’gainst the Foe!”
    • With greater fury whizz’d each lance,
    • Revenge inflam’d the blood;
    • O’er corpses mov’d the fearful dance—
    • The townsmen fled in random chance
    • O’er mountain, vale and flood.
    • Then back to camp, with trumpets’ bray,
    • We hied in joyful haste;
    • And wife and child, with roundelay,
    • With clanging cup and waltzes gay,
    • Our glorious triumph graced.
    • And our old Count,—what now does he?
    • His son lies dead before him;
    • Within his tent all woefully
    • He sits alone in agony,
    • And drops one hot tear o’er him.
    • And so, with true affection warm,
    • The Count our Lord we love;
    • Himself a mighty hero-swarm—
    • The thunders rest within his arm—
    • He shines like star above!
    • Farewell, then, ye who take delight
    • In boasting of your worth!
    • To many a man, to many a knight,
    • Belov’d in peace, and brave in fight,
    • The Swabian land gives birth!
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POEMS OF THE SECOND PERIOD.

HYMN TO JOY.

    • FILLED with rapture, to the portal
    • Of thy holy fane we come,
    • Joy, thou Goddess, fair, immortal,
    • Offspring of Elysium!
    • Fashion’s laws, indeed, may sever,
    • But thy magic joins again;
    • All mankind are brethren ever
    • ’Neath thy mild and gentle reign.
    • CHORUS.

    • Welcome, all ye myriad creatures!
    • Brethren, take the kiss of love!
    • Yes, the starry realms above
    • Hide a father’s smiling features!
    • * * *
    • He, that noble prize possessing—
    • He that boasts a friend that’s true,
    • He whom woman’s love is blessing,
    • Let him join the chorus too!
    • Aye, and he who but one spirit
    • On this earth can call his own!—
    • He who no such bliss can merit,
    • Let him mourn his fate alone!
    • CHORUS.

    • All who nature’s tribes are swelling
    • Homage pay to Sympathy;
    • For she guides us up on high,
    • Where the Unknown has his dwelling.
    • * * *
    • From the breasts of kindly Nature
    • All of Joy imbibe the dew;
    • Good and bad alike, each creature
    • Would her roseate path pursue.
    • ’Tis through her the wine-cup maddens
    • Love and friends to man she gives!
    • Bliss the meanest reptile gladdens,—
    • Near God’s throne the Cherub lives!
    • CHORUS.

    • Bow before him, all creation!
    • Mortals, own the God of love!
    • Seek him high the stars above,—
    • Yonder is his habitation!
    • * * *
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    • Joy, in Nature’s wide dominion,
    • Mightiest cause of all is found;
    • And ’tis Joy that moves the pinion,
    • When the wheel of time goes round;
    • From the bud she lures the flower—
    • Suns from out their orbs of light;
    • Distant spheres obey her power,
    • Far beyond all mortal sight.
    • CHORUS.

    • As through Heaven’s expanse so glorious,
    • In their orbits suns roll on,
    • Brethren, thus your proud race run,
    • Glad as warriors all-victorious!
    • Joy from Truth’s own glass of fire
    • Sweetly on the Searcher smiles;
    • Lest on Virtue’s steeps he tire,
    • Joy the tedious path beguiles.
    • High on Faith’s bright hill before us,
    • See her banner proudly wave!
    • Joy, too, swells the Angels’ chorus,—
    • Bursts the bondage of the grave!
    • CHORUS.

    • Mortals, meekly wait for Heaven!
    • Suffer on in patient love!
    • In the starry realms above,
    • Bright rewards by God are given.
    • * * *
    • To the Gods we ne’er can render
    • Praise for every good they grant;
    • Let us, with devotion tender,
    • Minister to Grief and Want.
    • Quench’d be hate and wrath for ever,
    • Pardon’d be our mortal foe—
    • May our tears upbraid him never,
    • No repentance bring him low!
    • CHORUS.

    • Sense of wrongs forget to treasure—
    • Brethren, live in perfect love!
    • In the starry realms above,
    • God will mete as we may measure.
    • * * *
    • Joy within the goblet flushes,
    • For the golden nectar, wine,
    • Ev’ry fierce emotion hushes,—
    • Fills the breast with fire divine.
    • Brethren, thus in rapture meeting,
    • Send ye round the brimming cup,—
    • Yonder kindly Spirit greeting,
    • While the foam to Heaven mounts up!
    • CHORUS.

    • He whom Seraphs worship ever,
    • Whom the stars praise as they roll,
    • Yes—to Him now drain the bowl—
    • Mortal eye can see Him never!
    • * * *
    • Courage, ne’er by sorrow broken!
    • Aid where tears of virtue flow;
    • Faith to keep each promise spoken!
    • Truth alike to friend and foe!
    • ’Neath kings’ frowns a manly spirit!—
    • Brethren, noble is the prize—
    • Honor due to ev’ry merit!
    • Death to all the brood of lies!
    • CHORUS.

    • Draw the sacred circle closer!
    • By this bright wine plight your troth
    • To be faithful to your oath!
    • Swear it by the Star-Disposer!
    • * * *
    • Safety from the Tyrant’s power!
    • Mercy e’en to traitors base!
    • Hope in death’s last solemn hour!
    • Pardon when before His face!
    • Lo, the dead shall rise to Heaven!
    • Brethren hail the blest decree:
    • Ev’ry sin shall be forgiven,
    • Hell forever cease to be!
    • CHORUS.

    • When the golden bowl is broken,
    • Gentle sleep within the tomb!
    • Brethren, may a gracious doom
    • By the Judge of Man be spoken!
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THE INVINCIBLE ARMADA.

    • SHE comes, she comes—Iberia’s proud Armada—
    • The waves beneath the heavy burden sigh;
    • Laden with bigotry and chains, the invader,
    • Charged with a thousand thunders, now draws nigh;
    • And as she sweeps along in stately motion,
    • With trembling awe is fill’d the startled Ocean.
    • Each ship a floating citadel,
    • Men call her “The Invincible!”
    • Why should she boast that haughty name?
    • The fear she spreads allows her claim.
    • With silent and majestic step advancing,
    • Affrighted Neptune bears her on his breast;
    • From ev’ry port-hole fierce destruction glancing,
    • She comes, and lo! the tempest sinks to rest.
    • And now at length the proud fleet stands before thee,
    • Thrice-happy Island, Mistress of the Sea!
    • Mighty Britannia, danger hovers o’er thee,
    • Those countless galleons threaten slavery!
    • Woe to thy freedom-nurtur’d nation!
    • Yon cloud is big with desolation!
    • How came that priceless gem in thy possession,
    • Which raised thee high above each other State?
    • Thyself it was, who, struggling ’gainst oppression,
    • Earn’d for thy sons that statute wise and great—
    • The Magna Charta—’neath whose shelt’ring wings
    • Monarchs but subjects are, and subjects kings!
    • To rule the waves, thy ships have prov’d their right,
    • Defeating each brave foe in ocean-fight.
    • All this thou ow’st,—ye nations, blush to hear it!—
    • To thy good sword alone, and dauntless spirit!
    • See where the monster comes—unhappy one!
    • Alas, thy glorious race is well-nigh run!
    • Alarm and terror fill this earthly ball,
    • The hearts of all free men are beating madly,
    • And ev’ry virtuous soul is waiting sadly
    • The hour when thy great name is doom’d to fall.
    • God the Almighty look’d down from his throne,
    • And saw thy foe’s proud “Lion-Banner” flying,
    • And saw the yawning grave before thee lying,—
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    • “What!” He exclaim’d, “shall my lov’d Albion,
    • And all her race of heroes, now so free,
    • Pine in the galling bonds of slavery?
    • Shall she, whose name with dread all tyrants hear,
    • Be swept for ever from this hemisphere?”
    • “Never,” he cried, “shall Freedom’s Eden true,
    • That bulwark of all human rights, be shatter’d!”—
    • God the Almighty blew,
    • And to the winds of heaven the fleet was scatter’d!

THE CONFLICT.

    • NO longer will I fight this conflict weary,
    • The giant fight that Duty bids me wage;
    • Why, Virtue, ask a sacrifice so dreary,
    • If thou my bosom’s pangs canst not assuage?
    • I’ve sworn it,—yes! I solemnly have sworn it,
    • Upon my passions to impose a rein;
    • Behold thy garland!—yet, though long I’ve worn it,
    • Take it back now, and let me sin again!
    • Dissolv’d be ev’ry vow between us spoken—
    • She loves me!—What is now thy crown to me?
    • Happy the man who, wrapp’d in bliss unbroken,
    • His deep, deep fall can view so tranquilly!
    • She sees the worm my youthful bloom assailing,
    • She sees my days in sorrow fleeting on;
    • And my heroic efforts gently hailing,
    • Awards the prize she deems me to have won.
    • Fair soul! mistrust this virtue angel-seeming,
    • For on to crime thy pity hurries me.
    • In the unbounded realms where life is beaming,
    • Is there another, fairer prize than thee?
    • Or than that sin so dreaded by my spirit?—
    • Oh cruel, all-relentless tyranny!
    • The only prize my virtue e’er can merit
    • Must, in the moment, see that virtue die!

RESIGNATION.

    • YES! even I was in Arcadia born,
    • And in mine infant ears,
    • A vow of Rapture was by Nature sworn;
    • Yes! even I was in Arcadia born,
    • And yet my short Spring gave me only—tears!
    • Once blooms, and only once, Life’s youthful May;
    • For me its bloom hath gone.
    • The Silent God—O Brethren, weep to-day—
    • The Silent God hath quench’d my Torch’s ray,
    • And the vain dream hath flown.
    • Upon thy darksome bridge, Eternity,
    • I stand e’en now, dread thought!
    • Take, then, these Joy-Credentials back from me!
    • Unopen’d I return them now to thee,
    • Of Happiness, alas, know nought!
    • Before thy throne my mournful cries I vent,
    • Thou Judge, conceal’d from view!
    • To yonder Star a joyous Saying went:
    • With Judgment’s scales to rule us thou art sent,
    • And call’st thyself requited, too!
    • Here,—say they,—terrors on the Bad alight,
    • And joys to greet the Virtuous spring.
    • The bosom’s windings thou’lt expose to sight,
    • Riddle of Providence wilt solve aright,
    • And reckon with the Suffering!
    • Here to the Exile be a home outspread,
    • Here end the meek man’s thorny path of strife!
    • A god-like child, whose name was Truth, they said,
    • Known but to few, from whom the many fled,
    • Restrain’d the ardent bridle of my life.
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    • “It shall be thine another Life to live,—
    • Thy youth to me surrender!
    • To thee this surety only can I give”—
    • I took the surety in that Life to live;
    • And gave to her each youthful joy so tender.
    • “Give me the woman precious to thy heart,
    • Give up to me thy Laura!
    • Beyond the grave will usury pay the smart”—
    • I wept aloud, and from my bleeding heart
    • With resignation tore her.
    • “The obligation’s drawn upon the Dead!”
    • Thus laugh’d the World in scorn;
    • “The Lying One, in league with Despots dread,
    • For Truth, a Phantom palm’d on thee instead,
    • Thou’lt be no more, when once this Dream has gone!”
    • Shamelessly scoff’d the Mockers’ serpent-band:
    • “A Dream that but Prescription can admit
    • Dost dread? Where now thy God’s protecting hand
    • (The sick world’s Saviours with such cunning plann’d),
    • Borrow’d by Human need of Human wit?
    • “What Future is’t that graves to us reveal?
    • What the Eternity of thy discourse?
    • Honor’d because dark veils its form conceal,
    • The giant-shadows of the awe we feel,
    • View’d in the hollow mirror of Remorse!
    • “An Image false of shapes of living mould,
    • (Time’s very mummy, she!)
    • Whom only Hope’s sweet balm hath power to hold
    • Within the chambers of the grave so cold,—
    • Thy fever calls this Immortality!
    • “For empty hopes,—corruption gives the lie—
    • Didst thou exchange what thou hadst surely done?
    • Six thousand years sped Death in silence by,—
    • Has corpse from out the grave e’er mounted high,
    • That mention made of the Requiting One?”
    • I saw Time fly to reach thy distant shore,
    • I saw fair Nature lie
    • A shrivell’d corpse behind him evermore,—
    • No dead from out the grave then sought to soar
    • Yet in that Oath divine still trusted I.
    • My ev’ry joy to thee I’ve sacrific’d,
    • I throw me now before thy Judgment-throne!
    • The Many’s scorn with boldness I’ve despis’d,
    • Only thy gifts by me were ever priz’d,—
    • I ask my wages now, Requiting One!
    • “With equal love I love each child of mine!”
    • A Genius hid from sight exclaim’d.
    • “Two flowers,” he cried, “ye Mortals, mark the sign,—
    • Two flowers to greet the Searcher wise entwine,—
    • Hope and Enjoyment they are nam’d.
    • “Who of these flowers plucks one, let him ne’er yearn
    • To touch the other sister’s bloom.
    • Let him enjoy, who has no faith; eterne
    • As earth, this truth!—Abstain, who faith can learn!
    • The World’s long story is the world’s own doom.
    • Hope thou hast felt,—thy wages, then, are paid;
    • Thy Faith ’twas form’d the rapture pledg’d to thee.
    • Thou might’st have of the Wise inquiry made,—
    • The minutes thou neglectest, as they fade,
    • Are given back by no Eternity!”
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THE GODS OF GREECE.

    • WHILST the smiling earth ye govern’d still,
    • And with Rapture’s soft and guiding hand
    • Let the happy Nations at your will,
    • Beauteous Beings from the Fable-land!
    • Whilst your blissful worship smil’d around,
    • Ah, how diff’rent was it in that day!
    • When the people still thy temples crown’d,
    • Venus Amathusia!
    • When the magic veil of Poesy
    • Still round Truth entwin’d its loving chain—
    • Through creation pour’d Life’s fulness free,
    • Things then felt, which ne’er can feel again.
    • Then to press her ’gainst the breast of Love,
    • They on Nature nobler power bestow’d,—
    • All, to eyes enlighten’d from above,
    • Of a God the traces show’d.
    • There, where now, as we’re by Sages told,
    • Whirls on high a soulless fiery ball,
    • Helios guided then his car of gold,
    • In his silent majesty, o’er all.
    • Oreads then these heights around us fill’d,
    • Then a Dryad dwelt in yonder tree,
    • From the Urn of loving Naiads rill’d
    • Silver streamlets foamingly.
    • Yonder Laurel once imploring wound,
    • Tantal’s daughter slumbers in this stone;
    • From yon rush rose Syrinx’ mournful sound,
    • From this thicket, Philomela’s moan.
    • Yonder brook Demeter’s tears receiv’d,
    • That she wept for her Persephone,
    • From this hill, of her lov’d friend bereav’d,
    • Cried Cythere, fruitlessly!
    • To Deucalion’s race from realms of air
    • Then the great Immortals still came down;
    • And to vanquish Pyrrha’s daughter fair,
    • Then a shepherd’s staff took Leto’s son.
    • Then ’tween Heroes, Deities and Men,
    • Was a beauteous bond by Eros twin’d,
    • And with Deities and Heroes then
    • Knelt in Cyprus’ Isle, mankind.
    • Gloomy sternness and denial sad
    • Ne’er were in your service blest descried;
    • Each heart throbb’d then with emotions glad,
    • For the Happy were with you allied.
    • Nothing then was Holy, save the Fair;
    • Of no rapture was the God asham’d,
    • When the modest Muse was blushing there,—
    • When their sway the Graces claim’d!
    • Palace-like, then smil’d your Temples all,
    • Ye were honor’d in the hero-sport
    • At the Isthmus’ crown-clad festival,
    • And the goal the thund’ring chariots sought.
    • Beauteous dances that a Spirit breath’d
    • Circled round your altars bright and fair;
    • Round your brows the crown of triumph wreath’d,
    • Garlands graced your fragrant hair.
    • Thyrsus-swingers’ loud Evoë then,
    • And the panther-team that shone afar,
    • Welcom’d Him who Rapture brought to men;
    • Fauns and Satyrs reel’d before his Car!
    • Round him sprang the Mænads’ raving crew,
    • While their dances show’d his wine’s great worth,
    • And the Host’s full cheeks of tawny hue
    • Pointed to the cup with mirth.
    • In those days, before the bed of Death
    • Stood no ghastly form. Then took away
    • From the lips a kiss the parting breath,
    • And a Genius quench’d his torch’s ray.
    • Even Orcus’ rigid judgment-scales
    • By a Mortal’s offspring once were held,
    • And the Thracian’s spirit-breathing wails
    • E’en the angry Furies quell’d.
    • Once again within Elysium’s grove
    • Met the happy Shade his joys so dear;
    • Lover faithful found his faithful Love,
    • And his path regain’d the charioteer;
    • Linus’ lute gave back each wonted strain,
    • Admet clasp’d Alcestis to his heart,
    • And Orestes found his friend again,
    • Philoctetes found his dart.
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artist: fritz roeber.

THE GODS OF GREECE.

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    • Nobler prizes then the wrestler crown’d,
    • Who the arduous path of Virtue press’d;
    • Glorious workers then of deeds renown’d
    • Clamber’d up to join the Spirits blest.
    • All the Band of Silent Gods the while
    • Bow’d to Him who summon’d back the Dead;
    • From Olympus’ height the twin-stars’ smile
    • O’er the waves the Pilot led.
    • Beauteous World, where art thou gone? Oh, thou,
    • Nature’s blooming youth, return once more!
    • Ah, but in Song’s fairy region now
    • Lives thy fabled trace so dear of yore!
    • Cold and perish’d, sorrow now the plains,
    • Not one Godhead greets my longing sight;
    • Ah, the Shadow only now remains
    • Of yon living Image bright!
    • All those lovely blossoms now are gone,
    • Scatter’d by the North-wind’s piercing breath;
    • To enrich, amongst the whole, but one,
    • All this God-like world was doom’d to death.
    • Sadly turn I to the stars on high—
    • Thou, Selene, canst not there be found!
    • Through the forest, through the waves I cry—
    • Ah, they echo back no sound!
    • Feeling not the joy she bids me share,
    • Ne’er entranced by her own majesty,
    • Knowing her own guiding spirit ne’er,
    • Ne’er made happy by my ecstasy,
    • Senseless even to her Maker’s praise,
    • Like the pendule-clock’s dead, hollow tone,
    • Nature Gravitation’s law obeys
    • Servilely,—her Godhead flown.
    • That to-morrow she herself may free,
    • She prepares her sepulchre to-day;
    • And on spindle balanced equally,
    • Up and down the Moons alternate play.
    • Idly homeward to the Poet-land
    • Go the Gods—a world they’d serve in vain,
    • That’s upheld by its own motive hand,
    • Casting off the guiding-rein.
    • Aye! they homeward go,—and they have flown,
    • All that’s bright and fair they’ve taken too,
    • Ev’ry color, ev’ry living tone,—
    • And a soulless world is all we view.
    • Borne off by the Time-flood’s current strong,
    • They on Pindus’ height have safety found:
    • All that is to live in endless song,
    • Must in Life-time first be drown’d!

THE CELEBRATED WOMAN.
A LETTER FROM ONE HUSBAND TO ANOTHER.

    • SHALL I lament thy lot? Dost curse thy marriage vows,
    • With tears of grief and rage combin’d?
    • And why? Because thy faithless Spouse
    • Seeks in another’s arms to find
    • What she no more obtains from thee?—
    • Friend, hearken to Another’s cares,
    • And bear thine own more easily!
    • It pains thee that a Second shares
    • Thy rights?—How truly enviable thy case!
    • My wife belongs to the whole human race.
    • E’en from the Belt to the Moselle,
    • To Apennine’s high walls as well,
    • Even in fashion’s native city,
    • She is exposed for sale in ev’ry shop,
    • And may be handled (more’s the pity!)
    • By ev’ry pedant, ev’ry silly fop
    • On board the packet, on the coach’s top,—
    • Beneath the cockney’s stare must patient be,
    • And, as each dirty critic may desire,
    • Must walk on flowers or coals of fire
    • To the Pantheon or the pillory.
    • A Leipzig fellow—may the rascal meet his due!—
    • As of a fortress, takes her topographic measure,
    • And parts for sale he offers to the public view,
    • Which none but I should know about, had I my pleasure!
    • Thy wife,—thanks to the canon law, ’tis true,—
    • The name of consort holds all-duly priz’d;
    • She knows its meaning and its practice too.
    • As Ninon’s husband I’m but recogniz’d.
    • Thou’rt grieved that at the Faro-table, in the Pit,
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    • When thou appear’st, each tongue exerts its wit?
    • Oh, happy man! How fortunate is he
    • Who can say that! Good brother, as for me,
    • A whey-cure purchased me, at length, the honor
    • At her left side to humbly wait upon her.
    • Me no one sees, and ev’ry look is thrown
    • Upon my haughty spouse alone.
    • The veil of night is scarcely rent,
    • When lo! the staircase swarms with blue and yellow coats,
    • With unpaid letters, packages and notes,
    • To “The Illustrious Lady” sent.
    • How sweet her sleep!—to wake her though’s my duty:
    • “Madam, the last Berlin and Jena News!”
    • Sudden her eyelids opes the sleeping Beauty;
    • The first thing that they meet are—the Reviews.
    • Her fair blue eye for me has not one look,
    • A trump’ry Paper’s all that it can brook.
    • Soon from the nursery comes a roaring cry,
    • And, asking for her little ones, she lays it by.
    • Her dressing-table now is set,
    • But half-looks only on her glass she flings;
    • A grumbling and impatient threat
    • To her affrighted Maid gives wings.
    • The Graces all have fled from her toilette,
    • And in the place of Cupids young and fair,
    • Furies upon her wait to dress her hair.
    • The sound of carriage-wheels has now begun,
    • And nimble lacqueys from behind dismount,
    • To crave an audience with the Famous One:
    • First for the scented Abbé, then the Count,
    • Or Englishman, who German scorns to know,
    • Grossing and Son, or Messrs. So and So.
    • A thing that in the corner meekly takes its place,—
    • A Husband call’d,—is star’d at in the face.
    • Here may the dullest fool, the poorest wight (And this thy rival surely would not do),
    • Express his admiration at her sight,—
    • Express it in my presence, too!
    • And I, for fear of being thought uncivil,
    • Must beg he’ll stop to dine—(the devil!)
    • At table, Friend, begins my misery,
    • Quickly each flask’s contents are dried!
    • With Burgundy, that Doctors strictly keep from me,
    • Her flatterers’ throats I needs must keep supplied.
    • The meat that I so hardly earn’d at first
    • Her hungry parasites’ lean-paunches lines;
    • This fatal immortality accurs’d
    • Has been the death of all my choicest wines—
    • The plague take every hand that dares to print!
    • What, think’st thou, are my thanks? A scornful hint,
    • A gesture or a rude and vulgar sneer,—
    • Dost guess the meaning? Oh, ’tis very clear?
    • That any woman, who is such a jewel,
    • Should be possess’d by such a clown, seems cruel!
    • The spring-time comes. O’er meadow and o’er plain
    • Nature now throws her carpet, many-hued;
    • The flowers are clothed in smiling green again—
    • Sweet sings the lark, with life teems ev’ry wood.
    • —To her no joy does spring impart,
    • The songstress of the feelings blest of love,
    • The witness of our sports—the beauteous grove,—
    • Appeal no longer to her heart.
    • The nightingales have never learned to read
    • The lilies never to admire.
    • The joyous choruses all creatures lead,
    • In her—an Epigram inspire!
    • But no!—The season’s fine for travelling—
    • How very crowded Pyrmont now must be!
    • And all in Carlsbad’s praises, too, agree.
    • Presto, she’s there!—Amongst that honor’d ring,
    • Where lords and sages are combining,—
    • All kinds of folk, in fact, of note,
    • Lovingly pair’d, as if in Charon’s boat,
    • All at one board together dining;
    • Where, from a distance thither lur’d,
    • The bleeding virtues of their wounds are cur’d,
    • And others—for temptation praying are,
    • That they may ward it off with more éclat.
    • There, Friend,—Oh, bless thy happier lot in life!
    • Leaving me seven young Orphans,—goes my wife.
    • Oh, happy golden time of love’s young day!
    • How soon,—alas, how soon thou’rt flown away!
    • A Woman who no equal has, or had—
    • A very Goddess, in her graces glad,
    • With radiant spirit, with a mind clear-sighted,
    • And feelings soft, to pity open wide,—
    • I saw her thus, while each heart she delighted,
    • Like a fair May-day sporting by my side;
    • Her beauteous eyes appear’d to falter
    • The blissful words: I love thee well!
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artist: hoffman-zeitz.

THE CELEBRATED WOMAN.

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    • And so I led her to the altar;
    • My rapture then, oh, who could tell!
    • Of enviable years a blooming field
    • From out this mirror sweetly on me smil’d;
    • A perfect heaven was then to me reveal’d.
    • Soon round me sported many a lovely child;
    • Amongst them all, the fairest She;
    • The happiest, She, amid the throng;
    • And Mine by spirit-harmony,
    • By heart-alliance, firm and strong.
    • But now,—Oh, may he be accurs’d!—appear’d
    • A Great Man, aye, a Shining Spirit, too.
    • The Great Man did a deed!—and overthrew
    • The house of cards that I tow’rd heaven had rear’d.
    • What have I now?—What sad exchange is this?—
    • Awaken’d from my madd’ning dream of bliss,
    • What of this Angel now remains to me?
    • A spirit strong within a body weak,
    • Hermaphroditic, so to speak;
    • Alike unfit for love or mystery—
    • A child, who with a giant’s weapons rages,
    • A cross between baboons and sages!
    • One that has fled the fairer race,
    • To gain among the stronger a vain place,
    • Hurl’d headlong from a throne eternal,
    • Flying the mysteries by Charm controll’d—
    • Eras’d from Cytherea’s Book of Gold,
    • To gain a corner—in a Journal.

VERSES WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM OF A YOUNG LADY.

    • E’EN yet, the world, like some fair infant blest,
    • Radiant with sportive grace, around thee plays;
    • Still ’tis not as depicted in thy breast—
    • Not as within thy soul’s fair glass, its rays
    • Are mirror’d. The respectful fealty
    • That my heart’s nobleness hath won for thee,
    • The miracles thou workest ev’rywhere,
    • The charms thy being to this life first lent,—
    • To it, mere charms to reckon thou’rt content,
    • To us, they seem humanity so fair.
    • The witchery sweet of ne’er-polluted youth,
    • The talisman of innocence and truth—
    • Him I would see, who these to scorn can dare!
    • Thou revellest joyously in telling o’er
    • The blooming flowers that round thy path are strown,—
    • The glad, whom thou hast made so evermore,—
    • The souls that thou hast conquer’d for thine own.
    • In thy deceit so blissful be thou glad!
    • Ne’er let a waking disenchantment sad
    • Hurl thee despairing from thy dream’s proud flight!
    • Like the fair flow’rets that thy beds perfume,
    • Observe them, but ne’er touch them as they bloom,—
    • Plant them, but only for the distant sight.
    • Created only to enchant the eye,
    • In faded beauty at thy feet they’ll lie,
    • The nearer thee, the nearer their long night!
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THE ARTISTS.

    • WITH graceful mien, O Man, and green palm-bough,
    • Upon the waning Century standest thou,
    • In proud and noble manhood’s prime,
    • With unlock’d Senses, with a Spirit freed,
    • Of Firmness mild,—though silent, rich in deed,
    • The ripest son of Time,
    • Through meekness great, through precepts strong,
    • Through treasures rich, that time had long
    • Hid in thy bosom, and through Reason free,—
    • Master of Nature, who thy fetters loves,
    • And who thy strength in thousand conflicts proves,
    • And from the Desert soar’d in pride with thee!
    • Flush’d with the glow of Victory,
    • Never forget to prize the hand
    • That found the weeping Orphan child
    • Deserted on Life’s barren strand,
    • And left a prey to hazzard wild,—
    • That, ere thy Spirit-honor saw the day,
    • Thy youthful heart watch’d over silently,
    • And from thy tender bosom turn’d away
    • Each thought that might have stain’d its purity;
    • That kind One ne’er forget who, as in sport,
    • Thy youth to noble aspirations train’d,
    • And who to thee in easy riddles taught
    • The secret how each Virtue might be gain’d;
    • Who, to receive him back more perfect still,
    • E’en into strangers’ arms her favorite gave—
    • Oh, may’st thou never with degenerate will,
    • Humble thyself to be her abject slave!
    • In Industry, the Bee the palm may bear;
    • In Skill, the Worm a lesson may impart;
    • With Spirits blest thy Knowledge thou dost share,
    • But thou, O Man, alone hast Art!
    • Only through Beauty’s morning gate
    • Didst thou the land of Knowledge find.
    • To merit a more glorious fate,
    • In Graces trains itself the Mind.
    • What thrill’d thee through with trembling blest,
    • When erst the Muses swept the chord,
    • That Power created in thy breast,
    • Which to the mighty Spirit soar’d.
    • What first was seen by doting Reason’s ken,
    • When many a thousand years had pass’d away,
    • A Symbol of the Fair and Great e’en then.
    • Before the childlike Mind uncovered lay.
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artist: woldemar friedrich.

THE ARTISTS.

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    • Its blest form bade us honor Virtue’s cause,—
    • The honest Sense ’gainst Vice put forth its powers,
    • Before a Solon had devis’d the Laws
    • That slowly bring to light their languid flowers.
    • Before Eternity’s vast scheme
    • Was to the Thinker’s mind reveal’d,
    • Was’t not foreshadow’d in his dream,
    • Whose eyes explor’d yon starry field?
    • Urania,—the majestic dreaded One,
    • Who wears a Glory of Orions twin’d
    • Around her brow, and who is seen by none
    • Save purest Spirits, when, in splendor shrin’d,
    • She soars above the Stars in pride,
    • Ascending to her sunny throne,—
    • Her fiery chaplet lays aside,
    • And now, as Beauty, stands alone;
    • While, with the Graces’ girdle round her cast,
    • She seems a Child, by children understood;
    • For we shall recognize as truth at last,
    • What here as beauty only we have view’d.
    • When the Creator banish’d from his sight
    • Frail Man to dark Mortality’s abode,
    • And granted him a late return to Light,
    • Only by treading Reason’s arduous road,—
    • When each Immortal turn’d his face away,
    • She, the Compassionate, alone
    • Took up her dwelling in that house of clay,
    • With the deserted, banish’d One.
    • With drooping wing she hovers here
    • Around her darling, near the Senses’ land,
    • And on his prison wall so drear
    • Elysium paints with fond deceptive hand.
    • While soft Humanity still lay at rest,
    • Within her tender arms extended,
    • No flame was stirr’d by Bigot’s murderous zest,
    • No guiltless blood on high ascended.
    • The heart that she in gentle fetters binds,
    • Views Duty’s slavish escort scornfully!
    • Her path of Light, though fairer far it winds,
    • Sinks in the Sun-track of Morality.
    • Those who in her chaste service still remain,
    • No grovelling thought can tempt, no Fate affright;
    • The Spiritual Life, so free from stain,
    • Freedom’s sweet birthright, they receive again,
    • Under the mystic sway of holy Might.
    • The purest among millions, happy they
    • Whom to her service she has sanctified,
    • Whose mouths the Mighty One’s commands convey,
    • Within whose breasts she deigneth to abide;
    • Whom she ordain’d to feed her holy fire
    • Upon her altar’s ever-flaming pyre,—
    • Whose eyes alone her unveil’d Graces meet,
    • And whom she gathers round in union sweet
    • In the much-honor’d place be glad
    • Where noble Order bade ye climb,
    • For in the Spirit-world sublime,
    • Man’s loftiest rank ye’ve ever had!
    • Ere to the world Proportion ye reveal’d,
    • That ev’ry Being joyfully obeys,—
    • A boundless structure, in Night’s veil conceal’d,
    • Illum’d by nought but faint and languid rays,
    • A band of Phantoms, struggling ceaselessly,
    • Holding his mind in slavish fetters bound,
    • Unsociable and rude as he,
    • Assailing him on every side around,—
    • Thus seem’d to Man Creation in that day!
    • United to surrounding forms alone
    • By the blind chains the Passions had put on,
    • Whilst Nature’s beauteous Spirit fled away,
    • Unfelt, untasted, and unknown.
    • And, as it hover’d o’er with parting ray,
    • Ye seiz’d the shades so neighborly,
    • With silent hand, with feeling mind,
    • And taught how they might be combin’d
    • In one firm bond of Harmony.
    • The gaze, light-soaring, felt uplifted then,
    • When first the Cedar’s slender trunk it view’d,
    • And pleasingly the Ocean’s crystal flood
    • Reflected back the dancing form again.
    • Could ye mistake the look, with beauty fraught,
    • That Nature gave to help ye on your way?
    • The Image floating on the billows taught
    • The art the fleeting shadow to portray.
    • From her own Being torn apart,
    • Her Phantom, beauteous as a dream,
    • She plung’d into the silv’ry stream,
    • Surrendering to her spoiler’s art.
    • Creative power soon in your breast unfolded;
    • Too noble far, not idly to conceive,
    • The Shadow’s form in sand, in clay ye moulded,
    • And made it in the sketch its Being leave.
    • The longing thirst for Action then awoke,—
    • And from your breast the first Creation broke.
    • By Contemplation captive made,
    • Ensnar’d by your discerning eye,
    • The friendly Phantom’s soon betray’d.
    • The talisman that rous’d your ecstasy,
    • The laws of wonder-working might,
    • The stores by Beauty brought to light,
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    • Inventive Reason in soft union plann’d
    • To blend together ’neath your forming hand.
    • The Obelisk, the Pyramid ascended,
    • The Hermes stood, the Column sprang on high,
    • The reed pour’d forth the woodland melody,
    • Immortal Song on Victor’s deeds attended.
    • The fairest flowers that deck’d the Earth,
    • Into a nosegay with wise choice combin’d,—
    • Thus the first Art from Nature had its birth;
    • Into a garland then were nosegays twin’d,
    • And from the works that mortal hands had made,
    • A second, nobler Art was now display’d.
    • The Child of Beauty, self-sufficient now,
    • That issued from your hands to perfect day,
    • Loses the chaplet that adorn’d its brow,
    • Soon as Reality asserts its sway.
    • The Column, yielding to Proportion’s chains,
    • Must with its sisters join in friendly link,
    • The Hero in the Hero-band must sink,
    • The Muses’ harp peals forth its tuneful strains.
    • The wond’ring savages soon came
    • To view the new Creation’s plan:
    • “Behold!”—the joyous crowds exclaim,—
    • “Behold, all this is done by Man!”—
    • With jocund and more social aim,
    • The minstrel’s lyre their awe awoke,
    • Telling of Titans, and of Giant’s-frays,
    • And Lion-slayers, turning, as he spoke,
    • E’en into Heroes those who heard his lays.
    • For the first time the soul feels joy,
    • By raptures bless’d that calmer are,
    • That only greet it from afar,
    • That passions wild can ne’er destroy,
    • And that, when tasted, do not cloy.
    • And now the Spirit, free and fair,
    • Awoke from out its sensual sleep;
    • By you unchain’d, the Slave of Care
    • Into the arms of Joy could leap.
    • Each brutish barrier soon was set at nought,
    • Humanity first graced the cloudless brow,
    • And the majestic, noble stranger, thought,
    • From out the wond’ring brain sprang boldly now;
    • Man in his glory stood upright,
    • And show’d the stars his kingly face;
    • His speaking glance the Sun’s bright light
    • Bless’d in the realms sublime of space.
    • Upon the cheek now bloom’d the smile,
    • The voice’s soulful Harmony
    • Expanded into Song the while,
    • And Feeling swam in the moist eye;
    • And from the mouth, with Spirit teeming o’er,
    • Jest, sweetly link’d with Grace, began to pour.
    • Sunk in the instincts of the worm,
    • By nought but sensual lusts possess’d,
    • Ye recognis’d within his breast
    • Love-Spiritual’s noble germ;
    • And that this germ of Love so blest
    • Escap’d the senses’ abject load,
    • To the first pastoral song he ow’d.
    • Rais’d to the dignity of Thought,
    • Passions more calm to flow were taught
    • From the Bard’s mouth with melody.
    • The cheeks with dewy softness burn’d;
    • The longing that, though quench’d, still yearn’d,
    • Proclaim’d the Spirit-Harmony.
    • The Wisest’s wisdom, and the Strongest’s vigor,—
    • The Meekest’s meekness, and the Noblest’s grace,
    • By you were knit together in one Figure,
    • Wreathing a radiant Glory round the place.
    • Man at the Unknown’s sight must tremble,
    • Yet its refulgence needs must love;
    • That mighty Being to resemble,
    • Each glorious Hero madly strove;
    • The prototype of Beauty’s earliest strain
    • Ye made resound through Nature’s wide domain.
    • The Passions’ wild and headlong course,
    • The ever-varying plan of Fate,
    • Duty and Instinct’s twofold force,
    • With proving mind and guidance straight
    • Ye then conducted to their ends.
    • What Nature, as she moves along,
    • Far from each other ever rends,
    • Become upon the stage, in song,
    • Members of Order, firmly bound.
    • Awed by the Furies’ chorus dread,
    • Murder draws down upon its head
    • The doom of Death from their wild sound.
    • Long ere the wise to give a verdict dar’d,
    • An Iliad had Fate’s mysteries declar’d
    • To early Ages from afar;
    • While Providence in silence far’d
    • Into the world from Thespis’ car.
    • Yet into that world’s current so sublime
    • Your Symmetry was borne before its time.
    • When the dark hand of Destiny
    • Fail’d in your sight to part by force
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    • What it had fashion’d ’neath your eye,
    • In darkness Life made haste to die,
    • Ere it fulfill’d its beauteous course.
    • Then ye with bold and self-sufficient might
    • Led the arch further thro’ the Future’s night;
    • Then, too, ye plung’d, without a fear,
    • Into Avernus’ ocean black,
    • And found the vanish’d life so dear
    • Beyond the Urn, and brought it back.
    • A blooming Pollux-form appear’d now soon,
    • On Castor leaning, and enshrin’d in light—
    • The shadow that is seen upon the moon,
    • Ere she has fill’d her silv’ry circle bright!
    • Yet higher,—higher still above the Earth
    • Inventive Genius never ceas’d to rise:
    • Creations from creations had their birth,
    • And harmonies from harmonies.
    • What here alone enchants the ravish’d sight,
    • A nobler Beauty yonder must obey;
    • The graceful charms that in the Nymph unite,
    • In the divine Athenè melt away;
    • The strength with which the Wrestler is endow’d,
    • In the God’s beauty we no longer find:
    • The wonder of his time—Jove’s image proud—
    • In the Olympian temple is enshrin’d.
    • The world, transform’d by Industry’s bold hand,
    • The human heart, by newborn instincts mov’d,
    • That have in burning fights been fully prov’d,
    • Your circle of Creation now expand.
    • Advancing Man bears on his soaring pinions,
    • In gratitude, Art with him in his flight,
    • And out of Nature’s now-enrich’d dominions,
    • New worlds of beauty issue forth to light,
    • The barriers upon knowledge are o’erthrown;
    • The Spirit that, with pleasure soon-matur’d,
    • Has in your easy triumphs been inur’d
    • To hasten through an Artist-whole of graces,
    • Nature’s more distant columns duly places,
    • And overtakes her on her pathway lone.
    • He weighs her now with weights that human are,
    • Metes her with measures that she lent of old;
    • While in her beauty’s rites more practis’d far,
    • She now must let his eye her form behold.
    • With youthful and self-pleasing bliss,
    • He lends the spheres his harmony,
    • And, if he praise earth’s edifice,
    • ’Tis for its wondrous symmetry.
    • In all that now around him breathes,
    • Proportion sweet is ever rife;
    • And Beauty’s golden girdle wreathes
    • With mildness round his path through life;
    • Perfection blest, triumphantly,
    • Before him in your works soars high;
    • Wherever boisterous Rapture swells,
    • Wherever silent Sorrow flees,
    • Where pensive Contemplation dwells,
    • Where he the tears of Anguish sees,
    • Where thousand terrors on him glare,
    • Harmonious streams are yet behind—
    • He sees the Graces sporting there,
    • With feelings silent and refin’d.
    • Gentle as Beauty’s lines together linking,
    • As the Appearances that round him play,
    • In tender outline in each other sinking,
    • The soft breath of his life thus fleets away.
    • His Spirit melts in the harmonious Sea,
    • That, rich in rapture, round his senses flows,
    • And the dissolving Thought all silently
    • To omnipresent Cytherea grows.
    • Joining in lofty union with the Fates,
    • On Graces and on Muses calm relying,
    • With freely-offer’d bosom he awaits
    • The shaft that soon against him will be flying
    • From the soft bow Necessity creates.
    • Fav’rites belov’d of blissful Harmony,
    • Welcome attendants on Life’s dreary road,
    • The noblest and the dearest far that she,
    • Who gave us Life, to bless that life bestow’d!
    • That unyok’d Man his duties bears in mind,
    • And loves the fetters that his motions bind,
    • That Chance with brazen sceptre rules him not,—
    • For this, Eternity is now your lot,
    • Your heart has won a bright reward for this.
    • That round the cup where Freedom flows,
    • Merrily sport the Gods of bliss,—
    • The beauteous dream its fragrance throws,—
    • For this, receive a loving kiss!
    • The Spirit, glorious and serene,
    • Who round Necessity the Graces trains,—
    • Who bids his æther and his starry plains
    • Upon us wait with pleasing mien,—
    • Who, ’mid his terrors, by his majesty gives joy,
    • And who is beauteous e’en when seeking to destroy,—
    • Him imitate, the Artist good!
    • As o’er the streamlet’s crystal flood
    • The banks with chequer’d dances hover,
    • The flowery mead, the sunset’s light,—
    • Thus gleams, life’s barren pathway over,
    • Poesy’s shadowy world so bright.
    • In bridal dress ye led us on
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    • Before the terrible Unknown,
    • Before inexorable Fate.
    • As in your urns the bones are laid,
    • With beauteous Magic veil ye shade
    • The chorus dread that cares create.
    • Thousands of years I hasten’d through
    • The boundless realm of vanish’d time;
    • How sad it seems when left by you—
    • But where ye linger, how sublime!
    • She who, with fleeting wing, of yore
    • From your creating hand arose in might,
    • Within your arms was found once more,
    • When, vanquish’d by Time’s silent flight,
    • Life’s blossoms faded from the cheek,
    • And from the limbs all vigor went,
    • And mournfully, with footstep weak,
    • Upon his staff the greybeard leant.
    • Then gave ye to the languishing,
    • Life’s waters from a new-born spring;
    • Twice was the youth of Time renew’d,
    • Twice, from the seeds that ye had strew’d.
    • When chas’d by fierce barbarian hordes away,
    • The last remaining votive brand ye tore
    • From Orient’s altars, now pollution’s prey,
    • And to these Western lands in safety bore.
    • The fugitive from yonder Eastern shore,
    • The youthful day, the West her dwelling made;
    • And on Hesperia’s plains sprang up once more
    • Ionia’s flowers, in pristine bloom array’d.
    • Over the Spirit fairer Nature shed,
    • With soft refulgence, a reflection bright,
    • And through the graceful Soul with stately tread
    • Advanced the mighty Deity of light.
    • Millions of chains were burst asunder then,
    • And to the Slave then human laws applied,
    • And mildly rose the younger race of men,
    • As brethren, gently wand’ring side by side.
    • With noble inward ecstasy,
    • The bliss imparted ye receive,
    • And in the veil of modesty,
    • With silent merit take your leave.
    • If on the paths of Thought, so freely given,
    • The Searcher now with daring fortune stands,
    • And, by triumphant Pæans onward driven,
    • Would seize upon the crown with dauntless hands—
    • If he with grovelling hireling’s pay
    • Thinks to dismiss his glorious guide—
    • Or, with the first slave’s-place array
    • Art near the throne his dream supplied—
    • Forgive him!—O’er your head to-day
    • Hovers Perfection’s crown in pride.
    • With you the earliest plant Spring had,
    • Soul-forming Nature first began;
    • With you, the harvest-chaplet glad,
    • Perfected Nature ends her plan.
    • The Art Creative, that all-modestly arose
    • From clay and stone, with silent triumph throws
    • Its arms around the Spirit’s vast domain.
    • What in the land of knowledge the Discoverer knows,
    • He knows, discovers, only for your gain!
    • The treasures that the Thinker has amass’d,
    • He will enjoy within your arms alone,
    • Soon as his knowledge, beauty-ripe at last,
    • To Art ennobl’d shall have grown,—
    • Soon as with you he scales a mountain-height,
    • And there, illumin’d by the setting sun,
    • The smiling valley bursts upon his sight.
    • The richer ye reward the eager gaze—
    • The higher, fairer orders that the mind
    • May traverse with its magic rays,
    • Or compass with enjoyment unconfin’d—
    • The wider thoughts and feelings open lie
    • To more luxuriant floods of Harmony,
    • To Beauty’s richer, more majestic stream,—
    • The fair members of the world’s vast scheme,
    • That, maim’d, disgrace on his Creation bring,
    • He sees the lofty forms then perfecting—
    • The fairer riddles come from out the night—
    • The richer is the world his arms enclose,
    • The broader stream the sea with which he flows—
    • The weaker, too, is Destiny’s blind might—
    • The nobler instincts does he prove—
    • The smaller he himself, the greater grows his love.
    • Thus is he led, in still and hidden race,
    • By Poetry, who strews his path with flowers,
    • Through ever-purer Forms, and purer Powers,
    • Through ever higher heights, and fairer grace.
    • At length, arriv’d at the ripe goal of Time,—
    • Yet one more inspiration all-sublime,
    • Poetic outburst of Man’s latest youth,
    • And—he will glide into the arms of Truth!
    • Herself, the gentle Cypria,
    • Illumin’d by her fiery crown,
    • Then stands before her full-grown Son
    • Unveil’d—as great Urania;
    • The sooner only by him caught,
    • The fairer he had fled away!
    • Thus stood, in wonder rapture-fraught,
    • Ulysses’ noble Son that day,
    • When the sage Mentor who his youth beguil’d,
    • Herself transfigur’d as Jove’s glorious Child!
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    • Man’s honor is confided to your hand,—
    • There let it well-protected be!
    • It sinks with you! with you it will expand!
    • Poesy’s sacred sorcery
    • Obeys a world-plan wise and good;
    • In silence let it swell the flood
    • Of mighty-rolling Harmony!
    • By her own time view’d with disdain,
    • Let solemn Truth in song remain,
    • And let the Muses’ band defend her!
    • In all the fulness of her splendor,
    • Let her survive in numbers glorious,
    • More dread, when veil’d her charms appear,
    • And vengeance take, with strains victorious,
    • On her tormentor’s ear!
    • The freest Mother’s Children free,
    • With steadfast countenance then rise
    • To highest Beauty’s radiancy,
    • And ev’ry other crown despise!
    • The Sisters who escap’d you here,
    • Within your Mother’s arms ye’ll meet;
    • What noble Spirits may revere,
    • Must be deserving and complete.
    • High over your own course of time
    • Exalt yourselves with pinion bold,
    • And dimly let your glass sublime
    • The coming century unfold!
    • On thousand roads advancing fast
    • Of ever-rich variety,
    • With fond embraces meet at last
    • Before the throne of Harmony!
    • As into seven mild rays we view
    • With softness break the glimmer white,
    • As rainbow-beams of sevenfold hue
    • Dissolve again in that soft light,
    • In clearness thousandfold thus throw
    • Your magic round the ravish’d gaze,—
    • Into one stream of light thus flow,—
    • One bond of truth that ne’er decays!
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POEMS OF THE THIRD PERIOD.

