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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.

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THE IMITATOR

  Good out of good—­that art is known to all—­
  But Genius from the bad the good can call;
  Then, Mimic, not from leading-strings escaped,
  Work’st but the matter that’s already shaped
  The already-shaped a nobler hand awaits—­
  All matter asks a Spirit that creates!

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CORRECTNESS

(FREE TRANSLATION)

  The calm correctness, where no fault we see,
  Attests Art’s loftiest or its least degree;
  Alike the smoothness of the surface shows
  The Pool’s dull stagner—­the great Sea’s repose.

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THE MASTER

  The herd of scribes, by what they tell us,
  Show all in which their wits excel us;
  But the True Master we behold,
  In what his art leaves—­just untold.

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EXPECTATION AND FULFILLMENT

  O’er Ocean, with a thousand masts, sails forth the stripling bold—­
  One boat, hard rescued from the deep, draws into port the old!

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THE PROSELYTE MAKER

  “A little earth from out the Earth-and I
  The Earth will move:”  so spake the Sage divine. 
  Out of myself one little moment—­try
  Myself to take:—­succeed, and I am thine!

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THE CONNECTING MEDIUM

  What to cement the lofty and the mean
  Does Nature?—­What?—­Place vanity between?

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THE MORAL POET

[This is an Epigram on Lavater’s work, called “Pontius Pilatus, oder der Mensch in Allen Gestalten,” etc.—­TRANSLATOR.]

  “How poor a thing is man!” Alas, ’tis true
  I’d half forgot it—­when I chanced on you!

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THE SUBLIME THEME

[Also on Lavater, and alluding to the “Jesus Messias, oder die Evangelien und Apostelgeschichte in Gesaengen.”—­TRANSLATOR.]

  How God compassionates Mankind, thy muse, my friend, rehearses—­
  Compassion for the sins of Man!—­What comfort for thy verses!

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SCIENCE

  To some she is the Goddess great, to some the milch-cow of the field;
  Their care is but to calculate—­what butter she will yield.

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KANT AND HIS COMMENTATORS

  How many starvelings one rich man can nourish! 
  When monarchs build, the rubbish-carriers flourish.

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