The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems eBook

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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Project Gutenberg
The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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