Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), German writer. His works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, pantheism, and science.
Goethe described himself as "not anti-Christian, nor un-Christian, but most decidedly non-Christian." His play Faust demonstrates a spiritual perspective amid pantheism, humanism, and Western esotericism.
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805), German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright.
Beauty, for Schiller, is not merely an aesthetic experience, but a moral one as well. His essays address an aspect of human freedom — the ability to defy one's animal instincts (such as the drive for self-preservation, when, for example, someone willingly sacrifices himself for conceptual ideals).
Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (1797–1856), German poet. Jewish background, converted to Christianity.
Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843), German Romantic poet. Deeply religious, the themes of absence and the threat of meaninglessness pervade his poems and hymns.
Rainer Maria Rilke, born René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke , Prague-born German-language poet.
Duino Elegies compelted Feb 1922?
"Rolla" is a poem written by Alfred de Musset (1810–1857), French dramatist, poet, and novelist, in 1834. "Je suis venu trop tard dans un monde trop vieux."
Albert Einstein has been described as "a deeply religious non-believer."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), American essayist, philosopher, and poet. He led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. "Brahma" was written in 1856.
If the red slayer think he slays,
Or if the slain think he is slain,
They know not well the subtle ways
I keep, and pass, and turn again.
Far or forgot to me is near,
Shadow and sunlight are the same,
The vanished gods to me appear,
And one to me are shame and fame.
They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.
The strong gods pine for my abode,
And pine in vain the sacred Seven;
But thou, meek lover of the good!
Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.
A line from the 1845 poem "Petra," by John William Burgon, describing the city (in Jordan), which he'd never seen.