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The Walk

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

Hail to thee, mountain beloved, with thy glittering purple-dyed summit!
  Hail to thee also, fair sun, looking so lovingly on!
 Thee, too, I hail, thou smiling plain, and ye murmuring lindens,
  Ay, and the chorus so glad, cradled on yonder high boughs;
 Thee, too, peaceably azure, in infinite measure extending
  Round the dusky-hued mount, over the forest so green,--
 Round about me, who now from my chamber's confinement escaping,
  And from vain frivolous talk, gladly seek refuge with thee.
 Through me to quicken me runs the balsamic stream of thy breezes,
  While the energetical light freshens the gaze as it thirsts.
 Bright o'er the blooming meadow the changeable colors are gleaming,
  But the strife, full of charms, in its own grace melts away
 Freely the plain receives me,--with carpet far away reaching,
  Over its friendly green wanders the pathway along.
 Round me is humming the busy bee, and with pinion uncertain
  Hovers the butterfly gay over the trefoil's red flower.
 Fiercely the darts of the sun fall on me,--the zephyr is silent,
  Only the song of the lark echoes athwart the clear air.
 Now from the neighboring copse comes a roar, and the tops of the alders
  Bend low down,--in the wind dances the silvery grass;
 Night ambrosial circles me round; in the coolness so fragrant
  Greets me a beauteous roof, formed by the beeches' sweet shade.
 In the depths of the wood the landscape suddenly leaves me
  And a serpentine path guides up my footsteps on high.
 Only by stealth can the light through the leafy trellis of branches
  Sparingly pierce, and the blue smilingly peeps through the boughs,
 But in a moment the veil is rent, and the opening forest
  Suddenly gives back the day's glittering brightness to me!
 Boundlessly seems the distance before my gaze to be stretching,
  And in a purple-tinged hill terminates sweetly the world.

 Deep at the foot of the mountain, that under me falls away steeply,
  Wanders the greenish-hued stream, looking like glass as it flows.
 Endlessly under me see I the ether, and endlessly o'er
  Giddily look I above, shudderingly look I below,
 But between the infinite height and the infinite hollow
  Safely the wanderer moves over a well-guarded path.
 Smilingly past me are flying the banks all teeming with riches,
  And the valley so bright boasts of its industry glad.
 See how yonder hedgerows that sever the farmer's possessions
  Have by Demeter been worked into the tapestried plain!
 Kindly decree of the law, of the Deity mortal-sustaining,
  Since from the brazen world love vanished forever away.
 But in freer windings the measured pastures are traversed
  (Now swallowed up in the wood, now climbing up to the hills)
 By a glimmering streak, the highway that knits lands together;
  Over the smooth-flowing stream, quietly glide on the rafts.

 Ofttimes resound the bells of the flocks in the fields that seem living,
  And the shepherd's lone song wakens the echo again.
 Joyous villages crown the stream, in the copse others vanish,
  While from the back of the mount, others plunge wildly below.
 Man still lives with the land in neighborly friendship united,
  And round his sheltering roof calmly repose still his fields;
 Trustingly climbs the vine high over the low-reaching window,
  While round the cottage the tree circles its far-stretching boughs.
 Happy race of the plain! Not yet awakened to freedom,
  Thou and thy pastures with joy share in the limited law;
 Bounded thy wishes all are by the harvest's peaceable circuit,
  And thy lifetime is spent e'en as the task of the day!

 But what suddenly hides the beauteous view? A strange spirit
  Over the still-stranger plain spreads itself quickly afar--
 Coyly separates now, what scarce had lovingly mingled,
  And 'tis the like that alone joins itself on to the like.
 Orders I see depicted; the haughty tribes of the poplars
  Marshalled in regular pomp, stately and beauteous appear.
 All gives token of rule and choice, and all has its meaning,--
  'Tis this uniform plan points out the Ruler to me.
 Brightly the glittering domes in far-away distance proclaim him.
  Out of the kernel of rocks rises the city's high wall.
 Into the desert without, the fauns of the forest are driven,
  But by devotion is lent life more sublime to the stone.
 Man is brought into nearer union with man, and around him
  Closer, more actively wakes, swifter moves in him the world.
 See! the emulous forces in fiery conflict are kindled,
  Much, they effect when they strive, more they effect when they join.
 Thousands of hands by
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:51 min read
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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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    "The Walk" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/14432/the-walk>.

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