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is, therefore ;
And a couceiver as well, — which, with conception,

make three.


All this nonsense, good sirs, won't answer my purpose
a tittle ;
I a real principle need, — one by which something is



Nothing is now to be found in the theoretical province ;
Practical principles hold, such as : thou canst, for thou


If I but thought so ! When people know no more sen-
sible answer,
Into the coDBcience at onca pluuga they with desperate


Don't converse with those fellows ! That Kant has turn'd
them all crazy ;
Speak to me, for in hell I am the same that I was.


I have made use of my nose for years together to smell
with ;
Have I a right to my nose that can be legally prov'd ?



Truly a delicate point ! Yet the first possession
In thy favor to tell ; therefore make use of it still !


Willingly serve I my friends ; but, alas, I do it with
pleasure ;
Therefore I often am vex'd, that no true virtue I have.


As there is no other means, thou luidst better begin to
despise them ;
And with aversion, then, do that which thy duty


G. 0.

Each one, when seen by liiniself, is p;\,ssably wise and
juilicious ;
When they in corpore are, naught but a blockhead h


Who is the bard of the Hiatl among you ? For since he
likes i^uddiiigs,
Heyue begs he'll accept these that from Gottiugen
" Give them to me ! The kings' qiiarrcl I sang ! " —
" I the fight near the vessels ! " —
" Hand mc the puddings ! I sang what upon Ida took
place ! "
Gently ! Don't tear mo to pieces ! The puddings will
not be Kiiilicient ;
He by Avhom they are sent destin'd them only for


Man is in truth a poor creature, — I know it, — and fain
Avould forget it ;
Therefore (how sorry I am !) came I, alas, unto to
thee !


Into the sieve we've been pouring for years, — ro'er the
stone we've been brooding ;
But the stone never warms, — uor does the sieve evei


Tis thy Muse's delight to sing God's pity to mortals ;
But, that they pitiful ai'e, — is it a matter for song?


SVouiiDST thou give pleasure at once to the children of
earth and the righteous ?
Draw the image of lust — adding the devil as well !


LiiL, both ill prose and in verse, in Germany fast is
decaying ;
Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now !
for by philosophers spoil'd is our language — our logic
by poets,
And no more common sense governs our passage
through life.
From the aesthetic, to which she belongs, now virtue is
And into politics forced, where she's a troublesome
Where are we hastening now ? If natural, dull we are
And if we put on constraint, then the world calls us
Oh, thou jojons artlessness 'mongst the poor maidens
of Leipzig,
Witty simplicity come, — come, then, to glad us
again !
Comedy, oh repeat thy weekly visits so precious,

Sigismund, lover so sweet, — Mascarill, valet jocose !
Tragedy, full of salt and pungency epigrammatic, —

And thou, minuet-step of our old busldu preserv'd i
philosophic romance, thou mannikiu waiting with
When, 'gainst the pruner's attack, nature defendetb

Ancient prose, oh retui^u, — so I'olily and boldly ex-


All that thou think'st and b&»t thought,— and what
the reader thinks too !
All, 1 oth in i^rose and in v^we, in Germany fast ia
decaying ;
Far behind us, alas, liotb tbe golden age now I


Knowledge to one is a goddess both lieav'nly and
high, — to aDot]\er
Only an excellent cow, yielding the butter he wants.


Bee how a single rich man gives a living to numbers
of beggars !
'Tis v>'hen sovereigus build, carters are kept in



I. TOO, at length discern M great Hercules' energy
mighty, —
Saw his shade. He himself was not, alas, to he seen.
Bound him were heard, like the screaming of birds, the
screams of tragedians.
And, with the baying of dogs, bark'd dramaturgists
There stood the giant in all his terrors ; his bow was ex-
And tlie bolt, fix'd on the string, steadily aim'd at the
-'What still hardier action, Unhappy One, dost thofl
now venture.

268 shakespeabe's ghost.

