Das Buch der Deutschen in America: Pages 398 - 402
His moods and his subjects are original and gripping. The themes are great and powerful, mostly drawn from antiquity or with historical settings such as the burning of Rome, Persepolis, Lucretia, Hannibal, Napoleon and Cleopatra. With a clever grasp he chooses just the right moment in the lives of his heros and he clothes his song in glowing verse.
It is bearly possible to do justice to the poet in the confines of these few sentences. It seems only advisable to introduce a few of his most prominent poems. Above all, there is the masterful and therefore famous Roman Night. Like all of Brachvogel's poems it is relatively long. Our poet seems to be of Poe's mind, that a poetic work of art must have a length of about a hundred verses in order to work properly. Much can be said for this principle if one can not also admit that here and there the length becomes a bit tiresome, yet the passionate language used by Brachvogel transports us past this. The blond favorite of Nero recites Virgil to him:
"Suddenly the voice of the favorite stilled
And while Rome went up in flames, the young singer took up his lyre:
"Now I can understand Virgil."
The poet powerfully knows how to use pyrotechnic effect is his less famous work, Persepolis. Here Ammonide promises the courtesan Thais that before he leaves her he will cast a spell to bring back the red of the evening sky with the burning of the city.
"And the earth will scream in terror
Roses on the Nile is worthy of being ranked among these compositions although here the effect all to often is far fetched. However there are lines in the poem, which fill one with astonishment and wonder worthy of a queen, who
"bore Rome twice over in her hair
In form, Capua is perhaps the most excellent of Brachvogel's poems and contains a singularly new effect:
"The defiant peaks
If Brachvogel's poems seem, as they must, to make great use of imagery, you are not mistaken. They all have a peculiar charm, a stark individuality and perhaps we can do nothing better than conclude with a few lines of a Brachvogel poem titled The Scented Candles, which wonderfully characterizes the grandiose soaring of his poetry:
"I see before me as myrtles shimmer
G. S. Viereck
To Friends visiting the Garden
In the world all I find
My flowers never wage war
Thus I hold their company dear
How shall I describe
O torturous love! O sweet plague!
The sound of your name — life is so troubled,
Almost All Alone
How often among my circle of friends
There were so many good men
Where have they all gone?
So long ago that time flew away
When will my time come
I'm not complaining, all things
Motto: Turn around and see in the distance
Surrounded by waves of white-capped foam,
The masts reach up to the heavens
Those, who witness the fatherland's ills
I am a Pennsylvanian
I am a Pennsylvanian
I am of German descent
Take a peek in any of the fields
And it's not just what's above the ground
At Niagara (1852)
(Under the Rock Ledge)
From rocks water trickles one drop at a time
What a poet's chair, for feet below
Alone amid this pummeling frustration
To the bottom the river crashes,
No landslide or lake can slow it down
So too for humanity, in battle and need
Reality unites with illusion,
Gray and overcast, fog-filled days
If only the wicked sunshine
Oh sun, you bitter, evil thing,
Let my body be consumed on the funeral pyre
Grant the ultimate honor to me
When the sun sets each evening,
After my death, let torches burn bright,
For the Turners (Gymnasts)
Tumble and stretch with all your might
To a Satirist
If you don't have the intellect
To a "Humorist"
So many think they're funny
The Empire's Banner (1870)
Welcome, black, red and white banner
What we hoped but dared not say
Whether black, red, white or black, red, gold
To My Fatherland
I own not one tree from your forests,
Where is there a heart in which no longer resides
Hasn't enough manna rained from the sky?
Hasn't heaven bestowed on you enough blessing?
I've seen the wonders of the southern zones
Since I last stood on your shores
But more beautiful than palms and lemons
Are the apple trees of my Fatherland!
Oh land of my fathers but no longer mine!
If only those who remain at home
Then and Now
Once I dreamed of a romantic land
I saw gnomes living in the forest,
The page of life has turned for me,
All the goblins have moved away
So sweetly their mother calls to them;
The magic of the romantic woods
There's never been an earthly dream
There has never been a joyful eye
Which didn't sometimes hold a tear.
There's never been a ray of light,
Which wasn't cast on a funeral bier.
We see beautiful buds blossom,
Wilt and then fade away.
We look to the stars, then behold
As night succumbs to day.
There has never been a noble heart,
There never has been on this earth,
"We were moving down the Rhine.
Others joyously drank the wine,
The Wanderer's Fate
How often a young man has hoped and planned,
Touring about, perhaps finding fortune too!
I could have settled for less instead of wanting more.
But treasure abounded on the foreign shore.
Stand On Your Own
Stand on your own! Never leave it to another
Stand on your own! In peaceful self reliance
Stand on your own! Humans are a fickle breed.
Stand on your own! Take on no one else's chains,
To Spring - a Rondeau
O gentle spring, you bestow your blessing
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