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The Poems of Schiller - Third period

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POEMS OF THE THIRD PERIOD. THE MEETING.I see her still—by her fair train surrounded,The fairest of them all, she took her place;Afar I stood, by her bright charms confounded,For, oh! they dazzled with their heavenly grace.With awe my soul was filled—with bliss unbounded,While gazing on her softly radiant face;But soon, as if up-borne on wings of fire,My fingers 'gan to sweep the sounding lyre.The thoughts that rushed across me in that hour,The words I sang, I'd fain once more invoke;Within, I felt a new-awakened power,That each emotion of my bosom spoke.My soul, long time enchained in sloth's dull bower,Through all its fetters now triumphant broke,And brought to light unknown, harmonious numbers,Which in its deepest depths, had lived in slumbers.And when the chords had ceased their gentle sighing,And when my soul rejoined its mortal frame,I looked upon her face and saw love vieing,In every feature, with her maiden shame.And soon my ravished heart seemed heavenward flying,When her soft whisper o'er my senses came.The blissful seraphs' choral strains aloneCan glad mine ear again with that sweet tone,Of that fond heart, which, pining silently,Ne'er ventures to express its feelings lowly,The real and modest worth is known to me—'Gainst cruel fate I'll guard its cause so holy.Most blest of all, the meek one's lot shall be—Love's flowers by love's own hand are gathered solely—The fairest prize to that fond heart is due,That feels it, and that beats responsive, too! THE SECRET.She sought to breathe one word, but vainly;Too many listeners were nigh;And yet my timid glance read plainlyThe language of her speaking eye.Thy silent glades my footstep presses,Thou fair and leaf-embosomed grove!Conceal within thy green recessesFrom mortal eye our sacred love!Afar with strange discordant noises,The busy day is echoing;And 'mid the hollow hum of voices,I hear the heavy hammer ring.'Tis thus that man, with toil ne'er endingExtorts from heaven his daily bread;Yet oft unseen the Gods are sendingThe gifts of fortune on his head!Oh, let mankind discover neverHow true love fills with bliss our heartsThey would but crush our joy forever,For joy to them no glow imparts.Thou ne'er wilt from the world obtain it—'Tis never captured save as prey;Thou needs must strain each nerve to gain it,E'er envy dark asserts her sway.The hours of night and stillness loving,It comes upon us silently—Away with hasty footstep movingSoon as it sees a treacherous eye.Thou gentle stream, soft circlets weaving,A watery barrier cast around,And, with thy waves in anger heaving,Guard from each foe this holy ground! THE ASSIGNATION. Hear I the creaking gate unclose?The gleaming latch uplifted?No—'twas the wind that, whirring, rose,Amidst the poplars drifted!Adorn thyself, thou green leaf-bowering roof,Destined the bright one's presence to receive,For her, a shadowy palace-hall aloofWith holy night, thy boughs familiar weave....