The Valkyrie, 1854

Battle below, look to the sky
Streaking away on clouds they ride
Three valkyries, hear the ring
Shields are clashing as they sing.

Princes quibble, armies smashing
It's for power they are dashing
Dominance, the final goal
Tales of courage they extol.

Nowhere to hide, death will prevail
Even the strong he will assail
Blood of heroes flows away
The ruthless man will rule the day.

To the victor the laurel crown
A hero's welcome in the town
He conquered the better man
Won the people and the land.

Magistrates and city gentry
Greet the victor at the entry
"Here are the keys to the door
Come inside, we'll show you more."

The cannons fire in the air
Cornets toot and the trumpets blare
Chimes of bells clanging away
Masses cheering hip-hurray.

On balconies, the women stand
With flowered wreaths held in each hand
Cast upon the victor's path
Greeted with a pompous laugh.

There's a not so funny story to this poem. Heine was thumbing his nose at Richard Wagner because Wagner had written a very unpleasant piece of anti-semitism called Das Judentum in der Musik (Jewry in Music). In this piece Wagner indicated that the only way to solve the "Jewish Problem" was to make it permanently disappear. Wagner compared the Jews to the dragon, which must be slain by the quintessential German hero.