Charles Godfrey Leland

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

Breitmann Am Rhein - Cologne. - Poem by Charles Godfrey Leland

HOW wunderschon das Vaterland
In audumn-life abbears;
Vot rainpows gild ids vallies crand,
Ven seen troo vallin tears.
Und VON I'll creet mit sang und klang,
Und drown in goldnen wein;
Old Deutschland's cot her sohn again:
Hans Breitmann's on der Rhein.

Und doughts ish schwell dat mighdy heart,
Too awfool for make known;
Ven dey shunt him from de railroat car
Und tropped him in Cologne.
De holy towers of de dome
Cleam, twilicht-veiled, afar;
Und like some lonely bilgrim's pipe,
Dim shines de efenin star.

Hans look to find his baggage check,
Und see dat all ish shdraighdts,
Denn toorn him to de city toors,
'Mein nadife land - wie gehts?'
Boot dat's vot all who read may run-
Fool blainly armies write;
Id's ofer all half Shermany,
Set down in Black and White.

Oh, Black and White! O Weiss and Schwarz!
Vot dings ish dis to see?
I vonder vot in future years
Your mission ish to pe?
Also in crate America
We had soosh colors too!
Die Farb' sind mir nicht unbekannt-
Id's shoost tout comme chez nous.

Next tay to de Cathedral
He vent de dings to view,
Und found it shoost drei thaler cost
To see de sighds all troo.
'Id's tear,' said Hans; 'boot go ahet,
I'fe cot de cash all right;
Boot id's queer dat's only Protestands
Vot mosdly see de sighdt!

'Im Mittelalter I hafe read
De shoorsh vas alvays sure-
An open bicdure gallerie,
Und book for all de poor.
Boot now de dings is so arrange
No poor volk can get in;
We Yankees und de Englisch are
Pout all ash shbends de tin.

'I shmiles like Mephistopheles
In shoorshes ven I see
Poor Catholics vollerin round apout
To shdeal a sighdt - troo ME!
Dey peep und creep roundt chapel gates,
Boot soon kits trofe afay,
Dey gross demselfs, und make a brayer-
Boot den dey cannot bay!

'Dese Deutsche sacrisdans might learn
More goot in Italy,
Where beoples bays shoost half de brice,
For ten dimes more to see,
De volk vot dink I shbeak sefere
Apout dese Kuster vays,
May read vot Mr. Badeker
In his Belgine Hand Buch says.'

Und valkin oop und town de down
Von ding vas shdill de same:
Shoost ash of oldt he saw de shpread
Of Jean Farina's name.
He find it nort', he find it sout',
He find it eferyvhere;
Dere vas no house in all Cologne
Boot J. M. F. vas dere.

De best Cologne in all Cologne
I'll shwear for cerdain sure,
Ish maket in de Julichsplatz
Und dat at Numero Four.
Boot of dis Cologne in Julichsplatz
Let dis pe understood,
Dat some of id ish foorst-rate pad,
Vhile some is foorst-rate good.

Boot von ding drafellers moost opserve,
Dis treadful trut I dells,
Fast ash dis Farinaceous crowd
So vast hafe grown the schmells-
Dose awfool schmells in gass' und strass'
Vitch mofe crate Coleridge squalm:
If so he wrote, vot vouldt he write
Apout dem now, py tam?

Of all de schmells I efer schmelt,
Py gutter, sink, or well,
At efery gorner of Cologne
Dere's von can peat dat schmell.
Vhen dere you go you'll find it so,
Don't dake de ding on troost;
De meanest skunk in Yankee land
Vould die dere of disgoost.

Boot noding dinked der Breitmann
Of schmutz or idle schein,
Vhen he sat in Abendammerung
Und looket owd on der Rhein
Im goldnen gleam - vhile pealin far
Rang shlow, shveet kloster bells,
Und in de dim, plue peaudiful,
Rose distant Drachenfels.

Dey trinket lieb Liebfrauenmilch
So pure ash voman's trut';
De singed de songs of Shermany,
De songs of Breitmann's yout'.
De songs mit tears of vanished years,
Made peaudiful in wein.
Dus endet out de firster tay
Of Breitmann on der Rhein.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 14, 2010

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