Hans Breitmann
by Charles G. Leland. 1889

Hans Breitmann as an Uhlan
Breitmannand Bouilli

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"Très estimé ami, - Ick seyn nock nit verdorb,
Vielleickt Sie denck wohl kar, das ick sey tod gestorb,
Ock ne Kott loben Danck, ick leb nock kanss wohl auf.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Naturlich wie Kespenst die off die Kasse keh."
- Deutsch-Franzos, Leipzig, 1736.

Vot roombles down de Bergstrass?
Vot a grash ish in de air!
Mit a desberate gonfusion,
Und a gry of wild tespair,
Das sind gethräsht Franzosen,[44]
Und dose who after flee
Are de terror of Champagner,
Die Uhlan cavallrie.

So liddle say die hoonted,
De hoonters lesser shdill;
Der Frank is ride for's leben,
Der Deutscher rides to kill.
Ofer dickly-doosty faces
Deir eyes like wild-katzs glare;
De blut und iron ridin
Of furie und despair.

Boot of all de wild Uhlanen,
Der Breitmann ride de pest;
For he mark de Fräntsch gommanter
Ish most elegandtly tresst.
Und ash he coom down on him,
Dere's a deat' look in his eye:
"Gotts! if I carfe dat toorkey,
How I'll make de stoofin vly!"

Mit a clotter und a flotter
Like a hell-sturm dey are on:
Mit a rottle to de pattle
Coom de Deutschers, knockin' down,
Down de moundain to a brucké-
Vhy die Fräntschmen toorn ad bay?
Oder Deutsch were dere pefore dem,
Und die pridge ish coot avay!

Von second der Franzose
Look down mit blitzen eye;
Von second at de brucké,
Den toorn him round to die.
Vhile mit out-ge-poke-te lanze,
Like ter teufel shot from hell,
Rode der ploonder-shtarvin Breitmann
On der grau-bart Colonel.

Vot for der Coptain Breitmann
Ish shdop in his career?
Vot for he pool his pridle?
Vot for let down his speer?
Vot for his eyes like saucers
Grow pigger, rimmed mit staub?
Vot for his hair, a pristlin,
Lift oop his pickel-haub?[45]

So awfool - so oneart'ly,
So treadful was his glare,
So unbeschreiblich gastly,
Dat der Colonel self was shkare.
Oop come der Breitmann ridin,
Und mit gratin force he said:
"Bist - du - wirkelich - lebendig?[46]
Can de grafe gife oop its tead?

"Dou livest yet - dou breaf'st yet,
Dough oldter now you pe
Since I mordered you in Strasburg,
Mein freund - mon Jean Bouilli.
We lofed de selfe maiden
Wohl forty years agone:-
She died to hear I kilt you:-
Jean - how weiss your beard ish grown!

"I would gife my Hab' und Güter,[47]
Dereto mein bit of life
Couldt I pring dat shild to leben,
Und make her, Jean, dy wife!"
Here der Breitmann boorst out gryin,
Like a liddle prook vept he;
Und dey hugged and gissed einander,
Der Breitmann und Bouilli.

"Ach, de efils dat from efil
Troo a life ish efer grow!
Had I nefer dink I killed you,
Many a man were livin now-
Many a man dat shleeps in cane-brakes,
Many a man py pillow-shore;
For dy morder mate me reckelos,
Und von tead man gries for more!

"O Mädchen! schön im Himmel![48]
(Warst schon on eart' difine)-
Can'st dink among de Engeln
Of soosh as me und mine?
Den look on soosh a Reue,
Ash eart' has nefer known:-
Whereto hast dou a sabre?
Wherefore not kill me, Jean?"

"O, ne pleurez pas, mon Breitmann!
Je trouve cela trop fort,"
Gry der Colonel sehr politely;
"How! - you crois dat I was mort!
Mon Dieu! 'Tis but one minute,
As we galloped to this plain,
I thought your spear, mon gaillard,
Would kill me o'er again.

Je vous fais mon compliment,
Your tendresse becomes you well;
Et ne pleurez pas, mon brave,
Pour la petite demoiselle.
I have had a thousand since;
One can always find such game;
Et pour dire la vérité,
I have quite forgot her name."

Der Breitmann lok so earnest,
Long and earnest at his foe,
Ash if seein troo his augen
To de forty years ago.
Mit vot a shmile der Breitmann
Toorned roundt und rode away:
Dat was all his parting greetin
To der Cólonél Français.

[44] Those are thrashed Frenchmen.

[45] "Der Uhlan was not shenerally wear pickelhäube, but dis tay der Herr Breitmann gehappenet to hafe von on." - FRITZ SCHWACKENHAMMER

[46] "And art thou truly living?"

[47] "All my property."

[48] "O maiden fair in Heaven!"

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