still too much a girl!
My steering-wheel, so bright to see,
For sake of love alone doth whirl.
Yesterday with seventeen years
Wisdom reached I, a maiden fair,
I am grey-haired, it appears,
Now in all things--save my hair.
Yesterday, I had a thought,
Was't a thought?--you laugh and scorn!
Did you ever have a thought?
Rather was a feeling born.
Dare a woman think? This screed
Wisdom long ago begot:
"Follow woman must, not lead;
If she thinks, she follows not."
Wisdom speaks--I credit naught:
Rather hops and stings like flea:
"Woman seldom harbours thought;
If she thinks, no good is she!"
To this wisdom, old, renowned,
Bow I in deep reverence:
Now my wisdom I'll expound
In its very quintessence.
A voice spoke in me yesterday
As ever--listen if you can:
"Woman is more beauteous aye,
But more interesting--man!"
"PIA, CARITATEVOLE, AMOROSISSIMA"
Cave where the dead ones rest,
O marble falsehood, thee
I love: for easy jest
My soul thou settest free.
To-day, to-day alone,
My soul to tears is stirred,
At thee, the pictured stone,
At thee, the graven word.
This picture (none need wis)
I kissed the other day.
When there's so much to kiss
Why did I kiss the--clay?
Who knows the reason why?
"A tombstone fool!" you laugh:
I kissed--I'll not deny--
E'en the long epitaph.
Hail to thee, Friendship!
My hope consummate,
My first red daybreak!
Alas, so endless
Oft path and night seemed,
History regarded as pure knowledge and allowed to sway the intellect would mean for men the final balancing of the ledger of life.Page 10
his action and struggle, his conservatism and reverence, his suffering and his desire for deliverance.Page 12
Ultimately, of course, what was once possible can only become possible a second time on the Pythagorean theory, that when the heavenly bodies are in the same position again, the events on earth are reproduced to the smallest detail; so when the stars have a certain relation, a Stoic and an Epicurean will form a conspiracy to murder Cæsar, and a different conjunction will show another Columbus discovering America.Page 15
He greets the soul of his people from afar as his own, across the dim and troubled centuries: his gifts and his virtues lie in such power of feeling and divination, his scent of a half-vanished trail, his instinctive correctness in reading the scribbled past, and understanding at once its palimpsests--nay, its polypsests.Page 17
Every past is worth condemning: this is the rule in mortal affairs, which always contain a large measure of human power and human weakness.Page 34
Who compels you to judge? If it is your wish--you must prove first that you are capable of justice.Page 35
A hundred such men--educated against the fashion of to-day, made familiar with the heroic, and come to maturity--are enough to give an eternal quietus to the noisy sham education of this time.Page 40
lay eggs oftener: but the eggs are always smaller, though their books are bigger.Page 43
This however must be added.Page 51
uncanny seriousness of an owl," as Goethe has it.Page 71
" There are two very different kinds of joyfulness.Page 77
Schopenhauer knew that one must guess the painter in order to understand the picture.Page 90
The heroism of sincerity lies in ceasing to be the plaything of time.Page 91
But the man who looks for a lie in everything, and becomes a willing friend to unhappiness, shall have a marvellous disillusioning: there hovers near him something unutterable, of which truth and happiness are but idolatrous images born of the night; the earth loses her dragging weight, the events and powers of earth become as a dream, and a gradual clearness widens round him like a summer evening.Page 93
But there are moments when we do know; and then the clouds break, and we see how, with the rest of nature, we are straining towards the man, as to something that stands high above us.Page 100
Christianity is one of the purest manifestations of the impulse towards culture and the production of the saint: but being used in countless ways to turn the mills of the state authorities, it gradually became sick at heart, hypocritical and degenerate, and in antagonism with its original aim.Page 101
The war was for many their first venture into the more elegant half of the world: and what an admirable simplicity the conqueror shows in not scorning to learn something of culture from the conquered! The applied arts especially will be reformed to emulate our more refined neighbours, the German house furnished like the French, a "sound taste" applied to the German language by means of an Academy on the French model, to shake off the doubtful influence of Goethe--this is the judgment of our new Berlin Academician, Dubois-Raymond.Page 104
Secondly, a clear vision of near objects, combined with great shortsightedness for the distant and universal.Page 109
If the two ways cross, he is ill-treated, cast aside or left alone.Page 114
He had one task and a thousand means to execute it; one meaning, and innumerable hieroglyphs to express it.