Page images

clear robe! How glitters the golden band upon her head! Look at the beautiful, the noble repose!" ·

Boys. "Ah! the wings do not raise her; in the frolic game, her robe flutters to and fro no more; when we bound her head with roses, her looks on us were kind and friendly!"

Chorus. "Cast forward the eye of the spirit! Awake in your souls the imaginative power, which carries forth what is fairest, what is highest, Life, away beyond the stars!"

[ocr errors]

Boys. But, ah! we find her not here; in the garden she wanders not; the flowers of the meadow she plucks no longer! Let us weep, we are leaving her here! Let us weep, and remain with her!"

Your tears let the

Chorus." 'Children, turn back into life! fresh air dry, which plays upon the rushing water! Fly from Night! Day and Pleasure and Continuance are the lot of the living!"

[ocr errors]

Boys. "Up! Turn back into life! Let the day give us labor and pleasure, till the evening brings us rest, and the nightly sleep refreshes us."

Chorus. "Children! hasten into life! In the pure garments of beauty, may love meet you with heavenly looks, and with the wreath of immortality!"

The boys had retired; the Abbé rose from his seat, and went behind the bier. "It is the appointment," said he, “of the man who prepared this silent abode, that each new tenant of it shall be introduced with a solemnity. After him, the builder of this mansion, the founder of this establishment, we have next brought a young stranger hither; and thus already does this. little space contain two altogether different victims of the rigorous, arbitrary and inexorable Death-goddess. By appointed laws we enter into life; the days are numbered which make us ripe to see the light; but for the duration of our life there is no law. The weakest thread will spin itself to unexpected length; and the strongest is cut suddenly asunder by the scissors of the Fates, delighting, as it seems, in contradictions. Of the child whom we have here committed to her final rest, we can say but little. It is still uncertain whence she came; her parents we know not; the years of her life we can only conjecture. Her

deep and closely-shrouded soul allowed us scarce to guess at its interior movements; there was nothing clear in her, nothing open, but her affection for the man who had snatched her from the hands of a barbarian. This impassioned tenderness, this vivid gratitude, appeared to be the flame which consumed the oil of her life; the skill of the physician could not save that fair life, the most anxious friendship could not lengthen it. But if art could not stay the departing spirit, it has done its most to preserve the body, and withdraw it from decay. A balsamic substance has been forced through all the veins, and now tinges, in place of blood, these cheeks too early faded. Come near, my friends, and view this wonder of art and care!"

He raised the veil; the child was lying in her angel's dress, as if asleep, in the most soft and graceful posture. They approached, and admired this show of life. *

* * *

The Abbé thus proceeded: "With a holy confidence, this kind heart, shut up to men, was continually turned to its God. Humility, nay, an inclination to abase herself externally, seemed natural to her. She clave with great zeal to the Catholic religion, in which she had been born and educated. Often she expressed a still wish to sleep on consecrated ground; and, according to the usage of the Church, we have therefore consecrated this marble coffin, and the little earth which is hidden in the cushion that supports her head." * * *

By the pressure of a spring, the Abbé sank the body into the cavity of the marble. Four youths, dressed as the boys had been, came out from behind the tapestry; and lifting the heavy, beautifully ornamented lid upon the coffin, thus began their song: :

The Youths. "Well is the treasure now laid up; the fair image of the past! Here sleeps it in the marble, undecaying; in your hearts, too, it lives, it works. Travel, travel back into life! Take along with you this holy Earnestness; for Earnestness alone makes life eternity!"

The invisible Chorus joined in with the last words.



Rosegarten was a poet of deep feeling and lively imagination. He was, for a time, a preacher, and occupied his leisure hours with literature. At length he was appointed Professor of History, at Griefswold.

[Translated from the German, by C. T. Brooks.]


BLIND with old age, the venerable Bede
Ceased not, for that, to preach and publish forth
The news from heaven,

the tidings of great joy.

From town to town, through all the villages,

With trusty guidance, roamed the aged saint,
And preached the word with all the fire of youth.

One day, his boy had led him to a vale
That lay all thickly sowed with mighty rocks.
In mischief, more than malice, spake the boy:
"Most reverend father, there are many men
Assembled here, who wait to hear thy voice."
The blind old man, so bowed, straightway rose up,
Chose him his text, expounded, then applied;
Exhorted, warned, rebuked, and comforted,
So fervently, that soon the gushing tears
Streamed thick and fast down to his hoary beard.

When, at the close, as seemeth always meet,
He prayed "Our Father," and pronounced aloud,
"Thine is the kingdom and the
power, thine
The glory now, and through eternity,"

At once there rang, through all that echoing vale,

A sound of many voices, crying,

"Amen! most reverend Sire, Amen! Amen!"

Trembing with terror and remorse, the boy

Knelt down before the saint, and owned his sin;

"Son," said the old man, "hast thou, then, ne'er read, 'When men are dumb, the stones shall cry aloud'?— Henceforward, mock not, son, the word of God!

Living it is, and mighty, cutting sharp,

Like a two-edged sword. And when the heart
Of flesh grows hard and stubborn like the stone,
A heart of flesh shall stir in stones themselves."



Schiller is considered the greatest tragic poet of Germany. The reading of Shakspeare, it is said, first inclined him to dramatic writing. His lyrics also hold a high rank; and as a historian and philosopher, he is very much distinguished. He was, for a time, military physician, and afterwards professor, at Jena. At Weimar, he was acquainted with Herder, Wieland and Goethe, with the last of whom he was on terms of the strictest friendship.

[Translated from the German.]


FOR when the Manly and the Fair,
When Strength and Beauty, form a pair,
Then rings out a merry song.
Who binds himself in love must prove
If heart with heart in concord move;
For short the dream, the sorrow long.
Lovely in the young bride's hair
Shines the bridal coronal;
While the church-bell chimes, so fair,
Summon to the festival.

Ah! life's fairest holiday

Tells us that life's May is flown;
The girdle loosed, the veil away,
All the sweet illusion 's gone.

The passion is fled,

Yet love must endure;

The blossom is dead,

The fruit must mature;

The husband must forth

Into bustling life,

Into labor and strife;

He must plant, he must reap,
He must gather and keep;
Must dare all, and bear all,
And let no drop fall;

Must plot and contrive,

A fortune to hive.

So rivers of plenty flow into his hand;

His barns are o'er-crammed with the fruits of the land;
His rooms are made wide, his dwellings expand.

[blocks in formation]

Neat, savory

Increasing the gains

With her orderly pains.

chests with her treasures are full,

The snowy white cotton, the soft glossy wool;

And she smooths the bright skeins, while the spindle is turning, Thus with taste and with beauty her labor adorning.


An instrument of good is fire,

With man to watch and tame its ire;

And all he forges, all he makes,
The virtue of the flame partakes ;

But frightfully it rages, when
It breaks away from every chain,
And sweeps along its own wild way,
Child of Nature, stern and free.

« PreviousContinue »