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A Poem by Friedrich Schiller: Archimedes



To Archimedes once a scholar came,
“Teach me,” he said, “the art that won thy fame;–
The godlike art which gives such boons to toil,
And showers such fruit upon thy native soil;–
The godlike art that girt the town when all
Rome’s vengeance burst in thunder on the wall!”
“Thou call’st art godlike–it is so, in truth,
And was,” replied the master to the youth,
“Ere yet its secrets were applied to use–
Ere yet it served beleaguered Syracuse:–
Ask’st thou from art, but what the art is worth?
The fruit?–for fruit go cultivate the earth.–
He who the goddess would aspire unto,
Must not the goddess as the woman woo!”


Friedrich Schiller


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