The Greatest Writer of the 19th Century » Brownson's Writings » Foreign Standard Literature

Foreign Standard Literature

The Boston Quarterly Review, April, 1839

Art. III.  Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature. Edited by George Ripley. Vol. III. Containing Select Minor Poems, from the German of Goethe and Schiller. Boston: Milliard, Gray & Company, 1839.    12mo. pp. 439.

When we first meditated this article, we designed to discuss the literary merits of Goethe and Schiller, and to form an estimate of their relative greatness. With this design, we began to study anew the principal works of these illustrious writers. But as we went on with the productions of Goethe, we felt every day an increasing sense of our inability to measure his height, and construct a Mecanique Celeste, from the various and conflicting phenomena observed in his writings. What seemed single stars at first, appeared double and treble on a second examination,  and were, at last, found to be constellations. The reader of Goethe is often surprised to see that a song or story, which at first appeared only a clever monument of the author's rythming skill, is really covered all over with hieroglyphics, which are full of deep significance. The first attempt, therefore, was speedily abandoned-It is difficult to form an estimate of the character of Goethe. He is so " many-sided," that " you never know where to find him." At one time, you find him recommending action and practical life. He counsels men to take a part in the doing and driving of the world. But when French cannon thunder at the gates of Weimar, the first poet of Germany, that " many-sided man," fearful lest his mind should be disturbed, sits dowyn to study Chinese. Now he seems cool, indifferent to the great interests of Humanity, and again he is filled with the love of man. He seems to have followed an Epicurean plan of life- The words of an old writer would have served him for a motto : " Come on, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures like as in youth. Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments, and let no flower of the spring pass by us. Let us cover ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered. Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness. Let us leave tokens of our joyfulness in every place," for " our life is short and tedious, and in the death of man there is no remedy."

But whatever was his character as a man, his power as a writer is unrivalled among the moderns, and his claims to immortal renown uncontested. He goes silently up to take his place among the fixed stars of creation. His works pass " into the ages," to shine with perennial brilliancy. His faults as a man detract nothing from the artistic value of his works. An amateur would be censured for his folly, if he should re« fuse to admire a painting of Adrien Braur, because that artist was the most licentious of profligates.
All true lovers of poetry will gratefully welcome the little volume Mr. Dwight and his friends have prepared from these great masters of German Art. The pieces selected from Goethe are perhaps the best specimens of his style ; many of them are masterpieces  models in this department of art;   perhaps they are the most favorable that could be selected, though we are far from believing, with Mr. Dwight, that they are all which would be valuable to the English reader. Some of these little pieces will not, at first sight, commend themselves to the general reader of English poetry. That merit must be very shallow which can be seen through at a single glance. The German Lyrics, and especially Goethe's, differ essentially from the productions of the great masters of the divine art among us. English poetry overflows with thought. Its thoughtfulncss is its most striking trait. It is profound. Metaphysical treatises pass for good, genuine English poetry when translated into verse. Homilies have been " done into metre," and pass current as lyrics, odes, and songs. Compare the sonnets of Shakspeare, Milton, and Wordsworth  in many respects their most remarkable productions  with the best sonnets of any other nation, and the difference in thoughtfulness will immediately appear. The former are thoughts chiselled in cold marble, or rather they are huge crystals, that have silently elaborated themselves, and speak of wondrous power that " lives and works unseen."

English poetry is full of energy ; there is a majesty in its march. Its images are bold and distinct. Our lyric poetry partakes of the same character. The English mind is fully portrayed therein. It is based on good sound common sense, and seldom rises far above the actual. Even our songs have little of that light, cloudy, dream-like, evanescent substance which forms the material of so many German songs. Our songs are simple; no man can mistake their meaning ; the allusions are generally broad hints. You see the thread on which the pearls are strung.

