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Nah ieglichemo lante, according to each land.
according to each soil.
I believe water to be dyed As a sample of the Old Franconian, we give, with a translation in Old French, and in modern German, the
PLEDGE OF CHARLES THE BALD. In godes minna ind in thes christianes folches ind unser bêdherð gehaltnissi
In Gottes Liebe und in des christlichen Volkes und unser beider Wohlfarth, Pro deo amur et pro christian poblo et nostro commun salvament fon thesemo dage frammordes, sô fram sô mir got gewiczi indi mahd
diesem Tage vorwärts, weit als mir Gott Weisheit und Macht
deus savir et podir furgibit sê haldih tesan minan bruodher,
giebt, so helfe úh diesem meinen Bruder. me dunat, si salvari eo cist
meon fradre. Karlo et in adjudha et in cadhuna cosa, man mit rehtû sinan bruodher scal, in thiû thaz er mig sô sama so wie man mit Recht seinem Bruder soll, in dem duss er mir so gleich si cum om per dreit son fradra salvar dist in
quid il mi
altresi duo, indi mit Ludheren in noheiniu thing
thế minan thue, und mit Luther in keinem Ding nicht gehe ich ein mit meinem fazet, et ab Ludher nul plaid unquam prindrai
qui willon, imo
scaden werdhên. Willen ihm
Schaden werden vol cist meon fradre Karlo in damno sit. The great charm of our Early Lays, to which we shall now direct the reader's attention, consists in their possessing an essentially national character. Unlike those of the Greeks, who, both in literature and art, always aimed at the attainment of the highest æsthetic perfection, our ancient poetry is, as it were, the rough sketch taken from the images dwelling within the Teutonic souls wherein it has remained so deeply rooted ; it belongs essentially to the whole nation, before whose assembled tribes songs and lays were read, adopted or rejected, according to their merits or demerits. The people, in their open-air meetings, repeated these songs in choruses, accompanied by the sound of harps ; under the blue tent of heaven their manly voices swept thunder-like through their virgin forests, whilst the holy oaks bent their crowns in silent acclamations. Before speaking of the earliest poetical monument of our language, the Hildebrand's Song, written in the Old High German dialect, of which we only possess a manuscript of a fragmentary character, dating from the 8th century, we should state here that, in most of the ancient lays of that era, the metrical form did not consist in the quantity, but rather in the accentuation given to the
principal words contained in each line, these words always beginning with the same consonants; this is called alliteration, as, for instance, ‘Wohl and Wehe,' Haupt and Haar,' Stock and Stein,' -(Weal and Woe, Head and Hair, Stick and Stone). To show how fertile the poetry of alliteration was in its means of expression, we mention here, that for the single word · Mann,' one of our old dialects had eight distinct meanings, and each, according to its derivation, corresponded with similar sounding words, imparting thus a vivid and poetical colouring to our commonly used phrases. U Ueros U Uárum UUigeô and U Uahtú, which means the man watched the horses ; Segg was in Selda under giSîndun (man was at home among his camp-followers).
The events alluded to in the Hildebrand's Lied and Walter of Aquitaine, exist also, in a somewhat altered form, in the Scandinavian Sagas. Dating from a very remote period, they are probably fragments of those old songs which, during the 12th and 13th centuries, were, like so many stray leaves of the past, collected, and ultimately appeared in a more connected, though greatly altered, form in the Book of Heroes,' the 'LAY OF THE NIBELUNGEN' and GUDRUN.' The Hildebrand's Song is coeval with Theodoric the Great, also called Dieterich von Bern; the events and dates alluded to are, however, represented so confusedly as to perplex even German philologists. The poem describes the combat between Hildebrand and his son Hudibrand. The former, Theodoric's companion in arms, after having been banished from Italy, by Ermanrich, enters the service of Attila (Etzel), king of the Huns, in order to accompany the latter in his last Italian expedition. Here he is informed that his long-lost son, Hudibrand, is fighting in the ranks of the enemy. He meets him at the head of his troops, and vainly endeavours to make him espouse Attila's
Hudibrand, having always been absent from home, does not recognise his father, and refuses the golden bracelets which the latter offers him, indignantly exclaiming :
Mit Gerû scal man
With the spear alone one should Geba infâhan,
receive such gifts, Ort widar Orte.
point against point, so ist erlo dou !
so is heroes' custom Du bist dir, Alter Hun,
Thou art an old Hun, ummet spaher.
extremely sly. To which the old father, in his grief, replies : Welaga nu, Waltant got !
Woe, now to me, ruling God ! Wêwart skihit!
woe bappens unto me. ih Wallôta sumarô
I have walked summer enti Wintrô sehstic ur lande, and winter sixty abroad (out the land).
dâr man mih eô Scerita
when one me aye shared (always en
tered) into the folk (division) of shooters, so one me at any burgh death never fastened. Now shall me my dear. child with the sword strike, lay low with his bill (axe) and I become his murderer.
The son, whom nothing can appease, then fights with his old father, by whom he is vanquished, and a minstrel of the 15th century, Caspar von der Rön, informs us, in his Heldenbuch,' that both, after having been reconciled, returned to Verona, to meet Hudibrand's mother, whose terror and grief may be imagined, when seeing her long-lost son arrive covered with wounds inflicted by his own father. For the preservation of the Hildebrand's Song we are indebted to two monks of the convent of Fulda.
