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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Justinus Kerner (1786–1862)

The Richest Prince

Translation of Henry William Dulcken

ALL their wealth and vast possessions

Vaunting high in choicest terms,

Sat the German princes feasting

In the knightly hall of Worms.

“Mighty,” cried the Saxon ruler,

“Are the wealth and power I wield:

In my country’s mountain gorges

Sparkling silver lies concealed.”

“See my land with plenty glowing,”

Quoth the Palgrave of the Rhine:

“Bounteous harvests in the valleys,

On the mountains noble wine.”

“Spacious towns and wealthy convents,”

Louis spake, Bavaria’s lord,

“Make my land to yield me treasures

Great as those your fields afford.”

Würtemberg’s beloved monarch,

Eberard the Bearded, cried:—

“See, my land hath little cities;

Among my hills no metals bide:

“Yet one treasure it hath borne me!

Sleeping in the woodland free,

I may lay my head in safety

On my lowliest vassal’s knee.”

Then, as with a single utterance,

Cried aloud those princes three:—

“Bearded count, thy land hath jewels!

Thou art wealthier far than we!”