Die Vätergruft
The Ancestral Vault


Striding across the moorland
Till the chapel came in sight,
An old man wearing armour
Went in, out of the light.

The tombs of all his forebears
Were ranged along the wall.
A wondrous, stirring chorus sang
From deep inside the hall.

"Well have I heard your greeting,
Spirits, heroes from my birth.
I am the last to join your ranks.
Salute me! That's my worth.”

In a cold, dark corner
Stood a tomb as yet unfilled.
He took it as a bed for rest,
His pillow was his shield.

With hands folded securely
About his sword, he slept.
The spirit voices faded
And silent vigil kept.