Dear songs of my country! How sweetly thy measures
Come stealthily stealing o’er mountain and wave,
To sweeten the riches of liberty’s treasures
And thrill with their numbers the hearts of the brave!
To move in wild glory the souls of a nation,
Till men are together so happily hurled,
That millions are bound in fraternal relation
And brotherhoods rule in the ranks of the world.
Such praises ye offer our heroes and sages,
So grand is the greatness that lives in thy strains,
That small is the fame of the far away ages,
So sunken in tyranny, fettered in chains.
For freedom ye strive and ye struggle for glory,
And Liberty—Liberty still is your theme—
And glad are your lips with the national story,
Which warriors have written on forest and stream.
Dear songs of my country! The soul patriotic
Ye fill with the wishes of mighty emprise,
Till conquers he tyranny harsh and despotic,
Or first in the front of the battle he dies.
Ye offer him laurels, ye crown him with praises,
Who falls in the fight with his face to the foe,
And gratitude over his sepulcher raises
The marbles eternal of national woe.
Your strains are as high as the cloud-covered mountains,
As deep as the ocean, as wide as the land,
As pure as the murmurs of silvery fountains,
But loud as the roar on the billowy strand.
Our deep-furrowed prairies, our ship-laden rivers,
Our ax-ringing forests, our steam-shrieking bays,
Swell high in your music, for all are free givers
To freedom’s true grandeur and liberty’s praise.
How fondly, dear songs of my country, ye cherish
The struggle heroic, the God-shapen deed,
That nothing of worthiness ever may perish
But live to the time of humanity’s need!
Afar from the realms of the centuries olden,
Ye summon with gladness the glories of years,
To greet every hero with cadences golden,
And sing every sage that in greatness appears.
The ages may falter thee, Land of my Birth,
The years may thy grandeur and glory betray;
But long as thy songs murmur over the earth,
No forces can carry thy splendors away!
Then live, ye dear songs of my country, forever,
With voices eternal to utter her name,
That cycles may never her liberty sever,
Nor trample her greatness nor crumble her fame!