Of the lay of Walter of Aquitaine, the production of which has been claimed by Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, we possess only Latin versions. The oldest, found in the library of Carlsruhe, dates from the end of the ninth century, and is attributed to Eckhardt, a monk of St. Gall, whilst the manuscripts discovered at Brussels and Paris assign the authorship to Geraldus, a monk of the abbey of Fleury, on the banks of the Loire. That found in the monastery of Novalese, at the foot of Mount Cenis, by an unknown writer, dates from the year 1060, and its contents agree with the Carlsruhe manuscript. Without expressing a decided opinion on the authorship of the lay, we may state here that the tone pervading it, and the characters and manners described therein, bear an essentially German garb. We shall now give an outline of the poem itself.
Attila, king of the Huns, impelled by warlike ardour, has left his country to attack Giebig, king of the Franks, whom he surprised during a feast given in honour of his new born son Günther. Having obtained here an easy victory, the kings of Burgundy and Aquitaine, Herric and Alfar, are in turn attacked and vanquished by the great chief of the Huns, who, in order to ensure the submission of the conquered, compels them to give him as hostages, Hagan, Giebig's nephew, Alfar's only son Walter, and Herric's daughter, a lovely child, upon all of whom Attila bestows the most tender affection. After the death of Giebig, Günther avails himself of this opportunity to shake off his bondage, escapes and returns to his relatives. Attila, fearing lest Walter should follow the example, endeavours now vainly to attach the latter by the
gentle ties of love. Walter would have carried out his design of escaping already, but for a rebellion, which had just broken out in Attila's states, in the suppression of which, he was anxious to take part. Having returned from this expedition, he meets Hildegunda, the lovely maid whose image he had cherished from his boyhood. He determines now to elope with her, and having, during a banquet, administered to Attila and his courtiers a sleeping-draught, he and his beloved, mounted on a swift courser, escape in the dead of night. But it appears, that, not content with carrying off this living treasure, he also appropriates to himself many valuables belonging to his foster-father. The rage of the latter when awakening from his sleep may be easily imagined, but, thanks to the swiftness of his horse, Walter and his fair lady have soon reached the confines of Attila's dominions, living during their whole flight on vegetables. A boatman, having taken Walter and Hildegunde over the Rhine, receives from Walter two rare specimens of the finny tribe, as a present; and he, having sold them to the cook in the castle, the extreme delicacy of these fishes, when put on the royal table, leads to some enquiry, and from the description given by the boatmen, Hagan at once concludes that the giver could be no other than his former companion in exile. In Günther's bosom, however, gloomy thoughts are harboured, for being a covetous man, and anxious to appropriate to himself Walter's ill-gotten goods, he sets out, meets the couple in the thicket of the forest, and rudely interrupts their idyllic repose. A fearful combat then ensues, and does not terminate until the attendants have been slain by Walter's hands, and he himself, Hagan and Günther, been severely wounded. Peace then takes place, and Walter, after this sanguinary adventure, finds his consolation, in the possession of that real treasure, fair Hildegunde.
Among the sacred poetry of the ninth century we mention the prayer of Wessobrunn (Das Wessobrunn Gebet), Muspilli, Heliand, about thirty years later, Ottfried's Hymn of the Evangelists (Evangelien-Harmonie), and the Ludwig's song (Ludwig's Lied), of which we shall now speak separately. The
prayer of Wessobrunn,' written more than a thousand years ago, begins thus :
"Das erfuhr ich unter den Menschen als der Weisheiten grösste: Da die Erde nicht war, noch der Himmel oben, nicht Berg, nicht Baum nicht war, die Sonne nicht schien, noch der Mond leuchtete, noch der Meersee, da nichts noch war von Ende noch Grenze, da war der eine allmächtige Gott!'
* This I heard among men as the greatest of all wisdoms, at a time when there was neither earth nor heaven, mountain nor tree, when neither the sun nor moon were shining, when the deep sea did not exist, when there was neither end nor boundary, at that time there existed the one almighty God!
Ottfried, a Franconian by birth, and supposed to have been a disciple of Hrabanus Maurus, wrote his Gospel-Hymn in a convent of Weissenburg, and dedicated it to King Lewis, the German. It does not bear the same national character as the sacred poem just mentioned, the author having taken the Greek and Roman writers for prototypes. It is also deficient in that genuineness of sentiment and fervour which characterises both Heliand and Muspilli. Ottfried bestowed, however, great care on its metrical form, using, for the first time, the rhyme instead of the alliterative form. For this reason, the poem remains a most valuable treasure of antiquity.
The Ludwigslied celebrates the victory of Lewis the Third over the Normans, at Saucourt (881). It is concise and vigorous, breathing throughout intense religious fervour. The poem is equally graphic in the description of battle-scenes. The MS. found in the convent of St. Amand has been ascribed to the monk Hucbald, who died in 930. It bears a fragmentary character, and begins thus :
EXTRACT FROM the “ LUDWIGSLIED."
Einan kuning weiz ih, heizset her Hludwig, ther gerno Gode thionột; ih weiz, her imos lonot.
Kind warth her faterlós thes warth imo sâr buoz; holôda inan truhtîn magaczogo warth her sîn.
Gab her imo dugidi frônisc gethigini, stual hier in Vrankón: so brûche her es lango!
A king I know,
As a child he became fatherless,
For He gave him noble
EXTRACT FROM SONG OF LOUIS THE THIRD.
Then took he shield and spear
And all his people joined: And quickly forward rode;
• Kyrieleison! Willing to wreak revenge Against his gathering foes.
The song was sung, Ere long he saw from far
The fight begun; The Norman force approach;
The blood shone in the cheeks " Thank God!' said he, aloud:
Of the merry Franks;
But no blade of them all He saw what he desired.
Fought so bravely as Ludovic. The king rode bravely on,
W. TAYLOR. And sang a Frankish hymn,
Of Muspilli, written in alliterate verses, we possess only a fragment. The poem treating of the last judgment, is contained