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public through the pages of the Musenalmanach. This was in 1835. In 1838 appeared the first volume of his poems, and it won instant and unusual favor; Gutzkow called him the German Hugo. With this encouragement Freiligrath definitely abandoned mercantile life. In 1841 he married. At the suggestion of Alexander von Humboldt, the King of Prussia granted him a royal pension; and as no conditions were attached, it was accepted. This was a bitter disappointment to the ardent revolutionary poets, who had counted Freiligrath as one of themselves; but the turbulent times which preceded the revolution soon forced him into an open declaration of principles, and although he had said in one of his poems that the poet was above all party, in 1844, influenced by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, he resigned his pension, announced his position, and in May published a volume of revolutionary poems entitled Mein Glaubensbekenntniss) (My Confession of Faith). This book created the wildest enthusiasm, and placed its author at once in the front rank of the people's partisans. He fled to Brussels, and in 1846 published under the title of 'Ça Ira' six new songs, which were a trumpet-call to revolution. The poet deemed it prudent to retire to London, and he was about to accept an invitation from Longfellow to cross the ocean when the revolution broke out, and he returned to Düsseldorf to put himself at the head of the democratic party on the Rhine. But he was a poet and not a leader, and he indiscreetly exposed himself to arrest by an inflammatory poem, Die Todten an die Lebenden' (The Dead to the Living). The jury however acquitted him, and he at once assumed the management of the New Rhenish Gazette at Cologne.
It is a curious fact that during this agitated time Freiligrath wrote some of his tenderest poetry. In the collection which appeared in 1849 with the title "Zwischen den Garben' (Between the Sheaves), was included that exquisite hymn to love: “Oh, Love So Long as Love Thou Canst,' perhaps the most perfect of all his lyrical productions, and certainly evidence that the poet could touch the strings to deep emotions. In the following year both volumes of his New Political and Social Poems' were ready. Once more he prudently retired to London; his fears were confirmed by the immediate confiscation of these new volumes, and by the publication of a letter of apprehension. By way of reprisal he wrote his poem “The Revolution,' which was published in London.
In 1867 the Swiss bank with which Freiligrath was connected closed its London branch, and the poet again faced an uncertain future. His friends on the Rhine, hearing of his difficulties, raised a generous subscription, and taking advantage of a general amnesty, he returned to the fatherland and became associated with the Stuttgart Illustrated Magazine. In 1870 appeared a complete collection of his poems; in 1876, New Poems'; and in the latter year, on March 18th, he died at Cannstatt in Würtemburg.
The question which Freiligrath asks the emigrants in his early poem of that name, - 'O say, why seek ye other lands?) — was destined to find frequent and bitter answer in his own checkered career; but he never swerved from the liberal principles which he had publicly announced. His political poems were among the most powerful influences of his time, and they have a permanent value as the expression of the spirit of freedom. His translations are marvels of fidelity and beauty. His Hiawatha' and 'The Ancient Mariner,' together with his versions of Victor Hugo, are perhaps the best examples of his surpassing skill. His own works have been for the most part excellently translated into English. His daughter published during her father's lifetime a volume of his poems, in which were collected all the best English translations then available. The exotic subjects of his early poems make them seem the most original, as for example Der Mohrenfürst' (The Moorish Prince) and Der Blumen Rache) (The Revenge of the Flowers); the unusual rhymes hold the attention, and the sonorous melody of the verse delights the ear: but it is in a few of his superb love lyrics that he touches the highest point of his genius, although his fame continues to rest upon his impassioned songs of freedom and his name to be associated with the rich imagery of the Orient.
By far Missouri's silent banks
Shall these the scenes of home renew,
The stone-rimmed fount in village street
Where oft ye stooped to chat and draw,The hearth, and each familiar seat,
The pictured tiles your childhood saw.
Soon, in the far and wooded West
Shall log-house walls therewith be graced; Soon many a tired tawny guest
Shall sweet refreshment from them taste.
From them shall drink the Cherokee,
Faint with the hot and dusty chase; No more from German vintage, ye
Shall bear them home, in leaf-crowned grace.
O say, why seek ye other lands?
The Neckar's vale hath wine and corn; Full of dark firs the Schwarzwald stands;
In Spessart rings the Alp-herd's horn.
Ah, in strange forests you will yearn
For the green mountains of your home,To Deutschland's yellow wheat-fields turn,
In spirit o'er her vine-hills roam.
How will the form of days grown pale
In golden dreams float softly by, Like some old legendary tale, Before fond men
emory's moistened eye!
The boatman calls, - go hence in peace!
- wife, and child, and sire!
Translation of C. T. Brooks. THE LION'S RIDE
HAT! wilt thou bind him fast with a chain ?
Wilt bind the king of the cloudy sands?
Idiot fool! he has burst from thy hands and bands,
By the water's edge,
Not so! The curtain of evening falls,
And the Caffre, mooring his light canoe
To the shore, glides down through the hushed karroo, And the watch-fires burn in the Hottentot kraals, And the antelope seeks a bed in the bush
Till dawn shall blush, And the zebra stretches his limbs by the tinkling fountain, And the changeful signals fade from the Table Mountain.
Now look through the dusk! What seest thou now?
Seest such a tall giraffe! She stalks,
All majesty, through the desert walks,-
Behold her haste!
But look again! look! see once more
Those globe-eyes glare! The gigantic reeds
Lie cloven and trampled like puniest weeds,The lion leaps on the drinker's neck with a roar! Oh, what a racer! Can any behold,
'Mid the housings of gold In the stables of kings, dyes half so splendid As those on the brindled hide of yon wild animal
Greedily fleshes the lion his teeth
In the breast of his writhing prey; around
Hark, that hollow cry! She springs up from beneath
See, how she unites,
She reaches the central moon-lighted plain,
That spreadeth around all bare and wide;
Meanwhile, adown her spotted side
On the void of air!
And lo! A stupendous column of sand,
A sand-spout out of that sandy ocean, upcurls
Behind the pair in eddies and whirls; Most like some colossal brand,
Or wandering spirit of wrath
On his blasted path, Or the dreadful pillar that lighted the warriors and women Of Israel's land through the wilderness of Yemen.
And the vulture, scenting a coming carouse,
Sails, hoarsely screaming, down the sky;
The bloody hyena, be sure, is nigh, Fierce pillager, he, of the charnel-house! The panther, too, who strangles the Cape-Town sheep
As they lie asleep, Athirst for his share in the slaughter, follows; While the gore of their victim spreads like a pool in the
She reels, – but the king of the brutes bestrides
His tottering throne to the last: with might
He plunges his terrible claws in the bright
In vain, in vain !