Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
I. Patriotism
“What is the German’s Fatherland?”
Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860)
 
Anonymous translation from the German

WHAT is the German’s fatherland?
Is it Prussia, or the Swabian’s land?
Is it where the grape glows on the Rhine?
Where sea-gulls skim the Baltic’s brine?
      Oh no! more grand        5
  Must be the German’s fatherland!
 
What is the German’s fatherland?
Bavaria, or the Styrian’s land?
Is it where the Master’s cattle graze?
Is it the Mark where forges blaze?        10
      Oh no! more grand
  Must be the German’s fatherland!
 
What is the German’s fatherland?
Westphalia? Pomerania’s strand?
Where the sand drifts along the shore?        15
Or where the Danube’s surges roar?
      Oh no! more grand
  Must be the German’s fatherland!
 
What is the German’s fatherland?
Now name for me that mighty land!        20
Is it Switzerland? or Tyrols, tell;—
The land and people pleased me well!
      Oh no! more grand
  Must be the German’s fatherland!
 
What is the German’s fatherland?        25
Now name for me that mighty land!
Ah! Austria surely it must be,
So rich in fame and victory.
      Oh no! more grand
  Must be the German’s fatherland!        30
 
What is the German’s fatherland?
Tell me the name of that great land!
Is it the land which princely hate
Tore from the Emperor and the State?
      Oh no! more grand        35
  Must be the German’s fatherland!
 
What is the German’s fatherland?
Now name at last that mighty land!
“Where’er resounds the German tongue,
Where’er its hymns to God are sung!”        40
      That is the land,
  Brave German, that thy fatherland!
 
That is the German’s fatherland!
Where binds like oak the claspèd hand,
Where truth shines clearly from the eyes,        45
And in the heart affection lies.
      Be this the land,
  Brave German, this thy fatherland!
 
That is the German’s fatherland!
Where scorn shall foreign trifles brand,        50
Where all are foes whose deeds offend,
Where every noble soul ’s a friend:
      Be this the land,
  All Germany shall be the land!
 
All Germany that land shall be:        55
Watch o’er it, God, and grant that we,
With German hearts, in deed and thought,
May love it truly as we ought.
      Be this the land,
  All Germany shall be the land!        60
 
 
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