144 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE
George-created Christ must needs be a beautiful boy the answer is
of course that the Greek ideal of beauty is to give physical trans-
figuration to the pure spiritual conception of the divine. For Stefan
George as for Nietzsche it is the Greek ideal, not the diseased
Jewish denial of physical beauty, which is to rejuvenate the de-
cayed world; and perhaps the worshipping of Maximin is nothing
more than a cry to the incredulous: Ecce homo, Lo! this is Man,
Or: new man by his new faith in beauty will himself be beauty
transfigured by spirit.
Actually those who should know best (now that the individual-
istic subtleties and the self-assertion of the more intimate Circle
members are fading into a semblance of myth) claim that the key
to the Maximin problem is mem urbild (with mem stressed), the
'essential image of myself, in this poem of Der Stern des Btwdes:
Wer ist dein Gott? All meines traums begehr*
Der ndcbste meinem urbild* scbon und hehr.
Was die gen>alt gab unsrer dunklen scbosse
Was uns vonjeher wert erwarb und grosse -
Geheimste quelle innerlicbster brand:
Dort ist Er wo mein blick ^u reinst esfand.
Der erst dem einen looser war und leader
Dann neue wallunggiesst durchjede ader
Mitfrischem saft die fruben gotter scbwellt
Und alles abgestorbene wort der welt.
Der gott ist das geheimnis hochster weihe
Mit strablen rings erweist er seine reibe:
Der sohn aus sternen^eugung stellt ibn dar
Den neue mitte aus dem geist gebar.
And this self-revelation in vision is the secret of that renewal of
style and conception, that new and divine consecration, which is
throughout the very essence of George. There is no beauty like
that of Greek poetry; and George has the intense conviction that
he has found the secret of that ancient irradiation: the poetry that
never was since the days of Hellas he has brought back because he
has given it bodily shape, which is to be worshipped (in symbol)
as Apollo was (in symbol) in Greece.
The opening poems Q^Dersiebente Rmg, in sonorous blank verse,
amount to poignant self-revelation, often with an indignant rush