The Playing Infant

Play on thy mother's bosom, babe, for in that holy isle
The error cannot find thee yet, the grieving, nor the guile;
Held in thy mother's arms above life's dark and troubled wave,
Thou lookest with thy fearless smile upon the floating grave.
Play, loveliest innocence!--Thee yet Arcadia circles round,
A charmed power for thee has set the lists of fairy ground;
Each gleesome impulse Nature now can sanction and befriend,
Nor to that willing heart as yet the duty and the end.
Play, for the haggard labor soon will come to seize its prey.
Alas! when duty grows thy law, enjoyment fades away!

by Friedrich Schiller

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