Thus to descend to tlie grave of the departed seals
here ? "—
" 'Tis to see Tiresias I come, to ask of the prophet
"Where I the buskin of old, that now has vanish'u^
may find?"
"If they believe not in Nature, nor in the old Orocian,

but vainly
/ Wilt thou convey up from hence that dramaturgy tc

" Oh, as for Nature, once more to tread oui- stage she
has ventur'd,
Ay, and stark-naked besides, so that each /lb we can
" What ? Is the buskin of old to be sseu iu truth on
your stage, then,
Which even I came to fetch, out of mid-Tartarus'
gloom ? "
" There is now no more of that tragic bustle, for scarcely
Once in a year on the boards moves thy great soul,
harness clad."
" Doubtless 'tis well ! Philosoiihy now has refin'd your
And from the humor so bright fly the affections so
"Ay, there is nr thing that beats a jest that is stolid and
But then e'en sorrow can please, if 'tis sufficiently
"But do ye also exhibit the graceful dance of Thalia,
Joiu'd to the solemn step with which Melpomene
" Neither ! For naught we love but what is Christian
and moral ;
And wliat is popular too, homely, domestic, and
" What ? Does no Caesar, does no Achilles, appear on
your stage now.
Not an Andromache e'en, not an Orestes, my friend?"
" No I There is naught to be seen there but parsons,
and syndics of commerce.
Secretaries perchance, ensigns and majors of horse. "
"But my good friend, pray tell me, what can such

people e'er meet with
That can be truly call'd great ?— what that is great
can they do ? " — •

rrre rtvkr.s. 269

" WliiU? "Wliy thoy form cabals, they lend upon mott-

^^ago, thoy pocket
Silver s[)oons,'^ and fear not e'en in the stocks to be

""Wlicnce do ye, tlien, derive the destiny, great and

Wliich raises man up on high, e'en when it grinds Jiim
to dust ? "
'All mere nonsense ! Ourselves, our Avortliy acquaint-
ances also.
And our sorrows and wants, seek we and find we, tbo,
'but all this ye jiosscss at homo both aptcr ami bet-

Wherefore, then, fiv from yourselves, if 'tis youiselves
that ye seek ? "'
•' Be not offended, great hero, for (hat is a different
question ;
Ever is destiny blind, — ever is righteous the bard."
" Then one meets on your stage your own contemptible
Wliile 'tis in vain one seeks there nature enduring and
"There the poet is host and act the fifth is the
And, when crime becomes sick, virtue sits down to the
feast ! "



True, as becometh a Switzer, I watch over Germany's
borders ;
But tlie light-footed Gaul jumps o'er the suffering


Many a year have I clasp'd in my arms the Lorrainian
maiden r
But our union as yet ue er has been blest with a son.


Koundme are dwelling the falcou-ey'd race, tlie Phoeaciau
people ;
Sunday with them never ends ; ceaselessly moves
round the spit.


Ay, it is true that my castles are crumbling ; yet, to my
Have I for centui'ies past seen my old race still


Short is my course, during which I salute many princes
and nations ;
Yet the princes are good — ay ! and the nations ax(?


Poor are my banks, it is true ; but yet my soft-flowing
Many immortal lays hear, borne by the current alon«:.


Flat is my shore and shallow my current ; alas, all my
Both in prose and in verse, drink far too deep of its
stream !


All ye others speak only a jargon ; 'mongst Germany's
None speak German but me ; I but in Misnia alone.


Ramler once gave me language, — my Csesar a subject ;
and therefore
t had my mouth then stuff 'd full ; but I've been silent
fiince that.

THn RivEns. 271


Nothing, alas, can bo said about me ; I really cau'i
Mutter euough tu the Muse e'eu for au epigi-am small.


Singular country ! what excellent taste in its fountains
and rivers !
In its people alone none have I ever yet found I


I for a long time have been a hypochondriacal subject ;
I but flow on because it has my habit beeu long.


