POEMS OF THE FIRST PERIOD. HECTOR AND ANDROMACHE.[This and the following poem are, with some alterations, introducedin the Play of "The Robbers."]ANDROMACHE.Will Hector leave me for the fatal plain,Where, fierce with vengeance for Patroclus slain,Stalks Peleus' ruthless son?Who, when thou glid'st amid the dark abodes,To hurl the spear and to revere the gods,Shall teach thine orphan one?HECTOR.Woman and wife beloved—cease thy tears;My soul is nerved—the war-clang in my ears!Be mine in life to standTroy's bulwark!—fighting for our hearths, to goIn death, exulting to the streams below,Slain for my fatherland!ANDROMACHE.No more I hear thy martial footsteps fall—Thine arms shall hang, dull trophies, on the wall—Fallen the stem of Troy!Thou goest where slow Cocytus wanders—whereLove sinks in Lethe, and the sunless airIs dark to light and joy!HECTOR.Longing and thought—yes, all I feel and thinkMay in the silent sloth of Lethe sink,But my love not!Hark, the wild swarm is at the walls!—I hear!Gird on my sword—Beloved one, dry the tear—Lethe for love is not! AMALIA.Angel-fair, Walhalla's charms displaying,Fairer than all mortal youths was he;Mild his look, as May-day sunbeams strayingGently o'er the blue and glassy sea.And his kisses!—what ecstatic feeling!Like two flames that lovingly entwine,Like the harp's soft tones together stealingInto one sweet harmony divine,—Soul and soul embraced, commingled, blended,Lips and cheeks with trembling passion burned,Heaven and earth, in pristine chaos ended,Round the blissful lovers madly turn'd.He is gone—and, ah! with bitter anguishVainly now I breathe my mournful sighs;He is gone—in hopeless grief I languishEarthly joys I ne'er again can prize! A FUNERAL FANTASIE.Pale, at its ghastly noon,Pauses above the death-still wood—the moon;The night-sprite, sighing, through the dim air stirs;The clouds descend in rain;Mourning, the wan stars wane,Flickering like dying lamps in sepulchres!Haggard as spectres—vision-like and dumb,Dark with the pomp of death, and moving slow,Towards that sad lair the pale procession comeWhere the grave closes on the night below.With dim, deep-sunken eye,Crutched on his staff, who trembles tottering by?As wrung from out the shattered heart, one groanBreaks the deep hush alone!Crushed by the iron fate, he seems to gatherAll life's last strength to stagger to the bier,And hearken—Do these cold lips murmur "Father?"The sharp rain, drizzling through that place of fear,Pierces the bones gnawed fleshless by despair,And the heart's horror stirs the silver hair.Fresh bleed the fiery woundsThrough all that agonizing heart undone—Still on the voiceless lips "my Father" sounds,And still the childless Father murmurs "Son!"Ice-cold—ice-cold, in that white shroud he lies—Thy sweet and golden dreams all vanished there—The sweet and golden name of "Father" diesInto thy curse,—ice-cold—ice-cold—he lies...!