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


Prince Wrede’s Death

By Arthur Rapp

BY Hanau, where the Kinzig dark and deep,

To meet the Main, rolls on its treacherous way,

Right on the road to Frankfurt, it is spanned

By an old bridge, built strong of basalt gray.

Midway, encased within the basalt wall,

A narrow marble tablet marks a name.

’T is but the one word: Wrede, but it speaks

To German hearts of glory and of fame.

Napoleon, after Leipzig’s stern defeat,

To gain his France once more, here on his way

Met proud Bavaria’s proudest prince. At last

The dauntless lion found himself at bay.

But, though ten thousand French were forced to find

In Kinzig’s treacherous flood a horrid grave,

Prince Wrede too fell, wounded unto death.

Yon tablet marks the spot. God rest the brave!

And now the legend goes, that on this spot

Where Wrede fell, his ghost is often seen.

For, when the moon with her full flood of light

Upon that tablet throws her silver sheen,

’T is said, the prince, casting upon the flood

A pitying look, tries, so the story goes,

To stem the rushing waters, and to save

The drowned thousands of his ghostly foes.