We would gladly remain in the lands that own as

their masters ;
Soft their yoke ever is, and all their burdens are light.


[, to salt the archbishopric, come from Juvavias
mountains ;
Then to Bavaria turn, where they have great need
of salt !


Lenten food for the pious bishop's table to furnish.
By my Creator I'm jjour'd over the famishmg land.


Pray be silent, ye rivers ! One seec ye have no more
Than, in a case we could name, Diderot's favorites


"' Hovr far beneath me seems tlie earthly ball ?

The pigmy race below I scarce can see ;
How does my art, the noblest art of all,

Bear me close np to heaven's bright canopy ! "
So cries the slater from his tower's high top,

And so the little would-be-mighty man,
Hans Metaphysicns, from out his critic-shop

Explain, thou little would-be-mighty man \
The tower from which thy looks the wodd survey.
Whereof, — whereon is it erected, pray ?
Flow didst thou mount it ? Of whdt use to thee
f ts aaJied heights, save o'er the vale io see ?


The principle by which each thing

Tov/'rd strength and shape first tended-
The pulley wh(>reon Zeus the ring
Of earth, that loosely us'd to swing.

With cautiousness siinpended, —
He is a clever man, I vow.
Who its I'eal name can tell me now^
Unless to help him I consent —
'Tis, ten and twelve are different f

Fire burns, 'tis chilly when it snows,

Man always is two-footed, —
The sun across the heavens goes, —
Tins ho who naught of logic knows

Fmds to his reason suited.
Yet he who metaphysics learns.
Knows that naught freezes when it bums-
Knows that what's wet is never dry, —
A.nd that what's bright attracts the eya.


Old Homer sings liis noble lays,

Tlio lu-ro goes tlir()ngh dangcre ;
Tlio bravo man duty 'a cull obeyti,
And did b >, eveu in the days

"WHieu sages yet were strangers—
But hevrt nud genius n )\v have tau^lit
WhatL()cl<(! and what Descartes ne'er thouglit;
By them immediately is shown
That which is possible alone.

In life, avails tlio right of force.

The bold the timid worries ;
"Who rules not, is a slave of course,
Witliout design each tiling across

Earth's stago for ever hurries.
Yet what w.)uld happen if the plan
Which guides tho world now first began,
Within the moral system lies
Disclos'd with clearness to our eyes.

" Wlien man would seek his destiny,

Man's help must then be given ;
Save for the whole, ne'er labors he, —
Of many drops is form'd the sea, —

By water mills are driven ;
Tlierefore the wolf's wild species flies, —
Knit are tlie state's enduring ties."
Thus Pufliendorf and Feder, each
Is ex cathedra wont to teach.

Yet if what such professors say,
Each brain to enter durst not,
Nature exerts h r mother-sway,
Provides that ne'er the cliaiu gives way,

And that the ripe fruits burst not.
Meanwhile, until eartli's structure vast
Philosophy can bind at last,
'Tis .s/ic that bids its pinion move,
By means of hunger and of love '



Once to a horse-fair,— it may perhaps have been
Where other things are bought and sold, — I meaa
At the Haymarket, — there the muses' horse
A hungry poet brought — to sell, of course,,

The hippogriff neigh'd shrilly, loudly^

And rear'dupon iis hind-legs proudly ;

In utter wonderment each stood and cried i

" The noble regal beast ! But, woe betide ?

Two hideous wings his slender form deface,

The finest team he else would not disgrace." —

" The breed," said they, " is doubtless rare,

But who would travel through the air ? " — -

Not one of t'hem would risk his gold,

A-t length a farmer grew more bold :

" As for his wings, 1 of no XTse should find themj

But then how easy 'tis to clip or bind them !

