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75. begraben is the infinitive, not the past participle.

76. Herzlich (very frequently also in the diminutival form, Herzlieb chen) Eng. 'sweetheart.'

79. verbluten, to expire in bleeding.

82. Die Treue, instead of der Treue der Freund, v. 86.

96. Herzallerliebst, most dearly beloved.

98. In this style of poetry, the apocopated form Brüd' is rather harsh at the end of the line.

104. Observe the omission of the copula und. The songs are said to call back his friend and the merry old time.

109. The harp is the cause of the cheerful tone of Enzio's mind; the harp being dashed to pieces, his cheerfulness is likewise killed with grief.

Observe the difference between Kerkerhöhle here and Kerker, haus above, v. 66.


112. Vertrauern, 'to waste (pine) away in mourning.'

118. Schwanenlied, the final song, shortly before death. It is an old belief that the dying swan breaks out into melodious singing.

119. Abé is a Germanized form of the French adieu, much used in poetry.


More strictly we ought to expect the perfect in this sentence, which is intended to express a final result, in much the same sense as jezt ist der lezte Staufe todt. But these two tenses are sometimes used promiscuously, particularly by natives of the South of Germany.


The death of Conrad IV. (1254) was followed by what Schiller designates die kaiserlose, die schreckliche Zeit, commonly called the Interregnum in German history. This lawless period was auspiciously terminated by the election of Rudolf von Habsburg (or Hapsburg), A.D. 1273. His election took place at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, the coronation at Aachen. Rudolf was even before that time possessed of considerable power as count of Habsburg, Lenzburg, and Kyburg, and protector of numerous cities and districts.

In the present ballad Schiller's intention is to depict and exalt the virtue of Humility, even in the greatest of the land. The source of the tale is in the Chronicon Helveticum of Ægidius Tschudi (Götzinger, Deutsche Dichter, I. p. 398 sq.), and Schiller appears to have adhered, with much fidelity, to the original narrative.

1. Kaiserpracht, 'imperial state.'

2. alterthümlich, 'time-honoured' (lit. old-fashioned, antique).


3. König Rudolfs heilige Macht is said in imitation of such a Homeric expression as ἱερὴ ἲς Τηλεμάχοιο. We might also say that 2iadt was here synonymous with the common term Majestät.

5 sq. "The office, at the coronation-feast, of the Count Palatine of the Rhine (Grand Sewer of the Empire and one of the Seven Electors) was to bear the Imperial Globe and set the dishes on the board; that of the King of Bohemia was cup-bearer. The latter was not, however, present, as Schiller himself observed in a note (omitted in the editions of his collected works), at the coronation of Rudolf." Lord Lytton.

6. des perlenden Weins is the partitive genitive, which is but rarely used in German without a preceding subst. or adj. Comp. Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, I, 166: Sovgsam brachte die Mutter des klaren herrlichen Weines. 8. der Sterne Chor, the seven planets known in the Middle Ages. 9. According to medieval notions, the Emperor was the temporal, and the Pope the spiritual ruler of the whole orbis terrarum. Comp. 7, 20, where the dying Emperor styles himself Herrscher einer Welt.

10. üben, instead of the compound ausüben.


Balkón preserves its French accent even in German.

17. The Emperor was considered the highest judge in all temporal matters. Rudolf of Habsburg, in particular, was famous for his strict administration of justice.

21. Der Potál, from póculum, always denotes a goblet of curious workmanship.

23. We might also say zwar instead of wohl, or the sentence might be turned thus: obwohl (obgleich) das Fest glänzt..., (so) vermisse ich doch.........


28. So hab' ich's gehalten, this custom have I observed.'



The princes form a circle around the Emperor.

der Talár denotes a long robe that descends to the feet (ad

35. der Saiten Gold = die goldenen Saiten. The strings are, however, only of the colour of gold.

36. Die Minne is a synonym of Liebe, but only admissible in the highest style of poetry. It is a medieval word which had gone out of fashion, but was revived by the romantic school of poetry.

43. in Jemandes Pflicht stehen is not a common expression, meaning 'to be some one's liegeman.' The 'greater master' is, of course, the divine power by which all genuine poetry is inspired.

46. von wannen=woher.

49. The thoughts awakened by poetry are dunkel, 'secret,' because their existence was hitherto unknown to us; they are wunderbar, 'strange,' because their starting-up out of their sleep has a startling effect upon us.

51. In die Saiten fallen is not a common expression, though readily understood. We commonly say, rasch in die Saiten greifen.

53. Das Waidwerk is a dignified expression, instead of die Jagd.

54. flüchtig, fleet. It has been justly observed that it is a strange oversight on Schiller's part to send the Count a-hunting on horseback for chamois, since it is notorious that these fleet animals live on rocky heights inaccessible to horses.

57 sq. In the author followed by Schiller the expressions are as follows: dero zeit reit graf Rudolf von Habsburg (harnach künig) mit sinen dienern uffs weidwerk...und wie er in ein ouw (see our note on 7, 10) kam allein mit seinem pferd, hört er ein schellen klingeln...dô fand er ein priester mit dem hochwürdigen sacrament und sîn messner, der im das glögli ('little bell') vortrug. dô stieg graf Rudolf von sînem pferd, kniet nieder und têt dem heiligen Sacrament reverenz. This passage may be sufficient to show how closely Schiller has followed his original.

