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


Goethe’s Monument at Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1821

By Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)

Translated by E. A. Bowring

GOOD German men, maids, matrons, pray give ear!

Collect subscribers with the utmost speed,

The worthy folk of Frankfort have agreed

To build a monument to Goethe here.

“At fair time,” think they, “this will make it clear

To foreign traders that we ’re of his breed,

That ’t was our soil that nurtured such fair seed,

And then in trade they ’ll trust us without fear.”

O, touch the bard’s bright wreath of laurel never,

And keep your money in your pockets too;

’T is Goethe’s, his own monument to raise.

He dwelt amongst you in his infant days,

But half a world now severs him from you,

Whom a stream doth from Sachsenhausen sever!