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pause. I have already illustrated their ranks. These kindly words his offifortitude and heroic endurance. cers and men will ever cherish ; and in

The noble bearing of General Burn- all their added years, as they recall the side throughout the siege won the ad- widely separated battle-fields, made formiration of all. In a speech at Cincin, ever sacred by the blood of their fallen nati, a few days after the siege was comrades, and forever glorious by the raised, with that modesty which charac- victories there won, it will be their pride terizes the true soldier, he said that the to say, “We fought with Burnside at honors bestowed on him belonged to Campbell's Station and in the trenches his under officers and the men in the at Knoxville.”

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'HE last of the grand old genera- spent in Italy. Soon after his return,

tion of German poets is dead. he married, and established himself in Within ten years Eichendorff, Heine, Coburg, of which place, I believe, his Uhland, have passed away; and now the wife was a native. Here he occupied death of Friedrich Rückert, the sole sur- himself ostensibly as a teacher, but in vivor of the minor gods who inhabited reality with an enthusiastic and untirthe higher slopes of the Weimar Olym- ing study of the Oriental languages pus, closes the list of their names. Yet, and literature. Twice he was called although with these poets in time, Rück- away by appointments which were the ert was not of them in the structure of result of his growing fame as poet and his mind or the character of his poetical' scholar, — the first time in 1826, when development. No author ever stood so he was made Professor of the Oriental lonely among his contemporaries. Look- Languages at the University of Ering over the long catalogue, not only langen ; and again in 1840, when he of German, but of European poets, we was appointed to a similar place in the find no one with whom he can be com- University of Berlin, with the title of pared. His birthplace is supposed to Privy Councillor. Both these posts be Schweinfurt, but it is to be sought were uncongenial to his nature. Though in reality, somewhere on the banks of so competent to fill them, he discharged the Euphrates. His true contempo- his duties reluctantly and with a cerraries were Saadi and Hariri of Bosrah. tain impatience; and probably there

Rückert's biography may be given in were few more joyous moments of his a few words, his life having been singu- life than when, in 1849, he was allowed larly devoid of incident. He seems even to retire permanently to the pastoral to have been spared the usual alterna- seclusion of his little property at Neutions of fortune in a material, as well as ses, a suburb of Coburg. a literary sense. With the exception of One of his German critics remarks a somewhat acridly hostile criticism, that the poem in which he celebrates which the Jahrbücher of Halle dealt out his release embodies a nearer approach to him for several years in succession, to passion than all his Oriental songs his reputation has enjoyed a gradual and of love, sorrow, or wine. It is a joyous steady growth since his first appearance dithyrambic, which, despite its artful as a poet. His place is now so well and semi-impossible metre, must have defined that death -- which sometimes been the swiftly-worded expression of a changes, while it fixes, the impression genuine feeling. Let me attempt to an author makes upon his generation translate the first stanza : cannot seriously elevate or depress it.

“Out of the dust of the In life he stood so far aloof from the

Town o' the king, fashions of the day, that all his success

Into the lust of the

Green of spring, -
es were permanent achievements.

Forth from the noises of
He was born on the 16th of May,

Streets and walls,
1788, in Schweinfurt, a pleasant old

Unto the voices of

Waterfalls, town in Bavaria, near the baths of Kis

He who presently singen. As a student he visited Jena,

Flies is blest : where he distinguished himself by his

Fate thus pleasantly devotion to philological and literary

Makes my nest!"* studies. For some years a private * The reader may be curious to see how smoothly tutor, in 1815 he became connected

and naturally these dactyls (so forced in the translawith the Morgenblatt , published by tion) flow in the original :

“ Aus der staubigen
Cotta, in Stuttgart. The year 1818 he

VOL. XVIII. — NO. 105.


