Spread out your pinions, O my soul, and humbly rise
To praise in stately song Faith’s glory to the skies.
Faith’s triumph — no! For am I not a broken reed?
Another gives the vigour that I need:
The ability, the will. O you believers, pray
That gracious blessings may be showered my way.
Raise a great roar, you [Heinrich] Leo of the Saale strands.
Fold, Hengstenberg, your more-than-once triumphant hands.
Prodigious likewise at the lectern and the lyre,
Sack, lend my pen those powers of yours, lend me your fire
Krummacher, man of God, rock of believers true,
O guide me how to preach the Word as well as you.
Dear, pious Knapp, your flaming brands of poetry
I bear into the dark dens of iniquity.
And you, that to the tribe of mockers bold and free
Held out the holy Cross, O Klopstock, stand by me!
What would I be without you, Theologian John!
If you will help, I'll start and boldly carry on.
With your assistance too, David and Ezekiel,
I'll tear up by the roots all blasphemy most vile.
Strong pillars of the Faith, come close and rally round,
Shield me from Mockery, and Slander’s jeering sound.
Lift up your pious hands towards the throne of Grace,
That to God’s glory I may run my arduous race.
What suddenly disturbs the chorus of Hosannas?
What’s happened to the angel hymns that fell like Manna?
Woe! Has the Devil’s cunning somehow sneaked up there?
Has his pestiferous stench turned joy into despair?
Where only praise and jubilation should resound,
What means all that distress, that sad funereal sound?
Who up in highest Heaven makes that dismal moan?
It is the pious souls, they are the ones that groan:
"O Lord, O hear, hear Lord, O hear our desperate cry!
How long wilt Thou let Faith endure such agony?
How long before Thou wilt avenge the Faithful blood
So long spilt by the insulting and blaspheming brood?
Oh, shall the boasts of overweening arrogance
Prosper down there on Earth in all magnificence?
Shall each philosopher insist that ‘I am I'?
Shall the free-thinking mob Thy very Name deny?
Their arrogant jeering still more wantonly resounds.
O call the judgment Day, O let the Last Trump sound!”
The Lord placated them: “The measure is not full.
Wait till the carrion stink blows even still more foul.
My soldiers I have yet to train in verve and dash,
So that they flee not Satan in the final clash.
Below there in Berlin, I am indeed much sought,
But others, fettered by the chains of arrogant thought,
They won’t have Faith in me, they want to understand,
And seek to gird me round with thought’s tight metal band.
Take Bruno Bauer: he believes, but thinks as well;
His flesh may well be willing, but his spirit’s frail.
But wait awhile till all those dregs have finished sinking,
And Satan after that will never catch him thinking.
He'll find me in the end, if he but seeks me truly,
And spurns the idle vanities he loves unduly.
Thought’s folly, that has torn his senses all apart,
He'll see as wind; the Light once more shall flood his heart.
Philosophy he'll deem nought but an empty fraud,
Grace shall break through. He'll know again that God is God.”
Now at these words great was the Angels’ joy on high,
And pious praises of the Almighty filled the sky:
"Let power and might and glory evermore redound
To Thee that set the stars of Heaven whirling round.
Thy wrath shall smite the wicked ones in every land,
Exalting those that truly serve at Thy command.”
Then further spake the Lord: “In that last battle, he
Shall lead the Faithful ones to final victory.
When all the brimming vials of my wrath are shed
Upon the sinful Earth, and when the seas turn red,
When well-springs shoot black fountains in the deep ravine,
And swarming locusts in their shimmering hosts are seen,
When all Earth thunders to a clanging hail of fire,
And when the ground heaves up, and cliffs are smashed entire,
Then on that day shall Bruno Bauer never falter —
To raise the standard of my hosts for Throne and Altar.”
These words were greeted with felicity up there,
And jubilant hymns to praise the Almighty filled the air:
“Sing Hallelujah! Let the incense ever rise!”
But lo! while Heaven’s vaults ‘still echoed to the song,
With stench and roaring tumult Satan swept along,
Black writhing flames of Hell — rage from his eyeballs bursting,
His tongue to taste the blood of God’s own children thirsting.
He stepped towards the Throne on sacrilegious feet,
Towards the Angels clustered round the Almighty’s Seat,
Then he, in thunderous tones: “How long must you postpone,
And in your cowardly peace keep me cooped up at home?
Or do you simply fear that Doomsday, when we meet
And battle at last is given
For this world’s crown, shall signal your defeat,
As I invade your tent of Heaven?
But if you dare, then hurry up, give battle,
And let the trumpet sound to engage.
I'll muster all my savage hosts to try your mettle.
Oh, how I burn to charge in the fierce war we'll wage
As through your heavenly spheres I rage!”
And then the Lord: “Have patience, for the time is nigh
When you shall learn indeed who is the Lord on High.
Look down below on Earth. See you the portents there
At which men tremble and stand deathly pale with fear?
See war and revolution, pestilence and fire,
Law held to scorn, religion trampled in the mire.
There, blasphemy’s triumphant, mocked is piety.
But wait awhile. Soon things shall ten times better be,
For as my servant true I've chosen in my need
One who shall preach my Kingdom to the godless breed.
A target he shall be of ridicule and scorn;
But that is all I need to get things quickly done.
The measure’s not yet full, but very soon will be,
If they still treat the light of Grace with mockery.”
The Devil: “Who’s the one that’s chosen for this feat?”
The Lord: “It’s Bruno Bauer.”
“You've picked a most unusual servant there.
He gives his soul no sustenance of hymn or prayer,
And he demands from you your very loveliest stars.
To apprehend them — that is what he loves the best.
Even the very finest speculative cores
Of dogma do not help to soothe his troubled breast.”
The Lord: “Although his service may be inconsistent,
I shall clear u his mind’s confusion in due season,
And if in thinking he still dares to be persistent,
You may be sure he'll very quickly lose his Reason.”
The Devil: “What’s the use of that? I'll lure him down.
That precious stone of yours shall sparkle in my crown.
And since he still has Hegel running round his brain,
You watch — that’s where I'll get him by his hairy mane!”
The Lord: “Go on, then! You can have him as your
Go, drag him from his Saviour. Take him far away. prize!
Yes, you may catch him, if you can, with cheating lies.
Laugh as you take him with you down your Hell-bound way,
Then stand ashamed and make admission on your part:
For all his Speculation, the believer still
Sticks to the straight and narrow pathway in his heart.”
The Devil laughed. “Go on! You can’t scare me, you know!
Watch out! As your man, Bauer hasn’t long to go!”
Then out of Heaven with raging tempest force he broke,
And left the bright domain still billowing with his smoke.
Now while the Fiend with God in business was engaged,
The legions of the damned in Hell had all rebelled.
An angry, howling mob, they rioted and raged,
“Where are you, Satan, Satan, where are you?” they yelled.
Their leader, Hegel, swung two torches in the air.
Whirling a fiery flail, behind him came Voltaire.
Danton was shouting with them, Edelmann was howling.
“Charge, charge, you scum of Hell!” Napoleon was bawling.
All through the gloomy pit of fire the dark shades poured,
Snorting about with fury, shouting for their Lord.
Then down from Heaven’s heights he plummeted amain
Into his sea of fire, into his tomb of flame.
“What’s this?” he roared at them. “What do you want, you rabble?
You dare to mock the wrath and power of the Devil?
Are you not hot enough in Hell-fire’s blazing flood?
Do I not slake your thirst full well with righteous blood?”
“No, no, you good-for-nothing Devil!” screamed Voltaire.
“Have I been sowing doubt here, there, and everywhere
Merely that through the whole of speculative night
The word ‘philosophy’ should be decried outright,
And that the French should trust their priests instead of me —
And that you, Satan, you should let this come to be?”
Said Danton: “Did I guillotine them all in vain,
That Reason ousted God, but God is back again?
Now nonsense reigns supreme, and high-born fops once more
In league with crack-brained priests their kingdom can restore.”
The furious Hegel, who'd been speechless all along,
Forthwith rose like a giant and finally gave tongue:
"To Science I've devoted every hour,
And I've taught Atheism with all my power.
