A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Death-Day of Körner" by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) Records of Woman: With Other Poems. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, & London: T. Cadell, 1828, second edition. pp. 250-252.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


[Page 250] 

THE DEATH-DAY OF KÖRNER.*


A SONG for the death-day of the brave–
    A song of pride!
The youth went down to a hero's grave,
    With the sword, his bride.

He went, with his noble heart unworn,
    And pure, and high;
An eagle stooping from clouds of morn,
    Only to die!

[Page 251] 

He went with the lyre, whose lofty tone
    Beneath his hand
Had thrill'd to the name of his God alone,
    And his Father-land.

And with all his glorious feelings yet
    In their first glow,
Like a southern stream that no frost hath met
    To chain its flow.

A song for the death-day of the brave–
    A song of pride!
For him that went to a hero's grave,
    With the sword, his bride.

He hath left a voice in his trumpet-lays
    To turn the flight,
And a guiding spirit for after days,
    Like a watch-fire's light.

[Page 252] 

And a grief in his father's soul to rest,
    Midst all high thought;
And a memory unto his mother's breast,
    With healing fraught.

And a name and fame above the blight
    Of earthly breath,
Beautiful–beautiful and bright,
    In life and death!

A song for the death-day of the brave–
    A song of pride!
For him that went to a hero's grave,
    With the sword, his bride!


[Page 250]

* On reading part of a letter of Körner's father, addressed to Mr. Richardson, the translator of his works, in which he speaks of "the death-day of his son."

See the Sword-song, composed on the morning of his death.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom