THE Epigrams bearing the title of XENIA were written
by Goethe and Schiller together, having been first occasioned by
some violent attacks made on them by some insignificant writers.
They are extremely numerous, but scarcely any of them could be translated
into English. Those here given are merely presented as a specimen.
GOD gave to mortals birth,
In his own image too;
Then came Himself to earth,
A mortal kind and true.
BARBARIANS oft endeavour
Gods for themselves to make
But they’re more hideous ever
Than dragon or than snake.
WHAT shall I teach thee, the very first thing?–
Fain would I learn o’er my shadow to spring!
“WHAT is science, rightly known?
‘Tis the strength of life alone.
Life canst thou engender never,
Life must be life’s parent ever.
It matters not, I ween,
Where worms our friends consume,
Beneath the turf so green,
Or ‘neath a marble tomb.
Remember, ye who live,
Though frowns the fleeting day,
That to your friends ye give
What never will decay.