Page images

4. In prose: den besten Mann, der ihrem Volke je durch den Tov entrissen

worden war.

5. The more usual construction is fern von der Heimat.

6. Jugendlocken=jugendliche Locken.-In prose we should employ the plural Schultern.

7. Observe that the poet has changed the original account, according to which captives were employed to do the work.―um die Wette= wetteifernd, 'vying with one another.'

9. wogenleer, free from water (after the river had been turned into another channel).—Höhlung denotes the deep bed of the river.

II. seine stolze Habe, the proud trophies buried with Alaric.


Stromgewächse, river-plants, e.g. rushes and reeds.—wüchsen, subj. preter. of wachsen (ich wuchs).

14. schäumen, to rush foaming into, etc.

15. There is emphasis in the expression Männer, which involves the notion of 'stout men and true.'

16. vir, dativus ethicus, commonly left untranslated in English.— versehren verlegen, verunehren.

17. Observe the omission of the personal pronoun sie, which is, however, peculiar to poetry and a higher style of composition.


Chlodewig or, as he is commonly called, Clovis conquered the greater part of Gaul (his victory over Syagrius, the Roman ruler, was obtained A.D. 486), and established the rule of the Franks over that country; he then beat the Alemanni, a Germanic tribe that dwelt on either side of the Rhine, from its sources to its conflux with the Maine and the Moselle. Gibbon relates, "Clovis encountered the invaders of Gaul [the Alemanni] in the plain of Tolbiac [Zülpich] about twentyfour miles from Cologne [this is, however, a controverted statement]; and the two fiercest nations of Germany were mutually animated by the memory of past exploits and the prospect of future greatness. The Franks, after an obstinate struggle, gave way, and the Alemanni, raising a shout of victory, impetuously pressed their retreat. But the battle was restored by the valour, the conduct, and perhaps by the piety of Clovis, and the event of the bloody day decided for ever the alternative of empire or servitude. In the distress of the battle of Tolbiac, Clovis loudly invoked the God of Clotilda [his queen] and the Christians; and victory disposed him to hear with respectful gratitude the eloquent

[ocr errors]

Remigius, bishop of Rheims, who forcibly displayed the temporal and spiritual advantages of his conversion. The king declared himself satisfied of the truth of the Catholic faith. The important ceremony was performed in the cathedral of Rheims." (Chap. XXXVIII.) ·

I. In prose we say exclusively, die Schlacht von or bei Zülpich.

3. More commonly as a compound, das Kampfgedränge, the throng of battle.

4. Troß, 'train,' especially of menials. See also note on Kohlrausch, P. 77, 3.

7. mein Gemahl is poetical and archaic instead of meine Gemahlin. Luther often says Gemahl instead of Gemahlin, e.g. St Matth. i. 20, 24, Joseph, fürchte dich nicht, Mariam, dein Gemahl, zu dir zu nehmen, and in his smaller Catechism, daß...ein Jeglicher sein Gemahl liebe und ehre. [Here Gemahl denotes both husband and wife.] In Old High German the current forms are gemahela and gemalu. Clotilda possessed such influence over her husband that he had allowed his two sons to be baptized even before his own conversion.

8. So wenn; in the same manner so is used in Early English. II. so, then'; if that condition be fulfilled.


After the verb lehren we often find the infinitive without zu.

13. Sprach es = kaum hatte er es gesprochen, als.

Virgil, and pa kaì in Homer.

16. siegesmuthig, confident of victory.

Comp. dixit et in

17. We say both der Schreck and der Schrecken. The plural is die Schrecken and Schrecknisse (from das Schreckniß).—It is more common to employ the reflective form sich wenden of fleeing enemies (terga vertunt). 19. zugleich, i.e. with him.

[blocks in formation]

Gelimer, the last king of the Vandals in Africa, had long held out, in the mountain fastness of Papua, in the inland country of Numidia, against Pharas, an officer employed by Belisarius. See the account of

Gibbon, chap. XLI.

5. Maurusii is in Latin less common than Mauri, the aboriginal Numidians. The Greeks say Μαυρούσιοι.

6. In prose: weder Brod noch Wein.


II. der Griechen Heer, the army sent by Justinian, the Roman' Emperor at Constantinople. The Greek Emperors retained the name

of 'Roman' ('Pwuaîo) to the very last, and hence the Greeks of the middle ages styled themselves 'Pwμaîol.



er is the Vandal king; in the next line, er denotes of course the

17. der Hüter des Heeres is an unusual expression; in prose we should say, der Führer or Anführer des Heers.

18. "From the Vandal messenger, Pharas was informed of the motives of this singular request." Gibbon.-The sense of the line is: 'Did not Gelimer add his motives for this strange request ?'

21-32 contain the explanation given by the messenger.

24. The first foot of this line (In die Bérg-) is an anapæst.

25. han is the archaic form of the infinitive instead of haben, of which it is originally a contraction.

26. fein is the gen. of the personal pronoun, just as in er gedenket sein, he remembers him.' Comp. the Greek тоùs ¿plaλμoùs aνToû. In prose we should employ the possessive, seine Augen. Comp. 5, 13, 50.

28. Als, but, except.

31. darein accompanying (the music). Comp. Und gellende Hörner schallen darein. Körner, Lützow's wilde Jagd (37, 4).