The German song is quite different; it is filled rather with profound sentiments than profound thoughts. Yet sometimes vast meaning is condensed in a few words. It is complicated, allusive, full of dark hints, " nods and becks and wreathed smiles." Goethe's songs, in  particular, are often bewitchingly vague, all their meaning does not come forth at once. The English song is a tree. You see its trunk, its branches, its leaves. You learn the blossom from the bough, and the fruit from the blossom. The only mystery is, " How has it grown1? " The German song is a cloud. You cannot define its shape. By looking at one phase, you learn nothing of the next ; for one side may be dark, and the other all covered with rainbow light. It is in a perpetual change, and often " overflows with terrible beauty." Like the cloud that Hamlet gazed on, it takes all the forms of the observer's fancy. This vagueness is peculiar to the songs of the Germans, and this people have a prescriptive right to be shadowy,  for the legend says, with deep truth, that while the French had the land, and the English the sea, the Germans had the clouds, for their inheritance. But there is a simple freshness in German poetry, especially in lyric composition. There is no imitation of hackneyed models ; no " troubling of the mind" of Goethe and Schiller towards Orpheus and Petrarch, or any of the canonized oracles of song. A Teutonic spirit clothes itself in its own Teutonic dress.

" The high hymn of German bards,  in its own fulness swelling, From the heart's own depths out-welling,
Spurns restraint, nor rule regards."  p. 333.

The careless reader will perhaps sometimes pass over the beautiful little pieces of Goethe, not discovering what deep meaning lies under them. But the true poetic Argus will be at no loss to penetrate their depths.

Goethe's songs have been carefully arranged by the translator, and wrought into a beautiful mosaic, thus affording a more correct delineation of the artist's character than most biographies would furnish. You see how he thought, and how he felt; what he aspired after, and what he reached. As he was an Epicurean, so his songs are the songs of this world.    The different periods of his life are distinctly marked in these pieces, and the careful reader will readily refer one song to his fiery youth; another to his philosophic manhood, when he had " a generous view of life," and still others to a period of more mature wisdom " when he was too old to sin," as some one has said.

These translations are not all by the same hand. Mr. Dwight has been favored with the assistance of Mr. Frothingham, Mr. Bancroft, Mr. Clarke, Miss Fuller, Mr. Channing, Mr. Hedge, Mr. Haven, Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Cranch. The different writers necessarily translate in different spirits, and in obedience to different theories of art. But it is certainly remarkable that ten different persons should he found in New England able to produce such fine translations as are contained in the present specimens. But the book must be suffered to speak for itself. The " November Song" has a cheerless title, which it does not merit:

" The Archer !  not the ancient one,
Within whose cheerless Sign Winters the far-retreating Sun, And seems but half to shine ;
The Archer boy ! to him the song,
Who 'mid the roses plays, And hears and aims, nor aimeth long,
But hits the heart always.
Through him the winter evenings lend,
So hateful else, and bare, To us full many a worthy friend,
And many a lady fair.
And henceforth shall the charming child
I' the starry heavens be set, And, rising, setting, clear and mild,
Shoot twinkles at us yet."  p. 19.
The following, with the scriptural title of " Vanitas vanitatum vanitas," is a good disclosure of the author's philosophy of life :

" I've set my heart upon nothing, you see ; Hurrah !
And so the world goes well with me.
Hurrah !
And who has a mind to he fellow of mine,
Why, let him take hold and help me drain
These mouldy lees of wine.
I set my heart at first upon wealth;
Hurrah ! And bartered away my peace and health ;
But, ah"!
The slippery change went about like air, And when I had clutched me a handful here, Away it went there.
I set my heart upon woman next ;
Hurrah ! For her sweet sake was oft perplexed ;
But, ah !
The False one looked for a daintier lot, The Constant one wearied me out and out, The Best was not easily got.
I set my heart upon travels grand,
Hurrah ! And spurned our plain old Fatherland ;
But, ah !
Nought seemed to be just the thing it should, Most comfortless beds and indifferent food, My tastes misunderstood.
I set my heart upon sounding fame ;
Hurrah ! And, lo ! I 'in eclipsed by some upstart's name ;
And, ah !
When in public life I loomed quite high, The folks that passed me would look awry : Their very worst friend was I.
And then I set my heart upon war.
Hurrah ! We gained some battles with eclat.
Hurrah !
We troubled the foe with sword and flame, (And some of our friends fared quite the same,) I lost a leg for fame.
Now I 've set my heart upon nothing, you see ; Hurrah !
And the whole wide world belongs to me.
Hurrah !
The feast begins to run low, no doubt; But at the old cask we '11 have one good bout.
Come, drink the lees all out! "  pp. 50, 51.
Goethe's connexion with Lili, which did not ripen into marriage, gave occasion to some exquisite little poems. The following extract from some lines addressed to a Golden Heart, received from her, and worn round his neck, is a good specimen.
" The bird may burst the silken chain which bound him, Flying to the green home, which fits him best;
But, ah ! he bears the prisoner's badge around him, Still by the piece about his neck distressed.
He ne'er can breathe his free, wild notes again ;
They 're stifled by the pressure of his chain."  p. 31.

