by: Friedrich Schiller
- HE sought to breathe one word,
- Too many listeners were nigh;
- And yet my timid glance read plainly
- The language of her speaking eye.
- Thy silent glades my footstep presses,
- Thou fair and leaf-embosom'd grove!
- Conceal within thy green recesses
- From mortal eye our sacred love!
- Afar with strange discordant noises,
- The busy day is echoing;
- And, 'mid the hollow hum of voices,
- I hear the heavy hammer ring.
- 'Tis thus that man, with toil ne'er-ending,
- Extorts from Heaven his daily bread;
- Yet oft unseen the Gods are sending
- The gifts of fortune on his head!
- Oh, let mankind discover never
- How true love fills with bliss our hearts!
- They would but crush our joy forever,
- For joy to them no glow imparts.
- Thou ne'er wilt from the world obtain it--
- 'Tis never captured save as prey;
- Thou needs must strain each nerve to gain it,
- E'er Envy dark asserts her sway.
- The hours of night and stillness loving,
- It comes upon us silently--
- Away with hasty footsteps moving
- Soon as it sees a treach'rous eye.
- Thou gentle stream, soft circlets weaving,
- A wat'ry barrier cast around,
- And, with thy waves in anger heaving,
- Guard from each foe this holy ground!
MORE POEMS BY FRIEDRICH SCHILLER
"The Secret" is reprinted
from The Poems of Schiller. Trans. Edgar A. Bowring. New
York: Hurst & Company, 1872.