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Friedrich von Schiller: “Count Eberhard: The Weeper of Württemberg

Stuttgart_Stiftskirche_Grafenstandbilder_Figur_06_Eberhard_der_Greiner

Eberhard II, called “der Greiner”  Count of Württemberg 1344 –1392.

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Count Eberhard

The Weeper of Württemberg

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Ye !—ye, there, in the world without.

Lift not your heads so grand !

Men hath it borne, and heroes stout.

Alike for peace or battle-rout,—

Our gallant Swabian land !

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Boast of your Edward, Fred’ric, Charles,

And Ludwig as ye might,

Charles, Fred’ric, Ludwig, Edward too,

Was Eberhard, our count so true,—

A tempest in the fight.

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The county’s boy, young Ulrich, too,

Loved well the iron clang ;

The county’s boy, young Ulrich, too,

No footfall backward ever drew,

Where men to saddle sprang.

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The Reutlingers brew’d vengeance-pain

To see our names so bright;

And strove the victor’s wreath to gain,

And many a sword-dance dared maintain.

And drew their girdles tight.

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He gave them war,—beshrew the fight

Whence beaten home he came !

The father’s brow was black as night,—

The youthful warrior fled the light,

And wept for very shame.

Ary_Scheffer_001_detail_01

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That gall’d him : ” Ah, ye knaves, beware !”

(And kept it in his soul)—

” Now by my father’s beard I swear

To grind the notch my sword doth bear

On many a townsman’s poll !”

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Nor long the time ere rose a feud:

Forth sallied horse and man ;

Toward Döffingen the army stood,

And brighter grew the younker’s mood,

And hot the fight began.

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The watchword to our men that day

Was given—”the ill-starr’d fight”—

That drove us like the storm away,

And lodged us deep in bloody fray,

And in the lances’ night.

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Our youthful Count, with lion’s wrath,

Swung high his hero-glaive ;

Wild battle-roar before his path.

Wailing and groans his feet beneath,

And all around—the grave.

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But woe ! ah, woe ! a ghastly sword

Fell heavy on his head;

The hero-band surround their lord

In vain ; young Ulrich on the sward

With glassy eyes lay dead.

Eberhard der Greiner bei Döffingen 1388

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Then horror stayed the battle’s plan.

Tears from all eyes ‘gan flow;

But ho !—the count to charge began—

“My son is as another man ;

March, children, on the foe !”

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And fiercer rageth now the fight.

For vengeance spurs them well ;

Forth o’er the corpses went their might,

And townsmen flying left and right

O’er forest, hill, and dell.

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And blythely all our clarions rang

When to our camp hied we ;

And wives and children gaily sang,

‘Mid dances’ whirl and beaker-klang,

To praise our victory.

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But Eberhard, what doth he here ?

Before him lies his son ;

Within his tent, no mortal near.

The Count hath dropt one sparkling tear

That silent form upon.

1-E1834-E1388-1DE:"Eberhard II. Graf von WŸrttemberg beweint seinen Sohn, derEberhard II. von Wttbg. beweint s. SohnEberhard II.,der Greiner,Graf v.WŸrttem- berg (1344-92);1315-1392. / - "Eberhard II. Graf von WŸrttemberg beweint seinen Sohn, der in der Schlacht bei Dšffingen starb". - (Erster StŠedtekrieg 1388/89; Schlacht b.Dšffingen,23.8.1388: Eberhard II. siegt Ÿber d.SchwŠb. StŠdtebund; Tod seines Sohnes Ulrich). / Gem.,1824,v.Ary Scheffer(1795-1858). / …l/Lwd,22x28,5cm.St.Petersburg, Staatliche Ermitage.Photo: akg-images

Therefore, with love so true and warm.

Around the Count we stand;

Alone, he is a hero-swarm—

The thunder rageth in his arm,—

The star of Swabian land.

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Then, ye there in the world without.

Lift not your heads so grand !

Men hath it borne, and heroes stout.

Alike in peace and battle-rout.

Our gallant Swabian land.