The Greatness Of The World

by Friedrich von Schiller

Friedrich von Schiller

Through the world which the Spirit creative and kind

First formed out of chaos, I fly like the wind,

Until on the strand

Of its billows I land,

My anchor cast forth where the breeze blows no more,

And Creation's last boundary stands on the shore.



I saw infant stars into being arise,

For thousands of years to roll on through the skies;

I saw them in play

Seek their goal far away,--

For a moment my fugitive gaze wandered on,--

I looked round me, and lo!--all those bright stars had flown!



Madly yearning to reach the dark kingdom of night.

I boldly steer on with the speed of the light;

All misty and drear

The dim heavens appear,

While embryo systems and seas at their source

Are whirling around the sun-wanderer's course.



When sudden a pilgrim I see drawing near

Along the lone path,--"Stay! What seekest thou here?"

"My bark, tempest-tossed,

I sail toward the land where the breeze blows no more,

And Creation's last boundary stands on the shore."



"Stay, thou sailest in vain! 'Tis INFINITY yonder!"--

"'Tis INFINITY, too, where thou, pilgrim, wouldst wander!

Eagle-thoughts that aspire,

Let your proud pinions tire!

For 'tis here that sweet phantasy, bold to the last,

Her anchor in hopeless dejection must cast!"