WHAT FROM the clay, from stone did first emerge so
Creative Art, encompasses with quiet vict’ry
The mind’s unmeasured, vast domain.
What in the knowledge land discov’rers conquer only,
Discover they, for you the conquest gain.
The treasures, which the thinker has collected,
Will only in your arms first joy impart,
When first his science, into beauty ripe perfected,
Will be ennobled to a work of art—
When he does to the hilltop with you sally,
And to his eye, in evening’s mildly shining part,
Is suddenly revealed—the vivid valley.
MORE RICHLY you do satisfy his fleeting vision,
More beaut’ous, higher are the orders which the mind
Can fly through in one magic union,
Can circumscribe in one enjoyment blind,
The wider ope are thoughts and feelings staying
To harmonies’ more sumpt’ous interplaying
To stream of Beauty’s richer, fuller span—
More beaut’ous members of the universal plan,
Which, mutilated, spoil now his creation,
He sees the high Forms then bring to perfection,
More beaut’ous step the riddles from the night,
The richer will the world be he embraces,
The broader streams the sea in which he chases,
The weaker grows the Destiny’s blind might,
The higher are his urges striving,
The smaller he becomes, the greater grows his loving.
From “The Artist” by Friedrich Schiller, translated by Marianna Wertz