In the valley of the Pegnitz, where across broad
Rise the blue Franconian mountains, Nuremberg, the ancient,
Quaint old town of toil and traffic, quaint old
town of art and
Memories haunt thy pointed gables, like the rooks that round them
Memories of the Middle Ages, when the emperors,
rough and bold,
Had their dwelling in thy castle, time-defying, centuries old;
And thy brave and thrifty burghers boasted, in
That their great imperial city stretched its hand through every
In the court-yard of the castle, bound with many
an iron hand,
Stands the mighty linden planted by Queen Cunigunde's hand;
On the square the oriel window, where in old heroic
Sat the poet Melchior singing Kaiser Maximilian's praise.
Everywhere I see around me rise the wondrous world
Fountains wrought with richest sculpture standing in the common
And above cathedral doorways saints and bishops
carved in stone,
By a former age commissioned as apostles to our own.
In the church of sainted Sebald sleeps enshrined
his holy dust,
And in bronze the Twelve Apostles guard from age to age their
In the church of sainted Lawrence stands a pix
of sculpture rare,
Like the foamy sheaf of fountains, rising through the painted
Here, when Art was still religion, with a simple,
Lived and labored Albrecht Durer, the Evangelist of Art;
Hence in silence and in sorrow, toiling still with
Like an emigrant he wandered, seeking for the Better Land.
Emigravit is the inscription on the tombstone where
Dead he is not, but departed,--for the artist never dies.
Fairer seems the ancient city, and the sunshine
seems more fair,
That he once has trod its pavement, that he once has breathed its
Through these streets so broad and stately, these
Walked of yore the Mastersingers, chanting rude poetic strains.
From remote and sunless suburbs came they to the
Building nests in Fame's great temple, as in spouts the swallows
As the weaver plied the shuttle, wove he too the
And the smith his iron measures hammered to the anvil's chime;
Thanking God, whose boundless wisdom makes the
flowers of poesy
In the forge's dust and cinders, in the tissues of the loom.
Here Hans Sachs, the cobbler-poet, laureate of
the gentle craft,
Wisest of the Twelve Wise Masters, in huge folios sang and
But his house is now an ale-house, with a nicely
And a garland in the window, and his face above the door;
Painted by some humble artist, as in Adam Puschman's
As the old man gray and dove-like, with his great beard white and
And at night the swart mechanic comes to drown
his cark and care,
Quaffing ale from pewter tankard; in the master's antique chair.
Vanished is the ancient splendor, and before my
Wave these mingled shapes and figures, like a faded tapestry.
Not thy Councils, not thy Kaisers, win for thee
But thy painter, Albrecht Durer, and Hans Sachs thy cobbler-bard.
Thus, O Nuremberg, a wanderer from a region far
As he paced thy streets and court-yards, sang in thought his
Gathering from the pavement's crevice, as a floweret
of the soil,
The nobility of labor,--the long pedigree of toil.