The Trumpeter of Saekkingen - A Song from the Upper Rhine.
by Joseph Victor von Scheffel
1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Transcriber's notes: 1. This book is derived from the Web Archive,

2. The oe diphthong is represented by [oe].




A Song from the Upper Rhine.





Translation authorised by the Poet.



O Song, at home well known to fame, That German hearts hath deeply stirred And long hath made of Scheffel's name A dear and honoured household word,

Go forth in thy first foreign dress, Go forth to Albion's noble land! Will she not greetings kind express, And warmly clasp the stranger's hand?

The Emerald Isle will surely give A welcome neither cold nor faint; For on thy pages still doth live The name of Erin's ancient Saint.

Across the sea my country's shores As Hope's bright star before me rise; Will she not open wide her doors To one who on her heart relies?

Farewell, oh work of vanished hours; When suffering rent my weary heart, Thy breath of fragrant woodland flowers Did life renew, fresh strength impart.

Oh Scheffel! may thy years be long! And may'st thou live to see the time, When this thy genial Schwarzwald song Will find a home in every clime.

Basel, June, 1877.














































"Who is yonder light-haired stranger Who there like a cat is roaming O'er the roof of Don Pagano?"— Thus asked many honest burghers, Dwellers on the Isle of Capri, When they from the market turning Looked up at the palm-tree and the Low-arched roof of moorish fashion.

And the worthy Don Pagano Said: "That is a strange queer fellow, And most strange his occupation. Came here with but little luggage, Lives here quite alone but happy, Clambers up the steepest mountains, Over cliffs, through surf is strolling, Loves to steal along the sea-shore. Also lately 'mid the ruins Of the villa of Tiberius With the hermits there caroused. What's his business?—He's a German, And who knows what they are doing? But I saw upon his table Heaps of paper written over, Leaving very wasteful margins; I believe he is half crazy, I believe he's making verses."

Thus he spoke.—And I myself was This queer stranger. Solitary I had on this rocky island Sung this song of my dear Schwarzwald. I went as a wand'ring scholar To far countries, to Italia; With much art became acquainted, Also with bad vetturinos, And with many burning flea-bites; But the sweet fruit of the lotus, Which doth banish love of country And the longing to return there, I have never found here growing.

'Twas in Rome. Hard lay the winter On th' eternal sev'n-hilled city: Hard? for even Marcus Brutus Would have caught a bad catarrh then; And the rain seemed never-ending. Like a dream then rose the vision Of the Schwarzwald, and the story Of the young musician Werner And the lovely Margaretta. In my youth I have stood often By their graves close to the Rhine shore; Many things which lie there buried Are, however, long forgotten. But like one to whom a sudden Ringing in his ears betokens That at home of him they're thinking, So I heard young Werner's trumpet Through the Roman Winter, through the Carnival's gay flower-show— Heard it from afar, then nearer, Like the crystal which of vap'rous Fine materials is condensing And increases radiating; So the figures of this song grew— Even followed me to Naples. In the halls of the Museum Who should meet me but the Baron Shaking his big cane and smiling, And before Pompeii's gate sat The black tom-cat Hiddigeigei. Purring, quoth he: "Leave all study; What is all this ancient rubbish, E'en that dog there in mosaic In the tragic Poet's dwelling, In comparison with me—the Epic type of all cat-nature?"

This I could no longer stand, so Now began this ghost to banish. From the brother of the lovely Luisella, from the crooked Cunning druggist of Sorrento Quantities of ink I ordered, And sailed o'er the bay to Capri. Here began my exorcisms. Many pale-gold coloured sea-fish, Many lobsters, many oysters, I ate up without compassion; Drank the red wine like Tiberius, Without mercy poetising; On the roof went up and down till All resounded metrically, And the charm was then accomplished: Chained up in four-measured trochees Lay those figures which so long now From my couch sweet sleep had banished.

'Twas high time, too; Spring already Now gave signal of his coming— Buds were sprouting on the fig-trees; Shots were cracking, for with guns and Nets they were the quails pursuing, Who towards home their flight were taking; And the minstrel was in peril Then of seeing feathered colleagues Set upon the table roasted. This dread o'er him, pen and inkstand Flew against the wall together. Ready now and newly soled were My strong boots which old Vesuvius Had much damaged with his sulphur. Farther now I journey onward. Up, my good old Marinaro! Off from land! the waves with pleasure Bear light hearts and weightless freightage.

But the song, which with such happy Spring-born feelings from my heart welled, Bears my greetings to my country And to you, my honoured parents. Many faults are in it, truly: Tragic pathos may be wanting, And a racy tendance; also, As in Amaranth, the fragrant Incense of a pious soul, its Sober but pretentious colouring. Take him, as he is, this ruddy. Rough, uncouth son of the mountains, With a pine branch on his straw hat. What he's wanting in, pray, cover With the veil of kind indulgence. Take him not as thanks, for always In your Book of Love I'm debtor, But as greeting and as witness, That a man whom worldly fortune Has not placed 'mid smiling verdure, Yet can, happy as a lark pour Out his song on leafless branches.

Capri, May 1st, 1853.



Five years, my merry song, have now rolled by Since thou didst venture thy first course to run, A simple strolling minstrel's chance to try, But no great laurels so far hast thou won. In circles of prosaic breathing mortals No praise was given thee of any kind— Where formal stiffness bars life's glowing portals, Thou and thy kindred can no quarter find. And in the coteries of hoops and laces Few were the readers, fewer still the praises.

Not everything suits everyone: the hill Grows different flowers than the vale and lea: But here and there in German homes there will Be found some hearts who fondly turn to thee; Where merry fellows are their wine enjoying With cheerful songs, thy praises will resound; Near landscape-painters' easels thou art lying, And in a huntsman's bag thou oft art found, And e'en of pastors it has been reported To thee as to their prayer-books they've resorted.

And many who have taken a young bride To spend the honeymoon 'midst rural scenes, Do like to read thee, sitting side by side; Of happy hours thou often art the means. Then Saekkingen, the fair Black Forest's treasure, Which found at first in thee not much delight, Has by degrees derived from thee great pleasure, And to her heart with love has pressed thee tight. Upon the whole, success outweighs detraction, And thou canst view thy fate with satisfaction.

Now that thou wilt a second course begin, I should for thee a better dress prepare, With finer threads the verses' measure spin, Here lengthen out, there shorten with more care, I know it well, right often have I faltered, Some of thy trochees sound a little lame; But the old humour now, alas! is altered, The mood which gave thee birth is not the same. O rosy dreams of youth, when joy abounded, Wherefore so soon by gloomy clouds surrounded!

Once more in my dear Schwarzwald I now rest, And near me rush the healing waters out, On high a bird of prey soars o'er his nest, And in the brook are sporting tiny trout. From charcoal kilns the smoke clouds are ascending, With iris-coloured hues the sun embrace, And stately giant pines in rows unending, Like wreaths of evergreens, the mountains grace. A spicy hay-scent rises from the meadow, And honest folk dwell 'neath their thatched roof's shadow.

And yet—should I now try new songs to sing, The old accustomed tone I could not find; Too often grief my soul with pangs doth wring, Instead of mirth, scorn filleth now my mind. The world serves idols now, the good ignoring, And truth is silent, beauty hides her face; What is unnatural men are adoring, God is forgotten. Mammon takes his place! The Poet, now, should be a prophet warning, Like those of old, reproving, praying, mourning!

'Tis not my sphere; a mighty stirring song Requires another man, a different art; But though so much prevails that's sad and wrong. One may not quite disdain a merry heart. Go forth, my song, then, as thou didst before, A cheerful memory of life's fresh spring; Cheer up those hearts, which grief made sad and sore, And to friends far and near my greeting bring. Whenever men to nobler aims aspire, Then higher too will ring the poet's lyre.

Rippoldsau, September, 1858.



Hiddigeigei, his opinion: "Strange, perverse, are all mankind, Who, when discord holds dominion, In such ditties pleasure find.... Questions which the world are shaking, Now the thinker's mind assail, And no light as yet is breaking, Which solution shall prevail.

"Yet our song unto perdition Has not been condemned, I hear— What a marvel!—an edition For the third time will appear. Which in new dress, not inferior (Of the old nought has been spared), And, with quite unchanged interior, For its third trip is prepared.

"I regret that I'm declining, And I fear I have the mange; And I show now, by my whining, When the wind and weather change. Coming storms, when brewing, ever My keen senses do betray; And the atmosphere was never Sultry as it is to-day.

"Doubly thus I feel this parting, But thy course must onward lead; Take my blessing, song, on starting, And the cat's well-meant good speed! The green Rhine, the Schwarzwald breezes, Bring with them health, peace, and rest; Such a merry fellow pleases, And is hailed a welcome guest.

"Golden Spring, thee still I'm praising; When the trumpet-notes rang out, Then my bristling fur seemed blazing, And bright sparks flew all about; And the trumpet with my growling Then defied Fate's evil doom; Gentle is to-day my howling O'er the hidden future's gloom."

Summer, 1862.



The Boezberg for the Rhine I have been leaving, A home-sick longing stirred my heart within, Once more that fragrant air I would be breathing Again would see the town of Fridolin, As if at my return with joy elated, She lay there basking in the autumn sun, Her minster's towers lately renovated, Reflected in the river, brightly shone; Far to the North, through bluish vapour breaking, The Hozzenwald, a stately background making.

From the Gallus-Thurm on the Roman wall erected, To where the ancient convent buildings lie, The well-known gable roofs I all detected, Where often my light skiff had glided by; And where the shore by gravel banks is bounded, A sunny garden's blooming face doth smile; Half hidden by the chestnuts which surround it Lies cosily the castle's graceful pile. To it my hat in greeting I am tossing, As o'er the ancient covered bridge I'm crossing.

Unto the dead my steps at first were tending, Unto the graveyard where the Rhine flows by, For many had been called to rest unending, Who once with me enjoyed this balmy sky. The old stone wall I neared with deep emotion, Inscribed with Werner Kirchhof s name and arms, And of his wife a record of devotion, Which, though long past, e'en now attracts and charms. And Heaven's blessing on the pair alighted. By death the same year they were re-united.

To the market then I turned. "Are ghosts here wandering. Or is it you yourself who meets mine eyes?" So said the mayor by the court-house standing, Who slowly did the stranger recognise.... Long years have passed since friends were often going To hear my judgments in the dusky court; But though now many heads gray locks are showing, Their hearts are fresh, their memory is not short; And as we never shunned good cheer and drinking, From foaming bumpers we'll not now be shrinking.

