« PreviousContinue »
milian I. The subject of the present ballad is derived from Camerarius's life of Melanchthon (Götzinger, Deutsche Dichter, I. p. 670).
4. The diet held at Worms in 1495 is the one alluded to in the present poem.
15. Schaffen bewirken, bring about. See 17, 71.
16. In prose the order of words would be-an Schäßen wohl nicht nachsteht.
22. This would in prose be expanded into a qualifying sentence: wenn sie auch noch so groß sind.
23. fühnlich is the adv. of fühn.
In prose it would necessarily be in den Schooß, and even as it is, the omission of the article appears to be rather harsh.
28. Edelstein should be understood in the collective sense.
The Emperor Maximilian (or, as he was commonly called, Max) I. was, perhaps, the most popular prince of the House of Habsburg. His chivalrous qualities, and his bold, daring character endeared him to high and low. The Austrian poet, Anastasius Grün, has celebrated a number of Max's exploits in a series of ballads, entitled Der lezte Ritter, and one of these we have inserted in our collection. The event related in it is said to have taken place at the same diet as the one mentioned in the preceding poem.
I. Frederick III., the father and predecessor of Maximilian I., reigned from 1440 to 1493.-Gruft, a more dignified expression than Grab, is frequently employed of princely sepulchres.
2. gülden is archaic instead of golden.-Sonnenaar, the eagle that soars aloft towards the sun.-Glück zu and Glück auf, 'good speed.'Scepter, here neuter as usually. Compare, however, note on 7, 57.
4. Licht is used metaphorically of mental culture, comp. the Fr. les lumières.
6. Odem is archaic instead of Athem.
8. It was customary for princes of that time to keep privileged court-jesters.
10. Gartenreich, the kingdom of his garden. The gardener puts his garden in order and is there 'monarch of all he surveys.'
II. erkoren, see note on 4, 12.-Schattenhut is an uncommon compound, instead of which we should probably say in prose, in dessen behütendem Schatten.
12. It is not the toil (Mühe) which is schwül of itself, but the work is difficult on account of the sultry heat (schwül) of the day.
13. wallen is here used in the sense of walking slowly. See 17, 73.—ein und aus, 'up and down'; that is, they entered one street (ein) and walked down to the end of it until they got into another (aus).
16. traun (connected with the adj. treu and the verb trauen) is sometimes used in familiar speech as a kind of interjection with an affirmative sense: 'surely, to be sure.' Comp. 'I trow' in balladpoetry.—manch einer corresponds exactly to many a one'; it is, however, a provincial idiom in German, instead of the simple mancher.
18. The line will be readily understood in its application to French pronunciation.
19. feten is used in the same sense as when we say 'to set a song to music.'
23. Schnörkelzüge is almost equivalent in sense to the simple Schnörkel, or to verschnörkelte Züge, flourishes.
24. Schrieb, instead of hat er eingeschrieben. This employment of the imperfect instead of the perfect is anything but correct.
25. i.e. jedem, der es liest.
26. kampfesfroh=kampfbegierig. There is also the form kampffroh. 27. magst du=kannst du. This is the original sense of mögen (still perceptible in the compound vermögen), which is in modern German admissible in an elevated style or in poetry.
28. Rübe originally means 'a strong hound.' Ein Rüdenknecht is, therefore, a groom of the kennel.
29. fürter. See note on 20, 19.
Etelknappe, a page of noble parentage. Grimm has only Etel fnabe. In prose we should say das Wappenbild ('the armorial bearings') ter Habsburger.
31. For the term Kampfesplan, comp. our note on 4, 39. Grimm gives only an instance of Kampfplan.
32. Der Franke is often used in German instead of der Franzose (see cur note on Schiller's Maid of Orleans, Prol. 3, 126). Hence also the adj. fränkisch=französisch. The expression Franzmann, employed in the next line, is generally used in a contemptuous sense.
35. verklärt, surrounded with a halo.'
36. See Rev. xii. 7.
40. The technical expression is (Einen) zum Ritter schlagen, to dub knight.-brav stands in the same sense as in French: soyez
42. Frauen is here gen. sing. (referring to the Virgin Mary): comp.
15, 13, also Aue § 157. The wine in question is actually called Lichfrauenmilch.
45. an Marens Abendtisch=an der kaiserlichen Tafel zu Abend.
48. Glühborn, a word probably invented by the poet, means warm spring' (Born=burn, i. e. running water), and is intended to denote the glowing wine.
51. mit jemanden anbinden, to pick a quarrel with some one.
53. klangen die Becher, an allusion to the German custom of striking the glasses gently together to produce a ringing sound when drinking to the health of anyone.
54. genüber, a poetical form instead of gegenüber.
56. We have here a shortened conditional sentence, instead of wenn man am Morgen...frug, if indeed the question was put to the two.-selber, instead of selbst; this is a popular form, which should be avoided in careful prose-composition.
