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Right where his charge had made a lane,
The daunted Lion 'gan to whine,
Then lost was banner, spear, and shield,
The cloister vaults at Konig'sfield
It was the Archduke Leopold,
But he came against the Switzer churls,
The heifer said unto the bull,
"One thrust of thine outrageous horn
An Austrian noble left the stour,
And fast the flight 'gan take;
A pun on the Urus, or wild-ball, which gives name to the Canton of Uri.
He and his squire a fisher call'd,
Receive us in thy boat!"
Their anxious call the fisher heard,
And while against the tide and wind
The fisher's back was to them turn'd,
Hans saw his shadow in the lake,
He 'whelm'd the boat, and as they strove He stunn'd them with his oar,
"Now, drink ye deep, my gentle sirs, You'll ne'er stab boatman more.
"Two gilded fishes in the lake
It was a messenger of woe
Has sought the Austrian land: "Ah! gracious lady, evil news! My lord lies on the strand.
"At Sempach, on the battle-field,
Now would you know the minstrel wight,
A merry man was hc, I wot,
The night he made the lay, Returning from the bloody spot, Where God had judged the day.
THE NOBLE MORINGER,
AN ANCIENT BALLAD.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN.
THE original of these verses occurs in a collection of German popular songs, entitled, Sammlung Deutschen Volkslieder, Berlin, 1807, published by Messrs. Busching and Von der Hagen, both, and more especially the last, distinguished for their acquaintance with the ancient popular poetry and legendary history of Germany.
In the German Editor's notice of the ballad, it is stated to have been extracted from a manuscript Chronicle of Nicolaus Thomann, chaplain to Saint Leonard in Weisenhorn, which bears the date 1533; and the song is stated by the author to have been generally sung in the neighbourhood at that early period. Thomann, as quoted by the German Editor, seems faithfully to have believed the event he narrates. He quotes
[The translation of the Noble Moringer appeared originally in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1816, (published in 1819.) It was composed during Sir Walter Scot
severe and alarming intervals of exquisite
illness of April, 1819, and dictated, in the pain, to his daughter Sophia, and his friend William Laidlaw.—ED.]
tombstones and obituaries to prove the existence of the personages of the ballad, and discovers that there actually died, on the 11th May, 1349, a Lady Von Neuffen, Countess of Marstetten, who was, by birth, of the house of Moringer. This lady he supposes to have been Moringer's daughter, mentioned in the ballad. He quotes the same authority for the death of Berckhold Von Neuffen, in the same year. The editors, on the whole, seem to embrace the opinion of Professor Smith of Ulm, who, from the language of the ballad, ascribes its date to the 15th century.
The legend itself turns on an incident not peculiar to Germany, and which, perhaps, was not unlikely to happen in more instances than one, when crusaders abode long in the Holy Land, and their disconsolate dames received no tidings of their fate. A story very similar in circumstances, but without the miraculous machinery of Saint Thomas, is told of one of the ancient Lords of Haigh-hall in Lancashire, the patrimonial inheritance of the late Countess of Balcarras; and the particulars are represented on stained glass upon a window in that ancient manor-house.'
'[See introduction to "The Betrothed," Waverley Novels, vol. xxxvii.]