Poetic Aphorisms (Translation)

A poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

FROM THE SINNGEDICHTE OF FRIEDRICH VON LOGAU

MONEY

Whereunto is money good?
Who has it not wants hardihood,
Who has it has much trouble and care,
Who once has had it has despair.


THE BEST MEDICINES

Joy and Temperance and Repose
Slam the door on the doctor's nose.


SIN

Man-like is it to fall into sin,
Fiend-like is it to dwell therein,
Christ-like is it for sin to grieve,
God-like is it all sin to leave.


POVERTY AND BLINDNESS

A blind man is a poor man, and blind a poor man is;
For the former seeth no man, and the latter no man sees.


LAW OF LIFE

Live I, so live I,
To my Lord heartily,
To my Prince faithfully,
To my Neighbor honestly.
Die I, so die I.


CREEDS

Lutheran, Popish, Calvinistic, all these creeds and doctrines three
Extant are; but still the doubt is, where Christianity may be.


THE RESTLESS HEART

A millstone and the human heart are driven ever round;
If they have nothing else to grind, they must themselves be ground.


CHRISTIAN LOVE

Whilom Love was like a tire, and warmth and comfort it bespoke;
But, alas! it now is quenched, and only bites us, like the smoke.


ART AND TACT

Intelligence and courtesy not always are combined;
Often in a wooden house a golden room we find.


RETRIBUTION

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.


TRUTH

When by night the frogs are croaking, kindle but a torch's fire,
Ha! how soon they all are silent! Thus Truth silences the liar.


RHYMES

If perhaps these rhymes of mine should sound not well in strangers' ears,
They have only to bethink them that it happens so with theirs;
For so long as words, like mortals, call a fatherland their own,
They will be most highly valued where they are best and longest known.


SILENT LOVE

Who love would seek,
Let him love evermore
And seldom speak;
For in love's domain
Silence must reign;
Or it brings the heart
Smart
And pain.

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