Excerpt from Deutsche Lyrik: Selected and Arranged, With Notes and a Literary Introduction
The unp leled calamity of the 'long War had sti¿ed the national life of Germany for more than a century. Scholar ship was soon revived, 'and it ¿ourished, but the poet's divine voice wa... s as rarely heard as the song of birds on a chilly autumn day. And this phenomenon is based on the laws of nature. As long as the gigantic struggle was raging the poets raised their voices to comfort the sufferers, or to encourage the combatants, but as soon as the contest was over a feelmg of utter exhaustion was everywhere prevalent. The source of all original roduction seemed stopped, and the first dawn of a new inte ectual life shone with a borrowed light, The Second Period of German lyrical poetry is therefore, although it ex tended over a considerable portion of the eighteenth century, not distinguished by a general character, and can hardl be judge das a whole. Gellert excelled greatly in the Kirchen iod; Hagedorn produced the most cheerful songs - it is true, chie¿y in the Anacreontic style, but still with a considerable amount of genuine feeling - whilst the verses of Gleim were characterised by naive good humour and a playful cheerfulness, which not unfrequently had the homely ring of the Volksh'ed. Still, that period had no decided stamp as regards lyrical poetry.
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