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

Kyffhäuser Mountains

Friedrich Rothbart

By Emanuel Geibel (1815–1884)

Translated by W. W. Caldwell

FAR within the lone Kyffhäuser,

With a lamp red glimmering by

Sits the aged Emperor Frederick,

At a marble table nigh.

Covered with a purple mantle,

And in armor glancing bright,

Still upon his moveless eyelids

Lieth slumber’s heavy night.

On his features, calm yet earnest,

Love and sternness each is shown,

And his beard, so long and golden,

Through the marble stone hath grown.

Here, like brazen statues standing,

All his knights their lord surround,

Sword begirt, in armor gleaming,

But like him in slumber bound.

Henry, he of Ofterdingen,

Mid the silent ranks is there,

With his lips so skilled in singing,

And his yellow curling hair.

By his side his harp reclineth,

Like its master, voiceless now,

But a coming song is sleeping

Yet upon his noble brow.

All is silent, save the moisture

Dropping slowly from the wall,—

Silent, till the appointed morning

Breaks in glory over all.

Till the eagle’s mighty pinions

Round the mountain-summit play,

At whose rush the swarming ravens,

Quick affrighted, flee away.

Comes a sound like far-off thunder,

Rolling through the mountain then,

And the emperor grasps his sword-hilt,

And the knights awake again.

Loud upon its hinges sounding,

Open springs the brazen door,

Barbarossa and his followers

Walk in bright array once more.

On his helm the crown he beareth,

And the sceptre in his hand;

Swords are glancing, harps are ringing,

Where he moveth through the land.

All before the monarch bending

Render him the homage due,

And the holy German Empire

Foundeth he at Aix anew.