Werner Kirchhof, dressed in a long gray coat, blond hair
under his feathered hat, rides through the Black Forest in the month of
It is cold, since spring has not completely arrived. A trumpet hangs
from his shoulder. He meets an old priest from a nearby village, who
the night in his house. After a meal, they sit around the warm tiled
oven and his host asks Werner why he is riding alone through the
countryside. Werner explains that he is from Heidelberg in the
learned to play the trumpet as a youth and was led by his guardian to
at Heidelberg University. Like most university students, he spends his
doing things other than
studying, including playing the trumpet and drinking wine with Perkeo,
famous court jester, at the big wine barrel near the Heidelberg Castle.
serenaded the wife of the Pfalzgraf (Count of the Palatine) one
he was thrown out of the university.
old priest tells him he was
lucky to get away without any harsher
punishment and suggests he spend some time in the nearby town of
where Fridolinus, the patron saint of young people, will be celebrated
Werner goes to watch
procession of many kinds of townspeople. There he
sees a young girl with whom he instantly falls in love. He visits the
Rhine that tells him that his love's name is Margareta, the daughter of
baron whose castle is located above the river. That evening he goes to
can see the castle lights and plays a song on his trumpet.
troubled by old age and the gout, sits in his castle reminiscing about
fighting the Swedes in the Thirty Years' War, drinking wine and smoking
pipe, a habit for which his daughter chastises him. A black tomcat
Hiddigeigei sits with him. The cat came from Hungary with the
baron's late wife, and it feels rather superior to other cats in the
because it has hunted mice in Paris. As the baron and his daughter sit
that night, they hear the lovely
on the trumpet. They try to see the musician, but he is hidden by trees
bordering the Rhine River. The next day the baron sends a servant to
trumpet player and bring him to the castle.
The baron tells
Werner how much his
him of the trumpeter he
used to have and asks him to stay at the castle to play in his
orchestra, write letters for him, and help him with necessary
Werner leaves his trumpt in the garden in a
pergola where Margareta finds it and attempts to play it with little
Werner hears the sound, gets angry that someone dared touch the trumpet
he rushes back, finds Margareta.
He shows her how to play the instrument; she learns quickly
and the baron is
pleased about her having learned this art.
Farmers in the area start a revolt against the baron and the
demand services and money from them. The baron rushes into town to lead
fight. Werner and a few others remain at the castle. When the castle is
attacked, he fights bravely, killing an attacker, but is seriously
fear, Margareta blows the trumpet to call for help and her father and
return to repel the attackers.
is nursed back to health in
the castle, closely watched by Margareta.
He is happy to find himself alive; he and Margareta declare their love
other and finally embrace and kiss.
promise themselves to each
other. Hiddigeigei, quite a philosopher and
student of human behavior, watches this development and tries to figure
humans kiss: "It can't be hate, they don't bite each other; it can't be
hunger, they don't eat each other; it can't be just stupidity, they are
clever and know what they are doing. Why, therefore, do they kiss? Why
the younger ones? Why mostly in the spring?" He decides he has to
more on this strange behavior and other human actions that puzzle 1him.
spending a sleepless night,
Werner decides to ask the baron for the
hand of his daughter. Before he can ask, however, the baron receives a
from a knight, an old army comrade, who proposes that his 24-year-old
courting Margareta. The baron asks Werner to write a letter for him,
knight's son to come to Säckingen. Werner refuses and tells him that he
has come to ask for his daughter's hand. Although the baron likes him,
explains that their difference in social standing makes it impossible
two to consider marriage.
Werner resigns sadly and says he will return when he has
necessary standing or not return at all. He says farewell and rides
stopping at the edge of the Rhine River. He leans on a tree, looks back
the castle, and sadly plays a farewell song on his trumpet.
poignant scene is easily the most familiar part of this story to stein
collectors, appearing on numerous steins.)
Werner rides out into the
world, and Margareta remains
A number of
years pass and Werner
and Margareta lose touch
with each other.
Finally we are taken to Rome at the time of Pope Innocentius, in the
Margareta and the abbess from the cloister in Säckingen are spending
Rome; the abbess wishes to complain to the pope about a bishop in
who wants to take away some of her cloister's property. Margareta has
unhappy during all the years since Werner's departure, and the trip
hoped to cheer her up.
watching a papal procession
in St. Peter's cathedral, she recognizes
the sound of the trumpet and Werner as the trumpet player among the
musicians, promptly fainting. The reason for her fainting is relayed to
pope, who grants an audience to the abbess and Margareta. He also asks
come. Both Werner and Margareta realize that the love between them has
changed in all that time. Werner's musical proficiency and personal
held in high esteem by the pope and attempts by Werner at leaving his
have in the past been denied. Now, as reward for Werner's services in
with the Maltese Order against the Turks, and for so ably leading the
of musicians, the pope decides to help the young lovers.
Werner to the rank of
knight at the court of Rome and allows him
to leave his service. The pope blesses the young couple and with his
acquired knighthood, Werner and Margareta can now be married. They
to Säckingen and surprise the baron with the good news. Love and
trumpet finally bring the two lovers together, and they marry.
There are many other stories told
in this 75-page poem, written in old
German, which I did not mention because they do not advance the basic
Werner and Margareta.
There are several chapters with
songs by Werner, Margareta and the cat
Hiddigeigei, lines from which frequently appear on steins.
chapters describe Werner
going underground to meet gnomes; he speaks at
great length with the river Rhine; there is a history of Saint
his life on an island in the river Rhine; Werner participates in a
expedition to a lake with the townspeople and Margareta, where they
Maiwine and Margareta places a handmade wreath on his head
reward for playing the trumpet so beautifully.
Selected steins displaying Trumpeter themes: