Translations. - The Philosophers. (from Schiller.) Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


The principle whence everythingA
To life and shape ascendedB
The pulley whereon Zeus the ringA
Of Earth which else in sherds would springA
Has carefully suspendedB
To genius I yield him a claimC
Who fathoms for me what its nameC
Save I withdraw its curtainD
It is ten is not thirteenE
That snow makes cold that fire burnsF
That man on two feet goethG
That in the heavens the sun sojournsF
This much the man who logic spurnsF
Through his own senses knowethG
But metaphysics who has gotH
Knows he that burneth freezeth notH
Knows 'tis the moist that wettethG
And 'tis the rough that frettethG
Great Homer sings his epic highI
The hero fronts his dangersF
The brave his duty still doth plyI
And did it while I won't denyI
Philosophers were strangersF
But grant by heart and brain achiev'dJ
What Locke and Des Cartes ne'er conceiv'dJ
By them yet as behov dK
It possible was prov dK
Strength for the Right is counted stillL
Bold laughs the strong hyenaM
Who rule not servants' parts must fillL
It goes quite tolerably illL
Upon this world's arenaM
But how it would be if the planN
Of the universe now first beganN
In many a moral systemO
All men may read who list 'emO
Man needs with man must linked beK
To reach the goal of growingA
In the whole only worketh heK
Many drops go to make the seaK
Much water sets mills goingA
Then with the wild wolves do not standP
But knit the state's enduring bandP
From doctor's chair thus tranquilQ
Herr Pufendorf and swan quillL
But since to all what doctors sayF
Flies not as soon as spokenD
Nature will use her mother wayF
See that her chain fly not in twayF
The circle be not brokenD
Meantime until the world's great roundR
Philosophy in one hath boundR
She keeps it on the move sirS
By hunger and by love sirS

George Macdonald


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