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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Beside the Hearth
By Richard Wagner (1813–1883)
 
Translation of Charles Harvey Genung

BESIDE the hearth, when days were short,
And snow shut in the castle court;
How spring once smiled on mead and brake,
And how she soon would reawake—
A book I read, of ancient make,        5
  Which these good tidings brought me:
Sir Walther of the Vogelweid’,
  He was the master who taught me.
 
Then when the snow has left the plain,
And summer days are come again,        10
What I on winter nights have read,
And all my ancient book hath said,
That echoed loud in forest glade,—
  I heard it clearly ringing;
In woodlands on the Vogelweid’,        15
  ’Twas there I learnt my singing.
 
        What winter night,
        What forest bright,
  What book and woodland told me;
What through the poet’s magic might        20
  So subtly did infold me,—
        The tramp of horse
        In battle course,
 
        The merry dance
        In war’s romance,—        25
  I heard in music ringing:
But now the stake is life’s best prize,
  Which I must win by singing;
The words and air, if ’t in me lies,
  And genius shall but speed me,        30
As mastersong I’ll improvise:
  My masters, pray you, heed me.
 
 
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