Page images

26. Sich verliegen, to lie (in a place) with a bad result. See no. 26.

27. Charles XII., king of Sweden, was besieged in Stralsund by Prussia, Poland, and Denmark; there is a stone still shown in the fortifications of Stralsund with an inscription stating that it formed the usual resting-place for the king. Sweriges konung Carl den XII hade här sit wanliga natläger da Stralsund belägrades af 3 kunungar från den 19 Octob. til den 22 Dec. 1715.

28. The fortifications had been partially dismantled.

31. The horsemen feel their German blood stirring within them. 34. Bube is nowadays used like the E. knave (hence bübisch 'knavish'), but had, like this, once merely the meaning of 'boy.'

39. Observe the omission of the personal pronoun bu after the verb. This would not be possible in correct prose, but is often noticed in homely everyday speech.

41. The trisyllabic form Stralefund is fully justified by the original name of the town, and moreover, the straits which divide Stralsund from the island of Rügen, are still called Strela-Sund.

49. The expression ohne Sang und Klang is proverbial, denoting the absence of all solemnity, or all the 'pomp and circumstance' of a funeral. Comp. the following lines.

51. Flintengruß (omitted in Grimm): 'military salute'; it is customary to fire a charge of musketry at a soldier's funeral.

55. Der jüngste Tag (i. e. dies novissimus), doomsday.

61 sq. This alludes to the time of the wars of 1813 and 1814, when Schill's memory at last received due honour, and his glorious, though rash, attempt was held up as an example of patriotism.

64. In prose we should, of course, be obliged to change the order of words.



At the peace of Pressburg (26th Dec. 1805) Austria had been compelled to cede to Bavaria the rich province of the Tyrol. But the hearts of the Tyrolese remained faithful to the Habsburg dynasty, and the impolitic treatment they received at the hands of the Bavarian rulers, exasperated them so much that they rose into open rebellion. At the head of the insurgents was Andreas Hofer, der Sandwirth im Passeyrthale," who enjoyed a great popularity among his compatriots, a brave and valorous man. Though at first successful against the French and the Bavarians, the unskilled peasants were finally overcome after the Austrian troops had been withdrawn. Andreas Hofer did, indeed, wonders of valour, and even obtained a splendid victory near the Iselberg (comp. v. 13); three times did he

wrest the city of Innsbruck out of the hands of the enemy,-but in the end the French remained victorious. Hofer's hidingplace was betrayed by some greedy wretch, who wished to earn the prize set on his head; the brave man was conducted to Mantua, and there shot by the order of Eugene, Viceroy of Italy. Hofer died with the courage of a hero and martyr, highly honoured by his people.

6. Observe the alliteration in Schmach und Schmerz.

9. Sandwirth, i. e. landlord of the tavern'am Sand.'

10. ruhig is the adverb.

II. Death appeared to him as something quite insignificant. It is related that Hofer said shortly before his execution-Ade schudde Welt; so leicht kommt mir das Sterben vor. daß mir nicht einmal die Augen naß werden. 17. Waffenbrüder, companions in arms, the other Tyrolese who were prisoners in Mantua.

Even in fetters a free man.

30. For nit nicht comp. 13, 23.
36. Comp. v. 8 sq.

39. Allhier is a somewhat pedantic, and in the present instance more impressive form than hier.


For an account of Blücher's great victory over the French under Marshal Macdonald in the battle of the Katzbach we refer to Kohlrausch, The Year 1813, published in the Pitt Press Series, pp. 36—39.

5. In prose it would be more usual to give this in the form of a conditional clause: wenn auch die Todeswunde brennt.

9. ringen (lit. 'to wrestle') is often used of the last struggles in the agonies of death.

10. In prose in bangen Todesängsten.

14. wild expresses the strange excitement which has seized. the trumpeter.

16. ein steinern Bild, a statue of stone.

19. The allusion is, of course, to the compound Donnerwetter. The phrase, Victoria (the signal of victory) wettert wie ein Donner in das Land (goes forth into the land with the sound of thunder) is anything but usual. 30. hielt's hielt das.


The 'fieldmarshal' celebrated in this spirited poem is Blücher, that prototype of a German warrior, whom his soldiers called Marschall Vorwärts, and whose praise has been recorded by Goethe in the pithy lines;

In Harren und Krieg,
Im Sturz und Sicg,
Bewußt und groß

So riß er uns von Feinten los.

Was=warum, weshalb.


2. im fliegenden Saus, 'in flying gallop.' Der Saus is not a very common noun, except in the proverbial phrase in Saus und Braus leben, to live recklessly.

4. schneidig from die Schneite, the edge of the sword.

6. wallen im Winde flattern.

7. The verb greisen is very unusual, but easily understood. Old wine is better than fresh must, and possesses more flavour (called Blume in German, whence the expression blühen in the present line). Thus Blücher's matured experience is preferable to the rashness of younger soldiers.

9, 10. For the rhyme versank schwang, comp. 33, 16.

IO. gen is a contraction of gegen. It is especially employed in a higher style.