Self-consciousness upon the Throne I seated,
And thought that God had thereby been defeated.
But foolish misconception’s all that’s used me,
And certain craven minds have much abused me,
Out of pure nonsense building pseudo-structures,
Enslaving Speculation with their strictures.
At last, a truly brave man came to hand,
Strauss, who had half begun to understand.
And yet when Zurich offered him a Chair,
They simply wouldn’t let him lecture there. 
Shame, that the world condemns to banishment
The instrument I had the wit to invent
The freedom-fighter, bravest ever seen,
Woe, woe, I cry, they've banned my guillotine
Say, Devil, have I lived to no avail?
Is my philosophy, then, doomed to fail?
When will the right man come, and come apace,
To chop the heads off all the pious race?”
The Devil heard him out, with gentle malice grinning:
“Peace, most devoted servant, you can stop that whining.
Do you not know your Devil, then? I have a plan.
The very man has long been found. Found is the man.”
“Who, who? We're all agog to know!” the rabble cried.
“His name is Bruno Bauer,” the Arch-Fiend then replied.
Howling with mirth, the sinful host all turned away,
Hegel, ablaze with fury, was provoked to say:
“You mock us still, you sneerer of the vilest sort!
Why Bruno Baer, who brings Reason’s cause to nought,
And drags all Science up to trial in Faith’s High Court?”
“Oh, Hegel, are you blind?” the Lord of Hell replied.
“You think the fruits of Faith will keep him satisfied?
His thirst is much too great, and they are not enough.
Who fights as hard as he does, won’t run out of puff.
It won’t be long before he doffs Faith’s beggar cloak,
And then I'll clinch it with him at a single stroke.”
Said Hegel, finally relieved: “I bow to you!”
And all the gang of Hell roared out a wild “Halloo!”
They saw their master to the door with many a joyous yell,
And he, assured of triumph, floated up from Hell. —
A house of pious people and a dingy room
Stacked high with books, and Bauer pondering in the gloom,
The Pentateuch in front of him, the Devil behind,
A tug of war twixt Faith and Doubt within his mind.
“Did Moses write this book, and is it true for sure?
Philosophy, your meaning is so oft obscure!
I've studied matters Phenomenological,
Theological also, to my distress,
Aesthetical too, Metaphysical, Logical,
Not entirely without success.
I'm Doctor and Licentiate,
I lecture in college early and late,
I've married, by Speculation astute,
Faith and the Concept Absolute.
Nought is beyond me, no mystery
Can stand the test of my, scrutiny.
Name me the dogma I haven’t been into —
Creation, Redemption, Original Sin, too.
I've grasped with absolute perfection
Even the Immaculate Conception,
Lock, stock and barrel — but all that stuff
Still doesn’t prove the Pentateuch is not a bluff.
O who will help me, who will get me off the rack?
O who will give the bread of knowledge that I lack?
What if that most mysterious book
Inscribed in Philip’s own true hand
Became my trusty guide and took
Me through Doubt’s ever-labyrinthine land?
I break it open. I can see the light
A spring of Categories rushes into sight.
Oh, see theml Up and down they climb,
Passing gold buckets all the time!
What high ecstasy!
Faith and Science, I see,
Have signed an armistice
With sanctified kisses!
Deep under me is Nature’s mighty power!
Ah, what a sight! — but show, nothing more!
When shall the veil e'er lifted be
That hides the source of the Pentateuch from me?
The wall divides, and then a shadow, triple-crowned,
Steps through the cleft to raise a bony warning hand:
“O Bauer, Bauer, mind you stray not from the path
That Hegel’s Logic has marked out for you to follow!
For, in that work, the Concept absolutely clear
Shines forth. So do not let Imaginative Thinking
Ever defy the Spirit there, which stands for Freedom.”
“But can you tell me how authentic is this Book?
Oh, do not turn away from me! Speak, answer, talk!”
“You're like the Spirit, that you understand, not me!" [Goethe, Faust, Part One, Scene 1]
“Not you? Oh, do not vanish! Stay with me, my friend!”
He shouts, jumps up, and lo! before him stands the Fiend!
"Ha haha haha haha haha haha!
There stands the Theologian! There you are!
You thought yourself so shrewd, not even apprehending
That you were running round in circles never-ending?”
Here Bruno reaches for his Bible, mad with fear.
“Pah!” says the Devil, laughing. “That old primer there?
Pah! We've left all that junk a long, long way behind,
Think you that I believe such trash can ease your mind?
Think you that, when within these musty walls you strain
Concocting categories in your fevered brain,
Or mixing Fire and Water — when you choose
To try and slake the Spirit’s thirst with filthy brews,
The free-willed Spirit that would burst its bonds and flee
The foul confining dungeon of captivity —
‘Mink you such torture can e'er satisfy your urge?
Did Hegel ever teach you Hill and Vale to merge,
Or Black and White, or fiercely flaming Fire and Water?
Consider Hegel now, that unabashed God-hater,
Who, without thinking further, flung Fact overboard
And, choosing Reason, cast away Tradition’s Word.”
"O Satan, what you say indeed sounds fine — a well
Of Heaven’s purest light; thus shines the smoke of Hell.
But still I won’t be led astray; for Speculation
Has long included you within its comprehension.
And since all Being by my Spirit’s permeated,
Are you alone from understanding, then, exempted?
With fair appearance and dissembling words you please us:
You lead us gently on, then suddenly you seize us,
Pledging free Spirit for our lovely world of Fact,
To lure us to that narrow realm of the Abstract.
With your free Spirit to the far Extreme I'll go,
Because ‘I am’ is all I claim to think and know.
They don’t delude me, Friend, those stark and chilly heights,
Where what the Spirit grasps, the Spirit also blights.
Your Spirit is a Moloch racked with hunger’s pangs,
And at the Positive it ever bares its fangs.
Full well I know you and I know your ways, you see;
Phrases and empty words are all you've given me.
See if I positively grasp this Pentateuch,
I grasp the concept ‘Judaism’ like this book.”
The Devil laughs and jeers. “How very funny! Must
You try to polish up what’s old and thick with rust?
How the Lord’s finger is discerned in one small louse, [2 Moses 8: 19]
And how the Lord will guide the building of a house, [5 Moses 22: 8]
And how the Lord’s design is seen in Measure, Weight
And Pledge [5 Moses 25] — on suchlike things you choose to speculate?
You waste yourself on them, and get no joy or rest.
Just try your strength with Faith, and see who comes off best!
Up there, the Spirit feels its power and majesty.
No more a worm that crawls through old putridity,
It reigns triumphant on its throne; its high Law sees
Faith, slave of Prejudice, down on its bended knees.”
"O Devil, with what case you utter all the things
I've hardly dared to in my wild imaginings.
Now I'm a man obsessed, a man tormented by
His very inmost being’s agonising cry:
‘Your life has come to nought!'”
"Don’t waste your time in vain.
If the desire is there, you can be born again!”
“Then where do I begin?”
"Think you that in this spot,
Berlin, this true-believing, sandy vacant lot,
That here you'll ever reach the lofty heights, attain the bliss
Of dealing Faith once and for all the coup de grâce?
To Bonn I'll take you,  to the Rhine so proud and green;
Of superstition’s slime you'll wash your notions clean.
You'll live a life of joy and beauty all the time,
Refreshed by union with the true juice of the vine;
Where all is Victory, where every breast heaves high,
Where every vein’s a-throb with Freedom’s radiancy!”
“Lead on! I'll follow you!”
"Where in full clarity
The pure Truth rises from the Spirit struggle free —
There, high upon the wrecks of barriers devastated,
Triumphant build a shrine to Free Thought consecrated!”
Oh, woe to thee, Bonn woe, most pious of Faculties!
Put on sackcloth and ashes, pray on bended knees!
Upon that Chair of erstwhile pious reputation
Mad Bauer lectures through the Devil’s ministration.
He stands and foams with rage; a demon on his back
Goads him and sets him on the Theologians’ track.