The horse for drawing may be useful found, —

So, friend, I don t mind giving twenty pound ! "

The other, glad to sell his merchandise,

Cried "Done ! " — And Hans rode off upon his priza

The noble creature was, ere long, put-to,

But scarcely felt the unaccustom'd load.
Than, panting to soar upward, off he flew,
A-nd, fiU'd with honest auger, overthrew

Tlie cart where an abyss just met the road.
"Ho ! ho!" thought Hans : "No cart to this maij

I'll trust. Experience makes one wise at least.
To drive the coach to-morrow now my course is.

And he as leader in the toam shall go.
The lively follow'U save mo full two horses ;

As years j)as8 on, he'll doubtless tamer grow/''

All went on well at first. The nimble steed

His partners rous'd, — like lightning was their speed.

What happen'd next ? Tow'rd heaven was turu'd his

Unus'd across the solid ground to fly,
He quitted soon the safe and beaten course^
And true to nature's strong resistless force.


Ran over bog nncl moor, o'er liedgo, and pasture till'd ;
An equal nuulut'ss sonu tlio oHier fiU'd, —
No rt'ins could hold tlu-m in, no help was near,
Till. — only jiicturc the poor travelers' fear i—
Tlio coHcli, well shaken, and completely wreck'd,
Ui)OU a lull's steep top at length was c'heck'd.

" If this is always sure to be the case,"

Hans ci'iod, and cut a very sorry face,

"He'll neviT do to draw a coach or wagon ;

Let's see if wo can't tame the fiery dragon

By means of heavy work and little food."

And so the plan was tried. — But what ensued ?

The handsome beast, before three days had past.

Wasted to nothing. " Stay ! I see at last ! "

Cried Hans. "Be quick, you fellows! yoke him noyr

With my most stiu'dy ox before the plow."

No sooner said than done. In union queer
Together yok'd were soon wing'd horse and steer.
The griffin jn-anced with rage, and his remaining might
Exei-tcd to resume his old-accustom'il flight.
'Twaa all in vain — his partner stepij'd with circumspec-
And Phosbus' haughty steed must follow his direction ;
Until at last, by long resistance spent.

When strength his limbs no longer was controlling
The noble creature, with alHiction bent,

Fell to the ground, and in the dust lay rolling.
"Accursed beast ! " at length with fury mad

Hans shouted, while he soundly plied the lash, —
'' Even for plowing, then, thou art too bad ! —
That fellow was a rogue to sell such trash ! "

Ere yet his heavy blows liad ceas'd to fly,
A brisk and merry youth by chance came by,
A lute was tinkling in his hand,

And through his hglit and flowing hair
"Was twin'd with grace a golden band.

"Whither, my friend, with that strange pair?"


From far lie to tlie peasant cried,
"A bird and ox to oue rope tied —
Was such a team e'er heard of, pray ?
Thy horse's worth I'd fain essay ;
Just for one moment lend him me, —
Observe, and thou shalt wonders see ! "

The hippogriff was loosen'd from the plow,

Upon his back the smiUng youth leap'd now ;

No sooner did the creature understand

That he was guided by a master-hand,

Than 'gainst his bit he champ'd, and upward soar's

While lightning from his flaming eyes outpour'd.

tso longer the same being, royally

A. spirit, ay, a god, ascended he,

Bpread in a moment to the stormy wind

His noble wings, and left the earth behind,

lud, ere the eye could follow him,

Had TJinish'd in the heavens dim.


Thotj'rt welcome in my box to peep !
Life's puppet-show, the world in little,
rhou'lt see depicted to a tittle, —

But pray at some small distance keep !
'Tis by the torch of love alone,
By Ciipid's taper, it is shown

See, not a moment void the stage is ]
The child in arms at first they bring, —

The boy then skips, — the youth now storms and
rages, —
The maa contends, and ventiu-es everything !

Each one attempts success to find,
Yet narrow is the race-course ever ;
The chariot rolls, the axles quiver.

