by: Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)

      EFORE his lion-court
      Impatient for the sport,
      King Francis sat one day;
      The peers of his realm sat around,
      And in balcony high from the ground
      Sat the ladies in beauteous array.
      And when with his finger he beckoned,
      The gate opened wide in a second
      And in, with deliberate tread,
      Enters a lion dread,
      And looks around
      Yet utters no sound;
      Then long he yawns
      And shakes his mane,
      And, stretching each limb,
      Down lies he again.
      Again signs the king,--
      The next gate open flies,
      And, lo! with a wild spring,
      A tiger out hies.
      When the lion he sees, loudly roars he about,
      And a terrible circle his tail traces out.
      Protruding his tongue, past the lion he walks,
      And, snarling with rage, round him warily stalks
      Then, growling anew,
      On one side lies down too.
      Again signs the king,--
      And two gates open fly,
      And, lo! with one spring,
      Two leopards out hie.
      On the tiger they rush, for the fight nothing loth,
      But he with his paws seizes hold of them both
      And the lion, with roaring, gets up, - then all's still,
      The fierce beasts stalk around, madly thirsting to kill.
      From the balcony raised high above
      A fair hand lets fall down a glove
      Into the lists, where 'tis seen
      The lion and tiger between.
      To the knight, Sir Delorges, in tone of jest,
      Then speaks young Cunigund fair;
      "Sir Knight, if the love that thou feel'st in thy breast
      Is as warm as thou'rt wont at each moment to swear,
      Pick up, I pray thee, the glove that lies there!"
      And the knight, in a moment, with dauntless tread,
      Jumps into the lists, nor seeks to linger,
      And, from out the midst of those monsters dread,
      Picks up the glove with a daring finger.
      And the knights and ladies of high degree
      With wonder and horror the action see,
      While he quietly brings in his hand the glove,
      The praise of his courage each mouth employs;
      Meanwhile, with a tender look of love,
      The promise to him of coming joys,
      Fair Cunigund welcomes him back to his place.
      But he threw the glove point-blank in her face:
      "Lady, no thanks from thee I'll receive!"
      And that selfsame hour he took his leave.

This anonymous translation of "The Glove" was originally published in 1902.




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