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16.5.05

Schiller Anniversary


Goethe Meeting Schiller, sculpture in Weimar
A little article (Schiller: le 200e anniversaire de sa mort, May 9) from France 2 Cultural News was published on the 200th anniversary of the death of Romantic poet Friedrich Schiller (b. 1759), on May 9, 1805. As you can imagine, there are all sorts of events honoring Schiller in Germany right now.

In honor of Schiller—the author of, among other things, a poem called An die Freude that had quite an effect on Ludwig van Beethoven—here is the opening stanza of A Funeral Fantasy (in German, Eine Leichenphantasie), in a 19th-century translation by Edgar A. Bowring:
Lo! on high the moon, her lustre dead,
O'er the death-like grove uplifts her head,
Sighing flits the spectre through the gloom--
Misty clouds are shivering,
Pallid stars are quivering,
Looking down, like lamps within a tomb.
Spirit-like, all silent, pale, and wan,
Marshall'd in procession dark and sad,
To the sepulchre a crowd moves on,
In the grave-night's dismal emblems clad.

Mit erstorbnem Scheinen
Steht der Mond auf todtenstillen Hainen,
Seufzend streicht der Nachtgeist durch die Luft -
Nebelwolken schauern,
Sterne trauern
Bleich herab, wie Lampen in der Gruft.
Gleich Gespenstern, stumm und hohl und hager,
Zieht in schwarzem Todtenpompe dort
Ein Gewimmel nach dem Leichenlager
Unterm Schauerflor der Grabnacht fort.
If you read German, here is the list of Works by Friedrich Schiller from Projekt Gutenberg-DE. Here are a few of his poems in English, too.

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