Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
The Knight Toggenburg
By Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805)
Translation of Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“KNIGHT, a sister’s quiet love
  Gives my heart to thee!
Ask me not for other love,
  For it paineth me!
Calmly couldst thou greet me now,        5
  Calmly from me go;
Calmly ever,—why dost thou
  Weep in silence so?”
Sadly—not a word he said—
  To the heart she wrung,        10
Sadly clasped he once the maid,
  On his steed he sprung!
“Up, my men of Switzerland!”
  Up, awake the brave!
Forth they go—the Red-Cross band—        15
  To the Savior’s grave!
High your deeds, and great your fame,
  Heroes of the tomb!
Glancing through the carnage came
  Many a dauntless plume.        20
Terror of the Moorish foe,
  Toggenburg, thou art!
But thy heart is heavy! oh,
  Heavy is thy heart!
Heavy was the load his breast        25
  For a twelvemonth bore;
Never can his trouble rest!
  And he left the shore.
Lo! a ship on Joppa’s strand,
  Breeze and billow fair,—        30
On to that belovèd land
  Where she breathes the air!
Knocking at the castle gate
  Was the pilgrim heard;
Woe the answer from the grate!        35
  Woe the thunder-word!
“She thou seekest lives—a Nun!
  To the world she died
When, with yester-morning’s sun,
  Heaven received a Bride!”        40
From that day his father’s hall
  Ne’er his home may be;
Helm and hauberk, steed and all,
  Evermore left he!
Where his castle-crownèd height        45
  Frowns the valley down,
Dwells unknown the hermit knight,
  In a sackcloth gown.
Rude the hut he built him there,
  Where his eyes may view        50
Wall and cloister glisten fair
  Dusky lindens through.
There when dawn was in the skies,
  Till the eve-star shone,
Sate he with mute wistful eyes,        55
  Sate he there—alone!
Looking to the cloister still,
  Looking forth afar,
Looking to her lattice till
  Clinked the lattice bar.        60
Till—a passing glimpse allowed—
  Paused her image pale,
Calm and angel-mild, and bowed
  Meekly towards the vale.
Then the watch of day was o’er;        65
  Then, consoled awhile,
Down he lay, to greet once more
  Morning’s early smile.
Days and years are gone, and still
  Looks he forth afar,        70
Uncomplaining, hoping—till
  Clinks the lattice bar;
Till—a passing glimpse allowed—
  Paused her image pale,
Calm and angel-mild, and bowed        75
  Meekly towards the vale.
So upon that lonely spot
  Sate he, dead at last,
With the look where life was not,
  Towards the casement cast.        80

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