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.
The Protest
Georg Herwegh (1817–1875)
Anonymous translation

AS long as I ’m a Protestant,
  I ’m bounden to protest;
Come, every German musicant,
  And fiddle me his best!
You ’re singing of “the Free old Rhine”;        5
But I say, No, good comrades mine,—
    The Rhine could be
    Greatly more free,
  And that I do protest.
I scarce had got my christening o’er,        10
  Or was in breeches dressed,
But I began to shout and roar
  And mightily protest.
And since that time I ’ve never stopped,
My protestations never dropped;        15
    And blessed be they
    Who every way
  And everywhere protest.
There ’s one thing certain in my creed,
  And schism is all the rest,—        20
That who ’s a Protestant indeed
  Forever must protest.
What is the river Rhine to me?
For, from its source unto the sea,
    Men are not free,        25
    Whate’er they be,
  And that I do protest.
And every man in reason grants,
  What always was confessed,
As long as we are Protestants,        30
  We sternly must protest.
And when they sing “the Free old Rhine,”
Answer them “No,” good comrades mine,—
    The Rhine could be
    Greatly more free,        35
  And that you shall protest.

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