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Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals

The blast of War's great organ shakes the skies ! But beautiful as songs of the immortals,

The holy melodies of love arise.


In a letter to Freiligrath, written in the spring of 1844, Mr. Longfellow says: “Here I send you a poem on Nuremberg. I trust I have not mistranslated wie ein Taub Jermas. It certainly stands for eine Taube or ein Tauber, and is dove and not deaf, though old Hans Sachs was deaf. But that Puschman describes afterwards when he says:

Dann sein Red und
Gehör begunnt
Ihm abzugehn, etc.

Therefore dove-like it is and shall be, for F. says, “I would have it so at any rate!’ and at any rate I will.” In an earlier letter to Freiligrath, printed in the Life, I. 417, Mr. Longfellow describes with enthusiasm a day at Nuremberg, from the memory of which this poem sprang.

In the valley of the Pegnitz, where across broad

meadow-lands Rise the blue Franconian mountains, Nuremberg,

the ancient, stands.

Quaint old town of toil and traffic, quaint old town

of art and song, Memories haunt thy pointed gables, like the rooks

that round them throng:

Memories of the Middle Ages, when the emperors,

rough and bold, Had their dwelling in thy castle, time-defying,

centuries old ;

And thy brave and thrifty burghers boasted, in

their uncouth rhyme, That their great imperial city stretched its hand

through every clime.

In the court-yard of the castle, bound with many

an iron band, Stands the mighty linden planted by Queen Cuni

gunde's hand;

On the square the oriel window, where in old

heroic days

Sat the poet Melchior singing Kaiser Maximilian's


Everywhere I see around me rise the wondrous

world of Art: Fountains wrought with richest sculpture standing

in the common mart;

And above cathedral doorways saints and bishops

carved in stone, By a former age commissioned as apostles to our


In the church of sainted Sebald sleeps enshrined

his holy dust, And in bronze the Twelve Apostles guard from age

to age their trust;

In the church of sainted Lawrence stands a pix of

sculpture rare, Like the foamy sheaf of fountains, rising through

the painted air.

Here, when Art was still religion, with a simple,

reverent heart, Lived and labored Albrecht Dürer, the Evangelist

of Art;

Hence in silence and in sorrow, toiling still with

busy hand, Like an emigrant he wandered, seeking for the

Better Land.

Emigravit is the inscription on the tomb-stone

where he lies ; Dead he is not, but departed, — for the artist

never dies.

Fairer seems the ancient city, and the sunshine

seems more fair, That he once has trod its pavement, that he once

has breathed its air!

Through these streets so broad and stately, these

obscure and dismal lanes, Walked of yore the Mastersingers, chanting rude

poetic strains.

From remote and sunless suburbs came they to the

friendly guild, Building nests in Fame's great temple, as in spouts

the swallows build.

As the weaver plied the shuttle, wove he too the

mystic rhyme, And the smith his iron measures hammered to the

anvil's chime;

Thanking God, whose boundless wisdom makes the

flowers of poesy bloom In the forge's dust and cinders, in the tissues of the


Here Hans Sachs, the cobbler-poet, laureate of the

gentle craft, Wisest of the Twelve Wise Masters, in huge folios

sang and laughed.

But his house is now an ale-house, with a nicely

sanded floor, And a garland in the window, and his face above

the door;

Painted by some humble artist, as in Adam Pusch

man's song,

As the old man gray and dove-like, with his great

beard white and long.

And at night the swart mechanic comes to drown

his cark and care, Quaffing ale from pewter tankards, in the master's

antique chair.

Vanished is the ancient splendor, and before my

dreamy eye Wave these mingled shapes and figures, like a

faded tapestry.

Not thy Councils, not thy Kaisers, win for thee

the world's regard ;

Line 12. Wave these mingling shapes and figures, like a faded tapestry.

But thy painter, Albrecht Dürer, and Hans Sachs

thy cobbler bard.

Thus, O Nuremberg, a wanderer from a region far

away, As he paced thy streets and court-yards, sang in

thought his careless lay:

Gathering from the pavement's crevice, as a flow

eret of the soil, The nobility of labor, — the long pedigree of



The following passage from Thierry was sent to Mr. Longfellow by an unknown correspondent, who suggested it as a theme

for a poem.

Dans les moments de la vie où la réflexion devient plus calme et plus profonde, où l'intérêt et l'avarice parlent moins haut que la raison, dans les instants de chagrin domestique, de maladie, et de péril de mort, les nobles se repentirent de posséder des serfs, comme d'une chose peu agréable à Dieu, qui avait créé tous les hommes à son image. — THIERRY, Conquête de l'Angleterre.

In his chamber, weak and dying,
Was the Norman baron lying;
Loud, without, the tempest thundered,

And the castle-turret shook.

In this fight was Death the gainer,
Spite of vassal and retainer,
And the lands his sires had plundered,

Written in the Doomsday Book.

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