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The Alpine Hunter

Friedrich Schiller 1759 (Marbach am Neckar) – 1805 (Weimar)

Wilt thou not the lambkins guard?
 Oh, how soft and meek they look,
Feeding on the grassy sward,
 Sporting round the silvery brook!
"Mother, mother, let me go
On yon heights to chase the roe!"

Wilt thou not the flock compel
 With the horn's inspiring notes?
Sweet the echo of yon bell,
 As across the wood it floats!
"Mother, mother, let me go
On yon heights to hunt the roe!"

Wilt thou not the flow'rets bind,
 Smiling gently in their bed?
For no garden thou wilt find
 On yon heights so wild and dread.
"Leave the flow'rets,--let them blow!
Mother, mother, let me go!"

And the youth then sought the chase,
 Onward pressed with headlong speed
To the mountain's gloomiest place,--
 Naught his progress could impede;
And before him, like the wind,
Swiftly flies the trembling hind!

Up the naked precipice
 Clambers she, with footsteps light,
O'er the chasm's dark abyss
 Leaps with spring of daring might;
But behind, unweariedly,
With his death-bow follows he.

Now upon the rugged top
 Stands she,--on the loftiest height,
Where the cliffs abruptly stop,
 And the path is lost to sight.
There she views the steeps below,--
Close behind, her mortal foe.

She, with silent, woeful gaze,
 Seeks the cruel boy to move;
But, alas! in vain she prays--
 To the string he fits the groove.
When from out the clefts, behold!
Steps the Mountain Genius old.

With his hand the Deity
Shields the beast that trembling sighs;
"Must thou, even up to me,
Death and anguish send?" he cries,--
Earth has room for all to dwell,--
"Why pursue my loved gazelle?"

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:24 min read

Friedrich Schiller

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet philosopher historian and playwright During the last seventeen years of his life Schiller struck up a productive if complicated friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang Goethe with whom he frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics and encouraged Goethe to finish works he left merely as sketches this relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism They also worked together on Die Xenien The Xenies a collection of short but harshly satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe verbally attacked those persons they perceived to be enemies of their aesthetic agenda. more…

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