Here it may be well to speak of Mr. Dwight's principles of translation.    He says

" Only such of them are given, as have, from time to time, interested the translator, and such as he could translate in the hours when they have most filled his fancy and spoken to his experience. This has been the only principle of selection. Many a time he has turned them over, attracted only by a significant look, a promising glimpse of a meaning, in here and there one ; and often has a song, several times dismissed with a look of irrccognition, revealed itself afterwards, in all its beauty, by the merest accident, when some mood or circumstance has thrown him into the right point of view, or when some fresh experience, grave or trifling, has recalled the song as its fittest word. On this fact ho founds whatever confidence he has that these translations are in any degree successful. Full justice to the original could not be done. A song is but a breath. It came out whole, just as it is, as much a mystery to the poet as to any one. Its dress cannot be torn away from its substance ; the rhythm, the tones, the coloring, the imagery, the very length or shortness of it, are determined by a sort of inward necessity  that nicer instinct, by which the soul, in all its genuine productions, instantly chooses out of Nature whatever will serve it for a language. A sono; is a feelins which has found utterance in a beautiful form, and satisfied itself. The,, form   is not the container of the spirit of a song ; the form is thoroughly instinct with the spirit, and, in fact, grew out of it. The spirit, therefore, or essence of a lyric piece cannot be transfused out of one form into another. Imitation always fails, and would, even if it were possible to effect an exact literal cop)-. The translator's only hope, then, is to reproduce, to reoriginatc, to repeat, as near as may be, in himself the very experience in which the song first had its birth. Let not this ideal of translation be deemed a boast of what has been realized in the present case : it is a simple confession of inability."  pp. 301,362.

Is  not   this  the   only true theory  of   translation ? How can a lyric  be adequately  rendered   into  a new language, unless the translator is stirred by the same spirit which moved the  author, and  reproduces  the same form 1    In most instances Mr. Dwight has come nearer his ideal than his modesty has permitted him to confess.     Some of the versions seem  to  have sprung out of the   original   at   the  command of a magician. Others, however, are not so well executed.     But two or three, to  our judgment, are   improvements upon  the originals.     One  of these is "Restless   Love," which almost defies translation.    Sometimes,  however,  the version falls far below the original;  this fault is not always to be ascribed to the haste, or carelessness of the translator, but to the fact that the spirit and form of a  lyric cannot be separated, and  the English language will not   take the requisite form, or supply the necessary words.     Some   of   Goethe's   songs  are   so Teutonic, they will not admit of Anglification.    One of the  most pleasing translations in the book, " The Minstrel,"  p. 62, is  far  inferior to  the  original,   for this reason :  the spirit of the piece is  well preserved in the rendering, but the capital charm of the original consists in the language ; the beautiful adaptation of the sound to the sense.     Mr. Dwight has given us the sense without  the  sound.     But in this he has merely failed  to accomplish an impossibility.      The original has an exquisite imitative melody, which it would  be unfair to ask of a translation.     The first four lines of the fifth stanza are beautiful in the version.

" I sins but as the wood-bird sings,
That dwells in shady tree ; The song that from my light heart springs Is rich reward for me."  p. 63.

Excepting a slight imperfection in the second line, this verse is exceedingly well translated. But to our ear, the first line in the German has the clear warble of the black-bird in its changing notes.

" Ich singe wiedcr Yogcl singt
Der in clem Zwcigcn wohnet, Das Lied das aus der Kehle springt, 1st Lohn der reichlich lohnet."

But in the general way, the translation is surprisingly well done. High as Mr. Dwight has placed his ideal, he has uniformly approached nearer to it than he could reasonably expect. The same is to be said of the pieces from the other writers, who have honored this book with their contributions. It is rare that a judicious critic will find occasion for censure. The following specimen shows the fidelity with which the original is adhered to. We give Mr. Dwight's version and our own literal one beside it.

