Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
 
Miscellaneous
Jeremiads
Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)
 
Translated by E. A. Bowring

ALL, both in prose and in verse, in Germany fast is decaying;
  Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now!
 
For by philosophers spoiled is our language,—our logic by poets,
  And no more common-sense governs our passage through life.
 
From the æsthetic, to which she belongs, now virtue is driven,        5
  And into politics forced, where she ’s a troublesome guest.
 
Where are we hastening now? If natural, dull we are voted,
  And if we put on constraint, then the world calls us absurd.
 
O, thou joyous artlessness ’mongst the poor maidens of Leipzig,
  Witty simplicity, come,—come, then, to glad us again!        10
 
Comedy, O, repeat thy weekly visits so precious,
  Sigismund, lover so sweet,—Mascarill, valet jocose!
 
Tragedy, full of salt, and pungency epigrammatic,—
  And thou, minuet,—step of our old buskin preserved!
 
Philosophic romance, thou manikin wailing with patience,        15
  When, ’gainst the primer’s attack, Nature defendeth herself!
 
Ancient prose, O, return,—so nobly and boldly expressing
  All that thou think’st and hast thought,—and what the reader thinks too!
 
All, both in prose and in verse, in Germany fast is decaying;
  Far behind us, alas, lieth the golden age now!        20
 
 
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