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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
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
On the square the oriel window, where in old
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
Hence in silence and in sorrow, toiling still with
busy hand, Like an emigrant he wandered, seeking for the
Emigravit is the inscription on the tomb-stone
where he lies ; Dead he is not, but departed, — for the artist
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
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
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
Painted by some humble artist, as in Adam Pusch
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
Vanished is the ancient splendor, and before my
dreamy eye Wave these mingled shapes and figures, like a
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 NORMAN BARON.
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,
And the castle-turret shook.
In this fight was Death the gainer,
Written in the Doomsday Book.