Thb GM dm Legend wn first publidied in 1851. Hie tide was derived from the epithet given to Vor- gine ft Legmds of theS aints, A ureaL egenda which wad said by its admirers to exceed all other books, as gold passeth in value all otiier metals. So the story upon which this poem is founded seems to me, says Longfellow, in his original note, to surpass all other legends in beauty and significance. It exhibits amid the corruptions of theM iddle A ges, the virtue of disinteiv estedness and self-sacrifice, and tiie power ofF aidi, Hope, and Charity, sufficient for all the exigencies of Hfe and death. HhQ story was first told by aM mnesinger of the twelfth century, Hartmann vonA ue, in the poem entitled Der Arms Heinrich. The hero, a man of wealth and noble birth, is suddenly stricken with leprosy, which he is told can only be cured by the sacrifice of the life of a maiden who may be willing to die for him. This maiden is found in the family of one of Poor Henry stenants, who receives him after the world has cast him off.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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