The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 414 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03.

  THE MAIDEN

  What is this strange feeling? 
    What can it betoken? 
  By some hidden power my nature is moved,
  They call to my heart like the friends I have loved—­
    Yet never before with these strangers I’ve spoken.

  THE COUNTRY PEOPLE

  What is this strange feeling? 
    What can it betoken?

GENIUS

  Ah, but yonder see I mortals,
    Come to revel with delight. 
  Look—­with ribbons and with garlands
    Richly is the tree bedight! 
  Surely joy their bosom fills—­

     [To the country people.]

    Tell me what it is you do.

  THE FATHER

  Shepherds are we of these hills,
    And a feast we keep, ’tis true.

GENIUS

  What the feast?  I fain would hear!

  THE MOTHER

  In honor of our lady dear,
    Great as good, and good as great,
  Who, to bless our humble vale,
    From her high imperial station
  Has descended—­her we hail!

  THE YOUTH

  For her charms our jubilation,
  Kindness like the sun’s warm rays!

GENIUS

  Wherefore do you plant a tree?

  THE YOUTH

  Ah, it comes of foreign race,
    And its heart toward home is yearning;
    That is why we fear its turning
  From its new abiding-place.

GENIUS

  That is why you plant it deep,
    With the soil its roots encase,
  That its blessings you may keep
    In its new abiding-place?

  THE MAIDEN

  To her native land that bind her
    Many, many are the ties—­
  All that she has left behind her
    In her childhood’s paradise: 
  All her mother’s fond embraces,
  And the love of noble brothers,
  And her sisters’ tender bosoms. 
  Can we then in equal measures,
    Can the world, supply a price
  For such pleasures,
  For such treasures?

GENIUS

  Love can reach to any distance,
    Is not bound by far or near. 
  As the fire is undiminished
  When another flame is kindled
    With its heat, to glow more clear,
  So that has no tie to bind her,
    Which of old she held most dear: 
  Though she has left love behind her,
    She will find love dwelling here.

  THE MOTHER

  She has come from halls of state,
    Rich with gold and crystal sheen;
  Can our hills please one so great,
  Where for gold we boast but sunshine,
    And our wealth is meadows green?

GENIUS

  In a heart of princely kind
    Much is hidden from your sense. 
  Know, then, that a noble mind
  Puts the greatness into living,
    Never needs to draw it thence.

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Project Gutenberg
The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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