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

My Native Land

By Karl Theodor Körner (1791–1813)

Translation of Charles Timothy Brooks

WHERE is the minstrel’s native land?—

Where sparks of noble soul flashed high,

Where garlands bloomed in Honor’s eye,

Where manly bosoms glowed with joy,

Touched by Religion’s altar brand,—

There was my native land!

Name me the minstrel’s native land.—

Though now her sons lie slain in heaps,

Though, wounded and disgraced, she weeps,

Beneath her soil the freeman sleeps.

The land of oaks—the German land—

They called my native land!

Why weeps the minstrel’s native land?—

To see her people’s princes cower

Before the wrathful tyrant’s power;

She weeps, that in the stormy hour

No soul at her high call will stand.

That grieves my native land!

Whom calls the minstrel’s native land?—

She calls the voiceless gods; her cries

Like thunder-storms assail the skies;

She bids her sons, her freemen, rise;

On righteous Heaven’s avenging hand

She calls—my native land!

What will the minstrel’s native land?—

She’ll crush the slaves of despot power,

Drive off the bloodhounds from her shore,

And suckle free-born sons once more,

Or lay them free beneath the sand:

That will my native land!

And hopes the minstrel’s native land?—

She hopes—she hopes! Her cause is just.

Her faithful sons will wake—they must.

In God Most High she puts her trust;

On his great altar leans her hand,

And hopes—my native land!