THE MEETING.

    • I SEE her still—by her fair train surrounded,
    • The fairest of them all, she took her place;
    • Afar I stood, by her bright charms confounded,
    • For, oh! they dazzl’d with their heavenly grace.
    • With awe my soul was fill’d—with bliss unbounded,
    • While gazing on her softly radiant face;
    • But soon, as if up-borne on wings of fire,
    • My fingers ’gan to sweep the sounding lyre.
    • The thoughts that rush’d across me in that hour,
    • The words I sang, I’d fain once more invoke;
    • Within, I felt a new-awaken’d power,
    • That each emotion of my bosom spoke.
    • My soul, long time enchain’d in sloth’s dull bower,
    • Through all its fetters now triumphant broke,
    • And brought to light unknown, harmonious numbers,
    • Which, in its deepest depths, had liv’d in slumbers.
    • And when the chords had ceas’d their gentle sighing,
    • And when my soul rejoin’d its mortal frame,
    • I look’d upon her face and saw love vieing,
    • In ev’ry feature, with her maiden shame.
    • And soon my ravish’d heart seem’d heavenward flying,
    • When her soft whisper o’er my senses came.
    • The blissful seraphs’ choral strains alone
    • Can glad mine ear again with that sweet tone.
    • Of that fond heart, which, pining silently,
    • Ne’er ventures to express its feelings lowly,
    • The real and modest worth is known to me—
    • ’Gainst cruel fate I’ll guard its cause so holy.
    • Most blest of all, the meek one’s lot shall be—
    • Love’s flowers by Love’s own hand are gather’d solely—
    • The fairest prize to that fond heart is due,
    • That feels it, and that beats responsive too!

TO EMMA.

    • FAR away, where darkness reigneth,
    • All my dreams of bliss are flown;
    • Yet with love my gaze remaineth
    • Fix’d on one fair star alone.
    • But, alas! that star so bright
    • Sheds no lustre save by night.
    • If in slumbers ending never,
    • Gloomy Death had seal’d thine eyes,
    • Thou hadst liv’d in memory ever—
    • Thou hadst liv’d still in my sighs;
    • But, alas! in light thou livest—
    • To my love no answer givest!
    • Can the sweet hopes love once cherish’d—
    • Emma, can they transient prove?
    • What has pass’d away and perish’d—
    • Emma, say, can that be love?
    • That bright flame of heavenly birth—
    • Can it die like things of earth?
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THE SECRET.

    • SHE sought to breathe one word, but vainly—
    • Too many listeners were nigh;
    • And yet my timid glance read plainly
    • The language of her speaking eye.
    • Thy silent glades my footstep presses,
    • Thou fair and leaf-embosom’d grove!
    • Conceal within thy green recesses
    • From mortal eye our sacred love!
    • Afar with strange discordant noises,
    • The busy day is echoing;
    • And ’mid the hollow hum of voices,
    • I hear the heavy hammer ring.
    • ’Tis thus that man, with toil ne’er-ending,
    • Extorts from Heaven his daily bread;
    • Yet oft unseen the Gods are sending
    • The gifts of fortune on his head!
    • Oh, let mankind discover never
    • How true love fills with bliss our hearts!
    • They would but crush our joy for ever,
    • For joy to them no glow imparts.
    • Thou ne’er wilt from the world obtain it—
    • ’Tis never captur’d save as prey;
    • Thou needs must strain each nerve to gain it,
    • Ere Envy dark asserts her sway.
    • The hours of night and stillness loving,
    • It comes upon us silently—
    • Away with hasty footstep moving
    • Soon as it sees a treach’rous eye.
    • Thou gentle stream, soft circlets weaving,
    • A wat’ry barrier cast around,
    • And, with thy waves in anger heaving,
    • Guard from each foe this holy ground!
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EXPECTATION.

    • HEAR I the portal not flying?
    • Hear I the latchet not fall?
    • No, ’tis but the Zephyr sighing
    • Gently through the poplars tall.
    • Put on thy fairest dress, thou leafy grove,
    • To welcome her sweet fact its charms displaying!
    • Ye branches, weave a shady roof above,
    • When she, at eve’s soft hour, is hither straying!
    • And all ye balmy winds, that sportive rove,
    • Awake, and round her blushing cheeks ’gin playing,
    • Soon as her foot, all-gently moving on,
    • Its beauteous burden bears to Love’s own throne!
    • Hark to yon sound that seems parting
    • The bushes, and hastening near!—
    • No, ’tis but the bird upstarting
    • From the copse, in sudden fear!
    • Oh, quench thy torch, bright Day! And thou, pale Night,
    • With thy propitious silence o’er us hover!
    • Around us spread a veil of purple light!
    • Let mystic boughs our blissful meeting cover!
    • From listener’s ears, Love’s raptures take their flight,
    • They fly when Phœbus’ beams the world rule over,
    • For Hesperus alone, who silently
    • Casts down his rays, their confidant can be!
    • Hear I not soft whispers cleaving
    • The air as the echoes they wake?
    • No, ’tis but the cygnet weaving
    • Circlets in the silv’ry lake!
    • A flood of harmony mine ear assails,—
    • The fountain’s gush with murmur sweet is falling—
    • The west wind’s balmy kiss the flow’ret hails,—
    • And all creation smiles with joy enthraling;
    • The purple grape, the luscious peach that veils,
    • ’Neath shelt’ring leaves, its charms, seem softly calling;
    • The incense-bearing Zephyrs, as they blow,
    • Drink from my burning cheeks their fiery glow!
    • Down through yon laurel-walk rushing.
    • Hear not I footsteps resound?
    • No, ’tis but the fruit all-blushing,
    • Falling ripen’d to the ground!
    • In gentle death now sinks day’s flaming eye,
    • And all his gorgeous hues are fast declining;
    • The flowers, that ’neath his fiery ardor sigh,
    • Open their cups, when twilight soft ’gins shining;
    • The moon her silver beams sheds silently,—
    • The world in shadows dim its form is shrining;
    • Each charm its circling girdle lays aside,
    • And Beauty stands disclos’d in modest pride!
    • Is’t not a white form advancing?
    • Gleams not its soft-rustling train?
    • No, ’tis but the yew-trees glancing
    • Yon dim columns back again!
    • With sweet but airy dreams like these to play.
    • No longer be content, thou bosom panting!
    • No shadowy bliss my heart’s mad thirst can stay—
    • She whom this arm would clasp, alas, is wanting!
    • Oh, guide her living, breathing charms this way!
    • Oh, let me press her hand, with joy enchanting!
    • The very shadow of her mantle’s seam—
    • But lo!—a form of life assumes my dream!
    • And as, from the Heavens descending,
    • Appears the sweet moment of bliss,
    • In silence her steps thither bending,
    • She waken’d her love with a kiss!
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artist: ferdinand rothbart.

EXPECTATION.

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EVENING.
AFTER A PICTURE.

    • OH! thou bright-beaming God, the plains are thirsting,
    • Thirsting for freshening dew, and man is pining;
    • Wearily move on thy horses—
    • Let, then, thy chariot descend!
    • Seest thou her who, from Ocean’s crystal billows,
    • Lovingly nods and smiles?—Thy heart must know her!
    • Joyously speed on thy horses,—
    • Tethys, the Goddess, ’tis nods!
    • Swiftly from out his flaming chariot leaping,
    • Into her arms he springs,—the reins takes Cupid,—
    • Quietly stand the horses,
    • Drinking the cooling flood.
    • Now, from the Heavens with gentle step descending,
    • Balmy Night appears, by sweet Love follow’d;
    • Mortals, rest ye and love ye,—
    • Phœbus, the loving one, rests!

LONGING.

    • COULD I from this valley dear,
    • Where the mist hangs heavily,
    • Soar to some more blissful sphere,
    • Ah! how happy should I be!
    • Distant hills enchant my sight,
    • Ever young and ever fair;
    • To those hills I’d take my flight
    • Had I wings to scale the air.
    • Harmonies mine ear assail,
    • Tones that breathe a heavenly calm;
    • And the gently-sighing gale
    • Greets me with its fragrant balm.
    • Peeping through the shady bowers,
    • Golden fruits their charms display,
    • And those sweetly-blooming flowers
    • Ne’er become cold winter’s prey.
    • In yon endless sunshine bright,
    • Oh! what bliss ’twould be to dwell!
    • How the breeze on yonder height
    • Must the heart with rapture swell!
    • Yet the stream that hems my path
    • Checks me with its angry frown,
    • While its waves, in rising wrath,
    • Weigh my weary spirit down.
    • See—a bark is drawing near,
    • But, alas, the pilot fails!
    • Enter boldly—wherefore fear?
    • Inspiration fills its sails,
    • Faith and courage make thine own,—
    • Gods ne’er lend a helping hand;
    • ’Tis by magic power alone
    • Thou canst reach the magic land!
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THE PILGRIM.

    • YES! ’twas in life’s happy morning
    • That I first began to roam,
    • And, Youth’s transient pleasures scorning,
    • Left for aye my native home.
    • All the wealth by fate imparted
    • To the winds with joy I hurl’d;
    • Then with conscience single-hearted,
    • Grasp’d my staff, and sought the world,
    • By a mighty impulse driven—
    • By a voice of mystic strength—
    • “Go!” it cried, “to thee ’tis given
    • Happiness to reach at length.
    • “When thou seest a golden portal
    • Near thee lying, enter in;
    • There, each thing that earth made mortal,
    • Heavenly is, and free from sin.”
    • Evening came, and morn succeeded,
    • On I went unweariedly;
    • But the rest my bosom needed
    • Ever from me seem’d to fly.
    • In my path lay mountain ridges,
    • Streams to hem my progress roll’d;
    • Yet I spann’d their gulfs with bridges—
    • Cross’d each flood with courage bold.
    • Till at length I reach’d a torrent—
    • Eastward ran its waters clear;
    • Trusting fondly to the current,
    • In I plunged without a fear.
    • Soon into a mighty ocean
    • I was carried by the stream;
    • Vain now prov’d my self-devotion,—
    • All was but an empty dream!
    • Nought, alas, can lead me thither!—
    • Yon bright realms of Heaven so clear
    • Ne’er can send their brightness hither—
    • And the There is never Here!

THE IDEALS.

    • O, then, Faithless, wilt thou leave me,
    • With all thy magic phantasy,—
    • With all the thoughts that joy or grieve me,
    • Wilt thou with all for ever fly?
    • Can nought delay thine onward motion,
    • Thou golden time of life’s young dream?
    • In vain! Eternity’s wide ocean
    • Ceaselessly drowns thy rolling stream.
    • The glorious suns my youth enchanting
    • Have set in never-ending night;
    • Those blest Ideals now are wanting
    • That swell’d my heart with mad delight.
    • The offspring of my dream hath perish’d,
    • My faith in Being pass’d away;
    • The godlike hopes that once I cherish’d
    • Are now Reality’s sad prey.
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artist: f. a. kaulbach.

THE MAIDEN’S LAMENT.

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    • As once Pygmalion, fondly yearning,
    • Embrac’d the statue form’d by him,
    • Till the cold marble’s cheeks were burning,
    • And life diffus’d through ev’ry limb,—
    • So I, with youthful passion fired,
    • My longing arms round Nature threw,
    • Till, clinging to my breast inspired,
    • She ’gan to breathe, to kindle, too.
    • And all my fiery ardor proving,
    • Though mute, her tale she soon could tell,
    • Return’d each kiss I gave her loving,
    • The throbbings of my heart read well.
    • Then living seem’d each tree, each flower,
    • Then sweetly sang the waterfall,
    • And e’en the soulless in that hour
    • Shar’d in the heav’nly bliss of all.
    • For then a circling World was bursting
    • My bosom’s narrow prison-cell,
    • To enter into Being thirsting,
    • In deed, word, shape and sound as well.
    • This world, how wondrous great I deem’d it,
    • Ere yet its blossoms could unfold!
    • When open, oh, how little seem’d it!
    • That little, oh, how mean and cold!
    • How happy, winged by courage daring,
    • The youth Life’s mazy path first press’d—
    • No care his manly strength impairing,
    • And in his dream’s sweet vision blest!
    • The dimmest star in air’s dominion
    • Seem’d not too distant for his flight;
    • His young and ever-eager pinion
    • Soar’d far beyond all mortal sight.
    • Thus joyously tow’rd Heaven ascending,
    • Was aught for his bright hopes too far?
    • The airy guides his steps attending,
    • How danced they round Life’s radiant car!
    • Soft Love was there, her guerdon bearing,
    • And Fortune, with her crown of gold,
    • And Fame, her starry chaplet wearing,
    • And Truth, in majesty untold.
    • But while the goal was yet before them,
    • The faithless guides began to stray;
    • Impatience of their task came o’er them,
    • Then one by one they dropp’d away.
    • Light-footed Fortune first retreating,
    • Then Wisdom’s thirst remain’d unstill’d,
    • While heavy storms of doubt were beating
    • Upon the path Truth’s radiance fill’d.
    • I saw Fame’s sacred wreath adorning
    • The brows of an unworthy crew;
    • And, ah! how soon Love’s happy morning,
    • When spring had vanish’d vanish’d too!
    • More silent yet, and yet more weary,
    • Became the desert path I trod;
    • And even Hope a glimmer dreary
    • Scarce cast upon the gloomy road.
    • Of all that train, so bright with gladness,
    • Oh, who is faithful to the end?
    • Who now will seek to cheer my sadness,
    • And to the grave my steps attend?
    • Thou, Friendship, of all guides the fairest,
    • Who gently healest ev’ry wound;
    • Who all Life’s heavy burdens sharest,
    • Thou, whom I early sought and found!
    • Employment too, thy loving neighbor,
    • Who quells the bosom’s rising storms;
    • Who ne’er grows weary of her labor,
    • And ne’er destroys, though slow she forms;
    • Who, though but grains of sand she places
    • To swell Eternity sublime,
    • Yet minutes, days, aye! years effaces
    • From the dread reckoning kept by Time!

THE MAIDEN’S LAMENT.

    • THE clouds fast gather,
    • The forest-oaks roar,—
    • A maiden is sitting
    • Beside the green shore,—
    • The billows are breaking with might, with might,
    • And she sighs aloud in the darkling night,
    • Her eyelid heavy with weeping.
    • “My heart’s dead within me,
    • The world is a void;
    • To the wish, it gives nothing,
    • Each hope is destroy’d.
    • I have tasted the fulness of bliss below
    • I have liv’d, I have lov’d,—thy child, oh take now,
    • Thou Holy One, into thy keeping!”
    • “In vain is thy sorrow,
    • In vain thy tears fall,
    • For the Dead from their slumbers
    • They ne’er can recall;
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    • Yet if aught can pour comfort and balm in thy heart,
    • Now that love its sweet pleasures no more can impart,
    • Speak thy wish, and thou granted shall find it!”
    • “Though in vain is my sorrow,
    • Though in vain my tears fall,
    • Though the Dead from their slumbers
    • They ne’er can recall,
    • Yet no balm is so sweet to the desolate heart,
    • When love its soft pleasures no more can impart,
    • As the torments that love leaves behind it!”

THE YOUTH AT THE BROOK.

    • NEAR a brook a boy is sitting,
    • Twining many a garland gay;
    • But, alas! he sees them ever
    • Hurried by the stream away.
    • “Restless as those dancing waters,
    • My sad days are fleeting on;
    • Transient as those fragrant garlands,
    • Lo! my youth will soon be gone.
    • “Ask me not why I am sorrowing
    • In the spring-time of my years!
    • Joy and hope fill every creature
    • Soon as smiling Spring appears;
    • But the thousand voices hailing
    • Nature wak’ning from her sleep,
    • In my bosom waken only
    • Anguish bitter, torments deep.
    • “What avail to me the pleasures
    • Spring is able to convey?
    • There is only one I sigh for,
    • Yet, though near, ’tis far away.
    • Fain I’d seize the flattering vision,
    • Fain I’d clasp it to my breast;
    • But, alas! it ever flies me,
    • And my heart remains oppress’d.
    • “Leave thy castle proud behind thee,
    • Hither, maiden, wend thy way;
    • And I’ll fill thy lap with flowers,
    • Offspring of all-bounteous May.
    • Hark! the streamlet softly murmurs,
    • Joyous carols fill the air;
    • E’en a cottage is a palace
    • To a happy, loving pair!”

THE FAVOR OF THE MOMENT.

    • SO, at length, once more we meet
    • In the Muses’ glad domain!
    • Let us twine a garland sweet,
    • Fit to grace their brows again!
    • To what God shall we now bring
    • Earliest tribute of our lays?
    • Let us first His glory sing,
    • Who with bliss our toil repays.
    • What avails it that a Soul
    • Ceres breathes into the shrine?
    • That great Bacchus brims the bowl
    • With the red blood of the vine?
    • If that spark which set on fire
    • Mortal hearths, comes not from high,
    • Joy will ne’er the soul inspire,
    • And the heart will vainly sigh.
    • From the clouds must fortune fall,
    • From the lap of Deities;
    • And the mightiest Lord of all
    • Is the moment as it flies.
    • ’Mongst the things that have their birth
    • ’Neath eternal Nature’s sway,
    • Nought is god-like here on earth,
    • Save the thought’s all-piercing ray,
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    • Slowly stone and stone unite,
    • As the circling seasons roll;
    • But our work will see the light
    • Soon as fashion’d by the soul.
    • As the sunlight’s radiant glow
    • Weaves a golden tapestry—
    • As upon her gorgeous bow
    • Iris quivers in the sky,
    • So each gift that joys the heart
    • Fleeteth as a gleam of light;
    • Soon for aye it must depart
    • To the darksome tomb of night.

MOUNTAIN SONG.

    • YON bridge o’er the giddy abyss will conduct,
    • From life unto death ’tis the portal;
    • But figures gigantic the lone way obstruct,
    • And threaten to crush thee, frail mortal!
    • And, wouldst thou not waken the avalanche dread,
    • The terrible path thou must noiselessly tread.
    • High over the brink of the chasm profound
    • An arch is in triumph suspended;
    • ’Twas rais’d not by science of man from the ground,
    • His thoughts to such height ne’er ascended,
    • Below, late and early, the fierce torrent boils—
    • Assails it in fury, but fruitlessly toils.
    • A dark and mysterious gate opens wide,
    • Beyond seem the shadow-realms dreaded;
    • But sudden a region of bliss is described,
    • Where autumn and spring-time are wedded;
    • Oh, would I could fly to that vale of repose
    • From the labors of life, and its ne’er-ending woes!
    • Four streams to the plain with wild roar issue forth,
    • Their source remains hidden for ever;
    • They flow to the East, to the West, South, and North,
    • The world’s four great highways they sever.
    • And fast as their mother with groans gives them birth,
    • They fly away swiftly and vanish from earth.
    • Two peaks, far above the weak gaze of mankind,
    • From Ether’s blue vault seem advancing;
    • Upon them, in vapor all-golden enshrin’d,
    • The clouds, Heaven’s daughters, are dancing.
    • Their course all alone they unceasing pursue,
    • The eye of no mortal their progress can view.
    • The Queen, on a throne that no time can e’er change,
    • In glory and brightness is sitting;—
    • She weareth a chaplet of diamonds strange
    • To grace her fair forehead befitting;
    • The sun shoots his arrows of light at her ever—
    • They gild her, ’tis true, but their warmth they
    • give never!
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DITHYRAMB.

    • NEVER,—believe me,—
    • See we the Deities—
    • Never alone.
    • No sooner does Bacchus the Jovial greet me,
    • Than Love, smiling urchin, comes bounding to meet me,
    • Phœbus the radiant—he, too, is one!
    • See them advancing,
    • Crowding the portal!
    • Soon in my dwelling
    • Stands each immortal!
    • Say, ye Divine Ones,
    • How I, a frail creature,
    • Due homage can pay?
    • Bright immortality send down from Heaven!
    • Yet what requital by me can be given?
    • Oh, to Olympus guide upward my way!
    • Bliss dwelleth only
    • In Jupiter’s Palace;
    • Brimming with nectar,
    • Oh, give me the chalice!
    • Give him the chalice!
    • Brim for the Poet,
    • Hebe, the bowl!
    • Moisten his eyes with the dew we quaff ever,
    • Let Styx, the dark torrent, be seen by him never,
    • Let visions celestial brighten his soul!
    • The heavenly fountain
    • Sparkles and bubbles,
    • Gladd’ning the bosom,
    • And banishing troubles!

THE ALPINE HUNTER.

    • WILT thou not the lambkins guard?
    • Oh, how soft and meek they look,
    • Feeding on the grassy sward,
    • Sporting round the silv’ry brook!
    • “Mother, mother, let me go
    • On yon heights to chase the roe!”
    • Wilt thou not the flock compel
    • With the horn’s inspiring notes?
    • Sweet the echo of yon bell,
    • As across the wood it floats!
    • “Mother, mother, let me go
    • On yon heights to hunt the roe!”
    • Wilt thou not the flow’rets bind,
    • Smiling gently in their bed?
    • For no garden thou wilt find
    • On yon heights so wild and dread.
    • “Leave the flow’rets,—let them blow!
    • Mother, mother, let me go!”
    • And the youth then sought the chase,
    • Onward press’d with headlong speed
    • To the mountain’s gloomiest place,—
    • Nought his progress could impede;
    • And before him, like the wind,
    • Swiftly flies the trembling hind.
    • Up the naked precipice
    • Clambers she, with footstep light;
    • O’er the chasm’s dark abyss
    • Leaps with spring of daring might;
    • But behind, unweari’dly,
    • With his death-blow follows he.
    • Now upon the rugged top
    • Stands she,—on the loftiest height,
    • Where the cliffs abruptly stop,
    • And the path is lost to sight.
    • There she views the steeps below,—
    • Close behind, her mortal foe.
    • She, with silent woeful gaze,
    • Seeks the cruel boy to move;
    • But, alas! in vain she prays—
    • To the string he fits the groove.
    • When from out the clefts, behold!
    • Steps the Mountain Genius old.
    • With his hand the Deity
    • Shields the beast that trembling sighs;
    • “Must thou, even up to me,
    • Death and anguish send?” he cries,—
    • “Earth has room for all to dwell,—
    • Why pursue my lov’d gazelle?”
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artist: ferdinand keller.

THE ALPINE HUNTER.

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THE FOUR AGES OF THE WORLD.

    • THE goblet is sparkling with purpleting’d wine,
    • Bright glistens the eye of each guest,
    • When into the hall comes the Minstrel divine,
    • To the good he now brings what is best;
    • For when from Elysium is absent the lyre,
    • No joy can the banquets of nectar inspire.
    • He is blest by the Gods with an intellect clear,
    • That mirrors the world as it glides;
    • He has seen all that ever has taken place here,
    • And all that the future still hides.
    • He sat in the God’s secret councils of old,
    • And heard the command for each thing to unfold.
    • He opens in splendor, with gladness and mirth,
    • That life which was hid from our eyes;
    • Adorns as a temple the dwelling of earth,
    • That the Muse has bestow’d as his prize.
    • No roof is so humble, no hut is so low,
    • But he with Divinities bids it o’erflow.
    • And as the inventive descendant of Zeus,
    • On the unadorn’d round of the shield,
    • With knowledge divine could, reflected, produce
    • Earth, sea, and the stars’ shining field,—
    • So he, on the moments, as onward they roll,
    • The image can stamp of the infinite Whole.
    • From the earliest age of the world he has come,
    • When nations rejoic’d in their prime;
    • A wanderer glad, he has still found a home
    • With every race through all time.
    • Four ages of man in his lifetime have died,
    • And the place they once held by the Fifth is suppli’d.
    • Saturnus first govern’d, with fatherly smile,
    • Each day then resembl’d the last;
    • Then flourish’d the Shepherds, a race without guile—
    • Their bliss by no care was o’ercast.
    • They lov’d,—and no other employment they had,
    • And Earth gave her treasures with willingness glad.
    • Then Labor came next, and the conflict began
    • With monsters and beasts fam’d in song;
    • And heroes upstarted, as rulers of man,
    • And the weak sought the aid of the strong.
    • And strife o’er the field of Scamander now reign’d,
    • But Beauty the God of the world still remain’d.
    • At length from the conflict bright Victory sprang,
    • And gentleness blossom’d from might;
    • In heavenly chorus the Muses then sang,
    • And figures divine saw the light;—
    • The Age that acknowledg’d sweet Phantasy’s sway
    • Can never return, it has fleeted away.
    • The Gods from their seats in the Heavens were hurl’d,
    • And their pillars of glory o’erthrown;
    • And the Son of the Virgin appear’d in the world
    • For the sins of mankind to atone.
    • The fugitive lusts of the sense were suppress’d,
    • And man now first grappled with Thought in his breast.
    • Each vain and voluptuous charm vanish’d now,
    • Wherein the young world took delight;
    • The monk and the nun made of penance a vow,
    • And the tourney was sought by the knight.
    • Though the aspect of life was now dreary and wild,
    • Yet Love remain’d ever both lovely and mild.
    • An altar of holiness, free from all stain,
    • The Muses in silence uprear’d;
    • And all that was noble and worthy, again
    • In woman’s chaste bosom appear’d;
    • The bright flame of song was soon kindl’d anew
    • By the minstrel’s soft lays, and his love, pure and true.
    • And so, in a gentle and ne’er-changing band,
    • Let woman and minstrel unite;
    • They weave and they fashion, with hand join’d to hand,
    • The girdle of Beauty and Right.
    • When love blends with music, in unison sweet,
    • The lustre of life’s youthful days ne’er can fleet.
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Punch Song.

    • Four elements join’d in
    • Harmonious strife,
    • Shadow the world forth,
    • And typify life.
    • Into the goblet
    • The lemon’s juice pour;
    • Acid is ever
    • Life’s innermost core.
    • Now, with the sugar’s
    • All-softening juice,
    • The strength of the acid
    • So burning reduce.
    • The bright sparkling water
    • Now pour in the bowl;
    • Water, all-gently,
    • Encircles the whole.
    • Let drops of the spirit
    • To join them now flow;
    • Life to the living
    • Nought else can bestow.
    • Drain it off quickly
    • Before it exhales;
    • Save when ’tis glowing,
    • The draught nought avails.

TO MY FRIENDS.

  • YES, my friends!—that happier times have been
  • Than the present, none can contravene;
  • That a race once liv’d of nobler worth;
  • And if ancient chronicles were dumb,
  • Countless stones in witness forth would come
  • From the deepest entrails of the earth.
  • But this highly-favor’d race has gone,
  • Gone forever to the realms of night.
  • We, we live! The moments are our own,
  • And the living judge the right.
  • Brighter zones, my friends, no doubt excel
  • This, the land wherein we’re doom’d to dwell,
  • As the hardy travellers proclaim;
  • But if Nature has denied us much,
  • Art is yet responsive to our touch,
  • And our hearts can kindle at her flame.
  • If the laurel will not flourish here—
  • If the myrtle is cold winter’s prey,
  • Yet the vine, to crown us, year by year,
  • Still puts forth his foliage gay.
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  • Of a busier life ’tis well to speak,
  • Where four worlds their wealth to barter seek,
  • On the world’s great market, Thames’ broad stream;
  • Ships in thousands go there and depart—
  • There are seen the costliest works of art,
  • And the earth-god, Mammon, reigns supreme:
  • But the sun his image only graves
  • On the silent streamlet’s level plain,
  • Not upon the torrent’s muddy waves,
  • Swollen by the heavy rain.
  • Far more bless’d than we, in northern States,
  • Dwells the beggar at the Angel-gates,
  • For he sees the peerless city—Rome!
  • Beauty’s glorious charms around him lie,
  • And a second Heaven up tow’rd the sky
  • Mounts St. Peter’s proud and wondrous dome.
  • But, with all the charms that splendor grants,
  • Rome is but the tomb of ages past;
  • Life but smiles upon the blooming plants
  • That the seasons round her cast.
  • Greater actions elsewhere may be rife
  • Than with us, in our contracted life—
  • But beneath the sun there’s nought that’s new;
  • Yet we see the great of ev’ry age
  • Pass before us on the world’s wide stage
  • Thoughtfully and calmly in review:
  • All in life repeats itself for ever,
  • Young for aye is phantasy alone;
  • What has happen’d nowhere,—happen’d never,—
  • That has never older grown!

PUNCH SONG. (TO BE SUNG IN NORTHERN COUNTRIES.)

    • ON the mountain’s breezy summit,
    • Where the Southern sunbeams shine,
    • Aided by their warming vigor,
    • Nature yields the golden wine.
    • How the wondrous mother formeth,
    • None have ever read aright;
    • Hid for ever is her working,
    • And inscrutable her might.
    • Sparkling as a son of Phœbus,
    • As the fiery source of light,
    • From the vat it bubbling springeth,
    • Purple, and as crystal bright;
    • And rejoiceth all the senses,
    • And in ev’ry sorrowing breast
    • Poureth Hope’s refreshing balsam,
    • And on life bestows new zest.
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    • But their slanting rays all feebly
    • On our zone the sunbeams shoot;
    • They can only tinge the foliage,
    • But they ripen ne’er the fruit.
    • Yet the North insists on living,
    • And what lives, will merry be;
    • So, although the grape is wanting,
    • We invent wine cleverly.
    • Pale the drink we now are off’ring
    • On the household altar here;
    • But what living Nature maketh,
    • Sparkling is and ever clear.
    • Let us, from the brimming goblet,
    • Drain the troubled flood with mirth;
    • Art is but a gift of Heaven,
    • Borrow’d from the glow of earth.
    • Even strength’s dominions boundless
    • ’Neath her rule obedient lie;
    • From the old the new she fashions
    • With creative energy.
    • She the element’s close union
    • Severs with her sovereign nod;
    • With the flame upon the altar,
    • Emulates the great Sun-God.
    • For the distant, happy islands
    • Now the vessel sallies forth,
    • And the Southern fruits, all-golden,
    • Pours upon the eager North.
    • As a type, then,—as an image,
    • Be to us this fiery juice,
    • Of the wonders that frail mortals
    • Can with steadfast will produce!

NADOWESSIAN DEATH-LAMENT.

    • SEE, he sitteth on his mat,
    • Sitteth there upright,
    • With the grace with which he sat
    • While he saw the light.
    • Where is now the sturdy gripe,—
    • Where the breath sedate,
    • That so lately whiff’d the pipe
    • Tow’rd the Spirit Great?
    • Where the bright and falcon eye,
    • That the reindeer’s tread
    • On the waving grass could spy,
    • Thick with dew-drops spread?
    • Where the limbs that used to dart
    • Swifter through the snow
    • Than the twenty-member’d hart,
    • Than the mountain roe?
    • Where the arm that sturdily
    • Bent the deadly bow?
    • See, its life hath fleeted by,—
    • See, it hangeth low!
    • Happy he!—He now has gone
    • Where no snow is found:
    • Where with maize the fields are sown,
    • Self-sprung from the ground;
    • Where with birds each bush is fill’d,
    • Where with game the wood;
    • Where the fish, with joy unstill’d,
    • Wanton in the flood.
    • With the spirits blest he feeds,—
    • Leaves us here in gloom;
    • We can only praise his deeds,
    • And his corpse entomb.
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artist: w. camphausen.

THE SOLDIER’S SONG.

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    • Farewell gifts, then, hither bring,
    • Sound the death-note sad!
    • Bury with him ev’rything
    • That can make him glad!
    • ’Neath his head the hatchet hide
    • That he boldly swung;
    • And the bear’s fat haunch beside,
    • For the road is long;
    • And the knife, well sharpenèd,
    • That, with slashes three,
    • Scalp and skin from foeman’s head
    • Tore off skilfully.
    • And to paint his body, place
    • Dyes within his hand;
    • Let him shine with ruddy grace
    • In the Spirit-Land!

THE SOLDIER’S SONG.

    • WAKE up, my brave comrades! to horse! to horse!
    • Let us haste to the field and to freedom!
    • To the field, for ’tis there that is prov’d our hearts’ force,
    • ’Tis there that in earnest we need ’em!
    • None other can there our places supply,
    • Each must stand alone,—on himself must rely.
    • Now freedom appears from the world to have flown,
    • None but lords and their vassals one traces;
    • While falsehood and cunning are ruling alone
    • O’er the living cowardly races.
    • The man who can look upon death without fear—
    • The soldier,—is now the sole freeman left here.
    • The cares of this life, he casts them away,
    • Untroubl’d by fear or by sorrow;
    • He rides to his fate with a countenance gay,
    • And finds it to-day or to-morrow;
    • And if ’tis to-morrow, to-day we’ll employ
    • To drink full deep of the goblet of joy.
    • The skies o’er him shower his lot fill’d with mirth,
    • He gains, without toil, its full measure;
    • The peasant, who grubs in the womb of the earth,
    • Believes that he’ll find there the treasure.
    • Through lifetime he shovels and digs like a slave,
    • And digs—till at length he has dug his own grave.
    • The horseman, as well as his swift-footed beast,
    • Are guests by whom all are affrighted.
    • When glimmer the lamps at the wedding feast,
    • In the banquet he joins uninvited;
    • He woos not long, and with gold he ne’er buys,
    • But carries by storm love’s blissful prize.
    • Why weeps the maiden? Why sorrows she so?
    • Let me hence, let me hence, girl, I pray thee!
    • The soldier on earth no sure quarters can know;
    • With true love he ne’er can repay thee.
    • Fate hurries him onward with fury blind,
    • His peace he never can leave behind.
    • Away, then, my comrades, our chargers let’s mount!
    • In the battle the bosom bounds lightly!
    • Youth boils, and life’s goblet still foams at the fount,
    • Away! while the spirit glows brightly!
    • Unless ye have courage your life to stake,
    • That life ye never your own can make!
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THE FEAST OF VICTORY.

    • PRIAM’S castle-walls had sunk,
    • Troy in dust and ashes lay,
    • And each Greek, with triumph drunk,
    • Richly laden with his prey,
    • Sat upon his ship’s high prow,
    • On the Hellespontic strand,
    • Starting on his journey now,
    • Bound for Greece, his own fair land.
    • Raise the glad exulting shout!
    • Tow’rd the land that gave them birth
    • Turn they now the ships about,
    • As they seek their native earth.
    • And in rows, all mournfully,
    • Sat the Trojan women there,—
    • Beat their breasts in agony,
    • Pallid, with dishevell’d hair.
    • In the feast of joy so glad
    • Mingl’d they the song of woe,
    • Weeping o’er their fortunes sad,
    • In their country’s overthrow.
    • “Land belov’d, oh, fare thee well!
    • By our foreign masters led,
    • Far from home we’re doom’d to dwell—
    • Ah, how happy are the dead!”
    • Soon the blood by Calchas spilt
    • On the altar heav’nward smokes;
    • Pallas, by whom towns are built
    • And destroy’d, the priest invokes;
    • Neptune, too, who all the earth
    • With his billowy girdle laves,—
    • Zeus, who gives to Terror birth,
    • Who the dreaded Ægis waves.
    • Now the weary fight is done,
    • Ne’er again to be renew’d;
    • Time’s wide circuit now is run,
    • And the mighty town subdued!
    • Atreus’ son, the army’s head,
    • Told the people’s numbers o’er,
    • Whom he, as their captain, led
    • To Scamander’s vale of yore.
    • Sorrow’s black and heavy clouds
    • Pass’d across the monarch’s brow:
    • Of those vast and valiant crowds,
    • Oh, how few were left him now!
    • Joyful songs let each one raise,
    • Who will see his home again,
    • In whose veins the life-blood plays,
    • For, alas! not all remain!
    • “All who homeward wend their way,
    • Will not there find peace of mind;
    • On their household altars, they
    • Murder foul perchance may find.
    • Many fall by false friend’s stroke,
    • Who in fight immortal prov’d:”—
    • So Ulysses warning spoke,
    • By Athenè’s spirit mov’d.
    • Happy he, whose faithful spouse
    • Guards his home with honor true!
    • Woman ofttimes breaks her vows,
    • Ever loves she what is new.
    • And Atrides glories there
    • In the prize he won in fight,
    • And around her body fair
    • Twines his arms with fond delight.
    • Evil works must punish’d be,
    • Vengeance follows after crime,
    • For Kronīon’s just decree
    • Rules the heav’nly courts sublime.
    • Evil must in evil end;
    • Zeus will on the impious band
    • Woe for broken guest-rights send,
    • Weighing with impartial hand.
    • “It may well the glad befit,”
    • Cried Oïleus’ valiant son,
    • “To extol the Gods who sit
    • On Olympus’ lofty throne!
    • Fortune all her gifts supplies,
    • Blindly, and no justice knows,
    • For Patroclus buried lies,
    • And Thersites homeward goes!
    • Since she blindly throws away
    • Each lot in her wheel contain’d,
    • Let him shout with joy to-day
    • Who the prize of life has gain’d.
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    • “Aye, the wars the best devour!
    • Brother, we will think of thee,
    • In the fight a very tower,
    • When we join in revelry!
    • When the Grecian ships were fir’d,
    • By thine arm was safety brought;
    • Yet the man by craft inspir’d
    • Won the spoils thy valor sought.
    • Peace be to thine ashes blest!
    • Thou wert vanquish’d not in fight:
    • Anger ’tis destroys the best,—
    • Ajax fell by Ajax’s might!”
    • Neoptolemus pour’d, then,
    • To his sire renown’d the wine—
    • “’Mongst the lots of earthly men,
    • Mighty father, prize I thine!
    • Of the goods that life supplies,
    • Greatest far of all is fame;
    • Though to dust the body flies,
    • Yet still lives a noble name.
    • Valiant one, thy glory’s ray
    • Will immortal be in song;
    • For, though life may pass away,
    • To all time the dead belong!”
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    • “Since the voice of minstrelsy
    • Speaks not of the vanquish’d man,
    • I will Hector’s witness be,”—
    • Tydeus’ noble son began:
    • “Fighting bravely in defence
    • Of his household-gods he fell.—
    • Great the victor’s glory thence,
    • He in purpose did excel!
    • Battling for his altars dear,
    • Sank that rock, no more to rise;
    • E’en the foeman will revere
    • One whose honor’d name ne’er dies.”
    • Nestor, joyous reveller old,
    • Who three generations saw,
    • Now the leaf-crown’d cup of gold
    • Gave to weeping Hecuba.
    • “Drain the goblet’s draught so cool,
    • And forget each painful smart!
    • Bacchus’ gifts are wonderful,—
    • Balsam for a broken heart.
    • Drain the goblet’s draught so cool,
    • And forget each painful smart!
    • Bacchus’ gifts are wonderful,—
    • Balsam for a broken heart.”
    • “E’en to Niobe, whom Heaven
    • Lov’d in wrath to persecute,
    • Respite from her pangs was given,
    • Tasting of the corn’s ripe fruit.
    • Whilst the thirsty lip we lave
    • In the foaming, living spring,
    • Buried deep in Lethe’s wave
    • Lies all grief, all sorrowing!
    • Whilst the thirsty lip we lave
    • In the foaming, living spring,
    • Swallow’d up in Lethe’s wave
    • Is all grief, all sorrowing!”
    • And the Prophetess inspir’d
    • By her God, upstarted now,—
    • Tow’rd the smoke of homesteads fir’d,
    • Looking from the lofty prow.
    • “Smoke is each thing here below;
    • Ev’ry worldly greatness dies,
    • As the vapory columns go,—
    • None are fix’d but Deities!
    • Cares behind the horseman sit—
    • Round about the vessel play;
    • Lest the morrow hinder it,
    • Let us, therefore, live to-day.”

