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

Appendix: Leipsig

The Battle of Leipzig

By Karl Theodor Körner (1791–1813)

Translated by J. S. Blackie

WHAT fires from the night-clad far heights flare,

Like flames from the altar ascending?

A burden of prophecy hangs on the air,

As a heralding angel were treading there,

And voices of triumph are blending:

On night’s dark wings rides Victory,—

Leipzig, sing ye! sing ye the fight of the free!

Our hoary sires of the ancient day,

When Varus was routed by Hermann,

The Kaisers that taught haughty Rome to obey,

That hunted the Huns and the Turks away,

And made Europe free by the German:

They echo the strain with solemn glee,

Leipzig’s thunder pealeth,—the nations are free!

Brave hearts that believed in bright freedom’s day,

When Deutschland in slavery languished,

Who at Lützen, at Bautzen, stood stiffly at bay,

Till Dennewitz covered the Frank with dismay,

Who at Katzbach the elements vanquished;

The hope of your hearts your eyes now see,

Leipzig, sing ye!—Leipzig and Germany free!

And they in the dubious morn who fell

In fight for the land of their fathers,

The praise of the valiant our hymns shall tell,

And when our tongues name whom we loved so well,

The fire in our bosom gathers;

While they from heaven’s high canopy

Sing triumphant,—Germany, Europe, is free!

Ye sons of strong sires, who for Germany stood,

When the axe was uplifted to smite her,

Where God marks the spot to the brave and the good,

This night be the oath of the freeman renewed,

While mounts the flame higher and brighter!

No more shall the tyrant rule Germany!

Leipzig’s name shall pledge her forever,—the Free.

Then bright may the flame from the dark heights shine!

The fire in our hearts brighter flameth!

Let German with German in brotherhood join,

Till the Frank shall remeasure his step from the Rhine,

And his pride the fell Corsican tameth!

And aye as ye march with triumphal glee,

Leipzig, sing ye!—Germany, Fatherland, Free!