THE FLAIR OF CENTURIES
As an owl flits across
we all must know
of the shadows of
many lost hopes and careers.
There is no plaque to commemorate
of all those great and intellectual battles.
Their talents have leaked away
in the midst of a lifetime’s pleasures,
in this market place
of all the Swabian Muses.
O the Ammer and the Neckar
ripple with fallen petals
and you can hear the strains
of the Rauberlied
drifting towards you
along rivers of song.
It’s a riot for bread and grain,
even the Professors get paid in crumbs,
above the heads of their hungry students.
And all the old comedians
chortle in their granaries,
as Camerarius discovers the sex of plants
and our Fuchs christens a flower.
Walk the Platanenallee and listen
to Silcher’s tunes in the trees.
Trace Hauff’s tales in the wood
and Uhland’s poems on the water.
It is the flair of centuries
of intellectual uplifting:
it is the scent of Tuebingen’s fuchsias