Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
VI. Human Experience
My Recovery
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724–1803)
 
From the German by W. Taylor

RECOVERY,—daughter of Creation too,
Though not for immortality designed,—
          The Lord of life and death
          Sent thee from heaven to me!
Had I not heard thy gentle tread approach,        5
Not heard the whisper of thy welcome voice,
          Death had with iron foot
          My chilly forehead pressed.
’T is true, I then had wandered where the earths
Roll around suns; had strayed along the paths        10
          Where the maned comet soars
          Beyond the armèd eye;
And with the rapturous, eager greet had hailed
The inmates of those earths and of those suns;
          Had hailed the countless host        15
          That throng the comet’s disc;
Had asked the novice questions, and obtained
Such answers as a sage vouchsafes to youth;
          Had learned in hours far more
          Than ages here unfold!        20
But I had then not ended here below
What, in the enterprising bloom of life,
          Fate with no light behest
          Required me to begin.
Recovery,—daughter of Creation too,        25
Though not for immortality designed,—
          The Lord of life and death
          Sent thee from heaven to me!
 
 
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