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34. die bange Sage, 'the anxious tale.' The 'tale' is styled bang, because the people whisper it to one another with fear and wonder. 35. Bild, 'shape,' like the Greek eidos.


im Maien is poetical and archaic instead of in dem Mai.

46. rasch denotes the last effort made by the Emperor. He musters up strength sufficient to enter the Imperial hall with a quick and active step. Comp. 7, 36.

49. Der heil'ge Leib: comp. 17, 59.

51. sich verjüngen means to grow young again.

55. entschlummert, like entschlafen, 'slept away,' is often used of peaceful and quiet dying.

58. The expression zur Leiche bieten is the technical term of inviting to a funeral. Hence the man whose business it is to do this is styled der Leichenbitter.

62. The people, black, in a countless throng. For this use of the genitive comp. Es wallt ein Pilger, hohen Dranges. Uhland.

63. Der, i.e. der Dom.

64. The expression der Dom des Himmels is by no means uncommon, even in the higher style of prose. Comp. the beautiful lines of Thümmel, quoted by Grimm, wörterb. 2, 1234:

Wenn aufgeschwungen aus dem Schlamme

Des Irdischen mein freier Geist

Von einem zu dem andern Dome

Der Sterngebäude weiter klimmt.


The subject of the present ballad is taken from the events which happened in the reign of the Emperor Albrecht (1298—1308), the son of Rudolf of Habsburg. After Rudolf's death, the Electors had chosen Adolphus of Nassau to be his successor, who reigned from 1292— 1298. Adolphus chiefly aimed at enlarging his own territorial possessions; by promising to assist Edward I. of England against Philip le Bel of France, he obtained considerable subsidies from the English king, and this money he employed to purchase Thuringia from the landgrave then reigning there, Albrecht, an unworthy man whom history has branded with the disgraceful addition der Unartige, or degener in Latin. Albrecht by his cruelty had driven away his excellent

wife, Margaretha, daughter of Frederick II., the famous Hohenstaufen Emperor; when the poor lady was obliged to leave the Wartburg (near Eisenach), she is said to have bitten her boy's cheek in the excessive grief of leaving him; hence he bears in history the name of Friedrich mit der gebissenen Wange. The unkind father, who had taken

a second wife, Kunigunde von Eisenberg, sold his land in order to deprive his sons by the first wife, Friedrich and Diezmann, of their inheritance. Meanwhile the conduct of Adolphus had excited general disgust. The German princes declared that he had forfeited his dignity, and elected in his stead Albrecht of Habsburg. But the two brothers were not freed from their troubles by this change. Adolphus fell fighting against his rival in the battle of Göllheim; but Albrecht himself renewed his predecessor's pretensions to Thuringia, on the plea that the purchase had been made in favour of the Imperial throne, and not of the then occupant of it. Friedrich and Diezmann fought manfully for their paternal estate. The present poem relates one of the episodes of the war, It terminated in the complete defeat of the Imperial troops in the battle of Lucka (not far from Altenburg) on May 31, 1307.

4. sich schirmen sich vertheidigen is peculiar to an elevated style.

8. verkaufen is used in a somewhat loose manner here, inasmuch as Albrecht sold his land, properly speaking; but the Pope and Habsburg contributed to the bargain being carried out.—ihm is dat.


10. Lande is a poetical form of the plural instead of Länder.

15. This may be an allusion to Luther's subsequent residence at the Wartburg, during which he commenced his translation of the Bible.

18. übermannen, originally 'to bear down by force of numbers,' hence generally to conquer, vanquish.

21. The expression über Stock und Stein is proverbial of hurried progress, regardless of bad roads and other obstacles. Observe the alliterative form of this phrase.

22. In prose: um der Gefangenschaft bei dem Kaiser zu entgehen. 23. In prose: Der Landgraf ist allein (einzig) darauf bedacht, etc. 29. Reichspanier, the Imperial standard.

33. The phrase Sand am Meer is proverbial of an immense multitude. It is of biblical origin, comp. Psalm cxxxix. 18: Sollte ich fie zählen, so würde ihrer mehr sein denn des Sandes, and 1 Kings iv. 29:

Gott gab Salomo sehr große Weisheit und Verstand, und getrost Herz, wie Sand, der am Ufer des Mecres liegt. Comp. also ballad 30, 6.

37. schlecht and schlicht (=E. slight) were originally one and the same word; hence the phrase schlecht und recht, 'simple and right.' In the present passage, ein schlechtes Bauernhaus means a cottage of poor appearance.

40. mir is 'dat. ethicus' or 'commodi,' in English to be translated by adding the possessive pronoun to Knaben.—stillen, to quiet, hence to suckle.

41. Derweil (originally a genitive, der Weile), 'meanwhile.' Comp. 5, 210.-In prose we should have to say, wendet er sein Pferd um. 45. voller is a conversational and poetical form instead of voll when used like a preposition.

51. The genitive des Landgrafs is not correct; it ought to be des Landgrafen.


The period from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century was the one most favourable to the growth of the power of the princes and nobles, and embraces the decay of the once powerful Imperial dignity. The sole aim of the Emperors of this time appears to have been to augment and increase their own family estates, while they cared little for the Empire as such. We shall, therefore, now turn our attention to the condition of the separate states of the German Empire. Ballads XX. and XXI. contain two episodes of the history of the Empire during this period of misrule.

