DR. MARTIN LUTHER, 1543.
Lady Musick speaketh.
Vor allen Freuden auf Erden
Of all the joys that are on earth
Is none more dear nor higher worth,
Than what in my sweet songs is found
And instruments of various sound.
Where friends and comrades sing in tune,
All evil passions vanish soon;
Hate, anger, envy, cannot stay,
All gloom and heartache melt away;
The lust of wealth, the cares that cling,
Are all forgotten while we sing.
Freely we take our joy herein,
For this sweet pleasure is no sin,
But pleaseth God far more, we know,
Than any joys the world can show;
The devil's work it doth impede
And hinders many a deadly deed.
So fared it with King Saul of old;
When David struck his harp of gold,
So sweet and clear its tones rang out,
Saul's murderous thoughts were put to rout.
The heart grows still when I am heard,
And opens to God's Truth and Word;
So are we by Elisha taught,
Who on the harp the Spirit sought.
The best time o' the year is mine,
When all the little birds combine
To sing until the earth and air
Are filled with sweet sounds everywhere;
And most the tender nightingale
Makes joyful every wood and dale,
Singing her love-song o'er and o'er,
For which we thank her evermore.
But yet more thanks are due from us
To the dear Lord who made her thus,
A singer apt to touch the heart,
Mistress of all my dearest art.
To God she sings by night and day,
Unwearied, praising Him alway;
Him I too laud in every song,
To Whom all thanks and praise belong.