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The Conflict

 No! I this conflict longer will not wage,
The conflict duty claims--the giant task;--
Thy spells, O virtue, never can assuage
The heart's wild fire--this offering do not ask

True, I have sworn--a solemn vow have sworn,
That I myself will curb the self within;
Yet take thy wreath, no more it shall be worn--
Take back thy wreath, and leave me free to sin.
Rent be the contract I with thee once made;-- She loves me, loves me--forfeit be the crown! Blessed he who, lulled in rapture's dreamy shade, Glides, as I glide, the deep fall gladly down.
She sees the worm that my youth's bloom decays, She sees my spring-time wasted as it flees; And, marvelling at the rigor that gainsays The heart's sweet impulse, my reward decrees.
Distrust this angel purity, fair soul! It is to guilt thy pity armeth me; Could being lavish its unmeasured whole, It ne'er could give a gift to rival thee! Thee--the dear guilt I ever seek to shun, O tyranny of fate, O wild desires! My virtue's only crown can but be won In that last breath--when virtue's self expires!

by Friedrich von Schiller
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