“He gave that priest the knightly
He reach’d that priest the lordly reins,
That he might serve the sick man’s need,
Nor slight the task that heaven ordains.
He took the horse the squire bestrode;
On to the sick, the priest!
And when the morrow’s sun was red,
The servant of the Savior led
Back to its lord the beast.
“‘Now Heaven forfend!’
the Hero cried,
’That e’er to chase or battle more
These limbs the sacred steed bestride
That once my Maker’s image bore;
If not a boon allow’d to thee,
Thy Lord and mine its Master be,
My tribute to the King,
From whom I hold, as fiefs, since birth,
Honor, renown, the goods of earth,
Life and each living thing!”
“’So may the God, who faileth
To hear the weak and guide the dim,
To thee give honor here and ever,
As thou hast duly honor’d Him!’
Far-famed ev’n now through Swisserland
Thy generous heart and dauntless hand;
And fair from thine embrace
Six daughters bloom, six crowns to bring,
Blest as the daughters of a KING,
The mothers of a RACE!”
The mighty Kaiser heard amazed!
His heart was in the days of old;
Into the minstrel’s heart he gazed,
That tale the Kaiser’s own had told.
Yes, in the bard the priest he knew,
And in the purple veil’d from view
The gush of holy tears!
A thrill through that vast audience ran,
And every heart the godlike man
[Illustration: THE COUNT GIVES UP HIS HORSE TO THE PRIEST Alexander Wagner]
* * * * *
[Footnote 3: Though the Ideal images of youth forsake us, the Ideal itself still remains to the Poet. It is his task and his companion, for, unlike the Phantasies of Fortune, Fame, and Love, the Phantasies of the Ideal are imperishable. While, as the occupation of life, it pays off the debt of Time, as the exalter of life it contributes to the Building of Eternity.—TRANSLATOR.]
[Footnote 4: “Die Gesalt”—Form. the Platonic Archetype.]
[Footnote 5: This idea is often repeated, somewhat more clearly in the haughty philosophy of Schiller. He himself says, elsewhere—“In a fair soul each single action is not properly moral, but the whole character is moral. The fair soul has no other service than the instincts of its own beauty.”—Translator]
[Footnote 6: “Und es wallet, and siedet, und brauset, and zischt,” etc. Goethe was particularly struck with the truthfulness of these lines, of which his personal observation at the Falls of the Rhine enabled him to judge. Schiller modestly owns his obligations to Homer’s descriptions of Charybdis, Odyss. I., 12. The property of the higher order of imagination to reflect truth, though not familiar to experience, is singularly illustrated in this description. Schiller had never seen even a Waterfall.—TRANSLATOR.]