Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Freiligrath, Ferdinand (1810-76), a German revolutionary poet, was born at Detmold, the son of a schoolmaster. He was almost entirely self-educated, being engaged in commerce from a very early age. In 1835 he suddenly gained a name by some poems contributed to Chamisso's Musenalmanach. Three years later his first volume appeared. In 1840 he married Ida Melos, who had inspired some of his best lyrics. Having by his Confession of Faith (a poem) offended the authorities, he went first to Belgium, and in 1846 to London, returning to Germany after the Revolution of 1848. Die Todten als Lebenden (The Dead as Living) caused him to be impeached, but he was acquitted. In 1851, however, he came back to London, and did not see the Fatherland again till 1868. While living at Hackney he gave his leisure to poetry, and translated Burns, Moore, and De Musset. In 1867, when he was ruined by the failure of the bank in which he was employed, his countrymen subscribed 60,000 thalers for his relief. Freiligrath was one of the most popular poets of the century. His earliest Gedichte have reached a forty-third edition, and his collected works a fifth. During the war of 1870 he wrote some stirring battle-songs.