The hero presses on, the coward stays behind.
The proud man falls with mirth-insi^iring fall,
The wise man overtakes them all !

Thou seest fair woman at the barrier stand,
With beauteous hands, with smiling eyes.
To glad the victor with his prize.




Many an ardnmis trial the Grecian yoiitli hail to suffer
Ere tir Kleu.siiiian house welcom'd him under its rod
Art tliou ripe aud propar'd, tlie holy ttruplo to eutcr,
Where hor mysterious lore Pallas Athene pre-
serves ?
Know'st thou -what there 'tis awaits thee ? Ho-w dear
thy purchase may cost thee ?
That with a gift that is sure, one that is noi, thou
must buy?
Feelest tliou strength enough to fight that sternest of
Where the reason and heart, mind and the thought
disagree ?
Courage enough with doubt's undying hytlra to
And to contend like a man 'gainst the dread foe in
thyself ?
With an eye that is sound, with a heart of innocence
Then to unmask the deceit veil'd in the garments o}
truth ?
Fly, if thou canst not depend on the guide within thino
own bosom,
Fly froni the treacherous brink, ere thou art chok'd
in the gulf I
Many have sought for light, and only pluug'd into
darkness ;
'Tis but in twilight alone infancy wanders secure !


" On, who would food on dreams for ever fleeing,

That with a borrow'd lustre clothe the being,

Deceiving hope with a possession vain ?

The truth uncover'd I would see remain,

Thougii with my dream should vanish all my heaven,

Though tlio free spirit to Avhoso wings 'twas given

To scale the Possible's unbounded realm,


The present witli strong cliains sliould overwlielia'
'Twould teacli itself then to obey ;

'Twould find, then, duty's sacred call,

And that of need, most stern of all,
The more subservient to its sway.
He vi'lio "Would 'scape the gentle rale of truth,
Can he endure necessity forsooth ? "
My rigid friend, thus dost thou cry and see

From 'neath experience's safe portal,
Looking with scorn on what but seems to be.

Soon flies the loving band immortal,
Stricken with terror by thy solemn word ; —
The dancing hours stand still, no muse's strains are

heard, —
The sister-deities, with beauteous hair,
Take up their garlands now in jnute despair, —
Apollo breaks his lyre of gold,

His wondrous staft" breaks Eermes too.
While from life's features wan and cold

Falls the dxeam's veil of rosy hue.
The world a tomb is, — Venus' sou

The magic band tears from his eyes, —
His mother in the godlike one

Sees now the mortal, — trembles, flics.
Age steals on beauty's youthful form,
Upon thy lips no more is w^arm
The kiss of love, — ■ and ere thy joy has pass'd,
Xnto a lifeless stone thou'rt changed at last.




Thou, by whom, freed from rules constrain'd and

On truth and nature once again -we're placed, —
Who, in the cradle e'eu a h(!ro strong,

Stiflest the serpents round our genius lac'd,-
Thou whom tlie godlike science has so long

With her unsullied sacred fillet grac'd, —
Dost thou on ruin'd altars sacrifice
To that false muse whom we no longer prize ?


Tlii3 thontre bflong:s to native nrt,

No foreign idols worsliipM lioie nro soen ;

A liiuivl Ave can sliow, with joyous hinrt,

That on the German rhitlus has grown green:

Thn Bciencos' most holy, hidden part
Tlio German genius dares to enter e'en,

And, foUoAving the Briton and the Greek,

A nobler glory now attempts to seek.

For yonder, where slaves kneel, and despots hold
The reins, — where spurious greatness lifts its head,

Art has no power the noble there to mould,
'Trs by no Louis that its seed is spread ;

Fr< im its own fullness it must needs unfold,
By earthly majesty 'tis never fed ;

'Tis with truth oidy it can e'er unite,

Its gl(jw free spirits only e'er can light.