Just like a hydrophobic dog, he howls and bays;
Through his blaspheming mouth the Adversary says:
“Let not the Theologians fool you with their guiles,
Or rank hypocrisy, or low, perfidious wiles.
See how they twist the sense of every word by force,
And slither through the darkness on their evil course.
Oh, see those letter — slaves in all their filthy fright,
And how they savage one another when they fight.
All unctuous torture, cunning Jesuitical,
All tinselled pious fraud and arts sophistical!
As the schoolmaster, when the village children run
Away from school to romp and have themselves some fun,
Comes raging with his stick to fetch the truants in,
And they, with jeers and catcalls, flee ahead of him —
Such is the Theologian, very soon perplexed
When trapped between the Contradictions of the Text.
See how he twists, turns, dodges, stretches, wriggles in it,
Forgetting everything he said that very minute.
just watch him cooking in his kitchen filled with steam,
Until the Contradictions flee him with a scream.
How he runs after them! Oh, how he starts to scold!
Will you come back againl Will you do as you're told!
With what insensate rage he plies Faith’s holy cane,
Hitting the godless freaks again and yet again!
He pops them in the witches’ cauldron, pokes them down,
Until the wretched things asphyxiate and drown!
They're all the same, including these Evangelists;
They'll never change as long as there are men of Christ’s.
The one Evangelist misapprehends the other,
He wriggles, writhes, distorts the meaning even further;
Caught in the hopeless toils of endless Contradictions,
He cannot help but multiply his misconstructions.
He tears to shreds the writings of the other one,
And then, to crown it all, there is the work of John.
just look!” — The mob of Faithful, past endurance, bellows:
“Away with that blasphemer, hang him on the gallows!
Away! Enough abuse from that once worthy Chair,
Sing Hallelujah, then, and get him out of there!”
The others shout: “Hurrah, and long live Bruno Bauer
Free Science’s support, Free-thinking’s mightiest power!
Hush, pious hypocrites If your God’s help is strong,
Then fight, and let the outcome prove you right or wrong.”
“Out with the liar!” all the Right-wing voices cry.
“Out with the Faithful!” comes the impious Left’s reply.
“Atheists, silence!” “Pious sheep, keep your mouths shut!
Or else you'll soon find out how billy-goats can butt!”
“Christ here!” — “And Bauer here!”
Making a thund’rous sound,
With all their weight the wielded sticks come crashing down
To echoing battle-cries the tussle grows amain,
As desks are overturned. and benches split in twain.
To thwart the Christian troops, the Atheist forces bold
Pile up the desks and build themselves A Safe Stronghold.
United in a closely welded mass, they throw,
Instead of bombs, ink-horns and Bibles at the foe.
In vain the Pious launch their sallies on the fort,
They fail to take it, even at the third onslaught.
Heads bleed, and many fighters of the Pious band
Collapse upon the bench, felled by an Atheist hand.
Then the blasphemers bring the walls a-tumbling down,
Lastly to drive the foe clean off the battleground.
Snarling, they hurl themselves on God’s chaste warriors, who
Flee in blind panic from the wild and horrid crew.
Ale field is clear, at last. —
Swift speeds the pious band
Along the passage to the gates, and makes its stand.
The Lord sends proctors round to rescue them, and then
The Rector comes, and Senators, and Clergymen.
They want to mediate, ask what’s behind it all,
But they themselves are soon entangled in the brawl.
The fight breaks out again, all join in willy-nilly;
Many a lofty learned brow is knocked half silly,
Many a crooked back is beaten straight again,
Many a nose pulled down that stuck up in disdain.
The sky grows dark with clouds of beaten-out cloth dust,
And periwigs fly at the whim of every gust.
Philosophers, most Positive of gentlemen, 
Under the Atheist attack, turn tail and run.
Great Fichte’s little son, you certainly move fast!
You're much too skinny for the Atheist repast.
Herr Brandis, though you may he swift to flee pursuit,
The system-dust has all been walloped from your suit.
Refuting Hegel hasn’t done them any good,
If they are beaten up by Hegel’s crazy brood.
Onward they press, the frenzied Atheistic horde:
Their sticks make mockery of trusting in the Lord.
But no, His eye is watchful; in the hour of need,
When ignominy threatens those who hold the creed,
To thwart the triumph of the evil ones down there,
He sends the faithful Sack, with neatly parted hair.
He comes straight from the vineyard of the Lord on High.
His grey eye gleams, a star up in the Church’s sky.
His nose, it is a mighty pillar of the Faith.
The Lord’s Word and Salvation dribble from his mouth.
His mount’s a virgin ass, with tail most wondrous fair,
And if his foot trails on the ground, he doesn’t care.
The Bible text he has invented, with God’s aid,
And tied it with her tail on to the donkey-maid.
He sits astride her, with his head bowed all the way;
The Spirit gently leads the beast towards the fray.
He sees the battle rage, the godless forge ahead,
And seeks the pious beast on other paths to lead.
But now the she-ass, who’s obeyed him faithfully,
Begins to rear and stall and jump and buck and shy.
“What ails you, little beast? What’s getting in your way?
Go where the bridle leads you, listen, and obey!”
She jams him up against a wall, unheeding still.
For the first time, he tries the stick to break her will.
He beats and beats and beats and beats her fit to bust.
Ale she-ass won’t give in to him. He bites the dust.
God opens up the donkey’s mouth; she, loud and clear,
Speaks His intention for the startled Sack to hear.
“Why do you beat me? See, the Spirit bars my way
And turns my bridle towards the scene of the affray.
Where’s your old courage? Up, fly to the battleground,
Where Atheist fury pins God’s faithful army down.
Lend me your ear, O Sack, and hear the tidings new
That through your donkey’s mouth the Lord reveals to you.
Henceforth your name is Bag and shall be Sack no more.
I'm sending you, O Bag, to terminate this war.”
Then did the pious Bag to Heaven gaze and cry:
“Lord, before Thee man’s knowledge is but vanity!
You choose a lowly beast for mouthpiece! Daring all,
I plunge into the battle’s terrors at your call!”
He turns and speeds in haste towards the scene of horrors,
And finds it strewn with faint, exhausted, bleeding warriors.
Then, with a mighty shout, he bravely dives into them,
And to a heavenly air he sings the peace-hymn to them.
His coming has the fighters dazed on either side,
But Brother Bag just sees the Heavens open wide.
“Why all this Hatred, Envy, Murder, Storm and Stress,
Where Faith’s Word should resound, and hymns of holiness?
In the full sight of God, where Heaven in twain divides,
Have you nought else to do but tan each other’s hides?”
The faithful flock gives ear and, much abashed, withdraws,
The Atheist mob just stares and brazenly guffaws.
Then Brother Bag: “Down here below is tumult, gore,
But up above there’s peace and bliss for evermore.
I see the Cherubim around the Almighty’s Throne,
I see the Lamb of God, the sole begotten son.
I see the glory of the Lord shine down so bright,
I see the angelic host in songs of praise unite,
I see — oh, bliss! — the Lamb of God begins to speak
And states its will to me, who am its servant meek:
‘I've pinned my hopes on Bruno Bauer all this while,
But the Arch-Fiend has cheated us of him by guile.
He who sat praying in his hermitage, alone,
Gives sinners now my holy Word to guzzle on.
He hounds my pious flock with desperate murderers.
His will be done; he'll know the meaning of my curse.
Be you the chosen one. Cross mountain, hill and valley,
Summon the Faithful ones to arms, and do not dally.
Go, let your trusty she-ass take you everywhere,
Go, preach the message of the Cross, and have no fear.
Put on the armour, armour of the Lord most high,
Await the day of battle, for that day draws nigh.
Then with the belt of Truth be sure your loins are girt;
For breastplate, Righteousness shall keep you safe from hurt.
With both legs booted, go you forth and do not yield,
Put out the fiery darts of Hell with Faith’s bright shield.
Put on Salvation’s helm that wards off mockery,
God’s Word shall be your sword; wield it courageously!'