'Tis true the Button landlord has been moving Out of his cosy tavern on the Square, But still retains his former skill in brewing, And in his new inn keeps the same good fare. And as around the table we sat cheering Our hearts with kindly memories of old, From many lips I these glad news was hearing, Which please the Poet more than heaps of gold: The Trumpeter, whose story I'd been singing, To young and old more joy was daily bringing.

As a vignette the weekly paper gracing He's blowing politics instead of music now; And even more, somebody has been placing My hero on the stage—but ask not how. Could I but see the walls of the new tower, Which now is rising in the old one's place, Embellished by an artist of great power— The figures of my song devised with grace! Thus might an artist's hand make expiation For the abuse by stage-representation.

However, let that go, I am not fearing Whatever purpose thou mayst serve my song; Now that a new edition is appearing, I send my greeting home with it along. On thy fourth tour thou Schwarzwald-child be hieing, Where truth and goodness dwell, there enter in, And preach to those who with ennui are sighing, How innocent amusement they may win. As often as there comes a new edition, "Preserve thee, God!" be ever my petition.

Seon in the Aargau, November, 1864.



The Trumpeter now, all alive and refreshed, To the Jubilee loudly is blowing; The present year has both of us blessed, Great favour and lustre bestowing. I have my fiftieth year attained, Through joy and through sorrow surviving, And his editions—such fame has he gained— At the fiftieth are now arriving.

It may be that I a part of my youth And joy with him have been leaving; But still from these scenes—to tell the truth— Great pleasure I now am receiving. To the Eggberg I climbed, where on high are seen The homes of the Hauenstein peasant; Their straw-thatched roofs with mosses still green, But no more quaint costumes at present.

Through gaps in the forest I see shining bright The snow-peaks of Switzerland's Giants, The steep Finsteraarhorn's towering height The Jungfrau dazzling with diamonds; And as to the west I turn my gaze, Blue ridge above ridge is unfolding: And, in the evening's golden haze, I'm the Vosges' great Belchen beholding.

When now to Saekkingen downward I hie, Through the dark green forest is gleaming The silvery lake, like the earth's clear eye, Looking upward, invitingly beaming. Gneiss rocks high o'er the grassy shore rise; And placed so as best to show it, Inscribed on a rock this meets mine eyes: "Saekkingen, the town, to her Poet!"

And now, as by Bally's castle I stand, There my Trumpeter also stands blowing, Cast finely in bronze by a master's hand. That they know us well here all are showing; For, when I was going to pay at the inn, The kind hostess refused quite indignant. 'Tis clear, in the town of St. Fridolin, O'er us a bright star shines benignant.

The Trumpeter bravely has blown his way Through much that his patience was tasking; And the publisher also his joy doth betray: For the author's likeness he's asking. Accept then this book, my friends, as before, With kind and growing affection; When the Schwarzwald's Poet shall be no more, Still hold him in fond recollection.

Carlsruhe, October, 1876.





To the Schwarzwald soars my song, up To the Feldberg, where the last small Cluster of its comrade mountains Toward the south are boldly looking, And, all mailed in fir-tree armour, Keep good watch there on the Rhine.

Be thou greeted, peaceful forest! Be ye greeted, ancient pine-trees, Ye, who oft beneath your shadow Me, the weary one, have sheltered. Oddly twisted, spread your roots down Deep within the earth's vast bowels, Strength from out those depths imbibing, While to us is closed the entrance. And you envy not a transient Human being's transient doings. Only smile;—his feast at Christmas You adorn with your young scions. In your sturdy trunks lives also Conscious life-sustaining power. Resin through your veins is coursing; And your dreamy thoughts are surging Slow and heavy, upward, downward. Oft I saw the clear and gummy Tears which from your bark were oozing, When a woodman's wanton axe-stroke Rudely felled some loved companion. Oft I heard your topmost summits Spirit-like together whisper. Then there breathed throughout my soul a Sweet mysterious solemn dreaming. Don't find fault then, if my song now Soars within the forest shades.

'Twas in March: still played the Winter Masquerade; the branches, laden With fantastical ice-crystals, To the ground were lowly drooping; Here and there, out of Earth's bosom Tender plants their heads were thrusting— Wood-anemones and cowslips. As the patriarch, old Noah, At the time of the great Deluge, Sent the dove to reconnoitre: So with winter's ice sore burdened, With impatience sends the Earth forth These first flowers with a question, Asking, whether the oppressor Has not come to his last gasp yet. Blustering from the Feldberg's summit Now old Master Storm is rushing, And rejoices, through the dark dense Forest he again is blowing; Says: "I greet you, ancient comrades; Why I come, you know the reason— They believe, poor mortal children, When they see me tearing, snatching Roughly some old hat away, I am only there to frighten. That would be a pretty business, Breaking chimneys, smashing windows, Scattering through the air some thatchings, Tearing some old woman's clothing Till she signs the cross in praying! But you fir-trees know me better, Me, the fair Spring's thorough cleaner, Who what's mouldy sweeps afar off— Who what's rotten blows to pieces— Who the earth's domain well cleanses, That his radiant Lord and Master Worthily may make his entrance. And you, noble forest comrades, Who so oft, with bronze-like foreheads, Bravely have withstood my rudeness, Ye whose trunks I have to thank for Many knocks against my skull-bone, Ye alone shall hear my secret: Soon the Spring himself he cometh, And then, when the buds are bursting, Lark and blackbird sing their carols, And with fervent heat the Spring sun Brightly on your heads is shining, Then remember me, the Storm-wind, Who to-day, with boisterous fury As his harbinger swept past."

Speaking thus, he shook the tree-tops With great roughness; boughs are snapping, Branches falling, and a thick, fine Rain of pine-leaves crackles downward. But the fir-trees, quite indignant, Took small notice of this homage. From their summits rang the answer, Rather scolding, I should call it: "You unmannerly rude fellow! We will have no business with you, And regret much that the finest Lords have oft the rudest servants. To the Alps begone directly, There is sport fit for your humour; There stand walls of rock all barren; Entertain yourself with them there."

Now, while thus the storm and fir-trees Held such converse with each other, Could be heard a horse's footfall. Toiling through the snow-piled wood-path Seeks his way a weary horseman; Gaily flutters in the storm-wind, To and fro, his long gray mantle, His fair curling locks are waving, And, from out the cocked-up hat there Boldly nods a heron's feather. On his lips was just appearing Such a downy beard as ladies Much admire, because it showeth That its bearer is a man, still One whose kisses will not wound them. But not many pretty lips had Felt the soft touch of this beard yet. Which, as if for fun and mischief, Snow and ice now decked with crystals. In his clear blue eyes were glowing Warmth and mildness, earnest meaning, And you could not doubt his fist would Strike a valiant blow, when needed, With the heavy basket-hilted Sword, which, worn suspended by a Black belt from his shoulder, well-nigh Grazed the ground as he was riding. Wound around his riding-doublet Was a sash, to which was tied the Richly-gilded shining trumpet, Which he often with his mantle Sheltered from the falling snow-flakes; But, whene'er the wind pierced through it, Bringing forth tones shrill and wailing; Then around his mouth there played a Sweet strange smile of melancholy.

Silent through the forest's thicket On he rode, while often roving Were his glances—as the case is, When a wanderer for the first time Over unknown roads is travelling. Rough the path—the poor horse often In the snow was nearly sinking, And o'er gnarl'd and tangled branches Of the knotted pine-roots stumbling. And the rider, in ill-humour, Said: "Sometimes it is quite tedious, Through the world alone to travel. There are times, 'mid gloomy forests, When one longeth for companions. Since I bade farewell this morning To the good monks of St. Blasien, Lonely was the road and dreary. Scattered here and there, a peasant, Through the snow-storm running swiftly, Hardly did my greeting notice. Then a pair of coal-black ravens, Who with hoarse discordant croakings, O'er a dead mole fiercely quarrelled; For the past two hours, however, I not once have had the honour To behold one living being. And in this lone forest district, Where the lofty snow-clad pine-trees Look as if in shrouds enveloped, I should like to have some comrades. Were they even rogues or gipsies, Or those two suspicious fellows Who escorted the old knight once Through the forest's gloom and thicket; Then appeared as Death and Devil, Grinning in his face with scorn! I should rather ride with them now— Rather fight them, or play lively Dances for them, than so lonely Thus to trot through this dense forest."

All comes to an end, however, Even riding through the forests. Round the trunks it grew much lighter, Storm and snow-clouds were receding, And the blue sky smiled benignant Through the dense shade of the pine-woods. Thus the miner, looking upward. Sees, far at the pit's mouth shining. Like a star, the distant daylight, Which he greets with joyful shouting. Likewise such a cheerful feeling Brightens up our riders face. So he reached the forest's border, And his eyes, so long restricted By dark woods to narrow prospects, Gladly swept the wide horizon.

O how lovely woods and fields lay! Green meads in the narrow valley, Straw-thatched huts, low-roofed and mossy. And the modest village steeple; Deep below, where dusky forests Stretch along unto the lowlands, Like a long bright streak of silver, Takes the Rhine his westward course. Far off from the island glisten Battlements and lofty houses, And the minster's two tall spires; While beyond, in misty distance Shining, rise up unto Heaven Snowy peaks of giant mountains, Guardians of Helvetia's soil. As the pallid ardent thinker's Eye doth glow and cheek doth redden, When a thought, new and creative, Through his brain has flashed like lightning, So the golden light of evening Glows upon the Alpine Giants. (Do they dream of throes of labour Which their mother-earth of old felt, When they from her womb were bursting?)

From the horse got off our rider, To a pine-tree stump he bound it, Gazed in wonder at the landscape, Spoke no word, but shouting tossed up In the air his pointed cocked hat, And began to blow a cheering Joyous tune upon his trumpet. To the Rhine it bore a greeting, Over toward the Alps it floated, Merry now, then full of feeling, Like a prayer devout and solemn, Then again quite roguish, joyful. Now trari-trara resounded, Echo's voice her plaudits sending From the bosom of the forest. Fair it was o'er hill and valley, But fair also to behold him, As he in the deep snow standing Lightly on his horse was leaning; Now and then a golden sunbeam Glory shed on man and trumpet, In the background gloomy fir-trees, Farther down among the meadows Rang his tunes out not unheeded! There was walking then the worthy Pastor of the neighbouring village, Who the snow-drifts was examining, Which, fast melting with the surging Waters rising o'er the meadows, Threatened to destroy the grass there. Plunged in thought, he deeply pondered How to ward off this great danger. Round him bounded, loudly barking, His two white and shaggy dogs.

