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
Patriotic Song
Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769–1860)
 
Anonymous translation from the German

GOD, who gave iron, purposed ne’er
    That man should be a slave:
Therefore the sabre, sword, and spear
    In his right hand He gave.
Therefore He gave him fiery mood,        5
    Fierce speech, and free-born breath,
That he might fearlessly the feud
    Maintain through life and death.
 
Therefore will we what God did say,
    With honest truth maintain,        10
And ne’er a fellow-creature slay,
    A tyrant’s pay to gain!
But he shall fall by stroke of brand
    Who fights for sin and shame,
And not inherit German land        15
    With men of German name.
 
O Germany, bright fatherland!
    O German love, so true!
Thou sacred land, thou beauteous land,
    We swear to thee anew!        20
Outlawed, each knave and coward shall
    The crow and raven feed;
But we will to the battle all—
    Revenge shall be our meed.
 
Flash forth, flash forth, whatever can,        25
    To bright and flaming life!
Now all ye Germans, man for man,
    Forth to the holy strife!
Your hands lift upward to the sky—
    Your heart shall upward soar—        30
And man for man, let each one cry,
    Our slavery is o’er!
 
Let sound, let sound, whatever can,
    Trumpet and fife and drum,
This day our sabres, man for man,        35
    To stain with blood we come;
With hangman’s and with Frenchmen’s blood,
    O glorious day of ire,
That to all Germans soundeth good—
    Day of our great desire!        40
 
Let wave, let wave, whatever can,
    Standard and banner wave!
Here will we purpose, man for man,
    To grace a hero’s grave.
Advance, ye brave ranks, hardily—        45
    Your banners wave on high;
We ’ll gain us freedom’s victory,
    Or freedom’s death we ’ll die!
 
 
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