August Graf von Platen

(1796-1835 / German)

The Grave Of Alaric - Poem by August Graf von Platen

On Busento's grassy banks a muffled chorus echoes nightly,
While the swirling eddies answer and the wavelets ripple lightly.

Up and down the river, shades of Gothic warriors watch are keeping,
For they mourn their people's hero, Alaric, with sobs of weeping.

All too soon and far from home and kindred here to rest they laid him,
While in youthful beauty still his flowing golden curls arrayed him.

And along the river's bank a thousand hands with eager striving
Labored long, another channel for Busento's tide contriving.

Then a cavern deep they hollowed in the river-bed depleted,
Placed therein the dead king, clad in proof, upon his charger seated.

O'er him and his proud array the earth they filled, and covered loosely,
So that on their hero's grave the water-plants would grow profusely.

And again the course they altered of Busento's waters troubled;
In its ancient channel rushed the current--foamed, and hissed, and bubbled.

And the Goths in chorus chanted: 'Hero, sleep! Tiny fame immortal
Roman greed shall ne'er insult, nor break thy tomb's most sacred portal!'

Thus they sang, and paeans sounded high above the fight's commotion;
Onward roll, Busento's waves, and bear them to the farthest ocean!

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 2, 2010

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