Count Eberhard II. of Würtemberg reigned from 1344 to 1392 conjointly with his brother Ulrich IV. who died in that year without leaving an heir. Eberhard was surnamed der Greiner, i.e. the quarreller. His lot was cast in a most disturbed period. The Swabian cities, encouraged by the example of the Swiss, attempted to shake off the yoke of their prince, and the lower nobility were likewise astir to free themselves of their duty and allegiance. The Emperors of this period, Charles IV., Wenceslaus, and Ruprecht, possessed little or no autho. rity, and Eberhard was obliged to stand by himself against all his enemies. Uhland has related some of the memorable events of Eberhard's reign in a series of ballads, from which we have selected a poetical account of the battle of Reutlingen, May 14, 1377. Eberhard was engaged in the siege of Ulm, and had ordered his son Ulrich to blockade the city of Reutlingen, near which the castle of Achalm is situated.

3. Flügel is a very appropriate expression in this place, being employed both of birds and of armies, like the E. wing. (There is, however, another reading Flüge.)

4. heißer Drang here heißes Veträngtwerten. The town was being hard pressed.

5. sich erheben=aufbrechen, sich aufmachen.—zu Nacht is less common than bei Nacht or zur Nachtzeit.

6. Urach is a fortified town on the river Erms, to the east of Reutlingen. 8.

Observe the omission of the verb find or werken. frequent in a lively description.

9. The more common expression is grimmiger Zorn. 12. zuthal, down the mountain, comp. Fr. à val. 13. Leonhard is always pronounced as three syllables. 14. Anger is best translated by 'a common.' word is anything but clear.


We say 'they draw out their proud array.'

This is very

The derivation of the

19. fürder, an archaic word, vorwärts. Comp. 9, 30.

23. Die Rotte is frequently used in the sense of the E. crew, when not employed of sailors, with a certain notion of disorder and turbulence. Here it means merely the subdivisions of the town forces.— Schwall suggests the idea of rising waters that dash against rocks and walls. 27. schier, see 5, 69.

31 sq. The town of Reutlingen is famous for its tanyards and dyeing works.

33. Heut' nimmt man nicht gefangen, no quarter is given to-day.

34. sich blümen sich mit Blumen bedecken, not a common expression. Grimm, wörterb. 2, 161, quotes only one instance from Voss: wie dort grünendes Thal sich blümet.

35. Bruderleichen: the bodies of their fallen and slain friends and comrades lie around the surviving knights in such high heaps as to form a kind of tower (umthürmt). (The compound Bruderleiche is omitted in Grimm.)

38. The expression bis in's (innerste) Mark müde is proverbial.

40. We also say, sich durchhauen or durchschlagen.—Uhland alludes to an ancient legend, according to which two brothers, Egino and Rudolf, rebuilt the castle of Achalm in the reign of the Emperor Conrad, 1006. When Rudolf asked his dying brother what name he was to give the Castle, he answered Ach Allm—, intending to say Allmächtiger, but his voice was stopped by death. Rudolf, however, called the castle

Achalm in memory of his brother. In reality, the name of Achalm is equivalent in meaning to Wasseralpe (aha being old German = Latin aqua). Comp. 7, 10.

43. Der Qualm is rarely used in the meaning, 'a fainting-fit,' or 'a kind of stupor.' Comp. Middleton's play, A Mad World (Dodsley, vol. II. p. 330, ed. 1826), 'a fit, a qualm.'

47. gereiht in Reih' und Glied ausgelegt.

48. mit sicherem Geleit, with a safe conduct.


denn is occasionally used instead of als after a comparative. 59. gelassen, instead of losgelassen or fahren lassen.

61. Schildesamt = Ritterschaft.

63. The royal house of Prussia are descended from the counts of Zollern.

64. im künft'gen Glanz, in the splendour which was to come to it. 65. zween, archaic for zwei (comp. Eng. twain), often used in Luther's Bible: see Luke xxiv. 13.

66. This is an allusion to the arms of the knights of Sachsenheim. 71. Geschlechte, instead of Geschlecht, produces a somewhat strange and affected impression.

72. ins Herz, i.e. death struck him home, so that he cannot come back like his ancestor.

73. The partitive genitive des Jammers is dependent on genug : satis miseriarum.

77. ausgeheilt means 'completely healed.'

78. Ulrich guessed what welcome he would meet with from his father.

79. The preposition bei would, perhaps, be more generally used in the phrase Einen beim Essen treffen.

83. This peculiar treatment was not uncommon in the middle ages in the case of knights who were deemed to have disgraced their standard or been remiss in their duty. The table-cloth was cut through for them, and their bread was laid upside down.


Count Eberhard im Bart, who was born in 1445, succeeded to the inheritance of his ancestors in 1457, under the guardianship of the Emperor Frederick III. He is considered one of the best rulers that his country ever had, and was greatly beloved by his subjects. He died in 1496. He was raised to the ducal dignity by the Emperor Maxi

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