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

Katzbach, the River

The Trumpeter of Katzbach

By Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787–1862)

Translated by Percy Boyd

A TRUMPETER at Katzbach,

As the storm of fight swept by,

His life-blood ebbing slowly,

Had laid him down to die.

No ease the wound was bringing

Within his stricken breast;

Until he hears of victory

He does not pray for rest.

As he lay alone and dying,

Upon the blood-stained ground,

Upon his ear comes floating

A clarion’s well-known sound.

From the cold earth he rises,

As he hears the glorious strain;

And on his stately charger

The trumpeter sits again.

Then forth he takes his trumpet,

Once more with nervous hand,

And rings with peal like thunder,

Victoria! o’er the land.

Victory! sounds the trumpet,

Victory! far and near!

Again that glorious echo

Sings thrilling on the ear.

But with that blast of thunder

His martial spirit fled;

And from his stately charger

The trumpeter falls dead!

Then as their comrade’s obsequies

The serried ranks attend,

Spake softly the field-marshal,

“His was a happy end!”