THE LAMENT OF CERES.

    • IS’T the beauteous spring I see?
    • Has the earth grown young again?
    • Sun-lit hills glow verdantly,
    • Bursting through their icy chain.
    • From the streamlet’s mirror blue
    • Smiles the now unclouded sky,
    • Zephyr’s wings wave milder, too,—
    • Youthful blossoms ope their eye.
    • In the grove, sweet songs resound,
    • Speaks the Oread as of yore;
    • Once again thy flowers are found,
    • But thy daughter comes no more.
    • Ah, how long ’tis since I went
    • First in search o’er earth’s wide face!
    • Titan! All thy rays I sent
    • Seeking for the lov’d one’s trace;
    • Of that form so dear, no ray
    • Hath as yet brought news to me,
    • And the all-discerning day
    • Cannot yet the lost one see.
    • Hast thou, Zeus, her from me torn?
    • Or to Oreus’ gloomy streams,
    • Is she down by Pluto borne,
    • Smitten by her charms’ bright beams?
    • Who will to yon dreary strand
    • Be the herald of my woe?
    • Ever leaves the bark the land,
    • Yet but shadows in it go.
    • To each bless’d eye evermore
    • Clos’d the night-like fields remain;
    • Styx no living form e’er bore,
    • Since his stream first wash’d the plain
    • Thousand paths lead downward there,
    • None lead up again to light;—
    • And her tears no witness e’er
    • Brings to her sad mother’s sight.
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artist: edmund kanoldt.

THE LAMENT OF CERES.

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    • Mothers who, from Pyrrha sprung,
    • From a mortal race descend,
    • May, the tomb’s fierce flames among,
    • On their children lov’d attend;
    • Denizens of Heaven alone
    • Draw not near the gloomy strand,—
    • Parcæ! save Immortals, none
    • E’er are spar’d by your harsh hand.
    • Plunge me in the night of nights,
    • From the halls of heaven afar!
    • Honor not the Goddess’ rights—
    • They the mother’s torments are!
    • Where she, with her consort stern,
    • Joyless reigns, there went I down,—
    • With the silent shades, in turn,
    • Silent stood before her throne.
    • Ah! her eye weigh’d down with tears,
    • Seeks in vain the light so fair,
    • Wanders tow’rd far distant spheres,
    • On her mother falling ne’er!
    • Till she wakes to ecstasy,
    • Till with joy each bosom throbs,
    • And, arous’d to sympathy,
    • Even rugged Orcus sobs.
    • Fruitless wish! Lamenting vain!
    • In its smooth track peacefully
    • Ever rolls day’s steady wain,
    • Ever fix’d is Jove’s decree.
    • He has turn’d his blissful head
    • From the gloomy realms away;
    • She to me is ever dead,
    • Now that she is Night’s sad prey,—
    • Till the waves, that darkly swell,
    • With Aurora’s colors glow;
    • Till across the depths of Hell
    • Iris draws her beauteous bow.
    • Is nought left me now to prove,
    • Nought that as pledge may stand,
    • That the absent still may love?
    • Not a trace of that dear hand?
    • Can no loving bond, then, spread
    • O’er a mother and her child?
    • Of the living and the dead
    • Can there be no union mild?
    • No, she is not wholly flown!
    • We’re not wholly sever’d now!
    • For to speak one tongue alone
    • The eternal Gods allow.
    • When Spring’s children sink in death,
    • When the leaf and flower decay,
    • Smitten by the North wind’s breath,
    • Sadly stands the naked spray:
    • Then I take what best can live
    • From Vertumnus’ teeming horn,
    • Off’ring it to Styx, to give
    • In return the golden corn,—
    • Into earth, then, mournfully
    • Drop it on my daughter’s heart,
    • That it may a language be
    • Of my love, my bitter smart.
    • When the Hours’ unchanging dance
    • Brings with joy the Spring again,
    • Waken’d by the sun’s bright glance,
    • Will the dead fresh life obtain.
    • Germs that perish to the sight
    • In the chilly womb of earth,
    • In the color-realm so bright
    • Free themselves again with mirth.
    • When the stalk shoots high in air,
    • Shyly lurks the root in night;
    • Equal in their fost’ring care
    • Are both Styx’ and Æther’s might.
    • Half they rule the living’s sphere,
    • Half the region of the dead;
    • Ah, to me they’re heralds dear,
    • Sweet tones from Cocytus dread!
    • Though herself be ever dumb
    • In the terrible abyss,
    • From the Spring’s young blossoms come
    • To mine ear these words of bliss,—
    • That, e’en far from daylight blest,
    • Where the sorrowing shadows go,
    • Lovingly may throb the breast,
    • Tenderly the heart may glow!
    • Oh, be glad, then, evermore,
    • Smiling meadows’ children true!
    • For your chalice shall run o’er
    • With the nectar’s purest dew.
    • I will steep your forms in beams
    • And with Iris’ fairest light
    • Tinge your foliage, till it gleams
    • Like Aurora’s features bright.
    • In the Spring-time’s radiance blest,
    • In the Autumn’s garland dead,
    • There may read each tender breast
    • Of my griefs—my joys, now fled!
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THE ELEUSINIAN FESTIVAL.

    • WREATHE in a garland the corn’s golden ear!
    • With it, the Cyǎne blue intertwine!
    • Rapture must render each glance bright and clear,
    • For the great Queen is approaching her shrine,—
    • She who compels lawless passions to cease,
    • Who to link man with his fellow has come,
    • And into firm habitations of peace
    • Chang’d the rude tents’ ever-wandering home.
    • Shyly in the mountain-cleft
    • Was the Troglodyte conceal’d;
    • And the roving Nomad left,
    • Desert lying, each broad field.
    • With the javelin, with the bow
    • Strode the hunter through the land;
    • To the hapless stranger, woe,
    • Billow-cast on that wild strand!
    • When, in her sad wanderings lost,
    • Seeking traces of her child,
    • Ceres hail’d the dreary coast,
    • Ah, no verdant plain then smil’d!
    • That she here with trust may stay,
    • None vouchsafes a sheltering roof;
    • Not a temple’s columns gay
    • Give of godlike worship proof.
    • Fruit of no propitious ear
    • Bids her to the pure feast fly;
    • On the ghastly altars here
    • Human bones alone e’er dry.
    • Far as she might onward rove,
    • Misery found she still in all,
    • And within her soul of love,
    • Sorrow’d she o’er man’s deep fall.
    • “Is it thus I find the man
    • To whom we our Image lend,
    • Whose fair limbs of noble span
    • Upward tow’rd the Heavens ascend?
    • Laid we not before his feet
    • Earth’s unbounded godlike womb!
    • Yet upon his kingly seat
    • Wanders he without a home?
    • “Does no God compassion feel?
    • Will none of the blissful race,
    • With an arm of miracle,
    • Raise him from his deep disgrace?
    • In the heights where rapture reigns
    • Pangs of others ne’er can move;
    • Yet man’s anguish and man’s pains
    • My tormented heart must prove.
    • “So that a man a man may be,
    • Let him make an endless bond
    • With the kind earth trustingly,
    • Who is ever good and fond—
    • To revere the law of time,
    • And the moon’s melodious song,
    • Who, with silent step sublime,
    • Move their sacred course along.”
    • And she softly parts the cloud
    • That conceals her from the sight;
    • Sudden, in the savage crowd,
    • Stands she, as a Goddess bright,
    • There she finds the concourse rude
    • In their glad feast revelling,
    • And the chalice fill’d with blood
    • As a sacrifice they bring.
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    • But she turns her face away,
    • Horror-struck, and speaks the while:
    • “Bloody tiger-feasts ne’er may
    • Of a God the lips defile.
    • He needs victims free from stain,
    • Fruits matur’d by Autumn’s sun;
    • With the pure gifts of the plain
    • Honor’d is the Holy One!”
    • And she takes the heavy shaft
    • From the hunter’s cruel hand;
    • With the murd’rous weapon’s haft
    • Furrowing the light-strown sand,—
    • Takes from out her garland’s crown,
    • Fill’d with life, one single grain,—
    • Sinks it in the furrow down,
    • And the germ soon swells amain.
    • And the green stalks gracefully
    • Shoot, ere long, the ground above,
    • And, as far as eye can see,
    • Waves it like a golden grove.
    • With her smile the earth she cheers,
    • Binds the earliest sheaves so fair,
    • As her hearth the landmark rears,—
    • And the Goddess breathes this prayer:
    • “Father Zeus, who reign’st o’er all
    • That in Æther’s mansions dwell,
    • Let a sign from thee now fall
    • That thou lov’st this off’ring well!
    • And from the unhappy crowd
    • That, as yet, has ne’er known thee,
    • Take away the eye’s dark cloud,
    • Showing them their Deity!”
    • Zeus, upon his lofty throne,
    • Hearkens to his sister’s prayer;
    • From the blue heights thund’ring down,
    • Hurls his forkèd lightning there.
    • Crackling, it begins to blaze,
    • From the altar whirling bounds,—
    • And his swift-wing’d eagle plays
    • High above in circling rounds.
    • Soon at the feet of their mistress are kneeling,
    • Fill’d with emotion, the rapturous throng:
    • Into humanity’s earliest feeling
    • Melt their rude spirits, untutor’d and strong.
    • Each bloody weapon behind them they leave,
    • Rays on their senses beclouded soon shine,
    • And from the mouth of the Queen they receive,
    • Gladly and meekly, instruction divine.
    • All the Deities advance
    • Downwards from their heav’nly seats;
    • Themis’ self ’tis leads the dance,
    • And, with staff of justice, metes
    • Unto ev’ry one his rights,—
    • Landmarks, too, ’tis hers to fix;
    • And in witness she invites
    • All the hidden powers of Styx.
    • And the Forge-God, too, is there,
    • The inventive Son of Zeus;
    • Fashioner of vessels fair
    • Skill’d in clay and brass’s use.
    • ’Tis from him the art man knows
    • Tongs and bellows how to wield;
    • ’Neath his hammer’s heavy blows
    • Was the ploughshare first reveal’d.
    • With projecting, weighty spear,
    • Front of all, Minerva stands,
    • Lifts her voice so strong and clear,
    • And the Godlike host commands.
    • Steadfast walls ’tis hers to found,
    • Shield and screen for ev’ry one,
    • That the scatter’d world around
    • Bind in loving unison.
    • The Immortals’ steps she guides
    • O’er the trackless plains so vast,
    • And where’er her foot abides
    • Is the Boundary God held fast;
    • And her measuring chain is led
    • Round the mountain’s border green,—
    • E’en the raging torrent’s bed
    • In the holy ring is seen.
    • All the Nymphs and Oreads too
    • Who, the mountain pathways o’er,
    • Swift foot Artemis pursue,
    • All, to swell the concourse, pour,
    • Brandishing the hunting-spear,—
    • Set to work,—glad shouts uprise,—
    • ’Neath their axes’ blows so clear
    • Crashing down the pine-wood flies.
    • E’en the sedge-crown’d God ascends
    • From his verdant spring to light,
    • And his raft’s direction bends
    • At the Goddess’ word of might,—
    • While the Hours, all-gently bound,
    • Nimbly to their duty fly;
    • Rugged trunks are fashion’d round
    • By her skill’d hand gracefully.
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    • E’en the Sea-God thither fares;—
    • Sudden, with his trident’s blow,
    • He the granite columns tears
    • From earth’s entrails far below;—
    • In his mighty hands, on high,
    • Waves he them, like some light ball,
    • And, with nimble Hermes by,
    • Raises up the rampart-wall.
    • But from out the golden strings
    • Lures Apollo harmony,
    • Measur’d time’s sweet murmurings,
    • And the might of melody.
    • The Camenæ swell the strain
    • With their song of ninefold tone:
    • Captive bound in music’s chain,
    • Softly stone unites to stone.
    • Cybělē, with skilful hand,
    • Open throws the wide-wing’d door;
    • Locks and bolts by her are plann’d,
    • Sure to last for evermore.
    • Soon complete the wondrous halls
    • By the Gods’ own hands are made,
    • And the temple’s glowing walls
    • Stand in festal pomp array’d.
    • With a crown of myrtle twin’d,
    • Now the Goddess-Queen comes there,
    • And she leads the fairest hind
    • To the shepherdess most fair.
    • Venus, with her beauteous boy,
    • That first pair herself attires;
    • All the Gods bring gifts of joy,
    • Blessing their love’s sacred fires.
    • Guided by the Deities,
    • Soon the new-born townsmen pour
    • Usher’d in with harmonies,
    • Through the friendly open door.
    • Holding now the rites divine,
    • Ceres at Zeus’ altar stands,—
    • Blessing those around the shrine,
    • Thus she speaks, with folded hands:—
    • “Freedom’s love the beast inflames,
    • And the God rules free in air,
    • While the law of Nature tames
    • Each wild lust that lingers there.
    • Yet, when thus together thrown,
    • Man with man must fain unite;
    • And by his own worth alone
    • Can he freedom gain, and might.”
    • Wreathe in a garland the corn’s golden ear!
    • With it, the Cyǎne blue intertwine!
    • Rapture must render each glance bright and clear,
    • For the great Queen is approaching her shrine,—
    • She who our homesteads so blissful has given,
    • She who has man to his fellow-man bound.
    • Let our glad numbers extol, then, to Heaven
    • Her who the Earth’s kindly mother is found!
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THE RING OF POLYCRATES.
A BALLAD.

    • UPON his battlements he stood,
    • And downward gaz’d, in joyous mood,
    • On Samos’ Isle, that own’d his sway,
    • “All this is subject to my yoke,”
    • To Egypt’s monarch thus he spoke,—
    • “That I am truly blest, then, say!”
    • “The Immortals’ favor thou hast known!
    • Thy sceptre’s might has overthrown
    • All those who once were like to thee.
    • Yet to avenge them, one lives still;
    • I cannot call thee blest, until
    • That dreaded foe has ceas’d to be.”
    • While to these words the King gave vent,
    • A herald, from Miletus sent,
    • Appear’d before the Tyrant there:
    • “Lord, let thy incense rise to-day,
    • And with the laurel’s branches gay
    • Thou well may’st crown thy festive hair!
    • “Thy foe has sunk beneath the spear,—
    • I’m sent to bring the glad news here,
    • By thy true marshal, Polydore—”
    • Then from a basin black he takes—
    • The fearful sight their terror wakes—
    • A well-known head, besmear’d with gore.
    • The King with horror stepp’d aside,
    • And then, with anxious look, replied:
    • “Thy bliss to Fortune ne’er commit.
    • On faithless waves, bethink thee how
    • Thy fleet with doubtful fate swims now—
    • How soon the storm may scatter it!”
    • And ere he yet had spoke the word,
    • A shout of jubilee is heard
    • Resounding from the distant strand.
    • With foreign treasures teeming o’er,
    • The vessels’ mast-rich wood once more
    • Returns home to its native land,
    • The guest then speaks with startled mind:
    • “Fortune to-day, in truth seems kind;
    • But thou her fickleness shouldst fear:
    • The Cretan hordes, well skill’d in arms,
    • Now threaten thee with war’s alarms;
    • E’en now they are approaching here.”
    • And, ere the word has ’scap’d his lips,
    • A stir is seen among the ships,
    • And thousand voices “Victory!” cry:
    • “We are deliver’d from our foe,
    • The storm has laid the Cretan low,
    • The war is ended, is gone by!”
    • The shout with horror hears the guest:
    • “In truth, I must esteem thee blest!
    • Yet dread I the decrees of Heaven.
    • The envy of the Gods I fear;
    • To taste of unmix’d rapture here
    • Is never to a mortal given.
    • “With me, too, everything succeeds;
    • In all my sovereign acts and deeds
    • The grace of Heaven is ever by;
    • And yet I had a well-lov’d heir—
    • I paid my debt to fortune there,—
    • God took him hence—I saw him die.
    • “Wouldst thou from sorrow, then, be free,
    • Pray to each unseen Deity,
    • For thy well-being, grief to send;
    • The man on whom the Gods bestow
    • Their gifts with hands that overflow,
    • Comes never to a happy end.
    • “And if the Gods thy prayer resist,
    • Then to a friend’s instruction list,—
    • Invoke thyself adversity;
    • And what, of all thy treasures bright,
    • Gives to thy heart the most delight—
    • That take and cast thou in the sea!”
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    • Then speaks the other, mov’d by fear:
    • “This ring to me is far most dear
    • Of all this Isle within it knows—
    • I to the Furies pledge it now,
    • If they will happiness allow,”—
    • And in the flood the gem he throws.
    • And with the morrow’s earliest light
    • Appear’d before the monarch’s sight
    • A Fisherman, all joyously;
    • “Lord, I this fish just now have caught,
    • No net before e’er held the sort;
    • And as a gift I bring it thee.”
    • The fish was open’d by the cook,
    • Who suddenly, with wond’ring look,
    • Runs up, and utters these glad sounds:
    • “Within the fish’s maw, behold,
    • I’ve found, great Lord, thy ring of gold!
    • Thy fortune truly knows no bounds!”
    • The guest with terror turn’d away:
    • “I cannot here, then, longer stay,—
    • My friend thou canst no longer be!
    • The Gods have will’d that thou shouldst die:
    • Lest I, too, perish, I must fly”—
    • He spoke,—and sail’d thence hastily.

THE CRANES OF IBYCUS.
A BALLAD.

    • ONCE to the Song and Chariot-fight,
    • Where all the tribes of Greece unite
    • On Corinth’s Isthmus joyously,
    • The God-lov’d Ibycus drew nigh.
    • On him Apollo had bestow’d
    • The gift of song and strains inspir’d;
    • So, with light staff he took his road
    • From Rhegium, by the Godhead fir’d.
    • Acrocorinth, on mountain high,
    • Now bursts upon the wanderer’s eye,
    • And he begins, with pious dread,
    • Poseidon’s grove of firs to tread.
    • Nought moves around him, save a swarm
    • Of Cranes, who guide him on his way;
    • Who from far southern regions warm
    • Have hither come in squadron grey.
    • “Thou friendly band, all hail to thee!
    • Who ledst me safely o’er the sea!
    • I deem thee as a favoring sign,—
    • My destiny resembles thine.
    • Both come from a far distant coast,
    • Both pray for some kind shelt’ring place;
    • Propitious tow’rd us be the host
    • Who from the stranger wards disgrace!”
    • And on he hastes, in joyous mood,
    • And reaches soon the middle wood
    • When, on a narrow bridge, by force
    • Two murderers sudden bar his course.
    • He must prepare him for the fray,
    • But soon his wearied hand sinks low;
    • Inur’d the gentle lyre to play,
    • It ne’er has strung the deadly bow.
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artist: p. grotjohann.

THE RING OF POLYCRATES.

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    • On Gods and men for aid he cries,—
    • No saviour to his prayer replies;
    • However far his voice he sends,
    • Nought living to his cry attends.
    • “And must I in a foreign land,
    • Unwept, deserted, perish here,
    • Falling beneath a murderous hand,
    • Where no avenger can appear?”
    • Deep-wounded, down he sinks at last,
    • When lo! the Cranes’ wings rustle past.
    • He hears,—though he no more can see,—
    • Their voices screaming fearfully.
    • “By you, ye Cranes, that soar on high,
    • If not another voice is heard,
    • Be borne to Heaven my murder-cry!”
    • He speaks, and dies, too, with the word.
    • The naked corpse, ere long, is found,
    • And, though defac’d by many a wound,
    • His host in Corinth soon could tell
    • The features that he lov’d so well.
    • “And is it thus I find thee now,
    • Who hop’d the pine’s victorious crown
    • To place upon the singer’s brow,
    • Illumin’d by his bright renown?”
    • The news is heard with grief by all
    • Met at Poseidon’s festival:
    • All Greece is conscious of the smart,—
    • He leaves a void in every heart;
    • And to the Prytanis swift hie
    • The people, and they urge him on
    • The dead man’s manes to pacify,
    • And with the murderer’s blood atone.
    • But where’s the trace that, from the throng,
    • The people’s streaming crowds among,
    • Allur’d there by the sports so bright,
    • Can bring the villain back to light?
    • By craven robbers was he slain?
    • Or by some envious hidden foe?
    • That Helios only can explain,
    • Whose rays illume all things below.
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    • Perchance, with shameless step and proud,
    • He threads e’en now the Grecian crowd,—
    • Whilst vengeance follows in pursuit,
    • Gloats over his transgression’s fruit.
    • The very Gods perchance he braves
    • Upon the threshold of their fane,—
    • Joins boldly in the human waves
    • That haste yon theatre to gain.
    • For there the Grecian tribes appear,
    • Fast pouring in from far and near;
    • On close-pack’d benches sit they there,—
    • The stage the weight can scarcely bear.
    • Like ocean-billows’ hollow roar,
    • The teeming crowds of living man
    • Tow’rd the cerulean Heavens upsoar,
    • In bow of ever-widening span.
    • Who knows the nation, who the name,
    • Of all who there together came?
    • From Theseus’ town, from Aulis’ strand,
    • From Phocis, from the Spartan land,
    • From Asia’s distant coast, they wend,
    • From ev’ry island of the sea,
    • And from the stage they hear ascend
    • The Chorus’s dread melody,
    • Who, sad and solemn, as of old,
    • With footstep measur’d and control’d,
    • Advancing from the far back-ground,
    • Circle the theatre’s wide round.
    • Thus, mortal women never move!
    • No mortal home to them gave birth!
    • Their giant-bodies tower above,
    • High o’er the puny sons of earth.
    • With loins in mantle black conceal’d,
    • Within their fleshless hands they wield
    • The torch, that with a dull red glows,—
    • While in their cheek no life-blood flows;
    • And where the hair is floating wide
    • And loving, round a mortal brow,
    • Here, snakes and adders are descried,
    • Whose bellies swell with poison now.
    • And, standing in a fearful ring,
    • The dread and solemn chant they sing,
    • That through the bosom thrilling goes,
    • And round the sinner fetters throws.
    • Sense-robbing, of heart-madd’ning power,
    • The Furies’ strains resound through air;
    • The list’ner’s marrow they devour,—
    • The lyre can yield such numbers ne’er.
    • “Happy the man who, blemish-free,
    • Preserves a soul of purity!
    • Near him we ne’er avenging come,
    • He freely o’er life’s path may roam.
    • But woe to him who, hid from view,
    • Hath done the deed of murder base!
    • Upon his heels we close pursue,—
    • We, who belong to night’s dark race!
    • “And if he thinks to ’scape by flight,
    • Wing’d we appear, our snare of might
    • Around his flying feet to cast,
    • So that he needs must fall at last.
    • Thus we pursue him, tiring ne’er,—
    • Our wrath repentance cannot quell,—
    • On to the shadows, and e’en there
    • We leave him not in peace to dwell!”
    • Thus singing, they the dance resume,
    • And silence, like that of the tomb,
    • O’er the whole house lies heavily,
    • As if the Deity were nigh.
    • And, staid and solemn, as of old,
    • Circling the theatre’s wide round,
    • With footstep measur’d and control’d,
    • They vanish in the far back-ground.
    • Between deceit and truth each breast,
    • Now doubting hangs, by awe possess’d,
    • And homage pays to that dread might,
    • That judges what is hid from sight,—
    • That, fathomless, inscrutable,
    • The gloomy skein of fate entwines,
    • That reads the bosom’s depths full well,
    • Yet flies away where sunlight shines.
    • When sudden, from the tier most high,
    • A voice is heard by all to cry:
    • “See there, see there, Timotheus!
    • Behold the Cranes of Ibycus!”
    • The Heavens become as black as night,
    • And o’er the theatre they see,
    • Far over-head, a dusky flight
    • Of Cranes, approaching hastily.
    • “Of Ibycus!”—That name so blest
    • With new-born sorrow fills each breast.
    • As waves on waves in ocean rise,
    • From mouth to mouth it swiftly flies:
    • “Of Ibycus, whom we lament?
    • Who fell beneath the murderer’s hand?
    • What mean those words that from him went?
    • What means this Cranes’ advancing band?”
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    • And louder still become the cries,
    • And soon this thought foreboding flies
    • Through ev’ry heart, with speed of light—
    • “Observe in this the Furies’ might!
    • The poet’s manes are now appeas’d:
    • The murderer seeks his own arrest!
    • Let him who spoke the word be seiz’d,
    • And him to whom it was address’d!”
    • That word he had no sooner spoke,
    • Than he its sound would fain revoke;
    • In vain! his mouth, with terror pale,
    • Tells of his guilt the fearful tale.
    • Before the Judge they drag them now,
    • The scene becomes the tribunal;
    • Their crimes the villains both avow,
    • When ’neath the vengeance-stroke they fall.
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HERO AND LEANDER.

    • SEEST thou yonder castles grey,
    • Glitt’ring in the sun’s bright ray,
    • That arise on either side,
    • Where the Hellespont impels
    • Through the rocky Dardanelles
    • Ceaselessly his angry tide?
    • Hear’st thou yonder billows roar,
    • As against the cliffs they break?
    • Asia they from Europe tore—
    • Love alone they ne’er could shake.
    • Hero and Leander’s hearts
    • With his fierce but pleasing smarts
    • Cupid’s might immortal mov’d.
    • Hero rivall’d Hebe’s grace,
    • While Leander, in the chase,
    • O’er the mountains boldly rov’d.
    • But, ere long, parental wrath
    • Sever’d the united pair,
    • And the fruit by love brought forth
    • Hung in mournful peril there.
    • See, on Sestos’ rocky tower
    • ’Gainst whose base with ceaseless power
    • Hellespont’s wild waters foam,
    • Sits the maid, in sorrow lost,
    • Looking tow’rd Abydos’ coast,
    • Where the lov’d one has his home.
    • Ah, to that far distant strand
    • Bridge there was not to convey,—
    • Not a bark was near at hand,
    • Yet true love soon found the way.
    • In the labyrinthine maze
    • Love a certain clue can raise,
    • E’en the foolish makes he wise,—
    • Makes the savage monster bow,—
    • To the adamantine plough
    • Yokes the steers with flaming eyes.
    • Styx, whose waters nine-times flow,
    • Cannot bar his daring course;
    • For from Pluto’s house of woe
    • Orpheus’ bride he tore by force.
    • Even through the boiling tide
    • He Leander’s mind supplied
    • With deep longing’s glowing spark.
    • When grew pale the glitt’ring day,
    • Took the swimmer bold his way
    • O’er the Pontine ocean dark;
    • Cleft the waves with mighty power,
    • Striving for yon strand so dear,
    • Where, uprais’d on lofty tower,
    • Shone the torch’s radiance clear.
    • Circled in her loving arms,
    • Soon the glad Leander warms
    • From the weary journey past,
    • And receives the godlike prize
    • That in her embraces lies
    • As his bright reward at last;
    • Till Aurora once again
    • Wakes him from his vision blest,
    • He must tempt the briny main,
    • Driven from love’s gentle breast.
    • Thirty suns had sped like this
    • In the joys of stolen bliss
    • Swiftly o’er the happy pair,
    • As a bridal night of love,
    • Worthy e’en the Gods above,
    • Ever young and ever fair.
    • Rapture true he ne’er can know,
    • Who with daring hand has never
    • Pluck’d the Heavenly fruits that grow
    • On the brink of Hell’s dark river.
    • Hesper and Aurora bright
    • Each, in turns, put forth their light,
    • Yet the happy ones saw not
    • How the leaves began to fall,—
    • How from Northern icy hall
    • Winter fierce approach’d the spot.
    • Joyfully they saw each day
    • More and more its span reduce;
    • For the night’s now-lengthen’d sway,
    • In their madness, bless’d they Zeus.
    • Nicely-balanc’d, day and night,
    • Held the scales of Heaven aright,—
    • From the tower, with pensive eye,
    • Gaz’d the gentle maid alone
    • On the coursers of the sun,
    • Hastening downwards through the sky.
    • Still and calm the ocean lay,
    • Like a pure, unsullied glass,—
    • Not a zephyr sought, in play,
    • O’er the crystal flood to pass.
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artist: ferdinand keller.

HERO AND LEANDER.

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    • Dolphin-shoals, in joyous motion
    • Through the clear and silv’ry ocean,
    • Wanton’d its cool waves among;
    • And, in darkly-vestur’d train,
    • From the bosom of the main
    • Tethys’ varied band upsprung.
    • None but they e’er saw reveal’d
    • Those fond lovers’ blest delight:
    • But their silent lips were seal’d
    • Evermore by Hecate’s might.
    • Gladly on the smiling sea
    • Gaz’d she, and caressingly
    • To the element exclaim’d:
    • “Lovely God, canst thou deceive?
    • Ne’er the traitor I’ll believe,
    • Who thee false and faithless nam’d.
    • Treach’rous is the human race,
    • Cruel is my father’s heart;
    • Thou art mild and full of grace,
    • And art mov’d by love’s soft smart.
    • “In these desert walls of stone
    • I had mourn’d in grief alone,
    • Pin’d in sorrow without end,
    • If thou, on thy crested ridge,
    • Aided by no bark, no bridge,
    • Hadst not hither borne my friend.
    • Dreaded though thy depths may be,
    • Fierce the fury of thy wave,
    • Love can ever soften thee.
    • Thou art vanquish’d by the brave.
    • “For the mighty dart of Love
    • E’en the Ocean God could move,
    • When the golden ram of yore,
    • Helle, cloth’d in beauty bright,
    • With her brother in her flight,
    • Over thy deep billows bore—
    • Sudden, vanquish’d by her charms,
    • Starting from the whirlpool black,
    • Thou didst bear her in thine arms
    • To thy realms from off his back.
    • “As a Goddess,—happy lot!—
    • In the deep and wat’ry grot,
    • Evermore she now resides;
    • Hapless lovers’ cares dispels,
    • All thy raging passions quells,
    • Into port the sailor guides.
    • Beauteous Helle, Goddess fair,
    • Blessed one, to thee I pray:
    • Safely trusting to thy care,
    • Hither bring my love to-day!”
    • Dark the waters soon became,
    • And she wav’d the torch’s flame
    • From the lofty balcony,
    • That the wanderer belov’d,
    • As across the deep he rov’d,
    • Might the trusty signal see.
    • Howling blast approach’d from far,
    • Gloomier still the billows curl’d,
    • Quench’d was ev’ry glimm’ring star,
    • And the storm its might unfurl’d.
    • Over Pontus’ boundless plain
    • Night now spreads, while heavy rain
    • Pours in torrents from each cloud;
    • Lightning quivers through the air,
    • While from out its rocky lair
    • Bursts the tempest fierce and loud.
    • In the waters as they yell,
    • Fearful chasms are expos’d;
    • Gaping, like the jaws of Hell
    • Are the ocean-depths disclos’d.
    • “Woe, oh, woe!” she weeping cries;
    • “Mighty Zeus, regard my sighs!
    • Ah, how rash the boon I crav’d!
    • If the Gods gave ear to me,
    • If within the treach’rous sea,
    • He the raging storm has brav’d!
    • Ev’ry bird that loves the tide
    • Homeward swiftly wings its way
    • Ev’ry ship, in tempest tried,
    • Refuge seeks in shelt’ring bay.
    • “Doubtless, ah! the dauntless one
    • Has his daring task begun,
    • Urg’d by the great Deity;
    • When departing, he his troth
    • Pledg’d with Love’s most sacred oath;
    • Death alone can set him free.
    • He, alas, this very hour,
    • Wrestles with the tempest’s gloom;
    • And the madden’d billows’ power
    • Bears him downwards to their tomb.
    • “Pontus false!—thy seeming calm
    • Serv’d suspicion to disarm;
    • Thou wert like a spotless glass;
    • Basely smooth thy waters lay,
    • That they might my love betray
    • Into thy false realms to pass.
    • In thy middle current now,
    • Where no hopes of refuge lie,
    • On the hapless victim thou
    • Let’st thy fearful terrors fly!”
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    • Fiercer grows the tempest’s might,
    • Leaping up to mountain-height
    • Swells the sea,—the billows roar
    • ’Gainst the cliffs with fury mad;
    • E’en the ship with oak beclad
    • Breaks to pieces on the shore.
    • And the wind puts out the blaze
    • That had serv’d to light the track;
    • Terror round the landing plays,
    • Terror in the waters black.
    • Venus she implores to chain
    • The tempestuous hurricane,
    • And the angry waves to bind;
    • And a steer with golden horn
    • Vows the maid, by anguish torn,
    • As a victim to each wind.
    • Ev’ry Goddess of the deep,
    • Ev’ry heavenly Deity,
    • She implores to lull to sleep
    • With smooth oil the raging sea.
    • “To my mournful cry attend!
    • Blest Leucothěa, ascend
    • Hither from thy sea-green bower!
    • Thou who ofttimes com’st to save
    • When the fury of the wave
    • Threats the sailor to devour!
    • O’er him cast thy sacred veil,
    • Which, with its mysterious charm,
    • E’en when floods his life assail,
    • Guards its wearer from all harm!”
    • And the wild winds cease to blow;
    • Brightly through the Heavens now go
    • Eos’ coursers, mounting high;
    • Gently in its wonted bed
    • Flows the ocean, smoothly spread;
    • Ah, ’tis he who, even now,
    • Keeps in death his solemn vow!
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CASSANDRA.

    • MIRTH the halls of Troy was filling,
    • Ere its lofty Ramparts fell;
    • From the golden lute so thrilling
    • Hymns of joy were heard to swell.
    • From the sad and tearful slaughter
    • All had laid their arms aside,
    • For Pelides Priam’s daughter
    • Claim’d then as his own fair bride.
    • Laurel branches with them bearing,
    • Troop on troop in bright array
    • To the temples were repairing,
    • Owning Thymbrius’ sovereign sway.
    • Through the streets, with frantic measure,
    • Danc’d the bacchanal mad round,
    • And, amid the radiant pleasure,
    • Only one sad breast was found.
    • Joyless in the midst of gladness,
    • None to heed her, none to love,
    • Roam’d Cassandra, plung’d in sadness,
    • To Apollo’s laurel grove.
    • To its dark and deep recesses
    • Swift the sorrowing priestess hied,
    • And from off her flowing tresses
    • Tore the sacred band, and cried:
    • “All around with joy is beaming,
    • Ev’ry heart is happy now,
    • And my sire is fondly dreaming,
    • Wreath’d with flowers my sister’s brow.
    • I alone am doom’d to wailing,
    • That sweet vision flies from me;
    • In my mind, these walls assailing,
    • Fierce destruction I can see.
    • “Though a torch I see all-glowing,
    • Yet ’tis not in Hymen’s hand;
    • Smoke across the skies is blowing,
    • Yet ’tis from no votive brand.
    • Yonder see I feasts entrancing,
    • But, in my prophetic soul,
    • Hear I now the God advancing,
    • Who will steep in tears the bowl!
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    • “And they blame my lamentation,
    • And they laugh my grief to scorn;
    • To the haunts of desolation
    • I must bear my woes forlorn.
    • All who happy are now shun me,
    • And my tears with laughter see;
    • Heavy lies thy hand upon me,
    • Cruel Pythian Deity!
    • “Thy divine decrees foretelling,
    • Wherefore hast thou thrown me here,
    • Where the ever-blind are dwelling,
    • With a mind, alas, too clear?
    • Wherefore hast thou power thus given,
    • What must needs occur to know?
    • Wrought must be the will of Heaven—
    • Onward comes the hour of woe!
    • “When impending fate strikes terror,
    • Why remove the covering?
    • Life we have alone in error,
    • Knowledge with it death must bring.
    • Take away this prescience tearful,
    • Take this sight of woe from me:
    • Of thy truths, alas! how fearful
    • ’Tis the mouth-piece frail to be!
    • “Veil my mind once more in slumbers,
    • Let me heedlessly rejoice;
    • Never have I sung glad numbers
    • Since I’ve been thy chosen voice.
    • Knowledge of the future giving,
    • Thou hast stol’n the present day,
    • Stol’n the moment’s joyous living,—
    • Take thy false gift, then, away!
    • “Ne’er with bridal train around me,
    • Have I wreath’d my radiant brow,
    • Since to serve thy fane I bound me,
    • Bound me with a solemn vow.
    • Evermore in grief I languish—
    • All my youth in tears was spent;
    • And, with thoughts of bitter anguish
    • My too-feeling heart is rent.
    • “Joyously my friends are playing,
    • All around are blest and glad,
    • In the paths of pleasure straying,—
    • My poor heart alone is sad.
    • Spring in vain unfolds each treasure,
    • Filling all the earth with bliss;
    • Who in life can e’er take pleasure,
    • When is seen its dark abyss?
    • “With her heart in vision burning,
    • Truly blest is Polyxene,
    • As a bride to clasp him yearning,
    • Him, the noblest, best Hellene?
    • And her breast with rapture swelling,
    • All its bliss can scarcely know;
    • E’en the Gods in heavenly dwelling
    • Envying not, when dreaming so.
    • “He to whom my heart is plighted
    • Stood before my ravish’d eye,
    • And his look, by passion lighted,
    • Tow’rd me turn’d imploringly.
    • With the lov’d one, oh, how gladly
    • Homeward would I take my flight
    • But a Stygian shadow sadly
    • Steps between us ev’ry night.
    • “Cruel Proserpine is sending
    • All her spectres pale to me;
    • Ever on my steps attending
    • Those dread shadowy forms I see.
    • Though I seek, in mirth and laughter
    • Refuge from that ghastly train,
    • Still I see them hast’ning after,—
    • Ne’er shall I know joy again.
    • “And I see the death-steel glancing,
    • And the eye of murder glare;
    • On, with hasty strides advancing,
    • Terror haunts me everywhere.
    • Vain I seek alleviation;—
    • Knowing, seeing, suff’ring all,
    • I must wait the consummation,
    • In a foreign land must fall.”
    • While her solemn words are ringing,
    • Hark! a dull and wailing tone
    • From the temple’s gate upspringing,—
    • Dead lies Thetis’ mighty son!
    • Eris shakes her snake-locks hated,
    • Swiftly flies each Deity,
    • And o’er Ilion’s walls ill-fated
    • Thunder-Clouds loom heavily!
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THE HOSTAGE. A BALLAD.

