The Poems of Schiller – Second period

Фридрих Шиллер
The Poems of Schiller – Second period


Joy, thou goddess, fair, immortal,
    Offspring of Elysium,
   Mad with rapture, to the portal
    Of thy holy fame we come!
   Fashion's laws, indeed, may sever,
    But thy magic joins again;
   All mankind are brethren ever
    'Neath thy mild and gentle reign.
   Welcome, all ye myriad creatures!
    Brethren, take the kiss of love!
    Yes, the starry realms above
   Hide a Father's smiling features!
   He, that noble prize possessing —
    He that boasts a friend that's true,
   He whom woman's love is blessing,
    Let him join the chorus too!
   Aye, and he who but one spirit
    On this earth can call his own!
   He who no such bliss can merit,
    Let him mourn his fate alone!
   All who Nature's tribes are swelling
    Homage pay to sympathy;
    For she guides us up on high,
   Where the unknown has his dwelling.
   From the breasts of kindly Nature
    All of joy imbibe the dew;
   Good and bad alike, each creature
    Would her roseate path pursue.
   'Tis through her the wine-cup maddens,
    Love and friends to man she gives!
   Bliss the meanest reptile gladdens, —
    Near God's throne the cherub lives!
   Bow before him, all creation!
    Mortals, own the God of love!
    Seek him high the stars above, —
   Yonder is his habitation!
   Joy, in Nature's wide dominion,
    Mightiest cause of all is found;
   And 'tis joy that moves the pinion,
    When the wheel of time goes round;
   From the bud she lures the flower —
    Suns from out their orbs of light;
   Distant spheres obey her power,
    Far beyond all mortal sight.
   As through heaven's expanse so glorious
    In their orbits suns roll on,
    Brethren, thus your proud race run,
   Glad as warriors all-victorious!
   Joy from truth's own glass of fire
    Sweetly on the searcher smiles;
   Lest on virtue's steeps he tire,
    Joy the tedious path beguiles.
   High on faith's bright hill before us,
    See her banner proudly wave!
   Joy, too, swells the angels' chorus, —
    Bursts the bondage of the grave!
   Mortals, meekly wait for heaven
    Suffer on in patient love!
    In the starry realms above,
   Bright rewards by God are given.
   To the Gods we ne'er can render
    Praise for every good they grant;
   Let us, with devotion tender,
    Minister to grief and want.
   Quenched be hate and wrath forever,
    Pardoned be our mortal foe —
   May our tears upbraid him never,
    No repentance bring him low!
   Sense of wrongs forget to treasure —
    Brethren, live in perfect love!
    In the starry realms above,
   God will mete as we may measure.
   Joy within the goblet flushes,
    For the golden nectar, wine,
   Every fierce emotion hushes, —
    Fills the breast with fire divine.
   Brethren, thus in rapture meeting,
    Send ye round the brimming cup, —
   Yonder kindly spirit greeting,
    While the foam to heaven mounts up!
   He whom seraphs worship ever;
    Whom the stars praise as they roll,
    Yes to him now drain the bowl
   Mortal eye can see him never!
   Courage, ne'er by sorrow broken!
    Aid where tears of virtue flow;
   Faith to keep each promise spoken!
    Truth alike to friend and foe!
   'Neath kings' frowns a manly spirit! —
    Brethren, noble is the prize —
   Honor due to every merit!
    Death to all the brood of lies!
   Draw the sacred circle closer!
    By this bright wine plight your troth
    To be faithful to your oath!
   Swear it by the Star-Disposer!
   Safety from the tyrant's power! 1
   Mercy e'en to traitors base!
   Hope in death's last solemn hour!
    Pardon when before His face!
   Lo, the dead shall rise to heaven!
    Brethren hail the blest decree;
   Every sin shall be forgiven,
    Hell forever cease to be!
   When the golden bowl is broken,
    Gentle sleep within the tomb!
    Brethren, may a gracious doom
   By the Judge of man be spoken!


