Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud
trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855
Go forth, my heart, and seek delight
In all the gifts of God's great might,
These pleasant summer hours:
Look how the plains for thee and me
Have decked themselves most fair to see,
All bright and sweet with flowers.
The trees stand thick and dark with leaves,
And earth o'er all here dust now weaves
A robe of living green;
Nor silks of Solomon compare
With glories that the tulips wear,
Or lilies' spotless sheen.
The lark soars singing into space,
The dove forsakes her hiding-place,
And coos the woods among;
The richly-gifted nightingale,
Pours forth her voice o'er hill and dale,
And floods the fields with song.
Here with her brood the hen doth walk,
There builds and guards his nest the stork,
The fleet-winged swallows pass;
The swift stag leaves his rocky home,
And down the light deer bounding come
To taste the long rich grass.
The brooks rush gurgling through the sand,
And from the trees on either hand,
Cool shadows o'er them fall;
The meadows at their side are glad
With herds; and hark! the shepherd lad
Sends forth his mirthful call.
And humming, hovering to and fro,
The never-wearied swarms no go
To seek their honey'd food;
And through the vine's yet feeble shoots
Stream daily upwards from her roots
New strength and juices good.
The corn springs up, a wealth untold,
A sight to gladden young and old,
Who now their voices lift
To Him who gives such plenteous store,
And makes the cup of life run o'er
With many a noble gift.
Thy mighty working, mighty God,
Wakes all my powers; I look abroad
And can no longer rest:
I too must sing when all things sing,
And from my heart the praises ring
The Highest loveth best.
I think, Art Thou so good to us,
And scatterest joy and beauty thus
O'er this poor earth of ours;
What nobler glories shall be given
Hereafter in Thy shining heaven,
Set round with golden towers!
What thrilling joy when on our sight
Christ's garden beams in cloudless light,
Where all the air is sweet,
Still laden with the unwearied hymn
From all the thousand seraphim
Who God's high praise repeat!
Oh were I there! Oh that I now,
Dear God, before Thy throne could bow,
And bear my heavenly palm!
Then like the angels would I raise
My voice, and sing Thy endless praise
In many a sweet-toned psalm.
Nor can I now, O God, forbear,
Though still this mortal yoke I wear,
To utter oft Thy name;
But still my heart is bent to speak
Thy praises; still, though poor and weak,
Would I Thy love proclaim.
But help me; let Thy heavenly showers
Revive and bless my fainting powers,
And let me thrive and grow
Beneath the summer of Thy grace,
And fruits of faith bud forth apace
While yet I dwell below.
And set me, Lord, in Paradise
When I have bloomed beneath these skies
Till my last leaf is flown;
Thus let me serve Thee here in time,
And after, in that happier clime,
And Thee, my God, alone!