STEFAN GEORGE AND HIS CIRCLE 125 impressions shape themselves discreetly to French models; but the collective theme continues that of thtjuvenilia- the self-isolation of the consecrated poet. Hjmnen were first published in zplaquette intended for the poet's friends only. The first poem, Weihe9 gives the note of the triple collection - the poet, awakening to the consciousness of his divine poet's mission, seeks, in the shade of evening by the reed-rimmed river, the consecration of the Muse. Already in this first poem those metrical devices and tonal qualities show which were to be his system: audition coloree, assonance (Vokalharmonie) throughout the line or stanza ('Hinaus %um strom! wo stofy die hohen rohre \ Im linden mnde ibrefahnen schwingen* - o and sf9 i for rapidity), clipped interior rhymes (Im linden windey Zum ufermoose kosend}. The second lyric shows the poet in the spring morning, in the pleasaunce of a great lonely park, but far sun- dered from men and their allurements, for . . . 'heut darfihre weise nicht ihn ruhren, \ Weil er mit semen geistern rede tauscht: \ Er hat den griffel der sich strdubt %ufubren\ The French Parnassian manner - the concentration of the character and spirit of an epoch or of a country in one short poem - illustrates Hochsommer (a transposition of the soul of Watteau's pictures) and the two 'pictures' (Bilder\ DerlnfantmA. "Bin Angelica. Der Infant., ostensibly the reproduction in verse of a painting in its oval frame of dark gilt, thrills with the tragic fate of Spanish royalty: this white-faced prince smiles on eternally, never regretting that he did not grow up to be a gloomy tyrant; the blessing vouchsafed to him is that when the moon slants through the pomegranate glass globes in the room a bright elfin maid comes for him, and they play with the silken ball that still gleams rose-red and olive-green on the oak pier-table. Ein Angelica is descriptive, but it is that description by successive de- tails of action which Lessing, in 'Laokoon, approves in Homer's description of the shield of Achilles.1 In this skilfully manipulated sonnet, in which the rhythm and the sense of each of the four parts rises to a pregnant closing line and the mood of the whole poem is gathered into the pensive last verse, we see the picture of the Virgin, *die brauf mit immerstilkm kinderbusen*', come into being stroke by stroke: Er nahm das gold von heiligen pokalen. Zu bellem hoar das reife mi^enstroh- 1 Compare also the poem Komm in den totgesagten park undschau.