The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Körner, Karl Theodor

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KÖRNER, Karl Theodor, German poet: b. Dresden, 23 Sept. 1791; d. 26 Aug. 1813. After studies at Freiberg, Leipzig and Berlin, young Körner, through Kotzebue's influence, was appointed dramatist to a Vienna theatre, and wrote light comedies such as ‘The Green Mask’ and ‘The Night Watches,’ and some tragedies, of which ‘Zriny’ was the most successful. In the uprising of the German nation against Napoleon, Körner not only displayed heroic personal courage in many encounters, but wrote numerous patriotic songs. These were published in 1814 under the title of ‘Lyre and Sword.’ The most famous of these pieces is the ‘Sword Song,’ composed only a few hours before the author fell in a skirmish between Schwerin and Gadebusch.