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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Lützow’s Wild Chase
By Karl Theodor Körner (1791–1813)
 
Translation of Charles Timothy Brooks

WHAT gleams from yon wood in the sunbeams’ play?
  Hark! hark! It sounds nearer and nearer;
It winds down the mountain in gloomy array,
And the blast of its trumpets is bringing dismay
  To the soul of the manliest hearer.        5
Go, read it in each dark comrade’s face—
“That is Lützow’s wild and desperate chase.”
 
What glances so swiftly through forest, o’er fell,
  From mountain to mountain flying?
In ambush like midnight it lies in the dell;        10
The hurrah rings, and the rifle’s knell
  Proclaims the French beadles are dying.
Go, read it in each dark hunter’s face—
“That is Lützow’s wild and desperate chase.”
 
Where the rich grapes glow and the Rhine waves roar,        15
  The tyrant thought safely to hide him;
With the swiftness of lightning it flies to the shore,
Leaps in, and with sinewy arm swims o’er,
  And springs to the bank beside him.
Go, read it in each dark swimmer’s face—        20
“That is Lützow’s wild and desperate chase.”
 
Why roars in yon valley the din of fight,
  And broadswords tumultuously clashing?
Stern horsemen are battling with dreadful delight,
And the live spark of liberty, wakeful and bright,        25
  In bloody-red flames is fast flashing.
Go, read it in each dark horseman’s face—
“That is Lützow’s wild and desperate chase.”
 
Lo, smiling farewell ’mid the foe’s dying wail,
  Who lies there with bare bosom streaming?        30
Death lays his hand on that young brow, pale;
But never shall one of those true hearts quail,
  For the star of their country is beaming.
Go, read it in each pale, marble face—
“That was Lützow’s wild and desperate chase!”        35
 
The wild, wild chase, and the German chase
  ’Gainst hangmen and tyrants, is ended.
Come then, ye who love us, wipe tears from each face,
For the country is free, and the morn dawns apace,
  Though our forms in the grave be extended.        40
Children’s children shall cry, as our story they trace—
“That was Lützow’s wild and desperate chase.”
 
 
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