Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud

Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud

Author: Paul Gerhardt
Tune: [Geh' aus mein Herz und suche Freud]
Published in 74 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Language: German


Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud. P. Gerhardt. [Summer.] This beautiful poem of thanksgiving for God's goodness in the delights of summer, and of anticipation of the joys of Paradise, appeared in the Frankfurt edition, 1656, of Crüger’s Praxis pietatis melica, No. 412, in 15 stanzas of 6 lines. Reprinted in Wackernagel’s edition of his Geistliche Lieder, No. 103, and Bachmann's edition, No. 85; and included, as No. 732, in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851. It may be compared with the hymn, "Der trübe Winter ist vorbei," by Friedrich von Spee (q. v.). Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 141, speaks of the tune (called Lucerne in the Irish Church Hymnal) as:—

A Swiss melody which has naturalised itself in Würtemberg to the hymn "Geh aus, mein Herz," and of which Palmer [Professor at Tübingen] assures us that the children's faces are twice as happy as often as they are allowed to sing it. Although evidently originally a song tune [by J. Schmidlin, 1770], yet its ring gives the freshness which one desires in an outdoor hymn.

The translations of this hymn in common use are:—
1. Go forth, my heart, and seek delight, a good translation, omitting stanza xiv., by Miss Winkworth, in the 1st series of her Lyra Germanica, 1855, p. 136. Her translations of stanzas viii.-xi.,beginning "Thy mighty working, mighty God," were included in the American Sabbath Hymn Book, 1858, and repeated in Boardman's Collection, Philadelphia, 1861.
2. The golden corn now waxes strong, a very good translation beginning with stanza vii., "Der Waizen wächset mit Gewalt," contributed by R. Massie to the 1857 edition of Mercer's Church Psalter & Hymn Book, No. 463 (Ox. edition, 1864, No. 500, omitting the translation of stanza x.). In the Appendix to the 2nd series of Lyra Domestica, 1864, Mr. Massie reprinted his translation at p. 102, and prefixed a version of stanzas i.-vi., beginning "Go forth, my heart, nor linger here." In this form it was included in full in Reid's Praise Book 1872.
Other translations are: (l) "Come forth, my heart, and seek delight," by Miss Cox, 1841, p. 169 (1864, p. 149). (2) "Go forth, my heart, and revel in joy's flow," and "And oft I think, if e'en earth's sin-stained ground," a translation of stanzas i., ix., by Mrs. Stanley Carr in her translation of Wildenhahn's Paul Gerhardt, 1845 (edition 1856, p. 235). (3) "Go forth, my heart, and seek for praise," by Dr. J. W. Alexander, in Schaff’s Kirchenfreund, 1849, p. 419; reprinted in his work The Breaking Crucible, N. Y., 1861, p. 15. (4) "Go out, my heart, and pleasure seek," by Miss Maningham, 1863, p. 164. (5) "Go forth, my heart! the year's sweet prime," by E. Massie, 1866, p. 36. (6) "Go forth, my heart, and seek delight, In this summer," by J. Kelly, 1867, p. 289. (7) "Go forth, my heart, and seek the bliss," by Mrs. E. L. Follen, in her Lark and Linnet, 1854, p. 30. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)