To Laura (Mystery Of Reminiscence) by Friedrich Schiller

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Who and what gave to me the wish to woo thee–
Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee?
Who made thy glances to my soul the link–
Who bade me burn thy very breath to drink–
My life in thine to sink?
As from the conqueror’s unresisted glaive,
Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave–
So, when to life’s unguarded fort, I see
Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly–
Yields not my soul to thee?
Why from its lord doth thus my soul depart?–
Is it because its native home thou art?
Or were they brothers in the days of yore,
Twin-bound both souls, and in the link they bore
Sigh to be bound once more?
Were once our beings blent and intertwining,
And therefore still my heart for thine is pining?
Knew we the light of some extinguished sun–
The joys remote of some bright realm undone,
Where once our souls were ONE?
Yes, it is so!–And thou wert bound to me
In the long-vanish’d Eld eternally!
In the dark troubled tablets which enroll
The Past–my Muse beheld this blessed scroll–
“One with thy love my soul!”
Oh yes, I learned in awe, when gazing there,
How once one bright inseparate life we were,
How once, one glorious essence as a God,
Unmeasured space our chainless footsteps trod–
All Nature our abode!
Round us, in waters of delight, forever
Voluptuous flowed the heavenly Nectar river;
We were the master of the seal of things,
And where the sunshine bathed Truth’s mountain-springs
Quivered our glancing wings.
Weep for the godlike life we lost afar–
Weep!–thou and I its scattered fragments are;
And still the unconquered yearning we retain–
Sigh to restore the rapture and the reign,
And grow divine again.
And therefore came to me the wish to woo thee–
Still, lip to lip, to cling for aye unto thee;
This made thy glances to my soul the link–
This made me burn thy very breath to drink–
My life in thine to sink;
And therefore, as before the conqueror’s glaive,
Flies, without strife subdued, the ready slave,
So, when to life’s unguarded fort, I see
Thy gaze draw near and near triumphantly–
Yieldeth my soul to thee!
Therefore my soul doth from its lord depart,
Because, beloved, its native home thou art;
Because the twins recall the links they bore,
And soul with soul, in the sweet kiss of yore,
Meets and unites once more!
Thou, too–Ah, there thy gaze upon me dwells,
And thy young blush the tender answer tells;
Yes! with the dear relation still we thrill,
Both lives–though exiles from the homeward hill–
One life–all glowing still!

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