Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
 
Eisenach
Luther in the Wartburg
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)
 
*        *        *        *        *
SAFE in this Wartburg tower I stand
Where God hath led me by the hand,
And look down, with a heart at ease,
Over the pleasant neighborhoods,
Over the vast Thuringian Woods,        5
With flash of river, and gloom of trees,
With castles crowning the dizzy heights,
And farms and pastoral delights,
And the morning pouring everywhere
Its golden glory on the air.        10
Safe, yes, safe am I here at last,
Safe from the overwhelming blast
Of the mouths of Hell, that followed me fast,
And the howling demons of despair
That hunted me like a beast to his lair.
*        *        *        *        *
        15
Yesterday in an idle mood,
Hunting with others in the wood,
I did not pass the hours in vain,
For in the very heart of all
The joyous tumult raised around,        20
Shouting of men, and baying of hound,
And the bugle’s blithe and cheery call,
And echoes answering back again,
From crags of the distant mountain chain,
In the very heart of this I found        25
A mystery of grief and pain.
It was an image of the power
Of Satan, hunting the world about,
With his nets and traps and well-trained dogs,
His bishops and priests and theologues,        30
And all the rest of the rabble rout,
Seeking whom he may devour!
Enough have I had of hunting hares,
Enough of these hours of idle mirth,
Enough of nets and traps and gins!        35
The only hunting of any worth
Is where I can pierce with javelins
The cunning foxes and wolves and bears,
The whole iniquitous troop of beasts,
The Roman Pope and the Roman priests        40
That sorely infest and afflict the earth!
 
Ye nuns, ye singing birds of the air!
The fowler hath caught you in his snare,
And keeps you safe in his gilded cage,
Singing the song that never tires,        45
To lure down others from their nests;
How ye flutter and beat your breasts,
Warm and soft with young desires,
Against the cruel pitiless wires,
Reclaiming your lost heritage!        50
Behold! a hand unbars the door,
Ye shall be captives held no more.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors