Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Germany
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII.  1876–79.
 
Introductory
My Native Land
Georg Philipp Schmidt (1766–1849)
 
Translated by C. T. Brooks

BEFORE all lands, in east or west,
I love my native land the best;
  With God’s best gifts ’t is teeming;
No gold or jewels here are found,
Yet men of noble soul abound,        5
  And eyes of joy are gleaming.
 
Before all tongues, in east or west,
I love my native tongue the best;
  Though not so smoothly spoken,
Nor woven with Italian art,        10
Yet when it speaks from heart to heart,
  The word is never broken.
 
Before all people, east or west,
I love my countrymen the best,—
  A race of noble spirit.        15
A vigorous mind, a generous heart
To virtue bound, yet free from art,
  They from their sires inherit.
 
To east and west I reach my hand;
My heart I give my native land;        20
  I seek her good,—her glory;
I honor every nation’s name,
Respect their fortunes and their fame,
  But I love the land that bore me.
 
 
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