Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
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Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
 
Union Song
By Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860)
 
THIS blessèd hour we are united,
Of German men a mighty choir,
And from the lips of each, delighted,
Our praying souls to heaven aspire;
With high and sacred awe abounding,        5
We join in solemn thoughts to-day,
And so our hearts should be resounding
In clear harmonic song and play.
 
To whom shall foremost thanks be given?
To God, our Lord, so long concealed,        10
Who, when the cloud of shame was riven,
Himself in flames to us revealed,
Who, stubborn foes with lightning felling,
Restored to us our strength of yore,
Who, on the stars in power dwelling,        15
Reigns ever and forevermore.
 
What second wish should we be hearing?
The majesty of fatherland!
Destroyed be those who still are sneering!
Hail them who with it fall and stand!        20
By virtue winning admiration,
Beloved for honesty and might,
Long live through centuries our nation,
As strong in honour and in might!
 
The third is German manhood’s treasure—        25
Ring out it shall, with clearness mete!
For Freedom is the German pleasure,
And Germans step to Freedom’s beat.
Be life and death by her inspired—
Of German hearts, oh, longing bright!        30
And death for Freedom’s sake desired
Is German honour and delight.
 
The fourth—for noble consecration
Now lift on high both heart and hand!
Old loyalty within our nation        35
And German faith forever stand!—
These virtues shall, our weal assuring,
Remain our union’s shield and stay;
Our manly word will be enduring
Until the world shall pass away.        40
 
Now let the final chord be ringing
In jubilee—stand not apart!
Let sound our mighty, joyful singing
From lip to lip, from heart to heart!
The weal from which no devils bar us,        45
The word that doth our league infold—
The bliss which tyrants cannot mar us
We must believe in, we must hold!
 
 
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