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INSCRIPTION FOR THE FRONT OF THE PEDESTAL
OF A LATELY DECEASED POET'S STATUE.
In this marble behold him, the wise and the good,
The philosopher poet, our glory and pride;
He's gone from among us, but with us still live
And for ever will live in our hearts writ, his verses.
INSCRIPTION FOR THE BACK OF THE SAME.
BECAUSE I was wiser and better than they,
They hated and shunned or despised me while living,
And, to show how rejoiced they were, when I was dead
Collected subscriptions and set up this statue.
CARLSRUHE, March 22, 1856.
The author's volume 's a monarchic state;
Its thoughts, serfs of one mighty potentate:
Here in the democratic album, see
The land of literary liberty,
Where high and low and great and small agree
Burghers to live in love and amity.
CARLSRUHE, April 4, 1856.
Written on the margin of a leaf of Goethe's Faust.
Ere Mephistopheles thou took’st in hand,
It 's pity, Goethe, that thou hadst not had
A lesson or two from the old, blind puritan,
Who would have rapped thee soundly o'er the knuckles
If he had caught thee travestying Satan,
And well thine éars boxed, hadst thou dared to tell him
Thou knew'st no difference 'twixt a fallen archangel
And a mere vulgar scamp and ticket-of-léave man.
“How lovely these flowers, and how sweet the birds sing!”
Thus said to me once Eleanore,
As we walked in the garden, one fine morn in spring,
Myself and my sweet Eleanore:
"Where, where are the flowers? and what birds do you mean?"
But she blushed, my own sweet Eleanore, For then for the first time she saw I didn't mind
Birds or flowers when beside Eleanore.
BELIEVE him not, no matter how he swears;
Into his eye look; there is no kindness in it:
He cannot be your friend or any man's.
The months that with them violets bring,
Bring not to me the sweetest spring;
The months the sweetest spring to me
Bring, dearest girl, that bring me thee;
Stay with me, then, and 'twill be here
The sweetest spring, to me, all year.
OH, the pink of all mill’ners is sweet Poesý!
For where is the mill'ner so well knows as she,
To deck the bare pélt out in robes of all hue,
Purple velvets, blond laces, silks green, red and blue From her own fancy's lóom all, all sparkling and new ?
In the Hardtwald, beside Carlsruhe,
THOUSANDS of acres of loose, sandy soil,
Covered with ancient forest
In its third century's growth, Scotch fir gigantic,
Wide-spreading beech, tall poplar, elm and hornbeam;
And réd pine with its graceful, hanging boughs
Where many a bush -tailed squirrel cradled swings,
Pruning the branches with a gardener's skill,
And the ground strowing with rejected fragments
Of the pink, tender, terebinthine buds.
Here on this mossy bank o'erspread with dry,
Crisp oak-leaves, let us stretch us, in the sun,
Where the still leafless hazel overhead
Dangles her golden catkins, and the lank
Male willow bends him toward his silvery bride.
And see, my Katharine, 'tis the butterfly,
The spring's first butterfly, has come to greet us,
And balances itself upon the soft,
Velvety, yellow tuft of yon Carline.
Poor thing! it takes this sunny twelfth of March
For genial April's all-reviving ray:
No wonder; these dry leaves are hot in the sun,
And the whole depth of the wood shuts out the North.
The ant too ventures forth and would be busy;
The heavy-cuirassed beetle awkward lumbers
Over the loose sand, where it 's carpeted
Thick with the withered needles of the pine;
And, on its slender and elastic stilts,
The huge field-spider passes harmlessly
From blade to blade of short, white, sapless grass,
That by'no bend acknowledges his tread.
Where were ye, all the icy winter through,
Mute, innocent burghers of these pillared aisles ?
Where slept ye, the long night and sunless day?
Safe in what subterraneous cell beneath
What drifted snow-wreath ? wrapped in what dry leaf?
Sheltered behind what loosening scale of bark?
The tiny spark of life that slumbered through
Those dreary hours, take heed ye lose not now,
Too much relying on the cheerier season;
The same bright sun that waked ye from your sleep,
Has waked your enemies too. From the bare bough
Of yonder tasseled alder sings the thrush
Notes, not of friendship to your helpless tribes,
And, on the great oaks of the neighbouring alley,
Tap-tap, tap-tap went, two full hours this morning,
The murderous woodpecker's strong, sharp bill.
Ah! why has Nature willed, through all her realms,
War, rapine, violence, and bloodshed? why
Must this one's life be that one's death, ah why?
Why are we not all brethren, as all children,
The selfsame parent's children? why, ah why?
Tell me that, wise men, and I 'll think ye wise
Tell me that, Nature, and I 'll think thee good,
As good and kind as now I think thee cruel.
Come, come, my child; we must with this March sun
Not too long stay coquetting: toward the city,
And Goethe's or diviner Schiller's page.
To solemn Evening and more solemn Night
We leave thee, Hardtwald! and thy habitants
With the next sunny noon we come again.