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Heinrich Heine

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  • Heinrich Heine

    Heinrich Heine wrote the poem, 'The Two Grenadiers,' as a commemoration of the Napoleonic period and the Grande Armee. It was inspired by the Imperial Guard. The following is an excerpt:

    '...Oh comrade, grant me one last prayer,
    When death my hours shall number.,
    Carry my body back to France,
    In French soil let me slumber.
    My cross of the Legion with its scarlet band
    Lay close to my heart for a neighbor
    And place my carbine in my hand
    And buckle on my sabre.

    And over my grave shall the Emperor ride,
    'Midst thunder of hoof-beats ascending.
    Then armed to the teeth I shall arise from my grave!
    My Emperor, my Emperor defending.'

    The entire poem can be found here:
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

  • #2
    Never knew it existed in English too.

    I had to learn it in German class during secondary school
    and even at that time I thought the poems belongs in the category that lifts German into the league of most beautiful languages, contrary to popular opinion.

    I cannot recite it without a manly tear, especially when I come to the end of:

    Da hörten sie beide die traurige Mär:
    Dass Frankreich verlorengegangen.
    Besiegt und zerschlagen das tapfere Heer,
    und der Kaiser, der Kaiser gefangen

    You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.


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