In spring I go to war
To sing or to die.
What do I care for my own troubles?
Today I shatter them, laughing in pieces.
Oh, Brothers, know that young spring came
In a whirlwind.
Quickly throw off tired grief
And follow her in a host.
I have never felt so strongly
How much I love you, Oh, Germany,
As the magic of spring surrounds you
Amidst the bustle of war.
Sweet star, which gleaming o’er the darksome scene
Through fleecy clouds of silvery radiance fliest,
Spanglet of light on evening’s shadowy veil,
Which shrouds the day-beam from the waveless lake,
Lighting the hour of sacred love; more sweet
Than the expiring morn-star’s paly fires:–
Sweet star! When wearied Nature sinks to sleep,
And all is hushed,–all, save the voice of Love,
Whose broken murmurings swell the balmy blast
Of soft Favonius, which at intervals
Sighs in the ear of stillness, art thou aught but
Lulling the slaves of interest to repose
With that mild, pitying gaze? Oh, I would look
In thy dear beam till every bond of sense
Thou living light that in thy rainbow hues
Clothest this naked world; and over Sea
And Earth and air, and all the shapes that be
In peopled darkness of this wondrous world
The Spirit of thy glory dost diffuse
… truth … thou Vital Flame
Mysterious thought that in this mortal frame
Of things, with unextinguished lustre burnest
Now pale and faint now high to Heaven upcurled
That eer as thou dost languish still returnest
Before the … before the Pyramids
So soon as from the Earth formless and rude
One living step had chased drear Solitude
Thou wert, Thought; thy brightness charmed the lids
Of the vast snake Eternity, who kept
The tree of good and evil.–
WHEN the lamp is shatter’d,
The light in the dust lies dead;
When the cloud is scatter’d,
The rainbow’s glory is shed;
When the lute is broken,
Sweet tones are remember’d not
When the lips have spoken,
Loved accents are soon forgot.
As music and splendour
Survive not the lamp and the lute,
The heart’s echoes render
No song when the spirit is mute–
No song but sad dirges,
Like the wind through a ruin’d cell,
Or the mournful surges
That ring the dead seaman’s knell.
When hearts have once mingled,
Love first leaves the well-built nest;
The weak one is singled
To endure what it once possest.
O Love, who bewailest
The frailty of all things here,
Why choose you the frailest
For your cradle, your home, and your bier?
Its passions will rock thee,
As the storms rock the ravens on high:
Bright reason will mock thee,
Like the sun from a wintry sky.
From thy nest every rafter
Will rot, and thine eagle home
Leave thee naked to laughter,
When leaves fall and cold winds come.
The golden gates of Sleep unbar
Where Strength and Beauty, met together,
Kindle their image like a star
In a sea of glassy weather!
Night, with all thy stars look down,–
Darkness, weep thy holiest dew,–
Never smiled the inconstant moon
On a pair so true.
Let eyes not see their own delight;–
Haste, swift Hour, and thy flight
Fairies, sprites, and angels, keep her!
Holy stars, permit no wrong!
And return to wake the sleeper,
Dawn,—ere it be long!
O joy! O fear! what will be done
In the absence of the sun!