You who live in smoky cities, And are separated wholly From the simple life of nature, Shrug your shoulders! for my muse will Joyfully now sing the praises Of a pastor in the country. Simple is his life, and narrow: Where the village ends, end also All his labours and endeavours. While men slaughtered one another, In the bloody Thirty Years' War, For God's honour, the calm grandeur Of the Schwarzwald's solemn pine-woods Breathed its peace into his soul. Spider-webs spread o'er his book-shelves; And, 'mid all the theologians' Squabbles, he most likely never Had read one polemic treatise. With dogmatics altogether, Science in her heavy armour, He possessed but slight acquaintance. But, whenever 'mongst his people Could some discord be adjusted— When the spiteful neighbours quarrelled; When the demon of dissension Marriage marred and children's duty; When the daily load of sorrow Heavily weighed down some poor man, And the needy longing soul looked Eagerly for consolation— Then, as messenger from Heaven, To his flock the old man hastened; From the depths of his heart's treasure Gave to each advice and comfort. And if, in a distant village, Someone lay upon a sick-bed, With grim Death hard battle waging, Then—at midnight—at each hour, When a knock came at his hall-door— E'en if snow the pathway covered— Undismayed he went to comfort And bestow the sacred blessing. Solitary was his own life, For his nearest friends were only His two noble dogs (St. Bernards). His reward: a little child oft Bashfully approached him, kissing His old hand with timid reverence; Also oft a grateful smile played O'er the features of the dying, Which was meant for the old priest.

Unperceived the old man came now By the border of the forest, To the Trumpeter whose last notes Rang resounding in the distance, Tapped him friendly on the shoulder: "My young master, may God bless you, 'Twas a fine tune you were playing! Since the horsemen of the emperor Buried here their serjeant-major, Whom a Swedish cannon-ball had Wounded mortally at Rhinefeld, And they blew as a farewell then The Reveille for their dead comrade— Though 'tis long since it has happened, I have never heard such sounds here. Only on the organ plays my Organist, and that quite poorly; Therefore I am struck with wonder To encounter such an Orpheus. Will you treat to such fine music The wild beasts here of our forest, Stag and doe, and fox and badger? Or, perhaps, was it a signal, Like the call of the lost huntsman? I can see that you are strange here, By your long sword and your doublet; It is far still to the town there, And the road impracticable. Look, the Rhine-fog mounts already High up towards these upland forests, And it seems to me but prudent That with me you take your lodging; In the vale there stands my glebe-house, Plain, 'tis true, yet horse and rider Find sufficient shelter there."

Then the horseman quickly answered: "Yes, I'm strange in a strange country, And I have not much reflected Where to-night shall be my lodging. To be sure, in these free forests A free heart can sleep if need be; But your courteous invitation I most gratefully accept."

Then unfastened he his horse and Led it gently by the bridle, And the Pastor and the rider Like old friends walked to the village In the twilight of the evening. By the window of the glebe-house The old cook stood, looking serious; Mournfully her hands she lifted, Took a pinch of snuff and cried out: "Good St. Agnes! good St. Agnes! Stand by me in this my trouble! Thoughtlessly my kind old master Brings again a guest to stay here; What a thorough devastation Will he make in my good larder! Now farewell, you lovely brook-trout, Which I had reserved for Sunday, When the Dean of Wehr will dine here. Now farewell, thou hough of bacon! The old clucking hen, I fear much, Also now must fall a victim, And the stranger's hungry horse will Revel in our store of oats."



Snugly in the well-warmed chamber, Now before the supper table, Sat the Trumpeter and Pastor, On the dish, right hot and steaming Had a roasted fowl paraded, But it had completely vanished; Only now a spicy fragrance Floated gently through the chamber, Like the songs by which the minstrel Still lives on through after ages; And the empty plates bore witness That a great and healthy hunger Lately here had been appeased.

Now the Pastor raised a brimming Jug of wine, then filled the glasses And began, his guest accosting: "After supper 'tis the duty Of the host, his guest to question: Who he is, from whence he cometh? Where his country and his parents? In old Homer I have read oft That the King of the Phaeacians Thus the noble hero questioned; And I hope you can relate me Just as many strange adventures As Ulysses. Take your comfort, Seat yourself in that warm corner, Yonder by the stove, which is a Hatching nest of solid thinking; 'Tis according to our custom The narrator's seat of honour. And I'll listen with attention. Still the old man hears with pleasure Of the storms of youth's wild passions."

Then the young man: "I am sorry Not to be a proven hero, Neither have I conquered Ilium, Nor have blinded Polyphemus, Neither have I ever thus far Met with any Royal Princess, Who when spreading out the linen Felt for me a soft compassion. But with pleasure I obey you." On the bench he took his seat now By the stove all covered over With glazed tiles much ornamented. From the stove streamed out warm comfort, And the Pastor kindly told him To stretch out his weary legs there. He, however, would not do so; Took a swallow of the red wine, And began to tell his story:

"Know, my name is Werner Kirchhof; I was born and grew to manhood, In the Pfalz, at Heidelberg."

Old Heidelberg, thou beauty. With many honours crowned; Along the Rhine and Neckar, No town like thee is found.

Thou town of merry fellows, Of wisdom full and wine, Clear flows thy placid river, Blue eyes therein do shine.

When from the south is spreading Spring's smile o'er hill and lea, He out of blossoms weaveth A bridal robe for thee.

Thee as a bride I fondly Enshrine within my heart; Like early love's sweet echoes, Thy name doth joy impart.

Become life's cares too burning, And all abroad looks bare, I'll spur my good horse homeward To the Neckar vale so fair.

"On the borders of the Neckar I have dreamt sweet dreams of childhood, Also have a school attended, Greek and Latin there have studied; And a thirsty old musician Taught me how to blow the trumpet. When I reached my eighteenth birthday, Said my guardian: 'You, young Werner, With a clever head are gifted, And are somewhat of a genius, And cut out of right material; You must now become a lawyer. That brings office and great honours, Gathers also golden ducats. And already I do see you As the well-appointed bailiff Of His Grace the Grand Elector; And I then must pay you homage. I will venture the prediction, If you act quite circumspectly, Then a seat may yet await you In th' Imperial Court at Wetzlar.' Thus I then became a lawyer; Bought myself a great big inkstand, Also bought a huge portfolio, And a heavy Corpus Juris, And the lecture-room frequented, Where, with yellow mummy visage, Samuel Brunnquell, the professor, Roman law to us expounded. Roman law, when I recall it, On my heart it lies like nightmare, Like a millstone on my stomach, And my head feels dull and stupid. To much nonsense did I listen, How they in the Roman Forum Snarling, quarrelled with each other; How Sir Gaius stuck to his point, And to his Sir Ulpianus; How then later comers dabbled. Till the Emperor Justinianus, He of all the greatest dabbler, Sent them home about their business. And I often asked the question: 'Must it really be our fate then These dry bones to gnaw forever, Which were flung to us as remnants From their banquets by the Romans? Why should not, from soil Germanic, Spring the flower of her own law, Simple, full of forest fragrance— No luxuriant southern climber? Sad fate of the late-born races! Must read till their brows are sweating, And must try to disentangle Knotty twisted skeins forever. Can't we have a sword to cut them?'

"Often, nightly, by the lamp-light I sat poring o'er the Codex, Read the Glossary and Cujacius Till my weary brain was racking; But this zeal brought me no blessing. Merrily would then my thoughts fly From my studies to that time when Old Cujacius' lovely daughter Mounted in her father's rostrum, With her voice sweet and melodious, Read for him his written lectures To the lucky youth of Paris. Usucaption and inheritance, And Novella hundred and eighteen, Changed into a dark-haired maiden Peeping from the Corpus Juris. From my trembling hands the pen fell, Overturned were sand and inkstand, And I caught hold of the trumpet: Usucaption and inheritance, And Novella hundred and eighteen, Wailing in adagio tempo. Flew forth from the study window Far into the starry night.

"Yes, this zeal brought me no blessing. I one day went from my lodging, 'Neath my arm the Corpus Juris ('Twas the Elzevir edition, Which at Rotterdam was published) To the Heugass', to the pawn-house, Where the Jew, Levi Ben Machol, With his squinting eyes rapacious, Took it in his arms paternal, Paid me then two golden ducats— Someone else may now redeem it! I became a saucy fellow, Wandered much o'er hill and valley Clinking spurs and serenading. If I ever caught one sneering, Quickly grasped my hand the rapier: 'Fight a duel! draw your weapons! Now advance!' That whistled nicely Through the air; on many smooth cheeks Wrote my sword so sharp and steady A memento everlasting. I, however, must confess here, That I did not choose the finest Company to wander round with. What I liked, was to sit drinking Up in the Elector's Castle, By our age's greatest marvel Which the German mind has wrought out, By the tun of Heidelberg. A most worthy hermit dwelt there, Who was the Elector's court fool, Was my dear old friend Perkeo; Who had out of life's wild whirlpool Peacefully withdrawn himself where He could meditate while drinking, And the cellar was his refuge. Here he lived, his care dividing 'Twixt himself and the big wine-tun; And he loved it—truer friendship Never has the world yet witnessed; 'Twas as if it were his bride. With a broom he swept it shining, Chased away the ugly spiders, And whenever came a feast-day, Hung it o'er with wreaths of ivy; Sang to it the morning greeting, Also sang the song of evening, And he carved in wood the image Of himself as his best offering. But when sipping his reward then From the big tun's mouth with kisses, Forth he launched in flights of fancy. Often at his feet I listened To his odd and comic speeches: 'There above, they call me foolish, Let them gossip, my dear fellow, Gossip never doth annoy me. Oh, the world has grown quite stupid! How they grope, and how they stumble, Over paths, to find what Truth is; Still in fog they are enveloped. To the first cause of all being We must needs go back, and bring the Last result of our researches In a concrete form together. Thus we comprehend the world well; For this purpose I am drinking Truly cosmogonically. Mundane space to me is nothing But a roomy vaulted cellar, Where as first and central wine-tun, Firmly stands the sun erected! Next to him the rank and file of Smaller casks, fixed stars and planets. As the divers casks are holding Wines of various sorts and flavours, So comprise the heavenly bodies Various spiritual natures. Land-wine this—that Ruedesheimer; But the earth-cask holds a mixture; Fermentation has half clouded And half volatilised the spirit The antagony of matter And of spirit is, by thinking, Blended into higher union. Thus soars my creative genius Far on high, while I am drinking. And when through my brain are rushing Revelations from the wine-fumes, And when then my feeble body Tottering sinks down by the wine-tun, 'Tis the triumph of the spirit, 'Tis the act of self-deliverance From the narrow bounds of being. Thus my solitude doth teach me Nature's everlasting system. With mankind it would be better, Had the great Germanic race but Understood their high vocation, And throughout the world had carried High the standard of the wine-cask, Made of drinking a devotion— As the Persians worship fire!' O Perkeo! better were it Now with me, if to thy wisdom I had never, never listened! 'Twas a sharp cold winter morning, When down in the cosy cellar We were taking a potation, Talking philosophically; But when I stepped out at midday, The whole world and everybody Looked most strangely queer and funny. Rosy hues lit up all Nature, Angel-voices I heard plainly. On the balcony of the castle Stood surrounded by her ladies, Full of grace, of all the fairest, The Electress Leonora, Up to her start my bold glances, Up to her my daring longing; Clouded was my understanding. Quickly I approached the terrace And began to sing the wild air Which the Palsgrave Frederic once sang, As a love-sick serenader, To his lovely English bride."

