Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
The Swiss
By Alsatian Soldier Song (1784–90)
IN Strassburg in the fort
All woe began for me:
The Alpine bugle yonder made me sore,
I had to swim to my dear country's shore;
That should not be.        5
One hour 'twas in the night,
They took me in my plight,
And led me straightway to the captain's door.
Oh God, they fished me in the stream—what more?
Now all is o'er.        10
To-morrow morn at ten
The regiment I'll have to face;
They'll lead me there to beg for grace.
I'll have my just reward, I know.
It must be so.        15
Ye brothers, all ye men,
Ye'll never see me here again;
The shepherd boy, I say, began it all,
And I accuse the Alpine bugle-call
Of this my fall.        20
I pray ye, brothers three,
Come on and shoot at me;
Fear not my tender life to hurt,
Shoot on and let the red blood spurt—
Come on, I say!        25
Oh, Lord of heaven, on high!
Take my poor erring soul
Unto its heavenly goal;
There let it stay forever—
Forget me never!        30

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