Yea, Lord, I follow Thee. Thy servant flies apace
To spread Thy holy Word to all the sinful race! “
Meanwhile, the pious crowd had gone to church to pray;
The godless went off boozing, in the usual way.
But Brother Bag rode forth astride his animal,
And sang: “Praise to the Lord, praise to the Lord of All,
And may all folk on Earth in sweet content abide!”
His pious song was heard all over, far and wide.
So fared he forth and gave his animal free rein
To lead him where it would in God the Father’s name.
Meanwhile, three sit in Leipzig. Glum and taciturn,
They've long been overdue in Satan’s hell to burn.
Wild Ruge’s one of those around the table there,
His broad fists propping up a head that’s full of care.
A valiant warrior, stout, seemingly hard to rattle;
But sharp as rapiers are his claws, well trained in battle.
He seems a philistine, beer-sodden, casual,
But deep inside his breast he bears the whole of Hell.
Laugh, Ruge, laugh! It’s very nearly judgment Day,
And then that mask you're wearing will be torn away!
The second eyes his glass with proud defiance — Prutz
The sinister, who’s hatching out infernal plots.
Mere human feeling is a thing he never uses;
Emotions, thoughts and deeds with him are all Medusas.
Innocent, trustful hearts devoid of doubt and schism
His sparkling rhymes corrupt with seeds of Atheism.
Laugh, Prutz, oh, laugh! It’s very nearly Judgment Day
And then the mask you wear, too, will be torn away.
Caressing his mustachios, t ‘ he third and last
Is Blücher-Wigand; he’s a scoundrel unsurpassed.
Thanks to his capital, the whole gang’s prop is he,
Untiring publisher of every blasphemy.
O Wigand with the Blücher beard, laugh, laugh away!
You'll surely be the Devil’s on that Judgment Day!
Fuming with rage they gaze into each other’s eyes.
“Has all that money gone for nothing?” Wigand cries.
“Have I paid out so much, and done my very best,
To see the Halle Annals [Hallische Jahrbücher für deutsche Wissenschaft und Kunst ] totally suppressed?”
Growls Arnold Ruge: “Times are anything but good.
The Censor’s always out to suck my paper’s blood.
At least two-thirds of all my space he has to have,
Yet still they want my paper dead and in its grave!”
Then Prutz: “Alas, six months have passed, and here we are,
And still the Censor hasn’t passed a single par!
Things must ease up, or else I'll starve; I'll never make it,
Except by going back to love-songs — Devil take it!”
“What else am I to do?” says Ruge with a roar.
“I've got the Muses’ Almanack, [Deutscher Musenalmanach] and nothing more.
To Hell with Hegelising, then. I'll boost morale
With dreary novelettes and posies lyrical!”
“I'll get in touch with him at once,” continues Wigand,
“And get a new four-decker novel out of Mügge.
Come to my heart, oh, come, O sweet Belles-Lettres, do!
The Censor cuts Hegelian sophistries, not you!
My wings shall shield all German bards that care to come.
Minstrels and Tavern Fiddlers, make yourselves at home!
Brothers, your hands! Our line is to be different.
We're loyalists from now. Long live the Government!”
The Devil walks straight in. “You wretched trash, for shame!
He castigates the Free ones ‘with a tongue of flame.
“You think you're heroes, while your courage quite deserts you
As soon as you get banned, or when the Censor cuts you.
I ought to be ashamed. I let you take me in,
And never saw the Ass inside the Lion’s skin.
Well, just you wait awhile. It’s going to be a pleasure
To get you down in Hell and torture you at leisure.
But, no, you craven trash, you're nothing but small fry!
I'll chase you up to Heaven, up to the Lord on High!”
“Be reasonable!” Wigand is constrained to say.
“What, then, are we to do? Show us a better way!”
“You miserable scum!” cries Satan, most displeased.
“It’s plain you cannot even see the wood for trees!
For if the ban on Halle Annals bothers you,
just call them German [Deutsche Jahrbücher für Wissenschaft und Kunst], and start publishing anew.
You leave the Censorship to me. The will to fight
Is what you need and things will then come out all right.
Who with the Devil makes a binding covenant,
Must not turn tail and flee from every miscreant.
Courage is all you need. Now I must onwards press.
Rave on, as always, in the name of Godlessness!”
He speaks and disappears. And lo! all starry-eyed,
Comes Brother Bag and sees the Heavens open wide.
Him bears the she-ass, mouthpiece of the Almighty’s Word;
She'll take him on his last ascent to meet his Lord.
He looks to Heav'n with God-intoxicated eyes
And says: “Blaspheming gang, I know your tricks and lies!
Thus saith the Lord your God: you are the Devil’s brood,
And ever seek to slake your thirst with righteous blood.
Once more, then, through my servant be my summons known
That you should kneel subservient before my Throne.
Do penance, saith the Lord, abase yourselves and crawl,
Or down to feed the flames of Hell you'll surely fall.
Thus saith the Lord your God: you'll either get converted
Or else I promise you I'll have you all degutted.
For sweet, I'll serve this gang of evil name to you,
My faithful Hengstenberg, and Bag, my servant true.
Their pious flesh shall be a living grave for you.
Thus saith the Lord your God.”
And therewith he withdrew.
What do I see? A frenzied host so glittering bright
With Blasphemy, the very sun has lost its light?
Who are they? See them, how they all come surging forth,
Foregathering from East, and South, and West, and North.
The scum of Germany, they meet in convocation
To whip their spirits up for still more evil action.
Already they have felt the Lord’s hand moving o'er them,
Already they have guessed how Satan’s clutch could claw them
Down to a dreadful doom. Knowing despair full well,
They've felt like letting Atheism go to Hell.
Then Arnold [Ruge] summons all those of the Free persuasion
To meet at Bockenheim in Hellish congregation.
“Arise, you Free ones all! How can you sit so tight,
When the Romantics plunge the whole world into night?
Or when Reaction stirs and, cunning as of old,
Almost has Science in its deadly stranglehold?
Bauer’s in peril. Of your thoughts and writings, most
Go straight up to the raving Censor and are lost.
Free brethren, hear my Manifesto, all of you,
Of course, provided that the Censor lets it through:
High time that we as diplomats discussed with weight
The Holy Alliance in congressional debate!
Do you see how the high Police determinedly
Abolish everywhere one little word — that’s free?
And now the Lamb of God joins the Gensdarmerie,
And is about to sink to bestiality.
So onwards, then, Free ones; to Bockenheim we'll go;
Seeds of fresh action there united we shall sow!”
Scarce was this Manifesto broadcast far and wide,
When awful urges, evil cravings surge inside
Each brazen breast to leave forthwith for Bockenheim.
Berlin it is that sends the most devoid of shame.
Broad Arnold heads them as they brashly march along;
Behind him mills a lunatic and loathsome throng.
And all that yelling gang, that Atheistic mob,
Is much more wild than ever was the jacobin Club.
That’s Köppen you can see there with his glasses on.
if Ruge but allowed, he'd be a virtuous man.
But Arnold’s raving fury has him so impressed:
He has a sword and wears it dangling from his waist;
It’s like a demon’s tail, a long and rusty thing,
And when he dances, see how bravely it can swing.
He’s wearing epaulettes and brandishing about
A stick with which to beat the thirst for knowledge out
Of flaming youth. Next, [Eduard] Maien comes along, the Free;
Familiar everywhere to everyone is he:
An Atheist born, the vilest love him well: Voltaire
Ever since birth has been his daily reading fare.
So nice, so soft, so small — Maien, you devil, you!
Those ruffians with you making all that hullabaloo,
They're not your nephews? Have you lured them in as well?
You'd take your family with you on your trip to Hell?
Right on the very left, that tall and long-legged stepper
Is Oswald, [Engels] coat of grey and trousers shade of pepper;
Pepper inside as well, Oswald the Montagnard;
A radical is he, dyed in the wool, and hard.
Day in, day out, he plays upon the guillotine a
Single solitary tune and that’s a cavatina,
The same old devil-song; he bellows the refrain:
Formez vos bataillons! Aux arines, citoyens!
