The Forest Sanctuary, and Other Poems/Thekla's Song

For other versions of this work, see Thekla's Song, or The Voice of a Spirit.
The Forest Sanctuary, and Other Poems
Thekla's Song; or, The Voice of a Spirit. by Friedrich Schiller, translated by Felicia Hemans

Translation of "Thekla" from the play Wallenstein (1799)



This Song is said to have been composed by Schiller in answer to the inquiries of his friends respecting the fate of Thekla, whose beautiful character is withdrawn from the tragedy of "Wallenstein's Death," after her resolution to visit the grave of her lover is made known.

——"'Tis not merely
The human being's pride that peoples space
With life and mystical predominance;
Since likewise for the stricken heart of love
This visible nature, and this common world,
Are all too narrow."
Coleridge's Translation of Wallenstein.

Ask'st thou my home?—my pathway wouldst thou know,
When from thine eye my floating shadow pass'd?
Was not my work fulfill'd and closed below?
Had I not liv'd and lov’d?—my lot was cast.

Wouldst thou ask where the nightingale is gone,
That melting into song her soul away,
Gave the spring-breeze what witch'd thee in its tone?
—But while she lov'd, she liv'd, in that deep lay!

Think'st thou my heart its lost one hath not found?
—Yes! we are one, oh! trust me, we have met,
Where nought again may part what love hath bound,
Where falls no tear, and whispers no regret.

There shalt thou find us, there with us be blest,
If as our love thy love is pure and true!
There dwells my father[1], sinless and at rest,
Where the fierce murderer may no more pursue.

And well he feels, no error of the dust
Drew to the stars of Heaven his mortal ken,
There it is with us, ev'n as is our trust,
He that believes, is near the holy then.

There shall each feeling beautiful and high,
Keep the sweet promise of its earthly day;
—Oh! fear thou not to dream with waking eye!
There lies deep meaning oft in childish play.

  1. Wallenstein.