I kneel to thee as thy faithful true knight, Fair Princess, of women the pearl! Command, and I fight the Emperor's host, Command, and I hold the most dangerous post, To atoms the world I will hurl.

I'll fetch thee from Heaven the sun and the moon. Fair Princess, of women the crown! I'll fetch countless stars from yon azure height, Spit them like frogs on my spear sharp and bright, And low at your feet lay them down.

Command, I will even become a fool, Fair Princess, of women the prize! Indeed, I am one already I see, The light is far too dazzling for me, Which streams from thy sunny blue eyes.

* * * * * * *

"Do you hear the trumpets blowing? Do you hear the cannon roaring? There, near Prague, at Weissenberg, now For Bohemia's throne they're fighting. Palsgrave, 'twas a short sad winter! Palsgrave, thou wast sore defeated! Spur thy horse and seek a refuge!

"O thou fairest of all women, From my dream what an awaking! For there came to me the Beadle, Summoned me before the Rector. Grimly wrinkled he his forehead, Wild with rage his locks were shaking; Sternly he pronounced my sentence— His Magnificence the Rector: 'For your unpermitted blowing, For your unpermitted sing-song In the Castle's sacred precincts, You must quit the town and college In three days; by special favour Of our gracious sovereign princess, Further punishment is spared.'

"Leave the town now—was I dreaming? No, it was a fact well founded. But before I left the city, All my debts I fully settled, In such cases quite unusual; And I rode on the third morning Out of Heidelberg; the fourth day Out of the Elector's country Unoffended; though my home had Thrust me out—the bolts drawn on me— Yet I will not cease to love her. And the trumpet, cause of mischief, I hung gaily on my shoulder. And I augur it shall yet peal Joyful tunes to help me onward. I don't know now to what haven Horse and tempest may yet bear me, Still I look not backward more. Cheerful heart and courage daring Knows no sorrow, nor despairing, Fortune has good luck in store. Thus I came into the Schwarzwald.— My kind host, pray tell me frankly Whether my long tale has made you Feel a heavy sleep approaching. But if not, I'll be most grateful If you'll give me some advice."

Smiling rang the good old Pastor Glass to glass, and smiling said he: "Your tale has a lucky ending. I remember quite another, Of a young and handsome carpenter, And a Margravine's allurements. But it ended on the gallows. In this case, I am much puzzled How to give you good advice. In my code it is not written How to counsel such a person, Who with songs insults fair ladies, Leaves his law books in the pawn-house, With his trumpet loudly bloweth To himself a rosy future. But when human knowledge faileth, Heaven graciously doth help us. Way down in the forest-city, There in Saekkingen is a worthy Patron saint of all young people, Is the holy Fridolinus, And to-morrow is his feast-day. Never has he yet forsaken Him who prays for help in trouble; Therefore ask Saint Fridolinus."



Lo! a ship comes o'er the ocean, Near Franconia's coast approaching, Foreign sails and foreign pendant. At the rudder sits a pale man, Clad in black and monkish robes. Hollow, like a mournful wailing, Sounds the strange speech of the pilgrims, Sound their prayers, and cries of sailors. 'Tis the ancient Celtic language From the Emerald Isle of Erin; And the vessel bears the pious Missionary Fridolinus. "Cease thy grieving, dearest mother; Not with sword nor with the war-axe Shall thy son gain fame and honour: Other ages, other weapons— Faith and Love are my sole armour. For the love I bear my Saviour I go forth unto the heathen; Celtic blood impels me onward. And in dreams I've seen a vision— A strange land and pine-clad mountains, A clear stream with a green island, Most as fair as my own country; Thither points the Lord His finger, Thither sails now Fridolinus."

With a few choice Irish comrades, Filled with earnest, calm devotion, Fridolin sailed o'er the ocean; Came into the Frankish Empire, Where at Paris reigned King Clovis. Smiling spake he to the pilgrims: "I had never great affection For the saints and monkish orders; Since, however, the accursed Allemanic lances whistled Nearer me than I thought pleasant On the battlefield of Zulpich, I have changed my mind entirely— Even kings will pray in danger. Where you wander I'll protect you. And unto your special notice Recommend the Allemanni: They are stubborn and thick-headed, They are still most dogged heathen; Try to make them good and pious." Farther on the little band went, To the land of the Helvetians; There began their serious labour, And the holy cross was planted At the foot of snow-clad Saentis, Planted by the Bodensee. When descending from the Jura Fridolinus saw the ruins Of Augusta Rauracorum— Roman walls—there still projected From the rubbish mighty columns Of the Temple of Serapis. But the Altar and the Cella Were o'ergrown with tangled brambles; And the ox-head of Serapis Had been built in o'er the stable By an Allemanic peasant, Whose forefathers had most likely Killed the last priest of Serapis.

Seeing this then, Fridolinus Crossed himself and travelled onward, By the green banks of the river. Evening came, and far already Had the pious man now wandered. There beheld he, how the river Flowed in two divided branches; And in the green waters smiling Rose before him a small island, Sack like lying in the river. (Hence the peasants, who are never Over squeamish in comparing, Called the isle Sacconium.) Evening came; the larks were singing Fish sprang snapping from the water; Through the heart of Fridolinus Thrilled a thankful pious gladness. On his knees he sank down praying, For he recognised the island As the vision of his dreaming— And he praised the Lord in Heaven.

Oft, 'tis true, have many of us Mortals in these modern ages Also dreamt of tranquil islands, Where we happily might nestle, And the weary heart refresh with Forest calm and Sabbath quiet. Many also go with ardent Longing on the journey, but when Nearing as they hope their island, Suddenly it fades before them, As in southern climes the airy Image of the fay Morgana.

Full of wonder, a wild native Sculled the stranger to the island, On a raft made of rough pine logs. Wild the island: limes and alders In low marshes here were growing; On the shore with pebbles covered, Also stood huge ancient willows; And some scattered huts with thatched roofs. Here in summer, when the salmon Are migrating up the river, Eager fishermen stand waiting With their long sharp pikes to spear them. Unremitting to his labour Went the saint—soon stood his log-house On the solid ground erected; Near the house the cross he planted. When the bell at dusk of evening Rang out far, Ave Maria! And he prayed devoutly kneeling; From the Rhine vale, many people Timidly looked at the island.

Fierce and stubborn were these Almains. Once the Roman gods they hated; Now Franconia's God they hated, Who at Zulpich, like a tempest, Had o'erthrown their mighty host. When the lazy master idly Took his rest on winter evenings, And, with eager zest, the women Set their tongues in busy motion, And of this and that they gossiped— How the jug of milk had curdled, How the hut was struck by lightning, How a youth was badly injured By a boar's sharp tusk when hunting— Then in warning spoke the crafty Aged Allemanic grandam: "No one else have we to blame but Him who dwells on yonder island— That old pallid, praying stranger. Trust ye not, I pray, the new God Of the Franks, nor false King Clovis!" And they feared the pious stranger. Once, upon the summer solstice, They all came unto his island, Drank there—after ancient custom— Mead from their enormous tankards; And they tried to seize the stranger, But he had gone down the river. "We will leave this pallid man, then, Tokens that we've held our feast here!" Soon some lighted brands were flying In the hut of Fridolinus; And they sprang rejoicing through the Flames in singing, "Praised be Woden!" From the distance gazed with pleasure The old grandam, and her face shone Ghastly in the lurid light.

Fridolinus, when returning, Saw his hut laid waste in ashes; And he said, then smiling sadly: "Lord, I thank thee for these trials, As they but increase my courage." Then he built anew his dwelling, And soon found an entrance open To the rough hearts of his neighbours. First the children, then the women, Listened to his gentle language; And some of the stubborn fellows Looked approval, when he showed them How in Erin, his own country, They could spear the salmon better; When he sang them ancient legends— How, upon the Caledonian Cliffs, had raged a mighty battle With the Romans; and how Fingal Overthrew young Caracalla. Then they said: "A strong and mighty God has sent this man here to us; And a good God, for this stranger Bringeth blessing on our fishing." And in vain the grandam warned them: "Trust ye not, I pray, the new God Of the Franks and false King Clovis!"

Yes, he touched these hearts so rugged Taught to them the Christian doctrine; And they understood that giving Is more blessed than receiving; That it was the Son of God who On the cross for men did suffer. Hardly had a year passed over— 'Twas Palm-Sunday—when descended, From the slopes of all the mountains, A great throng, who then rowed over To the isle of Fridolinus. Peacefully there on the island, Sword, and shield, and axe they laid down; And the children gaily gathered For themselves the willow blossoms And sweet violets by the river. From his hut came Fridolinus, Fully robed in priestly vestments; By his side walked his companions Who had come from distant places: Gallas from Helvetia; also From the Bodensee Columban. And they led down to the shore then The great throng of the converted, And baptised them in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

She alone did not come with them To the isle of Fridolinus, She the old and stubborn grandam; And she said: "No new gods need I, As my life is fast declining. I'm contented with the old ones, Who to me are kind and gracious, Who once gave me my dear husband— My good, noble Siegebert. When'er Death from here should take me, I could never hope to find him; And for him my heart is yearning. In the woods I must be buried, Where the mandrake grows 'neath fir-trees Which with mistletoe are covered. I don't wish a cross on my grave, Shall not envy it to others." On that very day, however, Fridolin laid the foundations Of the cloister and the city; And his work waxed ever greater, And afar throughout the country Was the holy man revered. When again he paid a visit To King Clovis' court, in Paris, On his right the king did place him, And then solemnly donated The whole island to his cloister, And, besides, large tracts of country; Even a great saint became he. Have ye never heard the legend Of the court-day, and Count Ursus, Which the statues o'er the church door Have preserved e'en to the present? A great saint, indeed, became he, And is still the Rhineland's patron. To this day prevails the custom That the peasants have their first-born By the name of Fridli christened.

