Thus far has kept us from evil, and so in the future will keep us.
For who acknowledges not, that since our dread conflagration,
When He so hardly chastised us, He now is continually blessing,
Constantly shielding, as man the apple of His eye watches over,
Holding it precious and dear above all the rest of His members?
Shall He in time to come not defend us and furnish us succor?
Only when danger is nigh do we see how great is His power.
Shall He this blooming town which He once by industrious burghers
Built up afresh from its ashes, and afterward blessed with abundance,
Now demolish again, and bring all the labor to nothing?”
Cheerfully said in reply the excellent pastor, and
“Keep thyself firm in the faith, and firm abide in this temper;
For it makes steadfast and wise when fortune is fair, and when evil,
Furnishes sweet consolation and animates hopes the sublimest.”
Then made answer the landlord, with thoughts judicious
“Often the Rhine’s broad stream have I with astonishment greeted,
As I have neared it again, after travelling abroad upon business.
Always majestic it seemed, and my mind and spirit exalted.
But I could never imagine its beautiful banks would so shortly
Be to a rampart transformed, to keep from our borders the Frenchman,
And its wide-spreading bed be a moat all passage to hinder.
See! thus nature protects, the stout-hearted Germans protect us,
And thus protects us the Lord, who then will be weakly despondent?
Weary already the combatants, all indications are peaceful.
Would it might be that when that festival, ardently longed for,
Shall in our church be observed, when the sacred Te Deum is rising,
Swelled by the pealing of organ and bells, and the blaring of trumpets,—
Would it might be that that day should behold my Hermann, sir pastor,
Standing, his choice now made, with his bride before thee at the altar,
Making that festal day, that through every land shall be honored,
My anniversary, too, henceforth of domestic rejoicing!
But I observe with regret, that the youth so efficient and active
Ever in household affairs, when abroad is timid and backward.
Little enjoyment he finds in going about among others;
Nay, he will even avoid young ladies’ society wholly;
Shuns the enlivening dance which all young persons delight in.”
Thus he spoke and listened; for now was heard in the
Clattering of horses’ hoofs drawing near, and the roll of the wagon,
Which, with furious haste, came thundering under the gateway.