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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.

  “Of Ibycus?”—­that name so dear
   Thrills through the hearts of those who hear! 
   Like wave on wave in eager seas,
   From mouth to mouth the murmur flees—­
  “Of Ibycus, whom we bewail! 
     The murder’d one!  What mean those words? 
   Who is the man—­knows he the tale? 
     Why link that name with those wild birds?”

   Questions on questions louder press—­
   Like lightning flies the inspiring guess—­
   Leaps every heart—­“The truth we seize;
   Your might is here, EUMENIDES! 
   The murderer yields himself confest—­
     Vengeance is near—­that voice the token—­
   Ho!-him who yonder spoke, arrest! 
     And him to whom the words were spoken!”

   Scarce had the wretch the words let fall,
   Than fain their sense he would recall
   In vain; those whitening lips—­behold! 
   The secret have already told. 
   Into their Judgment Court sublime
     The Scene is changed;—­their doom is seal’d! 
   Behold the dark unwitness’d Crime,
     Struck by the lightning that reveal’d!

* * * * *

THE WORDS OF BELIEF (1797)

  Three Words will I name thee—­around and about,
    From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
  But they had not their birth in the being without,
    And the heart, not the lip, must their oracle be! 
  And all worth in the man shall for ever be o’er
  When in those Three Words he believes no more.

  Man is made FREE!—­Man, by birthright, is free,
    Though the tyrant may deem him but born for his tool. 
  Whatever the shout of the rabble may be—­
    Whatever the ranting misuse of the fool—­
  Still fear not the Slave, when he breaks from his chain,
  For the Man made a Freeman grows safe in his gain.

  And Virtue is more than a shade or a sound,
    And Man may her voice, in this being, obey;
  And though ever he slip on the stony ground,
    Yet, ever again to the godlike way,
  To the science of Good though the Wise may be blind,
  Yet the practice is plain to the childlike mind.

  And a God there is—­over Space, over Time;
    While the Human Will rocks, like a reed, to and fro,
  Lives the Will of the Holy—­A Purpose Sublime,
    A Thought woven over creation below;
  Changing and shifting the All we inherit,
  But changeless through all One Immutable Spirit!

  Hold fast the Three Words of Belief—­though about
    From the lip to the lip, full of meaning, they flee;
  Yet they take not their birth from the being without—­
    But a voice from within must their oracle be;
  And never all worth in the Man can be o’er,
  Till in those Three Words he believes no more.

* * * * *

THE WORDS OF ERROR (1799)

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