WHERE is the minstrel’s native land?
Where the flames of light and feeling glow;
Where the flowers are wreathed for beauty’s brow;
Where the bounding heart swells strong and high,
With holy hopes which may not die–
There is my native land!
What is that bright land’s music name?
Ere it bent its neck to a foreign yoke,
It was called the land of the broad strong oak–
The land of the free–the German land–
But her sons lie slain by the stranger’s hand,
And she weeps sad tears of shame.
Why does the minstrel’s country weep?
That the hurricane’s rage hath bowed the pride
Of those who should stem the rising tide;
That her princes quail–and that none will hear
Her holy words of might and fear–
Therefore my land must weep!
To whom does the minstrel’s country call?
It calls to the silent heavenly powers,
With despair, as the thunder darkly lowers,
For its freedom–for those who should break its chain–
For the hand that never strikes in vain–
To these doth my country call!
For what does the minstrel’s country sigh?
That the bloodhound may hunt beyond the bound
Of the soil which brave hearts make holy ground;
That the serf may cease; and our sons be free,
Or those who have borne them, cease to be–
For this does my country sigh!
And still doth the minstrel’s country hope?
Her hope is firm, for her cause is good–
That her brave will rise, and her true in blood;
And that God the avenger, our fathers’ God,
Will mark the tears that bedew her sod–
Such is my country’s hope!