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But the hour of the knell and the dirge is nigh, For the tree hath fall'n, and the flower must die.
Say not 'tis vain !—I tell thee, some
Are warn’d by a meteor's light,
Or a voice on the winds by night;
THE WILD HUNTSMAN.
It is a popular belief in the Odenwald, that the passing of the Wild Huntsman announces the approach of war. He is supposed to issue with his train from the ruined castle of sodenstein, and traverse the air to the opposite castle of Schnellerts. It is confidently asserted that the sound of his phantom horses and hounds was heard by the duke of Baden before the commencement of the last war in Germany:
The rest was deep at the slumberer's hour
If thou didst not hear the blast
As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass'd,
Through the dark unquiet sky!
The stag sprung up from his mossy bed
When he caught the piercing sounds,
As he flew from the viewless hounds;
Away through the rushing night!
The banner shook on its ancient hold,
And the pine in its desert-place,
With the din of the trampling race ;
And the bugle, ringing out !
From the chieftain's hand the wine-cup fell,
At the castle's festive board,
Of the harp's triumphal chord;
In the hall died fast away.
* Minnesinger, love-singer; the wandering minstrels of Germany were so called in the middle ages.
The convent's chanted rite was stay'd,
And the hermit dropp'd his beads, And a trembling ran through the forest-shade,
At the neigh of the phantom steeds, And the church-bells pealed to the rocking blast
As the Wild Night-Huntsman pass’d.
The storm hath swept with the chase away,
There is stillness in the sky,
With a troubled heart and eye,
'Midst the gleam of her golden hair!
The Rhine flows bright, but its waves ere long
Must hear a voice of war,
And a trumpet from afar ;
For the Huntsman hath gone by!
BRANDENBURGH HARVEST-SONG.* FROM THE GERMAN OF LA MOTTE FOUQUÉ.
The corn, in golden light,
Waves o'er the plain ;
Full swells the grain.
Now send we far around
Our harvest lay!
Comes o'er the day!
On every breeze a knell
The hamlets pour,-
She is no more !
* For the year of the Queen of Prussia's death.