59. Der Leib des Herrn: the host, which, according to Roman Catholic notions, represents the actual body and blood of the Lord. See also our note on 6, 51.

60. der Meßner, from Lat. mansionarius (in Middle High German it is mensner and messenaere), originally the doorkeeper of the Church.

64. erlöset: is this the present, or should we supply hat ?

68. We should pronounce beiseit with the accent on the second syllable; the original form is bei (or zur) Seite legen.

70. In prose we should rather say, um das Bächlein zu durchschreiten. 71. Was schaffst du? is said in accordance with the Swiss idiom, instead of was thust du da? In the South of Germany schaffen is often used as a synonym of arbeiten.

73. wallen is a very dignified expression, instead of ich wandere. There is always a notion of solemnity in this word.


74. Himmelskost, heavenly food,' denotes the sacrament.

75. des Baches Steg, the small bridge leading across the brook.


78. werde zu Theil werde.-Heil, salvation.' We often read sein ewiges Heil.

79. Wässerlein, a small stream. The good priest purposely ex

tenuates the size of the water, as if what he is about to do were nothing so very great after all.

83. begehren governs the genitive; see Aue § 349.

86. Die Begier des Jagens vergnügen is an expression admissible only in the elevated style of poetry. In prose we say sich mit etwas vergnügen.

89. Da is, properly speaking, unnecessary.

90. This line is often cited in German schools as an instance of a very loose participial construction. The poet's meaning is, of course, that the horse was modestly led by the bridle and not bestridden by the priest, but as the words stand now they might imply that the priest (who is the subject immediately preceding) was led by the bridle.

91. Nicht wolle das Gott, God forbid.-Demuthssinn, a compound formed by Schiller, = demüthiger Sinn.

93. ein Noß beschreiten is a dignified expression, instead of ein Pferd besteigen, 'to bestride a horse.'

95. In prose: und wenn du es nicht als dein persönliches Eigenthum nehmen willst.—Der Gewinnst (or, as it ought rather to be spelt, Gewinst) is merely concrete, while der Gewinn is both concrete and abstract.

99. Das Lehen, 'a fief,' the word is connected with leihen, to lend.' The expression, zu Lehen tragen, is technical in the sense of 'holding' in fief.

IOI. So möge: we may observe that so, which is often used at the head of a wish, corresponds exactly to the Latin sic as seen in such a sentence as Horace's sic te diva potens Cypri; sic fratres Helenae.— Hort: see note on 4, 15.

103. The pronoun euch is emphatically repeated from the first line of the sentence, though, strictly speaking, unnecessary in this place. 106. ritterlich (es) Walten, knightly rule.

107 sqq. The six daughters of Rudolf were— —(1) Mechtilda, subsequently consort to Ludwig, Duke of Bavaria; (2) Agnes, consort to Albrecht, Duke of Saxony; (3) Hedwig, consort to Otto of Branden. burg; (4) Catharina, consort to Otto, Duke of Bavaria; (5) Gutta, consort to Wenzel, king of Bohemia; (6) Clementia, consort to Charles Martel, prince of Sicily.

IIO. 'And may their latest generations still flourish.' The expression is not, however, quite clear in its grammatical construction, on account of the position of the verb, which ought rather to be after Geschlechter.

III. mit sinnendem Haupt=mit nachdenklich aufgestüßtem Haupte.

113. Observe the peculiar German construction, dem Sänger ins Auge, instead of in das Auge des Sängers.

114. Das Bedeuten is a poetical use of the infinitive instead of vie Bedeutung.

116 sq. Schiller has with much tact merely insinuated what the original writer, Tschudi, has plainly stated in the following paragraph: Der priester wird kaplan des churfürstlichen Ertzbischoffs von Mainz, und hat im und andern herrn von solcher tugend, ouch von mannheit des grafen Rudolf so dick (so much, greatly) angezeigt, dass sîn nam im ganzen rich rumwürdig und bekannt ward, dass er hernach ze römischen künig erwelt ward.

118. Alles = Alle. The neut. sing. of the pronoun all is often used of persons with a plural meaning.

I 20. göttliches Walten, divine dispensation.


I. Germersheim is a small town in the Palatinate, about two (German) miles' distance from Speyer, on the Rhine, and the Queich, a small tributary.

4. The game of chess is commonly denoted by the compound tas Schachspiel. Rudolf I. was very fond of this game (hence the adj. gewohnt).

6. ohne Zagen, without hesitation, i. e. plainly and to the point. 10. Wohl, in all probability.


Observe the omission of hatte. We might also say, beendet


15. Fight German Emperors were originally buried in the ancient Cathedral of Speyer (Conrad II., Heinrich III., IV., V., Philip of Swabia, Rudolf of Habsburg, Adolf of Nassau, and Albrecht I.); but their bones were impiously unearthed and dispersed by the French invaders, May 31, 1689.

16. sei's vollendet, there let my course be finished!

27. Kapellan is the original trisyllabic form, instead of which Kaplan is now more usual.

28. halb Leich (c), already half a corpse.

31. The birds that have found shelter (Hut) in the branches of the linden-tree.


bes Wegs: for this use of the genitive see our note on 13, 45.

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