by Friedrich von Schiller
Once for the sceptre of Germany, fought with Bavarian Louis
Frederick, of Hapsburg descent, both being called to the throne.
But the envious fortune of war delivered the Austrian
Into the hands of the foe, who overcame him in fight.
With the throne he purchased his freedom, pledging his honor
For the victor to draw 'gainst his own people his sword;
But what he vowed when in chains, when free he could not accomplish,
So, of his own free accord, put on his fetters again.
Deeply moved, his foe embraced him,--and from thenceforward
As a friend with a friend, pledged they the cup at the feast;
Arm-in-arm, the princes on one couch slumbered together.
While a still bloodier hate severed the nations apart.
'Gainst the army of Frederick Louis now went, and behind him
Left the foe he had fought, over Bavaria to watch.
"Ay, it is true! 'Tis really true! I have it in writing!"
Thus did the Pontifex cry, when he first heard of the news.
Last updated May 02, 2015