Thou, whom song was given, sing
In the German poets’ wood!
When all boughs with music ring–
Then is life and pleasure good.
Nay, this art doth not belong
To a small and haughty band;
Scattered are the seeds of song
All about the German land.
Music set thy passions free
From the heart’s confining cage;
Let thy love like murmurs be,
And like thunder-storm thy rage!
Singest thou not all thy days,
Joy of youth should make thee sing.
Nightingales pour forth their lays
In the blooming months of spring!
Though in books they hold not fast
What the hour to thee imparts,
Leaves unto the breezes cast,
To be seized by youthful hearts!
Fare thou well, thou secret lore:
Formulas shall bind no more,
And our art is poesy.
Names we deem but empty air;
Spirits we revere alone;
Though we honor masters rare.
Art is free–it is our own!
Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod–
Nay, in oaks on woody hill,
Lives and moves the German God.