Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau

(25 August 1802 - 22 August 1850 / Schadat)

The Postilion - Poem by Nikolaus Franz Niembsch Edler von Strehlenau

Passing lovely was the night,
Silver clouds flew o'er us,
Spring, methought, with splendor dight
Led the happy chorus.

Sleep-entranced lay wood and dale,
Empty now each by-way;
No one but the moonlight pale
Roamed upon the highway.

Breezes wandering in the gloom
Soft their footsteps numbered
Through Dame Nature's sleeping-room
Where her children slumbered.

Timidly the brook stole by,
While the beds of blossom
Breathed their perfume joyously
On the still night's bosom.

My postilion, heedless all,
Cracked his whip most gaily,
And his merry trumpet-call
Rang o'er hill and valley.

Hoofs beat steadily the while,
As the horses gamboled,
And along the shady aisle
Spiritedly rambled.

Grove and meadow gliding past
Vanished at a glimmer:
Peaceful towns were gone as fast,
Like to dreams that shimmer.

Midway in the Maytide trance
Tombs were shining whitely;
'Twas the churchyard met our glance--
None might view it lightly.

Close against the mountain braced
Ran the long white wall there,
And the cross, in sorrow placed,
Silent rose o'er all there.

Jehu straight, his humor spent,
Left his tuneful courses;
On the cross his gaze he bent
Then pulled up his horses.

'Here's where horse and coach must wait--
You may think it odd, sir:--
But up yonder, lies my mate
Underneath the sod, sir.

'Better lad was never born--
(Sir 'twas God's own pity!)
No one else could blow the horn
Half as shrill and pretty.

'So I stop beside the wall
Every time I pass here,
And I blow his favorite call
To him under grass here.'

Toward the churchyard then he blew
One call after other,
That they might go ringing through
To his sleeping brother.

From the cliff each lively note
Echoing resounded,
As it were the dead man's throat
Answering strains had sounded.

On we went through field and hedge,
Loosened bridles jingling;
Long that echo from the ledge
In my ear kept tingling.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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