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's Other Poems
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