The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 363 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01.

  Young and fresh,
  From the clouds he danceth
  Down upon the marble rocks;
  Then tow’rd heaven
  Leaps exulting.

  Through the mountain-passes
  Chaseth he the color’d pebbles,
  And, advancing like a chief,
  Draws his brother streamlets with him
  In his course.

  In the vale below
  ’Neath his footsteps spring the flowers,
  And the meadow
  In his breath finds life.

  Yet no shady vale can stay him,
  Nor can flowers,
  Round his knees all softly twining
  With their loving eyes detain him;
  To the plain his course he taketh,
  Serpent-winding.

  Eager streamlets
  Join his waters.  And now moves he
  O’er the plain in silv’ry glory,
  And the plain in him exults,
  And the rivers from the plain,
  And the streamlets from the mountain,
  Shout with joy, exclaiming:  “Brother,
  Brother, take thy brethren with thee. 
  With thee to thine aged father,
  To the everlasting ocean,
  Who, with arms outstretching far,
  Waiteth for us;
  Ah, in vain those arms lie open
  To embrace his yearning children;
  For the thirsty sand consumes us
  In the desert waste; the sunbeams
  Drink our life-blood; hills around us
  Into lakes would dam us!  Brother,
  Take thy brethren of the plain,
  Take thy brethren of the mountain
  With thee, to thy father’s arms!”—­

  Let all come, then!—­
  And now swells he
  Lordlier still; yea, e’en a people
  Bears his regal flood on high! 
  And in triumph onward rolling,
  Names to countries gives he,—­cities
  Spring to light beneath his foot.

  Ever, ever, on he rushes,
  Leaves the towers’ flame-tipp’d summits,
  Marble palaces, the offspring
  Of his fulness, far behind.

  Cedar-houses bears the Atlas
  On his giant shoulders; flutt’ring
  In the breeze far, far above him
  Thousand flags are gaily floating,
  Bearing witness to his might.

  And so beareth he his brethren,
  All his treasures, all his children,
  Wildly shouting, to the bosom
  Of his long-expectant sire.

PROMETHEUS[7] (1774)

  Cover thy spacious heavens, Zeus,
  With clouds of mist,
  And, like the boy who lops
  The thistles’ heads,
  Disport with oaks and mountain-peaks;
  Yet thou must leave

  My earth still standing;
  My cottage too, which was not raised by thee,
  Leave me my hearth,
  Whose kindly glow
  By thee is envied.

  I know nought poorer
  Under the sun, than ye gods! 
  Ye nourish painfully,
  With sacrifices
  And votive prayers,
  Your majesty;
  Ye would e’en starve,
  If children and beggars
  Were not trusting fools. 
  While yet a child,
  And ignorant of life,
  I turned my wandering gaze
  Up tow’rd the sun, as if with him
  There were an ear to hear my wailing,
  A heart, like mine
  To feel compassion for distress.

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Project Gutenberg
The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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