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~ Historical & Classical Poetry ~

Hermann and Thusnelda

Ha! there comes he, with sweat, with blood of Romans,
And with dust of the fight all stained! O, never
Saw I Hermann so lovely!
Never such fire in his eyes!

Come! I tremble for joy; hand me the Eagle,
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!
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
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!

"Wherefore curl'st thou my hair? Lies not our father
Cold and silent in death? O, had Augustus
Only headed his army, ---
He should lie bloodier there!"

Let me lift up thy hair; 'tis sinking, Hermann;
Proudly thy locks should curl above the crown now!
Sigmar is with the immortals!
Follow, and mourn him no more!

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, 1724-1803, German poet.
Translation by Charles Timothy Brooks, 1813-1883.