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Christian Singers Of Germany by Catherine Winkworth

THE PRAISE OF GERMANY.

Ir sult sprechen willekomen

Ye should raise the cry of |Welcome

To the bearer of tidings| -- for I am he!

All that ye have heard aforetime

Was merely a wind; -- now ask of me!

But my guerdon must not fail;

If ye make me now good cheer,

I have that to say ye will love to hear;

Look, what bid ye for my tale?

I will tell to German ladies

Such gentle tidings in this fair land,

As on earth may none be sweeter; --

Nor great the guerdon I demand.

Ah what could I from them require?

They are too high for me, I trow;

I am modest, nor ask them to bend so low,

Fair greetings only I desire.

I have seen full many a country,

And sought out the best in every part,

But if alien scene or customs

Could ever like German please my heart,

May evil hap that heart befall!

I speak the truth, for of what avail

To strive unfairly with words or in mail?

German breeding surpasseth all.

From the Elbe stream to the Rhine,

And back to the far Hungarian ground,

Dwell the best and sweetest women

That I in all the world have found.

If my skill be true and keen

In noble breeding and beauty rare,

Better the women are here, I swear,

Than high dames I have elsewhere seen.

German men are brave and modest,

Like angels in truth their women seem;

He who blames them is deluded,

No otherwise of him I deem.

Noble Virtue, constant Love,

Let him come hither who seeks for these,

They dwell in this land, with joy and ease:

Long may I live there, no more to rove!

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