"Fillest hill and vale again, Still, with softening light!
Loosest from the world's cold chain All my soul to-night!
Spreadest round me, far and nigh.
Soothingly, thy smile; From thee,arf from friendship's eye,
Sorrow shrinks the while.
Every echo thrills my heart  Glad and gloomy mood.
Joy and sorrow both have part In my solitude.
River, river, glide along! I am sad, alas!

Fillest again bush and vale Still with mist-splendor,
At last settest free once more My soul entirely.
Widen'st over my meadows, Softening, thy glance,
Like the eye of a friend, mild On my destiny.
My heart feels every echo Of gay and sad time ;
It walks betwixt Joy and Pain In the solitude.
Flow on, flow on, lovely stream, I shall ne'er be glad ;
Fleeting things are love and song,; Thus Sport and Love must away, Even so they pass !                  ;     And Fidelity.
I have had and I have lost
What I long for yet; Ah ! why will we, to our cost,
Simple joys forget ?
River, river, glide along,
Without stop or stay! Murmur, whisper, to my song
Tn melodious play,
Whether on a winter's night, Rise thy swollen floods,
Or in spring thou hast delight Watering the young buds.
Happy he, who, hating none, Leaves the world's dull noise,
And, with trusty friend alone, Quietly enjoys
What, forever unexpressed,
Hid from common sight,
Through the mazes of the breast
Once, indeed, I possessed
What is so precious, That, man, to his sorrow,
Never forgets it.
Rush, River, along the vale,
Without stop or rest; Rush, and whisper to my song
Melodious notes,
When thou in the winter night,
Raging, overflowest, Or in spring's splendor
Waterest young shoots.
Happy he, who from the world, Without hate, shuts himself;
Holds a friend to his bosom, And with him enjoys
Whatever unknown by men
Or not conceived of, Thro' the labyrinth of the breast
Wanders in the night.
Softly steals by night!"
pp. 32, 33.

There is a pleasing family picture, called "For Life," p. 37. The plan is quite simple ; a wedded pair are together looking out of their cottage to see the blessings the " warm spring rain has brought." The storm is swelling in the blue and misty distance, but Love dwells with them. They look, very naturally, to the little grove of trees, sober as the cares of man and wife, with violets, like youthful love, at their feet. They think of the times when they, two bashful lovers, stole thither to gather the first flowers of spring. Two emblematic doves fly thither at the same moment. The aged pair speak of their marriage, when new moons rejoiced in chorus, when a neiv sun arose, and new life began. They speak of their children, and add that this is the anniversary of their wedding:

" Still, still to love we listen,
While years are gliding on ; And now we go to christen
Our grand-child and our son."  p. 40.
The  English  reader will  naturally be reminded of a similar piece in our tongue, " John Anderson my Jo, John." Each is characteristic of its own nation. The latter proceeded from a grave, thoughtful, forecasting people, and its last stanza would do well at the end of a sermon; yet it is perfectly natural in the mouth of a religious woman, even in a song.
Goethe's Ballads will, perhaps, be more popular amongst us than his songs. The "Fisher" has long been a favorite in Germany. It is difficult to preserve the dreamy character of the original, in a translation, but in general it is quite well done :
" The water rolled, the water swelled ;
A fisher sat thereby, And quietly his angle held ;
Chilled to his heart was he. The water in dreamy motion kept,
As he sat in dreamy mood ; A wave hove up  and a damsel stepped,
All dripping, from the flood.
She sang to him, she spake to him :
' Why wilt tliou lure away My sweet brood by thy human art
To the deadly light of day ? Ah ! knewest thou how light of heart
The little fishes live, Thou wouldst come down, all as thou art,
And thy true life receive.
' Bathes not the sun with all his skies r
Bathes not the moon by night, To breathe my dew awhile, and rise
All smiling doubly bright ? And tempt tliec not the deep, deep skies,
Here spread in watery blue ? And tempt thee not thine own dark eves
Down through th' eternal dew ? '
The water rolled, the water swelled ;
It wetted his bare feet ; A something through his bosom thrilled ;
He seemed his love to meet. She spake to him, she sang to him ;
With him 't was quickly o'er : Half drew she him, half sank he in,
And never was seen more."  pp. 67,68.

