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The Two Guides Of Life: The Sublime And The Beautiful
by [?]

Two genii are there, from thy birth through weary life to guide thee;
Ah, happy when, united both, they stand to aid beside thee?
With gleesome play to cheer the path, the one comes blithe with beauty,
And lighter, leaning on her arm, the destiny and duty.
With jest and sweet discourse she goes unto the rock sublime,
Where halts above the eternal sea [1] the shuddering child of time.
The other here, resolved and mute and solemn, claspeth thee,
And bears thee in her giant arms across the fearful sea.
Never admit the one alone!–Give not the gentle guide
Thy honor–nor unto the stern thy happiness confide!

[17] By this Schiller informs us elsewhere that he does not mean death alone; but that the thought applies equally to every period of life when we can divest ourselves of the body and perceive or act as pure spirits; we are truly then under the influence of the sublime.