By the Katzbach, by the Katzbach, ha!
There was a merry dance;
Wild and weird and whirling waltzes skipped
Ye through, ye knaves of France!
For there struck the great bass-viol
An old German man famed,
Marshal Forward, Prince of Wallstadt,
Gebhardt Lebrecht von Blücher named.
Up! The Blücher hath the ball-room
Lighted with the cannon’s glare!
Spread yourselves, ye gay, green carpets,
That the dancing moistens there!
And his fiddle-bow at first he waved
With Goldberg and with Jauer;
Whew! He’s drawn it now full length,
His play a stormy northern shower!
Ha! The dance went briskly onward,
Tingling madness seized them all;
As when howling, mighty tempests
On the arms of windmills fall.
But the old man wants it cheery,
Wants a pleasant dancing chime;
And with gun-stocks clearly, loudly,
Beats the old Teutonic time.
Say, who, standing by the old man,
Strikes so hard the kettle-drum,
And, with crushing strength of arm,
Down lets the thundering hammer come?
Gneisenau, the gallant champion:
Alemannia’s envious foes
Smites the mighty pair, her living double-eagle,
Why are the trumpets blowing? Ye hussars, away!
‘T is the Field-Marshal rideth, with flying fray;
He rideth so joyous his mettlesome steed,
He swingeth so keenly his bright-flashing blade!
His oath he hath redeemed; when the battle cry rang.
Ha! The old boy! How to saddle he sprang!
It was he who led off the last dance of the ball;
With besom of iron he swept clean the hall!
At Lützen, on the mead, there he struck such a blow,
That end with the fright stood the hair of the foe,
That thousands ran off with hurrying tread,
Ten thousand slept soundly the peace of the dead!
At Katzbach, by the stream, he there played his part;
He taught you, O Frenchmen, the swimmer’s good art!
Farewell to you, Frenchmen, away to the waves!
And take, ye sans-culottes, the whales for your graves!
At Wartburg, on the Elbe, how before him all yielded!
Nor fortress nor castle the Frenchmen shielded;
Again they must spring like hares o’er the field,
And the hero’s hurrah after them pealed.
At Leipsic, on the mead, – O, honor’s glorious fight!
There he shattered the fortunes of France and her might;
There lie they all safely, since so hardly they fell;
And there the old Blücher played the field-marshal well..