The quaint old residence at Neuses of the place for years, had never seen thus early became, and for nearly half him. He was presumed to be inaccesa century continued to be, the poet's sible to strangers. home. No desire to visit the Orient- It fortunately happened that one of the native land of his brain - seems to my friends knew a student of the Orihave disturbed him. Possibly the Italian ental languages, then residing in Cojourney was in some respects disen- burg. The latter, who was in the chanting. The few poems which date habit of consulting Rückert in regard from it are picturesque and descriptive, to his Sanskrit studies, offered at once but do not indicate that his imagination to conduct me to Neuses. A walk of was warmed by what he saw. He was twenty minutes across the meadows of never so happy as when alone with his the Itz, along the base of the wooded books and manuscripts, studying or writ- hills which terminate, just beyond, in ing, according to the dominant mood. the castled Kallenberg (the summer This secluded habit engendered a shy- residence of Duke Ernest II.), brought ness of manner, which frequently re- us to the little village, which lies so pelled the strangers who came to see snugly hidden in its own orchards that him, - especially those who failed to one might almost pass without disdetect the simple, tender, genial nature covering it. The afternoon was warm of the man, under his wonderful load of and sunny, and a hazy, idyllic atmoslearning. But there was nothing mor- phere veiled and threw into remoteness bid or misanthropical in his composi- the bolder features of the landscape. tion ; his shyness was rather the result Near at hand, a few quaint old tileof an intense devotion to his studies. roofed houses rose above the trees. These gradually became a necessity of My guide left the highway, crossed his daily life; his health, his mental a clear little brook on the left, and peace, depended upon them; and what- entered the bottom of a garden behind ever disturbed their regular recurrence the largest of these houses. As we took from him more than the mere time were making our way between the lost.

plum-trees and gooseberry-bushes, I When I first visited Coburg, in Oc- perceived a tall figure standing in the tober, 1852, I was very anxious to make midst of a great bed of late-blossoming Rückert's acquaintance. My interest in roses, over which he was bending as if Oriental literature had been refreshed, to inhale their fragrance. The sound at that time, by nearly ten months of of our steps startled him; and as he travel in Eastern lands, and some straightened himself and faced us, I knowledge of modern colloquial Arabic. saw that it could be none other than I had read his wonderful translation of Rückert. I believe his first impulse the Makamât of Hariri, and felt sure was to fly; but we were already so near that he would share in my enthusiasm that his moment of indecision settled for the people to whose treasures of the matter. The student presented me song he had given so many years of his to him as an American traveller, wherelife. I found, however, that very few at I thought he seemed to experience families in the town were familiarly a little relief. Nevertheless, he looked acquainted with the poet, — that many uneasily at his coat, — a sort of loose, persons, even, who had been residents commodious blouse, at his hands, full

of seeds, and muttered some incoherent In den laubigen

words about flowers. Suddenly, listing Aus dem tosenden

his head and looking steadily at us, he Gassenschwall

said, “ Come into the house !” Wasserfall,

The student, who was familiar with Wer sich rettete,

Frischen Lenz

Zu dem kosenden

his habits, led me to a pleasant room on Dank's dem Glück,

the second foor. The windows looked Mein Geschick!”

towards the sun, and were filled with

Wie mich bettete


hot-house plants. We were scarcely mother, retained some traces of the seated before Rückert made his appear- fresh, rosy beauty of her younger days; ance, having laid aside his blouse, and and it was pleasant to see the watchful, put on a coat. After a moment of hesi- tender interest upon her face, whentation, he asked me, “Where have you ever she turned towards the poet. Bebeen travelling?" “I come from the fore I left, she whispered to me, “ I am Orient," I answered. He looked up always very glad when my husband has with a keen light in his eyes.

“ From

an opportunity to talk about the Orient: the Orient !” he exclaimed. “Where ? nothing refreshes him so much." let me know where you have been, and But we must not lose sight of Rückwhat you have seen!” From that mo- ert's poetical biography. His first vol. ment he was self-possessed, full of life, ume, entitled “German Poems, by enthusiasm, fancy, and humor.

Freimund Raimar," was published at He was then in his sixty-fifth year, Heidelberg in the year 1814. It conbut still enjoyed the ripe maturity of tained, among other things, his famous his powers. A man of more striking Geharnischte Sonette (Sonnets in Arpersonal appearance I have seldom mor), which are still read and admired seen. Over six feet in height, and as masterpieces of that form of verse. somewhat gaunt of body, the first im- Preserving the Petrarchan model, even pression of an absence of physical grace to the feminine rhymes of the Italian vanished as soon as one looked upon tongue, he has nevertheless succeeded his countenance. His face was long, in concealing the extraordinary art by and every feature strongly marked, which the difficult task was the brow high and massive, the nose plished. Thus early the German lanstrong and slightly aquiline, the mouth guage acquired its unsuspected power wide and firm, and the jaw broad, of flexibility in his hands. It is very square, and projecting. His thick sil- evident to me that his peculiar characver hair, parted in the middle of his teristics as a poet sprang not so much forehead, fell in wavy masses upon his from his Oriental studies as from a rare shoulders. His eyes were deep-set, native faculty of mind. bluish-gray, and burned with a deep, These “Sonnets in Armor," although lustrous fire as he became animated in they may sound but gravely beside the conversation. At times they had a Tyrtæan strains of Arndt and Körner, mystic, rapt expression, as if the far are nevertheless full of stately and inEast, of which he spoke, were actually spiring music. They remind one of visible to his brain. I thought of an Wordsworth's phrase, Arab sheikh, looking towards Mecca,

“In Milton's hand, at the hour of prayer.

