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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Who Knows Where
By Detlev von Liliencron (1844–1909)
 
(Battle of Kolin, June 18th, 1757)

Translation of Ludwig Lewisohn

ON blood, smoke, ruin and the dead,
On trampled grass unharvested
The sun poured light.
Dark fell. The battle’s rage was o’er,
And many a one came home no more        5
From Kolin’s fight.
 
A lad, half boy, had shared the fray,
Had first heard bullets whiz that day.
He had to go …
And though he swung his flag on high,        10
Fate touched him, it was his to die.
He had to go.
 
Near him there lay a pious book
Which still the youngster bore and took
With sword and cup.        15
A grenadier from Bevern found
The small, stained volume on the ground
And picked it up.
 
And swiftly to the father brought
This last farewell with silence fraught        20
And with despair.
Then wrote therein the trembling hand:
“Kolin: my son hid in the sand.
Who knows where!”
 
And he who here has sung this song        25
And he who reads it, both are strong
Of life and fair.
But once art thou and once am I
Hid in the sand eternally,
Who knows where!        30
 
 
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