The Battle of Nations
PRAYER DURING BATTLE
Father, I call to thee.
The roaring artillery's clouds thicken round me,
The hiss and the glare of the loud bolts confound me.
Ruler of battles, I call on thee
O Father, lead thou me!
O Father, lead thou me;
To victory, to death, dread Commander, O guide me;
The dark valley brightens when thou art beside me;
Lord, as thou wilt, so lead thou me.
God, I acknowledge thee.
God, I acknowledge thee;
When the breeze through the dry leaves of autumn is moaning,
When the thunder-storm of battle is groaning,
Fount of mercy, in each I acknowledge thee.
O Father, bless thou me!
O Father, bless thou me;
I trust in thy mercy, whate'er may befall me;
'Tis thy word that hath sent me; that word can recall me.
Living or dying, O bless thou me!
Father, I honor thee.
Father, I honor thee;
Not for earth's hoards or honors we here are contending;
All that is holy our swords are defending;
Then falling, and conquering, I honor thee.
God, I repose in thee.
God, I repose in thee;
When the thunders of death my soul are greeting,
When the gashed veins bleed, and the life is fleeting,
In thee, my God, I repose in thee.
Father, I call on thee.
Excerpt, “The Book of German Songs from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century.” Translated and Edited by H. W. Dulcken. 1856.
Excerpt: “Schiller’s Homage of the Arts, with it Miscellaneous Pieces from Rückert, Freiligrath, and Other German Poets.” By Charles T. Brooks. 1846.
The Queen of Prussia’s Ride
Fair Queen, away! To thy charger speak,
A band of hussars thy capture seek;
Oh, haste! Escape! They are riding this way,
Speak, speak to thy charger without delay;
Behold! They come at a break-neck pace,
A smile triumphant illumes each face,
Queen of the Prussians, now for a race,
To Weimar for safety … fly!
She turned, and her steed with a furious dash,
Over the field like the lightning’s flash –
Away, like an arrow from steel cross-bow,
Over hill and dale in the sun’s fierce flow,
The Queen and her enemies thundering go,
On toward Weimar they sped.
The royal courser is swift and brave,
And his royal rider he tries to save,
“Vive l’Empereur!” rings sharp and clear;
She turns and is startled to see them so near,
Then softly speaks in her charger’s ear,
And away he bounds like a roe.
He speeds as though on the wings of the wind,
The Queen’s pursuers are left behind,
She fears, though each trooper grasps his reins,
Stands up in his stirrups, strikes spurs and strains;
For ride as they may, her steed still gains,
And Weimar is just before.
Safe! The clatter now fainter grows,
She sees in the distance her labouring foes,
The gates of the fortress stand open wide
To welcome the German nation’s bride
With gallop and dash, into Weimar she goes,
And the gates at once on her enemies close.
Give thanks, give thanks! She is safe with those
Who hail her with cheer on cheer!