[Form your battalions! To arms, citizens! — from the Marseillaise]
Who raves beside him, with the muscles of a brewer?
It’s old Bloodlust himself in person, Edgar Bauer.
His brown-complexioned face through bushy whiskers peers;
And he’s as old in cunning as he’s young in years.
Outside, a smart blue coat; inside he’s black, lacks polish;
Outside he’s dandified; inside he’s sansculottish ‘
His shadow’s with him, it’s a wonder to behold it;
His evil shadow’s there, and Radge [Edgar Bauer] he has called it.
See Stirner too, the thoughtful moderation-hater;
Though still on beer, he'll soon be drinking blood like water.
And if the others shout a wild: à bas les rois!' [Down with Kings!]
Stirner is sure to add: à bas aussi les lois [Down with the laws as well!]
Next, baring greenish teeth, comes tripping on his way,
His hair unkempt and tousled, prematurely grey,
A soap-and-water-shy and blood-shy Patriot [Ludwig Buhl],
So smooth and soft inside; outside a sansculotte.
Wild Arnold heads them, Czar of All the Atheists,
And high upon his baton’s end he twirls and twists
Copies of Halle Annals. Next, there follow on
The crew that Satan’s picked to gorge himself upon.
As soon as they arrive, in bursts the frantic Bauer,
Engulfed in smoke and steam and Hell-rain’s deadly shower.
He raves, a lanky villain in a coat of green;
Behind the leering face Hell’s offspring can be seen.
He hoists his flag aloft, and in an arc up high
The sparks of his rude Bible criticisms fly.
Who runs up next with wild impetuosity?
A swarthy chap of Trier [Karl Marx], a marked monstrosity.
He neither hops nor skips, but moves in leaps and bounds,
Raving aloud. As if to seize and then pull down
To Earth the spacious tent of Heaven up on high,
He opens wide his arms and reaches for the sky.
He shakes his wicked fist, raves with a frantic air,
As if ten thousand devils had him by the. hair.
Next, from Cologne, a Youngster [Georg Jung] something of a swell,
Too bad for Heaven, too good to pass the gates of Hell.
He’s half a sansculotte, and half an aristo,
A suave rich gentleman with pleats in his jabot.
The pleats inside his soul add up to even more.
His pocket lining’s filled with demons by the score
With golden faces. Next, one who indeed disgusts,
The dawdling Rtg, [Adolf Ruenberg] quite handy with his fists.
He has an evil habit: constantly he smokes
Hellish tobacco in an ell-long pipe which pokes
Out of his mouth, and which he never once removes
Except to give his utterance point when he reproves.
But who comes from the South as lonely as a cloud,
Disdaining sympathy, himself a one-man crowd,
A one-man host of Atheists fanatical,
A one-man treasure store of craft Satanical,
A one-man fount of wicked blasphemy and shame?
Help us, Saint John, it’s Feuerbach of dreadful name!
He neither raves nor bounds, but hovers in mid-air,
An awful meteor girt by hellish vapours there.
In the one hand he holds outstretched the cup that shines,
And in the other one, the bread loaf that sustains.
He sits up to his navel in a sea-shell basin,
Trying to find a new church service for the brazen.
Guzzling, boozing, bathing, firmly he maintains,
Are all the truth the holy sacrament contains.
A storm of shouts and cheers succeeds the first hurrah!
And then he must be taken to a public bar.
At once, all hell breaks loose; the uproar is so loud
‘Rat nobody can gain the attention of the crowd.
They won’t sit still; they heave, and push, and shove around.
The Evil Spirit keeps them whirling round and round.
Their loathing of inaction gives them all no peace;
And futile calls for quiet continue without cease.
Then Köppen, that most virtuous, order-loving chap,
Flies off into a rage. “Is this the savage steppe?
Have you forgotten in this wild barbaric throng
What was the purpose of our journey all along?
O Arnold, trusty bastion, speak, start the discussion.
Will you not show us how to find the best solution?”
Oswald and Edgar shout in roaring unison:
“Now that’s enough of these disgraceful goings-on!”
Then silence fell. And Arnold, who, quite guiltlessly,
Had in the meantime been consuming beefsteaks three,
On the last mouthful seemed as if about to choke,
But managed in the end to get it down, and spoke:
“Oh, what a lovely vision’s there in Unity: Free brethren, ever
Ready for battle and for death, obedient should the Idea command.
Reaction holds us by the hair, it lifts the stick with threatening hand,
But it can never tame us, Friends, if we stand firm asone together.”
Oswald and Edgar cannot wait until he’s done.
They both jump on the table, then they shriek as one:
"Ruge, we've had enough of all this talk from you!
What we want now is deeds, not words. We want some action!”
A frenzied bravo! is the ill-advised reaction;
Everyone keeps demanding: “Action, action, action!”
Then with a mocking laugh shouts Arnold in reply:
"Our actions are just words, and long they so shall be.
After Abstraction, Practice follows of itself.”
Meanwhile, athirst for deeds, the wildly screaming pair
Have lifted crazy Bruno high on to a chair.
A crowd swarms round him and he’s hoisted really high.
Aloft, he hovers like an eagle in the sky.
With frenzied burning passion are his eyes aglow,
And lowering black with fury is his furrowed brow.
Oh, how he screams and raves. But opposite, alack,
The swart monstrosity has climbed Rtg’s back.
Hear how he raves and screams. just hear how both are raving:
“How long d'you think that words will satisfy our craving?”
Bauer. See you, O blind one,
See you the Pious,
How they draw nigh us?
Monster. Their pious corps
Grows more and more.
Bauer: Bag’s at his tricks,
Hoodwinking the public.
Monster. A pity the Lord hasn’t noticed how dire
The need of the world for another Messiah.
Bauer. It’s not one Lamb we've got to impede us;
We're faced with an actual flock of the creatures.
Monster: The Holy Ghost, we know,
Moves in a thousand forms below.
Both: We're not just plagued with the Trinity;
The Police and the Faith have joined up in a Twinity.
Monster: When they are vigilant,.
Should we be negligent?
Bauer: When they are arming,
Should we be yawning?
Voices are heard all round: “We're game for battle now!”
But Ludwig Feuerbach sparks off another row.
He roars: “Why should we waste our time with all this talk?
Who action seeks, let him get on and do the work.
The Free man helps himself, ay, he and he alone.
Whatever he achieves, he does all on his own!”
His glasses gleaming, Köppen jumps up with a bound,
His Jovian head commanding silence all around.
“Against united action, then, you take your stand?
But it alone stops matters getting out of hand;
The stream of Progress flows untroubled, undiverted,
And, best of all, the risk of bloodshed is averted!”
Edgar and Oswald shriek: “Confounded Girondist!
Out, feeble-minded dreamer; you're no Atheist!”
Then Stirner, dignified: “Who binds his will around?
Who would impose a law by shouting people down?
You tie his will and have the nerve to say you're free;
A lot you've done to break away from slavery!
Down with all rules and laws, say I!” This aberration
Has the whole Hellish congress in complete confusion.
The ceiling splits, and Blücher-Wigand’s seen aloft
Swooping into the hall on his own flying raft.
A paper dragon — Oh, Satanic arts! — he flies.
“What are you up to now?” he vigorously cries.
“See how I soar
On editions galore
Of the German Yearbook [Deutsche Jahrbücher für Wissenschaft und Kunst]
I gummed them myself,
I bound them myself,
I, Blücher, just look!
If they can bear me through the air,
Need you despair?
Woe, I cry,
With Frankfurt nigh,
Isn’t everything all right?
There is Peace and Union still,
And the Great All-Highest Will
For the high and for the highest,
For the low and for the lowest,
Is Conviction, Lodestar, Light.
Woe, I cry,
From Frankfurt nigh
Has an evil wind come blowing?
Shall the Free ones not withstand
The Union’s  wind throughout the land?
Follow me and let’s be going!
To Leipzig! There I've mounted lovely batteries
That all the Pious hosts together could not seize.
The house in which I Hegelised of old
Has latterly been turned into A Safe Stronghold.
The Gutenberg and Leipzig be our rendezvous.
