The Rivers.

A poem by Friedrich Schiller

RHINE.

True, as becometh a Switzer, I watch over Germany's borders;
But the light-footed Gaul jumps o'er the suffering stream.


RHINE AND MOSELLE.

Many a year have I clasped in my arms the Lorrainian maiden;
But our union as yet ne'er has been blest with a son.


DANUBE IN

Round me are dwelling the falcon-eyed race, the Phaeacian people;
Sunday with them never ends; ceaselessly moves round the spit.


MAIN.

Ay, it is true that my castles are crumbling; yet, to my comfort,
Have I for centuries past seen my old race still endure.


SAALE.

Short is my course, during which I salute many princes and nations;
Yet the princes are good ay! and the nations are free.


ILM.

Poor are my banks, it is true; but yet my soft-flowing waters
Many immortal lays here, borne by the current along.


PLEISSE.

Flat is my shore and shallow my current; alas, all my writers,
Both in prose and in verse, drink far too deep of its stream!


ELBE.

All ye others speak only a jargon; 'mongst Germany's rivers
None speak German but me; I but in Misnia alone.


SPREE.

Ramler once gave me language, my Caesar a subject; and therefore
I had my mouth then stuffed full; but I've been silent since that.


WESER.

Nothing, alas, can be said about me; I really can't furnish
Matter enough to the Muse e'en for an epigram, small.


MINERAL WATERS AT .

Singular country! what excellent taste in its fountains and rivers
In its people alone none have I ever yet found!


PEGNTTZ.

I for a long time have been a hypochondriacal subject;
I but flow on because it has my habit been long.


THE RIVERS.

We would gladly remain in the lands that own as their masters;
Soft their yoke ever is, and all their burdens are light.


SALZACH.

I, to salt the archbishopric, come from Juvavia's mountains;
Then to Bavaria turn, where they have great need of salt!


THE ANONYMOUS RIVER.

Lenten food for the pious bishop's table to furnish,
By my Creator I'm poured over the famishing land.


LES FLEUVES INDISCRETS.

Pray be silent, ye rivers! One sees ye have no more discretion
Than, in a case we could name, Diderot's favorites had.

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