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The National Music of America. 91
entitled " Leyer und Schwert" ("Lyre and Sword"); he began the sketch of what might be called his own death-song, scribbling it in a pocket memorandum-book which he generally carried. The next morning he was reading the poem to a brother officer when the order came to attack the French who were in the highroad in much larger force than Lutzow's men. The engagement took place between Gadebusch and Schwerin, Koerner fighting beside Liitzow. The French fled before the impetuous charge of the Free Corps. While hotly pursuing through the woods, Koerner was shot down by a fugitive tirailleur who had concealed himself there. The " Song of the Sword " was found on his body; the young poet-warrior had died on the battle-field at twenty-two.
It sounds almost as a prophecy, the fiery verse addressed to his weapon, —
" Sword gleaming at my side, Soon thou shalt be my bride."