* * * *

On the sixth of March young Werner Gaily parted from the glebe-house; Gratefully he shook the hand of The good pastor, who sincerely Wished him a most pleasant journey. And the old cook was completely Reconciled unto the stranger; Bashfully she cast her eyes down To the ground, while deeply blushing, When young Werner, out of mischief, Kissed his hand to her, when leaving. Barking ran the two St. Bernards A long distance with our rider.

Bright and warm the sun was shining On the town of Fridolinus; Solemn peals afar resounded, From the organ of the minster, As young Werner through the gate rode. Quickly found he first good shelter For his horse, and then he walked on To the crowded lively market, Went up to the old Cathedral, And he stood with head uncovered By the portal, where was passing Then the festive long procession.

Through the war the precious relics Of the Saint had been well hidden In old Laufenburg's strong castle. They had often in the city Missed their presence with much sorrow. Now that peace once more was settled, They were striving with fresh ardour To do honour to their saint. At the head of the procession Came gay troops of merry children. But when they too loudly prattled, Then their old and gray-haired teacher Pulled them by the ear and scolded: "Keep quite still, my little people! Take great care, for Fridolinus May be listening to your gabbling. He, a Saint severe and holy, Will complain of you in Heaven." Twelve young men came next, who bore the Coffin, rich with gold and silver, Which enclosed the Saint's remains. Bearing it they chanted softly:

Thou who dwellest high in Heaven, Bless thy people and thy city, Stretch o'er us thy arms of mercy, Fridolinus, Fridolinus! Grant us further thy protection; From all danger mayst thou guard us, War and pestilence keep from us, Fridolinus, Fridolinus!

Then the Dean and all the Chaplains Followed after—bearing tapers Came the youthful Burgomaster, Came the town's wise Corporation And the other dignitaries: Bailiff, Revenue-receiver, Syndic, Notary, Attorney, And the old Chief Ranger also. (He came only for decorum, For with Mother Church and Saints' Days He was not upon good footing, Prayed much rather in the forest.) E'en the Messenger and Sergeant Did not then, as was their custom, Take a morning draught together, But joined gravely the procession. Then in dusky Spanish mantles, Ornamented with white crosses, Came the great Teutonic Order, All the Knights and their Commander. Down the river stood in Beuggen The Teutonic Order's Castle Whence at early dawn of morning All these knights had come on horseback.

Then came black-robed, grave and aged, Noble ladies of the Convent, And in front by the blue standard Walked the aged Lady Abbess, And her thoughts were: "Fridolinus, Though thou art so full of kindness, One thing thou canst ne'er restore me, 'Tis my youth, so fair and golden. It was charming fifty years since, When my cheeks were red like roses, And when many knights were captured In the meshes of my glances! Long have I done penance for this, And I hope it is forgiven. Deeply wrinkled is my forehead, While the cheeks and lips are faded. And the sunken mouth is toothless."

Next the train of noble ladies Came the burghers' comely housewives, At the end the elder matrons. Only one in work-day garments Kept aloof from the procession, 'Twas the hostess from the ancient Tavern of the "Golden Button;" So demanded ancient custom. There—so learn we from the legend— Stood once in those heathen ages An old tavern; Fridolinus, When he first upon the island Set his foot, had there sought shelter; But the landlord, a rude heathen, Spoke unto the holy man thus: "All you priests are good for nothing, But to vilify our old gods; And you seldom carry even One red farthing in your pocket. So begone from off my threshold!" Now the purse of Fridolinus Had indeed but little in it, And he had to take his night's rest Underneath the shady lindens In the meadow. But the angels Cared well for him, and he found out, On awaking, that his purse was Filled with golden Roman pieces. Then again the Saint did visit The inhospitable tavern, Took a meal, and paid in shining Money what the host demanded; And to shame him left moreover Seven gold coins as a present. Thus for an eternal warning To all landlords void of pity, Although ages had elapsed since, No one from the "Golden Button" Could join in the Saint's procession.

As the flowers in the mown field Gaily bloom 'mid dried up stubble, So close by the elder matrons Walked the lovely group of maidens, Clad in snow-white festive garments. Many old men, as they saw them Passing by in youthful beauty, Thought: "Upon our guard we must be, For these maidens are as dangerous As a Swedish regiment." In the front they bore a statue Of Our Lady, dress'd most richly, In a purple velvet garment, Which they had presented to her, As a grateful holy offering, When the weary war was ended. In that lovely file the fourth one Was a slender, light-haired maiden; On her curls, a wreath of violets, Over which the white veil floated, And it covered half her features, Like the hoar-frost in the Spring-time Glistening on the early rosebud. With her eyes cast down she passed by Where young Werner now was standing. He beheld her. Had the sun then Blinded suddenly his eyesight, Or the fair young maiden's beauty?

Although others still came past him, Rooted to the spot he stood there, Looking only at the fourth one, Gazed, and gazed; when the procession Turned the corner of a side street Still he gazed, as if the fourth one In the file he must discover. "He is caught!" so goes the saying In that country, when one's soul is By the wand of love enchanted; Love can never be our captive, We are wholly conquered by him. So beware, my young friend Werner! Joy and sorrow hides the saying: "He is caught!" I need not say more.



Mirth now reigned within the city. Those who early had united In the honoured Saint's procession, Now sat, equally united, Drinking the good wine before them, Or the golden foaming beer. Corks were popping, glasses ringing; Many huge and mighty goblets By the guests were emptied quickly, In St Fridolinus' honour. Simpering with delight, the landlord Counted all the empty barrels, And, with a devout expression, Chalked them all upon the blackboard. From the inn outside the gate, which By the peasants was frequented, Came gay music; for, with legs crossed, There sat, playing on his fiddle, Schwefelhans, the violinist; And in wild and boisterous dances Were the Hauenstein young peasants Twirling round their buxom partners. Groaning was the floor, and shaking 'Neath their feet and heavy stamping, From the walls the plaster falling, So uproarious was their shouting. From afar, with turned-up noses, Many dandies looked on sneering; Yet, within themselves were thinking: "Better, after all, than nothing."

The sedate and older people Sat together in the tap-room. As their ancestors delighted To get drunk in Woden's honour, So, in true historic spirit. They for Fridolin got tipsy. Many troubled faithful consorts Pulled their husbands by the coat-tail, When the second and the third piece Of hard money here was squandered; But the husband said quite coolly: "Dearest wife, control thy humour, For to-day all must be spent here!" And he left not till the watchman With the halberd came and ordered That 'twas time to close the tavern. With uncertain steps, ill-humoured, To his mountain-home he totters: And the silent night is witness Of some sudden headlong tumbles. But she covers them with darkness— Kindly—as she does the beating Which, as finish to the feasting, He bestows on his poor consort.

Lonely, far-off from the bustle, Walked young Werner toward the Rhine-strand, Without thinking where he wandered. Still before his eyes there hovered Those sweet features of the maiden Which he had beheld that morning, But now seemed a dream's fair vision. Burning was his brow; his eyes now Restlessly strayed up to heaven, Then he cast them meekly downward, As if asking where to find her; And he did not mind the north wind, Which his locks dishevelled sadly. Through his heart hot glowing thoughts ran Wildly chasing one another, Like the mist, which in the autumn Moves around the tops of mountains In most oddly-changing shapes; And it rang and surged within him, Like the first germ of a poem Growing in the mind's recesses.

Also, thus, in bygone ages, By the Arno strolled another Child of man, plunged in deep musing; And he also blew the trumpet, Which, like that of the last judgment, Rang aloud, in piercing notes, through His benighted rotten age. But when he, upon that feast-day, First beheld the wondrous maiden Who his leading star through life was, And to Paradise did lead him; He then wandered by the river, Under shady oaks and myrtles; And, for all the joyful feelings Which within his heart were ringing, He could only find the utterance: "Beatrice! Beatrice!" And thus, after many thousand And still thousand years have rolled by, Others, who with love are stricken, Dreamily will walk the same way. And whenever the last scion Of the Germans on the Rhine-shore Has been gathered to his fathers, Then will others walk and muse there, And in gentle foreign language Murmur the sweet words: "I love thee!" Do you know them? They have noses Somewhat flattened out and ugly; By the Aral and the Irtish, Now their ancestors drink whisky, But to them belongs the future.

Youthful love, thou pearl so precious, To the wounded heart a balsam, To life's tossing ship an anchor, Oasis in sandy deserts; Never would I venture singing Any new song to thy honour. I'm one of the Epigoni; And great hosts of valiant people Lived before King Agamemnon. I know also wise King Solomon, And the petty German poets. Bashful only, and most grateful, I recall thy gentle magic. As a golden light it shineth Through the mists of youth, and clearly To our view unveils life's outlines; Shows us where to plant our footsteps, And gives courage to the wanderer. Lofty hopes and timid longing, Dauntless thoughts and stubborn courage, All these do we owe to Love; And the cheerful heart that helps us, Like a mountain-staff, to spring o'er Rocks which lie upon our pathway.

Happy, therefore, is the heart which Love triumphantly has entered! But young Werner seemed unconscious Why he thus to-day was strolling Idly here along the river. Dreamily he walked close by it, Heedless of the waves which often Gave his boots a thorough wetting.

From the river's depths gazed at him Then the Rhine, who just the battle Of two aged crabs was watching, And with noisy, ringing laughter, Nodded praises, when in rage they Crossed their horny claws together. Yes, the Rhine—he is a handsome Youthful man, and not alone a Geographical conception— For young Werner he felt pity. Rustling rose he from the water, In his locks a wreath of rushes, And a reed-staff in his right hand. Werner, like all Sunday children, Saw much more than other mortals; So he quickly recognised him, And made him a low obeisance.

Smiling then to him the Rhine said: "Have no fear, my dear young dreamer, For I know where thy shoe pinches. Ye are strange and odd, ye mortals; Ye believe ye bear a secret Through the world in lonely musing, And each chafer understands it; E'en the gnats and the mosquitoes See it on your heated foreheads, See it in your tearful glances, That Love holds you in his meshes. Have no fear, I know what love is; I have heard upon my journeys Many false and many true vows Whispered in Romansh and German, Also in the Low Dutch language (In the last oft most insipid). Nightly likewise have I listened Near the shores to much flirtation And much kissing, yet kept silent. Many a poor devil also, In whose heart deep grief was gnawing, In my waves found peace and comfort. When the water-nymphs had gently Lulled him there to sleep, I bore him Off with care to shores far distant. Under willows, under rushes, Far from tongues of deadly malice, Rest is sweet to false Love's victims. Many thus have I so buried; I have also harboured many On the river's deep cool bottom In my crystal water-palace; Lodged them well so that they never Longed for man, nor for returning.

