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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781)

WHO will not mighty Klopstock praise?

Will everybody read him? Nay!

A little less extol our lays,

And read a little more, we pray.

[This epigram evidently suggested to James Russell Lowell his pithy characterization of Klopstock as “an immortality of unreadableness.” Lessing also, in a letter to Gleim (October 2d, 1757), asks: “What do you say to Klopstock’s sacred songs? If you condemn them, I shall suspect your Christianity; if you approve of them, I shall question your taste.”]