Category Archives: Ernst Moritz Arndt

Ernst Moritz Arndt: “The Seaman’s Dream”

Excerpt, “German Poetry with The English Versions of The Best Translations.” Edited by H.E. Goldschmidt. 1869. Translator: Rev. W.W. Skeat


The Seaman’s Dream


Foam crests the waves, the storm-cloud lowers,

Athwart dark skies the lightning gleams;

Yet, stretched on deck ’mid spray and showers,

An aged seaman nods and dreams,

Tho’ wildly round the waters swell,

Tho’ to and fro the vessel rocks,

A dream with sweet alluring spell,

Too bright for truth, his vision mocks.


He marks, from out the foaming seas,

An island rise, with verdure crowned;

From flowery groves sweet melodies

Burst forth with soul-entrancing sound.

“Behold,” he cries, “the happy shore!

Our port, our long-wished haven see!

At length comes rest; wild storms no more

Shall rage, and sweet my sleep shall be!”


Thro’ night’s thick gloom a lightning-flash,

God’s flaming dart, shoots down from heaven;

’Mid anguished cries, with deafening crash,

The gallant ship in twain is riven.

Black spars and corpses high on shore

Are scattered by the rolling sea—

Thy port is gained, storms rage no more;

Fond dreamer, sweet thy sleep shall be!

Ernst Moritz Arndt: “Field-Marshal Blücher”

Excerpt, ” German Literature. Translated from the German of Wolfgang Menzel.” By C.C. Felton. 1840.
This patriotic writer was born 1769 at Schoritz in Rügen. Toward the end of the last century, he distinguished himself as a traveler, and by his published observations on Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, etc. In 1806, he was appointed Professor Extraordinary of Philosophy at Greifswald. He was a vehement lover of liberty, and, though at first a favorer of Napoleon, became one of his bitterest opponents, as soon as he comprehended his designs of conquest.
A work published by him called “The Spirit of the Age” went rapidly through several editions, excited universal attention by the boldness of his attacks on Napoleon, and made it necessary for him to take refuge in Stockholm, whence he was unable to return until 1813. His writings which flowed in rapid succession exercised an immense influence upon the popular feeling.
Arndt is one of the most vigorous, animated and eloquent of the German writers. His prose works have had an extraordinary circulation and effect. His patriotic and popular poems and his war-songs are of distinguished excellence. They were published at Frankfort in 1815 and again at Leipsic in 1840.


Victory at Waterloo: Duke of Wellington and Field-Marshal Blücher.

Field-Marshal Blücher


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.