The book-trade’s centre shall be the State centre too.”
“Yes, yes, to Leipzig!” cries on every side resound.
“Let that the centre be, our forces’ rallying ground!”
They all depart, with Wigand flying in the lead,
But Feuerbach pursues a lonely course indeed.
But leave that show. I'm beckoned by a peaceful valley.
The Lord’s own City calls me — Halle on the Saale.
O Town of bliss, still faithful to the Lord you are!
To beat the Devil’s craft e'er brighter gleams your star.
Ruge poured out his pus on you to no avail;
Thanks to your loyalty, his schemes were doomed to fail.
He went off in a rage, nor has he since come back.
Town, thank the Lord who gave you triumph and good luck.
See all the Faithful, see the Chosen gathered round
To sing His praises with a sweet and pleasant sound.
Oh, what a fine assemblage! See that cobbler there
Whose feverish, skinny body spurs him into prayer.
The barman of the Temperance League is present too:
Pay him — he'll pour pure drinking water out for you.
God’s peace shines in the moon-like face behind the bar.
Truly, with firm-held faith a person can go far!
That little woman there is bowed with sinfulness,
And yet her stiff old limbs are bathed in blessedness.
All in a soulful shriek she sings a holy lay,
And mortifies her shrunken body night and day.
Next, there is Leo, Lion of the Saale strand.
His strength of faith indeed delights the angel band.
In faith he hurled himself the Hegelings  upon,
In faith defended he the Altar and the Throne,
In faith did he improve, up-end, and set aright
Godless world history by Heaven’s shining light.
Go to the little room, O Faithful, enter in,
And sing unto your God a gentle, gracious hymn.
Oh, hear the little ditty sounding forth, to rise
Towards the Throne of Grace like fumes of sacrifice:
"Lord, we are carrion of the beast,
A poxy stench, a raven’s feast,
A knacker’s pit of sin.
From the womb we're bad outright.
Crush us; it would serve us right
For all our wicked sin.
If Thou didst, then Thou hadst blessed us,
Thus to wrest us
From the cancers that infest us.
Thou lettest us ascend to Thee
Unto Thine Angels, fair to see,
And washest us of sin.
The Evil One Thou’st driven out
Who filled our hearts with fear and doubt.
Destroy and banish him.
Sizzling, frizzling in the horror
Leave him spitted
For the wicked sins committed!”
And now the cobbler stands upon a chair to tell
In fearsome tones about the sulphur lake of Hell.
“Behold the dreadful gorge that spills its contents out,
Fire, pitch and sulphur over all the lands about.'
See how it stews and brews, spews demons up of fire
To gobble up the world of Christendom entire.
Black seeds of Hell it scatters ‘mid the race of men.
Great is the Lord thy God. The world is doomed. Amen.”
“That’s true enough!” shouts Leo. “Those demons are so rude,
They cover not their private parts and all go nude!
The Great Whore comes from Babylon with its pollution,
And that Great Whore is Reason’s Goddess, Revolution!
Bauer is Robespierre, Ruge’s Danton; and worse,
Feuerbach is Marat. O God, send down Thy curse!
Ye Faithful, watch the times, for cometh soon the Day,
The Day of God the Father. Therefore, watch and pray!”
He speaks. But all stand thunderstruck and goggle-eyed —
It’s Brother Bag: he sees the Heavens open wide.
His mount’s the she-ass, mouthpiece of the Almighty’s Word;
She'll take him on his last ascent to meet his Lord.
With trust in God and strength to Heav'n he turns his eyes,
And says: “O Pious band, your works I recognise.
Thus saith the Lord: my servant ye shall all obey
That I have picked to lead my host into the fray.
Obey our Brother Bag, obey him as you ought,
And Satan’s craft and power he shall surely thwart.
Thus spake the Lord. I fell upon my knees and said:
But call me, Lord, I'll follow Thee where'er I'm led.
Then left I cheerly and the Lord’s Word did begin
To spread, the Lord’s good year, to all this world of sin.
Then in through many a wealthy castle gate I went
To visit prince, and queen, all folk of great descent.
But they, who ever thirst for worldly goods, and choose
To covet honours vain, received me with abuse.
They sat around the board in rich debauchery;
And cheek by jowl were lust of flesh and lust of eye.
I shook the dust from off my feet. The Lord then spake,
Stirring me in the depths of sleep till I should wake.
‘Shall the rich man see Heav'n, however much he try,
Or shall the camel pass right through a needle’s eye?
What bath been written? On the highways thou shalt find
The homeless wandering poor, the halt, the lame, the blind.
Bring all the maimed ones from the alleys home to sup;
Call those by fences, let your voice be lifted up.
They are the faithful ones, they are my army’s core.
Collect, recruit them, multiply them more and more.'
Thus spake the Lord. And 1, I come without delay
To you, the Faithful, for to do as He did say.
Obey the Lord your God. Soon will come morning’s light,
When with the Devil we must fight the mighty fight.
The Free ones mobilise; Leipzig’s their destination,
And Blücher-Wigand’s house is their fortification.
They've piled up books and bales of paper by the score,
It’s there they mean to dance the holy dance of war.
Stout hearts and steadfastness shall aid us in that hour,
When we go forth to storm the foul Blasphemers’ tower.
Assemble, brethren. Be ye strong in love and hope.
Hold fast to Faith. I see up there the Heavens ope.
Faith is indeed the Alpha and the Omega,
In faith, thou'rt truly great, Halle, Hallelujah!
In faith the Maid conceived the Son that God begat,
In faith was jonah from the alarmed whale’s belly spat.
In faith the Lord did promulgate the Gospel’s word,
In faith the Lord’s voice in a donkey’s mouth I heard.
In faith the blind one saw the light against all hope,
In faith do I look up and see the Heavens ope.
In faith do I cry out: credo ut intelligam,
In faith I cling unto the holy Cross’s stem.
In faith are all my deeds, in faith is all my hope,
In faith do I look up and see the Heavens ope.
Thus saith the Lord: now let my servant Leo be
Ale doughty Captain of the Halle company.
Go, visit every town and city in the land,
Find soldiers and field surgeons there on every hand.
By night or day allow yourself no respite, ever,
Until the Faithful army has been brought together.
Thus saith the Lord thy God, my refuge and my hope!
Farewell, dear brethren, for I see the Heavens ope!” —
What do I see! Saint John, illuminate my vision,
So that your poetry’s power may lend me inspiration.
Whose holy eyes saw Angel Michael in the fight
With the great dragon, fill, O fill my soul with light!
What do I see! It’s drawing nigh, the day of doom,
The battles’ last that bears destruction in its womb.
I see the whole horizon bounded by a ring
Of cloud that slowly lifts, at first unhurrying,
Then swiftly, like the lion greedy for his prey,
Springs forward. All the hounds of Hell speed on their way,
Hissing through misty cloud. Their tails, ablaze with fire,
Whip all around and lash to shreds the very air.
In a wild witches’ dance with greedy rage they spin,
Yelling with fury, mad to appease the wrath within.
What do I see! You mount Heav'n’s heights, accursed race?
May you unpunished go along the Almighty’s ways?
You wield the lightning, hold the thunder in your hand?
Ah, it’s the desperate man of Bonn that leads your band!
But see, God’s mercy ever watches from afar,
And when all ends, it shall be with a Gloria.
Consumed with rage, the forces of the Free draw near;
Soon, soon God’s might shall turn their arrogance to fear.
They come, a seething mass. As Wigand sails along,
The others follow him, a roaring, snorting throng.
To Leipzig city he is leading one and all,
The “Gutenberg” he’s chosen as his arsenal.
Many a bastion’s piled up high with bulging bales,
Rampart and trench are dug for when the foe assails.
Four ravelins are stacked up high with Bauer’s writings,
With guns galore to give protection to the curtains.
Many a text of Köppen’s Friedrich * lies there,
Many a page of Annals from a long-past year.
The Trumpet, ** Feuerbach, in heavy bundles bound,
Are stacked in serried rows to ring the fortress round.