"Have no fear, I know what love is. I myself feel something tightening Round my heart, when I the Schwarzwald's Mountains greet, and jump rejoicing O'er Schaffhausen's precipices, Force my way with courage, rushing Through the straits of Laufenburg. For I know that soon my lovely Schwarzwald child, the youthful Wiese, Comes to meet me, bashful, timid; And she prattles, in the rough speech Of the Almains, of the Feldberg, Of the ghosts beheld at midnight, Of sweet mountain flowers, and huge Caps and thirsty throats at Schopfheim. Yes, I love her, I have never Gazed enough at her blue eyes yet. Yes, I love her, I have never Kissed enough her rosy cheeks yet. Oft I rush, like thee, a dreamer, Wildly past old sober Basel, Get quite tired of the tedious Old town-councillors, and ruin Now and then a wall in passing. And they think, it was in anger, What was only done in frolic. Yes, I love her. Many other Charming women much pursue me; None, however,—e'en the stately, Richly vine-clad, blue-eyed Mosel— Ever from my heart can banish Thee, the Feldberg's lovely daughter. When I through the sands of Holland Weary drag my sluggish waters, And I hear the wind-mills clapper, Tender longings oft steal o'er me For my early lovely sweetheart. Then with deep dull sound my waves roll Onward through the tedious meadows, Roll out far into the North Sea, But not one there understands me.

"Have no fear; I know what love is. Ye I know, ye German dreamers Who on my fair shores are dwelling. I, indeed, am your true likeness, Am the history of your nation; Storm and passion, bitter ending, All are pictured in my course. Most romantic is my birthplace, And weird Alpine spirits watched well By my glittering icy cradle, And conducted me to daylight. Strong and wild was I in childhood; Never can the rocks be counted, Which I roaring dashed to pieces, And hurled up like balls at tennis. Fresh and gay I then float onward, Through the Swabian sea, and carry, Unimpaired, my youthful powers Farther to the German country. And once more come up before me All the fragrant recollections Of romance; my youthful dreaming Sweetly then returns transfigured: Foam and surging, strong-walled cities, Rocks and castles, quiet cloisters, Smiling vineyards on the hillside; From the tower calls the watchman, And the pennon gaily flutters, And from yonder cliff is ringing Wondrously the Lurley's song. But, alas! the good time passes; Nought but grief is then my portion; I devote myself to drinking, Pray at Coeln in the Cathedral, And become a beast of burden. Shabby tradesmen must I serve then, On my ill-used back must carry All the Dutchman's clumsy tow-boats. In the sand, to me so hateful, Wearily my way I drag on, And I've long been dead already, Ere my grave, the sea, receives me. So beware of such stagnation!

"Yes, I can much more relate thee; I to-day am in good humour, And I love all jovial fellows, Who like thee and like myself face, Gaily with light hearts, the Future. But I'll end this long discourse now, And will give thee my best counsel. I know well that thou art love-struck, Know, thou lovest Margaretta, The old Baron's lovely daughter, Whose old castle standing yonder Is in my green waves reflected. Oft I see with joy the maiden Standing there upon the terrace, And I'll gladly take thee near her. There's the boat and there's the rudder; All the rest may well be trusted To thy own instinctive wisdom." Saying this, he shook his locks, and Dived beneath the water's surface; And the foaming surging waves then Closed the whirlpool where he vanished. And afar rang out his laughter, For, the battle of the crab had Ended now, one lay there bleeding, Of the tail bereft the other.

Werner did as he was counselled. An old tower was there standing By the shore, half in the river; And where through a secret wicket To the strand came down the fisher, Was a quiet hidden inlet, Where lay boat and rudder ready. As the boatman kept the feast-day, So without permission Werner Took possession of the boat there. In the meantime evening crept on: Here and there rang from the mountains Clear and sharp, a shouting from some Tipsy peasant going homeward. O'er those distant pine-tree forests Streamed the moonlight through the valley; Bashfully some stars already From the clear blue sky were peeping. From the shore shoved off young Werner. As a horse, when in his stable Long imprisoned, gaily prances, Neighs with joy, when he can carry Through the fields again his master: So shot boldly swiftly downward, On the water gaily bounding, The light boat, and speeding onward Passed the walls of the old city. Soon it gained the ancient Rhine bridge, Which with timber-covered arches Boldly spans from shore to shore. And courageously young Werner Steered right through below the third pier, Laughing, when, as if to vex him, Three times up and three times downward Danced his boat, seized by the whirlpool Soon he now beheld the castle With its gable-roofs and turrets, Shining through the lofty chestnuts, All illumined by the moonlight. Yonder rose up from the river By the shore a bank of gravel, Bare and barren; it was often Flooded over by the river. Out of fun the country people Called it field of Fridolinus. Thither now the frail boat drifted; There it halted on the shelving Pebbly ground. Out jumped young Werner, And he looked with eager glances Whether he could not descry her. He could only see a distant Twinkling light up in the turret; But this wholly satisfied him. Often doth a distant vision More delight bestow upon us Than the fulness of possession; Hence our Song dwells on his pleasure, As he stands there on the sand-bank At that light in rapture gazing. Spread before his dreamy eyes lay Rosy visions of the future; Neither sun nor stars shone in them, Nothing but that light's faint glimmer. From the turret, where it flickered, Love flew forth, on rapid pinions, Noiselessly to him descended, And unseen stood there beside him On the field of Fridolinus; And he handed him the trumpet Which from Werner's neck was hanging, Saying: Blow your trumpet, blow it!

And he blew until his blowing Filled with melody the night air. In the depths the Rhine was listening, Salmon, trout, and pike were listening, Water-nymphs were listening also, And the wind the ringing tones bore To the castle tenderly.



Now, my Muse, thy powers summon! For thy path leads to the Baron And the lovely Margaretta. Now be circumspect and courteous; For, an aged trooper-colonel Might with thee and others like thee Not be very ceremonious; But might throw thee down the staircase, Which is steep and very slippery, And might prove injurious to thee. Now, my Muse, mount upward to the Castle gate, behold there sculptured The three balls upon the scutcheon. As in the armorial bearings Of the Medici in Florence— Signs of ancient, noble lineage; Now ascend the steps of sandstone, Loudly knock at the great hall door, Then step in and give report of What thou there hast slyly noticed. In the spacious, lofty knights' hall, With its walls of panelled oak-wood. And with rows of old ancestral Dusty portraits decorated, There the Baron took his comfort, Seated in his easy arm-chair By the cheerful blazing fire. His mustache was gray already; On his forehead, which a Swedish Troopers sword had deeply scarred once, Many wrinkles had been furrowed Also by the hand of Time. And a most unpleasant guest had Taken quarters uninvited In the left foot of the Baron. Gout 'tis called in vulgar parlance, But if any learned person Rather podagra should call it, I shall offer no objection; Not the less will be its torments. Just this day the pangs were milder, Only now and then increasing, When the Baron, smiling, spoke thus:

"Zounds! 'tis evident that in the Long and dreadful Thirty Years' war. E'en this plaguy gout adopted Something of the art of tactics. The attack begins in order; First the skirmishers go forward, Then the flying columns follow. Oh, I wish the devil had them, This whole reconnoitring party! But not even this sufficeth. Just as if I had a fortress In my heart—like guns 'tis roaring. Then it throbs like storming parties, Piif! paif! I capitulate."

But just then there was a truce held. So the Baron took his comfort As he filled out of the stone jug His large goblet brimming over. Up by Hallau where the last spurs Of the Hohe-Randen's ridges To the Rhine are sloping downward, Where the vintner, while at labour, Hears the ceaseless mighty roaring Of the Rhine-fall by Schaffhausen: Had the sun with fervent glowing Ripened well the spicy red wine Which the Baron had selected As his usual evening beverage. And, to heighten his enjoyment, He puffed out clouds of tobacco. In his red and simple clay-pipe Burned the weed from foreign countries, Which he smoked through a long pipe-stem Made of fragrant cherry-wood.

At the Baron's feet was lying Gracefully the worthy tom-cat, Hiddigeigei, with the coal-black Velvet fur and mighty tail. 'Twas an heirloom from his long-lost, Much-beloved, and stately consort, Leonore Monfort du Plessys. Hiddigeigei's native country Was Hungaria, and his mother, Who was of the race Angora, Bore him to a Puszta tom-cat. In his early youth to Paris He was sent as a fond token Of the love of an Hungarian, Who, though far in Debreczin, still With due reverence had remembered The blue eyes of Leonora, And the rats in her old palace. With the stately Leonora To the Rhine came Hiddigeigei. A true house-pet, somewhat lonesome Did he while away his life there; For, he hated to consort with Any of the German cat-tribe. "They may have," thus he was thinking In his consequential cat-pride, "Right good hearts, and may possess too At the bottom some good feeling, But 'tis polish that is wanting; A fine culture and high breeding, I miss sorely in these vulgar Natives of this forest-city. And a cat who won his knight spurs In fair Paris, and who often In the quarter of Montfaucon Has enjoyed a racy rat-hunt, Misses in this little town here All that is to him congenial, Any intercourse with equals." Isolated, therefore, but still Ever dignified and solemn Lived he in this lonely castle. Graceful through the halls he glided, Most melodious was his purring; And in fits of passion even, When he curved his back in anger, And his hair stood bristling backward, Never did he fail to mingle Dignity with graceful bearing. But when over roof and gable Up he softly clambered, starting On a hunting expedition. Then mysteriously by moonlight His green eyes like emeralds glistened; Then, indeed, he looked imposing This majestic Hiddigeigei.

Near his cat sat the old Baron. In his eyes were often flashes, Now like lightning—then more softened Like the mellow rays of sunset, As he thought of bygone times. To old age belongs the solace Of recalling days of yore. Thus the aged ne'er are lonely. The dear shades are floating round them, Of the dead, in quaint old garments, Gorgeous once, now sadly faded. But fond memory blots decay out, And the skulls once more with beauty Are arrayed in youthful freshness. Then they talk of days long vanished, And the aged heart is beating, And the fist oft clinches tightly. As he passes by her turret, Once again she smiling greets him; Once again resound the trumpets, And the fiery charger bears him Neighing to the throng of battle.

So the Baron with good humour Of the Past review was holding— And, when oft he stretched his hand out, Suddenly grasped at his goblet, And a deep long draught then swallowed: Probably a dear and lovely Vision rose up bright before him. Oft it seemed as if his memory Clung to things which gave less pleasure; For sometimes, without a reason, Down there came on Hiddigeigei's Back a kick with cruel rudeness. And the cat thought it more prudent Then his resting-place to alter.

