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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
My Recovery
By Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724–1803)
 
Translation of William 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.
’Tis true, I then had wandered where the earths
Roll around suns; had strayed along the path        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 disk;
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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