'Tis not to bind us in a worn-out chain
Thou do^t this play of clden time recal,^ —

'Tis not to seek to lead us back again

To days when thoughtless childhood rul'd o'eralL

It were,'in truth, an idle risk and vain
Into the moving wheel of time to fall ;

The winged hours for ever bear it on.

The new arrives, and, lo ! the old has gone.

The narrow theatre is now more wide,

Into its space a universe now steals ;
In pomi)ou3 words no longer is our pride,

Nature we hn-e when she her form reveals ;
Fashion's false rules no more are deified ;

And as a man the hero acts and feels.
'Tis passion makes the notes of freedom sound,
And 'tis in truth the beautiful is found.

Weak is the frame of Thespis' chariot fair,
l\esemi)ling mueli the bark of Acheron,

That carries naught but shaih^s and forms of air ;
And if rude life should ventiu-e to press on.

The fragile bai'k its weight no more can bear.
For fleeting spirits it can hold alone.

Appearance ne'er can reach reality, —

If natui-e be victorious, ai't must lly.

280 NTJI"nAIj ODE.

For on the stage's boarded scaffold lier*

A world ideal opens to our eyes,
Nothing is true and genuine save — a tear ;

Emotion on no dream of sense relies.
The real Meli^omene is still sincere,

Naught as a fable merely she sui^plies — ■
By truth jDrofound to charm us is her care ;
The false one, ti'uth pretends, but to ensnara.

Now from the scene, Art threatens to retire,
Her kingdom wild maintains still Phantasy ;

The stage she like the world would set on fu'e,
The meanest and the noblest mingles she.

The Frank alone 'tis Ai-t can now insphe.
And yet her archetype can his ne'er be ;

In bounds unchangeable confining her.

He holds her fast, and vainly would she stir.

Tlie stage to him is pure and undefil'd ;

Chas'd from the regions that to her belong
Are Nature's tones, so careless and so wdd.

To him e'en language rises into song ;
A realm harmonious 'tis, of beauty mild,

Where limb unites to limb in order strong.
The whole into a solemn temple blends,
And 'tis the dance that grace to motion lends.

And yet the Frank must not be made our guide.
For in his art no living spirit reigns ;

The boasting gestm-es of a spurious i)ride

That mind which only loves the true disdains.

To nobler ends alone be it applied,

Keturning, lili:e some soul 's long vanish'd manes.

To render the oft-sullied stage once more

A throne befitting the gr-eat muse of yore.


Fair bride, attended by our blessing,
Glad Hymen's flowery path 'gin pressing !

We witness'd with cni-aptur'il eye
The graces of thy soul unl'okhng,
Thy youthful chai-ms then* beauty moulding

• Addressed in the original to Mdlle Slevoigt, on Uer marriage to Dr.


To blossom for love's ecatacy.
A liiii)i>y fate now liovers nnuid thee,

Aiul irii'iidslii;) yulds without a smart
To that bM-eet gud -whcso iiiight liatli liouud thee ;—

He needs must haw, ho luitk thy heart !

To duties dear, to troubles tender.

Thy youthful breast must now sun-ender,

Thy garland's sunmions nuist obey.
Each toying inlantnio Keusation,
Each fleeting sport of youth's cieation,

For evermore hath passed away ;
And Hymen's sacred bond new chaineth

Wliere soft and llutt'ring Love Avas shiin'd ;
Yet for a heart, where Ijeauty reigneth,

Of flowers alone that bond is twin'd.

The secret that can keep for ever

In verdant links, that nought can sever.

The l)ridal garland, wouldst thou find?
'Tis purity the heart pervading.
The blossoms of a grace unfading.

And yet with modest shame combin'd.
Which j^ Uke the eiin's reflection glowing.
Makes every heart throb IjlissfuUy; —
'Tis looks with mildness overflowing,

And Belf-maintainmg dignity !



ypEECHTiESs to thousands of others, who with deaf hearts
would consult him,
Talketh the spirit to thee, who art his kinsman and

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