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Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe!
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.
On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay th' untrodden snow, And dark as winter was the flow , Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat, at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast array'd, .
Each horseman drew his battle blade,
And furious every charger neigh’d,
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills with thunder rivon,
Then rush'd the steed to battle driv'n,
And louder than the bolts of heaven,
Far flash'd the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow,
On Linden's hills of stained snow,
And bloodier yet the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn, but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
Where furious Frank, and fiery Hun,
Shout in their sulph’rous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave, Who rush to glory, or the grave! Wave, Munich! all thy banners wave! And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few, shall part where many meet! The snow shall be their winding sheet, And every turf beneath their feet, Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.