Elysium

Past the despairing wail—
And the bright banquets of the Elysian vale
Melt every care away!
Delight, that breathes and moves forever,
Glides through sweet fields like some sweet river!
Elysian life survey!
There, fresh with youth, o’er jocund meads,
His merry west-winds blithely leads
The ever-blooming May!
Through gold-woven dreams goes the dance of the hours,
In space without bounds swell the soul and its powers,
And truth, with no veil, gives her face to the day.
And joy to-day and joy to-morrow,
But wafts the airy soul aloft;
The very name is lost to sorrow,
And pain is rapture tuned more exquisitely soft.

Here the pilgrim reposes the world-weary limb,
And forgets in the shadow, cool-breathing and dim,
The load he shall bear never more;
Here the mower, his sickle at rest, by the streams,
Lulled with harp-strings, reviews, in the calm of his dreams,
The fields, when the harvest is o’er.
Here, he, whose ears drank in the battle roar,
Whose banners streamed upon the startled wind
A thunder-storm,—before whose thunder tread
The mountains trembled,—in soft sleep reclined,
By the sweet brook that o’er its pebbly bed
In silver plays, and murmurs to the shore,
Hears the stern clangor of wild spears no more!
Here the true spouse the lost-beloved regains,
And on the enameled couch of summer-plains
Mingles sweet kisses with the zephyr’s breath.
Here, crowned at last, love never knows decay,
Living through ages its one bridal day,
Safe from the stroke of death!

Friedrich Schiller

hope

We speak with the lip, and we dream in the soul,
Of some better and fairer day;
And our days, the meanwhile, to that golden goal
Are gliding and sliding away.
Now the world becomes old, now again it is young,
But “The better” ‘s forever the word on the tongue.

At the threshold of life hope leads us in
Hope plays round the mirthful boy;
Though the best of its charms may with youth begin,
Yet for age it reserves its toy.

Friedrich Schiller

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