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songs had already endeared his name, not only to this chosen band, but to all his brave countrymen. At leisure intervals he wrote other lyrics suggested by the exigencies or feelings of the moment, and selected appropriate melodies that soon winged them, like seeds of valor, throughout the land. He made a final visit to his family at Dresden, before the regiment departed; and we next hear of him thus anticipating a premature death, after the battle of Darmeburg:




My deep wound burns — my pale lips quake in death

I feel my fainting heart resign its strife,

And reaching now the limit of my life,
Lord, to thy will I yield my parting breath.

Yet many a dream hath charmed my youthful eye :

And must life's fairy visions all depart?

0, surely, no! for all that fired my heart To rapture here shall live with me on high.

And that fair form that won my earliest vow,

That my young spirit prized all else above,

And now adored as freedom, now as love,
Stands in seraphic guise before me now;

And, as my fading senses fade away,
It beckons me, on high, to realms of endless day!'

Few heroic lyrics exhibit a more genuine spirit than the "Sword Song,” and “Lützow's Wild Chase.” The former was written on the eve of the engagement in which he fell. He was sending it to a friend, when the signal of attack was made, and it was found in his pocket-book after his death. The tirailleurs of the enemy fired from a dense grove ; a ball, passing through the neck of his horse, entered Körner's spine, and he instantly expired. So immediate was the cessation of life, that the expression of his countenance remained unchanged when the body was carried off the field. One of his heart-stricken friends cried, “Let us follow Körner!” and they rushed upon the ambushed enemy with desperate valor. Adored by his companions in arms for his delightful social qualities, as well as for his transcendent gifts and peerless courage, with silent grief they dug his grave beneath a majestic oak by the road-side, and carved his name on its trunk. With this noble tree the memory of Körner is indissolubly associated; as indigenous to, and characteristic of, his country, it possessed for him a singular charm; and, in the luxuriance of its summer foliage, shaken off so bravely to meet the winter gale, it is an apt symbol of the young hero cheerfully throwing aside the prosperous crown that decked his brow, to war for liberty. One of his pieces derives a melancholy interest from the subject, that deepens its intrinsic pathos :


'Tis evening - all is hushed and still ;

The sun sets bright in ruddy sheen ; As here I sit, to muse at will

Beneath these oaks' unbrageous screen ; While wandering thoughts my fancy fill

With dreams of life when fresh and green, And visions of the olden time Revive in all their pomp sublime.

While time hath called the brave away,

And swept the lovely to the tomb; As yonder bright but fading ray

Is quenched amid the twilight gloom Yet ye are kept from all decay,

For still unhurt and fresh ye bloom, And seem to tell, in whispering breath, That greatness still survives in death!

And ye survive !- 'mid change severe,

Each aged stem but stronger grows, And not a pilgrim passes here,

But seeks beneath your shade repose.
And if your leaves, when dry and sere,

Fall fast at autumn's wintry close,
Yet every falling leaf shall bring
Its vernal tribute to the spring.

Thou native oak, thou German tree,

Fit emblem, too, of German worth ! Type of a nation brave and free,

And worthy of their native earth!

Ah ! what avails to think on thee,

Or on the times when thou hadst birth?
Thou German race, the noblest aye of all,
Thine oaks still stand, while thou, alas ! must fall !”

The mineralogical excursions and hardy exercises of Körner proved an admirable initiation to military service; and habits of activity and method soon made him thoroughly efficient in his new vocation.

It is remarkable that his was the first blood shed after joining the corps ; having been sent with a flag of truce, in violation of the armistice, he received a wound without drawing his sabre; and it is also worthy of notice, as illustrating the horrors of war, that he fell, as has been subsequently discovered, by the shot of one of his own countrymen in the enemy's ranks. How beautiful, in the retrospect, is the short, but illustrious career we have thus imperfectly traced; how truly deed responded to thought, and experience to sentiment, in Körner's life! Generous and devoted feelings exalted him above the bitterness of disappointment; his days were occupied with acts of high utility, and his nights in lofty contemplation.

