For he was ours. So let the note
Hush into silence all the mourner’s ruth;
In our safe harbor he was fain to bide
And build for aye, after the storm of youth.
We saw his mighty spirit onward stride
To eternal realms of Beauty and of Truth;
While far behind him lay fantasmally
The vulgar things that fetter you and me.
* * * * *
[Footnote 1: Translated by Edward, Lord Lytton.]
[Footnote 2: This Sonnet, by the author of this sketch of Schiller’s life, was written for the Chicago Schiller Celebration of 1905, but has not been printed before. EDITOR.]
* * * * *
[All poems in this section are translations by Edward, Lord Lytton, and appear by permission of George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., London.]
* * * * *
TO THE IDEAL (1795)
Then wilt thou, with thy fancies holy—
Wilt thou, faithless, fly from me?
With thy joy, thy melancholy,
Wilt thou thus relentless flee?
O Golden Time, O Human May,
Can nothing, Fleet One, thee restraint?
Must thy sweet river glide away
Into the eternal Ocean Main?
The suns serene are lost and vanish’d
That wont the path of youth to gild,
And all the fair Ideals banish’d
From that wild heart they whilome fill’d.
Gone the divine and sweet believing
In dreams which Heaven itself unfurl’d!
What godlike shapes have years bereaving
Swept from this real work-day world!
As once, with tearful passion fired,
The Cyprian Sculptor clasp’d the stone,
Till the cold cheeks, delight-inspired,
Blush’d—to sweet life the marble grown:
So youth’s desire for Nature!—round
The Statue so my arms I wreathed,
Till warmth and life in mine it found,
And breath that poets breathe—it breathed;
With my own burning thoughts it burn’d;—
Its silence stirr’d to speech divine;—
Its lips my glowing kiss return’d—
Its heart in beating answer’d mine!
How fair was then the flower—the tree!—
How silver-sweet the fountain’s fall!
The soulless had a soul to me!
My life its own life lent to all!