Freiligrath: Prince Eugene, Noble Knight

By Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810-1876), published 1838. Set by Karl Loewe (1796-1869), “Prinz Eugen, der edle Ritter”, op. 92, published 1844. Translation (c) Emily Ezust, Lied & Art Song Texts Page.

Prinz Eugen, der edle Ritter


Tents, guards and sentry-calls!
A merry night along the shore of the Danube!
Horses stand around in circles
tethered to pegs;
On the narrow saddle-tree
hang heavy carbines.

Around the fire on the ground,
at the hoofs of the horses,
lies the Austrian squad.
Upon his mantle each man lies;
feathers wave from their shakos:
the lieutenant and the cornet are playing at dice.

By his weary dappled steed,
upon a woollen blanket, rests
the trumpeter, all alone:
"Leave the dice, leave the cards!
The imperial battle-standards
should be celebrated with a cavalry song!

"Our battle of eight days ago
I have, for the use of the entire army,
put into fitting rhyme;
I have also set it myself to music;
therefore, whites and reds -
mark me and give me your ears!"

And he sings the new song
softly: once, twice, thrice,
to the men of the cavalry;
and when for the last time
he sings the ending, there erupts
a full, mighty chorus:

"Prince Eugene, noble knight!"
hey!, that resounds like thunder
far and wide, even into the Turkish camp.
The trumpeter strokes his mustache,
steps aside, and creeps off
to the peddler woman.