    • TO the tyrant Dionys Mœros once hied,
    • A dagger his mantle contain’d;
    • They seize him, and soon he is chain’d.
    • “What sought’st thou to do with the dirk by thy side?”—
    • And Mœros with gloomy fury replied:
    • “The town from the Tyrant to free!”
    • “The cross thy reward then shall be.”
    • “I am,” said the other, “prepar’d to die,
    • Nor seek for permission to live;
    • Yet, prithee, this one favor give:
    • A respite I ask till three days have gone by,
    • While the marriage-knot of my sister I tie;
    • I’ll leave thee my friend as my bail,—
    • Thou canst kill him instead, if I fail.”
    • The monarch then smil’d with a malicefraught sneer
    • And after a pause answer’d he:
    • “Three days I will give unto thee;
    • But know! if the end of that time shall appear,
    • And thou shalt not then have surrender’d thee here,
    • Thy friend in thy place must then bleed,
    • And thou, in return, shalt be freed.”
    • And he went to his friend, and he said: “The king vows
    • That I on the cross must atone
    • For the impious thing I have done;
    • And yet he a respite of three days allows,
    • Till I my sister have join’d to her spouse;
    • As bail to the king then remain,
    • Till I’m back here to loose thee again!”
    • In silence embrac’d him his friend dear and true,
    • Resign’d to the Sovereign’s power;
    • The other went off the same hour:
    • And ere the third morning had dawn’d on the view,
    • His sister he join’d to her spouse, and then flew
    • With anxious concern tow’rd his home,
    • That true to his time he might come.
    • Soon the rain in torrents begins to pour,
    • The springs down the mountain’s side race,
    • The brook and the stream swell apace,
    • And he comes with his pilgrim’s staff to the shore,
    • When the whirlpool tears down the bridge with wild roar,
    • And the waves, with a thundering crash,
    • To atoms the vaulted arch dash.
    • And he wanders along the bank in despair,
    • But far as he casts round his eyes,
    • And far as re-echo his cries,
    • No friendly bark pushing off he sees there,
    • By whose aid to the wish’d for land to repair,
    • None coming its pilot to be,—
    • And the torrent now swells to a sea.
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    • Then he sinks on the shore, and he weeps, and he prays
    • With hands rais’d on high unto Zeus:
    • “The torrent’s wild force, oh reduce!
    • The hours haste on, and the mid-day rays
    • Of the sun now fall, and if quench’d is their blaze
    • Before at the town I can be,
    • My friend must then perish for me.”
    • Yet the stream into greater fury now wakes,
    • And billows on billows dash high,
    • And hours on hours fleet by.
    • Then driven by anguish, courage he takes,
    • And leaps in the flood as it madly breaks,
    • And the torrent he cleaves with strong limb,
    • And a God has compassion on him.
    • And he gains the shore, and then onwards he speeds,
    • And the God who has sav’d him he blesses;
    • When out of the wood’s dark recesses
    • A band of robbers sudden proceeds,
    • And menaces death, and his progress impedes,
    • Obstructing the wanderer’s course,
    • And wielding the club with wild force.
    • “What would ye?” all pallid with terror cries he,
    • “Save my life, I have no other thing,
    • And that I must give to the king!”
    • And the club from the next he tears hastily:
    • “For the sake of my friend, here’s mercy for thee!”
    • And three, with invincible might,
    • He slays, and the rest take to flight.
    • And the sun pours down his hot beams on the land,
    • And, worn by the toil he had pass’d,
    • His knees sink beneath him at last.
    • “Oh! am I then sav’d from the spoiler’s fierce hand,
    • And brought safe o’er the flood to the holy strand,
    • That I here my last moments may see,
    • While the friend that I love dies for me?”
    • And hark! close at hand, with a purling sound,
    • Comes a gush, and as silver it glistens;
    • And he pauses, and anxiously listens:
    • And lo! from the cliffs, with a rapid bound,
    • A murmuring fountain leaps down to the ground,
    • And stooping to earth in glad mood,
    • He leaves his hot limbs in the flood.
    • And thro’ the green foliage shines now the sun,
    • And the giant-like shade of each tree
    • On the glittering mead pictures he;
    • And he sees two travelers moving on,—
    • With hurried footstep seeks past them to run,
    • When thus he o’erhears their discourse:
    • “Ere this he is nail’d to the cross!”
    • And anguish gives wings to his hastening feet,
    • That, goaded by care, seem to fly;
    • Soon Syracuse bursts on his eye,
    • And its battlements glow in the sunset sweet,
    • And its glances ere long Philostratus meet,
    • The steward of his household so true,—
    • But he shudders his master to view.
    • “Back! Back! to rescue thy friend ’tis too late;
    • Thyself, then, to save, hasten thou:
    • For he suffers death even now.
    • From hour to hour, with confidence great,
    • For thy return he ceas’d not to wait;
    • His courage and faith were not torn
    • By the Tyrant’s contemptuous scorn.”
    • “And if ’tis too late, and I cannot, then, now
    • Arrive to receive his last breath,
    • I’ll hasten to join him in death.
    • Ne’er the bloodthirsty Tyrant to boast I’ll allow
    • That the friend to the friend has broken his vow;
    • When two victims have bitten the dust,
    • In Love and in Faith let him trust!”
    • And the sun sinks to rest, and he reaches the gate,
    • And the cross he sees rais’d from the ground!
    • While the wondering crowd stand around.
    • They are hoisting his friend on the rope to his fate,
    • When through the dense concourse he pushes him straight;
    • “Now, Hangman!” he cries, “strangle me!
    • For the one whom he bail’d,—I am he!”
    • Astonishment seizes on all that stand by,
    • While fondly embrace the glad twain,
    • And weep with mix’d rapture and pain;
    • And a tear is seen glist’ning in every eye,—
    • To the king with the wondrous story they fly,
    • And he, mov’d by a merciful thought,
    • To the foot of the throne has them brought.
    • And on them in wonderment long gazes he,
    • Then speaks: “Ye the victory have won,
    • And conquer’d my heart for your own.
    • That faith is no empty vision, I see,
    • So suffer me, too, your companion to be;
    • And let my entreaty be heard,
    • To form in your friendship the third!”
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artist: woldemar friedrich.

THE HOSTAGE.

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THE DIVER. A BALLAD.

    • “WHAT knight or what vassal will be so bold
    • As to plunge in the gulf below?
    • See! I hurl in its depths a goblet of gold,
    • Already the waters over it flow.
    • The man who can bring back the goblet to me,
    • May keep it henceforward—his own it shall be.”
    • Thus speaks the King, and he hurls from the height
    • Of the cliffs that, rugged and steep,
    • Hang over the boundless sea, with strong might,
    • The goblet afar in the bellowing deep.
    • “And who’ll be so daring, I ask it once more,
    • As to plunge in these billows that wildly roar?”
    • And the vassals and knights of high degree
    • Hear his words, but silent remain.
    • They cast their eyes on the raging sea,
    • And none will attempt the goblet to gain.
    • And a third time the question is ask’d by the King:
    • “Is there none that will dare in the gulf now to spring?”
    • Yet all as before in silence stand,
    • When a page, with a modest pride,
    • Steps out of the timorous squirely band,
    • And his girdle and mantle soon throws aside,
    • And all the knights, and the ladies too,
    • The noble stripling with wonderment view.
    • And when he draws nigh to the rocky brow,
    • And looks in the gulf so black,
    • The waters that she had swallow’d but now,
    • The howling Charybdis is giving back;
    • And, with the distant thunder’s dull sound,
    • From her gloomy womb they all-foaming rebound.
    • And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
    • As when water and fire first blend;
    • To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
    • And wave presses hard upon wave without end.
    • And the ocean will never exhausted be,
    • As if striving to bring forth another sea.
    • But at length the wild tumult seems pacified,
    • And blackly amid the white swell
    • A gaping chasm its jaws opens wide,
    • As if leading down to the depths of Hell:
    • And the howling billows were seen by each eye
    • Down the whirling funnel all madly to fly.
    • Then quickly, before the breakers rebound,
    • The stripling commends him to Heaven,
    • And—a scream of horror is heard around,—
    • And now by the whirlpool away he is driven,
    • And secretly over the swimmer brave
    • Close the jaws, and he vanishes ’neath the dark wave.
    • O’er the watery gulf, dread silence now lies,
    • But the deep sends up a dull yell,
    • And from mouth to mouth with trembling it flies:
    • “Courageous stripling, oh, fare thee well!”
    • And duller and duller the howls recommence,
    • While they pause in anxious and fearful suspense.
    • “If even thy crown in the gulf thou shouldst fling,
    • And shouldst say, ‘He who brings it to me
    • Shall wear it henceforward, and be the king,’
    • Thou couldst tempt me not e’en with that precious fee;
    • What under the howling deep is conceal’d
    • To no happy living soul is reveal’d.”
    • Full many a ship, by the whirlpool held fast,
    • Shoots straightway beneath the mad wave,
    • And, dash’d to pieces, the hull and the mast
    • Emerge from the all-devouring grave,—
    • And the roaring approaches still nearer and nearer,
    • Like the howl of the tempest, still clearer and clearer.
    • And it boils and it roars, and it hisses and seethes,
    • As when water and fire first blend;
    • To the sky spurts the foam in steam-laden wreaths,
    • And wave presses hard upon wave without end.
    • And, with the distant thunder’s dull sound
    • From the ocean-womb they all-bellowing bound.
    • And lo! from the darkly flowing tide
    • Comes a vision white as a swan,
    • And an arm and a glistening neck are descried,
    • With might and with active zeal steering on;
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    • And ’tis he, and behold! his left hand on high
    • Waves the goblet, while beaming with joy is his eye.
    • Then breathes he deeply, then breathes he long,
    • And blesses the light of the day;
    • While gladly exclaim to each other the throng,
    • “He lives! he is here! he is not the sea’s prey!
    • From the tomb, from the eddying waters’ control,
    • The brave one has rescued his living soul!”
    • And he comes, and they joyously round him stand;
    • At the feet of the monarch he falls,—
    • The goblet he, kneeling, puts in his hand,
    • And the King to his beauteous daughter calls,
    • Who fills it with sparkling wine to the brim;
    • The youth turns to the monarch, and speaks thus to him:—
    • “Long life to the King! Let all those be glad
    • Who breathe in the light of the sky!
    • For below all is fearful, of moment sad;
    • Let not man to tempt the immortals e’er try,
    • Let him never desire the thing to see
    • That with terror and night they veil graciously.
    • “I was torn below with the speed of light,
    • When out of a cavern of rock
    • Rush’d tow’rds me a spring of furious might;
    • I was seiz’d by the twofold torrent’s wild shock,
    • And like a top, with a whirl and a bound,
    • Despite all resistance, was whirl’d around.
    • “Then God pointed out,—for to Him I cried
    • In that terrible moment of need,—
    • A craggy reef in the gulf’s dark side;
    • I seiz’d it in haste, and from death was then freed.
    • And there, on sharp corals, was hanging the cup,—
    • The fathomless pit had else swallow’d it up.
    • “For under me lay it, still mountain-deep,
    • In a darkness of purple-ting’d dye,
    • And though to the ear all might seem then asleep
    • With shuddering awe ’twas seen by the eye
    • How the salamanders’ and dragons’ dread forms
    • Fill’d those terrible jaws of hell with their swarms.
    • “There crowded, in union fearful and black,
    • In a horrible mass entwin’d,
    • The rock-fish, the ray with the thorny back,
    • And the hammer-fish’s mis-shapen kind,
    • And the shark, the hyena dread of the sea,
    • With his angry teeth, grinn’d fiercely on me.
    • “There hung I, by fulness of terror possess’d,
    • Where all human aid was unknown,
    • Amongst phantoms, the only sensitive breast,
    • In that fearful solitude all alone,
    • Where the voice of mankind could not reach to mine ear,
    • ’Mid the monsters foul of that wilderness drear.
    • “Thus shudd’ring methought—when a Something crawl’d near,
    • And a hundred limbs it out-flung,
    • And at me it snapp’d;—in my mortal fear,
    • I left hold of the coral to which I had clung;
    • Then the whirlpool seiz’d on me with madden’d roar,
    • Yet ’twas well, for it brought me to light once more.”
    • The story in wonderment hears the King,
    • And he says, “The cup is thine own,
    • And I purpose also to give thee this ring,
    • Adorn’d with a costly, a priceless stone,
    • If thou’lt try once again, and bring word to me
    • What thou saw’st in the nethermost depths of the sea.”
    • His daughter hears this with emotions soft,
    • And with flattering accent prays she:
    • “That fearful sport, father, attempt not too oft!
    • What none other would dare, he hath ventur’d for thee:
    • If thy heart’s wild longings thou canst not tame,
    • Let the knights, if they can, put the squire to shame.”
    • The King then seizes the goblet in haste,
    • In the gulf he hurls it with might:
    • “When the goblet once more in my hands thou hast plac’d,
    • Thou shalt rank at my court as the noblest knight,
    • And her as a bride thou shalt clasp e’en to-day,
    • Who for thee with tender compassion doth pray.”
    • Then a force, as from Heaven, descends on him there,
    • And lightning gleams in his eye,
    • And blushes he sees on her features so fair,
    • And he sees her turn pale, and swooning lie;
    • Then eager the precious guerdon to win,
    • For life or for death, lo! he plunges him in!
    • The breakers they hear, and the breakers return,
    • Proclaim’d by a thundering sound;
    • They bend o’er the gulf with glances that yearn,
    • And the waters are pouring in fast around;
    • Though upwards and downwards they rush and they rave,
    • The youth is brought back by no kindly wave.
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artist: carl gehrts.

THE DIVER.

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THE KNIGHT OF TOGGENBURG. A BALLAD.

    • “I CAN love thee well, believe me,
    • As a sister true;
    • Other love, Sir Knight, would grieve me,
    • Sore my heart would rue.
    • Calmly would I see thee going,
    • Calmly, too, appear;
    • For those tears in silence flowing
    • Find no answer here.”
    • Thus she speaks,—he hears her sadly,—
    • How his heartstrings bleed!—
    • In his arms he clasps her madly,
    • Then he mounts his steed.
    • From the Switzer land collects he
    • All his warriors brave;—
    • Cross on breast, their course directs he
    • To the Holy Grave.
    • In triumphant march advancing,
    • Onward moves the host,
    • While their morion plumes are dancing
    • Where the foes are most.
    • Mortal terror strikes the Paynim
    • At the chieftain’s name;
    • But the knight’s sad thoughts enchain him
    • Grief consumes his frame.
    • Twelve long months, with courage daring,
    • Peace he strives to find;
    • Then at last, of rest despairing,
    • Leaves the host behind;
    • Sees a ship, whose sails are swelling,
    • Lie on Joppa’s strand!
    • Ships him homeward for her dwelling,
    • In his own lov’d land.
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    • Now behold the pilgrim weary
    • At her castle gate!
    • But alas! these accents dreary
    • Seal his mournful fate:—
    • “She thou seek’st, her troth hath plighted
    • To all-gracious Heaven;
    • To her God she was united
    • Yesterday at even!”
    • To his father’s home for ever
    • Bids he now adieu;
    • Sees no more his arms and beaver,
    • Nor his steed so true.
    • Then descends he, sadly, slowly,—
    • None suspect the sight,—
    • For a garb of penance lowly
    • Wears the noble knight.
    • Soon he now, the tempest braving,
    • Builds a humble shed,
    • Where, o’er lime-trees darkly waving,
    • Peeps the convent’s head.
    • From the orb of day’s first gleaming,
    • Till his race has run,
    • Hope in ev’ry feature beaming,
    • There he sits alone.
    • Tow’rd the convent straining ever
    • His unwearied eyes,—
    • From her casement looking never
    • Till it open flies,
    • Till the lov’d one, soft advancing,
    • Shows her gentle face,
    • O’er the vale her sweet eye glancing,
    • Full of angel-grace.
    • Then he seeks his bed of rushes,
    • Still’d all grief and pain,
    • Slumbering calm, till morning’s blushes
    • Waken life again.
    • Days and years fleet on, yet never
    • Breathes he plaint or sighs,
    • On her casement gazing ever,
    • Till it open flies,
    • Till the lov’d one, soft advancing,
    • Shows her gentle face,
    • O’er the vale her sweet eye glancing,
    • Full of angel-grace.
    • But, at length, the morn returning
    • Finds him dead and chill,—
    • Pale and wan, his gaze, with yearning,
    • Seeks her casement still!
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THE FIGHT WITH THE DRAGON.

    • WHY run the crowd? What means the throng
    • That rushes fast the streets along?
    • Can Rhodes a prey to flames, then, be?
    • In crowds they gather hastily,
    • And, on his steed, a noble knight
    • Amid the rabble, meets my sight;
    • Behind him—prodigy unknown!—
    • A monster fierce they’re drawing on;
    • A dragon seems it by its shape,
    • With wide and crocodile-like jaw,
    • And on the knight and dragon gape,
    • In turns, the people, fill’d with awe.
    • And thousand voices shout with glee:—
    • “The fiery dragon come and see,
    • Who hind and flock tore limb from limb!—
    • The hero see, who vanquish’d him!
    • Full many a one before him went,
    • To dare the fearful combat bent,
    • But none return’d home from the fight;
    • Honor ye, then, the noble knight!”
    • And tow’rd the convent move they all,
    • While met in hasty council there
    • The brave knights of the Hospital,
    • St. John the Baptist’s Order, were.
    • Up to the noble Master sped
    • The youth, with firm but modest tread;
    • The people follow’d with wild shout,
    • And stood the landing-place about,
    • While thus outspoke that Daring One:—
    • “My knightly duty I have done.
    • The dragon that laid waste the land
    • Has fallen ’neath my conquering hand.
    • The way is to the wanderer free,
    • The shepherd o’er the plains may rove;
    • Across the mountains joyfully
    • The pilgrim to the shrine may move.”
    • But sternly look’d the prince, and said:
    • “The hero’s part thou well hast play’d;
    • By courage is the true knight known,—
    • A dauntless spirit thou hast shown.
    • Yet speak! What duty first should he
    • Regard, who would Christ’s champion be,
    • Who wears the emblem of the Cross?”—
    • And all turn’d pale at his discourse.
    • Yet he replied, with noble grace,
    • While blushingly he bent him low:
    • “That he deserves so proud a place
    • Obedience best of all can show.”
    • “My son,” the Master answering spoke,
    • “Thy daring act this duty broke.
    • The conflict that the law forbade
    • Thou hast with impious mind essay’d.”—
    • “Lord, judge when all to thee is known,”
    • The other spake, in steadfast tone,—
    • “For I the law’s commands and will
    • Purpos’d with honor to fulfil.
    • I went not out with heedless thought,
    • Hoping the monster dread to find;
    • To conquer in the fight I sought
    • By cunning, and a prudent mind.
    • “Five of our noble Order, then
    • (Our faith could boast no better men),
    • Had by their daring lost their life,
    • When thou forbadest us the strife.
    • And yet my heart I felt a prey
    • To gloom, and panted for the fray;
    • Ay, even in the stilly night,
    • In vision gasp’d I in the fight;
    • And when the glimm’ring morning came,
    • And of fresh troubles knowledge gave,
    • A raging grief consum’d my frame,
    • And I resolv’d the thing to brave,
    • “And to myself I thus began:
    • ‘What is’t adorns the youth, the man?
    • What actions of the heroes bold,
    • Of whom in ancient song we’re told,
    • Blind heathendom rais’d up on high
    • To god-like fame and dignity?
    • The world, by deeds known far and wide,
    • From monsters fierce they purified;
    • The lion in the fight they met,
    • And wrestled with the Minotaur,
    • Unhappy victims free to set,
    • And were not sparing of their gore.
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    • “ ‘Are none but Saracens to feel
    • The prowess of the Christian steel?
    • False idols only shall he brave?
    • His mission is the world to save;
    • To free it, by his sturdy arm,
    • From ev’ry hurt, from ev’ry harm;
    • Yet wisdom must his courage bend,
    • And cunning must with strength contend.
    • Thus spake I oft, and went alone
    • The monster’s traces to espy;
    • When on my mind a bright light shone,—
    • ‘I have it!’ was my joyful cry.
    • “To thee I went, and thus I spake:
    • ‘My homeward journey I would take.’
    • Thou, lord, didst grant my prayer to me,—
    • Then safely travers’d I the sea;
    • And, when I reach’d my native strand,
    • I caus’d a skilful artist’s hand
    • To make a dragon’s image, true
    • To his that now so well I knew.
    • On feet of measure short was plac’d
    • Its lengthy body’s heavy load;
    • A scaly coat of mail embrac’d
    • The back, on which it fiercely show’d.
    • “Its stretching neck appear’d to swell,
    • And, ghastly as a gate of hell,
    • Its fearful jaws were open wide,
    • As if to seize the prey it tried;
    • And in its black mouth, rang’d about,
    • Its teeth in prickly rows stood out;
    • Its tongue was like a sharp-edg’d sword,
    • And lightning from its small eyes pour’d:
    • A serpent’s tail of many a fold
    • Ended its body’s monstrous span,
    • And round itself with fierceness roll’d,
    • So as to clasp both steed and man.
    • “I form’d the whole to nature true,
    • In skin of grey and hideous hue;
    • Part dragon it appear’d, part snake,
    • Engender’d in the poisonous lake.
    • And, when the figure was complete,
    • A pair of dogs I chose me, fleet,
    • Of mighty strength, of nimble pace,
    • Inur’d the savage boar to chase;
    • The dragon, then, I made them bait,
    • Inflaming them to fury dread,
    • With their sharp teeth to seize it straight,
    • And with my voice their motions led.
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artist: w. camphausen.

THE FIGHT WITH THE DRAGON.

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    • “And, where the belly’s tender skin
    • Allow’d the tooth to enter in,
    • I taught them how to seize it there,
    • And, with their fangs, the part to tear.
    • I mounted, then, my Arab steed,
    • The offspring of a noble breed;
    • My hand a dart on high held forth,
    • And, when I had inflam’d his wrath,
    • I stuck my sharp spurs in his side,
    • And urg’d him on as quick as thought,
    • And hurl’d my dart in circles wide,
    • As if to pierce the beast I sought.
    • “And though my steed rear’d high in pain,
    • And champ’d and foam’d beneath the rein,
    • And though the dogs howl’d fearfully,
    • Till they were calm’d ne’er rested I.
    • This plan I ceaselessly pursu’d,
    • Till thrice the moon had been renew’d;
    • And when they had been duly taught,
    • In swift ships here I had them brought;
    • And since my foot these shores has press’d,
    • Flown has three morning’s narrow span;
    • I scarce allow’d my limbs to rest
    • Ere I the mighty task began.
    • “For hotly was my bosom stirr’d
    • When of the land’s fresh grief I heard;
    • Shepherds of late had been his prey,
    • When in the marsh they went astray.
    • I form’d my plans then hastily,—
    • My heart was all that counsel’d me.
    • My squires instructing to proceed,
    • I sprang upon my well-train’d steed,
    • And, follow’d by my noble pair
    • Of dogs, by secret pathways rode,
    • Where not an eye could witness bear,
    • To find the monster’s fell abode.
    • “Thou, lord, must know the chapel well,
    • Pitch’d on a rocky pinnacle,
    • That overlooks the distant isle;
    • A daring mind ’twas rais’d the pile.
    • Though humble, mean, and small it shows,
    • Its walls a miracle enclose,—
    • The Virgin and her Infant Son,
    • Vow’d by the three Kings of Cologne.
    • By three times thirty steps is led
    • The pilgrim to the giddy height;
    • Yet, when he gains it with bold tread,
    • He’s quicken’d by his Saviour’s sight.
    • “Deep in the rock to which it clings,
    • A cavern dark its arms outflings,
    • Moist with the neighboring moorland’s dew,
    • Where heaven’s bright rays can ne’er pierce through.
    • There dwelt the monster, there he lay,
    • His spoil awaiting, night and day;
    • Like the hell-dragon, thus he kept
    • Watch near the shrine, and never slept;
    • And if a hapless pilgrim chanc’d
    • To enter on that fatal way,
    • From out his ambush quick advanc’d
    • The foe, and seiz’d him as his prey.
    • “I mounted now the rocky height,
    • Ere I commenc’d the fearful fight;
    • There knelt I to the Infant Lord,
    • And pardon for my sins implor’d.
    • Then in the holy fane I plac’d
    • My shining armor round my waist,
    • My right hand grasp’d my javelin,—
    • The fight then went I to begin;
    • Instructions gave my squires among,
    • Commanding them to tarry there;
    • Then on my steed I nimbly sprung,
    • And gave my spirit to God’s care.
    • “Soon as I reach’d the level plain,
    • My dogs found out the scent amain;
    • My frighten’d horse soon rear’d on high,—
    • His fear I could not pacify,
    • For, coil’d up in a circle, lo!
    • There lay the fierce and hideous foe,
    • Sunning himself upon the ground.
    • Straight at him rush’d each nimble hound;
    • Yet thence they turn’d, dismay’d and fast,
    • When he his gaping jaws op’d wide,
    • Vomited forth his poisonous blast,
    • And like the howling jackal cried.
    • “But soon their courage I restor’d;
    • They seiz’d with rage the foe abhorr’d,
    • While I against the beast’s loins threw
    • My spear with sturdy arm and true:
    • But, powerless as a bulrush frail,
    • It bounded from his coat of mail;
    • And ere I could repeat the throw,
    • My horse reel’d wildly to and fro
    • Before his basilisk-like look,
    • And at his poison-teeming breath,—
    • Sprang backward, and with terror shook,
    • While I seem’d doom’d to certain death.
    • “Then from my steed I nimbly sprung,
    • My sharp-edg’d sword with vigor swung;
    • Yet all in vain my strokes I plied,—
    • I could not pierce his rock-like hide.
    • His tail with fury lashing round,
    • Sudden he bore me to the ground
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    • His jaws then opening fearfully,
    • With angry teeth he struck at me;
    • But now my dogs, with wrath new-born,
    • Rush’d on his belly with fierce bite,
    • So that, by dreadful anguish torn,
    • He howling stood before my sight.
    • “And ere he from their teeth was free,
    • I rais’d myself up hastily,
    • The weak place of the foe explor’d,
    • And in his entrails plung’d my sword,
    • Sinking it even to the hilt;
    • Black-gushing forth, his blood was spilt.
    • Down sank he, burying in his fall
    • Me with his body’s giant ball,
    • So that my senses quickly fled;
    • And when I woke with strength renew’d,
    • The dragon in his blood lay dead,
    • While, round me group’d, my squires all stood.”
    • The joyous shouts, so long suppress’d,
    • Now burst from ev’ry hearer’s breast,
    • Soon as the knight these words had spoken;
    • And ten times ’gainst the high vault broken,
    • The sound of mingl’d voices rang
    • Re-echoing back with hollow clang.
    • The Order’s sons demand in haste,
    • That with a crown his brow be grac’d,
    • And gratefully in triumph now
    • The mob the youth would bear along—
    • When lo! the Master knit his brow,
    • And call’d for silence ’mongst the throng.
    • And said, “The dragon that this land
    • Laid waste, thou slew’st with daring hand;
    • Although the people’s idol thou,
    • The Order’s foe I deem thee now.
    • Thy breast has to a fiend more base
    • Than e’en this dragon given place.
    • The serpent that the heart most stings,
    • And hatred and destruction brings,
    • That spirit is, which stubborn lies,
    • And impiously casts off the rein,
    • Despising order’s sacred ties;
    • ’Tis that destroys the world amain.
    • “The Mameluke makes of courage boast,
    • Obedience decks the Christian most;
    • For where our great and blessed Lord
    • As a mere servant walk’d abroad,
    • The Fathers, on that holy ground,
    • This famous Order chose to found,
    • That arduous duty to fulfil
    • To overcome one’s own self-will!
    • ’Twas idle glory mov’d thee there:
    • So take thee hence from out my sight!
    • For who the Lord’s yoke cannot bear,
    • To wear his cross can have no right.”
    • A furious shout now raise the crowd,
    • The place is fill’d with outcries loud;
    • The Brethren all for pardon cry;
    • The youth in silence droops his eye—
    • Mutely his garment from him throws,
    • Kisses the Master’s hand, and—goes.
    • But he pursues him with his gaze,
    • Recalls him lovingly, and says:
    • “Let me embrace thee now, my son!
    • The harder fight is gain’d by thee.
    • Take, then, this cross—the guerdon won
    • By self-subdu’d humility.”
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FRIDOLIN; OR, THE WALK TO THE IRON FOUNDRY.

    • A GENTLE page was Fridolin,
    • And he his mistress dear,
    • Savern’s fair Countess, honor’d in
    • All truth and godly fear.
    • She was so meek, and, ah! so good!
    • Yet each wish of her wayward mood,
    • He would have studied to fulfil,
    • To please his God, with earnest will.
    • From the first hour when daylight shone
    • Till rang the vesper-chime,
    • He liv’d but for her will alone,
    • And deem’d e’èn that scarce time.
    • And if she said, “Less anxious be!”
    • His eye then glisten’d tearfully,
    • Thinking that he in duty fail’d,
    • And so before no toil he quail’d.
    • And so, before her serving train,
    • The Countess lov’d to raise him;
    • While her fair mouth, in endless strain,
    • Was ever wont to praise him.
    • She never held him as her slave,
    • Her heart a child’s-rights to him gave;
    • Her clear eye hung in fond delight
    • Upon his well-form’d features bright.
    • Soon in the huntsman Robert’s breast
    • Was poisonous anger fir’d;
    • His black soul, long by lust possess’d,
    • With malice was inspir’d;
    • He sought the Count, whom, quick in deed,
    • A traitor might with ease mislead,
    • As once from hunting home they rode,
    • And in his heart suspicion sow’d.
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    • “Happy art thou, great Count, in truth,”
    • Thus cunningly he spoke;
    • “For ne’er mistrust’s envenom’d tooth
    • Thy golden slumbers broke;
    • A noble wife thy love rewards,
    • And modesty her person guards.
    • The Tempter will be able ne’er
    • Her true fidelity to snare.”
    • A gloomy scowl the Count’s eye fill’d:
    • “What’s this thou say’st to me?
    • Shall I on woman’s virtue build,
    • Inconstant as the sea?
    • The flatterer’s mouth with ease may lure;
    • My trust is plac’d on ground more sure.
    • No one, methinks, dare ever burn
    • To tempt the wife of Count Savern.”
    • The other spoke: “Thou sayest it well;
    • The fool deserves thy scorn
    • Who ventures on such thoughts to dwell,
    • A mere retainer born,—
    • Who to the lady he obeys
    • Fears not his wishes’ lust to raise.”—
    • “What!” tremblingly the Count began,
    • “Dost speak, then, of a living man?”—
    • “Is, then, the thing, to all reveal’d,
    • Hid from my master’s view?
    • Yet, since with care from thee conceal’d,
    • I’d fain conceal it too.”—
    • “Speak quickly, villain! speak or die!”
    • Exclaim’d the other fearfully.
    • “Who dares to look on Cunigond?”
    • “ ’Tis the fair page that is so fond.”
    • “He’s not ill-shap’d in form, I wot,”
    • He craftily went on;
    • The Count meanwhile felt cold and hot,
    • By turns in ev’ry bone.
    • “Is’t possible thou seest not, sir,
    • How he has eyes for none but her?—
    • At table ne’er attends to thee,
    • But sighs behind her ceaselessly?
    • “Behold the rhymes that from him came
    • His passion to confess”—
    • “Confess!”—“And for an answering flame,—
    • The impious knave!—to press.
    • My gracious lady, soft and meek,
    • Through pity, doubtless, fear’d to speak;
    • That it has ’scap’d me, sore I rue;
    • What, lord, canst thou to help it do?”
    • Into the neighboring wood then rode
    • The Count, inflam’d with wrath,
    • Where, in his iron-foundry, glow’d
    • The ore, and bubbl’d forth.
    • The workmen here, with busy hand,
    • The fire both late and early fann’d.
    • The sparks fly out, the bellows ply,
    • As if the rock to liquefy.
    • The fire and water’s might twofold
    • Are here united found;
    • The mill-wheel, by the flood seiz’d hold,
    • Is whirling round and round;
    • The works are clatt’ring night and day,
    • With measur’d stroke the hammers play,
    • And, yielding to the mighty blows,
    • The very iron plastic grows.
    • Then to two workmen beckons he,
    • And speaks thus in his ire:
    • “The first who’s hither sent by me
    • Thus of ye to inquire:
    • ‘Have ye obey’d my lord’s word well?’
    • Him cast ye into yonder hell,
    • That into ashes he may fly,
    • And ne’er again torment mine eye!”
    • Th’ inhuman pair were overjoy’d,
    • With devilish glee possess’d:
    • For as the iron, feeling void,
    • Their heart was in their breast.
    • And brisker with the bellows’ blast,
    • The foundry’s womb now heat they fast,
    • And with a murderous mind prepare
    • To offer up the victim there.
    • Then Robert to his comrade spake,
    • With false hypocrisy:
    • “Up, comrade, up! no tarrying make!
    • Our lord has need of thee.”
    • The lord to Fridolin then said:
    • “The pathway tow’rd the foundry tread,
    • And of the workmen there inquire,
    • If they have done their lord’s desire.”
    • The other answer’d, “Be it so!”
    • But o’er him came this thought,
    • When he was all-prepar’d to go,
    • “Will she command me aught?”
    • So to the Countess straight he went:
    • “I’m to the iron-foundry sent;
    • Then say, can I do aught for thee?
    • For thou ’tis who commandest me.”
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artist: ernst roeber.

THE WALK TO THE IRON FOUNDRY.

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    • To this the Lady of Savern
    • Replied in gentle tone:
    • “To hear the holy mass I yearn,
    • For sick now lies my son;
    • So go, my child, and when thou’rt there,
    • Utter for me a humble prayer,
    • And of thy sins think ruefully,
    • That grace may also fall on me.”
    • And in this welcome duty glad,
    • He quickly left the place;
    • But ere the village bounds he had
    • Attain’d with rapid pace,
    • The sound of bells struck on his ear,
    • From the high belfry ringing clear,
    • And ev’ry sinner, mercy-sent,
    • Inviting to the sacrament.
    • “Never from praising God refrain
    • Where’er by thee He’s found!”
    • He spoke, and stepp’d into the fane,
    • But there he heard no sound;
    • For ’twas the harvest time, and now
    • Glow’d in the fields the reaper’s brow;
    • No choristers were gather’d there,
    • The duties of the mass to share.
    • The matter paus’d he not to weigh,
    • But took the sexton’s part;
    • “That thing,” he said, “makes no delay
    • Which heav’nward guides the heart.”
    • Upon the priest, with helping hand.
    • He plac’d the stole and sacred band,
    • The vessels he prepar’d beside,
    • That for the mass were sanctified.
    • And when his duties here were o’er,
    • Holding the mass-book, he,
    • Minist’ring to the priest, before
    • The altar bow’d his knee,
    • And knelt him left, and knelt him right,
    • While not a look escap’d his sight,
    • And when the holy Sanctus came,
    • The bell rang thrice he at the name.
    • And when the priest, bow’d humbly too,
    • In hand uplifted high,
    • Facing the altar, show’d to view
    • The Present Deity,
    • The sacristan proclaim’d it well,
    • Sounding the clearly-tinkling bell,
    • While all knelt down, and beat the breast,
    • And with a cross the Host confess’d.
    • The rites thus serv’d he, leaving none,
    • With quick and ready wit;
    • Each thing that in God’s house is done,
    • He also practis’d it.
    • Unweariedly he labor’d thus,
    • Till the Vobiscum Dominus,
    • When tow’rd the people turn’d the priest,
    • Bless’d them,—and so the service ceas’d.
    • Then he dispos’d each thing again,
    • In fair and due array;
    • First purified the holy fane,
    • And then he went his way,
    • And gladly, with a mind at rest,
    • On to the iron-foundry press’d,
    • Saying the while, complete to be,
    • Twelve paternosters silently.
    • And when he saw the furnace smoke,
    • And saw the workmen stand,
    • “Have ye, ye fellows,” thus he spoke,
    • “Obey’d the Count’s command?”
    • Grinning they ope the orifice,
    • And point into the fell abyss:
    • “He’s car’d for—all is at an end!
    • The Count his servants will commend.”
    • The answer to his lord he brought,
    • Returning hastily,
    • Who, when his form his notice caught,
    • Could scarcely trust his eye:
    • “Unhappy one! whence comest thou?”—
    • “Back from the foundry”—“Strange, I vow!
    • Hast in thy journey, then, delay’d?”—
    • “’Twas only, lord, till I had pray’d.
    • “For when I from thy presence went
    • (Oh, pardon me!), to-day,
    • As duty bid, my steps I bent
    • To her whom I obey.
    • She told me, lord, the mass to hear,
    • I gladly to her wish gave ear,
    • And told four rosaries at the shrine,
    • For her salvation and for thine.”
    • In wonder deep the Count now fell.
    • And, shudd’ring, thus spake he:
    • “And, at the foundry, quickly tell,
    • What answer gave they thee?”
    • “Obscure the words they answer’d in,—
    • Showing the furnace with a grin:
    • ‘He’s car’d for—all is at an end!
    • The Count his servants will commend.’ ”
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    • “And Robert?” interrupted he,
    • While deadly pale he stood,—
    • “Did he not, then, fall in with thee!
    • I sent him to the wood.”—
    • “Lord, neither in the wood nor field
    • Was trace of Robert’s foot reveal’d.”—
    • “Then,” cried the Count, with awe-struck mien,
    • “Great God in heav’n his judge hath been!”
    • With kindness he before ne’er prov’d,
    • He led him by the hand
    • Up to the Countess,—deeply mov’d,—
    • Who nought could understand.
    • “This child, let him be dear to thee,
    • No angel is so pure as he!
    • Though we may have been counsel’d ill,
    • God and his hosts watch o’er him still.”

THE COUNT OF HAPSBURG. A BALLAD.

    • AT Aix-la-Chapelle, in imperial array,
    • In its halls renown’d in old story,
    • At the coronation banquet so gay
    • King Rudolf was sitting in glory.
    • The meats were serv’d up by the Palsgrave of Rhine,
    • The Bohemian pour’d out the bright sparkling wine,
    • And all the Electors, the seven,
    • Stood waiting around the world-governing One,
    • As the chorus of stars encircle the sun,
    • That honor might duly be given.
    • And the people the lofty balcony round
    • In a throng exulting were filling;
    • While loudly were blending the trumpets’ glad sound,
    • And the multitude’s voices so thrilling;
    • For the monarchless period, with horror rife,
    • Has ended now after long baneful strife,
    • And the earth had a lord to possess her.
    • No longer rul’d blindly the iron-bound spear,
    • And the weak and the peaceful no longer need fear
    • Being crush’d by the cruel oppressor.
    • And the emperor speaks with a smile in his eye,
    • While the golden goblet he seizes:
    • “With this banquet in glory none other can vie,
    • And my regal heart well it pleases;
    • Yet the minstrel, the bringer of joy, is not here,
    • Whose melodious strains to my heart are so dear,
    • And whose words heav’nly wisdom inspire;
    • Since the days of my youth it hath been my delight,
    • And that which I ever have lov’d as a knight,
    • As a monarch I also require.”
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artist: alexander wagner.

THE COUNT OF HAPSBURG.

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    • And behold! ’mongst the princes who stand round the throne
    • Steps the bard, in his robe long and streaming,
    • While, bleach’d by the years that have over him flown,
    • His silver locks brightly are gleaming;
    • “Sweet harmony sleeps in the golden strings,
    • The minstrel of true love reward ever sings,
    • And adores what to virtue has tended—
    • What the bosom may wish, what the senses hold dear;
    • But say, what is worthy the Emperor’s ear
    • At this, of all feasts the most splendid?”
    • “No restraint would I place on the minstrel’s own choice,”
    • Speaks the monarch, a smile on each feature;
    • “He obeys the swift hour’s imperious voice,
    • Of a far greater lord is the creature.
    • For, as through the air the storm-wind on-speeds,—
    • One knows not from whence its wild roaring proceeds—
    • As the spring from hid sources up-leaping,
    • So the lay of the bard from the inner heart breaks—
    • While the might of sensations unknown it awakes,
    • That within us were wondrously sleeping.”
    • Then the bard swept the chords with a finger of might,
    • Evoking their magical sighing:
    • “To the chase once rode forth a valorous knight,
    • In pursuit of the antelope flying.
    • His hunting-spear bearing, there came in his train
    • His squire; and when o’er a wide-spreading plain
    • On his stately steed he was riding,
    • He heard in the distance a bell tinkling clear,
    • And a priest, with the Host, he saw soon drawing near,
    • While before him the sexton was striding.
    • “And low to the earth the Count then inclin’d,
    • Bar’d his head in humble submission,
    • To honor, with trusting and Christian-like mind,
    • What had sav’d the whole world from perdition.
    • But a brook o’er the plain was pursuing its course,
    • That, swell’d by the mountain stream’s headlong force,
    • Barr’d the wanderer’s steps with its current;
    • So the priest on one side the blest sacrament put,
    • And his sandal with nimbleness drew from his foot,
    • That he safely might pass through the torrent.
    • “ ‘What wouldst thou?’ the Count to him thus began,
    • His wond’ring look tow’rd him turning:
    • ‘My journey is, lord, to a dying man,
    • Who for heavenly diet is yearning;
    • But when to the bridge o’er the brook I came nigh,
    • In the whirl of the stream, as it madly rush’d by
    • With furious might, ’twas uprooted.
    • And so, that the sick the salvation may find
    • That he pants for, I haste with resolute mind
    • To wade through the waters barefooted.’
    • “Then the Count made him mount on his stately steed,
    • And the reins to his hands he confided,
    • That he duly might comfort the sick in his need,
    • And that each holy rite be provided.
    • And himself, on the back of the steed of his squire,
    • Went after the chase to his heart’s full desire,
    • While the priest on his journey was speeding;
    • And the following morning, with thankful look,
    • To the Count once again his charger he took,
    • Its bridle with modesty leading.
    • “ ‘God forbid that in chase or in battle,’ then cried
    • The Count with humility lowly,
    • ‘The steed I henceforward should dare to bestride
    • That hath borne my Creator so holy!
    • And if, as a guerdon, he may not be thine,
    • He devoted shall be to the service divine,
    • Proclaiming His infinite merit,
    • From whom I each honor and earthly good
    • Have receiv’d in fee, and my body and blood,
    • And my breath, and my life, and my spirit.’
    • “ ‘Then may God, the sure rock, whom no time can e’er move,
    • And who lists to the weak’s supplication,
    • For the honor thou pay’st Him, permit thee to prove
    • Honor here, and hereafter salvation!
    • Thou’rt a powerful Count, and thy knightly command
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    • Hath blazon’d thy fame thro’ the Switzer’s broad land;
    • Thou art blest with six daughters admir’d;
    • May they each in thy house introduce a bright crown,
    • Filling ages unborn with their glorious renown’—
    • Thus exclaim’d he in accents inspir’d.”
    • And the Emperor sat there all-thoughtfully,
    • While the dream of the past stood before him;
    • And when on the minstrel he turn’d his eye,
    • His words’ hidden meaning stole o’er him;
    • For seeing the traits of the priest there reveal’d,
    • In the folds of his purple-dyed robe he conceal’d
    • His tears as they swiftly cours’d down.
    • And all on the Emperor wond’ringly gaz’d,
    • And the blest dispensations of Providence prais’d,
    • For the Count and the Cæsar were one.

THE GLOVE. A TALE.

    • BEFORE his lion-court,
    • Impatient for the sport,
    • King Francis sat one day:
    • The peers of his realm sat around,
    • And in balcony high from the ground
    • Sat the ladies in beauteous array.
    • And when with his finger he beckon’d,
    • The gate open’d wide in a second,—
    • And in, with deliberate tread,
    • Enters a lion dread,
    • And looks around
    • Yet utters no sound;
    • Then long he yawns
    • And shakes his mane,
    • And, stretching each limb,
    • Down lies he again.
    • Again signs the king,—
    • The next gate open flies,
    • And, lo! with wild spring,
    • A tiger out hies.
    • When the lion he sees, loudly roars he about,
    • And a terrible circle his tail traces out.
    • Protruding his tongue, past the lion he walks,
    • And, snarling with rage, round him warily stalks:
    • Then, growling anew,
    • On one side lies down too.
    • Again signs the king,—
    • And two gates open fly,
    • And, lo! with one spring,
    • Two leopards out hie.
    • On the tiger they rush, for the fight nothing loth,
    • But he with his paws seizes hold of them both.
    • And the lion, with roaring, gets up,—then all’s still;
    • The fierce beasts stalk around, madly thirsting to kill.
    • From the balcony rais’d high above
    • A fair hand lets fall now a glove
    • Into the lists, where ’tis seen
    • The lion and the tiger between.
    • To the knight, Sir Delorges, in tone of jest,
    • Then speaks young Cunigund fair;
    • “Sir Knight, if the love that thou feel’st in thy breast
    • Is as warm as thou’rt wont at each moment to swear,
    • Pick up, I pray thee, the glove that lies there!”
    • And the knight, in a moment, with dauntless tread,
    • Jumps into the lists, nor seeks to linger,
    • And from out the midst of those monsters dread
    • Picks up the glove with a daring finger.
    • And the knights and ladies of high degree
    • With wonder and horror the action see.
    • While he quietly brings in his hand the glove.
    • The praise of his courage each mouth employs;
    • Meanwhile, with a tender look of love,
    • The promise to him of coming joys,
    • Fair Cunigund welcomes him back to his place.
    • But he threw the glove point-blank in her face:
    • “Lady, no thanks from thee I’ll receive!”
    • And that selfsame hour he took his leave.
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artist: eugen klimsch.

