Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
May 9
The Death of Schiller
By William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)
 
          Johann von Schiller, the famous German poet and dramatist, died May 9, 1805.

’TIS said, when Schiller’s death drew nigh,
  The wish possessed his mighty mind,
To wander forth wherever lie
  The homes and haunts of human-kind.
 
Then strayed the poet, in his dreams,        5
  By Rome and Egypt’s ancient graves;
Went up the New World’s forest streams,
  Stood in the Hindoo’s temple-caves;
 
Walked with the Pawnee, fierce and stark,
  The sallow Tartar, midst his herds,        10
The peering Chinese, and the dark
  False Malay uttering gentle words.
 
How could he rest? even then he trod
  The threshold of the world unknown;
Already, from the seat of God,        15
  A ray upon his garments shone;—
 
Shone and awoke the strong desire
  For love and knowledge reached not here,
Till, freed by death, his soul of fire
  Sprang to a fairer, ampler sphere.        20
 
 
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