To Laura at the Harpsichord, by Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

Johann Cristoph Friedrich von Schiller, author of this poem, was a German poet, philosopher and playwrite. 

Von Schiller was a close friend of Goethe's, and together they founded the Weimar Theater.  Beethoven drew directly on von Schiller's poem "An die Freude" (Ode to Joy) in composing the 4th movement of his 9th Symphony.  And, Brahms set von Schiller's poem Nanie to music.  Enjoy von Schiller's poem lauding the harpsichord (and Laura!).

To Laura at the Harpsichord

When o'er the chords thy fingers stray,
My spirit leaves its mortal clay,
A statue there I stand;
Thy spell controls e'en life and death,
As when the nerves a living breath
Receive by Love's command!

More gently zephyr sighs along
To listen to thy magic song;
The systems formed by heavenly love
To sing forever as they move,
Pause in their endless-whirling round
To catch the rapture-teeming sound;
'Tis for thy strains they worship thee,--
Thy look, enchantress, fetters me!

From yonder chords fast-thronging come
Soul-breathing notes with rapturous speed,
As when from out their heavenly home
The new-born seraphim proceed;
The strains pour forth their magic might,
As glittering suns burst through the night,
When, by Creation's storm awoke,
From chaos' giant-arm they broke.

Now sweet, as when the silv'ry wave
Delights the pebbly beach to lave;
And now majestic as the sound
Of rolling thunder gathering round;
Now pealing more loudly, as when from yon height
Descends the mad mountain-stream, foaming and bright;
Now in a song of love
Dying away,
As through the aspen grove
Soft zephyrs play:
Now heavier and more mournful seems the strain,
As when across the desert, death-like plain,
Whence whispers dread and yells despairing rise,
Cocytus' sluggish, wailing current sighs.

Maiden fair, oh, answer me!
Are not spirits leagued with thee?
Speak they in the realms of bliss
Other language e'er than this?