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Hour. In the frolic view of men.
Silvan. Lov'st thou music?

Hour. Oh, 'tis sweet!
Silvan. What's dancing.

Hour. E'en the mirth of feet.
Silvan. Joy you in fairies, or in elves
Hour. We are of that sort ourselves.

But, Silvan, say, why do you love
Only to frequent the grove?
Silvan. Life is fullest of content

When delight is innocent.

Hour. Pleasure must vary, not be long;

Come, then, let's close, and end the song.


Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep;
Seated in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep:
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright!

Earth, let not thy envious shade

Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to clear when day did close;
Bless us, then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright!

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal-shining quiver;
Give unto the flying hart

Space to breathe, how short soever;
Thou that mak'st a day of night,
Goddess excellently bright!

BEN JONSON 1574-1637.


Mysterious Night! when our first parent knew
Thee from report divine, and heard thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,

This glorious canopy of light and blue ?

Yet ’neath the curtain of translucent dew,

Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,

Hesperus with the host of Heaven came, And lo! creation widened in man's view.

Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed Within thy beams, 0 Sun! or who could find,

While fly, and leaf, and insect lay revealed, That to such countless orbs thou mad'st us blind!

Why do we, then, shun Death with anxious strife? If Light can thus deceive, wherefore not Life ?



When I survey the bright

Celestial sphere,
So rich with jewels hung, that night

Doth like an Ethiop bride appear;

My soul her wings doth spread,

And heavenward flies
The Almighty's mysteries to read

In the large volume of the skies.

For the bright firmament

Shoots forth no flame
So silent, but is eloquent

In speaking the Creator's name.

No unregarded star

Contracts its light
Into so small character,

Remov'd far from our human sight:

But if we steadfast look,

We shall discern
In it, as in some holy book,

How man may heavenly knowledge learn.

It tells the conqueror

That far-stretch'd power,
Which his proud dangers traffic for,
Is but the triumph of an hour.

That from the farthest north

Some nation may
Yet undiscovered issue forth,

And o'er his new-got conquest sway.

Some nation yet shut in

With hills of ice,
May be let out to scourge his sin,
Till they shall equal him in vice.

And they likewise shall

Their ruin have;
For as yourselves, your empires fall,

And every kingdom hath a grave.

There those celestial fires,

Though seeming mute, The fallacy of our desires,

And all the pride of life confute.

For they have watch'd since first

The world had birth,
And found sin in itself accurst,
And nothing permanent on earth.




Fillest hill and vale again,

Still with softening light ! Loosest from the world's cold chain

All my soul to-night!

Spreadest round me, far and nigh,

Soothingly thy smile;
From thee, as from friendship’s eye,

Sorrow shrinks the while.

Every echo thrills my heart

Glad and gloomy mood;
Joy and sorrow both have part

In my solitude.

River, river, glide along !

I am sad, alas!
Fleeting things are love and song-

Even so they pass !

I have had, and I have lost

What I long for yet;
Ah! why will we, to our cost,

Simple joys forget ?

River, river, glide along,

Without stop or stay ;
Murmur, whisper to my song,

In melodious play:

Whether on a winter's night

Rise thy swollen floods,
Or in spring thou hast delight,

Watering the young buds.

Happy he, who, hating none,

Leaves the world's dull noise,
And with trusty friends alone

Quietly enjoys

What, forever unexpressed,

Hid from common sight,
Through the mazes of the breast

Softly steals the night!
Translation of J. S. DWIGHT. JOHANN WOLFGANG v. GOETHE, 1749-1882



Darker than the day,
Clearer than the night,
Shines the mellow moonlight,

From the rocky heights,
Shapes in shimmer clad,
Mistily are mounting.

Pearls of silver dew,
Soft distilling, drop
On the silent meadows.

Night of sweetest song,
With the gloomy woods,
Philomela mingleth.
Far in ether wide
Yawns the dread abyss
Of deep worlds uncounted.
Neither eye nor ear,
Seeking, findeth here
The end of mazy thinking.

Evermore the wheel
Of unmeasured Time
Turns round all existence;

And it bears away
Swift, how swift! the prey
Of fleet-flitting mortals.
Where soft breezes blow,
Where thou see'st the row
Of smooth-shining beeches ;
Driven from the flood
Of the thronging Time,
Lina's hut receives me.

Brighter than aloft,
In night's shimmering star,
Peace with her is shining.
And the vale so sweet,
And the sweet moonlight,

Where she dwells, is sweeter.
Anonymous Translation,

Carl v. KNEBEL, 1744-1884.



In the still evening, when with rapid flight,
Low in the western sky the sun descends
To give expectant nations life and light,
The aged pilgrim, in some clime unknown,
Slow journeying, right onward fearful bends
With weary haste, a stranger and alone;

Yet, when his labor ends,

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