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THE PROVERBS OF CONFUCIUS. Friedrich Schiller

THE PROVERBS OF CONFUCIUS

          I.

   Threefold is the march of time
    While the future slow advances,
    Like a dart the present glances,
   Silent stands the past sublime.

   No impatience e’er can speed him
    On his course if he delay;
   No alarm, no doubts impede him
    If he keep his onward way;
   No regrets, no magic numbers
   Wake the tranced one from his slumbers. 
   Wouldst thou wisely and with pleasure,
   Pass the days of life’s short measure,
   From the slow one counsel take,
   But a tool of him ne’er make;
   Ne’er as friend the swift one know,
   Nor the constant one as foe!

          II.

   Threefold is the form of space: 
   Length, with ever restless motion,
   Seeks eternity’s wide ocean;
   Breadth with boundless sway extends;
   Depth to unknown realms descends.

   All as types to thee are given;
   Thou must onward strive for heaven,
   Never still or weary be
   Would’st thou perfect glory see;
   Far must thy researches go. 
   Wouldst thou learn the world to know;
   Thou must tempt the dark abyss
   Wouldst thou prove what Being is.

Naught but firmness gains the prize,-
Naught but fulness makes us wise,-
Buried deep, truth ever lies!


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