Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
 
Hanau
Prince Wrede’s Death
Arthur Rapp
 
BY Hanau, where the Kinzig dark and deep,
To meet the Main, rolls on its treacherous way,
Right on the road to Frankfurt, it is spanned
By an old bridge, built strong of basalt gray.
Midway, encased within the basalt wall,        5
A narrow marble tablet marks a name.
’T is but the one word: Wrede, but it speaks
To German hearts of glory and of fame.
 
Napoleon, after Leipzig’s stern defeat,
To gain his France once more, here on his way        10
Met proud Bavaria’s proudest prince. At last
The dauntless lion found himself at bay.
But, though ten thousand French were forced to find
In Kinzig’s treacherous flood a horrid grave,
Prince Wrede too fell, wounded unto death.        15
Yon tablet marks the spot. God rest the brave!
 
And now the legend goes, that on this spot
Where Wrede fell, his ghost is often seen.
For, when the moon with her full flood of light
Upon that tablet throws her silver sheen,        20
’T is said, the prince, casting upon the flood
A pitying look, tries, so the story goes,
To stem the rushing waters, and to save
The drowned thousands of his ghostly foes.
 
 
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