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.
 
Go Out, My Heart
By Paulus Gerhardt (1607–1676)
 
GO out, my heart, and seek delight,
In this dear summer time so bright,
In God’s abundance daily;
The beauty of these gardens see,
And look, how they for me and thee        5
Have decked themselves so gaily.
 
The trees with spreading leaves are blessed,
The earth her dusty rind has dressed
In green so young and tender.
Narcissus and the tulip fair        10
Are clothed in raiment far more rare
Than Solomon, in splendour.
 
The larks soar high and higher rise,
And from her cave the pigeon flies,
Into the forest winging.        15
The most accomplished nightingale
Fills mountain, meadow, hill and dale
With sweetness of her singing.
 
The hens with all their chickens stride,
The stork has built her nest with pride,        20
Her young the swallow’s feeding.
The nimble hart, the deer so light
Rejoice, and, leaping from their height,
Into the grass come speeding.
 
Fast grows the wheat, like waving gold,        25
And gives delight to young and old;
They praise with glad thanksgiving
Him, who through mercy measureless
Vouchsafed the soul of man to bless
With goods that grace his living.        30
 
I, too, cannot and will not rest,
My senses all awake with zest,
The Lord’s great goodness knowing;
I sing when all sings round about,
And praises of the Lord, devout        35
Out of my heart are flowing.
 
Thy splendour here doth shine so bright,
And lets us feel so much delight,
While on poor earth abiding:
What blessings may hereafter be,        40
For those that heaven’s glory see,
In golden halls residing?
 
Ah, what a lucid light divine
In Christ’s fair garden then will shine!
What music will be ringing,        45
With many thousand Seraphim
Of never-weary lips, to Him
Their Alleluiahs singing!
 
Would I were there! Oh, if I stood
Before Thy throne—Thou highest Good!—        50
My palms most humbly raising!
Then, like the angels worshipping,
A thousand noble psalms I’d sing,
Thy name forever praising.
 
Yet I shall never silent stay,        55
While here upon my earthly way
This yoke of flesh I’m bearing.
My heart shall sing unceasingly
Here and wherever I may be,
Thy praises never sparing.        60
 
Help Thou my spirit, let it grow
With blessings that from heaven flow,
To bloom for Thine adorning.
And may Thy mercy’s summer heat
Raise fruits of faith, all ripe and sweet,        65
Till eve from early morning.
 
Oh, choose me for Thy Paradise,
Let soul and body, till I rise,
Still flourish, tiring never.
By Thee alone I shall abide,        70
Thine honour serve, and none beside,
Both here and there forever.
 
 
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