THE GLOVE.

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THE VEILED STATUE AT SAIS.

    • A YOUTH, impell’d by burning thirst for knowledge
    • To roam to Saïs, in fair Egypt’s land,
    • The priesthood’s secret learning to explore,
    • Had pass’d thro’ many a grade with eager haste,
    • And still was hurrying on with fond impatience.
    • Scarce could the Hierophant impose a rein
    • Upon his headlong efforts. “What avails
    • A part without a whole?” the youth exclaim’d;
    • “Can there be here a lesser or a greater?
    • The truth thou speak’st of, like mere earthly dross,
    • Is’t but a sum that can be held by man
    • In larger or in smaller quantity?
    • Surely ’tis changeless, indivisible;
    • Deprive a harmony of but one note,
    • Deprive the rainbow of one single color,
    • And all that will remain is nought, so long
    • As that one color, that one note, is wanting.”
    • While thus they converse held, they chanc’d to stand
    • Within the precincts of a lonely temple,
    • Where a veil’d statue of gigantic size
    • The youth’s attention caught. In wonderment
    • He turn’d him tow’rd his guide, and ask’d him, saying,
    • “What form is that conceal’d beneath yon veil?”
    • “Truth!” was the answer. “What!” the young man cried,
    • “When I am striving after Truth alone,
    • Seek’st thou to hide that very Truth from me?”
    • “The Godhead’s self alone can answer thee,”
    • Replied the Hierophant. “ ‘Let no rash mortal
    • Disturb this veil,’ said he, ‘till rais’d by me;
    • For he who dares with sacrilegious hand
    • To move the sacred mystic covering,
    • He’—said the Godhead—” “Well?”—
    • “ ‘will see the Truth.’ ”
    • “Strangely oracular, indeed! And thou
    • Hast never ventur’d, then, to raise the veil?”
    • “I? Truly not! I never even felt
    • The least desire.”—“Is’t possible? If I
    • Were sever’d from the Truth by nothing else
    • Than this thin gauze—” “And a divine decree,”
    • His guide broke in. “Far heavier than thou think’st
    • Is this thin gauze, my son. Light to thy hand
    • It may be—but most weighty to thy conscience.”
    • The youth now sought his home, absorb’d in thought;
    • His burning wish to solve the mystery
    • Banish’d all sleep; upon his couch he lay,
    • Tossing his fev’rish limbs. When midnight came,
    • He rose, and tow’rd the temple timidly,
    • Led by a mighty impulse, bent his way.
    • The walls he scal’d, and soon one active spring
    • Landed the daring boy beneath the dome.
    • Behold him now, in utter solitude,
    • Welcom’d by nought save fearful, deathlike silence,—
    • A silence which the echo of his steps
    • Alone disturbs, as through the vaults he paces.
    • Piercing an opening in the cupola,
    • The moon cast down her pale and silv’ry beams,
    • And, awful as a present deity,
    • Glitt’ring amid the darkness of the pile,
    • In its long veil conceal’d, the statue stands.
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    • With hesitating step, he now draws near—
    • His impious hand would fain remove the veil—
    • Sudden a burning chill assails his bones,
    • And then an unseen arm repulses him.
    • “Unhappy one, what would’st thou do?” Thus cries
    • A faithful voice within his trembling breast.
    • “Wouldst thou profanely violate the All-Holy?”—
    • “’Tis true the oracle declar’d, ‘Let none
    • Venture to raise the veil till rais’d by me.’
    • But did the oracle itself not add,
    • That he who did so would behold the Truth?
    • Whate’er is hid behind, I’ll raise the veil.”
    • And then he shouted: “Yes! I will behold it!”
    • “Behold it!”
    • Repeats in mocking tone the distant echo.
    • He speaks, and, with the word, lifts up the veil.
    • Would you inquire what form there met his eye?
    • I know not,—but when day appear’d, the priests
    • Found him extended senseless, pale as death,
    • Before the pedestal of Isis’ statue.
    • What had been seen and heard by him, when there,
    • He never would disclose, but from that hour
    • His happiness in life had fled forever,
    • And his deep sorrow soon conducted him
    • To an untimely grave. “Woe to that man,”
    • He, warning, said to ev’ry questioner,
    • “Woe to that man who wins the Truth by guilt,
    • For Truth so gain’d will ne’er reward its owner.”
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artist: joseph watter.

THE UNKNOWN MAIDEN.

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THE DIVISION OF THE EARTH.

    • “TAKE the world!” Zeus exclaim’d from his throne in the skies
    • To the children of man—“take the world I now give;
    • It shall ever remain as your heirloom and prize.
    • So divide it as brothers, and happily live.”
    • Then all who had hands sought their share to obtain,
    • The young and the aged made haste to appear;
    • The husbandman seiz’d on the fruits of the plain,
    • The youth thro’ the forest pursu’d the fleet deer.
    • The merchant took all that his warehouse could hold,
    • The abbot selected the last year’s best wine,
    • The king barr’d the bridges,—the highway’s control’d,
    • And said: “Now remember, the tithes shall be mine!”
    • But when the division long settled had been,
    • The poet drew nigh from a far distant land;
    • But alas! not a remnant was now to be seen,
    • Each thing on the earth own’d a master’s command.
    • “Alas! shall then I, of thy sons the most true,
    • Shall I, ’mongst them all, be forgotten alone?”
    • Thus loudly he cried in his anguish, and threw
    • Himself in despair before Jupiter’s throne.
    • “If thou in the region of dreams didst delay,
    • Complain not of me,” the Immortal replied;
    • “When the world was apportion’d, where then wert thou, pray?”
    • “I was,” said the poet, “I was—by thy side!
    • “Mine eye was then fix’d on thy features so bright,
    • Mine ear was entranc’d by thy harmony’s power;
    • Oh, pardon the spirit that, aw’d by thy light,
    • All things of the earth could forget in that hour!”
    • “What to do?” Zeus exclaim’d,—“for the world has been given;
    • The harvest, the market, the chase, are not free;
    • But if thou with me wilt abide in my heaven,
    • Whenever thou com’st, ’twill be open to thee!”

THE UNKNOWN MAIDEN.

    • IN a deep vale, ’mongst simple swains,
    • Appear’d with each returning spring,
    • Soon as the lark began his strains,
    • A maid, of beauty ravishing.
    • That vale was not her native-place,
    • And where she came from none could tell;
    • Yet of her steps was left no trace
    • Soon as the maiden said farewell.
    • Each heart was glad when she was seen,
    • With nobler aspirations fir’d;
    • And yet her grace, her lofty mien
    • With silent awe each breast inspir’d.
    • She with her brought both flowers and fruit,
    • But ripen’d in far distant plains,
    • Where warmer far the sunbeams shoot,
    • Where a more bounteous nature reigns.
    • Her gifts among them all she shar’d,—
    • To some gave fruit, gave flowers to some;
    • The youth, the old man silver-hair’d,
    • Alike rewarded sought their home.
    • To her was welcome every guest;
    • Yet if approach’d a loving pair,
    • To them she ever gave her best,
    • The flowers her store contain’d most fair.
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THE IDEAL AND LIFE.

    • VER CLEAR and smooth, and crystal-bright
    • Flows existence, zephyr-light,
    • In Olympus, where the blest recline.
    • Moons revolve, and ages pass away;
    • Changelessly ’mid ever-rife decay
    • Bloom the roses of their youth divine.
    • Man has but a sad choice left him now,
    • Sensual bliss and soul-repose-between;
    • But, upon the great Celestial’s brow,
    • Wedded is their lustre seen.
    • Wouldst thou here be like a deity,
    • In the realm of death be free,
    • Never seek to pluck its garden’s fruit!
    • On its beauty thou may’st feast thine eye;
    • Soon wild longing’s impulses will fly,
    • And enjoyment’s transient bliss pollute.
    • E’en the Styx, that nine times flows around,
    • Ceres’ child’s return could not delay,
    • But she grasp’d the apple,—and was bound
    • Evermore by Orcus’ sway.
    • Bodies only yonder powers can bind
    • By whom gloomy fate is twin’d;
    • But, set free from each restraint of time,
    • Blissful Nature’s playmate, Form, so bright,
    • Roams for ever o’er the plains of light,
    • ’Mongst the Deities, herself sublime.
    • Wouldst thou on her pinions soar on high,
    • Far away each earthly sorrow throw!
    • To the ideal realm for refuge fly
    • From this narrow life below!
    • Free from earthly stain, and ever young,
    • Blest Perfection’s rays among,
    • There humanity’s fair form is view’d,
    • As life’s silent phantoms brightly gleam
    • While they wander near the Stygian stream,
    • Or, as in the heav’nly fields they stood,
    • Ere the great Immortal went its way
    • Down to the sarcophagus so drear.
    • If in life the conflict-scales still sway
    • Doubtfully, the triumph’s here.
    • Not to free the weary limbs from strife,
    • Not to give the faint new life,
    • Blooms the fragrant wreath of victory;
    • Tho’ thy nerves may rest, yet, fierce and strong,
    • In its stream life bears thee still along,
    • In its whirling dance Time hurries thee.
    • But should courage’ daring wing not brook
    • Sad confinement’s painful sense to bear,
    • Then the soaring Aim with joy may look
    • Down from Beauty’s hill so fair.
    • If ’tis good to govern and defend,
    • Wrestlers bravely to contend
    • On the path of fortune or renown,—
    • Then let boldness wreak itself in force,
    • And the chariots on the dust-strown course
    • Blend together, as they thunder down.
    • Courage only here the prize can find
    • Of the victor in the Hippodrome,—
    • ’Tis the strong alone who Fate can bind
    • When the weak are overcome.
    • But although, when rocks its bed enclose,
    • Wildly foaming on it flows,
    • Softly, smoothly runs life’s gentle stream
    • Over Beauty’s silent shadow-land,
    • While, upon its silvery waters’ strand,
    • Hesper and Aurora paint each beam.
    • Melted into soft and mutual love,
    • Blended in the happy bond of grace,
    • Fiery impulses here cease to move,
    • And the foe has fled the place.
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    • If to animate what erst was dead,
    • If with matter now to wed,
    • Active genius kindles into flame,
    • Let then industry strain ev’ry nerve,
    • Let the thought’s courageous wrestling serve
    • E’en the hostile element to tame.
    • Truth’s deep-buried spring can only flow
    • To the steadfast will, that wearies ne’er;
    • Only to the chisel’s heavy blow
    • Yields the brittle marble e’er.
    • Piercing even into Beauty’s sphere,
    • In the dust still lingers here
    • Gravitation, with the world it sways;
    • Not from out the mass, with labor wrung,
    • Light and graceful, as from nothing sprung,
    • Stands the image to the ravish’d gaze.
    • Mute is ev’ry struggle, ev’ry doubt,
    • In the certain glow of victory;
    • While each witness hence is driven out
    • Of frail man’s necessity.
    • When thou seest the mighty precept plac’d
    • In Humanity’s sad waste,
    • Or when to the Holy, guilt draws nigh,
    • Then thy virtue well may pallid be
    • In the rays of truth,—despondingly
    • From the Ideal shamefaced action fly.
    • Nought created e’er surmounted this,
    • Not a bark, no bridge’s span can bear
    • Safely o’er that terrible abyss,
    • And no anchor catches there.
    • But, by fleeing from the sense confin’d
    • To the freedom of the mind,
    • Ev’ry dream of fear thou’lt find thence flown,
    • And the endless depth itself will fill;
    • If thou tak’st the Godhead in thy will,
    • ’Twill soar upwards from its earthly throne.
    • Servile minds alone, that scorn its sway,
    • Are subdu’d by precept’s rigid rod;
    • With the man’s resistance dies away
    • E’en the glory of the God.
    • When thou art weigh’d down by human care,
    • When the son of Priam there
    • Strives against the snakes with speechless pain,
    • Then let man revolt! Then let his cry
    • To the canopy of heav’n mount high,—
    • Let thy feeling heart be rent in twain!
    • Let the radiant cheek of joy turn pale,
    • Nature’s fearful voice triumphant be,
    • And let holy sympathy prevail
    • O’er thine immortality!
    • But in yonder blissful realms afar,
    • Where the forms unsullied are,
    • Sorrow’s mournful tempests cease to rave.
    • There reflection cannot pierce the soul,
    • Tears of anguish there no longer roll,
    • Nought remains but mind’s resistance brave.
    • Beauteous e’en as Iris’ color’d bow
    • On the thunder-cloud’s soft vaporous dew,
    • Glimm’ring through the dusky veil of woe
    • There is seen Rest’s radiant blue.
    • Great Alcides erst in endless strife
    • Trod the weary path of life,
    • Humbl’d e’en the coward’s slave to be,—
    • Hugg’d the lion, and the hydra fought;
    • Into Charon’s bark, he, dreading nought,
    • Plung’d alive, that he his friend might free.
    • All the heavy loads that earth brings forth,
    • On the shoulders of the hated one,
    • By the Goddess are heap’d up in wrath,
    • Till at length his race is run.
    • Till the God soars hence like some bright flame,
    • Casting off his earthly frame,
    • And the æther’s balmy incense drinks.
    • In his new unwonted pinions glad,
    • Upward flies he, and the vision sad
    • Life had fashion’d, sinks, and sinks, and sinks.
    • Harmony, that of Olympus speaks,
    • Hails the blest one where Kronīon lives,
    • And the Goddess with the rosy cheeks
    • Smilingly the chalice gives.
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Parables and Riddles

  • I.

    • ABRIDGE of pearls its form uprears
    • High o’er a grey and misty sea;
    • E’en in a moment it appears,
    • And rises upwards giddily.
    • Beneath its arch can find a road
    • The loftiest vessel’s mast most high,
    • Itself hath never borne a load,
    • And seems, when thou draw’st near, to fly.
    • It comes first with the stream, and goes
    • Soon as the wat’ry flood is dried.
    • Where may be found this bridge, disclose,
    • And who its beauteous form supplied!
  • II.

    • IT bears thee many a mile away,
    • And yet its place it changes ne’er;
    • It has no pinions to display,
    • And yet conducts thee through the air.
    • It is the bark of swiftest motion
    • That every weary wanderer bore;
    • With speed of thought the greatest ocean
    • It carries thee in safety o’er;
    • One moment wafts thee to the shore.
  • III.

    • UPON a spacious meadow play
    • Thousands of sheep, of silv’ry hue;
    • And as we see them move to-day,
    • The man most aged saw them too.
    • They ne’er grow old, and, from a rill
    • That never dries, their life is drawn;
    • A shepherd watches o’er them still,
    • With curv’d and beauteous silver horn.
    • He drives them out through gates of gold,
    • And ev’ry night their number counts;
    • Yet ne’er has lost, of all his fold,
    • One lamb, though oft that path he mounts.
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    • A hound attends him faithfully,
    • A nimble ram precedes the way;
    • Canst thou point out that flock to me,
    • And who the shepherd, canst thou say?
  • IV.

    • There stands a dwelling, vast and tall,
    • On unseen columns fair;
    • No wanderer treads or leaves its hall,
    • And none can linger there.
    • Its wondrous structure first was plann’d
    • With art no mortal knows;
    • It lights the lamps with its own hand
    • ’Mongst which it brightly glows.
    • It has a roof, as crystal bright,
    • Form’d of one gem of dazzling light;
    • Yet mortal eye has ne’er
    • Seen Him who plac’d it there.
  • V.

    • Within a well two buckets lie,
    • One mounts, and one descends;
    • When one is full, and rises high,
    • The other downward wends.
    • They wander ever to and fro—
    • Now empty are, now overflow.
    • If to the mouth thou liftest this,
    • That hangs within the dark abyss.
    • In the same moment they can ne’er
    • Refresh thee with their treasures fair.
  • VI.

    • Know’st thou the form on tender ground?
    • It gives itself its glow, its light;
    • And though each moment changing found,
    • Is ever whole and ever bright.
    • In narrow compass ’tis confin’d,
    • Within the smallest frame it lies;
    • Yet all things great that move thy mind,
    • That form alone to thee supplies.
    • And canst thou, too, the crystal name?
    • No gem can equal it in worth;
    • It gleams, yet kindles ne’er to flame,
    • It sucks in even all the earth.
    • Within its bright and wondrous ring
    • Is pictur’d forth the glow of heaven,
    • And yet it mirrors back each thing
    • Far fairer than to it ’twas given.
  • VII.

    • For ages an edifice here has been found,
    • It is not a dwelling, it is not a fane;
    • A horseman for hundreds of days may ride round,
    • Yet the end of his journey he ne’er can attain.
    • Full many a century o’er it has pass’d,
    • The might of the storm and of time it defies;
    • ’Neath the rainbow of Heaven stands free to the last,—
    • In the ocean it dips, and soars up to the skies.
    • It was not vain glory that bade its erection,
    • It serves as a refuge, a shield, a protection;
    • Its like on the earth never yet has been known
    • And yet by man’s hand it is fashion’d alone.
  • VIII.

    • Amongst all serpents there is one
    • Born of no earthly breed;
    • In fury wild it stands alone,
    • And in its matchless speed
    • With fearful voice and headlong force
    • It rushes on its prey,
    • And sweeps the rider and his horse
    • In one fell swoop away.
    • The highest point it loves to gain;
    • And neither bar nor lock
    • Its fiery onslaught can restrain:
    • And arms—invite its shock.
    • It tears in twain like tender grass,
    • The strongest forest-tree;
    • It grinds to dust the harden’d brass,
    • Though stout and firm it be.
    • And yet this beast, that none can tame,
    • Its threat ne’er twice fulfils;
    • It dies in its self-kindl’d flame,
    • And dies e’en when it kills.
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  • IX.

    • We children six our being had
    • From a most strange and wondrous pair,
    • Our mother ever grave and sad,
    • Our father ever free from care.
    • Our virtues we from both receive,—
    • Meekness from her, from him our light;
    • And so in endless youth we weave
    • Round thee a circling figure bright.
    • We ever shun the caverns black,
    • And revel in the glowing day;
    • ’Tis we who light the world’s dark track,
    • With our life’s clear and magic ray.
    • Spring’s joyful harbingers are we,
    • And her inspiring strains we swell;
    • And so the house of death we flee,
    • For life alone must round us dwell.
    • Without us is no perfect bliss,
    • When man is glad, we, too, attend,
    • And when a monarch worshipp’d is,
    • To him our majesty we lend.
  • X.

    • What is the thing esteem’d by few?
    • The monarch’s hand it decks with pride,
    • Yet it is made to injure too,
    • And to the sword is most allied.
    • No blood it sheds, yet many a wound
    • Inflicts,—gives wealth, yet takes from none;
    • Has vanquish’d e’en the earth’s wide round,
    • And makes life’s current smoothly run.
    • The greatest kingdoms it has fram’d,
    • The oldest cities rear’d from dust,
    • Yet war’s fierce torch has ne’er inflam’d;
    • Happy are they who in it trust!
  • XI.

  • I live within a dwelling of stone,
  • There buried in slumber I dally;
  • Yet, arm’d with a weapon of iron alone,
  • The foe to encounter I sally.
  • At first I’m invisible, feeble, and mean,
  • And o’er me thy breath has dominion;
  • I’m easily drown’d in a rain-drop e’en,
  • Yet in victory waxes my pinion.
  • When my sister, all-powerful, gives me her hand,
  • To the terrible lord of the world I expand.
  • XII.

  • Upon a disk my course I trace,
  • There restlessly forever flit;
  • Small is the circuit I embrace,
  • Two hands suffice to cover it.
  • Yet ere that field I traverse, I
  • Full many a thousand mile must go,
  • E’en though with tempest-speed I fly,
  • Swifter than arrow from a bow.
  • XIII.

  • A bird it is, whose rapid motion
  • With eagle’s flight divides the air;
  • A fish it is, and parts the ocean,
  • That bore a greater monster ne’er;
  • An elephant it is, whose rider
  • On his broad back a tower has put:
  • ’Tis like the reptile base, the spider,
  • Whenever it extends its foot;
  • And when, with iron tooth projecting,
  • It seeks its own life-blood to drain,
  • On footing firm, itself erecting,
  • It braves the raging hurricane.
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THE WALK.

    • HAIL to thee, mountain belov’d, with thy glittering purple-dyed summit!
    • Hail to thee also, fair sun, looking so lovingly on!
    • Thee, too, I hail, thou smiling plain, and ye murmuring lindens,
    • Ay, and the chorus so glad, cradl’d on yonder high boughs;
    • Thee, too, peaceable azure, in infinite measure extending
    • Round the dusky-hued mount, over the forest so green,—
    • Round about me, who now from my chamber’s confinement escaping,
    • And from vain frivolous talk, gladly seek refuge with thee.
    • Through me to quicken me runs the balsamic stream of thy breezes,
    • While the energetical light freshens the gaze as it thirsts.
    • Bright o’er the blooming meadow the changeable colors are gleaming,
    • But the strife, full of charms, in its own grace melts away.
    • Freely the plain receives me, with carpet far away reaching,
    • Over its friendly green wanders the pathway along.
    • Round me is humming the busy bee, and with pinion uncertain
    • Hovers the butterfly gay over the trefoil’s red flow’r.
    • Fiercely the darts of the sun fall on me,—the zephyr is silent,
    • Only the song of the lark echoes athwart the clear air.
    • Now from the neighboring copse comes a roar, and the tops of the alders
    • Bend low down,—in the wind dances the silvery grass;
    • Night ambrosial circles me round; in the coolness so fragrant
    • Greets me a beauteous roof, form’d by the beeches’ sweet shade.
    • In the depths of the wood the landscape suddenly leaves me,
    • And a serpentine path guides up my footsteps on high.
    • Only by stealth can the light through the leafy trellis of branches
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    • Sparingly pierce, and the blue smilingly peeps through the boughs.
    • But in a moment the veil is rent, and the opening forest
    • Suddenly gives back the day’s glittering brightness to me!
    • Boundlessly seems the distance before my gaze to be stretching,
    • And in a purple-ting’d hill terminates sweetly the world.
    • Deep at the foot of the mountain, that under me falls away steeply,
    • Wanders the greenish-hued stream, looking like glass as it flows.
    • Endlessly under me see I the Æther, and endlessly o’er me,—
    • Giddily look I above, shudd’ringly look I below.
    • But between the infinite height and the infinite hollow
    • Safely the wanderer moves over a well-guarded path.
    • Smilingly past me are flying the banks all-teeming with riches,
    • And the valley so bright boasts of its industry glad.
    • See how yonder hedgerows that sever the farmer’s possessions
    • Have by Demeter been work’d into the tapestried plain!
    • Kindly decree of the law, of the Deity mortal-sustaining,
    • Since from the brazen world Love vanish’d for ever away.
    • But in freer windings the measur’d pastures are travers’d
    • (Now swallow’d up in the wood, now climbing up to the hills)
    • By a glimmering streak, the highway that knits lands together;
    • Over the smooth-flowing stream, quietly glide on the rafts.
    • Ofttimes resound the bells of the flocks in the fields that seem living,
    • And the shepherd’s lone song wakens the echo again.
    • Joyous villages crown the stream, in the copse others vanish,
    • While from the back of the mount, others plunge wildly below.
    • Man still lives with the land in neighborly friendship united,
    • And round his sheltering roof calmly repose still his fields;
    • Trustingly climbs the vine high over the lowreaching window,
    • While round the cottage the tree circles its far-stretching boughs.
    • Happy race of the plain! Not yet awaken’d to freedom,
    • Thou and thy pastures with joy share in the limited law;
    • Bounded thy wishes all are by the harvest’s peaceable circuit,
    • And thy lifetime is spent e’en as the task of the day!
    • But what suddenly hides the beauteous view? A strange spirit
    • Over the still-stranger plain spreads itself quickly afar—
    • Coyly separates now, what scarce had lovingly mingled,
    • And ’tis the like that alone joins itself on to the like.
    • Orders I see depicted; the haughty tribes of the poplars
    • Marshal’d in regular pomp, stately and beauteous appear.
    • All gives token of rule and choice, and all has its meaning,—
    • ’Tis this uniform plan points out the Ruler to me.
    • Brightly the glittering domes in far-away distance proclaim him.
    • Out of the kernel of rocks rises the city’s high wall.
    • Into the desert without, the Fauns of the forest are driven,
    • But by devotion is lent life more sublime to the stone.
    • Man is brought into nearer union with man, and around him
    • Closer, more actively wakes, swifter moves in him the world.
    • See! the emulous forces in fiery conflict are kindl’d,
    • Much they effect when they strive, more they effect when they join.
    • Thousands of hands by one spirit are mov’d, yet in thousands of bosoms
    • Beats one heart all alone, by but one feeling inspir’d—
    • Beats for their native land, and glows for their ancestors’ precepts;
    • Here on the well-belov’d spot, rest now their time-honor’d bones.
    • Down from the heavens descends the blessèd troop of Immortals,
    • In the bright circle divine making their festal abode;
    • Granting glorious gifts, they appear: and first of all, Ceres
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artist: rudolph schuster.

THE WALK.

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    • Offers the gift of the plough, Hermes the anchor brings next,
    • Bacchus the grape, and Minerva the verdant olive-tree’s branches,
    • Even his charger of war brings there Poseidon as well.
    • Mother Cybele yokes to the pole of her chariot the lions,
    • And through the wide-open door comes as a citizen in.
    • Sacred stones! ’Tis from ye that proceed Humanity’s founders,
    • Morals and arts ye sent forth, e’en to the ocean’s far isles.
    • ’Twas at these friendly gates that the law was spoken by sages;
    • In their Penates’ defence, heroes rush’d out to the fray.
    • On the high walls appear’d the mothers, embracing their infants,
    • Looking after the march, till in the distance ’twas lost.
    • Then in prayer they threw themselves down at the Deities’ altars,
    • Praying for triumph and fame, praying for your safe return.
    • Honor and triumph were yours, but nought return’d save your glory,
    • And by a heart-touching stone, told are your valorous deeds.
    • “Traveler! when thou com’st to Sparta, proclaim to the people
    • That thou hast seen us lie here, as by the law we were bid.”
    • Slumber calmly, ye lov’d ones! for sprinkl’d o’er by your life-blood,
    • Flourish the olive-trees there, joyously sprouts the good seed.
    • In its possessions exulting, industry gladly is kindl’d,
    • And from the sedge of the stream smilingly signs the blue God.
    • Crushingly falls the axe on the tree, the Dryad sighs sadly;
    • Down from the crest of the mount plunges the thundering load.
    • Wing’d by the lever, the stone from the rocky crevice is loosen’d;
    • Into the mountain’s abyss boldly the miner descends.
    • Mulciber’s anvil resounds with the measur’d stroke of the hammer;
    • Under the fist’s nervous blow, spurt out the sparks of the steel.
    • Brilliantly twines the golden flax round the swift-whirling spindles,
    • Through the strings of the yarn whizzes the shuttle away.
    • Far in the roads the pilot calls, and the vessels are waiting,
    • That to the foreigner’s land carry the produce of home;
    • Others gladly approach with the treasures of far-distant regions,
    • High on the mast’s lofty head flutters the garland of mirth.
    • See how yon markets, those centres of life and of gladness, are swarming!
    • Strange confusion of tongues sounds in the wondering ear.
    • On to the pile the wealth of the earth is heap’d by the merchant,
    • All that the sun’s scorching rays bring forth on Africa’s soil,
    • All that Arabia prepares, that the uttermost Thule produces,
    • High with heart-gladdening stores fills Amalthea her horn.
    • Fortune wedded to Talent gives birth there to children immortal,
    • Suckl’d in Liberty’s arms, flourish the Arts there of joy.
    • With the image of life the eyes by the sculptor are ravish’d,
    • And by the chisel inspir’d, speaks e’en the sensitive stone.
    • Skies artificial repose on slender Ionian columns,
    • And a Pantheon includes all that Olympus contains.
    • Light as the rainbow’s spring through the air, as the dart from the bowstring,
    • Leaps the yoke of the bridge over the boisterous stream.
    • But in his silent chamber the thoughtful sage is projecting
    • Magical circles, and steals e’en on the spirit that forms,
    • Proves the force of matter, the hatreds and loves of the magnet,
    • Follows the tune through the air, follows through æther the ray,
    • Seeks the familiar law in chance’s miracles dreaded,
    • Looks for the ne’er-changing pole in the phenomena’s flight.
    • Bodies and voices are lent by writing to thought ever silent,
    • Over the centuries’ stream bears it the eloquent page.
    • Then to the wondering gaze dissolves the cloud of the fancy,
    • And the vain phantoms of night yield to the dawning of day.
    • Man now breaks through his fetters, the happy One! oh, let him never
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    • Break from the bridle of shame, when from fear’s fetters he breaks!
    • Freedom! is Reason’s cry,—ay, Freedom! The wild raging passions
    • Eagerly cast off the bonds nature divine had impos’d.
    • Ah! in the tempest the anchors break loose, that warningly held him
    • On to the shore, and the stream tears him along in its flood,—
    • Into infinity whirls him,—the coasts soon vanish before him,
    • High on the mountainous waves rocks all-dismasted the bark;
    • Under the clouds are hid the steadfast stars of the chariot,
    • Nought now remains,—in the breast even the God goes astray.
    • Truth disappears from language, from life all faith and all honor
    • Vanish, and even the oath is but a lie on the lips.
    • Into the heart’s most trusty bond, and into love’s secrets,
    • Presses the sycophant base, tearing the friend from the friend.
    • Treason on Innocence leers, with looks that seek to devour,
    • And the fell slanderer’s tooth kills with its poisonous bite.
    • In the dishonor’d bosom, thought is now venal, and love, too,
    • Scatters abroad to the winds, feelings once God-like and free.
    • All thy holy symbols, O Truth, Deceit has adopted,
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    • And has e’en dar’d to pollute Nature’s own voices so fair,
    • That the craving heart in the tumult of gladness discovers;
    • True sensations are now mute and can scarcely be heard.
    • Justice boasts at the tribune, and Harmony vaunts in the cottage,
    • While the ghost of the law stands at the throne of the king.
    • Years together, ay, centuries long, may the mummy continue,
    • And the deception endure, aping the fulness of life.
    • Until Nature awakes, and with hands all-brazen and heavy
    • ’Gainst the hollow-form’d pile Time and Necessity strikes.
    • Like a tigress, who, bursting the massive grating of iron,
    • Of her Numidian wood suddenly, fearfully thinks,—
    • So with the fury of crime and anguish, humanity rises,
    • Hoping nature, long-lost, in the town’s ashes to find.
    • Oh, then open, ye walls, and set the captive at freedom!
    • To the long desolate plains let him in safety return!
    • But where am I? The path is now hid, declivities rugged
    • Bar, with their wide-yawning gulfs, progress before and behind.
    • Now far behind me is left the gardens’ and hedges’ sure escort,
    • Every trace of man’s hand also remains far behind.
    • Only the matter I see pil’d up, whence life has its issue,
    • And the raw mass of basalt waits for a fashioning hand.
    • Down through its channel of rock the torrent roaringly rushes,
    • Angrily forcing a path under the roots of the trees.
    • All is here wild and fearfully desolate. Nought but the eagle
    • Hangs in the lone realms of air, knitting the world to the clouds.
    • Not one zephyr on soaring pinion conveys to my hearing
    • Echoes, however remote, marking man’s pleasures and pains.
    • Am I in truth, then, alone? Within thine arms, on thy bosom,
    • Nature, I lie once again!—Ah, and ’twas only a dream
    • That assail’d me with horrors so fearful; with life’s dreaded phantom,
    • And with the down-rushing vale, vanish’d the gloomy one too.
    • Purer my life I receive again from thine altar unsullied,—
    • Purer receive the bright glow felt by my youth’s hopeful days.
    • Ever the will is changing its aim and its rule, while for ever,
    • In a still varying form, actions revolve round themselves.
    • But in enduring youth, in beauty ever renewing,
    • Kindly Nature, with grace thou dost revere the old law!
    • Ever the same, for the man in thy faithful hands thou preservest
    • That which the child in its sport, that which the youth lent to thee;
    • At the same breast thou dost suckle the ceaselessly varying ages;
    • Under the same azure vault, over the same verdant earth,
    • Races, near and remote, in harmony wander together,—
    • See, even Homer’s own sun looks on us, too, with a smile!
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THE SONG OF THE BELL. Vivos Voco. Mortuos Plango. Fulgura Frango.

  • WALL’D securely in the ground,
  • Stands the mould of well-bak’d clay:
  • Comrades, at your task be found!
  • We must cast the Bell to-day!
  • From the burning brow
  • Sweat must run, I trow,
  • Would we have our work commended—
  • Blessings must be heaven-descended.
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artist: julius benczur.

THE SONG OF THE BELL.

the fair bride.

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    • A solemn word may well befit
    • The task we solemnly prepare;
    • When goodly converse hallows it,
    • The labor flows on gladly there.
    • Let us observe with careful eyes
    • What thro’ deficient strength escapes;
    • The thoughtless man we must despise,
    • Who disregards the thing he shapes.
    • This forms a man’s chief attribute,
    • And Reason is to him assign’d
    • That what his hand may execute,
    • Within his heart, too, he should find.
    • Heap ye up the pinewood first,
    • Yet full dry it needs must be,
    • That the smother’d flame may burst
    • Fiercely through the cavity!
    • Let the copper brew!
    • Quick the tin add, too,
    • That the tough bell-metal may
    • Fuse there in the proper way!
    • The Bell that in the dam’s deep hole
    • Our hands with help of fire prepare,
    • From the high belfry-tower will toll,
    • And witness of us loudly bear.
    • ’Twill there endure till distant days,
    • On many an ear its sounds will dwell,
    • Sad wailings with the mourner raise,—
    • The chorus of devotion swell.
    • Whatever changeful fate may bring
    • To be man’s portion here below,
    • Against its metal crown will ring,
    • And through the nations echoing go.
    • Bubbles white I see ascend;
    • Good! the heap dissolves at last;
    • Let the potash with it blend,
    • Urging on the fusion fast.
    • Foam and bubble-free
    • Must the mixture be,
    • That from metal void of stain
    • Pure and full may rise the strain.
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    • For in a song with gladness rife
    • The cherish’d child it loves to greet,
    • When first he treads the path of life,
    • Wrapt in the arms of slumbers sweet;
    • His coming fate of joy or gloom
    • Lies buried in the future’s womb;
    • The tender cares that mothers prove
    • His golden morning guard with love:
    • The years with arrowy swiftness fleet.
    • The proud boy bids the maid adieu,
    • And into life with wildness flies,
    • The world on pilgrim’s-staff roams through,—
    • Then as a stranger homeward hies;
    • And gracefully, in beauty’s pride,
    • Like to some heav’nly image fair,
    • Her modest cheeks with blushes dyed,
    • He sees the maiden standing there.
    • A nameless yearning now appears
    • And fills his heart; alone he strays,
    • His eyes are ever moist with tears,
    • He shuns his brothers’ noisy plays;
    • Her steps he blushingly pursues,
    • And by her greeting is made blest,
    • Gathers the flowers of fairest hues,
    • With which to deck his true love’s breast.
    • Oh, tender yearning, blissful hope,
    • Thou golden time of love’s young day!
    • Heav’n seems before the eye to ope,
    • The heart in rapture melts away.
    • Oh may it ever verdant prove,
    • That radiant time of early love!
    • Dusky-hued becomes each pipe!
    • Let me plunge this rod in here:
    • All for casting will be ripe
    • When we see it glaz’d appear.
    • Comrades, stand ye by!
    • Now the mixture try,
    • If the brittle will combine
    • With the soft—propitious sign!
    • For there is heard a joyous sound
    • Where sternness is with softness bound,
    • Where joins the gentle with the strong,
    • Who binds himself for ever, he
    • Should prove if heart and heart agree!
    • The dream is short, repentance long.
    • Through the bride’s fair locks so dear
    • Twines the virgin chaplet bright,
    • When the church-bells, ringing clear,
    • To the joyous feast invite.
    • Ah! life’s happiest festival
    • Needs must end life’s happy May;
    • With the veil and girdle, all
    • Those sweet visions fade away.
    • Though passion may fly,
    • Yet love must remain;
    • Though the flow’ret may die,
    • Yet the fruit scents the plain.
    • Man must gird for his race
    • Through the stern paths of life,
    • Midst turmoil and strife,
    • Must plant and must form,
    • Gain by cunning or storm;
    • Must wager and dare,
    • Would he reach fortune e’er.
    • Then wealth without ending upon him soon pours,
    • His granaries all overflow with rich stores:
    • The room is enlarged, and his house grows apace;
    • And o’er it is ruling
    • The housewife so modest,
    • His children’s dear mother;
    • And wisely she governs
    • The circle of home.
    • The maidens she trains,
    • And the boys she restrains,
    • Keeps plying for ever
    • Her hands that flag never,
    • And wealth helps to raise
    • With her orderly ways;
    • The sweet-scented presses with treasures piles high,
    • Bids the thread round the fast-whirling spindle to fly;
    • The cleanly and bright-polish’d chest she heaps full
    • With the flax white as snow, and the glistening wool;
    • All glitter and splendor ordains for the best,
    • And takes no rest.
    • And the father, with rapturous gaze,
    • From the far-seeing roof of his dwelling,
    • All his blossoming riches surveys;
    • Sees each projecting pillar and post,
    • Sees his barns, that of wealth seem to boast;
    • Sees each storehouse, by blessings down-borne,
    • And the billow-like waving corn,—
    • Cries with exulting face:
    • “Firm as the earth’s firm base,
    • ’Gainst all misfortune’s powers
    • Proudly my house now towers!”—
    • But with mighty destiny
    • Union sure there ne’er can be;
    • Woe advances rapidly.
    • Let the casting be begun!
    • Trac’d already is the breach;
    • Yet before we let it run,
    • Heaven’s protecting aid beseech!
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artist: julius benczur.

THE SONG OF THE BELL.

the modest housewife.

