Home  »  library  »  poem  »  From ‘The Spring Festival’

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

From ‘The Spring Festival’

By Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724–1803)

Translation of Francis J. Lange

WOULD that I might praise thee, O Lord, as my soul thirsts!

Ever more gloriously dost thou reveal thyself!

Ever darker grows the night around thee

And more replete with blessings.

Do ye see the witness of his presence, the sudden flash?

Do ye hear Jehovah’s thunder?

Hear ye his voice,

The convulsing thunder of the Lord?

Lord! Lord! God!

Merciful and kind!

Adored and praised

Be thy glorious name!

And the blasts of the tempest? They carry the thunder!

How they roar! How they surge through the forest with resounding waves!

And now they are silent! Slowly wanders

The sombre cloud.

Do ye see the new witness of his presence, the winged flash?

Hear ye high in the clouds the thunder of the Lord?

He shouts—Jehovah! Jehovah!

And the shattered woods reek.

But not our hut!

Our Father commanded

His destroyer

To pass by our hut!

But the kind and copious rain

Resounds across the fields.

The thirsting earth is refreshed

And heaven unburdened of its blessings.

And lo! Jehovah comes no more in the tempest!

In the softly whispering gentle breezes

Jehovah comes,

And beneath Him bends the bow of peace.