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


The Hussites before Naumburg

By From the German

Translated by H. W. Dulcken

THE HUSSITES invested Naumburg,

By way of Jena and Kamburg.

On the “Vogelwies,” afar and near,

Naught was seen but sword and spear,

Near one hundred thousand.

And when Naumburg they invested,

Plague the people a great distress did.

Hunger bit them, thirst held fast;

Half an ounce of coffee at last

Sixteen pennies cost them.

And when naught it seemed could save them,

One good scheme some hope still gave them;

For a pedagogue set his wit

To find a stratagem, and hit

On his little scholars.

“Children,” said he, “you are young, sure;

None of you has done any wrong, sure.

I will lead you to Prokop;

He won’t be so bad, I hope,

That he should destroy you.

Old Prokop this mightily please did;

He on cherries the youngsters feasted;

Then he drew his sword from its case,

And commanded, “Right about face,

Backward march from Naumburg.”

In this miracle’s honor the people

Every year a holiday keep all.

Surely the cherry-feast you know,

Where with our cask to the tents we go,—

Victory and freedom!