The thing became a trumpet, I regret that I made no notes of the and must have had their share in stimconversation, in which, as may be ulating that national sentiment which guessed, I took but little part. It was overturned the Napoleonic rule, and rather a monologue on the subject of for three or four years flourished so Arabic poetry, full of the clearest and greenly upon its ruins. richest knowledge, and sparkling with Shortly afterwards, Rückert published those evanescent felicities of diction “Napoleon, a Political Comedy," which which can so rarely be recalled. I was did not increase his fame. His next charmed out of all sense of time, and was important contribution to general literastonished to find, when tea appeared, ature was the “ Oriental Roses,” which that more than two hours had elapsed. appeared in 1822. Three years before, The student had magnanimously left me Goethe had published his Westöstlicher to the poet, devoting himself to the good Divan, and the younger poet dedicated Frau Rückert, the “Luise ” of her hus- his first venture in the same field to his band's Liebesfrühling (Spring-time of venerable predecessor, in stanzas which Love). She still, although now a grand- express the most delicate, and at the

Who our West

same time the most generous homage. I mind. We are not to infer that he did scarcely know where to look for a more not move joyously, and, after a time, graceful dedication in verse. It is said easily, within the limitations which, to that Goethe never acknowledged the most authors, would have been intolercompliment, - an omission which some able fetters. German authors attribute to the latter's In 1826 appeared his translation of distaste at being surpassed on his lat- the Makamật of Hariri. The old silkest and (at that time) favorite field. No merchant of Bosrah never could have one familiar with Goethe's life and anticipated such an immortality. The works will accept this conjecture. word Makamát means “ sessions,"

It is quite impossible to translate (probably the Italian conversazione best this poem literally, in the original translates it, but is applied to a series metre: the rhymes are exclusively of short narratives, or rather anecdotes, feminine. I am aware that I shall told alternately in verse and rhymed shock ears familiar with the original prose, with all the brilliance of rhetoric, by substituting masculine rhymes in the richness of alliteration, antithesis, the two stanzas which I present; but and imitative sound, and the endless there is really no alternative.

grammatical subtilties of which the “ Would you taste

Arabic language is capable. The work Purest East,

of Hariri is considered the unapproachHence depart, and seek the selfsame man

able model of this style of narrative Gave the best

throughout all the East. Rückert Wine that ever flowed from Poet's can: called his translation “ The MetamorWhen the Western flavors ended,

phoses of Abou-Seyd of Serudj," — the He the Orient's vintage spended, Yonder dreams he on his own divan!

name of the hero of the story. In this

work he has shown the capacity of one “Sunset-red

language to reproduce the very spirit Star to be of all the sunset-land :

of another with which it has the least Now the higher

affinity. Like the original, the translaMorning-fire Makes him lord of all the morning-land !

tion can never be surpassed : it is Where the two, together turning,

unique in literature. Meet, the rounded heaven is burning

As the acrobat who has mastered Rosy-bright in one celestial brand !”

every branch of his art, from the spiI have not the original edition of the dery contortions of the India-rubber “ Oriental Roses,” but I believe the man to the double somersault and the volume contained the greater portion flying trapeze, is to the well-developed of Rückert's marvellous “Ghazels.” individual of ordinary muscular habits, Count Platen, it is true, had preceded so is the language of Rückert in this him by one year, but his adaptation of work to the language of all other Gerthe Persian metre to German poetry man authors. . It is one perpetual gym

-- light and graceful and melodious nastic show of grammar, rhythm, and as he succeeded in making it — falls fancy. Moods, tenses, antecedents, apfar short of Rückert's infinite richness positions, whirl and flash around you, and skill. One of the latter's “Gha- to the sound of some strange, barbaric zels ” contains twenty-six variations of music. Closer and more rapidly they the same rhyme, yet so subtly man- link, chassez, and “cross hands," until, aged, so colored with the finest re- when you anticipate a hopeless tangle, flected tints of Eastern rhetoric and some bold, bright word leaps unexpectfancy, that the immense art implied in edly into the throng, and resolves it to its construction is nowhere unpleas- instant harmony. One's breath is taken antly apparent. In fact, one dare not away, and his brain made dizzy, by any say that these poems are all art. In half-dozen of the “Metamorphoses.” the Oriental measures the poet found In this respect the translation has bethe garment which best fitted his own come a representative work. The Ara

Goethe led

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