In one or two instances, Mr. Dwight gives us two versions ;  one literal, and his own; the other free, and from the pen of Mr. Bancroft:


Which of the Deities Shall we give the palm to ? With none dispute I; Yet would I give it To that ever-changeable, Ever-youthful, Singular child of Jove, His darling daughter, Fantasy.  p. 94.

Who, of Heaven's immortal train, Shall the highest prize obtain ? Strife I would with all give o'er, But there's one I'll aye adore, Ever now and ever chansing1, Thro' the paths of marvel ranging1, Dearest in her father's eye, Jove's own darling, Fantasy.
" p. 97.

Gretchen's Song, p. 124, is a pretty little piece :
" My peace is hence, My heart is lone, My rest is for aye And ever gone."
The following shows to what the author aspired :
" Ah !  that the true creative Soul
Through all my sense were ringing, Like pieces ready for the flower, From out my senses springing."
We would gladly multiply extracts, but have only space for Mr. Dwight's definition of a Philistine :
" The word ' Philistine ' (Philistcr) was originally a cant term, among the students in the German universities, for a townsman, a shopkeeper. In its more extended use, it describes the narrow, positive character, made up of commonplaces and conventionalisms, who is a perpetual contradiction in the way of a poetic nature, like Goethe's, wishing to live widely and genially ' in the Whole, the Good, the Fair,' extemporizing life, culling the fresh flowers of the moment in its own fulness of activity, exploring all regions of thought and poetry and love, resolutely ignoring the hackneyed falsehood which timid spirits have turned life into ; spurning the poor complacency of settled maxims and set aims, which make it seem as if the soul's limits had all been tried, and experience had settled beforehand for each new comer what life is.   This may seem to be making many words of a definition. But a true definition of a ' Philistine' would be an exhibition, by contrast, of the most characteristic and instructive phase in which Goethe presented himself to the world:  it would show, imbodied in a word, all which it was the first article of his creed to shun. He would find -what, life was for himself. He would be, and not let himself be moulded into a tame creature of views, purposes, habits, and manners, which, however successfully caught and worn, would only belie his own real nature, and could have no root within him. He wished to begin life afresh, and not take it at second hand, living by pattern and on purpose, with painful fidelity, as too many do, consulting the Past to iincl out what is in them. He had unbounded faith in himself, which, practically rendered, means this : Let a man only be himself, and he will be the best which he can be ; and which, practically tried, continually surprises him with the discovery that nothing is too much to hope to him that is faithful to his hope ; that the Ideal is the Real, and that the large presumptions of childhood are the genuine oracles, and that Immortality, Peace, One-ness with God, are more substantial verities, and are nearer, than most theologies have made them. Hence, all Philisterey was his especial annoyance;  all canting moralities, which distrust Nature, and do not fortify and save, but only impoverish and unman the soul ;  all systems in theology, philosophy, taste, which foreclose the illimitable, ever-fresh and trackless fields of Thought ;  all narrow criticism, at war with individuality ;  all life-plans which voluntarily include drudgery, low or high, as such ;  all yoking of the soul's Pegasus into the vulgar plough of self-enslaving thrift ;  all toleration of conventionalisms and utilities, except as knacks or conveniences, in the free realm of Poetry, and pure Literature, and Art, where, to work with an eye to consequences, to popular effect, to established formulas, or admired patterns, is at best but clever manufacturing, not creating.from the life. His genius would be true to itself. But Philisterey the ' knowingness ' of the world  does not trust the honesty of genius,  must hamper it with all the vulgar pledges and securities that it will not go wrong."  pp. 376-378.

Schiller was an antipode to Goethe, He was full of lofty aspirations. He was less a Poet than his illustrious rival, hut we fancy he was more a man. But it is needless to speak of his character or merits,
while Carlyle's  life of him is before the public.    We will give a few specimens.

