Lützows wilde Jagd
Lützow’s Wild Band
- What gleams through the woods in the morning sun?
- Hear it nearer and nearer draw!
- It winds in and out in columns dun,
- And the trumpet-notes on the roused winds run,
- And they startle the soul with awe.
- Should you of the comrades black demand—
- That is Lützow’s wild and untamèd band.
- What passes swift through the darksome glade,
- And roves o’er the mountains all?
- It crouches in nightly ambuscade;
- The hurrah breaks round the foe dismayed,
- And the Frankish sergeants fall.
- Should you of the rangers black demand—
- That is Lützow’s wild and audacious band.
- Where the vineyards flourish, there roars the Rhine;
- There the tyrant thought him secure;
- Then by thunder-crash and lightning-shine
- In the waters plunges the fighting line;
- Of the hostile bank makes sure.
- Should you of the swimmers black demand—
- That is Lützow’s wild and foolhardy band.
- There down in the valley what clamorous fight!
- What clangor of bloody swords!
- Fierce-hearted horsemen wage the fight,
- And the spark of freedom’s at last alight,
- Flaming red the heavens towards.
- Should you of the horsemen black demand—
- That is Lützow’s wild and intrepid band.
- Who with death-rattle there bid the day farewell
- ’Mid the moans of prostrate foes?
- Of the hand of death the drawn features tell,
- Yet the dauntless hearts triumphant swell,
- For his Fatherland’s safe each knows!
- Should you of the black-clad fallen demand—
- That is Lützow’s wild and invincible band.
- The wild, fierce band and the Teuton band,
- For all tyrants’ blood athirst!—
- So you who would mourn us, be not unmanned;
- For the morning dawns, and we freed our land,
- Though to free it we won death first!
- Then tell, at your grandsons’ rapt demand:
- That was Lützow’s wild and unconquered band!
trans. Herman Montagu Donner
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