And as cheval de fate, there’s Ruge’s Novelist, ***
To mop the sweat up, there’s The Faded Pietist. ****
As last resort, there is a little nook of Hell —
The house, that’s now become a mighty citadel.
They've walled the windows, barricaded up the door,
The attic has been made an ammunition store,
And when the Pious party moves to the attack,
From overhead the Free can give their skulls a crack.
Now, drawing nearer with a wild, exultant sound,
The Free disperse to man the bastions all around.
On, on from Halle march God’s soldiers, one and all,
With Jacob’s scaling ladder for the fortress wall.
Flag-like, the fiery pillar proudly goes before them,
And burning bushes light the darkling roadway for them.
Could I but paint the pious train in colours bright,
And richly bathe it round in beams of holy light!
Proud, wrathful Leo is the one who takes the lead.
Swinging along without constraint, he strides ahead,
Five volumes of world history ***** in his pious fists,
He’s otherwise unarmed, it is in Faith he trusts
Where arrogance and self-assurance aren’t enough.
The next line’s leader is indeed of Godly stuff —
Nerr Julius Sinck von Sinnes ****** as the Pious know him.
The dear man thinks to carry arms would be below him.
With presence pure and simple does he smite the Free,
And so the Faithful gather round him trustingly.
And sacred songs and prayer are their only arms,
Because when from afar the strains of heavenly psalms
[* C. F. Köppen, Friedrich der Grosse und seine Widersacher]
[** B. Bauers anonymous book Die Posaune des jüngsten Gerichts über Hegel den Atheisten und Antichristen]
[*** A. Ruge, Der Novellist. Eine Geschichte in acht Dutzend Denkzetteln aus dem Taschenbuche des Helden]
[**** E. Meyen, Heinrich Leo, der verhallerte Pietist]
[***** H. Leo, Lehrbuch der Universalgeschichte]
[****** Julius Müller, author of Die christliche Lehre von der Sünde (The Christian Teaching on Sin)]
Resound, the Free forthwith take to their heels and run.
Bonn sends a host of stalwarts, champions, every one;
They're led by Brother Nix. [Karl Immanuel Nitzsch] The Swabians now draw nigh;
The Christian Courier [Der Christen-Bote. Ein kirchlich-religiöses Sonntagsblatt] is the banner that they fly.
Brave Mallet brings the faithful folk of Bremen in,
And Hengstenberg commands the Pious from Berlin.
And even you, the ones who ordered Strauss away
From Zurich, follow fearless Hirzel to the fray,
The priest of Pfäffikon. [Bernhard Hirzel] They come from Basel, too.
Krummacher, man of God, from Wuppertal are you.
The troops form up. in every spacious Leipzig square,
And sounds of exultation fill the distant air,
Strains of upswelling song to touch the heart’s own strings.
Each asks his neighbour: Say, who can it he that sings?
Behold, astride his she-ass (all stand goggle-eyed)
Comes Brother Bag; he sees the Heavens open wide.
And this is what he sings: “God’s sword and Gideon here!
Up, Brothers, and behold the Devil’s earthworks there!
However terribly they yawn, those gates of Hell,
Onward and trust in Godt Faith will acquit you well!”
Behold the she-ass up the bastions nimbly springing,
And, following after her, the Faithful ones all singing!
Oh, what a fierce attack! Despair, all ye Blasphemers!
Scream for your devil now, ye God-forsaken screamers!
Now Brother Bag flies up that mighty wall of Pride
That Hengstenberg may lead his pious troops inside.
But there within, the Devil orders the. defence,
Banishes craven doubts and counsels with good sense.
See, Blücher-Wigand stands high on the ravelin,
Egged on by Maien. How they make their missiles spin!
There’s Stirner, see him flinging bales of books entire,
While hordes of Pious warriors melt beneath his fire.
See Arnold on the wall: he hardly ever misses,
Hurling his Yearbooks down at all those pious faces.
High on the wall of books and in the leading row,
Mad Bauer wields The Trumpet, blow on deadly blow,
The Patriot [Ludwig Buhl] ensconced where no missile can fly,
Tosses his pamphlets backwards at the enemy,
While with his toad-spit furious Köppen stems the flood,
But most humanely takes good care to shed no blood.
The raving Edgar fights with brewer strength and valour,
While red with blood is Oswald’s coat of pepper colour.
See the Cologne contingent. In the furious fray
Rtg’s pipe’s gone out; but he feels no dismay:
Swinging it by its long and supple tube right well, he
Wraps the water-bowl round many a pious belly.
Gold devils are the missiles that the Youngster [Georg Jung] skims;
The Monster [Karl Marx] joins the battle flexing all his limbs.
Yet on the Pious press, still more victorious;
Their Hallelujahs ringing still more glorious.
Up on the mound of books has Hengstenberg appeared.
He seizes Blücher-Wigand by his long blond beard.
Raging, he pulls it out and manages to chuck
Wigand full length into a horrid pool of muck.
Edgar is now hard pressed, and Arnold is beset.
Köppen has fled indoors; with him, the Patriot.
The arrogant wall of books is almost half torn down,
But still the frenzied Bauer stands his ground alone.
He hurls a bale of books at Bag to seal the doom
Of that most pious one and be a fitting tomb.
Herr Sinck von Sinnes staggers at a blow of his.
But Halle’s Leo still defies Hell’s wild abyss.
A Samson, he strains hard at that proud fortress wall.
It crashes down. See Bauer, even Bauer, fall!
Pinned helpless to the ground by his own bales he lies.
See the Believers set on him with joyous cries!
Bag struggles to his feet. With a triumphant cheer
He goes across to Bauer, grips him by the ear,
And says: “Ye Faithful, God fulfilleth all my hopes
The Lord my refuge is. I see the Heavens ope!
Leave Bauer in my hands. To battle, never fear!
While you defeat the others, I shall guard him here!”
They truss up Bauer, then, to hymns victorious,
They set their Jacob’s ladder up against the house.
Now rocks the Gutenberg, now splits the fortress door,
Near empty is the attic ammunition store.
Now wrings the Patriot his hands in grief and woe,
Now Arnold’s ham is wounded by a flying blow.
Maien is bleeding from the mouth and nose as well.
Frightened, the Devil plunges down the abyss of Hell.
He plummets down into the depths with shrieks of horror.
Ha, how the wicked ones all huddle up in terror!
They plead, blaspheme, and threaten. Then, all trembling, he:
“Oh, shame, the Pious have made mincemeat of the Free!
Useless my jeers, my fetor pestilential.
Alas, they've beaten me with songs celestial
Bauer is captive, Wigand’s lost his beard withal,
And now they've stormed and occupied our book-bale wall!”
The depths of Hell resound with dreadful shrieks of fear;
Wild Hegel’s agony is horrible to hear.
No sooner has the gang recovered from this news,
Than Hell’s mad Knights break into bluster and abuse
In mutinous uproar. “You claim to be the Devil,
And let things come to this!” screams forth the frenzied Hegel.
“Where were your sulphur fumes, your blazing firebrands bright?
Scared monster, did a mere Amen put you to flight?
Too late we see you're much too old to keep the pace;
Women and children are the only ones you chase.
Up, for swift action helps, not weeping and despair.
Up, Danton, up, Voltaire, and you too, Robespierre!
Earth-creatures, you alone can end this infamy.
To Heaven with the Devil! We shall devils be!
The mythic scum was never any use at all.
A thousand years of flame won’t fire the craven soul.
Brother Marat, arise! At last we've learned our need.
We, who were human once, must choose a man to lead.
The Devil was, and still remains, nought but a myth,
He is our foe like any true son of the Faith.
To victory, then!”
With crazed impetuosity
Straight out of Hell the blood-voracious Aesir flee.
Their leader, Hegel, swings two torches in the air,
Whirling a fiery flail, behind him comes Voltaire.
Danton is shouting with them, Edelmann is howling.
“Charge, charge, you scum of Hell!” Napoleon is bawling.
Marat holds in his hands two of Hell’s hairy litter;
Depraved man-murderer, he’s thirsting for the slaughter.
Whirling along with twisted mouth flies Robespierre.