He used to steal away from the bivouac to the forest, to think of those he loved; and, when overcome by the pleadings, tenderness, and the desire for sympathy, he sought refuge in heroic aspirations or pious thought. " If it has been denied me,” he writes, “to kneel with my bride at the altar, a bride of steel has been intrusted to me, to whom I have sworn eternal truth.” This calmness and resolution is the more striking when we picture Körner to our fancy, charming a select circle with his guitar, or his amateur performance of the Swedish Captain in “Wallenstein,” and writing pieces for Humboldt's children ; and realize his adaptation to the peaceful happiness of domestic and artist life. The total change in his pursuits and enjoyments is best revealed by his letters, varying in date but a few months. Thus at one time he writes from Vienna: “ Would I could have seen you all in a box yesterday! The finest feeling is that of composition itself; next to this ranks the satisfaction of seeing one's work represented with affection and skill; the loftiest lies in the conviction that one has seized the souls of others." "I amuse myself here divinely; am always engaged a week before

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hand; and, I may say, am quite the rage.” And soon after, in this strain : "A great moment of my life

life is approaching . Be convinced you shall find me not unworthy of you when the trial comes." And again from the camp: “ The corps already sing several of my songs, and I cannot describe to you how agreeable

I is the relation in which I live, as the most cultivated and select minds of all Germany are near me in rank and place."

The union of strength of moral purpose and sensibility of feeling in Körner's character was obvious in his appearance, and exhibits itself vividly in his poems. His dark hair shaded a brow open with truth and prominent with intelligence, but, in moments of determination, knit by a concentrated will; and his blue eye could wear a dauntless as well as a most gentle expression. Conscious of the apparent incongruity at times in his behavior, he thus naturally explains it in one of his letters: “If you, perchance, have occasionally conceived me to be deficient in warmth of heart, my external manner has deceived you. Too warm to be grave, and too proud to appear weak, I find I am often exposed to be mistaken, because it is not known why I am thus apparently severe and capricious; both of these moods being in fact only a relief to the overflow of my feelings.”

Körner, fortunately, left us a faithful index of his nature in his poems. There we recognize both his heroism and his love in their elemental and spontaneous action ; and two of them written on parting with his chosen bride, and the other embodying the religious sentiment that hallowed his patriotism — give us, as it were, a key to the apparent antagonism, but real and divine consistency, of his sentiments :


“ Farewell, farewell ! — with silent grief of heart

I breathe adieu to follow duty now;
And if a silent tear unbidden start,

It will not, love, disgrace a soldier's brow.
Where'er I roam, should joy my path illume,
Or death entwine the garland of the tomb,
Thy lovely form shall float my path above,
And guide my soul to rapture and to love !

O hail and bless, sweet spirit of my life,

The ardent zeal that sets my soul on fire ;
That bids me take a part in yonder strife,

And for the sword a while forsake the lyre.

For, see, thy minstrel's dreams were not all vain,
Which he so oft hath hallowed in his strain ;
O see the patriot-strife at length awake !
There let me fly and all its toils partake.

The victor's joyous wreath shall bloom more bright

That's plucked amid the joys of love and song ;
And my young spirit hails with pure delight

The hope fulfilled which it hath cherished long.
Let me but struggle for my country's good,
E’en though I shed for her my warm life-blood.
And now one kiss — e'en though the last it prove;
For there can be no death for our true love !"


Father, I invoke thee!
I am involved in clouds of vapor from the warring mouths of fire,
The lightnings of those thunderbolts flash around me.

Ruler of battles, I invoke thee !
Father, lead me on.

Father, lead me on!
Conduct me to victory ; conduct me to death!
Lord, I recognize thy will !

Lord, conduct me as thou wilt !
God, I acknowledge thee !

God, I acknowledge thee !
As in the autumnal whisper of the leaves,
So in the storm of the battle.

Thee, primeval fountain of grace, I recognize !
Father, 0, bless me!


Father, 0, bless me!
Into thy hands I commend life!
Thou canst take it away, thou didst give it!

In living and in dying, bless me!
Father, I worship thee !

Father, I worship thee!
It is not a combat for the goods of this world ;
The most sacred of things we defend with the sword;

Wherefore, falling or conquering, I worship thee !
God, to thee I resign myself !

· God, to thee I resign myself!
If the thunders of death salute me,
If the blood flow from my opened veins,

To thee, my God, I resign myself !
Thee, Father, I invoke !"

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