It is the greatest honor to be unconquerable and like Hercules oppose misfortune. Against resistant steel the sword is honed to boldness, gains edge, acquires that heroic glow. The laurel leaf defies fire and thunderbolt. Virtue will not be harmed by malice; no! Much more it kindles pure astonishment. Misery and misfortune become virtue's wonder-shrine. What adorns Cyrus's victory? Weapons of resistance. Through wars alone Philip's son wins the world, and Caesar gains the sceptre only after battle. Crown and throne are not for lazy victors. Therefore, meet misery with defiance! Let nothing turn you back! The crown already hovers over you, held in God's hands. Click here to read this sonnet in the original German.
As many as the hedgehog’s quills must be the weapons that protect me everywhere against capricious fortune and stem the wounding hand’s assault on virtue. Each hour and moment I must face this foe that bristles like the hedgehog with its pricks and tricks. For virtue’s sake I must defiantly confront all fortune’s change and mutability. While it plagues me, it chokes on its own pleasure. For only a short while I must contend with fortune, then I will triumph; defeated, it will follow me in chains. If now, for virtue’s sake, I am despised and taunted, I pay no heed, if only I may do my work. If God is pleased, my pain will be repaid a thousandfold, whether on earth or at his throne of bliss. Click here to read this sonnet in the original German.
1. Hear the noble nightingale’s sweet song echo through the woods. With lyric verses she fulfills her duty to her Maker. 2. In the whitened tent of the world she sings. Her zeal and effort aimed so that God’s praise rings out with clarity: 3. To you, you, you O highest refuge I offer without words my gratitude. My endless longing is to raise on high your honour. 4. Every feather summons praise and demonstrates your gentle goodness. Grant that, when my wings are raised, gratitude will ring out clearly from my heart. 5. Every little worm I eat is indeed a gift of your sending. Accept, before this meal, Sustainer, this praise offering and refresh me, always. 6. Be praised from this branch where I alit to rest And not to praise you. No! Yet your renown will always here and everywhere be drawn forth from me. 7. You, lovely songstress, with your song have awakened me: I’ll sing only of God’s grace at which I’m always totally amazed. Click here to read this poem in the original German.
It glows entirely with love. It swells with longing
to bless all people. It weaves benevolence,
is draped with fruits of wonder-working artistry
and without limit surges joyfully with help and comfort.
Abundant faithfulness and utter goodness.
Desire’s flame ignites Compassion’s passion
that runs and rises to its purpose with no tinge of vanity.
And more! A multitude of ways and means compete:
which shall best serve to save mankind?
The Son’s nativity deserves triumph’s pageantry:
his birth the worthiest means of reconciliation.
The Highest says: I can no longer wait. My aching
heart, enflamed with love and grace, is breaking.
Click here to read this sonnet in the original German.