See the crazed mob disgorged by Hell’s abyss down there!
No sooner are they out, than all that desperate shower
Head for where Brother Bag is standing guard on Bauer.
Bag is much shaken. Tears stream from the donkey’s eyes.
“O Lord, the end is near! Our time is come!” she cries.
Marat lets fly a shot, and Bag, all glassy-eyed,
Sinks to the ground. He sees the Heavens open wide.
Hegel embraces crazy Bauer. “Yes, ‘tis done!
You've comprehended mel You are my own dear son!”
He frees him. Then the wicked ones with great delight:
“Bauer’s our herol He shall lead us to the fight!
The Devil is deposed. What we need is a man!”
And then with screams and yells they charge the pious band.
The tables are now turned. God’s folk flee, sorely tried.
But Bag, as usual, sees the Heavens open wide.
He’s borne aloft to Heaven by his virgin ass.
Oh, what a miracle the Lord bath brought to pass!
Behold Elijah-Bag aloft to Heaven sailing,
The plans of the Blasphemers gloriously foiling.
Behind, the shining armies of the pious rise,
With songs of joy ascending to the very skies.
But, with triumphant shouts, Hell’s evil offspring shoot
Straight up behind the Almighty’s host in hot pursuit.
Now fear and horror overwhelm the pious troops,
As Hell’s pack surges up with savage yells and whoops.
Meanwhile, the Devil has for, some time been struck dumb
By the rebellion which has, carried every one
Of his best men away. Hell’s taken by surprise.
All stand unmoving and regard with staring eyes
The exit through which Hegel’s host has just dispersed.
Till from his foaming mouth the imprecations burst:
“Fool that I am — betrayed! I now see where it leads!
Their deed’s more devilish than all my wretched deeds.
I led the Free astray, till they became too free,
And now they've gone and foully freed themselves from me!
Truly, it is past help, the lowly human breed,
Craving the most outrageous freedom in its greed.
If all these Free hold nothing sacred any more,
Is it my ruin, too, they're really aiming for?
Denying God, I only fight against myself.
Soon, as a myth, I too shall end up on the shelf.
To Heav'n! We'll seek the Lord up there with due compliance;
United, we shall form a holy High Alliance!”
He soars aloft. And, kneeling at God’s feet, begins:
“Lord, do not make me pay for all my wretched sins!
I join you in the fight!” God, generous, replies:
“For just this once we'll let your old trespasses be.
Go, wash your wicked sins off in Blasphemers’ blood,
Return, and leave the rest to me, your gracious God!”
Joyous, he rushes off. The battle’s almost lost,
For though assistance has gone to the pious host,
Oh, ignominy! — with the Faith it’s nearly over.
The wicked follow up one triumph with another.
From star to star, insane with fury, Bauer springs,
And in his hand The Trumpet for a club he swings.
At him come charging all the four Evangelists,
But nothing daunts the boldest of the Atheists.
Though Luke’s Bull levels angry horns and charges at him,
Though Mark’s great lion roars, there’s nothing can affright him.
He puts them all to flight. Wild Hegel in his ire
Scorches the angel pinions with a brand of fire.
Foul Voltaire’s flail still blazes brightly like a torch,
While raving Ruge thumps the Elders of the Church.
Now see how Bauer plucks a star from off its course
And sends it shooting at the fleeing pious force.
‘ne Devil’s pole-axed by a Trumpet blow at last;
Michael himself cannot withstand its mighty blast.
Next, furious Hegel seizes Sirius and throws
It straight at Hengstenberg: white as a sheet he goes.
See how the angel host, with wings a-smouldering, flies
Up through the misty clouds with frightened, piteous cries.
The Lambkin braves the Monster with a Cross held high;
The latter balls his fist and shakes it threateningly.
Even the Virgin Mary leaves her holy place,
To deeds of derring-do she spurs the angelic race.
“Up, against Bauer, up against the Titan, go!
He tried to apprehend me, I would have you know!”
However much she pleads, however sweet her glances,
The army of the Free ones steadily advances.
And now towards the Almighty’s holy realm they storm,
God’s hosts are impotent against the oncoming swarm.
Into a star the pious ass bumps with her rider;
Head over heels she goes, with Brother Bag astride her.
Bauer at once swoops on him with a horrid shout,
The fatal Trumpet ready aimed to snuff him out.
Ruge grabs Leo of the Saale: with some force
He stuffs a page of Annals in between his jaws. —
But what’s this floating down bathed in celestial light?
What’s making Bauer shake from head to foot with fright?
It’s just a little piece of parchment, strange to say.
What might be written on it by the heavenly ray?
It flutters down. At Bauer’s feet it comes to rest.
Shaking, he stoops and picks it up with heaving breast. —
Why does the cold sweat on his brow spring so abundant?
What does he murmur, stunned? He murmurs this — “Redundant!”
Hardly has Heaven’s word from Hell’s own mouth rung out,
Before “Redundant!” is the universal shout.
The Free are horror-struck, the Angels filled with glee,
The Free take flight, the Host pursues relentlessly.
The Free are driven down to Earth in full confusion,
That wicked folk shall all receive due retribution.
160 This poem is a parody on the struggle between the Young Hegelians and the conservative opponents of the Hegelian philosophy (Sack and others) who took part in the slander campaign against Bruno Bauer. The poem was written as a protest against Bruno Bauer’s dismissal from Bonn University in late March 1842 (see Note 134). Engels wrote it together with Bruno’s brother Edgar. The poem was widely commented on in the German and Swiss press. Its publication was announced in the radical Zurich paper Schweizischer Republikaner on December 9, 1842 (No. 98). Excerpts from it were reprinted in several Leipzig periodicals, among them Friekugeln No. 52, December 30, 1842. Comments on it appeared in the Hamburger Literarische und Kritische Blätter (No. 220, December 19, 1842) and the Hamburger Neue Zeitung (No. 303, December 31, 1842).
161 Engels is referring to the fact that, under the pressure of clerical and conservative circles, the government of the canton of Zulich cancelled its invitation to David Strauss to lecture at Zurich University in 1839 (see Note 117).
162 An allusion to Bruno Bauer’s transfer as university lecturer from Berlin to Bonn in 1839.
163 See Note 110.
164 “The Free"-the Berlin group of Young Hegelians which was formed in the first half of 1842 and was led by Edgar Bauer, Eduard Meyen, Ludwig Buhl and Max Stirner (pseudonym of Caspar Schmidt). Its members advocated radical and atheistic views and condemned the half-heartedness of liberalism.
The fact that “The Free” lacked any positive programme and ignored the realities of political struggle soon led to differences between them and the representatives of the revolutionary-democratic wing of the German opposition movement. A sharp conflict arose between “The Free” and Marx in the autumn — of 1842, after Marx had become editor of the Rheinische Zeitung (see present edition, Vol. 1, pp. 393-95).
During his stay in Berlin Engels associated closely with “The Free” but, unlike many of them, he held that it was necessary to go beyond purely atheistic propaganda and take part in the actual struggle for political liberties and democracy. Engels’ revolutionary-democratic convictions, which found expression in the satirical poem The Insolently Threatened Yet Miraculously Rescued Bible, together with his developing materialistic outlook, led to his parting company with “The Free” and the Young Hegelian trend in general.
165 An ironical allusion to the decisions of the Federal Diet (see Note 32), directed against the opposition movement in Germany (in particular against radical journalism and literature). ‘ne Federal Diet assembled in the free city of Frankfurt am Main.
166 See Note 49.
SOURCE: Engels, Frederick The Insolently Threatened Yet Miraculously Rescued Bible. Or: The Triumph of Faith (To Wit, the Terrible, Yet True and Salutary History of the Erstwhile Licentiate Bruno Bauer; How the Same, Seduced by the Devil, Fallen from the True Faith, Became Chief Devil, and Was Well and Truly Ousted in the End. A Christian Epic in Four Cantos) [December 1842]; in Marx Engels Collected Works, Volume 2 (New York; London; Moscow, 1975), pp. 313-351; notes pp. 612-613.