To The Flowers Of Heidelberg
Go to my country, go, foreign flowers,
Planted by the traveler on his way,
And there beneath that sky of blue
That over my beloved towers,
Speak for this traveler to say
What faith in his homeland he breathes to you.
Go and say. . . say that when the dawn
First drew your calyx open there
Beside the River Neckar chill,
You saw him standing by you, very still,
Reflecting on the primrose flush you wear.
Say that when the morning light
Her toll of perfume from you wrung,
While playfully she whispered, "How I love you!"
He too murmured here above you
Tender love songs in his native tongue.
That when the rising sun the height
Of Kainigsthul in early morn first spies,
And with its tepid light
Is pouring life in valley, wood, and grove,
He greets the sun as it begins to rise,
Which in his native land is blazing straight above.
And tell them of that day he staid
And plucked you from the border of the path,
Amid the ruins of the feudal castle,
By the River Neckar, and in the silvan shade.
Tell them what he told you
As tenderly he took
Your pliant leaves and pressed them in a book,
Where now its well worn pages close enfold you.
Carry, carry, flowers of Rhine,
Love to every love of mine,
Peace to my country and her fertile loam,
Virtue to her women, courage to her men,
Salute those darling ones again,
Who formed the sacred circle of our home.
And when you reach that shore,
Each kiss I press upon you now,
Deposit on the pinions of the wind,
And those I love and honor and adore
Will feel my kisses carried to their brow.
Ah, flowers, you may fare through,
Conserving still, perhaps, your native hue;
Yet, far from Fatherland, heroic loam
To which you owe your life,
The perfume will be gone from you;
For aroma is your soul; it cannot roam
Beyond the skies which saw it born, nor e'er forget