Ballad: “Prince Eugene “
Excerpt, “German Ballads, Songs, etc., comprising translations from Schiller, Uhland, Burger, Goethe, Korner, Becker, Fouque, Chamisso, etc., etc.” London: Edward Lumley. 1900
Prince Eugene once in Swabia paid visits far and wide,
And ‘mong the rest to Reutlingen this favour did betide.
Now, what a stir the hero made my verses scarce can tell.
Or how the honour to express that to the mayor fell,
As he a council gathered quick to signify the same,
And by some act to shew his sense of Eugene’s mighty name.
Much argued they what best to do, or what was best to say ;
Whether with shouts and cheers to hail the hero on his way.
With feast and dance to bid him speed, and tell his great renown,
Or with the victor’s golden wreath his honoured brows to crown.
Long the debate and eloquent that hatched the bright design,
To pledge him in a flowing cup of famed Reutlingen wine.
And now unto the prince they brought a bowl with quantum suff.
Of this true wine of Reutlingen—right sour and nauseous stuff!
With heart of grace Prince Eugene quick despatched the potion down,
Though sorely rued he on such terms to gratify the town.
“Ay,” thought the cits, to see him so imbibe their griping wine,
“That beaker had the genuine smack, by such a potent sign ;
Haste, bring another, quick as thought, a bowl both large and wide.
That now the prince our famous wine may quaff in flowing tide !”
Alas, poor prince, how ached thy jaws to hear so dire a speech !
As if his latest hour were come, he gravely did beseech
To taste no more in hall or bower of such a nauseous stuff.
Of which I wot he felt right well his skin had quantum suff.
With thanks and bows Prince Eugene then addressed the mayor’s train :
“Much rather, honoured councillors, I’d storm Belgrade again.
Than face another such a draught of sour Reutlingen wine.
Take my advice, if stuff like this you swallow when you dine.
Drink it, and welcome, but to ask your luckless guests refrain ;
For rather, through the smoke and flame, I’d storm Belgrade again.”