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The Second Silesian School

Angelus was the founder of what is termed the second Silesian school of poetry, as that founded by Opitz is called the first. The secular productions of this school are singularly trivial in thought, and trite and bombastic in expression; but its religious poems, though not free from grave defects, never fell quite so low, and some among them were really good. These had a strong influence on the pietistic hymnwriters of the next period; and where their ardent mysticism was tempered with a scriptural and practical tone of piety, as in Tersteegen, Arnold, Schmolke, &c., the results are often very beautiful. Among the best of the school were Knorr von Rosenroth, author of the lovely little hymn, "Day-spring of Eternity," and some others--a friend of Henry Moie and Lightfoot, and a student of alchemy and the Talmud, who knew almost the entire Bible 254 by heart; Christian Scriver, a clergyman at Magdeburg; Homburg, a lawyer of Naumburg; and two countesses of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt,3232 Ludämilia Elisabeth and Emilie-Juliane. who wrote very sweet and graceful verses.

Popular Songs

Although the Roman Catholic Church had produced only two or three original poets, it had not been unaffected by the great spread of vernacular hymns since the Reformation. Their use was still prohibited in church at the ordinary services, but they were commonly employed at certain festivals, and collections of them were placed in the hands of the people. These consisted partly of translations from the Latin, partly of modified versions of the Lutheran hymns, partly of the old popular religious songs. It is indeed to the activity of the priests during the seventeenth century that we owe most of the collections of these ancient songs. Only a few were actually composed in this century, and the eighteenth was utterly barren of any good ones. Their great flowering time was in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and again in the early part of the present century. But of those found in collections of this period, though themselves probably of earlier date, we give two:--

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