ON READING WITH DIFFICULTY SOME OF SCHILLER’S EARLY LOVE POEMS.
When of thy loves, and happy heavenly dreams
Of early life, O Bard! I strive to read,
Thy foreign utterance a riddle seems,
And hardly can I hold thy thought’s bright thread.
When of the maiden’s guilt, the mother’s woe,
And the dark mystery of death and shame,
Thou speakest-then thy terrible numbers flow
As if the tongue we think in were the same.
Ah wherefore! but because all joy and love
Speak unfamiliar, unknown words to me,
A spirit of wishful wonder they may move,
Dreams of what might-but yet shall never be.
But the sharp cry of pain-the bitter moan
Of trust deceived-the horrible despair
Of hope and love for ever overthrown-
These strains of thine need no interpreter.
Ah! ’tis my native tongue! and howsoe’er
In foreign accents writ, that I did ne’er
Or speak, or hear, a woman’s agony
Still utters a familiar voice to me.
(Frances Anne Kemble)
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Based on Keywords: wishful, difficulty, schiller, pain-the, might-but