The Camp of Wallenstein is an introduction to the celebrated tragedy of that name; and, by its vivid portraiture of the state of the general's army, gives the best clue to the spell of his gigantic power. Translated by James Churchill.
'Tis drilling that makes him, skill and sense--
'Tis liberty makes him! Here's a fuss!
That I should such twaddle as this discuss.
Was it for this that I left the school?
That the scribbling desk, and the slavish rule,
And the narrow walls, that our spirits cramp,
Should be met with again in the midst of the camp?
No! Idle and heedless, I'll take my way,
Hunting for novelty every day;
Trust to the moment with dauntless mind,
And give not a glance or before or behind.
For this to the emperor I sold my hide,
That no other care I might have to bide.
Through the foe's fierce firing bid me ride,
Through fathomless Rhine, in his roaring flow,
Where ev'ry third man to the devil may go,
At no bar will you find me boggling there;
But, farther than this, 'tis my special prayer,
That I may not be bothered with aught like care.