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And the gleam on its path as it steals away
Into deeper shades from the sultry day,
And the large water-lilies that o'er its bed
Their pearly leaves to the soft light spread,
They haunt me !—I dream of that bright spring's flow,
I thirst for its rills, like a wounded roe.
Be still, thou sea-bird, with thy clanging cry,
My spirit sickens as thy wing sweeps by
Know ye my home, with the lulling sound
Of leaves from the lime and the chestnut round
Know ye it, brethren, where bower'd it lies,
Under the purple of southern skies 2
With the streamy gold of the sun that shines
In through the cloud of its clustering vines,
And the breath of the fainting myrtle-flowers,
Borne from the mountains in dewy hours,
And the fire-fly's glance through the darkening shades,
Like shooting stars in the forest-glades,
And the scent of the citron at eve's dim fall—
Speak!—have ye known, have ye felt them all?
The heavy-rolling surge—the rocking mast!
Hush —give my dream's deep music way, thou blast!
A VOYAGER'S DREAM OF LAND.
Oh! the glad sounds of the joyous earth!
The notes of the singing cicala's mirth,
The murmurs that live in the mountain-pines,
The sighing of reeds as the day declines,
The wings flitting home through the crimson glow
That steeps the woods when the sun is low,
The voice of the night-bird that sends a thrill
To the heart of the leaves when the winds are still—
I hear them —around me they rise, they swell,
They claim back my spirit with Hope to dwell,
They come with a breath from the fresh spring-time,
And waken my youth in its hour of prime.
The white foam dashes high—away, away,
Shroud my green land no more, thou blinding spray !
It is there !—down the mountains I see the sweep
Of the chestnut forests, the rich and deep;
With the burden and glory of flowers that they wear,
Floating upborne on the blue summer-air,
And the light pouring through them in tender gleams,
And the flashing forth of a thousand streams.
—Hold me not, brethren, I go, I go,
To the hills of my youth, where the myrtles blow,
To the depths of the woods, where the shadows rest,
Massy and still, on the greensward's breast,
To the rocks that resound with the water's play—
Charles Theodore Körner, the celebrated young German poet and soldier, was killed in a skirmish with a detachment of French troops, on the 20th of August 1813, a few hours after the composition of his popular piece, “The Sword Song.” He was buried at the village of Wöbbelin in Mecklenburg, under a beautiful oak, in a recess of which he had frequently deposited verses composed by him while campaigning in its vicinity. The monument erected to his memory is of cast iron, and the upper part is wrought into a lyre and a sword, a favorite emblem of Körner's, from which one of his works had been entitled. Near the grave of the poet is that of his only sister, who died of grief for his loss, having only survived him long enough to complete his portrait, and a drawing of his burial place. Over the gate of the cemetery is engraved one of his own lines.
“Vergiss die treuen Tödten nicht.”
“Forget not the faithful Dead.”
See Downes's Letters from Mecklenburg, and Körner's Prosaische Aufsätze, von C. A. Tiedge.
GREEN wave the oak forever o'er thy rest,
Thou that beneath its crowning foliage sleepest,
And, in the stillness of thy country’s breast,
Thy place of memory, as an altar, keepest:
Brightly thy spirit o'er her hills was pour’d,
Thou of the Lyre and Sword :
Rest, Bard, rest, Soldier —by the father's hand
Here shall the child of after years be led,
With his wreath-offering silently to stand,
In the hush'd presence of the glorious dead.
Soldier and Bard for thou thy path hast trod
With Freedom and with God.”
The oak wav'd proudly o'er thy burial rite,
On thy crown'd bier to slumber warriors bore thee,
And with true hearts thy brethren of the fight
Wept as they wail'd their drooping banners o'er thee;
And the deep guns with rolling peal gave token,
That Lyre and Sword were broken.
* The poems of Körner, which were chiefly devoted to the cause of his country, are strikingly distinguished by religious feelings, and a confidence in the Supreme Justice for the final deliverance of Germany.