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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


The Burial of Schiller

By Hannah Flagg Gould (1789–1865)

THE SOLEMN, still, and shadowy hour,

When Saturday in Sabbath dies,

O’er Weimar hangs, with clouds that lower,

And veil in black the moon and skies.

Lo! from yon mansion lights appear,

Pale glimmering through the midnight gloom!

A coffined form is on the bier,

And thence borne forward to the tomb.

That funeral train,—how sad they go

Behind the cold, unconscious clay;

While sighs and sobs of bitter woe

Sound deep along the silent way!

Now, as the open grave beside

That dismal bier its bearers rest,

A heavier flood of sorrow’s tide

Rolls o’er each mourner’s burdened breast.

For him who slumbers in the shroud,

With trembling as they lift the pall,

The moon rends off her veil of cloud,

And o’er him lets her lustre fall.

She beams her silvery, soft adieu,

And is again in darkness hid,

As if affrighted, thus to view

The name on that dread coffin-lid.

For ’t is her lover, now no more;

Her friend, that they to dust consign!

And ne’er again is she to pour

Her light for eyes like his to shine!

’T is done!—that mournful, final rite,

Too sacred for the glare of day!

Beneath the curtain folds of night

Earth, earth has closed o’er Schiller’s clay!

And hark! the heavens in thunder groan;

They weep in torrents o’er his bed!

Their searching, fiery bolts are thrown,

As if to find and wake the dead!

These funeral honors, so sublime,

Befit him well to whom they ’re paid,

And at the birth of holy Time

’T is meet his dust at rest be laid!

His spirit, bright with heavenly fire,

Has burned its way through mortal strife,

And gained its high, intense desire

To solve the mystery of life!

It is the budding month of May;

The passing storm will call the bloom;

A tribute Nature soon will pay,

To dress her deathless poet’s tomb.