I've ventured it  of purpose free,
Nor yet my deed I rue;
I may not win, but men will see
My heart and life were true.
'Tis not my own I seek alone,
This they must know at least;
'Tis good of all, though me they call
A foe to Church and priest.
But I will let them spread their lies
And chatter as they will;
If I would but the truth disguise,
And tongue and pen keep still,
Flatterers enow were mine, I trow,
Now I'm a banished man;
Yet think not I afar to fly,
Time yet may change the ban.
But nought of pardon will I pray,
For nought of guilt I own;
I would have bowed to Justice' sway,
Here Passion reigns alone,
Nor grants my cause by ancient laws
A hearing fair and free; --
But God ordains and need constrains
That thus they deal with me.
Yet oft ere now it hath been seen
When rich men felt secure,
They yet have lost the game, I ween,
They deemed their own full sure.
A mighty flame from sparks oft came;
Who knows, my turn may come?
I've played my stake, the risk I'll take,
And here abide my doom.
And 'midst it all my solace is
A conscience void of spot;
My direst foes must grant me this,
My honour hath no blot.
For there is nought I've said or sought,
But it doth well appear,
That all was done before the sun
In honour bright and clear.
Now if my nation's gallant youth
Will not my warning take,
And bravely stand for Right and Truth,
It grieves me for her sake,
I must depart, with heavy heart;
Yet deem not all is o'er,
Come foul or fair I'll not despair,
But mix the cards once more.
No courtiers' crafts shall me affright,
Though deep the game they've played;
An honest heart that loves the Right
Can never be dismayed.
Full many a name will join the game,
Nor life nor wealth will cherish;
Up! burghers grave, and horsemen brave,
And let not Hutten perish!
 "Ich habs gewagt," "I have ventured it," was Hutten's motto.