Page images

I 2.

days passed by without anything befalling him, and there likewise passed six months and six years. But on the seventh anniversary of the vision, Henry was crowned Emperor at Rome, Febr. 14, 1014." (Giesebrecht, 1. c. II. 118, cf. 614.)

3. Wo=wann. The adverbs of place are often used of time. — Brüder=Ordensbrüder, i.e. monks.—feiern, 'to cease' from work, or here, from praying. Feiern is derived from the mediæval Latin, feriare=ferias agere. Comp. n. on 5, 18.

8. Sanct Heimeran=St Emmeran, vide supni. The ancient monastery of St Emmeran was founded as early as 652, but the present edifice is a collection of buildings of various later epochs. It belongs now to the princely house of Thurn and Taxis, and forms their general residence.

umnachtet=umgeben von Nacht. 13. gar=vollends.

17. es schienrein Schein fiel über ihn. Observe the impersonal construction of the verb. 19. that er bliden: comp. 13, 26.

ein heil'ges Angesicht instead of das Angesicht eines Heiligen.

ein lichter Bischof, the figure of a bishop all illumined with rays of light.

26. The expression is very peculiar, though it may be readily understood. The whole figure of the bishop seemed to consist of light and radiance, hence also his fingers shine like tapers upon the writing.

28. It is common German to say, mit den Augen or mit dem Blide auf etwas treffen.

30. We say commonly, Ginem etwas auf's Wort glauben. The present phrase may be considered as an imitation of this.

32. schwand = verschwand.

36. Lebenshell should rather be joined with Morgenroth than with Wangen, though even this is not altogether impossible.

37. gekommen, sc. ist.
40. Lebensfrist, lease of life.

Mond may be taken both as moon and month. Comp. n. on




16, 29.

43. We should join stets würdiger, always increasing in worthiness. 47. sonder is more poetical than ohne.

50. Leuchtend is evidently used in allusion to v. 26. Henry himself had increased in sanctity, and was at the same time radiant with earthly splendour.

[ocr errors]

52: The omission of the definite article before Röm'sche Königsfrone is very unusual and tends to impart to this passage a certain flavour of archaic dignity.

54. Observe the preposition von instead of the genitive. We may also say, Herr über alles deutsche Land.

fort instead of damals. See n. on v. 3. 59. treulich is an adverb, from treu. Adverbs are often formed with the suffix lich. Comp. n. on 4, 92.



Weinsberg, a small town in the modern kingdom of Würtemberg, rot far from Heilbronn, is famous for the event celebrated in the present ballad. The ruins of the ancient stronghold of the Weibertreu may still be seen on a rock overhanging the town, and in one of the churches of the place there is a small picture (painted 1659) of the women carrying their husbands and brothers away on their backs. In the wars between Conrad III. (11384-1152), the first king of the celebrated Hohenstaufen dynasty, and Heinrich the Proud, Weinsberg was besieged by Conrad's troops, and it was then that the event celebrated in this ballad is said to have taken place. The adherents of the Hohenstaufen party were called Waiblinger, which the Italians turned into Ghibellini; their adversaries were styled Welfen, in Italian Guelfi. (Waiblingen was one of the seats of the Hohenstaufen family.) Conrad is very properly styled ‘king' in the present poem, as he never went to Rome to be crowned. The titles Emperor and King are, however, very often confounded.

3. Nest=the home of a family or community, especially when situated on a height (comp. Num. xxiv. 21, and Horace Od. 111. 4, 14). It is now often applied contemptuously to a small town.

4. festhalten=behaupten.
5. The German proverb is der Hunger ist ein scharfer Dorn.
7. Degen, 'brave man’; see n. on 5, 37.

8. This is a shortened conditional clause=und wenn ihr auch die Jhore öffnet.

9. kommen is an old form of the past participle repeatedly used by Luther in his translation of the Bible, instead of gekommen.

vom Blute rein, in as far as they have not shared in the fighting.

den Armen, the poor women. The expression denotes com. miseration.-Der Held is. Conrad.




13. Etwas frei haben, to be free to take something. Comp. the phrase employed in the German railway service: ein Reisender hat fünfzig Pfund Gepäd frei, a passenger is allowed fifty pounds of luggage (carriage-free).

17. Der Morgen graut is a common expression, even in prose, of the first dawning of day.

18. vom Lager (her): the spectators look from the camp towards the town.

19. das bedrängte Thor=bas Thor der bedrängten (belagerten) Stadt.leise, Teise means “very softly'; comp. also 6, 5. Repeating the adjective is a frequent mode of intensifying the idea of it, comp. also the familiar bon-bon.

Der Eheherr (cothmonly used in the trisyllabic form) is a more formal and respectful appellation than Ehemann or the simple Mann.

23. arg=arglistig, cunning. --Wicht, 'wight,' a fellow of the train.

24. bedeutsam, with a tone full of meaning. In this sense Goethe uses the participle bedeutend (Hermann and Dorothea, 4, 111).

25. der fromme Here is Conrad. He is styled fromm here because he keeps his promise even under the construction laid upon it by these cunning women.

