"Kaiser and Co."; or, "Hoch der Kaiser"

Original Text: 
Poems of A. MacGregor Rose (Gordon), ed. Robert Dey (London: John Heywood, no date): 142-45. British Library
Being Wilhelm der Grosser's estimate of himself and partner, translated from the original Hoch-deutsch.
2Und Gott on high all dings gommand,
3Ve two! Ach! don'd you understandt?
4   Meinself -- und Gott.
(##)
5He reigns in Heafen, und always shall,
6Und mein own Embire don'd vas small;
7Ein noble bair, I dink you call
8   Meinself -- und Gott.
(##)
9While some men sing der power divine,
11Und drink der healt in Rhenish wein,
12   Auf me -- und Gott.
(##)
13Dere's France dot swaggers all aroundt,
15To mooch ve dinks she don't amoundt:
16   Meinself -- und Gott.
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17She vill not dare to fight again,
18But if she should, I'll show her blain
20   Are Mein -- und Gott's.
22Und dought he vas glean oud auf sight,
23But ach! he vas nicht goot to fight
24   Mit me -- und Gott.
(##)
25Ve knock him like ein man auf sdraw,
26Ve let him know whose vill vas law,
27Und dot ve don'd vould sdandt his jaw,
28   Meinself -- und Got.
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29Ve send him oudt in big disgrace,
30Ve gif him insuldt to his face,
32   Meinself -- und Gott.
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33Und ven Caprivi get svelled headt,
34Ve very brombtly on him set,
35Und toldt him to get vp and get --
36   Meinself -- und Gott.
39She'll learn none runs dis hemisphere
40   But Me -- und Gott.
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41She dinks, goot frau, some ships she's got,
42Und soldiers mit der sgarlet coat,
43Ach! ve could knock dem -- pouf! like dot,
44   Meinself -- und Gott.
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45Dey say dat badly fooled I vas
47Und dat I act shust like ein ass
48   Und dupe, Herr Gott.
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49Vell, maybe yah und maybe nein,
50Und maybe Czar mit France gombine
51To take dem lands about der Rhein
52   From me -- und Gott.
(##)
53But dey may try dot leedle game,
54Und make der breaks; but all der same,
55Dey only vill increase der fame
56   Auf me -- und Gott.
(##)
57In dimes auf beace, brebared for wars
58I bear der helm and sbear auf Mars,
59Und care nicht for ten dousand Czars,
60   Meinself -- und Gott.
(##)
61In short, I humour efery whim,
62Mit aspect dark and visage grim,
63Gott pulls mit me und I mit Him --
64   Meinself -- und Gott.

Notes

1] Rose's German-English regularly substitutes v for w, t for d, d for th, and f for v. The first stanza, for example, can be read:
The Kaiser of the Fatherland
And God on high all things command,
We two! Oh! don't you understand?
Myself -- and God.

Kaiser: Frederick Wilhelm Viktor Albert of Hohenzollern, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who reigned from 1888 until he was forced to abdicate in 1918. The so-called "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse," a huge four-stack ship, had her maiden voyage on Sept. 19, 1897, from Bremerhaven to New York. Rose suggests that the Kaiser is "grosser" than his great ship. Back to Line

10] "Die Wacht am Rhein" ("The Watch on the Rhein"), by Carl Wilhelm (1815-1873) was written in 1840 by Max Schneckenburger and put into its present form in 1854 by Karl Wilhelm. The song became the German national anthem until 1922. The last stanza and a translation follow:
So führe uns, du bist bewährt;
In Gottvertrau'n greif' zu dem Schwert,
Hoch Wilhelm! Nieder mit der Brut!
Und tilg' die Schmach mit Feindesblut!
Lieb' Vaterland, magst ruhig sein,
Fest steht und treu die Wacht am Rhein!

So lead us, you are tested;
With trust in God, take the sword,
Hail Wilhelm! Down with that brood!
Erase our shame with the enemy's blood!
Beloved land of our fathers, have no fear,
Fast and true stands the watch on the Rhein.

Back to Line
14] ausgespieldt: played out, exhausted. Back to Line
19] Elass und ... Lorraine: Alsace and Lorraine are at the northeast border of France, west of the Rhine river. Germany conquered this long-disputed region in 1871 for its iron mines. Back to Line
21] Prince Otto Furst von Bismarck-Schonhausen, "the Iron Chancellor," re-unified Germany in 1871 but resigned in March 1890 at the Kaiser's urging. Back to Line
31] Caprivi: Count Georg Leo von Caprivi, Bismarck's successor. Back to Line
37] Grandma: Queen Victoria of England. Back to Line
38] Boers: the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 between Britain and the two Boer republics, the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, ended on May 31, 1902, with the peace treaty of Vereeniging and a victory for Britain. Back to Line
46] Betersburg by Nicholas: June 18, 1881 saw the signing of the Three Emperors League (Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia) but by 1890 only the Russo-German reinsurance treaty was in in effect. Caprivi did not renegotiate it then and so paved the road for the Franco-Russian alliance, signed August 18, 1892, and anticipating a Russian attack on Germany. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1897
Publication Notes: 
Montreal Herald 1897.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001