The Merovingian kings in Gaul soon sank to the disgraceful position of mere puppets-rois fainéants, as the French call them-and the actual power of rule fell into the hands of their Majores domus. Pepin of Landen became the founder of a family of Majores domus, who succeeded in uniting all the royal prerogatives in their hands long before the royal title was assumed by them. Pepin II. of Heristall († 714) was recognised as dux et princeps omnium Francorum; his son, Charles Martel, obtained a splendid victory over the Saracens at Tours, in 732, and left at his death (A. D. 741) his power to his two sons Pepin, surnamed the Short, on account of his small stature, and Karlmann, who died A. D. 747, thus leaving the whole to Pepin. In 751 Pope Zacharias (comp. v. 13 in the present poem) pronounced Pepin to be lawfully entitled to the royal name and dignity, and in 752 the nobility of the Franks, congregated at Soissons, deposed the last Merovingian, and proclaimed Pepin king of the Franks. The ballad given by us recounts a feat of prowess performed by Pepin.

3. In aller Weise in jeder Beziehung, (in) every way.

4. Volksberather, lit. counsellor of the nation.

6. We say personally, er ist mir (meinen Augen) ein Wohlgefallen, deliciae meae. The more common use of the word appears, however, in such a sentence as this: das wird mir zu besonderem Wohlgefallen gereichen, 'this will afford me special gratification.'


7. nur sich selber gleich, i.e. there was nobody to be compared with

[blocks in formation]

II. des Hammers Sohn: Pepin's father, Charles, was surnamed Martel, i.e. hammer.'

12. erkoren (from er-küren, of which word there is another form, fiesen, akin to Engl. choose and Fr. choisir) is a more dignified expression than gewählt. Comp. the noun Kurfürft, elector.

15. der Hort, protector, orig. refuge. In the Bible, the Lord is often styled ein starker Hort, and der Hort des Heils. Comp. an instance below, 17, 101. Originally a neuter, this word became masculine in Middle High German. It is identical in origin with the E. hoard, and even Goethe employs it in this sense, e.g. ihr kennt den weiten wohlverwahrten Hort (quoted in Grimm, wörterb. IV. 2, 1835).

16. alle Welt might remind us of the Fr. tout le monde=everybody; but we should rather understand the expression in its original sense: the whole world, orbis terrarum. Comp. also below, v. 89. 18. It might also be manchen.


Die is the demonstrative pronoun; if it were the relative, the verb would stand at the end of the sentence.

20. meistern is an invidious term=mäkeln or aussehen; it always denotes unmerited reprehension.

21. Deß darob or darüber.


dämpfen is often used metaphorically in the sense of allaying or suppressing. Goethe, e.g., has a predilection for it in this sense: see Grimm, wörterb. 2, 718.

23. There are the two forms er lädt and er lavet. Comp. Schiller, Tell (beginning): es lächelt der See, er lavet zum Bade.—männiglich, a somewhat antiquated adverb, corresponding to the Lat. viritim.

25. mit Drang=in a throng, im Ge-dränge.

27. Die Trommete (also Drommete) is less usual than die Trompete. 29. We do not say ein gedankenschwerer Mann, but ein gedankenschweres Antlig. The compound adj. gedankenvoll is more common, the opposite is denoted by gedankenleer and gedankenlos.

30. Ungewitter (n.), storm, tempest. There is but a very slight difference of meaning between Gewitter and Ungewitter. The prefix ges intensifies the original Wetter, and un- adds the notion of bad, unfavourable. Wetter in itself is often used to denote a tempest.

31. Blige denotes here the rapid glances of the eye; so also blißende Augen, ‘quick-glancing eyes.' Comp. v. 42.

33. Leu, a poetical form instead of Löwe.

38. Ur (i.e. Urochs, Auerochs) = Stier, 33. So again v. 65.—Ges nice (n.), of the same root as neck, G. Nađen (m.).

39. der Plan, 'level surface,' is often used of a smooth arena.

44. In prose: daß er die Beute dem Löwen entreißt, or die Beute......zu entreißen.

45. große Augen machen denotes 'to stare' (lit. make large eyes, open his eyes very wide).

48. In German, it is not necessary to add an infinitive of a verb of motion after a modal verb like wollen, können, mögen, müssen. We may therefore say, er will nach England, he wishes to go to England. In the Elizabethan period, the English language possessed the same facility of construction, comp. e. g. Shaksp. Coriol. II. 3, 157, will you along, i.e. will you go along, and see Abbott, Shaksp. Gramm. § 405.

[blocks in formation]

52. der Strauß, plur. Sträuße, is a somewhat poetical word instead of Streit or Kampf. This is a different word from der Strauß, a nosegay.

57. der Graus (Middle High G. der grûs) is derived from grauen, 'to be afraid of' (es graut mir vor etwas), whence also the adj. grausig and grausenhaft, 'terrible.' The verb is grausen, which is commonly impersonal, e.g. der Brunnen war so tief, daß mir grausete, hinein zu sehen, though it occurs also as a personal verb in the Appendix to Luther's Bible, 4 Ezra v. 14, mein Leib grauste sehr und meine Seele ängstigte sich, my body was sorely afraid and my soul was harassed. The infinitive of this verb

is used as a substantive in the next line.

59. The expression is short and pregnant. In prose we should say, er zieht sein Schwert...heraus. It is also more common to say, aus der Scheide heraus.

68. die Schranke, the barrier; the plural more commonly used in the sense required here; die Schranken, the lists. So below, v. 86.

75. A better, though less common form is sprüßen. Comp. also Schiller, Taucher: Bis zum Himmel spritet der dampfende Gischt.

77. Der Rece is an old word, now used only in a higher style of writing, instead of ter gewaltige, starke Mann.

« PreviousContinue »