Charles Godfrey Leland

(15 August 1824 - 20 March 1903 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Breitmann As An Uhlan. - Poem by Charles Godfrey Leland

VOT gollops at mitnight,
Mit h'roolah and yell,
Like der teufel's wild yager
Boorst loose out of hell?
Vot cleams in the sonrise
Bright vlashin in gold?
Das sind die Uhlancers
Of Breitmann der bold.

Dey frighten de coontry,
Dey ploonder de town;
And when dey are oop
Die Franzosen co down:
For pefore de wild Norsemen
De Southron must flee;
Ab ira Normannorum
Libera nos Domine!

How dey sweep de chateaux!
How dey grab oop de hens!
Und gobble de toorkeys
Shoot oop in de pens
Like de Angel of Deat'
Dey are ragin abroad:
You may track dem py fedders
Knee-deep in de road.

O der Breitmann ish on,
Und der Breitmann is on,
Und mit him de Uhlans
Are ploonderin gone.
De demon of fengeance
His wings o'er em vave,
Mit deir fingers like hooks,
Und mit maws like de grafe.

Dey coom to a castel,
So shplendid, of bricks;
Franzosen defend it,
Das help em gar nichts.
For de Uhlans hafe take it,
Dey smash in de gate,
Und inshpired by Gott's fury,
Dey shdole all de plate.

From shamber to shamber
Dey fighted deir way,
Till dead in de hall
De Franzosen all lay;
Und dere shtood a madchen,
So lieblich und hold,
Who laugh at de dead
Troo her ringlocks of gold.

Denn der Breitmann, all plooty,
To'm madel so lind,
Spoke courtly und tender:
'Vy laughst dou, mein kind?'
Denn de plue-eyed young peaudy,
Mit lippe so red,
Said, 'Vy not shall I laughen?
Vhen Frenchmen are dead.

'I coom here from Deutschland,
De shildren to teach;
Dey mock me for Deutsch,
Und dey sneer at mein sbeech;
Und since de war komm,
I vas nearly gone mad,
You wouldn't peliefe
How dey dreet me so pad.'

Mit a tear Breitmann bend
To de peaudifool miss;
'Crate Gott! can'st dou suffer
Soosh horrors ash dis?'
His arm round de maiden
Der hero has bound,
Und it shtaid dere goot vhile,
Fore dey got it unwound.

'Ho! fetch me de diamonds!
Ho! shell out de rings!
Mit all in de castle
Of dat sort of dings.'
Twas brought to de Captain-
A donderin load:
At de veet of de madchen
Dat ploonder he trowed.

'Ho! pring oos champagner!
Und light oop de hall!
Dis night der Herr Breitmann
Will gife you a ball.
Dat pile of dead vellers,
Vot died for La France,
May see, if dey like,
How de Shermans can tance.'

Dey find laties' garments,
Und - troot to confess-
Likewise som Frantsch maidens,
Who help dem to tress.
De rest of de Uhlans
Who hadn't soosh loves,
Fixed oop in black clothes
Mit white chokers und gloves.

Now hei! for de fittles!
Und hei! for clavier!
For de tantz of de Uhlans-
De men of de speer!
How de shendlemen ashk
If dey'd blease introduce;
How de ladies mit beards
Were called Espionnes Prusses!

Hei, ho! how dey tanzet!
Hei, ho! how dey sang!
How mit klingen of glasses
De braun arches rang.
How dey trill from deir hearts
Ash dey pour out der wein,
De songs of de Oberland,-
Songs of der Rhein.

Und madder und wilder,
All whirlin around,
Vent Hans mit de maiden
In Bacchanal bound.
She helt to his peard,
Und dey gissed as if mad;
I tont dink dat efer
Vas dimes like dey had.

Boot calm in de hall,
Ever calm on de floor,
Was a row of still guests
Dat wouldn't tantz nefermore.
Mit plood shtreams black winding,
Der lord mit his men,
When der Youngest Day cooms
Hans may meet dem acain.

Hoorah for der Uhlan,
So rash und so wild!
Hoorah for der Uhlan,
Der teufel's own child!-
Dis ish 'Breitmann's Last Barty,'
Dey'll sing it for years;
De lords of de lanzes,
De sons of de speers.

For dey frighten de coontry,
Dey ploonder de town;
Und when dey are oop
De Franzosen go down;
For pefore de wild Norsemen
Weak Southrons moost flee,
Ab ira Normannorum
Libera nos Domine!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 14, 2010



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