Ernst Schulze: “Schwarze Jäger“
Excerpt, “Poets and Poetry of Germany, Biographical and Critical Notices.” Madame Davesies de Pontes. Vol. II. London: 1858.
The Black Hunters
What is gleaming so gaily on bush and on brae,
What is shining in green-wood so bright,
Who comes forth from the wood in such gallant array,
Who are rushing from mountain and height?
’Tis the Jäger! On, on in a torrent we flow,
And rush to the combat and pounce on the foe
To battle, to vict’ry—to triumph we go!
We come from the Hartz and its forests so old,
Full, they tell us, of glittering store;
But what do we care or for silver or gold?
Give us freedom! We ask for no more!
To others we leave it—more nobly we feel;
We don our bright armour, our cuirass of steel;
For us upon earth the sword only has worth,
And we care for nought save our fatherland’s weal!
To drink and to love and be loved has its charms;
In the shade it is pleasant to dream;
But nobler to rush ’mid the battles alarms,
When the sword and the bayonet gleam.
Love’s torch is not brighter than glory’s proud hue,
And where thousands are sleeping why we may sleep too.
As heroes we’ll fall! ’neath the sword or the ball,
And pour forth our hearts-blood so gallant and true.
Full oft in the darkness, in forest and glen,
Or high on the storm-beaten rock,
We have linger’d to track the fierce wolf to den
Nor dreaded the hurricane’s shock.
And now the bright sunshine is steaming above us;
We go to defend all we love! All who love us!
Be it battle or chase—in the enemy’s face—
To us it is one; for no peril can move us!