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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Germany: Vols. XVII–XVIII. 1876–79.


My Native Land

By Georg Philipp Schmidt (1766–1849)

Translated by C. T. Brooks

BEFORE all lands, in east or west,

I love my native land the best;

With God’s best gifts ’t is teeming;

No gold or jewels here are found,

Yet men of noble soul abound,

And eyes of joy are gleaming.

Before all tongues, in east or west,

I love my native tongue the best;

Though not so smoothly spoken,

Nor woven with Italian art,

Yet when it speaks from heart to heart,

The word is never broken.

Before all people, east or west,

I love my countrymen the best,—

A race of noble spirit.

A vigorous mind, a generous heart

To virtue bound, yet free from art,

They from their sires inherit.

To east and west I reach my hand;

My heart I give my native land;

I seek her good,—her glory;

I honor every nation’s name,

Respect their fortunes and their fame,

But I love the land that bore me.