The following is  smooth and liquid.    It is a most perfect translation:

" On the mat he's sitting there:
See ! he site upright, With the same look that lie ware
When he saw the light.
But   where   now   the   hand's clinched weight ?
Where the breath he drew, That to the Great Spirit late
Forth the pipe-smoke blew ?
Where the eyes, that, falcon-keen, Marked the rein-deer pass,
By the dew upon the green, By the waving- grass ?
Tliesc the limbs, that, unconfined, Bounded through the snow,
Like the stag that's twenty-tyned, Like the mountain roc!
Where with beasts of chase each wood,
Where with birds each tree, Where with fish is every flood
Stocked full pleasantly.
lie above with spirits feeds ;
We, alone and dim, Left to celebrate his deeds,
And to bury him.
Bring the last sad offerings hither!
Chant the death lament! All inter with him together,
That can him content.
'Neath his head the hatchet hide, That lie swung so strong;
And the bear's ham set beside, For the way is long ;
These  the  arms, that, stout and Then the knife, sharp let it be,
Did the bow-string twang !
See, the life is parted hence !
See, how loose they hang !
That from foeman's crown, Quick, with  dexterous  cuts but
three, Skin and tuft brought down;
Well for him ! he's gone his ways: Paints, to smear his frame about,
Where are no more snows ;
Set within his hand,
Where the fields are decked with That he redly may shine out maize,                                     In the spirits' land."
That implanted grows ;
pp. 234,235.

He sings of the dignity of Woman in a fine strain

" Honored be Woman! To her it is given To twine with our life the bright roses of Heaven ; 'T is hers to be weaving affection's sweet bond ; Beneath the chaste veil she loves to retire, And nourish in silence the holy fire,
That burns in a bosom faithful and fond.
Far beyond Truth's simple dwelling Man's wild spirit loves to sweep ;
And his heart is ever swelling, Tossed on passion's stormy deep.
To the distant good aspiring, There is still no peace for him ;
Through the very stars, untiring, He pursues his dazzling dream.
But Woman's mild glance, like a charm, overtakes him, And from his visions of wandering wakes him,
Warning him back to the present to flee. In the mother's still cot her enjoyment Finds she in modest and quiet employment ;
Faithful daughter of Nature is she."  p. 329.

The author's own character is well delineated in the following lines :

" The world the generous spirit meets, Free-hearted, nought concealing;
Trusting to find in all he greets His own o'erflowing feeling ;
Pledging, with honest fervor warm,
To Truth the aid of his true arm.
But men are selfish, mean, and small,
He fails not long of seeing ; The worldly throng are eager all
To seek their own well-being. Sullen and cold he stands apart, And love is frozen in his heart.
Alas ! Truth's brightest beaming ray
Too oft no heat diffuses ; He's blest, who, with experience gray,
No youthful ardor loses. Wouldst thou attain thy highest good, Blend warmth of heart with wisdom shrewd."
p. 342.

Schiller's pieces are good expressions of the aspirings of the human soul. We are never satisfied with what is attained. On Mount Carmel we sigh after Zion; on Zion we languish for Eden ; and when that is reached, we aspire to Heaven. Thus, an ideal, when realized, becomes the foundation of other ideals, still higher and more beautiful; as fast as our dreams become life, they send up other dreams, that haunt us like a passion. This feeling of dissatisfaction, so common in Schiller,  and so rare in Goethe,-expresses itself in the " Pilgrims," from which the following extract is made :

" Life's  first  beams were  bright For to me a voice had spoken, around me,                          :     And a Spirit seemed to say.
When I left my father's cot,       Wander forth : the path is broken; Breaking every tie that bound me.     Yonder, eastward lies thy way. To that dear and hallowed spot.
\ Rest not till a golden portal Childish hopes and youthful pleas-1     Thou hast readied; there enter
ures,                                   !        in;
Freely I renounced them all;    , And  what thou  hast   prized  as Went in quest of nobler treasures,!         mortal,
Trusting to a higher call.         j     There, immortal life shall win !"
p. 226.

We would gladly notice some of the larger pieces, in particular, the " Song of the Bell," " The Walk," "Ideals," "Hero and Leander," with several others. But we have only time for a few words on the " Artists," a work which displays the profoundness of Schiller's mind better than any other single piece he has produced. This poem is a philosophy and a history of Art. It commences by extolling the Beauty and Dignity of Man, bids him remember the hand that found him an orphan in his tears, and taught him lofty duties in his play. The Bee and the Silkworm are man's superiors in skill and industry ; all high Spirits share knowledge with him ; but he alone has Art :

" Only through Beauty's Morning-gate Coulclst thou to Knowledge penetrate. The mind, to face Truth's higher glances, Must swim some time in Beauty's trances.
The heavenly harping of the Muses, Whose sweetest trembling through thee rings,
A higher life into thy soul infuses, And wings it upward to the Soul of Things,
The truth, which had for centuries to wait,
The truth, which reason had grown old to find,
Lay in the svmbol of the Fair and Great, Felt from the first by every child-like mind.
'T was Virtue's beauty made her honored so : A finer instinct shrunk back, when it saw The ugliness of sin, ere Solon wrote the law,
Forcing the plant unwillingly to grow.
Long ere the thinker's intellect severe The notion of eternal space could win,
Who ever gazed up at yon starry sphere,
That did not feel it prophesied within?"  p. 208.

