For Public Peace.
Written at the close of the Thirty Years' War.
Gottlob, nun ist erschollen
Thank God it hath resounded,
The blessed voice of joy and Peace!
And murder's reign is bounded,
And spear and sword at last may cease.
Arise, take down thy lyre,
My country, and once more
Uplift in full-toned choir
Thy happy songs of yore;
Oh raise thy heart to God and say:
Thy covenants, Lord, endure,
Thy mercies do not pass away,
Thy promises are sure.
For nothing do we merit,
But fiery wrath and sharpest rod,
A race of froward spirit,
Whose shameless sins still mock our God;
And He indeed hath sent us
Full many a bitter stroke,
And yet, do we repent us,
Or learn to bear His yoke?
Nay, as we were so still we are,
But God abideth true,
His help shall still the noise of war,
The captives' bonds undo.
O welcome day, that brought us
This precious noble gift of Peace!
For war hath deeply taught us
What sorrows come where she doth cease;
In her our God now layeth
All hope, all happiness;
Who woundeth her, or slayeth,
Doth, like a madman, press
The arrow to his own heart's core,
And quench with impious hand
The golden torch of Peace once more,
That glads at last our land.
This ye could teach us only,
So dull and hard these hearts of ours,
Ye homes, now stripp'd and lonely,
Ye wasted cities, ruin'd towers;
Ye fields once fairly blooming,
With golden harvests graced,
Where forests now are glooming,
Or spreads a dreary waste;
Ye graves, with corpses piled, where lies
Full many a hero brave,
Whose like no more shall meet our eyes,
Who died, yet could not save.
O man, with bitter mourning
Remember now the bygone years,
When thou hast met God's warning
With careless scoff, not contrite tears;
Yet like a loving Father,
He lays aside His wrath,
And seeks with kindness rather
To lure thee to His path;
He tries if love may yet constrain
The heart that hath withstood
His rod, -- oh let Him not in vain
Now strive with thee for good!
Thou careless world awaken!
Awake, awake, all ye that sleep,
Ere yet ye be o'ertaken
With ruin sudden, swift, and deep!
But he who knows Christ liveth,
May hope and fear no ill,
The Peace that now He giveth
Hath deeper meaning still,
For He will surely teach us this:
|The end is nigh at hand,
When ye in perfect rest and peace
Before your God shall stand.|