« AnteriorContinuar »
There are marks of age,
Soiled and dull thou art ;
Thou art stained with wine
Yet dost thou recall
When I paused to hear
The old ballad of King Christian Shouted from suburban taverns In the twilight.
Thou recallest bards,
Thou recallest homes
Once some ancient Scald,
TO AN OLD DANISH SONG BOOK,
Once in Elsinore,
Once Prince Frederick's Guard
Peasants in the field,
Thou hast been their friend ;
And, as swallows build
WALTER VON DER VOGELWEID.'
VOGELWEID the Minnesinger,
When he left this world of ours, Laid his body in the cloister,
Under Würtzburg's minster towers.
And he gave the monks his treasures,
Gave them all with this behest : They should feed the birds at noontide
Daily on his place of rest;
Saying, “From these wandering minstrels
I have learned the art of song ; Let me now repay the lessons
They have taught so well and long."
Thus the bard of love departed ;
And, fulfilling his desire,
By the children of the choir.
Day by day, o'er tower and turret,
In foul weather and in fair, Day by day, in vaster numbers,
Flocked the poets of the air.
On the tree whose heavy branches
Overshadowed all the place,
On the poet's sculptured face,
WALTER VON DER VOGELWEID.
On the cross-bars of each window,
On the lintel of each door,
Which the bard had fought before.
There they sang their merry carols,
Sang their lauds on every side ;
Was the name of Vogelweid.
Till at length the portly abbot
Murmured, “Why this waste of food ?
For our fasting brotherhood.”
Then in vain o'er tower and turret,
From the walls and woodland nests
Gathered the unwelcome guests.
Then in vain, with cries discordant,
Clamorous round the Gothic spire,
For the children of the choir.
Time has long effaced the inscriptions
On the cloister's funeral stones,
Where repose the poet's bones.
But around the vast cathedral,
By sweet echoes multiplied,
And the name of Vogelweid.
(1) Walter von der Vogelweid, or Bird-Meadow, was one of the principal Minnesingers of the thirteenth century. He triumphed over Heinrich von Ofterdingen in that poetic contest at Wartburg Castle, known in literary history as the War of Wartburg.