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.
 
Freedom
By Max von Schenkendorf (1783–1817)
 
FREEDOM that I love,
Shining in my heart,
Come now from above,
Angel that thou art!
 
To the world oppressed        5
Wilt thou ne’er appear?
Shall but stars be blessed
With thy grace and cheer?
 
In the forest gay
When the trees are green,        10
’Neath the blooming spray,
Freedom, thou art seen.
 
Oh, what dear delight!
Music fills the air,
And thy secret might        15
Thrills us everywhere—
 
When the rustling boughs
Friendly greetings send,
When we lovers’ vows,
Looks and kisses spend.        20
 
But the heart aspires
Upward evermore,
And our high desires
Toward heaven soar.
 
From his simple kind        25
Comes my rustic child,
Shows his heart and mind
To the world beguiled.
 
For him gardens bloom,
For him fields have grown,        30
Even in the gloom
Of a world of stone.
 
Where within a breast
Glows a God-sent flame—
Love with loyal zest        35
For the ancient name,
 
Where all men unite
Valiantly to face
Foes of honour’s right—
There dwells freedom’s race.        40
 
Ramparts, brazen doors
Still may bar the light,
Yet the spirit soars
Into regions bright.
 
For the fathers’ grave,        45
For the church to fall
And for dear ones—brave,
True at freedom’s call—
 
That indeed is light,
Glowing rosy-red:        50
Heroes’ cheeks grow bright
And more fair when dead.
 
Toward us, oh, guide
Heaven’s grace, we pray;
In our hearts reside        55
—German hearts—to stay!
 
Freedom sweet and fair,
Trusting, void of fear,
German nature e’er
Was to thee most dear.        60
 
 
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