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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Passage
By Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787–1862)
 
Translation of Sarah Taylor Austin

      MANY a year is in its grave,
      Since I crossed this restless wave;
      And the evening, fair as ever,
      Shines on ruin, rock, and river.
 
      Then in this same boat beside        5
      Sat two comrades old and tried,—
      One with all a father’s truth,
      One with all the fire of youth.
 
      One on earth in silence wrought,
      And his grave in silence sought;        10
      But the younger, brighter form
      Passed in battle and in storm.
 
      So, whene’er I turn my eye
      Back upon the days gone by,
Saddening thoughts of friends come o’er me,—        15
Friends that closed their course before me.
 
      But what binds us, friend to friend,
      But that soul with soul can blend?
      Soul-like were those hours of yore:
      Let us walk in soul once more.        20
 
      Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee,—
      Take,—I give it willingly;
      For, invisible to thee,
      Spirits twain have crossed with me.
 
 
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