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WALTER VON DER VOGELWEIDE.
VOGELWEID the Minnesinger,
When he left this world of ours, Laid his body in the cloister,
Under Würtzburg's minster towers.
And he gave the monks his treasures,
Gave them all with this behest : They should feed the birds at noontide
Daily on his place of rest;
Saying, “ From these wandering minstrels
I have learned the art of song ; Let me now repay the lessons
They have taught so well and long,"
Thus the bard of love departed;
And, fulfilling his desire,
By the children of the choir
Day by day, o'er tower and turret,
In foul weather and in fair, Day by day, in vaster numbers,
Flocked the poets of the air.
On the tree whose heavy branches
Overshadowed all the place,
On the poet's sculptured face,
On the cross-bars of each window,
On the lintel of each door,
Which the bard had fought before
There they sang their merry carols,
Sang their lauds on every side ; And the name their voices uttered.
Was the name of Vogelweid.
Till at length the portly abbot
Murmured, “ Why this waste of food ? Be it changed loaves henceforward
For our fasting brotherhood."
Then in vain o'er tower and turret,
From the walls and woodland nests, When the minster bells rang noontide,
Gathered the unwelcome guests.
Then in vain, with cries discordant,
Clamorous round the Gothic spire, Screamed the feathered Minnesingers
For the children of the choir.
Time has song effaced the inscriptions
On the cloister's funeral stones, And tradition only tells us
Where repose the poet's bones.
But around the past cathedral,
By sweet echoes multiplied, Still the birds repeat the legend,
And the name of Vogelweid.
INSCRIPTION FOR AN ANTIQUE PITCHER.
COME, old friend ! sit down and listen!
From the pitcher, placed between us, How the waters laugh and glisten
In the head of old Silenus !
Old Silenus, bloated, drunken,
Led by his inebriate Satyrs ; On his breast his head is sunken,
Vacantly he leers and chatters.