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    • Let the plug now fly!
    • May God’s help be nigh!
    • In the mould all-smoking rush
    • Fire-brown billows with fierce gush.
    • Beneficent the might of flame,
    • When ’tis by man watch’d o’er, made tame;
    • For to this heav’nly power he owes
    • All his creative genius knows;
    • Yet terrible that power will be,
    • When from its fetters it breaks free,
    • Treads its own path with passion wild,
    • As nature’s free and reckless child.
    • Woe, if it casts off its chains,
    • And, without resistance, growing,
    • Through the crowded streets and lanes
    • Spreads the blaze, all fiercely glowing!
    • For the elements still hate
    • All that mortal hands create.
    • From the clouds all blessings rill,
    • ’Tis the clouds that rain distil;
    • From the clouds, with quivering beams,
    • Lightning gleams.
    • From you tower the wailing sound
    • Spreads the fire alarm around!
    • Blood-red, lo!
    • Are the skies!
    • But ’tis not the day’s clear glow!
    • Smoke up-flies!
    • Loud the shout
    • Round about!
    • High the fiery column glows,
    • Through the streets’ far-stretching rows
    • On with lightning speed it goes.
    • Hot, as from an oven’s womb,
    • Burns the air, while beams consume,
    • Windows rattle, pillars fall,
    • Children wail and mothers call.
    • Beasts are groaning,
    • Underneath the ruins moaning,
    • All their safety seek in flight,
    • Day-clear lighted is the night.
    • Through the hands’ extended chain
    • Flies the bucket on amain;
    • Floods of water high are thrown;
    • Howling comes the tempest on,
    • Roaring in the flames’ pursuit,
    • Crackling on the wither’d fruit
    • Falls it,—on the granary,
    • On the rafters’ timber dry.
    • And, as if earth’s heavy weight
    • Seeking in its flight to bear,
    • Mounts it, as a giant great,
    • Wildly through the realms of air.
    • Man now loses hope at length,
    • Yielding to immortal strength;
    • Idly, and with wond’ring gaze,
    • All the wreck he now surveys.
    • Burnt to ashes is the stead,
    • Now the wildstorm’s rugged bed,
    • In the empty window-panes
    • Shudd’ring horror now remains,
    • And the clouds of heaven above
    • Peep in, as they onward move.
    • Upon the grave where buried lies
    • His earthly wealth, his longing eyes
    • The man one ling’ring moment throws,
    • Then, as a pilgrim, gladly goes.
    • Whate’er the fierce flames may destroy,
    • One consolation sweet is left;
    • His lov’d ones’ heads he counts,—and, Joy!—
    • He is not e’en of one bereft!
    • In the earth it now has pour’d,
    • And the mould has fill’d aright;
    • Skill and labor to reward,
    • Will it beauteous come to light?
    • If the mould should crack?
    • If the casting lack?
    • While we hope, e’en now, alas,
    • Mischief may have come to pass!
    • To the dark womb of holy earth
    • We trust what issues from our hand
    • As trusts the sower to the land
    • His seed, in hope ’twill have its birth
    • To bless us, true to Heaven’s command.
    • Seed still more precious in the womb
    • Of earth we trusting hide, and wait
    • In hope that even from the tomb
    • ’Twill blossom to a happier fate.
    • Sad and heavy from the dome
    • Hark! the Bell’s death-wailings come.
    • Solemnly the strains, with sorrow fraught,
    • On her way a pilgrim now escort.
    • For a mother tolls the Bell!
    • For a fond wife sounds the knell!
    • Death, regardless of her charms,
    • Tears her from her husband’s arms,
    • From her children tears her too,
    • Offspring of affection true,
    • Whom she cherish’d with the love
    • None but mothers e’er can prove.
    • All the ties their hearts uniting
    • Are dissolv’d for evermore;
    • She whose smile that home was lighting
    • Wanders on oblivion’s shore.
    • Who will now avert each danger?
    • Who will now each care dispel?
    • In her seat will sit a stranger—
    • She can never love so well!
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    • Till the Bell has cool’d aright,
    • Let the arduous labor rest;
    • As the bird midst foliage bright
    • Flutters, each may thus be blest.
    • When the daylight wanes,
    • Free from duty’s chains
    • Workmen hear the vesper chime;
    • Masters have for rest no time.
    • Gladly hies the wanderer fast,
    • Through the forest-glades so deep,
    • Tow’rd his own lov’d cot at last.
    • Bleating homeward go the sheep;
    • Broad-brow’d, smooth-skinn’d cattle, all
    • Bellowing come, and fill each stall.
    • Home returns the heavy wain,
    • Stagg’ring ’neath its load of grain.
    • Many-hued, the garlands lie
    • On the sheaves, while gladly fly
    • To the dance the reaper-boys,—
    • Hush’d each street and market noise,
    • Round the candle’s social light
    • All the household now unite.
    • Creakingly the town-gates close,
    • Darkness its black mantle throws
    • O’er the earth; but yet the night,
    • Though it fills the bad with awe,
    • Gives the townsman no affright,
    • For he trusts the wakeful law.
    • Holy Order, blessing rife,
    • Heaven’s own child, by whom in life
    • Equals joyously are bound,
    • And whose task ’tis towns to found,—
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    • Who the wandering savage led
    • From the plains he used to tread,
    • Enter’d the rude huts of men,
    • Softening their wild habits then,
    • And who wove that dearest band,—
    • Love for home and fatherland!
    • Thousand busy hands are plying,
    • Into loving union thrown,
    • And, in fiery motion vieing,
    • All the forces here are known.
    • Under freedom’s shelter holy
    • Man and master now unite,
    • Love their stations, high or lowly,
    • And defy the scorner’s might.
    • Blessings are our labor’s guerdon,
    • Work adorns the townsman most;
    • Honor is a king’s chief burden,
    • We in hands industrious boast.
    • Peace all-lovely!
    • Blissful concord!
    • Linger, linger
    • Kindly over this our town!
    • May we ne’er the sad day witness
    • When the hordes of cruel warriors
    • Wildly tread this silent valley;
    • When the heavens,
    • That the eve’s bright colors blending
    • Softly gild
    • With the light of flames ascending,
    • From the burning towns are fill’d!
    • Let us now the mould destroy,
    • Well it has fulfill’d its part,
    • That the beauteous shape with joy
    • May inspire both eye and heart.
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    • Wield the hammer, wield,
    • Till the mantle yield!
    • Would we raise the Bell on high,
    • Must the mould to atoms fly.
    • The founder may destroy the mould
    • With cunning hand, if time it be;
    • But woe, if, raging uncontrol’d,
    • The glowing bronze itself should free!
    • Blind-raging, like the crashing thunder,
    • It bursts its tenement asunder,
    • And, as from open jaws of hell,
    • Around it spews destruction fell.
    • Where forces rule with senseless might,
    • No structure there can come to light;
    • When mobs themselves for freedom strive,
    • True happiness can never thrive.
    • Woe, when within a city’s walls,
    • Where firebrands secretly are pil’d,
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    • The people, bursting from their thralls,
    • Tread their own path with fury wild!
    • Sedition then the Bell surrounds,
    • And bids it yield a howling tone;
    • And, meant for none but peaceful sounds,
    • The signal to the fray spurs on.
    • “Freedom! Equality!” they shout;
    • The peaceful townsman grasps his arms.
    • Mobs stand the streets and halls about,
    • The place with bands of murderers swarms.
    • Into hyenas women grow,
    • From horrors their amusement draw;
    • The heart, still quivering, of the foe
    • With panther’s teeth they fiercely gnaw.
    • All that is holy is effac’d,
    • Rent are the bonds of modesty;
    • The good is by the bad replac’d,
    • And crime from all restraint is free.
    • Death-fraught the tiger’s tooth appears,
    • To wake the lion madness seems,
    • Yet the most fearful of all fears
    • Is man obeying his wild dreams.
    • Woe be to him who, to the blind,
    • The heav’nly torch of light conveys!
    • It throws no radiance on his mind,
    • But land and town in ashes lays.
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    • God hath hearken’d to my vow!
    • See, how like a star of gold
    • Peels the metal kernel now,
    • Smooth and glistening from the mould!
    • E’en from crown to base
    • Sunlike gleams its face,
    • While the scutcheons, fairly plann’d,
    • Praise the skilful artist’s hand.
    • Now let us gather round the frame!
    • The ring let ev’ry workman swell,
    • That we may consecrate the Bell!
    • Concordia be henceforth its name,
    • Assembling all the loving throng
    • In harmony and union strong!
    • And this be the vocation fit
    • For which the founder fashion’d it!
    • High, high above earth’s life, earth’s labor,
    • E’en to the heav’ns’ blue vault to soar,
    • To hover as the thunder’s neighbor,
    • The very firmament explore;
    • To be a voice as from above,
    • Like yonder stars so bright and clear,
    • That praise their Maker as they move
    • And usher in the circling year.
    • Tun’d be its metal mouth alone
    • To things eternal and sublime,
    • And, as the swift-wing’d hours speed on,
    • May it record the flight of time!
    • Its tongue to Fate it well may lend;
    • Heartless itself, and feeling nought,
    • May with its warning notes attend
    • On human life, with change so fraught.
    • And, as the strains die on the ear
    • That it peals forth with tuneful might,
    • So let it teach that nought lasts here,
    • That all things earthly take their flight!
    • Now then, with the rope so strong,
    • From the vault the Bell upweigh,
    • That it gains the realms of song,
    • And the heav’nly light of day!
    • All hands nimbly ply!
    • Now it mounts on high!
    • To this city Joy reveals,—
    • Peace be the first strain it peals!
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THE POWER OF SONG.

    • THE foaming stream from out the rock
    • With thunder roar begins to rush,—
    • The oak falls prostrate at the shock,
    • And mountain-wrecks attend the gush.
    • With rapturous awe, in wonder lost,
    • The wanderer hearkens to the sound;
    • From cliff to cliff he hears it toss’d,
    • Yet knows not whither it is bound:
    • ’Tis thus that song’s bright waters pour
    • From sources never known before.
    • In union with those dreaded ones
    • That spin life’s thread all-silently,—
    • Who can resist the singer’s tones?
    • Who from his magic set him free?
    • With wand like that the Gods bestow,
    • He guides the heaving bosom’s chords,
    • He steeps it in the realms below,
    • He bears it, wondering, heavenwards,
    • And rocks it, ’twixt the grave and gay,
    • On Feeling’s scales that trembling sway.
    • As when, before the startl’d eyes
    • Of some glad throng, mysteriously,
    • With giant-step, in spirit-guise,
    • Appears a wondrous Deity;
    • Then bows each greatness of the earth
    • Before the stranger, heaven-born,
    • Mute are the thoughtless sounds of mirth,
    • While from each face the mask is torn,
    • And from the truth’s triumphant might
    • Each work of falsehood takes to flight:
    • So, from each idle burden free,
    • When summon’d by the voice of song,
    • Man soars to spirit-dignity,
    • Receiving force divinely strong:
    • Among the Gods is now his home,
    • Nought earthly ventures to approach—
    • All other powers must now be dumb,
    • No fate can on his realms encroach;
    • Care’s gloomy wrinkles disappear,
    • Whilst Music’s charms still linger here.
    • As, after long and hopeless yearning,
    • And separation’s bitter smart,
    • A child, with tears repentant burning,
    • Clings fondly to his mother’s heart—
    • So to his youthful happy dwelling,
    • To rapture pure and free from stain,
    • All strange and false conceits expelling,
    • Song guides the wanderer back again.
    • In faithful Nature’s loving arm,
    • From chilling precepts to grow warm.
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Praise of Woman.

    • ALL honor to women!—they soften and leaven
    • The cares of the world with the roses of Heaven—
    • The ravishing fetters of love they entwine;
    • Their charms from the world’s eye modestly veiling,
    • They foster and nourish, with care never failing,
    • The fire eternal of feelings divine.
    • Man’s wild force, in constant motion,
    • Spurns the bounds by truth assign’d:
    • And, on passion’s stormy ocean,
    • To and fro is toss’d his mind.
    • Peace his bosom visits never,
    • As he heaps up scheme on scheme,
    • And through space pursus for ever
    • Each vain phantom of his dream.
    • But with her sweet look, so soft and enchaining,
    • Woman, the fugitive gently restraining,
    • Summons him back to the regions of earth;
    • The daughter of Nature, with meekness unshaken,
    • The home of her mother has never forsaken—
    • Has ever been true to the place of her birth.
    • Man, the torrent sternly breasting,
    • Spends his days in ceaseless strife;
    • Never pausing, never resting,
    • Wild he treads the paths of life.
    • All his plans to ruin bringing,
    • Ne’er his changing wish grows cold,
    • When destroy’d, again up-springing,
    • Like the Hydra’s heads of old.
    • But in a gentler sphere passing her hours,
    • Woman plucks ever the moment’s sweet flowers,
    • Lovingly tends them with fostering care;
    • Freer than man, though less wide her dominion,
    • Soaring above him on Wisdom’s bright pinion,
    • Glitt’ring in Poesy’s circle so fair.
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    • Selfishness and pride combining,
    • Man’s cold bosom ne’er can prove,
    • Round a fond heart fondly twining,
    • All the heav’nly bliss of love.
    • Soul communion never feeling,
    • Tears to him no balm impart,
    • Life’s hard conflicts only steeling
    • Sterner still his rugged heart.
    • But as when softly to Zephyr replying,
    • Æolus’ harp gently breathes forth its sighing,
    • The soft soul of woman its sighs breathes forth too;
    • At the sad tale of misery tenderly grieving,
    • See we her bosom with sympathy heaving,
    • Her melting eye sparkling with heavenly dew.
    • Man, imperious, stern, insulting,
    • Knows no law save that of might;
    • Scythians wave their swords exulting—
    • Persians tremble with affright.
    • Furious passions raging wildly
    • Fiercely struggle day by day;
    • And, where Charis govern’d mildly,
    • Eris now asserts her sway.
    • But, with her eloquence winning, yet yielding,
    • Woman, the sceptre of love gently wielding,
    • Quenches the smouldering embers of strife;
    • Each ling’ring emotion of hatred effaces,
    • Compels the late foes to unite their embraces.
    • Rivets the transient pleasures of life.

HOPE.

    • OF better and brighter days to come
    • Man is talking and dreaming ever;
    • To gain a happy, a golden home,
    • His efforts he ceases never;
    • The world decays, and again revives,
    • But man for improvement ever strives.
    • ’Tis Hope first shows him the light of day,
    • Through infancy hovers before him,
    • Enchants him in youth with her magic ray,
    • Survives, when the grave closes o’er him;
    • For when in the tomb ends his weary race,
    • E’en there still see we her smiling face!
    • ’Tis no vain flattering vision of youth,
    • On the fool’s dull brain descending;
    • To the heart it ever proclaims this glad truth:
    • Tow’rd a happier life we are tending;
    • And the promise the voice within us hath spoken
    • Shall ne’er to the hoping soul be broken.

THE GERMAN MUSE.

    • NO Augustan century,
    • No propitious Medici
    • Smil’d on German art when young;
    • Glory nourish’d not her powers,
    • She unfolded not her flowers
    • Princes’ favoring rays among.
    • From the mighty Fred’rick’s throne
    • Germany’s most glorious son,—
    • Went she forth, defenceless, spurn’d;
    • Proudly Germans may repeat,
    • While their hearts more gladly beat,—
    • They themselves their crown have earn’d.
    • Therefore mounts with nobler pride,
    • Therefore with a fuller tide
    • Pours the stream of German bards;—
    • With his own abundance swells,—
    • From the inmost bosom wells,—
    • Chains of method disregards.

THE SOWER.

  • SEE! with a heart full of hope, to the earth golden seed thou entrustest,
  • And with joy in the Spring, waitest to see it appear.
  • Art thou mindful to strew in the furrows of Time worthy actions,
  • Which for Eternity bloom, calmly by wisdom’s hand sown?
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THE MERCHANT.

  • WHITHER is sailing the Ship? It bears the people of Sidon
  • From the cold realms of the North, bringing the amber and tin.
  • Bear it up gently, O Neptune! and peacefully rock it, ye zephyrs!—
  • Let it in sheltering bay find the refreshment it needs!
  • ’Tis to you, ye Gods, that the Merchant belongs. Seeking riches,
  • Goes he,—yet to his ship that which is good ever clings.

GERMAN FAITH.

  • ONCE for the sceptre of Germany, fought with Bavarian Louis
  • Fred’rick of Hapsburg descent, both being call’d to the throne.
  • But the envious fortune of war deliver’d the Austrian
  • Into the hands of the foe, who overcame him in fight.
  • With the throne he purchas’d his freedom, pledging his honor
  • For the victor to draw ’gainst his own people his sword;
  • But what he vow’d when in chains, when free he could not accomplish,
  • So, of his own free accord, put on his fetters again.
  • Deeply mov’d, his foe embrac’d him,—and from thenceforward
  • As a friend with a friend, pledg’d they the cup at the feast;
  • Arm-in-arm, the princes on one couch slumber’d together,
  • While a still bloodier hate sever’d the nations apart.
  • ’Gainst the army of Fred’rick, Louis now went, and behind him
  • Left the foe he had fought, over Bavaria to watch.
  • “Aye, it is true! ’Tis really true! I have it in writing!”
  • Thus did the Pontifex cry, when he first heard of the news.

THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA.

  • NOBLY, in truth, ye are cloth’d by the Cross’s equipment so dreaded,
  • When ye, the lions in fight, Accon and Rhodus protect,—
  • When through the Syrian deserts ye guide the sorrowing pilgrim,
  • And, with the Cherubim’s sword, stand o’er the Saviour’s blest tomb.
  • But a glory still nobler surrounds ye,—the garb of the nurser,
  • When ye, the lions in fight, sons of the race so renown’d,
  • Serve at the bed of the sick, refreshment prepare for the thirsty,—
  • When ye perform the mean rites Christian-like mercy enjoins.
  • Glorious Faith of the Cross! thou only in one wreath unitest
  • Those two flourishing palms, Meekness and Valor, at once!

ODYSSEUS.

  • SEEKING to find his home, Odysseus crosses each water;
  • Through Charybdis so dread; ay, and through Scylla’s wild yells,
  • Through the alarms of the raging sea, the alarms of the land too,—
  • E’en to the kingdom of Hell leads him his wandering course.
  • And at length, as he sleeps, to Ithaca’s coast Fate conducts him;
  • There he awakes, and, with grief, knows not his fatherland now.

CARTHAGE.

  • OH thou degenerate child of the great and glorious mother.
  • Who with the Romans’ strong might couplest the Tyrian’s deceit!
  • But those ever govern’d with vigor the earth they had conquer’d,—
  • These instructed the world that they with cunning had won.
  • Say! what renown does history grant thee? Thou, Roman-like, gainedst
  • That with the steel, which with gold, Tyrian-like, then thou didst rule!
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COLUMBUS.

  • ON, thou sailor undaunted! Though shallow witlings deride thee,
  • And though the steersman his hand carelessly drops from the helm,
  • On, still on, tow’rd the West! ’Tis there that the coast will first greet thee,
  • For to thy reason it lies clear and distinct even now.
  • Trust to the guiding God, and follow the world’s silent ocean!
  • And though as yet never seen, lo! it ascends from the flood!
  • With the intellect Nature standeth in union eternal:
  • And what is promis’d by one, that will the other fulfil.

POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM.

    • WHAT strange wonder is this? Our prayer to thee was for water,
    • Earth! What is this that thou now send’st from thy womb in reply?
    • In the abyss is there life? Or hidden under the lava
    • Dwelleth some race now unknown? Does what hath fled e’er return?
    • Greeks and Romans, oh come! Oh, see the ancient Pompeii
    • Here is discover’d again,—Hercules’ town is rebuilt!
    • Gable on gable arises, the roomy portico opens
    • Wide its halls, so make haste,—haste ye to fill it with life!
    • Open, too, stands the spacious theatre, let, then, the people,
    • Like a resistless flood, pour through its sevenfold mouths!
    • Mimes, where are ye? Advance! Let Atrides finish the rites now
    • He had begun,—let the dread chorus Orestes pursue!
    • Whither leads yon triumphal arch? Perceive ye the forum?
    • What are those figures that sit on the Curulian chair?
    • Lictors! precede with your fasces,—and let the Prætor in judgment
    • Sit,—let the witness come forth! let the accuser appear!
    • Cleanly streets spread around, and with a loftier pavement
    • Does the contracted path wind close to the houses’ long row;
    • While, to protect them, the roofs protrude,—and the handsome apartments
    • Round the now desolate court peacefully, fondly are rang’d.
    • Hasten to open the shops, and the gateways that long have been chok’d up,
    • And let the bright light of day fall on the desolate night!
    • See how around the edge extend the benches so graceful,
    • And how the floor rises up, glitt’ring with many-hued stone!
    • Freshly still shines the wall with colors burning and glowing!
    • Where is the artist? His brush he has but now laid aside.
    • Teeming with swelling fruits, and flowers dispos’d in fair order,
    • Chases the brilliant festoon ravishing images there.
    • Here, with a basket full-laden, a Cupid gaily is dancing,
    • Genie industrious there tread out the purple-dyed wine.
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    • High there the Bacchanal dances and here she calmly is sleeping,
    • While the listening Faun has not yet sated his eyes;
    • Here she puts to flight the swift-footed Centaur, suspended
    • On one knee, and, the while, goads with the Thyrsus his steps.
    • Boys, why tarry ye? Quick? The beauteous vessels still stand there;
    • Hasten, ye maidens, and pour into the Etrurian jar!
    • Does not the tripod stand here, on sphinxes graceful and wing’d?
    • Stir up the fire, ye slaves! Haste to make ready the hearth!
    • Go and buy; Here is money that’s coin’d by Titus the Mighty;
    • Still are the scales lying here; not e’en one weight has been lost.
    • Place the burning lights in the branches so gracefully fashion’d,
    • And with the bright-shining oil see that the lamp is supplied!
    • What does this casket contain? Oh, see what the bridegroom has sent thee!
    • Maiden! ’Tis buckles of gold; glittering gems for thy dress.
    • Lead the bride to the odorous bath,—here still are the unguents;
    • Paints, too, are still lying here, filling the hollow-shap’d vase.
    • But where tarry the men? the elders? In noble museum
    • Still lies a heap of strange rolls, treasures of infinite worth!
    • Styles, too, are here, and tablets of wax, all ready for writing;
    • Nothing is lost, for, with faith, earth has protected the whole.
    • E’en the Penates are present, and all the glorious Immortals
    • Meet here again, and of all, none, save the priests, are not here.
    • Hermes, whose feet are grac’d with wings, his Caduceus is waving,
    • And from the grasp of his hand victory lightly escapes.
    • Still are the altars standing here,—oh come, then, and kindle—
    • Long hath the God been away,—kindle the incense to Him!

THE ILIAD.

  • TEAR for ever the garland of Homer, and number the fathers
  • Of the immortal work, that through all time will survive!
  • Yet it has but one mother, and bears that mother’s own features,
  • ’Tis thy features it bears,—Nature,—thy features eterne!

ZEUS TO HERCULES.

  • ’TWAS not by means of my nectar, that thou hast made thee immortal;
  • Nought but thine own godlike strength conquer’d that nectar for thee.

THE ANTIQUE TO THE NORTHERN WANDERER.

  • THOU hast cross’d over torrents, and swum thro’ wide-spreading oceans,—
  • Over the chain of the Alps dizzily bore thee the bridge,
  • That thou might’st see me from near, and learn to value my beauty,
  • Which the voice of renown spreads thro’ the wondering world.
  • And now before me thou standest,—canst touch my altar so holy,—
  • But art thou nearer to me, or am I nearer to thee?
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artist: ferdinand keller.

POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM.

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THE BARDS OF OLDEN TIME.

  • SAY, where is now that glorious race, where now are the singers
  • Who, with the accents of life, listening nations enthral’d.
  • Sung down from heaven the gods, and sung mankind up to heaven,
  • And who the spirit bore up high on the pinions of song?
  • Ah! the singers still live; the actions only are wanting,
  • And to awake the glad harp, only a welcoming ear.
  • Happy bards of a happy world! Your life-teeming accents
  • Flew round from mouth unto mouth, gladdening every race.
  • With the devotion with which the Gods were receiv’d, each one welcom’d
  • That which the genius for him, plastic and breathing, then form’d.
  • With the glow of the song were inflam’d the listener’s senses,
  • And with the listener’s sense, nourish’d the singer the glow—
  • Nourish’d and cleans’d it,—fortunate one! for whom in the voices
  • Of the people still clear echoed the soul of the song.
  • And to whom from without appear’d, in life, the great Godhead,
  • Whom the bard of these days scarcely can feel in his breast.

THE ANTIQUES AT PARIS.

  • THAT which Grecian art created,
  • Let the Frank, with joy elated,
  • Bear to Seine’s triumphant strand,
  • And in his museums glorious
  • Show the trophies all-victorious
  • To his wond’ring fatherland.
  • They to him are silent ever,
  • Into life’s fresh circle never
  • From their pedestals come down.
  • He alone e’er holds the muses
  • Through whose breast their power diffuses,—
  • To the Vandal they’re but stone!

THEKLA. A SPIRIT-VOICE.

    • WHITHER was it that my spirit wended
    • When from thee my fleeting shadow mov’d?
    • Is not now each earthly conflict ended?
    • Say,—have I not liv’d,—have I not lov’d?
    • Art thou for the nightingales inquiring
    • Who entranc’d thee in the early year
    • With their melody so joy-inspiring?
    • Only whilst they lov’d, they linger’d here.
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    • Is the lost one lost to me for ever?
    • Trust me, with him joyfully I stray
    • There, where nought united souls can sever,
    • And where ev’ry tear is wiped away.
    • And thou, too, wilt find us in yon heaven,
    • When thy love with our love can compare;
    • There my father dwells, his sins forgiven,—
    • Murder foul can never reach him there.
    • And he feels that him no vision cheated
    • When he gaz’d upon the stars on high;
    • For, as each one metes, to him ’tis meted;
    • Who believes it, hath the Holy nigh.
    • Faith is kept in those blest regions yonder
    • With the feelings true that ne’er decay.
    • Venture thou to dream, then, and to wander:
    • Noblest thoughts oft lie in childlike play.

THE MAID OF ORLEANS.

    • HUMANITY’S bright image to impair,
    • Scorn laid thee prostrate in the deepest dust;
    • Wit wages ceaseless war on all that’s fair,—
    • In Angel and in God it puts no trust;
    • The bosom’s treasures it would make its prey,—
    • Besieges Fancy,—dims e’en Faith’s pure ray.
    • Yet, issuing like thyself from humble line,
    • Like thee a gentle shepherdess is she—
    • Sweet Poesy affords her rights divine,
    • And to the stars eternal soars with thee.
    • Around thy brow a glory she hath thrown;
    • The heart ’twas form’d thee,—ever thou’lt live on!
    • The world delights whate’er is bright to stain,
    • And in the dust to lay the glorious low;
    • Yet fear not! noble bosoms still remain,
    • That for the Lofty, for the Radiant glow.
    • Let Momus serve to fill the booth with mirth;
    • A nobler mind loves forms of nobler worth.

NÆNIA.

  • EVEN the Beauteous must die! This vanquishes Men and Immortals;
  • But of the Stygian God moves not the bosom of steel.
  • Once and once only could Love prevail on the Ruler of Shadows,
  • And on the threshold e’en then, sternly his gift he recall’d.
  • Venus could never heal the wounds of the beauteous stripling,
  • That the terrible boar made in his delicate skin;
  • Nor could his mother immortal preserve the hero so godlike
  • When at the west gate of Troy, falling, his fate he fulfill’d.
  • But she arose from the ocean with all the daughters of Nereus,
  • And o’er her glorified son rais’d the loud accents of woe.
  • See! where all the gods and goddesses yonder are weeping,
  • That the Beauteous must fade, and that the Perfect must die.
  • Even a woe-song to be in the mouth of the lov’d ones is glorious,
  • For what is vulgar descends mutely to Orcus’ dark shades.
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THE PLAYING CHILD.

  • PLAY, fair child, in thy mother’s lap! In that island so holy,
  • Withering grief cannot come, desolate care not approach.
  • O’er the abyss the arms of thy mother lovingly hold thee.
  • Into the watery grave smilest thou guilelessly down.
  • Play, sweet innocent, still! Arcadia yet dwells around thee,
  • Nature, as yet unrestrain’d, follows the impulse of joy.
  • Still does luxuriant vigor raise up its barriers poetic,—
  • Duty and object as yet guide not thy tractable soul.
  • Play, then! for soon will labor approach thee, haggard and solemn,
  • And even duty’s command, pleasure and mind disobey.
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THE SEXES.

  • SEE in the tender child two beauteous flow’rets united!
  • Maiden and youth are both now hid in the bud from the eye.
  • Gently loosens the band, the natures with softness are parted,
  • And from the modest-fac’d shame, severs the fiery might.
  • Suffer the boy to play, with raging passions to bluster!
  • Sated vigor alone turns into beauty again.
  • From the bud begins the twofold flow’ret to issue,—
  • Both are precious, but yet, neither thy yearning heart calms.
  • Ravishing fulness swells the blooming limbs of the maiden,
  • But, like her girdle, her pride watches with care o’er her charms.
  • Shy as the trembling roe, which the hunter pursues through the forest,
  • Flies she from man as a foe,—hates him, because she loves not.
  • Boldly and proudly looks the youth from beneath his dark eyebrow,
  • And, girded up for the fight, strains to the utmost his nerves.
  • Far, in the turmoil of spears, and on the racecourse so dusty,
  • Hurries him fame’s craving thirst, bears him his boisterous mind.
  • Now, great Nature, protect thy work! What seeks itself ever,
  • Flies, if thou rivet it not, ever in anger apart.
  • Mighty one! thou already art there; from the wildest of conflicts
  • Thou dost call forth into life harmony’s concord divine.
  • Sudden is hush’d the sound of the chase; the day’s busy echo
  • Dies on the ear, and the stars gently sink down to their rest.
  • Sighing whispers the reed,—soft-murmuring glides on the streamlet,
  • And her melodious song Philomel trills through the grove.
  • What is it forces a sigh from the heaving breast of the maiden?
  • Youth, what is it that bids tears to mount up to thine eye!
  • Ah! she seeks in vain for a something all-gently to cling to,
  • And the o’er-ripe fruit bends to the ground with its weight.
  • Restlessly-striving, the youth in his self-lighted flame is consuming;
  • Ah! o’er that fierce-burning glow breathes not a softening wind.
  • See, at length they meet,—’tis Cupid has brought them together,
  • And to the deity wing’d, victory wing’d soon succeeds.
  • Love divine, ’tis thou that joinest mortality’s flowers!
  • Parted forever, by thee are they forevermore link’d!

THE POWER OF WOMAN.

  • MIGHTY art thou, because of the peaceful charms of thy presence;
  • That which the silent does not, never the boastful can do.
  • Vigor in man I expect, the law in its honors maintaining,
  • But, through the graces alone, woman e’er rules or should rule.
  • Many, indeed, have rul’d through the might of the spirit and action,
  • But then, thou noblest of crowns, they were deficient in thee.
  • No real queen exists but the womanly beauty of woman;
  • Where it appears, it must rule; ruling because it appears!
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The Dance.

    • SEE, how like billows the couples with hovering motion are whirling!
    • Scarce does the swift-wingèd foot seem to alight on the earth.
    • See I fugitive shadows set free from the weight of the body?
    • Weave, in the light of the moon, elves their ethereal dance?
    • As when, rock’d by the zephyr, the weightless vapor flies upwards,
    • As on the silvery flood lightly is balanc’d the bark,
    • So on the tuneful billows of Time is the docile foot moving;
    • Murmuring tones from the chords wafting the body through air.
    • Now, as if seeking with might to burst through the dance’s strong fetters,
    • There, where the throng is most dense, boldly a couple whirl round.
    • Quickly before them arises a path, disappearing behind them;
    • As with a magical hand, opens and closes the way.
    • See! now they vanish from sight; in wild entanglement blended,
    • Falls the edifice proud, built of this movable world.
    • No, there it rises again exulting, the knot is unravel’d;
    • While the old rule is restor’d, with but a new form of charm.
    • Ever demolish’d, the whirling creation renews itself ever,
    • And, by a law that is mute, each transformation is led.
    • Say, how is it that, ever renew’d the figures are hov’ring,
    • While repose is not found, save in the changeable form?
    • How is each one at freedom to follow the will of his bosom,
    • And to find out the sole path, as he pursues his swift course?
    • Wouldst thou know how it is? ’Tis Harmony’s powerful godhead,
    • Changing the boisterous leap into the sociable dance,
    • That, like Nemesis, links to the golden bridle of rhythm
    • Every violent lust, taming each thing that was wild.
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    • Is’t then in vain that the universe breathes its harmonious numbers?
    • Does not the music divine bear thee away in its stream?
    • Feelest thou not the inspiriting time that all creatures are beating?
    • Not the swift-whirling dance that through the wide realms of space
    • Brandishing glittering suns, in paths intertwining with boldness!
    • Honoring Measure in sport, thou dost avoid it in deed.

FORTUNE.

    • BLEST is the man whom the merciful gods, ere he came into being,
    • Cherish’d, and whom, as a child, Venus then rock’d in her arms;
    • And whose eyes by Phœbus, whose lips by Hermes were open’d,
    • And on whose forehead great Zeus stamp’d the impression of might!
    • Truly, a glorious lot is his,—ay! e’en a divine one,
    • For, ere the contest begins, wreath’d with a crown is his brow;
    • Ere he has liv’d it, the fulness of life as his portion is meted,
    • Ere he has labor endur’d, he has to Charis attain’d.
    • Great I must call the man, who, his own creator and sculptor,
    • Vanquishes even the fates, by his strong virtue alone;
    • Fortune, alas! he ne’er can o’ercome, and what Charis refuses
    • Grudgingly, ne’er can he reach, strive with what courage he may.
    • Thou canst defend thee with resolute will from what is unworthy;
    • All that is noble the gods freely send down from above.
    • As thou art lov’d by the lov’d one, so fall the gifts granted by Heaven;
    • Yonder, in Jupiter’s realm, Favor is lord, as in Love’s.
    • Gods by affections are govern’d—the curly locks of green childhood
    • Love they full well, for the glad ever by rapture are led.
    • ’Tis not they who can see that are ever made blest by their presence,—
    • No one save he who is blind views their bright glory reveal’d.
    • Gladly they choose for themselves simplicity’s innocent spirit,
    • And in the vessel so meek, that which is godlike enclose.
    • All unforeseen they come, deceiving each proud expectation,
    • No anathema’s might forces the free ones from high.
    • Down to the man whom he loves, the Father of men and immortals
    • Bids his eagle descend, bearing him then to the skies.
    • ’Mongst the multitude ever pursues he his self-will’d researches,
    • And, when well-pleas’d with a head, round it he wreathes with kind hand
    • Now the laurel, and now the fillet dominion-bestowing,—
    • Favoring fortune alone e’er can the god himself crown.
    • Phœbus, the Pythian victor, precedes the happy one’s footsteps,
    • And the subduer of hearts, Amor, the sweet-smiling god.
    • Neptune makes level the ocean before him, the keel of the vessel
    • Glides softly on, as it bears Cæsar and Cæsar’s great fate.
    • Down at his feet sinks the roaring lion, the blustering dolphin
    • Mounts from the deep, and his back offers with meekness to Him.
    • Envy the happy one not, if an easy triumph the Immortals
    • Grant him, or if from the fight Venus her darling preserves.
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    • Him whom that smiling one rescues, the favor’d of Heaven, I envy,
    • Not the man o’er whose eyes she a dark covering throws.
    • Should Achilles be reckon’d less glorious, in that Hephæstus
    • Fashion’d his buckler himself, fashion’d his terrible sword,
    • In that around him when dying the whole of Olympus was gather’d?
    • Great was his glory, in truth, in that the gods lov’d him well;
    • In that they honor’d his wrath, and to give renown to their fav’rite,
    • Hurled the best of the Greeks down to the darkness of hell.
    • Envy not beauty because she shines like the lily’s sweet calyx
    • Owing to Venus’s gift, void of all merit herself.
    • Let her the happy one be; if thou seest her, thou, then, art the blest one!
    • As without merit she shines, so thou art joy’d by her charms.
    • Be thou glad that the gift of song descends from the heavens,
    • And that thou hear’st from the bard what thou hast learn’d from the muse!
    • Since by the god he’s inspir’d, a god he becomes to the hearer;
    • Since he the happy one is, thou canst the blissful one be.
    • In the busy market let Themis appear with her balance,
    • Let the reward mete itself, strictly proportion’d to toil;
    • Only a god can tinge the cheeks of a mortal with rapture,—
    • Where no miracle is, there can no blest one be found.
    • All that is human must first be born, must grow, and must ripen,
    • And from shape on to shape, fashioning Time leads it on;
    • But thou seest not the blissful, the beautiful, come into being,
    • Since the beginning of time, perfect they ever have been.
    • Every Venus of earth, like the first one of heaven, arises
    • Only an ill-defin’d form, out of the infinite sea;
    • But, like the first Minerva, proceeds, with the ægis provided,
    • Every lightning-like thought out of the thunderer’s brain.
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GENIUS.

    • “DO I believe,” sayest thou, “what the masters of wisdom would teach me,
    • And what their followers’ band boldly and readily swear?
    • Cannot I ever attain to true peace, excepting through knowledge,
    • Or is the system upheld only by fortune and law?
    • Must I distrust the gently-warning impulse, the precept
    • That thou, Nature, thyself hast in my bosom impress’d,
    • Till the schools have affix’d to the writ eternal their signet,
    • Till a mere formula’s chain binds down the fugitive soul?
    • Answer me, then! for thou hast down into these deeps e’en descended.
    • Out of the mouldering grave thou didst uninjur’d return.
    • Is’t to thee known what within the tomb of obscure works is hidden,
    • Whether, yon mummies amid life’s consolations can dwell?
    • Must I travel the darksome road? The thought makes me tremble;
    • Yet I will travel that road, if ’tis to truth and to right.”—
    • Friend, hast thou heard of the golden age? Full many a story
    • Poets have sung in its praise, simply and touchingly sung—
    • Of the time when the holy still wander’d over life’s pathways,—
    • When with a maidenly shame ev’ry sensation was veil’d,—
    • When the mighty law that governs the sun in his orbit,
    • And that, conceal’d in the bud, teaches the point how to move,
    • When necessity’s silent law, the steadfast, the changeless,
    • Stirr’d up billows more free, e’en in the bosom of man,—
    • When the sense, unerring, and true as the hand of the dial,
    • Pointed only to truth, only to what was eterne?—
    • Then no profane one was seen, then no Initiate was met with,
    • And what as living was felt, was not then sought ’mongst the dead;
    • Equally clear to every breast was the precept eternal,
    • Equally hidden the source whence it to gladden us sprang;
    • But that happy period has vanish’d! And self-will’d presumption
    • Nature’s godlike repose now has for ever destroy’d.
    • Feelings polluted the voice of the deities echo no longer,
    • In the dishonorèd breast now is the oracle dumb.
    • Save in the silenter self, the listening soul cannot find it,
    • There does the mystical word watch o’er the meaning divine;
    • There does the searcher conjure it, descending with bosom unsullied;
    • There does the nature long-lost give him back wisdom again.
    • If thou, happy one, never hast lost the angel that guards thee,
    • Forfeited never the kind warnings that instinct holds forth;
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    • If in thy modest eye the truth is still purely depicted;
    • If in thine innocent breast clearly still echoes its call;
    • If in thy tranquil mind the struggles of doubt still are silent,
    • If they will surely remain silent for ever, as now;
    • If by the conflicts of feelings a judge will ne’er be required;
    • If in its malice thy heart dims not the reason so clear,
    • Oh, then, go thy way in all thy innocence precious!
    • Knowledge can teach thee in nought; thou canst instruct her in much!
    • Yonder law, that with brazen staff is directing the struggling,
    • Nought is to thee. What thou dost, what thou may’st will, is thy law,
    • And to every race a godlike authority issues.
    • What thou with holy hand form’st, what thou with holy mouth speak’st,
    • Will with omnipotent power impel the wondering senses;
    • Thou but observ’st not the God ruling within thine own breast,
    • Not the might of the signet that bows all spirits before thee;
    • Simple and silent thou go’st through the wide world thou hast won.

THE PHILOSOPHICAL EGOTIST.

    • HAST thou e’er watch’d the infant, who, feeling not yet the affection
    • Wherewith he’s cradl’d and warm’d, tosses in sleep in the arm,
    • Till as a youth he awakes, obeying the impulse of passion,
    • And till his conscience’s light, dawning, first shows him the world?
    • Hast thou e’er watch’d the mother, procuring sweet rest for her darling
    • At the expense of her own,—tending the babe as it dreams,—
    • With her own life supporting and feeding the flame as it trembles,—
    • And in her own care itself, meeting that care’s own reward?
    • And great Nature thou slanderest, who, now child, and now mother,
    • Now receives and now gives, but through necessity lasts?
    • Self-sufficient, wilt thou from the beauteous link disenchain thee,
    • Which, in an intimate bond, creature to creature unites?
    • Frail one! wilt thou stand, then, alone, in thee only relying,
    • When by the forces’ exchange even the Infinite stands?
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THE WORDS OF FAITH.

    • THREE words of mighty moment I’ll name,
    • From mouth unto mouth they fly ever,
    • Yet the heart can alone their great value proclaim,
    • For their source from without rises never.
    • No virtue, no merit, man’s footsteps e’er guides,
    • When in those three words he no longer confides
    • For liberty, man is created,—is free,
    • Though fetters around him be chinking;
    • Let the cry of the mob never terrify thee,
    • Nor the scorn of the doltard unthinking!
    • Fear not the bold slave when he breaks from his chains,
    • Nor the man who in freedom enduring remains!
    • And virtue is more than a mere empty sound,
    • His practice thro’ life man may make it;
    • And tho’ oft, ere he yet the divine one has found,
    • He may stumble, he still may o’ertake it.
    • And that which the wise in his wisdom ne’er knew,
    • Can be done by the mind that is childlike and true.
    • And a God, too, there is, with a purpose sublime,
    • Tho’ frail may be reason’s dominion;
    • High over the regions of space and of time
    • The noblest of thoughts waves its pinion;
    • And tho’ all things in ceaseless succession may roll,
    • Yet constant forever remains a calm soul.
    • Preserve, then, the three mighty words I have nam’d,
    • From mouth unto mouth spread them ever,
    • By thy heart will their infinite worth be proclaim’d,
    • Tho’ their source from without rises never.
    • Forget not that virtue man’s footsteps still guides,
    • While in those three words he with firmness confides.

THE WORDS OF ERROR.

    • IN the mouth of the good and the noble are found
    • Three words of an import momentous;
    • Yet vain is their echo and empty their sound,
    • They ne’er can console or content us.
    • The fruit that life yields is but lost to mankind,
    • As long as he seeks these vain shadows to find.
    • As long as he trusts in the golden age,
    • Where the right and the good conquer ever,
    • The right and the good an eternal strife wage,
    • And the foe will succumb to them never,
    • Unless in the air thou canst crush him to death,
    • For contact with earth but restores his lost breath.
    • As long as he trusts that fortune’s rays
    • With the noble can never be blended—
    • She follows the bad with loving gaze;
    • For the good is the earth not intended.
    • A stranger he is, and his fate is to roam,
    • And seek an enduring, a ne’er changing home.
    • As long as he trusts that the truth will e’er stand
    • Reveal’d to the reason unstable—
    • Her veil can be rais’d by no mortal hand;
    • But to guess and suppose we are able.
    • In a word of mere sound thou enchainest the soul;
    • But the free one defies e’en the tempest’s control.
    • From that error, then, Spirit of Light, set thee free,—
    • In thy breast be a true faith victorious!
    • What no ear could e’er hear, what no eye could e’er see,
    • Remains still the truthful, the glorious!
    • It is not without, for the fool seeks it there;
    • Within thee it flourishes, constant and fair.
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PROVERBS OF CONFUCIUS.

  • I.

    • THREEFOLD is the march of time:
    • While the future slow advances,
    • Like a dart the present glances,
    • Silent stands the past sublime.
    • No impatience e’er can speed him
    • On his course, if he delay;
    • No alarm, no doubts impede him
    • If he keep his onward way;
    • No regrets, no magic numbers
    • Wake the tranc’d one from his slumbers.
    • Wouldst thou wisely, and with pleasure,
    • Pass the days of life’s short measure,
    • From the slow one counsel take,
    • But a tool of him ne’er make;
    • Ne’er as friend the swift one know,
    • Nor the constant one as foe!
  • II.

    • Threefold is the form of space:
    • Length, with ever restless motion,
    • Seeks eternity’s wide ocean;
    • Breadth with boundless sway extends;
    • Depth to unknown realms descends.
    • All as types to thee are given:
    • Thou must onward strive for heaven,
    • Never still or weary be
    • Wouldst thou perfect glory see;
    • Far must thy researches go
    • Wouldst thou learn the world to know;
    • Thou must tempt the dark abyss
    • Wouldst thou prove what Being is.
    • Nought but firmness gains the prize,—
    • Nought but fulness makes us wise,—
    • Buried deep, truth ever lies!

LIGHT AND WARMTH.

    • THE world, a man of noble mind
    • With glad reliance enters;
    • Around him spread, he hopes to find
    • What in his bosom centres:
    • And dedicates, with ardor warm,
    • To truth’s good cause his trusty arm.
    • That all is mean and small, ere long
    • Experience shows him ever;
    • Himself to guard amid the throng
    • Is now his sole endeavor.
    • His heart, in calm and proud repose,
    • Soon e’en to love begins to close.
    • Alas! truth’s clear and brilliant rays
    • Are not for ever glowing;
    • How blest is he whose heart ne’er pays
    • For gift from knowledge flowing!
    • So thou the worldling’s gaze shouldst bind
    • To the enthusiast’s steadfast mind!
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BREADTH AND DEPTH.