Truth, under the name of Urania, takes the form of Beauty, to please the infant eye of man, and win him to her. When he is driven out of Paradise, she accompanies him, guiding him to Virtue. The poet then speaks of the well-being of those who are blessed by doing the holy work of Truth. The wild man look little notice of Nature as she flew past him. But Art followed close behind her, and traced her form. Then Nature yielded to Art. The plastic power awoke in the rude bosom ; Nature confided her riddle to inquisitive man. He reproduced her works, in architecture, sculpture, and unending song.

" The choosing of a lily or a rose,
With skilful choice into a nosegay bound,  So the first form of Art from Nature rose ;
Then nosegays into wreaths were wound, And so a second loftier Art began From the creative hand of man. The child of Beauty, all complete alone,
From your still-shaping hand goes forth, But to a new idea must yield the crown,
As soon as realized on earth. The column must proportion's law obey,
And to the sister group its graces lend ;
The hero in the host of heroes blend, And Homer's harp begins the Epic lay."  p. 212.
The barbarians were enraptured at these works. The song of Orpheus made Heroes, even of them. Then the soul breathed a freer air.    Manhood shone on the brow, and Thought came forth to assert its right. Thus man stood forth :
" Upon his check there bloomed a smile ; His voice's soul-full play the while
In melody flowed forth ; His moist eye swam with feelings fond ; And Grace and Humor, in harmonious bond, To every word gave worth."  p. 213.
Next Art matures her works, and strives after higher ideals.    Man carries Art with him, wherever he goes :
" The boundaries of Knowledge disappear :
"The soul
Sets farther forward Nature's goal, And speeds her on her dim career."

Man is reconciled with Destiny, and clothes her in graceful forms. Poetry shimmers over our barren life, like the evening red over the field. At last the goddess, who hitherto had pleased man, conducted him, and wakened his higher life, under the guise of Beauty, throws off her veil, and stands before him as simple Truth. He is astonished, like Telemachus, at finding his companion was a god. He concludes in a noble strain :

" On bold wing seek a loftier sphere, Above your narrow time-career, That on your mirror clear may dawn From far the coming century's morn. O'er all the thousand winding ways
Of rich Variety Meet ye at last with glad embrace
Round the high throne of Unity ! As into seven softer hues
Shivers the silvery beam of light ; As all the seven rainbow hues
Run back into the dazzling white ; So round the swimming eyes of youth
With all your glancing witcheries play ; So flow into one bond of Truth,
Into one stream of perfect Day."  p. 223.

It now remains to say a few words more upon the manner in which these translations have been executed. Sometimes we find additions made to the original ; sometimes a thought is omitted from it. Occasionally we notice an imperfect rythm ; or a halting verse. Such are the following : "Oh happy ye, of millions the few," p. 210. " Leander " and " arrow " are made to rhyme together, p. 266 ; " toward " and " coward " are " unequally yoked," p. 29S. Some verses are not melodious ; e. g. " My sweet brood by thy human art," in the third line of the second stanza in " The Fisher." " On Faith's sunny mountain, wave, Floating far," &c, p. 205, is another instance. Expressions of doubtful propriety are sometimes fixed upon the translator. Such as "Ideal and rarity," p. 18; "wisest" is used for the wisest thought, p. 214. But we only mention these slight blemishes, which can easily be amended in the next edition, which is already called for.

It is unnecessary to say anything in commendation of the whole work. It praises itself. Schiller will, perhaps, please at the first reading, more extensively than Goethe. Some will always prefer him. His genius took a loftier flight than Goethe's. But its excursions were not so wide. Goethe was a broad, Schiller a high man. But perhaps the true poetical reader will finally prefer the exquisite delicacy and consummate skill of the latter, to the warm love and lofty aspirations of the former.