Now into the hall stepped lightly The old Baron's lovely daughter Margaretta,—and her father Nodded kindly as she entered. Hiddigeigei's suffering face too Showed delight as cats express it. She had changed her festal white robe For a garment of black velvet. On her long and golden tresses, A black cap sat most coquettish, 'Neath which her blue eyes were smiling With a matron-like expression; To the girdle was attached the Bunch of keys and leather-pocket, German housewife's badge of honour. And she kissed the Baron's forehead, Saying: "Dear papa, don't blame me, If to-day I kept you waiting. The old Lady Abbess yonder In the convent did detain me, Told me many things of import, Wisely of old age discoursing, And of Time, the great destroyer. The Commander too of Beuggen Said such sweet things, just as if they Came right from the comfit-maker. I was glad, when I could leave them. For your lordship's further pleasure Here I am, all due attention. I am ready, from your favourite Theuerdank to read aloud now; For, I know, you like the rougher Tales of hunting and adventure, Better than the mawkish sweetness Of our present pastoral poets.

"But, O wherefore, dearest father, Are you ever, ever smoking This bad poisonous tobacco? I am frightened when I see you Sitting there in clouds enveloped As in times of fog the Eggberg. And I'm sorry for the gilded Picture-frames hung on the walls there, And the pretty snow-white curtains. Don't you hear their low complaining, How the smoke from your red-clay pipe Makes them faded, gray and rusty? 'Tis most truly a fine country, That America which once the Spanish admiral discovered. I myself take great delight in The gay plumage of the parrots, And the pink and scarlet corals; Dream at times also of lofty Graceful palm-groves, lonely log-huts, Cocoa-nuts, gigantic flowers, And of mischievous wild monkeys. I wish almost it were lying In the sea still undiscovered; All because of this tobacco Which has been imported hither. I can grant a man forgiveness, Who more often than is needed Draws his red wine from the barrel, And could get, if necessary, Reconciled unto his red nose; Never to this horrid smoking."

Smiling had the Baron listened, Smiling he puffed many smoke-clouds From his clay-pipe, and then answered: "Dearest child, you women always Thoughtlessly do talk of many Things beyond your comprehension. It is true that soldiers often Take up many evil habits, Not adapted to the boudoir. But my daughter finds with smoking Too much fault; for through this habit I have won my wife and household. And because to-day so many Old campaign tales through my head run, Do not read to-night. Sit down here; I will now relate thee something Of this much-abused tobacco, And of thy blest angel mother."

Sceptically, Margaretta With her large blue eyes looked at him, Took her work up to embroider, Coloured worsted and her needle, Moved her stool then near the Baron's Arm-chair, and sat down beside him. Charming picture! In the forest, Round the knotty oak thus climbeth The wild rose in youthful beauty. Then the Baron at one swallow Drank his wine, and thus related:

"When the wicked war was raging, I once roved with some few German Troopers yonder in fair Alsace; Hans von Weerth was our good colonel. Swedes and French laid siege to Breisach, And their camp was all alive with Stories of our daring ventures. But who e'er can stand 'gainst numbers? So one day the hounds attacked us, Just as if wild beasts they hunted; And at last, when bleeding freely From the wounds their fangs inflicted, We were forced to lay our arms down. Afterwards the French transported Us as prisoners to Paris, Caged us in Vincennes' strong fortress. 'Damn them!' said our valiant colonel, Hans von Weerth, 'it was much nicer, Galloping, with shining sabres Hostile lines to charge with fury, Than on this hard bench to sit here, And to battle with ennui thus. For this foe there is no weapon, Neither wine nor even dice-box, Nothing but tobacco. I once Tried it in the country of the Dull Mynheers, and here it also Will do service; let us smoke then!' The commander of the fortress Got a keg of best Varinas For us from a Dutch retailer, Got us also well-burnt clay-pipes. In the prisoners' room commenced now Such a smoking, such a puffing Of dense clouds of strong tobacco As no mortal eyes had seen yet In the gallant Frenchmen's country. Full of wonder gazed our jailors, And the news spread to the king's ears, And the king himself in person Came to see this latest marvel. Soon all Paris rang with stories Of the wild and boorish Germans, And of their, as yet unheard of, Truly wondrous feats in smoking. Coaches drove up, pages sprang down, All came to the narrow guard-room, Cavaliers and stately ladies; She came also, she the noble Leonore Montfort du Plessys. Even now I see her slight foot Stepping on our rough bare stone-floor, Hear her satin train still rustling, And my soldier's heart is beating As if in the thick of battle. Like the smoke from the big cannons Came the smoke out of my clay-pipe; And 'twas well so. On the same cloud Which I puffed there in the presence Of the proud one, sat god Cupid, Gaily shooting off his arrows, And he knew well how to hit right. Out of wonder grew deep interest, Then the interest fast to love changed, And the German bear appeared soon Finer far and nobler than the Paris lions altogether.

"When, at last, the gates were opened Of our dungeon, and the herald Brought us tidings of our freedom, I was then still more a captive Bound in Leonora's fetters; And remained thus, and the wedding Which soon took us home to Rhine-land Only made the rivets stronger. When I think of this, I feel that Tears on my mustache are rolling. For what now to me remaineth Of the past so fair, but memory, And the black cat, Hiddigeigei, And my Leonora's image. Thou my child. God give her soul rest!"

Speaking thus, he knocked the ashes From his pipe, and patted gently Hiddigeigei; but his daughter Roguishly knelt down before him. Saying: "Dearest father, grant me Your entire absolution. Never shall you hear in future From my lips an observation On account of this vile smoking."

Graciously the Baron said then: "Thou hast also been sarcastic At my drinking oft too freely; And I have a mind to tell thee Still a most instructive story, How in Rheinau in the cloister, As the guest of the Lord Abbot I went through a bout of drinking In the famous wine of Hallau. But"—the Baron stopped and listened. "Zounds!" he said, "what's that I hear there? Whence doth come that trumpet-blowing?" Werner's music through the March night, Plaintive soared up to the castle, Begging entrance like a pet-dove, Which, returning to its mistress, Finds the window closed and fastened, And begins to peck and hammer. To the terrace went the Baron And his daughter; Hiddigeigei Followed both with step majestic. Through the cat's heart then swept omens Of a great, eventful future. All around they looked—but vainly. For the turret's gloomy shadow Covered both the bank and Werner. Like the blowing of the moot, then Like the clanging charge of horsemen, Up it mounted to the terrace, Then died out;—a small boat dimly They saw moving up the river.

Backward stepped the Baron quickly, Pulled the bell and called his servant Anton, who came in directly. "Gain immediate information Who was blowing here the trumpet On the Rhine at this late hour. If a spirit, sign the cross thrice; If a mortal, greet him kindly, And command his presence hither, For with him I must hold converse." Soldier-like, saluting, turned then Right about face good old Anton: "I'll fulfil your lordship's orders."

Meanwhile, silently descended Midnight over vale and city; And in Margaretta's slumbers Came a dream most sweet and wondrous: As she walked to the old minster Once again in festal garments, Fridolinus came to meet her; By his side there walked another, But 'twas not the dead man who once Followed him to Glarus court-house; 'Twas a youth, fair, tall, and slender; Like a trumpeter he looked, and Greeted her with lowly reverence; While Saint Fridolin was smiling.



Master Anton started early The next morning for the city, To find out that trumpet blower. By St. Fridolin's cathedral He turned off into a side-street. From the other side there came with Rapid steps the boatman Martin, And they met just at the corner, Bumping up against each other. "'Pon my soul," cried out the worthy Anton, as he rubbed his forehead; "Your thick skull is hard as iron." "Yours is not upholstered either With soft wool or springy sea-weed," Was the boatman's ready answer. "And what business have you running Through the city's streets thus early?" "I can ask the same," said Anton. "I seek someone who last evening From the shore my boat unfastened," Answered him the boatman Martin. "He may be my man," said Anton. "When I came down to the river, There I found my boat turned over On the shore—the rudder broken, And the fastening cut asunder. If a thunderstorm would only Sweep away these wicked people, Who like thieves at night are roving On the Rhine in borrowed vessels." "And the trumpet blow," said Anton.— "But whenever I shall find him, To the justice I shall take him. He must pay me; even for the Black and blue mark which you gave me, I shall bring a heavy reckoning. It is shameful how this fellow Gives me such vexation!" Thus the Boatman scolding went on farther.

"And I do not see myself, why I should take such extra trouble To hunt up this mischief-maker," Said old Anton to himself then. "Seems to me it is already Just the time when honest people For their morning draught are longing."

To the "Golden Button's" shady Tap-room turned the worthy Anton Now his steps, and through a side-door In he stepped: he deemed it wiser Thus to hide before the public Such an early morning visit. Many worthy folks already Had there quietly assembled O'er their brimming foaming bumpers. Like red roses shone their faces, And like radishes their noses. "Want a big glass?" asked the waitress Our old Anton, who assented: "To be sure! hot is the weather, And when I woke up, already In my throat I felt a dryness." So good Anton soon was drinking From his large Bohemian bumper, Turning over in his mind well, How he should despatch his business.

In the private room was sitting, Just then Werner with the landlord, Who had served for his guest's breakfast A fine slice of red smoked salmon, And commenced with the young stranger An instructive conversation: On the vintage in the Rhine-Pfalz, How the price of hops was standing, How they fared in time of war there. Now and then, to sound the stranger, He threw slyly out some questions, Whence he came and what his business. Still he gained no satisfaction; But quite shrewdly thus he reasoned:

"He's no bookworm, for he seemeth Much too martial—nor a soldier Either, as he looks too modest; He may be a necromancer, An adept in all dark witchcraft, Alchemy, and other black arts. Wait, I'll catch thee;" and he turned their Talk to hidden buried treasures, And to midnight exorcisms. "Yes, my friend, here near the city Lies a sandbank in the river. At the time of Fridolinus Heaps of gold coin there were buried. One who knows, a clever fellow, Could there dig and make his fortune."

"I already saw the sandbank," Said young Werner, "when I rowed there On the Rhine last night by moonlight."

"What, you know it then already?" Said the landlord much astonished. "Have I caught thee?" he thought, keenly Looking at young Werner's pockets, If he could not hear a jingling Of great lots of golden money.

"Have I caught thee?" also gladly To himself said worthy Anton. "It is, after all, the right thing Thus to take an early potion." From the spot where he was seated He had heard their conversation; And besides upon the table. By the stranger's sword and cocked hat, Also lay the sought-for trumpet. Drawing near, then, he said gravely:

"With your leave, if you're no spirit— And that seems to me unlikely. As you've just enjoyed your breakfast— Then the Baron sends you greeting, And invites you to his castle. I will take you there with pleasure." Thus he spoke. Young Werner listened, Half astonished, and went with him.

