Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
III. War
Hermann and Thusnelda
Freidrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724–1803)
Anonymous translation from the German

HA! there comes he, with sweat, with blood of Romans,
And dust of the fight all stained! Oh, never
          Saw I Hermann so lovely!
          Never such fire in his eyes!
Come! I tremble for joy; hand me the Eagle        5
And the red dripping sword! come, breathe, and rest thee;
          Rest thee here in my bosom;
          Rest from the terrible fight!
Rest thee, while from thy brow I wipe the big drops,
And the blood from thy cheek!—that cheek, how glowing!        10
          Hermann! Hermann! Thusnelda
          Never so loved thee before!
No, not then, when thou first in old oak shadows,
With that manly brown arm didst wildly grasp me!
          Spell-bound I read in thy look        15
          That immortality then
Which thou now hast won. Tell to the forests,
Great Augustus, with trembling, amidst his gods now,
          Drinks his nectar; for Hermann,
          Hermann immortal is found!        20
“Wherefore curl’st thou my hair? Lies not our father
Cold and silent in death? Oh, had Augustus
          Only headed his army,—
          He should lie bloodier there!”
Let me lift up thy hair; ’t is sinking, Hermann:        25
Proudly thy locks should curl above the crown now!
          Sigmar is with the immortals!
          Follow, and mourn him no more!

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