Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller Poems

  • 51.  
    "Who would himself with shadows entertain,
    Or gild his life with lights that shine in vain, Or nurse false hopes that do but cheat the true?--
  • 52.  
    Yes, my friends!--that happier times have been
    Than the present, none can contravene; That a race once lived of nobler worth;
  • 53.  
    Seeking to find his home, Odysseus crosses each water;
    Through Charybdis so dread; ay, and through Scylla's wild yells, Through the alarms of the raging sea, the alarms of the land too,--
  • 54.  
    Stern as my conscience, thou seest the points wherein I'm deficient;
    Therefore I've always loved thee, as my own conscience I've loved.
  • 55.  
    Upon his battlements he stood,
    And downward gazed in joyous mood, On Samos' Isle, that owned his sway,
  • 56.  
    No! I this conflict longer will not wage,
    The conflict duty claims--the giant task;-- Thy spells, O virtue, never can assuage
  • 57.  
    Prate not to me so much of suns and of nebulous bodies;
    Think ye Nature but great, in that she gives thee to count? Though your object may be the sublimest that space holds within it,
  • 58.  
    E'en by the hand of the wicked can truth be working with vigor;
    But the vessel is filled by what is beauteous alone.
  • 59.  
    Are the sports of our youth so displeasing?
    Is love but the folly you say? Benumbed with the winter, and freezing,
  • 60.  
    Four elements, joined in
    Harmonious strife, Shadow the world forth,
  • 61.  
    Even the beauteous must die! This vanquishes men and immortals;
    But of the Stygian god moves not the bosom of steel. Once and once only could love prevail on the ruler of shadows,
  • 62.  
    Name, my Laura, name the whirl-compelling
    Bodies to unite in one blest whole-- Name, my Laura, name the wondrous magic
  • 63.  
    Deeper and bolder truths be careful, my friends, of avowing;
    For as soon as ye do all the world on ye will fall.
  • 64.  
    All, thou gentle one, lies embraced in thy kingdom; the graybeard
    Back to the days of his youth, childish and child-like, returns.
  • 65.  
    Past the despairing wail--
    And the bright banquets of the Elysian vale Melt every care away!
  • 66.  
    Say, where is now that glorious race, where now are the singers
    Who, with the accents of life, listening nations enthralled, Sung down from heaven the gods, and sung mankind up to heaven,
  • 67.  
    Youth's gay springtime scarcely knowing
    Went I forth the world to roam-- And the dance of youth, the glowing,
  • 68.  
    Full many a shining wit one sees,
    With tongue on all things well conversing; The what can charm, the what can please,
  • 69.  
    Laura! a sunrise seems to break
    Where'er thy happy looks may glow. Joy sheds its roses o'er thy cheek,
  • 70.  
    "Give me only a fragment of earth beyond the earth's limits,"--
    So the godlike man said,--"and I will move it with ease." Only give me permission to leave myself for one moment,
  • 71.  
    Yes! even I was in Arcadia born,
    And, in mine infant ears, A vow of rapture was by Nature sworn;-
  • 72.  
    See in the babe two loveliest flowers united--yet in truth,
    While in the bud they seem the same--the virgin and the youth! But loosened is the gentle bond, no longer side by side--
  • 73.  
    Ye in the age gone by,
    Who ruled the world--a world how lovely then!-- And guided still the steps of happy men
  • 74.  
    What thou thinkest, belongs to all; what thou feelest, is thine only.
    Wouldst thou make him thine own, feel thou the God whom thou thinkest!
  • 75.  
    Ever honor the whole; individuals only I honor;
    In individuals I always discover the whole.
  • 76.  
    Oh, how infinite, how unspeakably great, are the heavens!
    Yet by frivolity's hand downwards the heavens are pulled!
  • 77.  
    Priam's castle-walls had sunk,
    Troy in dust and ashes lay, And each Greek, with triumph drunk,
  • 78.  
    See you the towers, that, gray and old,
    Frown through the sunlight's liquid gold, Steep sternly fronting steep?
  • 79.  
    Wouldst thou teach me the truth? Don't take the trouble! I wish not,
    Through thee, the thing to observe,--but to see thee through the thing.
  • 80.  
    Wouldst thou know thyself, observe the actions of others.
    Wouldst thou other men know, look thou within thine own heart.
  • 81.  
    I see her still--by her fair train surrounded,
    The fairest of them all, she took her place; Afar I stood, by her bright charms confounded,
  • 82.  
    If thou feelest not the beautiful, still thou with reason canst will it;
    And as a spirit canst do, that which as man thou canst not.
  • 83.  
    Whither was it that my spirit wended
    When from thee my fleeting shadow moved? Is not now each earthly conflict ended?
  • 84.  
    Dearly I love a friend; yet a foe I may turn to my profit;
    Friends show me that which I can; foes teach me that which I should.
  • 85.  
    Mighty art thou, because of the peaceful charms of thy presence;
    That which the silent does not, never the boastful can do. Vigor in man I expect, the law in its honors maintaining,
  • 86.  
    Oh! thou bright-beaming god, the plains are thirsting,
    Thirsting for freshening dew, and man is pining; Wearily move on thy horses--
  • 87.  
    "Take the world!" Zeus exclaimed from his throne in the skies
    To the children of man--"take the world I now give; It shall ever remain as your heirloom and prize,
  • 88.  
    The goblet is sparkling with purpled-tinged wine,
    Bright glistens the eye of each guest, When into the hall comes the Minstrel divine,
  • 89.  
    What wonder this?--we ask the lympid well,
    O earth! of thee--and from thy solemn womb What yieldest thou?--is there life in the abyss--
  • 90.  
    Play on thy mother's bosom, babe, for in that holy isle
    The error cannot find thee yet, the grieving, nor the guile; Held in thy mother's arms above life's dark and troubled wave,
  • 91.  
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  • 92.  
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  • 93.  
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  • 94.  
    Tell me all that thou knowest, and I will thankfully hear it!
    But wouldst thou give me thyself,-let me, my friend, be excused!
  • 95.  
    Oh, nobly shone the fearful cross upon your mail afar,
    When Rhodes and Acre hailed your might, O lions of the war!When leading many a pilgrim horde, through wastes of Syrian gloom;
  • 96.  
    To Archimedes once a scholar came,
    "Teach me," he said, "the art that won thy fame;--The godlike art which gives such boons to toil,
  • 97.  
    Ever strive for the whole; and if no whole thou canst make thee,
    Join, then, thyself to some whole, as a subservient limb!
  • 98.  
    Beside the brook the boy reclined
    And wove his flowery wreath, And to the waves the wreath consigned--
  • 99.  
    Rightly said, Schlosser! Man loves what he has; what he has not, desireth;
    None but the wealthy minds love; poor minds desire alone.
  • 100.  
    Before his lion-court,
    Impatient for the sport, King Francis sat one day;
Total 163 poems written by Friedrich Schiller

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Charles Hamilton Sorley Poem
To Germany
 by Charles Hamilton Sorley

You are blind like us. Your hurt no man designed,
And no man claimed the conquest of your land.
But gropers both through fields of thought confined
We stumble and we do not understand.
You only saw your future bigly planned,
And we, the tapering paths of our own mind,
And in each others dearest ways we stand,
And hiss and hate. And the blind fight the blind.
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