the favor of the moment

Once more, then, we meet
In the circles of yore;
Let our song be as sweet
In its wreaths as before,
Who claims the first place
In the tribute of song?
The God to whose grace
All our pleasures belong.
Though Ceres may spread
All her gifts on the shrine,
Though the glass may be red
With the blush of the vine,
What boots—if the while
Fall no spark on the hearth;
If the heart do not smile
With the instinct of mirth? —
From the clouds, from God’s breast
Must our happiness fall,
‘Mid the blessed, most blest
Is the moment of all!
Since creation began
All that mortals have wrought,
All that’s godlike in man
Comes—the flash of a thought!
For ages the stone
In the quarry may lurk,
An instant alone
Can suffice to the work;
An impulse give birth
To the child of the soul,
A glance stamp the worth
And the fame of the whole.
On the arch that she buildeth
From sunbeams on high,
As Iris just gildeth,
And fleets from the sky,
So shineth, so gloometh
Each gift that is ours;
The lightning illumeth—
The darkness devours!

Friedrich Schiller

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