    • FULL many in the world we find
    • To whom nothing seems e’er a mystery;
    • And when aught pleases or charms the mind,
    • They’re able to give all its history.
    • To hear them speak, one could ne’er have denied
    • That they had won the long-wish’d-for bride.
    • In silence, however, they quit the earth,
    • Their life leaves behind it no traces:—
    • Let him who to something that’s great would give birth,—
    • To something that time ne’er effaces,—
    • With patience collect, and unweariedly,
    • In the smallest point, boundless energy.
    • The stalk the region around it fills
    • With branches luxuriant and slender;
    • The foliage glitters, and balms distils,
    • But fruit it can never engender.
    • The kernel alone, in its narrow space,
    • The pride of the forest, the tree, can embrace.

THE GUIDES OF LIFE.

  • TWO kinds of genii there are, thro’ life’s mazy pathways to guide thee:
  • Happy art thou if they stand, join’d into one by thy side!
  • One with his gladdening sport beguileth thy tedious journey;—
  • Duty and fate become light, when thou’rt upheld by his arm.
  • Laughing and talking the while, he on to the chasm conducts thee,
  • Where, on eternity’s sea, trembling mortality stands.
  • There does the Other receive thee, with solemn resolve and in silence,
  • And with his giant-like arm bears thee across the abyss.
  • Ne’er to one only devote thee! Thine honor ne’er think of confiding
  • Into the hands of the first, nor to the other thy bliss!

ARCHIMEDES AND THE STUDENT.

  • TO Archimedes once came a youth, who for knowledge was thirsting,
  • Saying, “Initiate me into the science divine,
  • Which for my country has borne forth fruit of such wonderful value,
  • And which the walls of the town ’gainst the Sambuca protects.”
  • “Call’st thou the science divine? It is so,” the wise man responded;
  • “But it was so, my son, ere it avail’d for the town.
  • Wouldst thou have fruit from her only, e’en mortals with that can provide thee;
  • Wouldst thou the goddess obtain, seek not the woman in Her!”
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HUMAN KNOWLEDGE.

    • SINCE thou readest in her what thou thyself hast there written,
    • And, to gladden the eye, placest her wonders in groups;—
    • Since o’er her boundless expanses thy cords to extend thou art able,
    • Thou dost think that thy mind wonderful Nature can grasp.
    • Thus the astronomer draws his figures over the heavens,
    • So that he may with more ease traverse the infinite space,
    • Knitting together e’en suns that by Sirius-distance are parted,
    • Making them join in the swan and in the horns of the bull.
    • But because the firmament shows him its glorious surface,
    • Can he the spheres’ mystic dance therefore decipher aright?

THE TWO PATHS OF VIRTUE.

  • TWO are the pathways by which mankind can to virtue mount upward:
  • If thou shouldst find the one barr’d, open the other will lie.
  • ’Tis by exertion the Happy obtain her, the Suffering by patience.
  • Blest is the man whose kind fate guides him along upon both!

HONORS.

  • AS the column of light in the waves of the brook is reflected,
  • Bright as from its own glow, flameth the border with gold;
  • But by the stream are the waves hurried on,—thro’ the glittering pathway
  • Each thrusts the other along, swift as the former, to fly,—
  • So is a mortal that perishes lighted by splendor of honors,—
  • Not himself, but the place, thro’ which he wandereth, shines.
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ZENITH AND NADIR.

  • WHERESOEVER thou wand’rest in space, thy Zenith and Nadir
  • Unto the heavens knit thee, unto the axis of earth.
  • Howsoever thou actest, let heaven be mov’d by thy purpose,
  • Let the aim of thy deeds traverse the axis of earth!

DEPARTURE FROM LIFE.

  • Two are the roads that before thee lie open from life to conduct thee;
  • To the Ideal one leads thee, the other to Death.
  • See that while yet thou art free, on the first thou commencest thy journey,
  • Ere by the merciless Fates on to the other thou’rt led!

THE CHILD IN THE CRADLE.

  • Happy infant! to thee an infinite space is the cradle.
  • When to man’s age thou shalt come, narrow thou’lt think the wide world!

THE IMMUTABLE.

  • Time incessantly hasteneth on—he seeks for perfection.
  • If thou art true, thou canst cast fetters eternal on him.

THEOPHANIA.

  • When the happy appear, I forget the Gods in the heavens;
  • But before me they stand, when I the suffering see.

THE HIGHEST.

  • Seek’st thou the Highest, the Greatest! In that the plant can instruct thee;
  • What it unwittingly is, be thou of thine own free will!

IMMORTALITY.

  • Dread’st thou the aspect of Death! Thou wishest to live on for ever?
  • Live in the Whole, and when long thou shalt have gone, ’twill remaind!
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Notive Tablets

That which I learn’d from the Deity,—that which through lifetime hath help’d me, Meekly and gratefully now, here I suspend in his shrine.

    • DIFFERENT DESTINIES.

    • Millions busily toil, that the human race may continue;
    • But by only a few is propagated our kind.
    • Thousands of seeds by the autumn are scatter’d, yet fruit is engender’d
    • Only by few, for the most back to the element go.
    • But if one only can blossom, that one is able to scatter
    • Even a bright living world, fill’d with creations eterne.
    • THE ANIMATING PRINCIPLE.

    • Nowhere in the organic or sensitive world ever kindles
    • Novelty, save in the flow’r, noblest creation of life.
    • TWO DESCRIPTIONS OF ACTION.

    • Do what is good, and Humanity’s godlike plant thou wilt nourish;
    • Plan what is fair, and thou’lt strew seeds of the godlike around.
    • DIFFERENCE OF STATION.

    • Even the moral world its nobility boasts—vulgar natures
    • Reckon by that which they do; noble, by that which they are.
    • WORTH AND THE WORTHY.

    • If thou anything hast, let me have it,—I’ll pay what is proper;
    • If thou anything art, let us our spirits exchange.
    • THE MORAL FORCE.

    • If thou feelst not the beautiful, still thou with reason canst will it;
    • And as a spirit canst do, that which as man thou canst not.
    • PARTICIPATION.

    • E’en by the hand of the wicked can truth be working with vigor;
    • But the vessel is fill’d by what is beauteous alone.
    • TO *

    • Tell me all that thou knowest, and I will thankfully hear it!
    • But wouldst thou give me thyself,—let me, my friend, be excus’d!
    • TO * *

    • Wouldst thou teach me the truth? Don’t take the trouble! I wish not,
    • Through thee, the thing to observe,—but to see thee through the thing.
    • TO * * *

    • Thee would I choose as my teacher and friend. Thy living example
    • Teaches me,—thy teaching word wakens my heart unto life.
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    • THE PRESENT GENERATION.

    • Was it always as now? This race I truly can’t fathom.
    • Nothing is young but old age; youth, alas! only is old.
    • TO THE MUSE.

    • What I had been without thee, I know not—yet, to my sorrow,
    • See I what, without thee, hundreds and thousands now are.
    • THE LEARNED WORKMAN.

    • Ne’er does he taste the fruit of the tree that he rais’d with such trouble;
    • Nothing but taste e’er enjoys that which by learning is rear’d.
    • THE DUTY OF ALL.

    • Ever strive for the whole; and if no whole thou canst make thee,
    • Join, then, thyself to some whole, as a subservient limb!
    • A PROBLEM.

    • Let none resemble another; let each resemble the highest!
    • How can that happen? let each be all complete in itself.
    • THE PECULIAR IDEAL.

    • What thou thinkest, belongs to all; what thou feel’st, is thine only.
    • Wouldst thou make him thine own, feel thou the God whom thou think’st!
    • TO MYSTICS.

    • That is the only true secret, which in the presence of all men
    • Lies, and surrounds thee for aye, but which is witness’d by none.
    • THE KEY.

    • Wouldst thou know thyself, observe the actions of others.
    • Wouldst thou other men know, look thou within thine own heart.
    • THE OBSERVER.

    • Stern as my conscience, thou seest the points wherein I’m deficient;
    • Therefore I’ve always lov’d thee, as my own conscience I’ve lov’d.
    • WISDOM AND PRUDENCE.

    • Wouldst thou, my friend, mount up to the highest summit of wisdom,
    • Be not deterr’d by the fear, prudence thy course may deride:
    • That short-sighted one sees but the bank that from thee is flying,
    • Not the one which ere long thou wilt attain with bold flight.
    • THE AGREEMENT.

    • Both of us seek for truth—in the world without thou dost seek it,
    • I in the bosom within; both of us therefore succeed.
    • If the eye be healthy, it sees from without the Creator;
    • And if the heart, then within doubtless it mirrors the world.
    • POLITICAL PRECEPT.

    • All that thou doest is right; but, friend, don’t carry this precept
    • On too far,—be content, all that is right to effect.
    • It is enough to true zeal, if what is existing be perfect;
    • False zeal always would find finish’d perfection at once.
    • MAJESTAS POPULI.

    • Majesty of the nature of man! In crowds shall I seek thee?
    • ’Tis with only a few that thou hast made thine abode.
    • Only a few ever count; the rest are but blanks of no value,
    • And the prizes are hid ’neath the vain stir that they make.
    • TO ASTRONOMERS.

    • Prate not to me so much of suns and of nebulous bodies;
    • Think ye nature but great, in that she gives thee to count?
    • Though your object may be the sublimest that space holds within it,
    • Yet, my good friends, the sublime dwells not in regions of space.
    • ASTRONOMICAL WRITINGS.

    • Oh, how infinite, how unspeakably great, are the heavens!
    • Yet by frivolity’s hand downwards the heavens are pull’d!
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    • TO A WORLD-REFORMER.

    • I have sacrific’d all,” thou sayest, “that Man I might succor;
    • Vain the attempt; my reward was persecution and hate.”
    • Shall I tell thee, my friend, how I to humor him manage?
    • Trust the proverb! I ne’er have been deceiv’d by it yet.
    • Thou canst not sufficiently prize Humanity’s value;
    • Let it be coin’d in deed as it exists in thy breast.
    • E’en to the man whom thou chancest to meet in life’s narrow pathway,
    • If he should ask it of thee, hold forth a succoring hand.
    • But for rain and for dew, for the general welfare of mortals,
    • Leave thou Heaven to care, friend, as before, so e’en now.
    • MY ANTIPATHY.

    • I have a heartfelt aversion for crime,—a twofold aversion,
    • Since ’tis the reason why man prates about virtue so much.
    • “What! thou hatest, then, virtue!”—I would that by all it were practis’d,
    • So that, God willing, no man need speak of it more.
    • THE BEST STATE.

    • How can I know the best state?” In the way that thou know’st the best woman;
    • Namely, my friend, that the world ever is silent of both.
    • MY FAITH.

    • Which religion do I acknowledge? None that thou namest.
    • “None that I name? And why so?”—Why, for religion’s own sake!
    • INSIDE AND OUTSIDE.

    • God alone sees the heart”—and therefore, since he alone sees it,
    • Be it our care that we, too, something that’s worthy may see.
    • HOMER’S HEAD AS A SEAL.

    • Trusty old Homer! to thee I confide the secret so tender;
    • For the raptures of love none but the bard should e’er know.
    • FRIEND AND FOE.

    • Dearly I love a friend; yet a foe I may turn to my profit;
    • Friends show me that which I can: foes teach me that which I should.
    • LIGHT AND COLOR.

    • Thou that art ever the same, with the Changeless One take up thy dwelling!
    • Color, thou changeable one, kindly descend upon man!
    • BEAUTEOUS INDIVIDUALITY.

    • Thou in truth shouldst be one, yet not with the whole shouldst thou be so.
    • ’Tis through the reason thou’rt one,—art so with it through the heart.
    • Voice of the whole is thy reason, but thou thine own heart must be ever;
    • If in thy heart reason dwells evermore, happy art thou.
    • VARIETY.

    • Many are good and wise; yet all for one only reckon,
    • For ’tis conception, alas, rules them, and not a fond heart.
    • Sad is the sway of conception,—from thousandfold varying figures,
    • Needy and empty but one it is e’er able to bring.
    • But where creative beauty is ruling, there life and enjoyment
    • Dwell; to the ne’er-changing One, thousands of new forms she gives.
    • THE THREE AGES OF NATURE.

    • Life she receiv’d from fable; the schools depriv’d her of being,
    • Life creative again she has from reason receiv’d.
    • GENIUS.

    • Understanding, indeed, can repeat what already existed,—
    • That which Nature has built, after her she, too, can build.
    • Over Nature can Reason build, but in vacancy only:
    • But thou, Genius, alone, Nature in Nature canst form.
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    • THE IMITATOR.

    • Good from the good,—to the reason this is not hard of conception;
    • But the genius has pow’r good from the bad to evoke.
    • ’Tis the conceiv’d alone, that thou, Imitator, canst practise;
    • Food the conceiv’d never is, save to the mind that conceives.
    • GENIALITY.

    • How does the genius make itself known? In the way that in nature
    • Shows the Creator Himself,—e’en in the infinite whole.
    • Clear is the æther, and yet of depth that ne’er can be fathom’d;
    • Seen by the eye, it remains evermore clos’d to the sense.
    • THE INQUIRERS.

    • Men now seek to explore each thing from within and without too;
    • How canst thou make thy escape, Truth, from their eager pursuit?
    • That they may catch thee, with nets and poles extended they seek thee;
    • But with a spirit-like tread, glidest thou out of the throng.
    • THE DIFFICULT UNION.

    • Why are taste and genius so seldom met with united?
    • Taste of strength is afraid,—genius despises the rein.
    • CORRECTNESS.

    • Free from blemish to be, is the lowest of steps, and the highest;
    • Weakness and greatness alone ever arrive at this point.
    • THE LAW OF NATURE.

    • It has ever been so, my friend, and will ever remain so:
    • Weakness has rules for itself,—vigor is crown’d with success.
    • CHOICE.

    • If thou canst not give pleasure to all by thy deeds and thy knowledge,
    • Give it then, unto the few; many to please is but vain.
    • SCIENCE OF MUSIC.

    • Let the creative art breathe life, and the bard furnish spirit;
    • But the soul is express’d by Polyhymnia alone.
    • LANGUAGE.

    • Why can the living spirit be never seen by the spirit?
    • Soon as the soul ’gins to speak, then can the soul speak no more!
    • TO THE POET.

    • Let thy speech be to thee what the body is to the loving;
    • Beings it only can part,—beings it only can join.
    • THE MASTER.

    • Other masters one always can tell by the words which they utter;
    • That which he wisely omits, shows me the master of style.
    • THE GIRDLE.

    • Aphrodite preserves her beauty conceal’d by her girdle;
    • That which lends her her charms, is what she covers—her shame.
    • THE DILETTANTE.

    • Merely because thou hast made a good verse in a language poetic,
    • One which composes for thee, thou art a poet, forsooth!
    • THE BABBLER OF ART.

    • Dost thou desire the good in Art? Of the good art thou worthy,
    • Which by a ne’er ceasing war ’gainst thee thyself is produc’d?
    • THE PHILOSOPHIES.

    • Which among the philosophies will be enduring? I know not.
    • But that philosophy’s self ever may last, is my hope.
    • THE FAVOR OF THE MUSES.

    • Fame with the vulgar expires; but, Muse immortal, thou bearest
    • Those whom thou lov’st, who love thee, into Mnemosyne’s arms.
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THE BEST STATE-CONSTITUTION.

  • I can recognize only as such, the one that enables
  • Each to think what is right,—but that he thinks so, cares not.

TO LAWGIVERS.

  • Ever take it for granted, that man collectively wishes
  • That which is right; but take care, never to think so of one!

THE HONORABLE.

  • Ever honor the whole; individuals only I honor;
  • In individuals I always discover the whole.

FALSE IMPULSE TO STUDY.

  • Oh, how many new foes against truth! My very soul bleedeth
  • When I behold the owl-race now bursting forth to the light.

THE FOUNTAIN OF SECOND YOUTH.

  • Trust me, ’tis not a mere tale,—the fountain of youth really runneth,
  • Runneth for ever. Thou ask’st, Where? In the poet’s sweet art!

THE CIRCLE OF NATURE.

  • All, thou gentle one, lies embrac’d in thy kingdom; the greybeard
  • Back to the days of his youth, childish and childlike, returns.

THE GENIUS WITH THE INVERTED TORCH.

  • Lovely he looks, ’tis true, with the light of his torch now extinguish’d;
  • But remember that death is not æsthetic, my friends!

THE VIRTUE OF WOMAN.

  • Man of virtue has need;—into life with boldness he plunges,
  • Ent’ring with fortune more sure into the hazardous strife;
  • But to woman one virtue suffices; it ever is shining
  • Lovingly forth to the heart: so let it shine to the eye!

THE FAIREST APPARITION.

  • If thou never hast gaz’d upon beauty in moments of sorrow,
  • Thou canst with truth never boast that thou true beauty hast seen.
  • If thou never hast gaz’d upon gladness in beauteous features,
  • Thou canst with truth never boast that thou true gladness hast seen.

THE FORUM OF WOMAN.

  • Woman, never judge man by his individual actions;
  • But upon man, as a whole, pass thy decisive decree.

FEMALE JUDGMENT.

  • Man frames his judgment on reason; but woman on love founds her verdict;
  • If her judgment loves not, woman already has judg’d.
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THE IDEAL OF WOMAN.
TO AMANDA.

  • Woman in everything yields to man; but in that which is highest,
  • Even the manliest man yields to the woman most weak.
  • But that highest,—what is it? The gentle radiance of triumph
  • As in thy brow upon me, beauteous Amanda, it beams.
  • When o’er the bright shining disk the clouds of affliction are fleeting,
  • Fairer the image appears, seen through the vapor of gold.
  • Man may think himself free! thou art so,—for thou never knowest
  • What is the meaning of choice,—know’st not necessity’s name.
  • That which thou givest, thou always giv’st wholly; but one art thou ever,
  • Even thy tenderest sound is thine harmonious self.
  • Youth everlasting dwells here, with fulness that never is exhausted,
  • And with the flower at once pluck’st thou the ripe golden fruit.

EXPECTATION AND FULFILMENT.

  • Into life’s ocean the youth with a thousand masts daringly launches;
  • Mute, in a boat sav’d from wreck, enters the greybeard the port.

THE COMMON FATE.

  • See how we hate, how we quarrel, how thought and how feeling divide us!
  • But thy locks, friend, like mine, meanwhile are bleachening fast.

HUMAN ACTION.

  • Where the pathway begins, eternity seems to lie open,
  • Yet at the narrowest point even the wisest man stops.

THE FATHER.

  • Work as much as thou wilt, alone thou’lt be standing for ever,
  • Till by nature thou’rt join’d forcibly on to the Whole.

LOVE AND DESIRE.

  • Rightly said Schlosser! Man loves what he has; what he has not, desireth;
  • None but the wealthy minds love; poor minds desire alone.

GOODNESS AND GREATNESS.

  • Only two virtues exist. Oh, would they were ever united!
  • Ever the good with the great, ever the great with the good!

THE IMPULSES.

  • Fear with his iron staff may urge the slave onward for ever;
  • Rapture, do thou lead me on ever in roseate chains!

NATURALISTS AND TRANSCENDENTAL PHILOSOPHERS.

  • Enmity be between ye! Your union too soon is cemented;
  • Ye will but learn to know truth, when ye divide in the search.

GERMAN GENIUS.

  • Strive, O German, for Roman-like strength and for Grecian-like beauty!
  • Thou art successful in both; ne’er has the Gaul had success.
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TRIFLES.

    • THE EPIC HEXAMETER.

    • Giddily onward it bears thee with resistless impetuous billows;
    • Nought but the ocean and air seest thou before or behind.
    • THE DISTICH.

    • In the Hexameter rises the fountain’s watery column,
    • In the Pentameter sweet falling in melody down.
    • THE EIGHT-LINE STANZA.

    • Stanza, by love thou’rt created,—by love all-tender and yearning;
    • Thrice dost thou bashfully fly; thrice dost with longing return.
    • THE OBELISK.

    • On a pedestal lofty the sculptor in triumph has rais’d me.
    • “Stand thou,” spake he,—and I stand proudly and joyfully here.
    • THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH.

    • Fear not,” the builder exclaim’d, “the rainbow that stands in the heavens;
    • “I will extend thee, like it, into infinity far!”
    • THE BEAUTIFUL BRIDGE.

    • Under me, over me, hasten the waters, the chariots; my builder
    • Kindly has suffer’d e’en me, over myself, too, to go!
    • THE GATE.

    • Let the gate open stand, to allure the savage to precepts;
    • Let it the citizen lead into free nature with joy.
    • ST. PETER’S.

    • If thou seekest to find Immensity here, thou’rt mistaken;
    • For my greatness is meant greater to make thee thyself!
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GERMANY AND HER PRINCES.

  • Thou hast produc’d mighty monarchs, of whom thou art not unworthy,
  • For the obedient alone make him who governs them great.
  • But, O Germany, try if thou for thy rulers canst make it
  • Harder as kings to be great,—easier, though, to be men!

TO PROSELYTISERS.

  • Give me only a fragment of earth beyond the earth’s limits,”—
  • So the godlike man said,—“and I will move it with ease.”
  • Only give me permission to leave myself for one moment,
  • And without any delay I will engage to be yours.

THE CONNECTING MEDIUM.

  • How does nature proceed to unite the high and the lowly
  • In mankind? She commands vanity ’tween them to stand!

THE MOMENT.

  • Doubtless an epoch important has with the century risen;
  • But the moment, so great, finds but a race of small worth.

GERMAN COMEDY.

  • Fools we may have in plenty, and simpletons, too, by the dozen;
  • But for comedy these never make use of themselves.

BOOKSELLER’S ANNOUNCEMENT.

  • Nought is for man so important as rightly to know his own purpose;
  • For but twelve groschen hard cash, ’tis to be bought at my shop!

DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES.

  • Deeper and bolder truths be careful, my friends, of avowing;
  • For as soon as ye do, all the world on ye will fall.

GREEKISM.

  • Scarce has the fever so chilly of Gallomania departed,
  • When a more burning attack in Grecomania breaks out.
  • Greekism,—what did it mean?—’Twas harmony, reason, and clearness!
  • Patience, good gentlemen, pray, ere ye of Greekism speak!
  • ’Tis for an excellent cause ye are fighting, and all that I ask for
  • Is that with reason it ne’er may be a laughing-stock made.

THE SUNDAY CHILDREN.

  • Years has the master been lab’ring, but always without satisfaction;
  • To an ingenious race, ’twould be in vision conferr’d.
  • What they yesterday learnt, to-day they fain would be teaching:
  • Small compassion, alas, is by those gentlemen shown!
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THE PHILOSOPHERS.

    • PUPIL.

    • I am rejoic’d, worthy sirs, to find you in pleno assembl’d;
    • For I have come down below, seeking the one needful thing.
    • ARISTOTLE.

    • Quick to the point, my good friend! For the Jena Gazette comes to hand here,
    • Even in hell,—so we know all that is passing above.
    • PUPIL.

    • So much the better! So give me (I will not depart hence without it)
    • Some good principle now,—one that will always avail!
    • FIRST PHILOSOPHER.

    • Cogito, ergo sum. I have thought, and therefore existence!
    • If the first be but true, then is the second one sure.
    • PUPIL.

    • As I think, I exist. ’Tis good! But who always is thinking?
    • Oft I’ve existed e’en when I have been thinking of nought.
    • SECOND PHILOSOPHER.

    • Since there are things that exist, a thing of all things there must needs be;
    • In the thing of all things dabble we, just as we are.
    • THIRD PHILOSOPHER.

    • Just the reverse say I. Besides myself there is nothing;
    • Ev’rything else that there is, is but a bubble to me.
    • FOURTH PHILOSOPHER.

    • Two kinds of things I allow to exist,—the world and the spirit;
    • Nought of others I know; even these signify one.
    • FIFTH PHILOSOPHER.

    • I know nought of the thing, and know still less of the spirit;
    • Both but appear unto me; yet no appearance they are.
    • SIXTH PHILOSOPHER.

    • I am I, and settle myself,—and if I then settle
    • Nothing to be, well and good—there’s a nonenity form’d.
    • SEVENTH PHILOSOPHER.

    • There is conception at least! A thing conceiv’d there is, therefore;
    • And a conceiver as well,—which, with conception, makes three.
    • PUPIL.

    • All this nonsense, good sirs, won’t answer my purpose a tittle;
    • I a real principle need,—one by which something is fix’d.
    • EIGHTH PHILOSOPHER.

    • Nothing is now to be found in the theoretical province;
    • Practical principles hold, such as: thou canst, for thou shouldst.
    • PUPIL.

    • If I but thought so! When people know no more sensible answer,
    • Into the conscience at once plunge they with desperate haste.
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    • DAVID HUME.

    • Don’t converse with those fellows! That Kant has turn’d them all crazy;
    • Speak to me, for in hell I am the same that I was.
    • LAW POINT.

    • I have made use of my nose for years together to smell with;
    • Have I a right to my nose that can be legally prov’d?
    • PUFFENDORF.

    • Truly a delicate point! Yet the first possession appeareth
    • In thy favor to tell; therefore make use of it still!
    • SCRUPLE OF CONSCIENCE.

    • Willingly serve I my friends; but, alas, I do it with pleasure;
    • Therefore I often am vex’d, that no true virtue I have.
    • DECISION.

    • As there is no other means, thou hadst better begin to despise them;
    • And with aversion, then, do that which thy duty commands.

G. G.

  • Each one, when seen by himself, is passably wise and judicious;
  • When they in corpore are, nought but a blockhead is seen.

THE HOMERIDES.

  • Who is the bard of the Iliad among you?
  • For since he likes puddings,
  • Heyne begs he’ll accept these that from Göttingen come.
  • “Give them to me! The king’s quarrel I sang!” “I the fight near the vessels!”—
  • “Hand me the puddings! I sang what upon Ida took place!”
  • Gently! Don’t tear me to pieces! The puddings will not be sufficient;
  • He by whom they are sent destin’d them only for one.

THE MORAL POET.

  • Man is in truth a poor creature,—I know it,—and fain would forget it;
  • Therefore (how sorry I am!) came I, alas, unto thee!

THE DANAIDES.

  • Into the sieve we’ve been pouring for years,—o’er the stone we’ve been brooding;
  • But the stone never warms,—nor does the sieve ever fill.

THE SUBLIME SUBJECT.

  • Tis thy Muse’s delight to sing God’s pity to mortals;
  • But, that they pitiful are,—is it a matter for song?

THE ARTIFICE.

  • Wouldst thou give pleasure at once to the children of earth and the righteous?
  • Draw the image of lust—adding the devil as well!
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JEREMIADS.

  • ALL, both in prose and in verse, in Germany fast is decaying;
  • Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now!
  • For by philosophers spoil’d is our language—our logic by poets,
  • And no more common sense governs our passage through life.
  • From the æsthetic, to which she belongs, now virtue is driven,
  • And into politics forced, where she’s a troublesome guest.
  • Where are we hastening now? If natural, dull we are voted,
  • And if we put on constraint, then the world calls us absurd.
  • Oh, thou joyous artlessness ’mongst the poor maidens of Leipzig,
  • Witty simplicity come,—come, then, to glad us again!
  • Comedy, oh repeat thy weekly visits so precious,
  • Sigismund, lover so sweet,—Mascarill, valet jocose!
  • Tragedy, full of salt and pungency epigrammatic,—
  • And thou, minuet-step of our old buskin preserv’d!
  • Philosophic romance, thou mannikin waiting with patience,
  • When, ’gainst the pruner’s attack, nature defendeth herself!
  • Ancient prose, oh return,—so nobly and boldly expressing
  • All that thou think’st and hast thought,—and what the reader thinks too!
  • All, both in prose and in verse, in Germany fast is decaying;
  • Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now!

KNOWLEDGE.

  • Knowledge to one is a goddess both heav’nly and high,—to another
  • Only an excellent cow, yielding the butter he wants.

KANT AND HIS COMMENTATORS.

  • See how a single rich man gives a living to numbers of beggars!
  • ’Tis when sovereigns build, carters are kept in employ.
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SHAKESPEAR’S GHOST.
A PARODY.

  • I, TOO, at length discern’d great Hercules’ energy mighty,—
  • Saw his shade. He himself was not, alas, to be seen.
  • Round him were heard, like the screaming of birds, the screams of tragedians,
  • And, with the baying of dogs, bark’d dramaturgists around.
  • There stood the giant in all his terrors; his bow was extended,
  • And the bolt, fix’d on the string, steadily aim’d at the heart.
  • “What still hardier action, Unhappy One, dost thou now venture,
  • Thus to descend to the grave of the departed souls here?”
  • “’Tis to see Tiresias I come, to ask of the prophet
  • Where I the buskin of old, that now has vanish’d, may find?”
  • “If they believe not in Nature, nor in the old Grecian, but vainly
  • Wilt thou convey up from hence that dramaturgy to them.”
  • “Oh, as for Nature, once more to tread our stage she has ventur’d,
  • Ay, and stark-naked besides, so that each rib we can count.”
  • “What? Is the buskin of old to be seen in truth on your stage, then,
  • Which even I came to fetch, out of mid-Tartarus’ gloom?”—
  • “There is now no more of that tragic bustle, for scarcely
  • Once in a year on the boards moves thy great soul, harness clad.”
  • “Doubtless ’tis well! Philosophy now has refin’d your sensations,
  • And from the humor so bright, fly the affections so black.”—
  • “Ay, there is nothing that beats a jest that is stolid and barren,
  • But then e’en sorrow can please, if ’tis sufficiently moist.”
  • “But do ye also exhibit the graceful dance of Thalia,
  • Join’d to the solemn step with which Melpomene moves?”—
  • “Neither! For nought we love but what is Christian and moral;
  • And what is popular too, homely, domestic, and plain.”
  • “What? Does no Cæsar, does no Achilles, appear on your stage now,
  • Not an Andromache e’en, not an Orestes, my friend?”
  • “No! there is nought to be seen there but parsons, and syndics of commerce,
  • Secretaries perchance, ensigns and majors of horse.”
  • “But, my good friend, pray tell me, what can such people e’er meet with
  • That can be truly call’d great?—what that is great can they do?”—
  • “What? Why they form cabals, they lend upon mortgage, they pocket
  • Silver spoons, and fear not e’en in the stocks to be plac’d.”
  • “Whence do ye, then, derive the destiny, great and gigantic,
  • Which raises man up on high, e’en when it grinds him to dust?”—
  • “All mere nonsense! Ourselves, our worthy acquaintances also,
  • And our sorrows and wants, seek we and find we, too, here.”
  • “But all this ye possess at home both apter and better,—
  • Wherefore, then, fly from yourselves, if ’tis yourselves that ye seek?”
  • “Be not offended, great hero, for that is a different question;
  • Ever is destiny blind,—ever is righteous the bard.”
  • “Then one meets on your stage your own contemptible nature,
  • While ’tis in vain one seeks there nature enduring and great?”
  • “There the poet is host, and act the fifth is the reck’ning;
  • And, when crime becomes sick, virtue sits down to the feast!”
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THE RIVERS.

    • RHINE.

    • True, as becometh a Switzer, I watch over Germany’s borders;
    • But the light-footed Gaul jumps o’er the suffering stream.
    • RHINE AND MOSELLE.

    • Many a year have I clasp’d in my arms the Lorrainian maiden;
    • But our union as yet ne’er has been blest with a son.
    • DANUBE IN—.

    • Round me are dwelling the falcon-ey’d race, the Phæacian people;
    • Sunday with them never ends; ceaselessly moves round the spit.
    • MAIN.

    • Ay, it is true that my castles are crumbling; yet, to my comfort,
    • Have I for centuries past seen my old race still endure.
    • SAALE.

    • Short is my course, during which I salute many princes and nations;
    • Yet the princes are good—ay! and the nations are free.
    • ILMO.

    • Poor are my banks, it is true; but yet my soft-flowing waters
    • Many immortal lays hear, borne by the current along.
    • PLEISSE.

    • Flat is my shore and shallow my current; alas, all my writers,
    • Both in prose and in verse, drink far too deep of its stream!
    • ELBE.

    • All ye others speak only a jargon; ’mongst Germany’s rivers
    • None speak German but me; I but in Misnia alone.
    • SPREE.

    • Ramler once gave me language,—my Cæsar a subject; and therefore
    • I had my mouth then stuff’d full; but I’ve been silent since that.
    • WESER.

    • Nothing, alas, can be said about me; I really can’t furnish
    • Matter enough to the Muse e’en for an epigram small.
    • MINERAL WATERS AT—.

    • Singular country! what excellent taste in its fountains and rivers!
    • In its people alone none have I ever yet found!
    • PEGNITZ.

    • I for a long time have been a hypochondriacal subject;
    • I but flow on because it has my habit been long.
    • THE—RIVERS.

    • We would gladly remain in the lands that own—as their masters;
    • Soft their yoke ever is, and all their burdens are light.
    • SALZACH.

    • I, to salt the archbishopric, come from Juvavia’s mountains;
    • Then to Bavaria turn, where they have great need of salt!
    • THE ANONYMOUS RIVER.

    • Lenten food for the pious bishop’s table to furnish,
    • By my Creator I’m pour’d over the famishing land.
    • LES FLEUVES INDISCRETS.

    • Pray be silent, ye rivers! One sees ye have no more discretion
    • Than, in a case we could name, Diderot’s favorites had.
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THE METAPHYSICIAN.

  • “HOW far beneath me seems the earthly ball!
  • The pigmy race below I scarce can see!
  • How does my art, the noblest art of all,
  • Bear me close up to heaven’s bright canopy!”
  • So cries the slater from his tower’s high top,
  • And so the little would-be-mighty man,
  • Hans Metaphysicus, from out his critic-shop.
  • Explain, thou little would-be-mighty man!
  • The tower from which thy looks the world survey,
  • Whereof,—whereon is it erected, pray?
  • How didst thou mount it? Of what use to thee
  • Its naked heights, save o’er the vale to see?

THE PHILOSOPHERS.

    • THE principle by which each thing
    • Tow’rd strength and shape first tended,—
    • The pulley whereon Zeus the ring
    • Of earth, that loosely us’d to swing,
    • With cautiousness suspended,—
    • He is a clever man, I vow,
    • Who its real name can tell me now,
    • Unless to help him I consent—
    • ’Tis: ten and twelve are different!
    • Fire burns,—’tis chilly when it snows,
    • Man always is two-footed,—
    • The sun across the heavens goes.—
    • This, he who nought of logic knows
    • Finds to his reason suited.
    • Yet he who metaphysics learns,
    • Knows that nought freezes when it burns,—
    • Knows that what’s wet is never dry,—
    • And that what’s bright attracts the eye.
    • Old Homer sings his noble lays,
    • The hero goes through dangers;
    • The brave man duty’s call obeys,
    • And did so, even in the days
    • When sages yet were strangers—
    • But heart and genius now have taught
    • What Locke and what Descartes ne’er tho’t;
    • By them immediately is shown
    • That which is possible alone.
    • In life, avails the right of force,
    • The bold the timid worries;
    • Who rules not, is a slave of course,
    • Without design each thing across
    • Earth’s stage for ever hurries.
    • Yet what would happen if the plan
    • Which guides the world now first began,
    • Within the moral system lies
    • Disclos’d with clearness to our eyes.
    • “When man would seek his destiny,
    • Man’s help must then be given;
    • Save for the whole, ne’er labors he,—
    • Of many drops is form’d the sea,—
    • By water mills are driven;
    • Therefore the wolf’s wild species flies,—
    • Knit are the state’s enduring ties.”
    • Thus Puffendorf and Feder, each
    • Is ex cathedrâ wont to teach.
    • Yet if what such professors say,
    • Each brain to enter durst not,
    • Nature exerts her mother-sway,
    • Provides that ne’er the chain gives way,
    • And that the ripe fruits burst not.
    • Meanwhile, until earth’s structure vast
    • Philosophy can bind at last,
    • ’Tis she that bids its pinions move,
    • By means of hunger and of love!
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PEGASUS IN HARNESS.

    • AT a horse-fair, once,—it may perhaps have been
    • Where other things are bought and sold,—I mean
    • At the Haymarket,—there the muses’ horse
    • A hungry poet brought—to sell, of course.
    • The hippogriff neigh’d shrilly, loudly,
    • And rear’d upon his hind-legs proudly;
    • In utter wonderment each stood and cried:
    • “The noble regal beast! But, woe betide!
    • Two hideous wings his slender form deface,
    • The finest team he else would not disgrace.”—
    • “The breed,” said they, “is doubtless rare,
    • But who would travel through the air?”—
    • Not one of them would risk his gold.
    • At length a farmer grew more bold:
    • “As for his wings, I of no use should find them,
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    • But then how easy ’tis to clip or bind them!
    • The horse for drawing may be useful found,—
    • So, friend, I don’t mind giving twenty pound!”
    • The other, glad to sell his merchandise,
    • Cried, “Done!”—And Hans rode off upon his prize.
    • The noble creature was, ere long, put-to,
    • But scarcely felt the unaccustom’d load,
    • Than, panting to soar upwards, off he flew,
    • And, fill’d with honest anger, overthrew
    • The cart where an abyss just met the road.
    • “Ho! ho!” thought Hans: “No cart to this mad beast
    • I’ll trust. Experience makes one wise at least.
    • To drive the coach to-morrow now my course is,
    • And he as leader in the team shall go.
    • The lively fellow’ll save me full two horses;
    • As years pass on, he’ll doubtless tamer grow.”
    • All went on well at first. The nimble steed
    • His partners rous’d,—like lightning was their speed.
    • What happen’d next? Tow’rd heaven was turn’d his eye,—
    • Unus’d across the solid ground to fly,
    • He quitted soon the safe and beaten course,
    • And true to nature’s strong resistless force,
    • Ran over bog and moor, o’er hedge, and pasture till’d;
    • An equal madness soon the other horses fill’d,—
    • No reins could hold them in, no help was near,
    • Till,—only picture the poor travelers’ fear!—
    • The coach, well shaken, and completely wreck’d,
    • Upon a hill’s steep top at length was check’d.
    • “If this is always sure to be the case,”
    • Hans cried, and cut a very sorry face,
    • “He’ll never do to draw a coach or wagon;
    • Let’s see if we can’t tame the fiery dragon
    • By means of heavy work and little food.”
    • And so the plan was tried.—But what ensu’d?
    • The handsome beast, before three days had past,
    • Wasted to nothing. “Stay! I see at last!”
    • Cried Hans. “Be quick, you fellows! yoke him now
    • With my most sturdy ox before the plough.”
    • No sooner said than done. In union queer
    • Together yok’d were soon wing’d horse and steer.
    • The griffin pranc’d with rage, and his remaining might
    • Exerted to resume his old-accustom’d flight.
    • ’Twas all in vain—his partner stepp’d with circumspection,
    • And Phœbus’ haughty steed must follow his direction;
    • Until at last, by long resistance spent,
    • When strength his limbs no longer was controlling,
    • The noble creature, with affliction bent,
    • Fell to the ground, and in the dust lay rolling.
    • “Accursèd beast!” at length with fury mad
    • Hans shouted, while he soundly plied the lash,—
    • “Even for ploughing, then, thou art too bad!—
    • That fellow was a rogue to sell such trash!”
    • Ere yet his heavy blows had ceas’d to fly,
    • A brisk and merry youth by chance came by.
    • A lute was tinkling in his hand,
    • And through his light and flowing hair
    • Was twin’d with grace a golden band.
    • “Whither, my friend, with that strange pair?”
    • From far he to the peasant cried.
    • “A bird and ox to one rope tied—
    • Was such a team e’er heard of, pray?
    • Thy horse’s worth I’d fain essay;
    • Just for one moment lend him me,—
    • Observe, and thou shalt wonders see!”
    • The hippogriff was loosen’d from the plough,
    • Upon his back the smiling youth leap’d now;
    • No sooner did the creature understand
    • That he was guided by a master-hand,
    • Than ’gainst his bit he champ’d, and upward soar’d,
    • While lightning from his flaming eyes outpour’d.
    • No longer the same being, royally
    • A spirit, ay, a god, ascended he,
    • Spread in a moment to the stormy wind
    • His noble wings, and left the earth behind,
    • And, ere the eye could follow him,
    • Had vanish’d in the heavens dim.
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THE PUPPET-SHOW OF LIFE.

    • THOU’RT welcome in my box to peep!
    • Life’s puppet-show, the world in little,
    • Thou’lt see depicted to a tittle,—
    • But pray at some small distance keep!
    • ’Tis by the torch of love alone,
    • By Cupid’s taper it is shown.
    • See, not a moment void the stage is!
    • The child in arms at first they bring,—
    • The boy then skips,—the youth now storms and rages,—
    • The man contends, and ventures everything!
    • Each one attempts success to find,
    • Yet narrow is the race-course ever;
    • The chariot rolls, the axles quiver,
    • The hero presses on, the coward stays behind,
    • The proud man falls with mirth-inspiring fall,
    • The wise man overtakes them all!
    • Thou seest fair woman at the barrier stand,
    • With beauteous hands, with smiling eyes,
    • To glad the victor with his prize.

TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
ON HIS DEVOTING HIMSELF TO PHILOSOPHY.

  • SO many arduous trials the Grecian youth had to suffer
  • Ere th’ Eleusinian house welcom’d him under its roof.
  • Art thou ripe and prepar’d, the holy temple to enter,
  • Where her mysterious lore Pallas Athene preserves?
  • Know’st thou what there ’tis awaits thee? How dear thy purchase may cost thee?
  • That with a gift that is sure, one that is not, thou must buy?
  • Feelest thou strength enough to fight that sternest of conflicts
  • Where the reason and heart, mind and the thought disagree?
  • Courage enough with doubt’s undying hydra to wrestle,
  • And to contend like a man ’gainst the dread foe in thyself?
  • With an eye that is sound, with a heart of innocence sacred,
  • Then to unmask the deceit veil’d in the garments of truth?
  • Fly, if thou canst not depend on the guide within thine own bosom,
  • Fly from the treacherous brink, ere thou art chok’d in the gulf!
  • Many have sought for light, and only plung’d into darkness;
  • ’Tis but in twilight alone infancy wanders secure!
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THE POETRY OF LIFE.
TO * * *

  • “OH, who would feed on dreams for ever fleeing,
  • That with a borrow’d lustre clothe the being,
  • Deceiving hope with a possession vain?
  • The truth uncover’d I would see remain.
  • Though with my dream should vanish all my heaven,
  • Though the free spirit to whose wings ’twas given
  • To scale the Possible’s unbounded realm,
  • The present with strong chains should overwhelm:
  • ’Twould teach itself then to obey;
  • ’Twould find, then, duty’s sacred call,
  • And that of need, most stern of all,
  • The more subservient to its sway.
  • He who would ’scape the gentle rule of truth,
  • Can he endure necessity forsooth?”
  • My rigid friend, thus dost thou cry and see
  • From ’neath experience’s safe portal,
  • Looking with scorn on what but seems to be.
  • Soon flies the loving band immortal,
  • Stricken with terror by thy solemn word;—
  • The dancing hours stand still, no muse’s strains are heard,—
  • The sister-deities, with beauteous hair,
  • Take up their garlands now in mute despair,—
  • Apollo breaks his lyre of gold,
  • His wondrous staff breaks Hermes too,
  • While from life’s features wan and cold
  • Falls the dream’s veil of rosy hue.
  • The world a tomb is,—Venus’ son
  • The magic band tears from his eyes,—
  • His mother in the godlike one
  • Sees now the mortal,—trembles, flies.
  • Age steals on beauty’s youthful form,
  • Upon thy lips no more is warm
  • The kiss of love,—and ere thy joy has pass’d,
  • Into a lifeless stone thou’rt chang’d at last.