Georg von Frundsberg was one of the foremost generals of the early part of the reign of Charles V. He subsequently assisted at the sack of Rome by the Imperial troops under the command of the famous Connétable de Bourbon.
3. The addition of the article before the proper name is a peculiarity of popular speech, and is avoided in careful composition, unless with an adjective (e. g. den berühmten Luther).
6. Close to the place where Luther was to enter the hall.
13. kühngestaltig is an adjective readily understood, but not in common use. (It is omitted in Grimm.) In prose we should say mit kühnen Gestalten.
19. True faith is like steel-armour or a breast-plate; hence the expression stählt instead of the simple and commonplace stärkt.
28. Die Losung is the watchword, a term used by Luther in his translation of the Bible, Judges xx. 38, and 2 Macc. xiii. 15. The expression is probably derived from an old word losen, 'to hear,' and would thus seem to be connected with the E. listen.
30. Frommverwegen might also be written as two words, the first part being adverbial, daring in piety.'
31. der Himmelserbe, 'heir of heaven,' an appellation given to Luther, a one who fights for the cause of Heaven and true religion, and may therefore be deemed sure to inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
33. Mönchlein, 'frail monk.' The diminutive is expressive of the insignificance or weakness of Luther's person when compared with the formidable array of power with which he is called upon to struggle.
34. Observe the so-called figura etymologica in the phrase einen Gang gehen.
35. Schlachtgewitter is a compound readily understood, and tas Wetter der Schlacht would be admissible even in prose.
39. Mit Einem im Reinen sein is properly used of having cast up and settled one's accounts with some one.
41. Degen has been explained in a previous note (5, 37). Der grcise Degen is, therefore, synonymous with der alte Held or Ritter.
48. Comp. the expression Flammenschwert, 22, 35.
Luther died Feb. 18, 1546, and was saved by death from witnessing the great calamities that befell the cause of the Protestants. On July 20th of the same year, the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse, the two most powerful princes of the Protestant party, were declared rebels and outlawed by the Emperor Charles V., and on April 24th of the ensuing year the army of the Elector was completely routed near Mühlberg. As Charles threatened to kill the Elector, the gates of the capital, Wittenberg, were opened to the enemy, in order to save his life. Then it was that the memorable scene took place, when the Duke of Alva pressed Charles to have Luther's bones disinterred from their resting-place in the Schlosskirche, whereupon Charles is said to have replied with the reproof related in the present poem.
1. Luthersfeste may be understood in a twofold sense, (1) as the fortified town in which Luther lived, (2) the centre from which his doctrine spread over all Germany.
Instead of der Sieger we should prefer in prose als Sieger.
3. For the construction of this line and the following we refer to our note on 15, 17.
5. The student should consider why Luthers Feste is here spelt as two words, but as one in v. I.
8. billig, with justice, fittingly.
Auf denn corresponds to the Fr. eh bien.
For the phrase etwas preisgeben, see our note on Kohlrausch, p.
On Sept. 7, 1556, Charles V., worn out with toil and disappointment, abdicated and in 1557 retired to the monastery of San Yuste, near Placenzia, in the West of Spain. The arrival of Charles at the gate of the monastery is the scene imagined by the poet: it is a stormy night, nature suiting the aspect of the worn-out Emperor's mind. The monarch's only request is for quiet and solitude in which to await his death. Charles V. died on Sept. 21, 1558.
1. für und für, without ceasing, incessantly.'
2. Hispanisch is more stately, because more uncommon than the ordinary adj. spanisch.
6. "Charles had no relish for amusements of any kind. He endeavoured to conform, in his manner of living, to all the rigour of monastic austerity. He desired no other society than that of monks, and was almost continually employed with them in chanting the hymns of the missal. As an expiation for his sins, he gave himself the discipline in secret with such severity, that the whip of cords which he employed as the instrument of his punishment was found after his decease tinged with his blood. Nor was he satisfied with these acts of mortification, which, however severe, were not unexampled. He resolved to celebrate his own obsequies before his death. He ordered his tomb to be erected in the chapel of the monastery. His domestics marched thither in funeral procession, with black tapers in their hands....He himself followed in his shroud. He was laid in his coffin [Sarkophag] with much solemnity. The service for the dead was chanted. This affected him so much, that next day he was seized with a fever. His feeble frame could not long resist its violence." Robertson, Life of Charles V., book XII. (p. 580 sq. in the Paris edition of 1828).
8. Charles V. held the crowns of Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Naples, and Sicily, together with the new world discovered by Columbus.
9. sich bequemen is an elegant expression in the sense of submitting to something. Comp. Fr. s'accommoder.
IO. bediademen is not a common word, though easily intelligible: 'to diadem.' Grimm quotes only the present instance of this expression.
Charles V. was indeed the last Emperor that attempted to reassert the ancient prerogatives of the Imperial station, and to reduce the overbearing vassals, who had become independent and powerful