Smirking, thought the cunning landlord: "You will get it, my young master; You believed you had full freedom Thus to rove about the river, Spying out long-buried treasures. But the Baron found you out soon, And will stop your bold proceedings. Now you'll get it, when he treats you, From his amply-furnished stores, to Some of his well-seasoned curses. Like a top your head will spin then, And your ears buzz like a beehive. But this will concern you solely. If he keep you in a dungeon Of your horse I'll take possession; It will well score off your reckoning."

Once more in the hall together Were the Baron and his daughter, And again he smoked his pipe there, When the ponderous folding-doors were Opened, and, with modest reverence, Werner entered. "If you only," Said the faithful Anton, "only Knew, your gracious lordship, what a Heavy task it was to find him!" Keenly did the Baron's eyes rest On young Werner, passing muster; By her father, lightly leaning On his arm-chair, Margaretta Bashfully looked at the stranger, And with both the first impression Of each other was most happy. "It is you, then," said the Baron, "Who last night have startled us here With your trumpet-blowing, therefore I should like to speak to you now." "This commences well," thought Werner, And, embarrassed, cast his eyes down To the ground. But the old Baron, Kindly smiling, thus continued: "You believe, perhaps, I shall now Call you to account for having Made loud music near the castle? You are wrong, 'tis not my business; For no license is here needed On the Rhine; if anybody Wants to catch a cold by playing Late at night there, he may do so. No, I only wish to ask you, Whether you would like here often As last night to blow the trumpet? But I fear I am mistaken. You are not by trade a player, May be one of those damned scribblers, Secretary to a foreign Embassy, as many are now Coaching all about the country, Just to spoil all that the soldier's Ready sword had once accomplished?" "Not bad either," thought young Werner; Still he liked the Baron's manner. "I am no professional player," Said he, "and still less a scribbler. As for my part, all the inkstands In the Holy Roman Empire Might dry up without my caring. I am not in any service, But as my own lord and master I am travelling for my pleasure, And await whatever fortune On my pathway may be blooming."

"Very good, then," said the Baron. "If it stands thus, you may well hear Everything I have to tell you; But before we go on farther, With old wine it must be seasoned." Cleverly his thoughts divining, Margaretta, from the cellar, Now brought up two dusty bottles Which, with spider-webs all covered, In the sand had lain half-buried; Brought with them two fine-cut goblets, Which she filled and then presented. "This wine ripened long before the War raged in our German country," Said the Baron. "'Tis a famous Choice old wine which grew at Grenzach. Brightly in the glass it sparkles, Like pure gold its colour shineth, And a fragrance rises from it Like the finest greenhouse flowers. Master Trumpeter, ring glasses!"

Loudly then rang both their goblets. Emptying his, the Baron spun out Farther still the conversation. "My young friend, you know, as long as This world lasts, there will be people Who are fond of hobby-horses. Some are mystics and ascetics, Others love old wine or brandy. Some, antiquities are seeking, Others are for chafers craving; Many others make bad verses. 'Tis a curious joke that each one Much prefers to choose a calling Most unsuited to his nature. I thus also ride my hobby, And this hobby is the noble Muse of music who regales me. As King Saul's deep sorrow vanished At the sound of David's harp once, So with cheering sounds of music Do I banish age's inroads And the gout, my old disturber. When sometimes in tempo presto I an orchestra am leading, Oft I think I'm once more riding At the head of my brave squadrons. Right wing, charge the enemy! charge! At them now you piercing violins! Fire away you kettle-drums now! In the town here there are many Skilful players—though among them Is a want of sense artistic, And of connoisseurship, only Their good will doth hide their failings. Violin, flute, also viol, All these parts are well supported And the contrabass is perfect. But one player still is wanting; And, my friend, what is a general Without orderlies, without a Fugleman the line of battle, And a band without the trumpet?

"Once 'twas different These old walls can Hear him still, the valiant Rassmann, The chief trumpeter of my squadrons. Ha! that was a noble blowing! Rassmann, wherefore didst thou die?

"Still as clear as on his last day, Do I see him at the shooting Festival at Laufenburg. His mustache was fiercely twisted, Bright and glistening was his trumpet, And his riding-boots were shining Like a mirror; I was chuckling. ''Tis a point of honour,' said he. 'I must all these Swiss astonish With myself and with my trumpet.'

"Clear and cheerful rang out yonder Bugle-horns and trumpets; but as O'er the choir of forest singers Sounds the nightingale's sweet warbling, So above all rang out loudly Rassmann's wondrous trumpet-blowing. When we met, his cheeks were scarlet, And fatigued appeared his breathing. ''Tis a point of honour,' said he; And blew on still. Then were silenced All the trumpeters from Frickthal, Those from Solothurn and Aarau, By the trumpeter great Rassmann. Once again we met, 'twas evening. In the 'Golden Swan' he sat then; Like a giant 'mid the pigmies Looked he in this crowd of players. Many were the goblets emptied By the trumpeters from Frickthal, And from Solothurn and Aarau, But the most capacious goblet Was drank out by my brave Rassmann. And with fiery Castelberger, Which grows on the Aar by Schinznach, He at last filled up his trumpet. ''Tis a point of honour,' said he; Drank it out at one long swallow. 'To your health my worthy colleagues! Thus drinks trumpet-blower Rassmann.' Midnight had already passed by, Under tables lay some snoring, But with steady step and upright Started Rassmann from the tavern. On the Rhine with mocking humour He poured forth a roguish tune yet, Then a misstep! Poor, poor Rassmann! Straight he fell into the river, And the Rhine's tremendous whirlpool Thundered foaming and engulfed him, Him the bravest trumpet-blower. Ha! that was a noble blowing! Rassmann, wherefore didst thou die?"

Deeply moved the Baron told this; Then continued after pausing: "My young friend, and think, last evening On the Rhine a trumpet rang out Like a greeting from his spirit, And a tune I heard performed there, Such a wilderness of sounds, and Played in Rassmann's finest manner. If we only had that trumpet, Then the gap would be filled up well. And once more I'd lead a full band, As it were to frays of music. Therefore hear now my proposal: Stay with us here in my castle. Paralysed is now the music In the forest-city, blow then New life into her old bones."

Thoughtfully spoke then young Werner: "Noble lord, you do me honour, But I nourish a misgiving. Slim and straight have I thus grown up, Have not learnt the art of bending My proud back in any service."

Said the Baron: "Take no trouble On that head; because the service Of the arts enslaves nobody. Only want of understanding Makes one lose one's independence. Be assured, nought is required Of you but some merry music. Only, if in idle moments You would write for me a letter, Or with my accounts would help me, I should thank you; for an ancient Soldier finds the pen a burden."

Still young Werner hesitated; But a glance at Margaretta, And the clouds of doubt all vanished. "Noble lord," he said, "I'll stay then, On the Rhine shall be my home now!" "Bravo!" said the Baron kindly. "From the prompting of the moment Have the best results proceeded; Evil springs from hesitation. Master Trumpeter ring glasses! With the golden wine of Grenzach, With a hearty grasp of hands thus Let us seal our new-made contract." Turning then to Margaretta: "I present to you, my daughter, This new member of our household." Then young Werner's silent greeting Was returned by Margaretta.

"Follow me now through the castle, My young friend, that I may show you Where you will abide in future. In the tower there I have the Very room for a musician, O'er the Rhine and mountains looking; And the radiant morning sun will Wake you early from your slumber. There you cosily can nestle. And the trumpet will sound well there."

From the hall they both proceeded. From the hall the Baron's daughter Also went, and in the garden Gathered cowslips and sweet violets, Also other fragrant flowers, Speaking to herself: "How lonely Must the young man feel here, coming Thus to dwell with utter strangers! And, besides, the tower-room looks With its whitewashed walls so naked, That I think my pretty nosegay Will do much for its adornment."



Azure heavens, glowing sunlight, Bees' low humming, larks' gay carols, Clear as glass the Rhine's green waters. On the mountains snow is melting, In the valleys blossom fruit trees, May begins his reign at last.

In the path before the hall door Hiddigeigei took his comfort, Caring only that the sun's rays On his fur should fall and warm him. Through the garden walked the Baron With his daughter, and with pleasure He beheld the trees in blossom. "If my life should be preserved still For a hundred years or longer, I should always be delighted With this wonder-breathing May-time. True, indeed, I set no value On the May-dew, though the women Like to wet with it their faces. I have never seen a soul yet Who by it improved her beauty; Have no faith in arts of witchcraft In the night of St. Walpurgis, Nor in broomstick-riding squadrons. Notwithstanding there belongs a Magic to the month of May. My old weary bones have suffered Many painful gouty twinges From the chilly winds of April. Now these pains are quite forgotten, And I feel as if the old strength Of my youth were through me streaming, And as if I were once more a Beardless trim and gay young ensign, In those days when at Noerdlingen I fought fiercely, in close combat With those brave blue Swedish horseman. So I think, it would be pleasant To agree, this is a feast-day, Though no Saint has ever claimed it. Let us saunter through the forest. I will breathe the balmy pine air, And the young folks may try whether Fortune favours them at fishing. Yes, to-day I yearn for pleasure. Anton, get the horses ready."

So 'twas done as he had ordered. In the court, filled with impatience, Pawed and neighed the fiery horses. Full of joyful expectation For the sport were the young people. Bent on fishing they had carried The great net up from the river. Worthy Anton had invited Many friends of the old Baron, Also had communicated With the ladies of the convent; And, besides, some uninvited Guests had also here assembled. When the landlord of the "Button" Heard the news, he to his wife said: "To thy care I trust entirely All the business of the tavern; In thy hands I lay the keys now Of the cellar and the larder, I must join the fishing-party." Speaking thus he stole off quickly; Ne'er he missed a hunt or fishing.

Strong and hearty looked the Baron, On his charger firmly seated Like a bronze equestrian statue. By his side on her white palfrey Rode the lovely Margaretta. Gracefully to her slim figure Clung in folds her riding-habit; Gracefully the blue veil floated From her riding-hat of velvet. With a steady hand she boldly Reined her palfrey, who was bearing With delight so fair a burden. Watchfully good Anton followed His fair mistress; also Werner After them was gaily trotting, Though at a respectful distance. For, behind, in solemn grandeur, Came the big old-fashioned carriage Of the Lady Princess Abbess, With three ladies of the convent, Likewise old and venerable. They by Werner were escorted. He made many courtly speeches To these old and noble ladies, And broke many flowering branches From the trees, and most politely Handed them into the carriage; So that, struck with his fine manners, They unto each other whispered: "What a pity he's not noble!"

1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse