Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Nancy
Charles the Bold
Count Anton Alexander von Auersperg (Anastasius Grün) (1806–1876)
 
(From Charles’s Death)
Translated by John Osborne Sargent

THE MOON looks down on lovely lands, in traversing the skies,
But joyously o’er Burgundy she stops to feast her eyes;
The sun, who dallies gallantly with ladies north and south,
Is never tired of kissing Burgundian Mary’s mouth.
 
Rich is the Duke of Burgundy in beautiful domains;        5
Purple clusters gem the hill-tops, and yellow sheaves the plains;
Rich cities and free peoples in the streams reflected shine,
And Bliss is here the reaper, and Plenty trims the vine.
 
Earth strives with all her treasures his possessions to environ,
His lands abound in quarries, and in mines of lustrous iron;        10
For him full many a castle in pride and splendor looms,
And in the golden castle a lovely daughter blooms.
 
With a sword in battle tempered he must defend his lands,
That their gardens may not wither in the smoke of hostile brands;
He must protect these treasures, to flourish and increase        15
Long after their true guardian in the graveyard rests in peace.
*        *        *        *        *
By Nancy, for the ravens is a carnival in store,
Sits the Duke in bloody judgment, who never will judge more!
There the hero-tree of Burgundy was prostrate, branch and stem,
Flowers of Lorraine and Switzerland,—the same blast withered them!        20
 
Mark the colors and the crests which the hosts opposing show,
Mark the crests and colors mingled where the slaughtered hosts lie low:
Like kings in purple mantles with smoking carnage red,—
Know you who has thus united them? Death reconciles the dead!
 
At Nancy a new tombstone in the Cathedral lies,        25
And o’er it like a statue leans a maid with weeping eyes;
On her countenance is brooding a sorrow dark and deep,
One here may see a daughter for a loving father weep.
 
At Nancy in the graveyard a multitude appear,
Led by the ties of sorrow from districts far and near;        30
And if any tears are shed there, they without deception fall,—
The mourners, as they bury us, adjudge the deeds of all!
 
 
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