The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Becker, Nikolaus

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BECKER, Nikolaus, German poet: b. Bonn, 8 Oct. 1809; d. Hunshovem, 28 Aug. 1845. His early training was in law, and for some years he held a position in a court. He is principally known as the author of the popular song “Rheinliedes.” The song begins with the words, addressed to the French: “You should not have it, the free, German Rhine.” So widespread did this refrain become that French poets replied, Alfred de Musset with “Nous l'avons eu, votre Rhin allemand.” For this song the King of Prussia awarded the poet a prize of 1,000 thalers. Becker's other poems were published as a collection (Cologne 1841) but none of them attained much popularity and they have not generally been considered of a high order.