27. In English we may say, 'what has been said, cannot be un. said.'

28. Zerbeuteln is a very unusual word. The suffix -eln expressing pettiness, deuteln means to attempt to change the sense of a word by petty and paltry shifts; the prefix zer- denotes division and dissipation. The meaning of the whole expression would therefore be, 'to get rid of a royal pledge by means of a petty interpretation.'

29. Gold der Krone should be understood of the splendour of the regal dignity and faith.

30. herüber, to us; hinüber, to others.


Frederick I., or Barbarossa (i.e. “Red-beard'), the most glorious Emperor of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, reigned from 1152—1190. At the close of his reign, he took the Cross and went on a crusade into the Holy Land, the kings of France (Philip Augustus) and of England (Richard Cour de Lion) being engaged in the same enterprise. Frederick perished while bathing in the river Calycadnus in Syria.

The present ballad narrates, in a quaint and popular style, an episode of this Crusade. It is based upon a passage in the Byzantine historian, Nicetas Acominatos of Chonae, who relates it in his second book, in the Life of the Emperor Isaac Angelus, previous to the battle of Iconium (May 18, 1190). Before Uhland, this tale had been further embellished by J. P. Abelin and the famous preacher Abraham a Santa Clara, who was the first to state that the valiant German knight was a Swabian. (See Götzinger, Deutsche Dichter, I. p. 519.) There is a dash of local patriotism in it, the poet Uhland being himself a Swabian. It should be observed that Schwabenstreich commonly means a mad and reckless prank. The Swabians are likewise said not to grow rational before the fortieth year of their age.

1. lobesam is a somewhat antiquated and quaint word, of pretty much the same meaning as vortrefflich, ehrenwerth. Comp. einsam, bereds sam, etc.

2. For the construction er kam gezogen, see n. on 5, 191.

3. Das fromme Heer, the army of the Crusaders. They are called ‘pious' on account of the religious nature of their expedition.

50 The imperf. erhub is less usual in modern German than erhob. Both forms are derived from the old imperfect erhuob.

8. The Germans have always had a certain reputation for hard drinking. In that sterile and dry district many a German knight had to forego his favourite pastime owing to the scarcity of drink.—Sic (dat.) etwas abthun means the same as sich etwas abgewöhnen.

vie Mähre originally means the horse' in general, but in modern German it is often used in the contemptuous sense of a jaded horse.

15 sq. Er würde es nie aufgegeben haben, auch wenn es ihn das eigene Leben gekostet hätte.-nimmer is a stronger negation than nie. The word, is, moreover, very frequently used in the Swabian dialect in the place of the simple negation. 19. in die Quer(e), across the road.

Both funfzig and fünfzig are in use. 23. Er forcht sich nit is purposely put in the Swabian dialect, instead of the correct er fürchtete sich nicht.


24. Schritt vor Schritt, ‘step by step.' We may also employ the preposition für in this phrase.

25. spiden is properly used of the 'larding' of joints.
26. See n. on 5, 60.
27. Die Zeit wird mir zu lang, I find the time too long for me.


28. Perhaps the compound Krummsäbel (omitted in Grimm's Dica tionary) is more commonly used of the Turkish scimitar.

29. See our note on Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, 4, 153.
34. mit Macht, with all his might' or “amain.'
37. The usual phrase is in Stücke hauen.
41. For the noun der Graus, see n. on 4, 57.

42. in alle Welt hinaus is a proverbial phrase, like 'everywhere and anywhere.

43. Es ist mir, als wenn (06)... I feel, as if...

45. In the phrase tes Weges fommen (zichen, wandern, reiten, &c.) we should observe the idiomatic use of the genitive. Compare Homer, Iliad, B. 8οι έρχονται πεδίοιο, Τ. 285 επειγόμενός περ οδοίο, &c.

47. mit gutem Betacht==the adv. bedächtig, ‘at their good leisure.'

48. In prose we should say was für Arbeit. In the phrase employed by Uhland, Arbeit should be understood as a genitive=quid laboris.

52. It should be observed that der Streich means (1) the stroke, the blow, (2) the trick, the feat.

53. The Swabians are witty, and never at a loss for an answer and retort, in spite of their proverbial slowness.

54. im Schwange sein or gehen, 'to be in fashion,' a very idiomatic phrase. Comp. e.g. Luther's translation of Psalm lxxxv. 14, daß Gerechtigkeit dennoch vor ihm bleibe und im Schwange gehe. 2 Maccab. iii. I, als man nun wieder in gutem Friede zu Jerusalem wohnete und das Geset fein im Schwange ging.

56. halt is a kind of asseverative interjection much used in the Swabian dialect. It may, perhaps, be rendered by the Irish faith.


Under the Emperor Frederick I. the German Empire attained its greatest splendour and power, and that heroic Emperor succeeded in making himself feared and respected both at home and abroad. It is for this reason that the German people have long cherished his memory, and conceived an idea that the Emperor was not dead, but merely sleeping and biding his time in the Kyffhäuser, in Thuringia. Jacob Grimm, in his German Mythology, p. 906 sq., gives the following account of this legend, which may serve as a kind of commentary upon Rückert's ballad:

Auf dem Kyffhäuser in Thüringen schläft Frietrich Reisbart: er fißt am runden Steintisch, den Kopf in der Hand haltend nidend, mit den "Augen

« PreviousContinue »