TO GOETHE.
ON HIS PRODUCING VOLTAIRE’S “MAHOMET” ON THE STAGE.

    • DOST thou, whom, freed from rules constrain’d and wrong,
    • On truth and nature once again we’re plac’d,—
    • Who, in the cradle e’en a hero strong,
    • Stiflest the serpents round our genius lac’d,—
    • Thou whom the godlike science has so long
    • With her unsullied sacred fillet grac’d,—
    • Dost thou on ruin’d altars sacrifice
    • To that false muse whom we no longer prize?
    • This theatre belongs to native art,
    • No foreign idols worshipp’d here are seen;
    • A laurel we can show, with joyous heart,
    • That on the German Pindus has grown green:
    • The sciences’ most holy, hidden part
    • The German genius dares to enter e’en,
    • And, following the Briton and the Greek,
    • A nobler glory now attempts to seek.
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    • For yonder, where slaves kneel, and despots hold
    • The reins,—where spurious greatness lifts its head,
    • Art has no power the noble there to mould,
    • ’Tis by no Louis that its seed is spread;
    • From its own fulness it must needs unfold,
    • By earthly majesty ’tis never fed;
    • ’Tis with truth only it can e’er unite,
    • Its glow free spirits only e’er can light.
    • ’Tis not to bind us in a worn-out chain
    • Thou dost this play of olden time recall,—
    • ’Tis not to seek to lead us back again
    • To days when thoughtless childhood rul’d o’er all.
    • It were, in truth, an idle risk and vain
    • Into the moving wheel of time to fall;
    • The winged hours for ever bear it on,
    • The new arrives, and, lo! the old has gone.
    • The narrow theatre is now more wide,
    • Into its space a universe now steals;
    • In pompous words no longer is our pride,
    • Nature we love when she her form reveals;
    • Fashion’s false rules no more are deified;
    • And as a man the hero acts and feels.
    • ’Tis passion makes the notes of freedom sound,
    • And ’tis in truth the beautiful is found.
    • Weak is the frame of Thespis’ chariot fair,
    • Resembling much the bark of Acheron,
    • That carries nought but shades and forms of air;
    • And if rude life should venture to press on,
    • The fragile bark its weight no more can bear,
    • For fleeting spirits it can hold alone.
    • Appearance ne’er can reach reality,—
    • If nature be victorious, art must fly.
    • For on the stage’s boarded scaffold here
    • A world ideal opens to our eyes,
    • Nothing is true and genuine save—a tear;
    • Emotion on no dream of sense relies.
    • The real Melpomene is still sincere,
    • Nought as a fable merely she supplies—
    • By truth profound to charm us is her care;
    • The false one, truth pretends, but to ensnare.
    • Now from the scene, Art threatens to retire,
    • Her kingdom wild maintains still Phantasy;
    • The stage she like the world would set on fire,
    • The meanest and the noblest mingles she.
    • The Frank alone ’tis Art can now inspire,
    • And yet her archetype can his ne’er be;
    • In bounds unchangeable confining her,
    • He holds her fast, and vainly would she stir.
    • The stage to him is pure and undefil’d;
    • Chas’d from the regions that to her belong
    • Are Nature’s tones, so careless and so wild,
    • To him e’en language rises into song;
    • A realm harmonious ’tis, of beauty mild,
    • Where limb unites to limb in order strong.
    • The whole into a solemn temple blends,
    • And ’tis the dance that grace to motion lends.
    • And yet the Frank must not be made our guide,
    • For in his art no living spirit reigns;
    • The boasting gestures of a spurious pride
    • That mind which only loves the true disdains.
    • To nobler ends alone be it applied,
    • Returning, like some soul’s long-vanish’d manes,
    • To render the oft-sullied stage once more
    • A throne befitting the great muse of yore.
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NUPTIAL ODE.
ADDRESSED IN THE ORIGINAL TO MDLLE. SLEVOIGT, ON HER MARRIAGE TO DR. STURM.

    • FAIR bride, attended by our blessing,
    • Glad Hymen’s flowery path ’gin pressing!
    • We witness’d with enraptur’d eye
    • The graces of thy soul unfolding,
    • Thy youthful charms their beauty moulding
    • To blossom for love’s ecstasy.
    • A happy fate now hovers round thee,
    • And friendship yields without a smart
    • To that sweet god whose might hath bound thee;—
    • He needs must have, he hath thy heart!
    • To duties dear, to troubles tender,
    • Thy youthful breast must now surrender,
    • Thy garland’s summons must obey.
    • Each toying infantine sensation,
    • Each fleeting sport of youth’s creation,
    • For evermore hath pass’d away;
    • And Hymen’s sacred bond now chaineth
    • Where soft and flutt’ring Love was shrin’d;
    • Yet for a heart, where beauty reigneth,
    • Of flowers alone that bond is twin’d.
    • The secret that can keep for ever,
    • In verdant links, that nought can sever,
    • The bridal garland, wouldst thou find?
    • ’Tis purity the heart pervading,
    • The blossoms of a grace unfading,
    • And yet with modest shame combin’d,
    • Which, like the sun’s reflection glowing,
    • Makes every heart throb blissfully;—
    • ’Tis looks with mildness overflowing,
    • And self-maintaining dignity!

GRECIAN GENIUS.
TO MEYER IN ITALY.

  • Speechless to thousands of others, who with deaf hearts would consult him,
  • Talketh the spirit to thee, who art his kinsman and friend.

LINES WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM OF A FRIEND.
HERR VON MECHELN OF BASLE.

  • Nature in charms is exhaustless, in beauty ever reviving;
  • And, like nature, fair art is inexhaustible too.
  • Hail, thou honor’d old man! for both in thy heart thou preservest
  • Living sensations, and thus ne’er ending youth is thy lot!
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LINES IN THE FOLIO ALBUM OF A LEARNED FRIEND.

  • Once wisdom dwelt in tomes of ponderous size,
  • While friendship from a pocket-book would talk;
  • But now that knowledge in small compass lies,
  • And floats in almanacs, as light as cork,
  • Courageous man thou dost not hesitate
  • To open for thy friends this house so great!
  • Hast thou no fear, I seriously would ask,
  • That thou may’st thus their patience overtask?

THE PRESENT.

  • Ring and staff, oh to me on a Rhenish flask ye are welcome!
  • Him a true shepherd I call, who thus gives drink to his sheep.
  • Draught thrice blest! It is by the Muse I have won thee,—the Muse, too,
  • Sends thee,—and even the Church places upon thee her seal.

WILLIAM TELL.

    • When hostile elements with rage resound,
    • And fury blindly fans war’s lurid flame,—
    • When in the strife of party quarrel drown’d,
    • The voice of justice no regard can claim,—
    • When crime is free, and impious hands are found
    • The sacred to pollute, devoid of shame,
    • And loose the anchor which the State maintains,—
    • No subject there we find for joyous strains.
    • But when a nation, that its flocks still feeds
    • With calm content, nor other’s wealth desires,
    • Throws off the cruel yoke ’neath which it bleeds,
    • Yet, e’en in wrath, humanity admires,—
    • And, e’en in triumph, moderation heeds,—
    • That is immortal, and our song requires.
    • To show thee such an image now is mine;
    • Thou know’st it well, for all that’s great is thine!

TO THE HEREDITARY PRINCE OF WEIMAR,
ON HIS PROCEEDING TO PARIS. SUNG IN A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS.

    • With one last bumper let us hail
    • The wanderer belov’d,
    • Who takes his leave of this still vale
    • Wherein in youth he rov’d.
    • From loving arms, from native home,
    • He tears himself away,
    • To yonder city proud to roam,
    • That makes whole lands its prey.
    • Dissension flies, all tempests end,
    • And chain’d is strife abhorr’d;
    • We in the crater may descend
    • From whence the lava pour’d.
    • A gracious fate conduct thee through
    • Life’s wild and mazy track!
    • A bosom nature gave thee true,—
    • A bosom true bring back!
    • Thou’lt visit lands that war’s wild train
    • Had crush’d with careless heed;
    • Now smiling Peace salutes the plain,
    • And strews the golden seed.
    • The hoary Father Rhine thou’lt greet,
    • Who thy forefather blest
    • Will think of, whilst his waters fleet
    • In ocean’s bed to rest.
    • Do homage to the hero’s manes,
    • And offer to the Rhine,
    • The German frontier who maintains,
    • His own-created wine,—
    • So that thy country’s soul thy guide
    • May be, when thou hast cross’d
    • On the frail bark to yonder side,
    • Where German faith is lost!
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THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE New Century
— TO —

    • EVER will place of refuge, noble friend,
    • For peace and glorious freedom open lie?
    • The century in tempests had its end,
    • The new one now begins with murder’s cry.
    • Each land-connecting bond is torn away,
    • Each ancient custom hastens to decline;
    • Not e’en the ocean can war’s tumult stay.
    • Not e’en the Nile-god, not the hoary Rhine.
    • Two mighty nations strive, with hostile power,
    • For undivided mastery of the world;
    • And, by them, each land’s freedom to devour,
    • The trident brandish’d is—the lightning hurl’d.
    • Each country must to them its gold afford,
    • And, Brennus-like, upon the fatal day,
    • The Frank now throws his heavy iron sword,
    • The even scales of justice to o’erweigh.
    • His merchant-fleets the Briton greedily
    • Extends, like Polyp-limbs, on ev’ry side;
    • And the domain of Amphitrité free
    • As if his home it were, would fain bestride.
    • E’en to the south pole’s dim, remotest star,
    • His restless course moves onward, unrestrain’d;
    • Each isle he tracks,—each coast, however far,
    • But Paradise alone he ne’er has gain’d!
    • Although thine eye may ev’ry map explore,
    • Vainly thou’lt seek to find that blissful place,
    • Where freedom’s garden smiles for evermore,
    • And where in youth still blooms the human race.
    • Before thy gaze the world extended lies,
    • The very shipping it can scarce embrace;
    • And yet upon her back, of boundless size,
    • E’en for ten happy men there is not space!
    • Into thy bosom’s holy, silent cells,
    • Thou needs must fly from life’s tumultuous throng!
    • Freedom but in the realm of vision dwells,
    • And beauty bears no blossoms but in song.
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FAREWELL TO THE READER.

    • A MAIDEN blush o’er every feature straying,
    • The Muse her gentle harp now lays down here,
    • And stands before thee, for thy judgment praying,—
    • She waits with reverence, but not with fear;
    • Her last farewell for his kind smile delaying,
    • Whom splendor dazzles not, who holds truth dear.
    • The hand of him alone whose soaring spirit
    • Worships the Beautiful, can crown her merit.
    • These simple lays are only heard resounding,
    • While feeling hearts are gladden’d by their tone,
    • With brighter phantasies their path surrounding,
    • To nobler aims their footsteps guiding on.
    • Yet coming ages ne’er will hear them sounding,
    • They live but for the present hour alone;
    • The passing moment call’d them into being,
    • And, as the hours dance on, they, too, are fleeing.
    • The spring returns, and nature then awaking,
    • Bursts into life across the smiling plain;
    • Each shrub its perfume through the air is shaking,
    • And heaven is fill’d with one sweet choral strain;
    • While young and old, their secret haunts forsaking,
    • With raptur’d eye and ear rejoice again.
    • The spring then flies,—to seed return the flowers,
    • And nought remains to mark the vanish’d hours.
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Semele.

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SEMELE: IN TWO SCENES.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

Juno.

Semele, Princess of Thebes.

Jupiter.

Mercury.

SceneThe Palace of Cadmus at Thebes.

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SCENE I.

Juno.
    • (Descending from her chariot, enveloped in a cloud.) Away, ye Peacocks, with my winged car
    • Upon Cithæron’s cloud-capp’d summit wait!
    • [The chariot and cloud vanish.
    • Hail, hail, thou House of my undying anger!
    • A fearful hail to thee, thou hostile roof,
    • Ye hated walls!—This, this then, is the place
    • Where Jupiter pollutes his marriage bed
    • Even before the face of modest day!
    • ’Tis here, then, that a woman, a frail mortal,
    • A dust-created being, dares to lure
    • The mighty Thunderer from out mine arms,
    • And hold him prisoner against her lips!
    • Juno! Juno! thought of madness!
    • Thou all lonely and in sadness,
    • Standest now on Heaven’s bright throne!
    • Though the votive smoke ascendeth,
    • Though each knee in homage bendeth,
    • What are they when Love has flown?
    • To humble, alas, each too-haughty emotion
    • That swell’d my proud breast, from the foam of the ocean
    • Fair Venus arose, to enchant Gods and men!
    • And the Fates my still-deeper abasement decreeing,
    • Her offspring Hermione brought into being,
    • And the bliss once mine own can ne’er glad me again!
    • Amongst the Gods do I not reign the Queen?
    • Am I not Sister of the Thunderer?
    • Am I not wife of Zeus the Lord of All?
    • Groans not the mighty axis of the Heav’ns
    • At my command? Gleams not Olympus’ crown
    • Upon my head? Ha! now I feel myself!
    • In my immortal veins is Kronos’ blood,
    • Right royally now swells my godlike heart.
    • Revenge! revenge!
    • Shall she unpunish’d ridicule my might?
    • Unpunish’d, discord roll amongst the Gods,
    • Inviting Eris to invade the courts,
    • The joyous courts of Heav’n? Vain, thoughtless one!
    • Perish, and learn upon the Stygian stream
    • The difference ’twixt divine and earthly dust!
    • Thy giant-armour, may it weigh thee down—
    • Thy passion for a God to atoms crush thee!
    • Armed with revenge, as with a coat of mail,
    • I have descended from Olympus’ heights,
    • Devising sweet, ensnaring, flatt’ring words;
    • But in those words, death and destruction lurk.
    • Hark! ’tis her footstep! she approaches now—
    • Approaches ruin and a certain death!
    • Veil thyself, Goddess, in a mortal form! [Exit.
Semele.
  • (Calling behind the scenes.)
  • The sun is fast declining! Maidens, haste,
  • Scatter ambrosial fragrance through the hall,
  • Strew roses and narcissus-flowers around,
  • Forgetting not the gold-embroider’d pillow.
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  • He comes not yet—the sun is fast declining—
Juno.
  • (Hastily entering in the form of an old woman.) Prais’d be the Deities, my dearest daughter!
Semele.
  • Ha! Do I dream? Am I awake? Gods! Beroë!
Juno.
  • Is’t possible that Semele can e’er
  • Forget her nurse?
Semele.
  • ’Tis Beroë! By Zeus!
  • Oh, let thy daughter clasp thee to her heart!
  • Thou livest still? What can have brought thee here
  • From Epidaurus? Tell me all thy tale!
  • Thou’rt still my mother as of old?
Juno.
  • Thy mother!
  • Time was, thou call’dst me so.
Semele.
  • Thou art so still,
  • And wilt remain so, till I drink full deep
  • Of Lethe’s madd’ning draught.
Juno.
  • Soon Beroë
  • Will drink oblivion from the waves of Lethe;
  • But Cadmus’ daughter ne’er will taste that draught.
Semele.
  • How, my good nurse? Thy language ne’er was wont
  • To be mysterious or of hidden meaning;
  • The spirit of grey hairs ’tis speaks in thee;
  • Thou say’st I ne’er shall taste of Lethe’s draught?
Juno.
  • I said so, Yes! But wherefore ridicule
  • Grey hairs? ’Tis true that they, unlike fair tresses,
  • Have ne’er been able to ensnare a God!
Semele.
  • Pardon poor thoughtless me! What cause have I
  • To ridicule grey hairs? Can I suppose
  • That mine for ever fair will grace my neck?
  • But what was that I heard thee muttering
  • Between thy teeth?—A God?
Juno.
  • Said I, a God?
  • The Deities in truth dwell ev’rywhere!
  • ’Tis good for Earth’s frail children to implore them.
  • The Gods are found where thou art—Semele!
  • What wouldst thou ask?
Semele.
  • Malicious heart! But say:
  • What brings thee to this spot from Epidaurus?
  • ’Tis not because the Gods delight to dwell
  • Near Semele!
Juno.
  • By Jupiter, nought else!—
  • What fire was that which mounted to thy cheeks
  • When I pronounced the name of Jupiter!
  • Nought else, my daughter! Fearfully the plague
  • At Epidaurus rages; ev’ry blast
  • Is deadly poison, ev’ry breath destroys;
  • The son his mother burns, his bride the bridegroom;
  • The funeral piles rear up their flaming heads,
  • Converting even midnight to bright day,
  • While howls of anguish ceaseless rend the air;
  • Full to o’erflowing is the cup of woe!—
  • In anger, Zeus looks down on our poor nation;
  • In vain the victim’s blood is shed, in vain
  • Before the altar bows the priest his knee;
  • Deaf is his ear to all our supplications—
  • Therefore, my sorrow-stricken country now
  • Has sent me here to Cadmus’ regal daughter,
  • In hopes that I may move her to avert
  • His anger from us—“Beroë, the nurse,
  • “Has influence,” thus they said, “with Semele,
  • “And Semele with Zeus”—I know no more,
  • And understand still less what means the saying,
  • That Semele such influence has with Zeus.
Semele.
  • (Eagerly and thoughtlessly.)
  • The plague shall cease to-morrow! Tell them so!
  • Zeus loves me! Say so! It shall cease to-day!
Juno.
  • (Starting up in astonishment.)
  • Ha! Is it true what Fame with thousand tongues
  • Has spread abroad from Ida to Mount Hæmus?
  • Zeus loves thee? Zeus salutes thee in the glory
  • Wherein the denizens of Heav’n regard him,
  • When in Saturnia’s arms he sinks to rest?—
  • Let, O ye Gods, my grey hairs now descend
  • To Orcus’ shades, for I have liv’d enough!
  • In god-like splendor Kronos’ mighty Son
  • Comes down to her,—to her, who on this breast
  • Once suckled—yes! to her—
Semele.
  • Oh, Beroë!
  • In youthful form he came, in lovelier guise
  • Than they who from Aurora’s lap arise;
  • Fairer than Hesper, breathing incense dim,—
  • In floods of æther steep’d appear’d each limb;
  • He mov’d with graceful and majestic motion,
  • Like silv’ry billows heaving o’er the ocean,
  • Or as Hyperion, whose bright shoulders ever
  • His bow and arrows bear, and clanging quiver;
  • His robe of light behind him gracefully
  • Danc’d in the breeze, his voice breath’d melody,
  • Like crystal streams with silv’ry murmur falling,
  • More ravishing than Orpheus’ strains enthralling.
Juno.
  • My daughter!—Inspiration spurs thee on,
  • Raising thy heart to flights of Helicon!
  • If thus in strains of Delphic ecstasy
  • Ascends the short-liv’d blissful memory
  • Of his bright charms,—Oh, how divine must be
  • His own sweet voice,—his look how heavenly!
  • But why of that great attribute
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  • Kronîon joys in most, be mute,—
  • The majesty that hurls the thunder,
  • And tears the fleeting clouds asunder?
  • Wilt thou say nought of that alone!
  • Prometheus and Deucalion
  • May lend the fairest charms of love,
  • But none can wield the bolt save Jove!
  • The thunderbolt it is alone
  • Which he before thy feet laid down
  • That proves thy right to Beauty’s crown.
Semele.
  • What say’st thou? What are thunderbolts to me!
Juno.
  • (Smiling.) Ah, Semele! A jest becomes thee well!
Semele.
  • Deucalion has no offspring so divine
  • As is my Zeus—of thunder nought I know.
Juno.
  • Mere envy! Fie!
Semele.
  • No, Beroë! By Zeus!
Juno.
  • Thou swear’st?
Semele.
  • By Zeus! By mine own Zeus!
Juno.
  • (Shrieking.) Thou swear’st?
  • Unhappy one!
Semele.
  • (In alarm.) What mean’st thou? Beroë!
Juno.
  • Repeat the word that dooms thee to become
  • The wretchedest of all on Earth’s wide face!—
  • Alas, lost creature! ’Twas not Zeus!
Semele.
  • Not Zeus?
  • Oh, fearful thought!
Juno.
  • A cunning traitor ’twas
  • From Attica, who, ’neath a god-like form,
  • Robb’d thee of honor, shame, and innocence!—[Semele sinks to the ground.
  • Well may’st thou fall! Ne’er may’st thou rise again!
  • May endless night enshroud thine eyes in darkness,
  • May endless silence round thine ears encamp!
  • Remain for ever here a lifeless mass!
  • Oh, infamy! Enough to hurl chaste day
  • Back into Hecate’s gloomy arms once more!
  • Ye Gods! And is it thus that Beroë
  • Finds Cadmus’ daughter, after sixteen years
  • Of bitter separation! Full of joy
  • I came from Epidaurus; but with shame
  • To Epidaurus must retrace my steps.—
  • Despair I take with me. Alas, my people!
  • E’en to the second Deluge now the plague
  • May rage at will, may pile Mount Oeta high
  • With corpses upon corpses, and may turn
  • All Greece into one mighty charnel-house,
  • Ere Semele can bend the angry Gods.
  • I, thou, and Greece, and all, have been betray’d!
Semele.
  • (Trembling as she rises, and extending an arm towards her.) Oh! Beroë.
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Juno.
  • Take courage, my dear heart!
  • Perchance ’tis Zeus! altho’ it scarce can be!
  • Perchance ’tis really Zeus! This we must learn!
  • He must disclose himself to thee, or thou
  • Must fly his sight for ever, and devote
  • The monster to the death-revenge of Thebes.
  • Look up, dear daughter—look upon the face
  • Of thine own Beroë, who looks on thee
  • With sympathizing eyes—my Semele,
  • Were it not well to try him?
Semele.
  • No, by Heaven!
  • I should not find him then—
Juno.
  • What! Wilt thou be
  • Perchance less wretched, if thou pinest on
  • In mournful doubt?—and if ’tis really he,—
Semele.
  • (Hiding her face in Juno’s lap.) Ah! ’tis not he!
Juno.
  • And if he came to thee
  • Array’d in all the majesty wherein
  • Olympus sees him? Semele! What then?
  • Wouldst thou repent thee then of having tried him?
Semele.
  • (Springing up.) Ha! be it so! He must unveil himself!
Juno.
  • (Hastily.) Thou must not let him sink into thine arms
  • Till he unveils himself—so hearken, child,
  • To what thy faithful nurse now counsels thee,—
  • To what affection whispers in mine ear,
  • And will accomplish’—Say! will he soon come?
Semele.
  • Before Hyperion sinks in Thetis’ bed,
  • He promis’d to appear.
Juno.
  • (Forgetting herself, hastily.) Is’t so, indeed?
  • He promis’d? Ha! To-day? (Recovering herself.) Let him approach,
  • And when he would attempt, inflam’d with love,
  • To clasp his arms around thee, then do thou,—
  • Observe me well,—as if by lightning struck,
  • Start back in haste. Ha! picture his surprise!
  • Leave him not long in wonderment, my child;
  • Continue to repulse him with a look
  • As cold as ice—more wildly, with more ardor,
  • He’ll press thee then—the coyness of the fair
  • Is but a dam, that for awhile keeps back
  • The torrent, only to increase the flood
  • With greater fury. Then begin to weep:
  • ’Gainst giants he might stand,—look calmly on
  • When Typheus, hundred-arm’d, in fury hurl’d
  • Mount Ossa and Olympus ’gainst his throne:
  • But Zeus is soon subdu’d by beauty’s tears.
  • Thou smilest?—Be it so! Is, then, the scholar
  • Wiser, perchance, than she who teaches her?—
  • Then thou must pray the God one little, little,
  • Most innocent request to grant to thee—
  • One that may seal his love and Godhead too.
  • He’ll swear by Styx. The Styx he must obey!
  • That oath he dares not break! Then speak these words:
  • “Thou shalt not touch this body, till thou com’st
  • “To Cadmus’ daughter cloth’d in all the might
  • “Wherein thou art embrac’d by Kronos’ daughter!”
  • Be not thou terrified, my Semele,
  • If he, in order to escape thy wish,
  • As bugbears paints the horrors of his presence,
  • Describes the flames that round about him roar,
  • The thunder round him rolling when he comes:
  • These, Semele, are nought but empty fears—
  • The Gods dislike to show to us frail mortals
  • These the most glorious of their attributes;
  • Be thou but obstinate in thy request,
  • And Juno’s self will gaze on thee with envy.
Semele.
  • The frightful ox-eyed one! How often he
  • Complains, in the blest moments of our love,
  • Of her tormenting him with her black gall—
Juno.
  • (Aside, furiously, but with embarrassment.)
  • Ha! creature! Thou shalt die for this contempt!
Semele.
  • My Beroë! What art thou murmuring there?
Juno.
  • (In confusion.)
  • Nothing, my Semele! Black gall torments
  • Me also—Yes! a sharp, reproachful look
  • With lovers often passes as black gall—
  • Yet ox-eyes, after all, are not so ugly.
Semele.
  • Oh, Beroë, for shame! they’re quite the worst
  • That any head can possibly contain!
  • And then her cheeks of green and yellow hues,
  • The obvious penalty of poisonous envy—
  • Zeus oft complains to me that that same shrew
  • Each night torments him with her nauseous love,
  • And with her jealous whims,—enough, I’m sure,
  • Into Ixion’s wheel to turn all Heaven.
Juno.
  • (Raving up and down in extreme confusion.)
  • No more of this!
Semele.
  • What, Beroë! So angry?
  • Have I said more than what is true? Said more
  • Than what is wise?
Juno.
  • Thou hast said more, young woman,
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  • Than what is true—said more than what is wise!
  • Deem thyself truly blest, if thy blue eyes
  • Smile thee not into Charon’s bark too soon!
  • Saturnia has her altars and her temples,
  • And wanders amongst mortals—that great Goddess
  • Avenges nought so bitterly as scorn.
Semele.
  • Here let her wander, and give birth to scorn!
  • What is’t to me—My Jupiter protects
  • My ev’ry hair,—what harm can Juno do?
  • But now enough of this, my Beroë!
  • Zeus must appear to-day in all his glory;
  • And if Saturnia should on that account
  • Find out the path to Orcus—
Juno.
  • (Aside.) That same path
  • Another probably will find before her,
  • If but Kronīon’s lightning hits the mark!—
  • (To Semele.)
  • Yes, Semele, she well may burst with envy
  • When Cadmus’ daughter, in the sight of Greece,
  • Ascends in triumph to Olympus’ heights—
Semele.
  • (Smiling gently.)
  • Think’st thou they’ll hear in Greece of Cadmus’ daughter?
Juno.
  • From Sidon to Athens the trumpet of Fame
  • Shall ring with no other but Semele’s name!
  • The Gods from the Heavens shall even descend,
  • And before thee their knees in deep homage shall bend,
  • While mortals in silent submission abide
  • The will of the Giant-Destroyer’s lov’d bride;
  • And when distant years shall see
  • Thy last hour—
Semele.
  • (Springing up, and falling on her neck.) Oh Beroë!
Juno.
  • Then a tablet white shall bear
  • This inscription graven there:
  • Here is worshipp’d Semele!
  • Who on earth so fair as she?
  • She who from Olympus’ throne
  • Lur’d the Thunder-hurler down!
  • She who, with her kisses sweet,
  • Laid him prostrate at her feet!
  • And when Fame on her thousand wings bears it around,
  • The echo from valley and hill shall resound.
Semele.
  • (Beside herself.)
  • Pythia! Apollo! Hear!
  • When, oh when will he appear?
Juno.
  • And on smoking altars they
  • Rites divine to thee shall pay—
Semele.
  • (Inspired.)
  • I will hearken to their prayer,
  • And will drive away their care,—
  • Quench with my tears the lightning of great Jove,
  • His breast to pity with entreaty move!
Juno.
  • (Aside.) Poor thing! that wilt thou ne’er have power to do. (Meditating.)
  • Ere long will melt . . . . yet—yet—she call’d me ugly!—
  • No! Pity only when in Tartarus! (To Semele.)
  • Fly now, my love! Make haste to leave this spot,
  • That Zeus may not observe thee—let him wait
  • Long for thy coming, that he with more fire
  • May languish for thee—
Semele.
  • Beroë! The Heavens
  • Have chosen thee their mouthpiece! Happy I!
  • The Gods from Olympus shall even descend,
  • And before me their knees in deep homage shall bend,
  • While mortals in silent submission abide—
  • But hold!—’tis time for me to haste away!
  • [Exit hurriedly.
Juno.
  • (Looking after her with exultation.)
  • Weak, proud, and easily-deluded woman!
  • His tender looks shall be consuming fire—
  • His kiss, annihilation—his embrace,
  • A raging tempest to thee! Human frames
  • Are powerless to endure the dreaded presence
  • Of him who wields the thunderbolt on high!
  • (With raving ecstasy.)
  • Ha! when her waxen mortal body melts
  • Within the arms of Him, the Fire-distilling,
  • As melts the fleecy snow before the heat
  • Of the bright sun—and when the perjur’d one,
  • In place of his soft tender bride, embraces
  • A form of terror—with what ecstasy
  • Shall I gaze downwards from Cithæron’s height,
  • Exclaiming, so that in his hand the bolt
  • Shall quake, “For shame, Saturnius! Fie, for shame!
  • “What need is there for thee to clasp so roughly?”
  • [Exit hastily.
  • (A Symphony.)
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SCENE II.
The Hall as before.—Sudden brightness.

Zeus in the shape of a youth.Mercury in the distance.

Zeus.
  • Thou son of Maia!
Mercury.
  • (Kneeling, with his head bowed reverentially.) Zeus!
Zeus.
  • Up! Hasten! Turn
  • Thy pinions’ flight tow’rd far Scamander’s bank!
  • A shepherd there is weeping o’er the grave
  • Of his lov’d shepherdess. No one shall weep
  • When Zeus is loving: Call the dead to life!
Mercury.
  • (Rising.) Let but thy head a nod almighty give,
  • And in an instant I am there,—am back
  • In the same instant—
Zeus.
  • Stay! As I o’er Argos
  • Was flying, from my temples curling rose
  • The sacrificial smoke: it gave me joy
  • That thus the people worship me—so fly
  • To Ceres, to my sister,—thus speaks Zeus:
  • “Ten-thousandfold for fifty years to come
  • “Let her reward the Argive husbandmen!”—
Mercury.
  • With trembling haste I execute thy wrath,—
  • With joyous speed thy messages of grace,
  • Father of All! For to the Deities
  • ’Tis bliss to make man happy; to destroy him
  • Is anguish to the Gods. Thy will be done!
  • Where shall I pour into Thine ears their thanks,—
  • Below in dust, or at Thy throne on high?
Zeus.
  • Here at my throne on earth—within the palace
  • Of Semele! Away!
  • [Exit Mercury.
  • Does she not come,
  • As is her wont, Olympus’ mighty king
  • To clasp against her rapture-swelling breast?
  • Why hastens not my Semele to meet me?
  • A vacant, death-like, fearful silence reigns
  • On ev’ry side around the lonely palace,
  • So wont to ring with wild Bacchantic shouts—
  • No breath is stirring—on Cithæron’s height
  • Exulting Juno stands. Will Semele
  • Never again make haste to meet her Zeus?
  • (A pause, after which he continues.)
  • Ha! Can you impious one perchance have dar’d
  • To set her foot in my love’s sanctuary?—
  • Saturnia—Mount Cithæron—her rejoicings!
  • Fearful foreboding!—Semele—yet peace!—
  • Take courage!—I’m thy Zeus! the scatter’d Heav’ns
  • Shall learn, my Semele, that I’m thy Zeus!
  • Where is the breath of air that dares presume
  • Roughly to blow on her whom Zeus calls His?
  • I scoff at all her malice.—Where art thou,
  • Oh Semele? I long have pin’d to rest
  • My world-tormented head upon thy breast,—
  • To lull my wearied senses to repose
  • From the wild storm of earthly joys and woes,—
  • To dream away the emblems of my might,
  • My reins, my tiller, and my chariot bright,
  • And live for nought beyond the joys of love!
  • Oh heav’nly inspiration, that can move
  • Even the Gods divine! What is the blood
  • Of mighty Uranus—what all the flood
  • Of nectar and ambrosia—what the throne
  • Of high Olympus—what the pow’r I own,
  • The golden sceptre of the starry skies—
  • What the Omnipotence that never dies,
  • What Might eternal, Immortality—
  • What e’en a God, oh love, if reft of thee?
  • The shepherd who, beside the murmuring brook,
  • Leans on his true love’s breast, nor cares to look
  • After his straying lambs, in that sweet hour
  • Envies me not my thunderbolt of power!
  • She comes—she hastens nigh! Pearl of my works,
  • Woman!—the Artist who created thee
  • Should be ador’d. ’Twas I—myself I worship:
  • Zeus worships Zeus, for Zeus created thee.
  • Ha! Who will now, in all the Being-realm,
  • Condemn me? How unseen, yes, how despis’d
  • Dwindle away my worlds, my constellations,
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  • So ray-diffusing, all my dancing systems,
  • What wise men call the music of my spheres!—
  • How dead are all when weigh’d against a soul!
  • (Semele approaches, without looking up.)
  • My pride! my throne on earth! Oh Semele!
  • (He rushes towards her; she seeks to fly.)
  • Thou fly’st?—Art mute?—Ha! Semele! thou fly’st?
Semele.
  • (Repulsing him.) Away!
Zeus.
  • (After a pause of astonishment.)
  • Is Jupiter asleep? Will Nature
  • Rush to her fall?—Can Semele speak thus?—
  • What, not an answer? Eagerly mine arms
  • Tow’rd thee are stretch’d—my bosom never throbb’d
  • Responsive to Agenor’s daughter,—never
  • Throbb’d against Leda’s breast,—my lips ne’er burn’d
  • For the sweet kiss of prison’d Danaë,
  • As now—
Semele.
  • Peace, Traitor! Peace!
Zeus.
  • (With displeasure, but tenderly.)
  • My Semele!
Semele.
  • Out of my sight!
Zeus.
  • (Looking at her with majesty,)
  • Know, I am Zeus!
Semele.
  • Thou Zeus?
  • Tremble, Salmoneus, for he fearfully
  • Will soon demand again the stolen charms
  • That thou hast robb’d him of—thou art not Zeus!
Zeus.
  • (With dignity.)
  • The mighty universe around me whirls,
  • And calls me so—
Semele.
  • Ha! Fearful blasphemy!
Zeus.
  • (More gently.) How, my divine one?
  • Wherefore such a tone?
  • What reptile dares to steal thine heart from me?
Semele.
  • My heart was vow’d to Him whose ape thou art!
  • Men ofttimes come beneath a godlike form
  • To snare a woman. Hence! thou art not Zeus!
Zeus.
  • Thou doubtest? What! Can Semele still doubt
  • My Godhead?
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Semele.
  • (Mournfully.) Would that thou wert Zeus!
  • No son of morrow-nothingness shall touch this mouth;
  • This heart is vow ’d to Zeus! Would thou wert He!
Zeus.
  • Thou weepest? Zeus is here,—weeps Semele?
  • [Falling down before her.
  • Speak! But command! and then shall slavish Nature
  • Lie trembling at the feet of Cadmus’ daughter!
  • Command! and streams shall instantly make halt—
  • And Helicon, and Caucasus, and Cynthus,
  • And Athos, Mycale, and Rhodope, and Pindus,
  • Shall burst their bonds when I order it so,
  • And kiss the valleys and plains below,
  • And dance in the breeze like flakes of snow.
  • Command! and the Winds from the East and the North,
  • And the fierce Tornado shall sally forth,
  • While Poseidon’s trident their power shall own,
  • When they shake to its base his watery throne;
  • The billows in angry fury shall rise,
  • And every sea-mark and dam despise;
  • The lightning shall gleam thro’ the firmament black,
  • While the poles of Earth and of Heaven shall crack,
  • The Ocean the heights of Olympus explore,
  • From thousandfold jaws with wild deafening roar
  • The thunder shall howl, while with mad jubilee
  • The hurricane fierce sings in triumph to thee;
  • Command—
Semele.
  • I’m but a woman, a frail woman!
  • How can the Potter bend before his pot?
  • How can the Artist kneel before his statue?
Zeus.
  • Pygmalion bow’d before his masterpiece—
  • And Zeus now worships his own Semele!
Semele.
  • (Weeping bitterly.)
  • Arise—arise! Alas, for us poor maidens!
  • Zeus has my heart, Gods only can I love.
  • The Gods deride me, Zeus despises me!
Zeus.
  • Zeus who is now before thy feet—
Semele.
  • Arise!
  • Zeus reigns on high, above the thunderbolts,
  • And, clasp’d in Juno’s arms, a reptile scorns.
Zeus.
  • (Hastily.)
  • Ha! Semele and Juno!—which the reptile?
Semele.
  • How blest beyond all utterance would be
  • Cadmus’ daughter—wert thou Zeus! Alas!
  • Thou art not Zeus!
Zeus.
  • (Arises.) I am!
  • (He extends his hand, and a rainbow fills the hall; music accompanies its appearance.)
  • Know’st thou me now?
Semele.
  • Strong is that mortal’s arm, whom Gods protect,—
  • Saturnius loves thee—none can I e’er love
  • But Deities—
Zeus.
  • What! art thou doubting still
  • Whether my might is lent me by the Gods,
  • And not God-born? The Gods, my Semele,
  • In charity oft lend their strength to man;
  • Ne’er do the Deities their terrors lend—
  • Death and destruction is the Godhead’s seal—
  • Bearer of death to thee were Zeus unveil’d!
  • (He extends his hand. Thunder, fire, smoke, and earthquake. Music accompanies the spell here and subsequently.)
Semele.
  • Withdraw, withdraw thy hand!—Oh, mercy, mercy
  • For the poor nation! Yes! thou art the Child
  • Of great Saturnius—
Zeus.
  • Ha! thou thoughtless one!
  • Shall Zeus, to please a woman’s stubbornness,
  • Bid planets whirl, and bid the suns stand still?
  • Zeus will do so!—Oft has a God’s descendant
  • Ripp’d up the fire-impregnate womb of rocks,
  • And yet his might’s confined to Tellus’ bounds;
  • Zeus only can do this!
  • (He extends his hand—the sun vanishes, and it becomes suddenly night.)
Semele.
  • (Falling down before him.) Almighty one!
  • Couldst thou but love!
  • [Day reappears.
Zeus.
  • Ha! Cadmus’ daughter asks
  • Kronīon if Kronīon e’er can love!
  • One word, and he throws off Divinity—
  • Is flesh and blood, and dies, and is belov’d!
Semele.
  • Would Zeus do that?
Zeus.
  • Speak, Semele!
  • What more?
  • Apollo’s self confesses that ’tis bliss
  • To be a man ’mongst men—a sign from thee,
  • And I’m a man!
Semele.
  • (Falling on his neck.)
  • Oh, Jupiter, the Epidaurus women
  • Thy Semele a foolish maiden call,
  • Because, though by the Thunderer belov’d,
  • She can obtain nought from him—
Zeus.
  • (Eagerly.) They shall blush,
  • Those Epidaurus women! Ask!—but ask!
  • And by the dreaded Styx—whose boundless might
  • Binds e’en the Gods like slaves—if Zeus deny thee,
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artist: n. gysis.

SEMELE.

scene ii.

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  • Then shall the Gods, e’en in that self-same moment,
  • Hurl me despairing to annihilation!
Semele.
  • (Springing up joyfully.)
  • By this I know that thou’rt my Jupiter!
  • Thou swearest—and the Styx has heard thine oath!
  • Let me embrace thee, then, in the same guise
  • In which—
Zeus.
  • (Shrieking with alarm.)
  • Unhappy one! Oh stay! oh stay!
Semele.
  • Saturnia—
Zeus.
  • (Attempting to stop her mouth.)
  • Be thou dumb!
Semele.
  • Embraces thee.
Zeus.
  • (Pale, and turning away.)
  • Too late! The sound escap’d!—The Styx!—’Tis death
  • Thou, Semele, hast gain’d!
Semele.
  • Ha! Loves Zeus thus?
Zeus.
  • All Heaven I would have given, had I only
  • Lov’d thee but less!
  • (Gazing at her with cold horror.)
  • Thou’rt lost—
Semele.
  • Oh, Jupiter!
Zeus.
  • (Speaking furiously to himself.)
  • Ah! Now I mark thine exultation, Juno!
  • Accursed jealousy! This rose must die!
  • Too fair—alas! too sweet for Acheron!
Semele.
  • Methinks thou’rt niggard of thy majesty!
Zeus.
  • Accursed be my majesty, that now
  • Has blinded thee! Accursed be my greatness,
  • That must destroy thee! Curs’d be I myself
  • For having built my bliss on crumbling dust!
Semele.
  • These are but empty terrors, Zeus! In truth
  • I do not dread thy threats!
Zeus.
  • Deluded child!
  • Go! take a last farewell for evermore
  • Of all thy friends belov’d—nought, nought has power
  • To save thee, Semele! I am thy Zeus!
  • Yet that no more—Go—
Semele.
  • Jealous one! the Styx!—
  • Think not that thou’lt be able to escape me.
  • [Exit.
Zeus.
  • No! Juno shall not triumph.—She shall tremble—
  • Aye, and by virtue of the deadly might
  • That makes the earth and makes the heavens my footstool,
  • Upon the sharpest rock in Thracia’s land
  • With adamantine chains I’ll bind her fast.
  • But, oh, this oath—
  • [Mercury appears in the distance.
  • What means thy hasty flight?
Mercury.
  • I bring the fiery, wing’d, and weeping thanks
  • Of those whom thou hast bless’d—
Zeus.
  • Again destroy them!
Mercury.
  • (In amazement.) Zeus!
Zeus.
  • None shall now be bless’d!
  • She dies—
  • [The Curtain falls.