Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
Gallant Schill
Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860)
Translated by H. W. Dulcken

FORTH from Berlin a brave hero did ride,
And troopers six hundred after him hied;
Six hundred troopers of gallant mood,
Who all were athirst for the Frenchman’s blood.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        5
And there were marching, these riders beside,
A thousand soldiers of courage tried;
O soldiers, may Heaven bless each blow
That ’s destined to lay a Frenchman low.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        10
Thus forth wends the brave, the gallant Schill;
To fight the Frenchman it is his will.
Nor for king nor for emperor combats he,
But for fatherland and for liberty.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        15
At Dodendorf did those soldiers good
Dye the fat earth with the Frenchmen’s blood.
Two thousand men by their swords were slain,
To trust to their heels the rest were fain.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        20
Then stormed they Dömitz, that fortress strong,
And cast out the Frenchman’s rascal throng:
To Pomerania they then passed o’er,
Where no Frenchman shall cry his “qui vive” more.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard.        25
To Stralsund the troops came thundering on!
O Frenchmen, like birds could ye but be gone!
O, could ye feathers and pinions find,
For Schill is coming, who rides like the wind.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        30
Into the city he thundered amain,
Where Wallenstein once kept his watch in vain,—
Where slept in the gate the Twelfth Charles so sound;
But towers and wall are now razed to the ground.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        35
O, woe to ye Frenchmen! How death doth mow!
The swords of the riders, how ruddy they glow!
How boils in the troopers their German blood!
To slaughter the Frenchmen it seemeth them good.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        40
O, woe to thee, Schill, thou hero free,
What treacherous toils are laid for thee!
On land they are flying, but from the main
Comes creeping the traitorous serpent, the Dane.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        45
O Schill, brave Schill, thou hero stout,
Why rodest not thou with the troopers out?
Thy courage why hide ’neath the rampart’s shade?
In Stralsund now shall thy grave be made.—
  O Schill, thy sword smiteth hard!        50
O Stralsund, Stralsund, thou heavy town!
The bravest spirit in thee went down!
A ball his gallant heart hath torn,
And knaves of the hero made jest and scorn.—
  O Schill, thy sabre smote hard!        55
For a saucy Frenchman he cried aloud,
“Like a dog we ’ll bury this hero proud!
Like a thief whose body on gallows and wheel
Hath made for the kite and the raven a meal!”—
  O Schill, thy sabre smote hard.        60
They carried him out when all was dumb,
Without sound of fife, without beat of drum.—
No music of cannon or gun they gave,
Wherewith to salute the soldier’s grave.—
  O Schill, thy sabre smote hard!        65
From off his shoulders they cut his head;
His corpse in a worthless grave they laid.
Till the judgment day he his rest must take:
God grant he may then to joy awake.—
  O Schill, thy sabre smote hard!        70
The pious and gallant heart sleeps on,
With no stone to tell of the deeds he ’s done;
But, though no honor-stone hath he,
His name shall never forgotten be.—
  O Schill, thy sabre smote hard!        75
When saddles the trooper his steed so light,
When swingeth the trooper his sword so bright,
He cries in anger, “Sir Schill, Sir Schill,
On the Frenchman revenge thy wrongs I will!”—
  O Schill, thy sabre smote hard.        80

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