The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 600 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07.

  THE STIRRUP-CUP[49] (1840)

  The anxious night is gone at last,
  Silent and mute we gallop past
    And ride to our destiny. 
  How keen the morning breezes blow! 
  Hostess, one glass more ere we go,
    We go to die!

  Thou soft young grass, why now so green? 
  Soon like the rose shall be thy sheen,
    My blood thee red shall dye. 
  The first quick sip with sword in hand
  I drink, a toast to our native land,
    For our native land to die.

  Now for the next, the time is short,
  The next to Freedom, the queen we court,—­
    The fiery cup drain dry! 
  These dregs—­to whom shall we dedicate? 
  To thee, Imperial German State,
    For the German State to die!

  My sweetheart!—­But there’s no more wine—­
  The bullets whistle, the lance heads shine—­
    To her the glass where the fragments lie! 
  Up!  Like a whirlwind into the fray! 
  O horseman’s joy, at the break of day,
    At the break of day to die!

[Illustration:  GEORG HERWEGH]

* * * * *


  THE WATCHMAN’S SONG[50] (1840)

  Wake—­awake!  The cry rings out;
  From the high watch-tower comes the shout. 
  Awake, imperial German land—­
  Ye by distant Danube dwelling,
  And where the infant Rhine is swelling,
  And where the bleak dunes pile their sand! 
    For hearth and home keep watch,
    Sword from its scabbard snatch;
      Every hour
    For bitter fight
    Prepare aright—­
  The day of combat is in sight!

  Hear in the East the ominous cry
  That tells a greedy foe draws nigh—­
  The vulture, thirsting for the strife. 
  Hear in the west the serpent’s hiss
  Whose siren-fangs are set for this,
  To poison all your virtuous life. 
    Near is the vulture’s swoop;
    The serpent coils to stoop
      For the stroke;
    Then watch and pray
    Until the day—­
  Your swords be sharpened for the fray!

  Pure in life, in faith as strong,
  Let no man do your courage wrong;
  Be one, what time the trump shall sound.

  Cleanse your souls by fervent prayer,
  That so the Lord may find them fair
  When He shall make His questioning round,
    The Cross be still your pride,
    Your banner and your guide
      In the battle! 
    Who in the field
    Their fealty yield
  To God, victorious weapons wield.

  Look Thou down from heaven above,
  Thou Whom the angels praise and love—­
  Be gracious to our German land! 
  Speak from the clouds with thunder-voice;
  Princes and people of Thy choice,
  Unite them with a mighty hand. 
    Be Thou our fortress-tower,
    Bring us through danger’s hour. 
    Thine is today
    And shall alway
  Kingdom, and power, and glory stay!

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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