Tuesday, January 15, 2008

William Tell

In that fell strife, when force with force engages,
And Wrath stirs bloodshed—Wrath with blindfold eyes—
When, midst the war which raving Faction wages,
Lost in the roar—the voice of Justice dies,
When, but for license, Sin, the shameless, rages,
Against the Holy when the Willful rise,
When lost the Anchor which makes Nations strong
Amidst the storm—there, is no theme for song.

But when a Race, tending by vale and hill
Free flocks, contented with its rude domain—
Bursts the hard bondage with its own great will,
Lets fall the sword when once it rends the chain
And, flushed with Victory, can be human still—
There blest the strife, and then inspired the strain.
Such is my theme—to thee not strange, 'tis true:
Thou in the Great canst never find the New.

- Friedrich von Schiller

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