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


The Two Coffins

By Andreas Justinus Kerner (1786–1862)

Translated by H. W. Dulcken

AWAY in the old cathedral

Two coffins stand alone;

In one of them sleeps King Ottmar,

And the singer rests in one.

The king sat once in power,

High throned in his father’s land;

The crown still graces his temples,

The falchion his kingly hand.

But near the proud king the singer

Is peacefully sleeping on,

In his lifeless hand still clasping

The harp of the pious tone.

The castles around are falling,

The war-cry rings through the land,

The sword, it stirreth never

There in the dead king’s hand.

Blossoms and vernal breezes

Are floating the vale along,

And the singer’s harp is sounding

In never-ending song.