Page images




[ocr errors]

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

Volfsberather, 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 him. 8. vor Allen, praecellens omnibus.

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

erforen (from er-füren, 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 Kurfürst, elector.

15. der Hort, protector, orig. refuge. In the Bible, the Lord is often styled ein ftarfer 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 wohlvers wahrten 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.

19. 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 ausseßen; it always denotes unmerited reprehension,

21. Deß = barob or darüber.

22. 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 ladet. Comp. Schiller, Tell (beginning) : e8 lächelt der See, er ladet 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 gebankenschwerer Mann, but ein gedankenschweres. Antliß. The compound adj. gebankenvoll 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 inten. sifies 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 blißente 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.-es nice (n.), of the same root as neck, G. Naden (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. 11. 3, 157, will you along, i.e. will you go along, and see Abbott, Shaksp. Gramm. $ 405.

49. wie=während.

52. ter 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 grús) 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 imper. sonal, 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 ångstigte 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 ter Scheide heraus.

68. tie 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 sprißet der bampfende Gischt.

77. Der Rede is an old word, now used only in a higher style of writing, instead of der gewaltige, ftarke Maun.


[ocr errors]


79. Kampfrevier=Kampfbezirk. This word is omitted in Grimm's Dictionary. Revier (n.) is a word derived from Ital. riviera, Fr. rivière, in the general sense of 'district. It is very common in modern Ger. man and belongs, moreover, to the earliest importations from the Romance languages.

81. die Spötter werth =tie werthen (i. e. eblen) Spötter. In poetry, the adj. is frequently placed after the subst.

82. This is an absolute construction of the participle, correspond. ing to a Latin abl. abs. oculis deiectis. The same construction would be permitted in French, les yeux baissés. A very good instance of this absolute construction occurs in Schiller's ballad, die Bürgschaft:

Da sinkt er an's Ilfer und weint und fleht,

Die Hände zum Zeus erhoben, i. e. manibus ad lovem sublatis. The noun is in the accusative, comp. 27, 52, and Aue $ 373.

87. It was the ancient custom of the Franks and of the German tribes generally to proclaim their king by lifting him up on their shields.

91. Observe the omission of the auxiliary hat in the relative sentence. It is not a very common phrase, einen Löwen fällen, in the sense of tödten, niederschlagen, überwinden, the Latin caedere. It should be borne in mind that, just as from cadere is formed caedere, we have in German fallen and fällen, in English to fall and to fell.

92. Demüthiglich is an instance of adverbial formation by means of the suffix lich, which corresponds to the Engl. -ly.

93. der Barde (originally a Celtic word) denotes an inspired minstrel; the word has become part and parcel of our poetic phraseology since the time of Klopstock (second half of the 18th century).

[ocr errors]

Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse), the son of Pepin, reigned from 768—814 (at first together with his brother Karlmann who died 771); in 800 he was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III. In the legends of the middle ages, Charlemagne forms the central figure of a group of heroes (Paladine), among whom Roland is the most conspicuous. According to tradition, Roland was nephew to Charlemagne, being the son of his (merely legendary) sister Bertha and Count Milon of Anglante (i.e. Angers) ; but the genuine records of history know no more of Roland than that he was marquis of Brittany, in which quality he occurs



in Eginhard. This writer relates (c. ix.) that Eghart, Anshelm, and Rutland (i.e. Roland) fell at Roncevalles during the retreat from Spain, which country had been invaded by Charles in 778. Uhland has written a series of ballads on the legends of Roland, and one of them, containing a marvellous act of valour performed by the boy Roland, has been selected by us. The subject matter appears to be entirely of Uhland's own invention.

The city of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) was Charlemagne's favourite place of residence. He was also buried there in the splendid Cathedral founded by himself.

3. das. Wildpret, venison. This is the common form, though Wilds bret or Wildbrät would be a better spelling, the second part of the word being derived from braten (Wild zum Vraten). In Middle High German the word is daz wiltbræte.

6. Observe the omission of the copula und between the two adjectives. This would be inadmissible in prose.

9. ter Schimmer=Schein, v. 5.
13. See note on 3, 26, and below, v. 50.

14. ter Ardennerwald, les Ardennes. It is also usual to say tie Ardennen; comp. V. 30.

18. feiern, to delay, =müßig sein. Compare the sentence quoted from Niebuhr by Grimm, wörterb. 3, 1437: So lag das römische Heer müßig, der Krieg feierte. See below 11, 3.

19. Stahlgewand, lit. "steel dress,' i.e. armour. Ge-wand (from old Germ. wât=Engl. weed, in widow's weeds) denotes any kind of habit. Observe the perfect sie haben begehrt, instead of the more correct sie begehrten, which would, moreover, be in closer agreement with the next line. The employment of the perfect as a narrative tense (perf. hist.) is in German limited to the popular style and dialects.

heißen, with the infinitive without zu, corresponds to the Greek Kehebelv, Engl. to bid.

23. More correctly it would be lieber Vater. The shorter form is often used by children.

24. This is a shortened conditional clause, instead of wenn ihr mich auch zu schwach vermeint (i.e. wähnet, glaubt) or mich für zu schwach haltet.

26. winzig, tiny.

28. Samt (not much used in prose as a preposition) is of the same root as the well-known zu-samm-en; this sam being identical with the English same and the Greek ära. Comp. v. 172 and v. 189, where we bave zusamınt.


32. Da thäten sie sich trennen is said in imitation of the tone of the popular ballads, instead of the correct ba trennten sie sich. See below, v. 60.

33. In prose: hinter seinem Vater.

37. In prose: umherstreifen.—Degen (originally derived from dihen= (ge)deihen ('to thrive ') in modern German, and akin to Greek Tékvov, Old Saxon thegan, whence the well-known thane, all these words originally denoting 'boy' or 'son') is often used in poetic diction in the sense of hero. In the ancient poem of the Nibelunge Hagen is often styled der küene degene.

39. das Ge-heg, wood; an intensified form of ter Hag, v. 152. (Comp. the Hague, the capital of the Netherlands.) —The omission of weder before noch is poetical.

41. More correctly it ought to be schlafend; he lay sleeping, or asleep. But the form preferred by Uhland is, perhaps, more conformable to the popular tone observed throughout this ballad. It is, however, quite correct to say, sich schlafen legen.

47. es, i.e. das Blißen und Leuchten.
50. er gedachte is more emphatic than the simple verb.
51. Schređen=Schređniß, object of terror.

53. The expression would be completed as follows: während er noch in besten Schlafe ist.

58. Das Waffen is archaic instead of die Waffe. Comp. v. 165. 60. See note on v. 32.

62. ganz sachte, quite softly.-er Tann is archaic instead of der Tannenwald. Comp. below, v. 173.

66. Der Fant, 'a wight' (so again v. 206), from Ital. fante which is abbreviated from infante=Lat. infans. In Dutch vent means a young fellow or lad, and even in Old High German we find fendo, 'a footsoldier,' comp. infantry.

68. It might also be so lang wie er. It is, perhaps, more correct to use als after a comparative, and wie after a positive. 69. schier, almost, nearly,

-an old word (M. H.G. schiere). 73. die Tartsche, 'a shield,' is in this form derived from the old Fr. la targe, but originally the word is Anglosaxon targe, corresponding to High Germ. die Zarge, the border of a buckler.

79. auslangen, to reach forward, as far as possible.

88. unbehende, not agile enough, unwieldy: behende is from O. G. be hende, 'by (the) hand, at hand. Compare the phrase bei der Hand sein, • to be at hand, ready,' and hence 'to be quick, alert.'

89. schlug=traf.



« PreviousContinue »