PHANTASY -- TO LAURA
by: Friedrich Schiller
- AME, my Laura, name the whirl-compelling
- Bodies to unite in one blest whole--
- Name, my Laura, name the wondrous magic
- By which Soul rejoins its kindred Soul!
- See! it teaches yonder roving Planets
- Round the sun to fly in endless race;
- And as children play around their mother,
- Checker'd circles round the orb to trace.
- Every rolling star, by thirst tormented,
- Drinks with joy its bright and golden rain--
- Drinks refreshment from its fiery chalice,
- As the limbs are nourish'd by the brain.
- 'Tis through Love that atom pairs with atom,
- In a harmony eternal, sure;
- And 'tis Love that links the spheres together--
- Through her only, systems can endure.
- Were she but effaced from Nature's clockwork,
- Into dust would fly the mighty world;
- O'er thy systems thou wouldst weep, great Newton,
- When with giant force to Chaos hurl'd!
- Blot the Goddess from the Spirit Order,
- It would sink in death, and ne'er arise.
- Were Love absent, spring would glad us never;
- Were Love absent, none their God would prize!
- What is that, which, when my Laura kisses,
- Dyes my cheek with flames of purple hue,
- Bids my bosom bound with swifter motion,
- Like a fever wild my veins runs through?
- Ev'ry nerve from out its barriers rises,
- O'er its banks the blood begins to flow;
- Body seeks to join itself to Body,
- Spirits kindle in one blissful glow.
- Powerful as in the dead creations
- That eternal impulses obey,
- O'er the web Arachnine-like of Nature,--
- Living Nature,--Love exerts her sway.
- Laura, see how Joyousness embraces
- E'en the overflow of sorrows wild!
- How e'en rigid desperation kindles
- On the loving breast of Hope so mild.
- Sisterly and blissful raptures softens
- Gloomy Melancholy's fearful night,
- And, deliver'd of its golden Children,
- Lo, the eye pours forth its radiance bright!
- Does not awful Sympathy rule over
- E'en the realms that Evil calls its own?
- For 'tis Hell our crimes are ever wooing,
- While they bear a grudge 'gainst Heaven alone!
- Shame, Repentance, pair Eumenides-like,
- Weave round sin their fearful serpent-coils:
- While around the eagle-wings of Greatness
- Treach'rous danger winds its dreaded toils.
- Ruin oft with Pride is wont to trifle,
- Envy upon Fortune loves to cling;
- On her brother, Death, with arms extended,
- Lust, his sister, oft is wont to spring.
- On the wings of Love the Future hastens
- In the arms of ages past to lie;
- And Saturnus, as he onwards speeds him,
- Long hath sought his bride -- Eternity!
- Soon Saturnus will his bride discover,--
- So the mighty Oracle hath said;
- Blazing Worlds will turn to marriage torches
- When Eternity with Time shall wed!
- Then a fairer, far more beauteous morning,
- Laura, on our Love shall also shine,
- Long as their blest bridal-night enduring:--
- So rejoice thee, Laura -- Laura mine!
MORE POEMS BY FRIEDRICH SCHILLER
"Phantasy -- To Laura"
is reprinted from The Poems of Schiller. Trans. Edgar
A. Bowring. New York: Hurst & Company, 1872.