The Knight Of Toggenburg. A Ballad.

A poem by Friedrich Schiller

"I Can love thee well, believe me,
As a sister true;
Other love, Sir Knight, would grieve me,
Sore my heart would rue.
Calmly would I see thee going,
Calmly, too, appear;
For those tears in silence flowing
Find no answer here."

Thus she speaks, he hears her sadly,
How his heartstrings bleed!
In his arms he clasps her madly,
Then he mounts his steed.
From the Switzer land collects he
All his warriors brave;
Cross on breast, their course directs he
To the Holy Grave.

In triumphant march advancing,
Onward moves the host,
While their morion plumes are dancing
Where the foes are most.
Mortal terror strikes the Paynim
At the chieftain's name;
But the knight's sad thoughts enchain him
Grief consumes his frame.

Twelve long months, with courage daring,
Peace he strives to find;
Then, at last, of rest despairing,
Leaves the host behind;
Sees a ship, whose sails are swelling,
Lie on Joppa's strand;
Ships him homeward for her dwelling,
In his own loved land.

Now behold the pilgrim weary
At her castle gate!
But alas! these accents dreary
Seal his mournful fate:
"She thou seek'st her troth hath plighted
To all-gracious heaven;
To her God she was united
Yesterday at even!"

To his father's home forever
Bids he now adieu;
Sees no more his arms and beaver,
Nor his steed so true.
Then descends he, sadly, slowly,
None suspect the sight,
For a garb of penance lowly
Wears the noble knight.

Soon he now, the tempest braving,
Builds an humble shed,
Where o'er the lime-trees darkly waving,
Peeps the convent's head.
From the orb of day's first gleaming,
Till his race has run,
Hope in every feature beaming,
There he sits alone.

Toward the convent straining ever
His unwearied eyes,
From her casement looking never
Till it open flies,
Till the loved one, soft advancing,
Shows her gentle face,
O'er the vale her sweet eye glancing,
Full of angel-grace.

Then he seeks his bed of rushes,
Stilled all grief and pain,
Slumbering calm, till morning's blushes
Waken life again.
Days and years fleet on, yet never
Breathes he plaint or sighs,
On her casement gazing ever
Till it open flies.

Till the loved one, soft advancing,
Shows her gentle face,
O'er the vale her sweet eyes glancing,
Full of angel-grace.
But at length, the morn returning
Finds him dead and chill;
Pale and wan, his gaze, with yearning,
Seeks her casement still.

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