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


The Battle of the Bards

By Robert, Lord Lytton (1831–1891)

THIS is the land, the happy valleys these,

Broad breadths of plain, blue-veined by many a stream,

Umbrageous hills, sweet glades, and forests fair,

O’er which our good liege, Landgrave Herman, rules.

This is Thuringia: yonder, on the heights,

Is Wartburg, seat of our dear lord’s abode,

Famous through Christendom for many a feat

Of deftest knights, chief stars of chivalry,

At tourney in its courts; nor more renowned

For deeds of prowess than exploits of art,

Achieved when, vocal in its Muses’ hall,

The minstrel-knights their glorious jousts renew,

And for the laurel wage harmonious war.

On this side spreads the chase in wooded slopes

And sweet acclivities; and, all beyond,

The open flats lie fruitful to the sun

Full many a league; till, dark against the sky,

Bounding the limits of our lord’s domain,

The Hill of Hörsel rears his horrid front.