Friedrich Schiller

The Pilgrim

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 co…

Youth's gay springtime scarcely knowing
 Went I forth the world to roam--
And the dance of youth, the glowing,
 Left I in my father's home,
Of my birthright, glad-believing,
 Of my world-gear took I none,
Careless as an infant, cleaving
 To my pilgrim staff alone.
For I placed my mighty hope in
 Dim and holy words of faith,
"Wander forth--the way is open,
 Ever on the upward path--
Till thou gain the golden portal,
 Till its gates unclose to thee.
There the earthly and the mortal,
 Deathless and divine shall be!"
Night on morning stole, on stealeth,
 Never, never stand I still,
And the future yet concealeth,
 What I seek, and what I will!
Mount on mount arose before me,
 Torrents hemmed me every side,
But I built a bridge that bore me
 O'er the roaring tempest-tide.
Towards the east I reached a river,
 On its shores I did not rest;
Faith from danger can deliver,
 And I trusted to its breast.
Drifted in the whirling motion,
 Seas themselves around me roll--
Wide and wider spreads the ocean,
 Far and farther flies the goal.
While I live is never given
 Bridge or wave the goal to near--
Earth will never meet the heaven,
 Never can the there be here!