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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


Count Eberhard, the Weeper of Würtemberg

By Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)

Translated by H. W. Dulcken

YE!—ye, there, in the world without,

Lift not your heads so grand!

Men hath it borne, and heroes stout,

Alike for peace or battle-rout,—

Our gallant Swabian land!

Boast of your Edward, Frederic, Charles,

And Ludwig as ye might,

Charles, Frederic, Ludwig, Edward too,

Was Eberhard, our count so true,—

A tempest in the fight.

The county’s boy, young Ulric, too,

Loved well the iron clang;

The county’s boy, young Ulric, too,

No footfall backward ever drew,

Where men to saddle sprang.

The Reutlingers brewed vengeance-pain

To see our names so bright;

And strove the victor’s wreath to gain,

And many a sword-dance dared maintain,

And drew their girdles tight.

He gave them war,—beshrew the fight

Whence beaten home he came!

The father’s brow was black as night,—

The youthful warrior fled the light,

And wept for very shame.

That galled him: “Ah, ye knaves, beware!”

(And kept it in his soul)—

“Now by my father’s beard I swear

To grind the notch my sword doth bear

On many a townsman’s poll!”

Nor long the time ere rose a feud:

Forth sallied horse and man;

Toward Döffingen the army stood,

And brighter grew the younker’s mood,

And hot the fight began.

The watchword to our men that day

Was given—“the ill-starred fight”—

That drove us like the storm away,

And lodged us deep in bloody fray,

And in the lances’ night.

Our youthful count, with lion’s wrath,

Swung high his hero-glaive;

Wild battle-roar before his path,

Wailing and groans his feet beneath,

And all around—the grave.

But woe! ah, woe! a ghastly sword

Fell heavy on his head;

The hero-band surround their lord

In vain; young Ulric on the sward

With glassy eyes lay dead.

Then horror stayed the battle’s plan,

Tears from all eyes ’gan flow;

But ho!—the count to charge began,—

“My son is as another man;

March, children, on the foe!”

And fiercer rageth now the fight,

For vengeance spurs them well;

Forth o’er the corpses went their might,

And townsmen flying left and right

O’er forest, hill, and dell.

And blithely all our clarions rang

When to our camp hied we;

And wives and children gayly sang,

Mid dances’ whirl and beaker-clang,

To praise our victory.

But Eberhard, what doth he here?

Before him lies his son;

Within his tent, no mortal near,

The count hath dropt one sparkling tear

That silent form upon.

Therefore, with love so true and warm,

Around the count we stand;

Alone, he is a hero-swarm,—

The thunder rageth in his arm,—

The star of Swabian land.

Then, ye there in the world without,

Lift not your heads so grand!

Men hath it borne, and heroes stout,

Alike in peace and battle-rout,

Our gallant Swabian land.