The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 605 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05.

  O’erhead were revolving, so countless and bright,
    The stars in melodious existence;
  And with them the moon, more serenely bedight;
        They sparkled so light
        In the night, in the night,
    Through the magical, measureless distance.

  And upward I gazed in the night, in the night,
    And again on the waves in their fleeting;
  Ah woe! thou hast wasted thy days in delight;
        Now silence, thou light,
        In the night, in the night,
    The remorse in thy heart that is beating.

* * * * *


  Would I were free as are my dreams,
    Sequestered from the garish crowd
  To glide by banks of quiet streams
    Cooled by the shadow-drifting cloud!

  Free to shake off this weary weight
    Of human sin, and rest instead
  On nature’s heart inviolate—­
    All summer singing o’er my head!

  There would I never disembark,
    Nay, only graze the flowery shore
  To pluck a rose beneath the lark,
    Then go my liquid way once more,

  And watch, far off, the drowsy lines
    Of herded cattle crop and pass,
  The vintagers among the vines,
    The mowers in the dewy grass;

  And nothing would I drink or eat
    Save heaven’s clear sunlight and the spring
  Of earth’s own welling waters sweet,
    That never make the pulses sting.

* * * * *

  SONNET[64] (1822)

  Oh, he whose pain means life, whose life means pain,
    May feel again what I have felt before;
    Who has beheld his bliss above him soar
  And, when he sought it, fly away again;
  Who in a labyrinth has tried in vain,
    When he has lost his way, to find a door;
    Whom love has singled out for nothing more
  Than with despondency his soul to bane;
  Who begs each lightning for a deadly stroke,
    Each stream to drown the heart that cannot heal
  From all the cruel stabs by which it broke;
    Who does begrudge the dead their beds like steel
  Where they are safe from love’s beguiling yoke—­
    He knows me quite, and feels what I must feel.


[Footnote 1:  From Addresses on Religion (Discourse IV).]

[Footnote 2:  This refers to the second book, which takes the form of a dialogue between the inquirer and a Spirit.]

[Footnote 3:  An allusion to the second book.]

[Footnote 4:  The audience gathered in the building of the Royal Academy at Berlin.—­ED.]

[Footnote 5:  J.G.  Hamann. Hellenistische Briefe I, 189.]

[Footnote 6:  Goethe. Werke (1840) xxx., 352.  Mr. Ward’s translation of Goethe’s “Essays on Art,” p. 76.]

[Footnote 7:  Selections translated by Margarete Muensterberg.]

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 05 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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