   She comes, she comes — the burden of the deeps!
    Beneath her wails the universal sea!
   With clanking chains and a new god, she sweeps,
    And with a thousand thunders, unto thee!
   The ocean-castles and the floating hosts —
    Ne'er on their like looked the wild water! — Well
    May man the monster name "Invincible."
   O'er shuddering waves she gathers to thy coasts!
    The horror that she spreads can claim
    Just title to her haughty name.
   The trembling Neptune quails
    Under the silent and majestic forms;
   The doom of worlds in those dark sails; —
    Near and more near they sweep! and slumber all the storms!
    Before thee, the array,
   Blest island, empress of the sea!
   The sea-born squadrons threaten thee,
    And thy great heart, Britannia!
   Woe to thy people, of their freedom proud —
   She rests, a thunder heavy in its cloud!
   Who, to thy hand the orb and sceptre gave,
    That thou should'st be the sovereign of the nations?
   To tyrant kings thou wert thyself the slave,
    Till freedom dug from law its deep foundations;
   The mighty Chart the citizens made kings,
     And kings to citizens sublimely bowed!
    And thou thyself, upon thy realm of water,
    Hast thou not rendered millions up to slaughter,
   When thy ships brought upon their sailing wings
     The sceptre — and the shroud?
   What should'st thou thank? — Blush, earth, to hear and feel
   What should'st thou thank? — Thy genius and thy steel!
   Behold the hidden and the giant fires!
    Behold thy glory trembling to its fall!
    Thy coming doom the round earth shall appal,
   And all the hearts of freemen beat for thee,
   And all free souls their fate in thine foresee —
    Theirs is thy glory's fall!
   One look below the Almighty gave,
    Where streamed the lion-flags of thy proud foe;
   And near and wider yawned the horrent grave.
    "And who," saith He, "shall lay mine England low —
   The stem that blooms with hero-deeds —
   The rock when man from wrong a refuge needs —
    The stronghold where the tyrant comes in vain?
    Who shall bid England vanish from the main?
   Ne'er be this only Eden freedom knew,
    Man's stout defence from power, to fate consigned."
   God the Almighty blew,
    And the Armada went to every wind!


    Ye in the age gone by,
   Who ruled the world — a world how lovely then! —
   And guided still the steps of happy men
    In the light leading-strings of careless joy!
   Ah, flourished then your service of delight!
    How different, oh, how different, in the day
   When thy sweet fanes with many a wreath were bright,
    O Venus Amathusia!
   Then, through a veil of dreams
    Woven by song, truth's youthful beauty glowed,
   And life's redundant and rejoicing streams
    Gave to the soulless, soul — where'r they flowed
   Man gifted nature with divinity
    To lift and link her to the breast of love;
   All things betrayed to the initiate eye
    The track of gods above!
   Where lifeless — fixed afar,
    A flaming ball to our dull sense is given,
   Phoebus Apollo, in his golden car,
    In silent glory swept the fields of heaven!
   On yonder hill the Oread was adored,
    In yonder tree the Dryad held her home;
   And from her urn the gentle Naiad poured
    The wavelet's silver foam.
   Yon bay, chaste Daphne wreathed,
    Yon stone was mournful Niobe's mute cell,
   Low through yon sedges pastoral Syrinx breathed,
    And through those groves wailed the sweet Philomel,
   The tears of Ceres swelled in yonder rill —
    Tears shed for Proserpine to Hades borne;
   And, for her lost Adonis, yonder hill
    Heard Cytherea mourn! —
   Heaven's shapes were charmed unto
    The mortal race of old Deucalion;
   Pyrrha's fair daughter, humanly to woo,
    Came down, in shepherd-guise, Latona's son
   Between men, heroes, gods, harmonious then
    Love wove sweet links and sympathies divine;
   Blest Amathusia, heroes, gods, and men,
    Equals before thy shrine!
   Not to that culture gay,
    Stern self-denial, or sharp penance wan!
   Well might each heart be happy in that day —
    For gods, the happy ones, were kin to man!
   The beautiful alone the holy there!
    No pleasure shamed the gods of that young race;
   So that the chaste Camoenae favoring were,
    And the subduing grace!
   A palace every shrine;
    Your sports heroic; — yours the crown
   Of contests hallowed to a power divine,
    As rushed the chariots thundering to renown.
   Fair round the altar where the incense breathed,
    Moved your melodious dance inspired; and fair
   Above victorious brows, the garland wreathed
    Sweet leaves round odorous hair!
   The lively Thyrsus-swinger,
    And the wild car the exulting panthers bore,
   Announced the presence of the rapture-bringer —
    Bounded the Satyr and blithe Faun before;
   And Maenads, as the frenzy stung the soul,
11 This concluding and fine strophe is omitted in the later editions of Schiller's "Poems."