Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PROLOGUE TO THE TRAGEDY OF FIESCO BY SCHILLER, by FELICIA DOROTHEA HEMANS



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PROLOGUE TO THE TRAGEDY OF FIESCO BY SCHILLER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Too long apart, a bright but severed band
Last Line: "where once that harp ""the soul of music shed!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, Felicia Dorothea
Subject(s): Schiller, Johann Von (1759-1805); Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich Von


Too long apart, a bright but severed band,
The mighty minstrels of the Rhine's fair land
Majestic strains, but not for us, had sung --
Moulding to melody a stranger tongue.
Brave hearts leaped proudly to their words of power,
As a true sword bounds forth in battle's hour;
Fair eyes rained homage o'er th' impassioned lays,
In loving tears, more eloquent than praise;
While we, far distant, knew not, dreamed not aught
Of the high marvels by that magic wrought.

But let the barriers of the sea give way,
When mind sweeps onward with a conqueror's sway!
And let the Rhine divide high souls no more
From mingling on its old heroic shore,
Which, e'en like ours, brave deeds through many an age
Have made the poet's own free heritage!
To us, though faintly, may a wandering tone
Of the far minstrelsy at last be known;
Sounds which the thrilling pulse, the burning tear,
Have sprung to greet, must not be strangers here.
And if by one, more used on march and heath
To the shrill bugle than the muse's breath,
With a warm heart the offering hath been brought,
And in a trusting loyalty of thought,
So let it be received! -- a soldier's hand
Bears to the breast of no ungenerous land
A seed of foreign shores. O'er this fair clime,
Since Tara heard the harp of ancient time,
Hath song held empire; then, if not with fame,
Let the green isle with kindness bless his aim,
The joy, the power, of kindred song to spread,
Where once that harp "the soul of music shed!"





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