The Muses' Revenge.

A poem by Friedrich Schiller


Once the nine all weeping came
To the god of song
"Oh, papa!" they there exclaim
"Hear our tale of wrong!

"Young ink-lickers swarm about
Our dear Helicon;
There they fight, manoeuvre, shout,
Even to thy throne.

"On their steeds they galop hard
To the spring to drink,
Each one calls himself a bard
Minstrels only think!

"There they how the thing to name!
Would our persons treat
This, without a blush of shame,
We can ne'er repeat;

"One, in front of all, then cries,
'I the army lead!'
Both his fists he wildly plies,
Like a bear indeed!

"Others wakes he in a trice
With his whistlings rude;
But none follow, though he twice
Has those sounds renewed.

"He'll return, he threats, ere long,
And he'll come no doubt!
Father, friend to lyric song,
Please to show him out!"

Father Phoebus laughing hears
The complaint they've brought;
"Don't be frightened, pray, my dears,
We'll soon cut them short!

"One must hasten to hell-fire,
Go, Melpomene!
Let a fury borrow lyre,
Notes, and dress, of thee.

"Let her meet, in this array,
One of these vile crews,
As though she had lost her way,
Soon as night ensues.

"Then with kisses dark, I trust,
They'll the dear child greet,
Satisfying their wild lust
Just as it is meet!"

Said and done! Then one from hell
Soon was dressed aright.
Scarcely had the prey, they tell,
Caught the fellow's sight,

Than, as kites a pigeon follow,
They attacked her straight
Part, not all, though, I can swallow
Of what folks relate.

If fair boys were 'mongst the band,
How came they to be
This I cannot understand,
In such company?
. . . . .
The goddess a miscarriage had, good lack!
And was delivered of an Almanac!

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