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!"

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