Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: VI. Labor and Rest
Labor Done
Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)
 
From the German by Samuel Atkins Eliot

From “Song of the Bell”

    LET us with care observe
  What from our strength, yet weakness, springs;
For he respect can ne’er deserve
  Who hands alone to labor brings.
’T is only this which honors man;        5
  His mind with heavenly fire was warmed,
That he with deepest thought might scan
  The work which his own hand has formed.
*        *        *        *        *
Cheerful in the forest gloom,
  The wanderer turns his weary steps        10
To his loved, though lowly home.
  Bleating flocks draw near the fold;
          And the herds,
Wide-horned, and smooth, slow-pacing come
    Lowing from the hill,        15
    The accustomed stall to fill.
          Heavy rolls
          Along the wagon,
          Richly loaded.
          On the sheaves,        20
          With gayest leaves
          They form the wreath;
And the youthful reapers dance
          Upon the heath.
Street and market all are quiet,        25
And round each domestic light
Gathers now a circle fond,
While shuts the creaking city-gate.
          Darkness hovers
          O’er the earth.        30
Safety still each sleeper covers
          As the light,
That the deeps of crime discovers;
  For wakes the law’s protecting might.
 
Holy Order! rich with all        35
The gifts of Heaven, that best we call,—
Freedom, peace, and equal laws,—
Of common good the happy cause!
She the savage man has taught
What the arts of life have wrought;        40
Changed the rude hut to comfort, splendor,
And filled fierce hearts with feelings tender
And yet a dearer bond she wove,—
Our home, our country, taught to love.
 
A thousand active hands, combined        45
  For mutual aid, with zealous heart,
In well apportioned labor find
  Their power increasing with their art.
Master and workmen all agree,
  Under sweet Freedom’s holy care,        50
And each content in his degree,
  Warns every scorner to beware.
Labor is the poor man’s pride,—
  Success by toil alone is won.
Kings glory in possessions wide,—        55
  We glory in our work well done.
 
 
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