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.
 
Give Me Welcome All with Cheer
By Walter von der Vogelweide (1170–1228)
 
GIVE me welcome all with cheer!
Harken, what my tidings fair shall be.
All that you were wont to hear
Is a very trifle: now ask me.
But give me my reward!        5
Then, if that be good,
I shall tell what you will hear with joyful mood.
Take care, and honours fit accord!
 
To German ladies I shall say
Such happy tidings as will please them well,        10
And bring the world beneath their sway;
For no great thanks my tale I’ll tell.
Ah, what should I ask?
They’re too great, I find.
So I am but modest, pray that they be kind:        15
Gracious welcome be their task.
 
In many countries I have fared,
I have seen the best with eager eye.
Woe betide me if I dared
Force my heart that it should ever try        20
Other lands to love
For their foreign ways.
Should I lie, what profit were false praise?
German manners all above!
 
From the Elbe to the Rhine,        25
Back unto Hungarian ground,
There, I wot, the noblest shine
That upon the world are found.
If looks and bearings fair
My eyes can judge aright,        30
Any woman here surpasses in my sight
High-born ladies fine elsewhere!
 
German men are nobly bred,
Angels are the women of the land.
He who chides them is misled.        35
Other truth I cannot understand.
He who on his way
Seeketh virtue, loving chaste,
Come into our land, for there is joy to waste.
May I live there long, I pray!        40
 
 
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