12. Die Wälschen denotes here the French. "At various points on the frontiers of our race we find them affixing this name on the conterminous Romance-speaking people. This is the most probable account of the names Wallachia, the Walloons in Belgium, and the Canton Wallis in Switzerland. On this principle we call the Romanised Britons, and the Germans called the Italians, by the same name-Welsh." Earle, The Philology of the English Tongue, ed. 2, p. 23. Blücher was one of the few who maintained the honour of the Prussian arms after the disastrous battle of Jena.

14. The interjection hei is quite appropriate to the spirited and popular style of this poem. It is very common in the ancient poem of the Nibelunge.-Der weiße Jüngling, the youth with white hair. Though old in years Blücher had preserved all the spring and elasticity of youth. (Comp. also Kohlrausch p. 52, 7.)—in'n=in den would be inadmissible in prose or ordinary poetry; it is a shortening permitted by the popular style.

15. Comp. the similar expressions in 32, 15 sq.

17. Einen Strauß halten, 'to fight a battle.' For the word Strauß see note on 4, 52.

Grimm quotes

19. The adj. hasig (from Hase) is very uncommon. only the present instance of the word. 'They ran away like hares.' Comp. v. 27.

22. The verb lehren is either construed with two accusatives (einen

etwas lehren), or the person who is taught something may be put in the dative (as we have it here). In the passive we may either say, ich werde etwas gelehrt, or mir wird etwas gelehrt. Compare with this the Latin construction of docere.

24. Ohnehosen is a translation of the term Sansculottes, originally applied to the democratic party in the French revolution, and here to the whole French army.

25. The original form of the name is Wartenburg. For the battle of Wartenburg, we refer to Kohlrausch p. 52 sq.

31. sicher, so as not to rise again.

35. This poem was written about the close of 1813, before Blücher had crossed the Rhine, and advanced into France.


For the formation and history of Lützow's corps we may refer to Kohlrausch, The Year 1813, p. 27, with our notes.

I. vom Walde=vom W. her; the bold riders being conceived as advancing from the side of the wood. As we are not supposed to be aware of the exact description of the sight exciting our attention, the neuter pronoun es is employed in the following lines.

4. For tarein see n. on 3, 31.

6. die schwarzen Gesellen, 'the black lads.'

9. In prose: von einem Berg zum andern.

12. fränkisch=französisch. In its proper application, this adj. may be used (1) of the ancient tribe of the Franks who conquered Gaul in the fifth century; (2) of the modern province of Franconia, on the upper Maine.-Schergen is here contemptuously used of the soldiers of Napoleon. Comp. Henkersblut v. 37.

16. Der Wüthrich (a term often applied to a furious tyrant) should of course be understood of Napoleon.—meinte is here identical with wähnte, inasmuch as his hope was without foundation.

17. The riders dash up to the brink of the river like far-shining tempest and lightning.

24. Wildherzig is not a very usual adjective, though easily understood. Sanders quotes another instance of it from Voss's translation of Homer: So wiltherzig ist keiner, daß Nichts ihn bändigen könnte.

30. winseln is properly used of dogs, though it is also employed in a wider sense. Luther has it even of birds: Ich winselte wie ein Kranich und Schwalbe. Jes. xxxviii. 14.

38. We should notice the idiomatic use of the past participle

instead of the imperative. See our note on Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea 1, 174.

39. tagen corresponds to dawn both in etymology and in meaning; here the new morning which begins to dawn should be understood metaphorically of liberty.

41. nachsagen means 'to repeat after some one': comp. Goethe as quoted by Sanders: Dergleichen Retensarten fagen sich nach, pflanzen sich fort.


For the events which form the groundwork of this poem, we may be allowed to refer to the account given by Kohlrausch as edited in the Pitt Press Series (The Year 1813), p. 26 sq. For Scharnhorst's bravery in the battle of Lützen (or Grossgörschen) on May 2, 1813, see ibid. p. 17.

I. The 'dance of war' is a frequent expression for war itself. Comp. Schiller:

Theures Weib, geh', hol' die Todeslanze,
Laßt mich fort zum wilden Kriegestanze.

2. There is a certain ambiguity in the expression of the poet, inasmuch as it is possible to take both Heldenlanze and General as subject. According to the first explanation, brach would be intransitive (='was broken') and General would be the apposition: 'there broke your fairest lance, your general.' We should, however, prefer another explanation, according to which the order of words would be euer General brach (trans.) die schönste Heldenlanze, in the sense of 'he fought most bravely.' Eine Lanze brechen is a phrase derived from tournaments, quite equivalent to the E. to break a lance for someone.-The compound Heldenlanze is not registered in Grimm.

5. Freiheitswaffen are arms taken up in defence of liberty—a compound not registered in Grimm.

7. The omission of the personal pronoun tu after raffst is poetical and colloquial. In the same manner, we should supply ich in the next line in prose: noch blutend will ich euch dienen. Comp. v. 15.


werben is here used in the general sense of suing for some one's friendship and alliance.

II. Ist's beschlossen wenn es (einmal so) beschlossen ist (decreed by fate). Schwerin (Kurt Christoph, Graf von), one of the generals of Frederick II. of Prussia, fell in the battle of Prague, May 6, 1757.


14. This is an allusion to the fate which is said to have befallen St Nepomuk, the confessor of the queen of Wenceslaus, king of Bohemia ; having refused to betray the queen's confessions to her jealous husband,


« PreviousContinue »