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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

How named the minstrel’s Father-land? 
  O’er slaughtered son—­’neath tyrants’ yokes,
  She weepeth now—­and foreign strokes;
  They called her once the Land of Oaks—­
  Land of the Free—­the German Land: 
Thus was called my Father-land. 
Why weeps the minstrel’s Father-land? 
  Because while tyrant’s tempest hailed
  The people’s chosen princes quailed,
  And all their sacred pledges failed;
  Because she could no ear command,
Alas must weep my Father-land.

Whom calls the minstrel’s Father-land? 
  She calls on heaven with wild alarm—­
  With desperation’s thunder-storm—­
  On Liberty to bare her arm,
  On Retribution’s vengeful hand: 
On these she calls—­my Father-land.

What would the minstrel’s Father-land? 
  She would strike the base slaves to the ground
  Chase from her soil the tyrant hound,
  And free her sons in shackles bound,
  Or lay them free beneath her sand: 
That would my Father-land.

And hopes the minstrel’s Father-land? 
  She hopes for holy Freedom’s sake,
  Hopes that her true sons will awake,
  Hopes that just God will vengeance take,
  And ne’er mistakes the Avenger’s hand: 
Thereon relies my Father-land.

MY HEART’S ON THE RHINE

[From the German of Wolfgang Muller.]

My heart’s on the Rhine—­in the old Father-land;
Where my cradle was rocked by a dear mother’s hand,
My youth and my friends—­they are there yet, I know,
And my love dreams of me with her cheeks all aglow;
O there where I reveled in song and in wine! 
Wherever I wander my heart’s on the Rhine.

I hail thee, thou broad-breasted, golden-green stream;
Ye cities and churches and castles that gleam;
Ye grain-fields of gold in the valley so blue;
Ye vineyards that glow in the sun-shimmered dew;
Ye forests and caverns and cliffs that were mine! 
Wherever I wander my heart’s on the Rhine.

I hail thee, O life of the soul-stirring song,
Of waltz and of wine, with a yearning so strong,
Hail, ye stout race of heroes, so brave and so true. 
Ye blue-eyed, gay maidens, a greeting to you! 
Your life and your aims and your efforts be mine;
Wherever I wander my heart’s on the Rhine.

My heart’s on the Rhine—­in the old Father-land,
Where my cradle was rocked by a dear mother’s hand;
My youth and my friends—­they are there yet, I know,
And my love dreams of me with her cheeks all aglow: 
Be thou ever the same to me, Land of the Vine! 
Wherever I wander my heart’s on the Rhine.

THE MINSTREL

[From the German of Goethe]

[Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Book 2, Chap. 2.]

“What hear I at the gateway ringing? 
What bard upon the drawbridge singing? 
Go bid him to repeat his song
Here, in the hall amid the throng,”
The monarch cried;
The little page hied;
As back he sped,
The monarch said—­
“Bring in the gray-haired minstrel.”

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