1 Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud
in dieser lieben Sommerzeit
an deines Gottes Gaben.
Schau ander schönen Gärten Zier
und siehe, wie sie mir und dir
sich aus geschmücket haben.
2 Die Bäume stehen voller Laub,
das Erdreich decket seinen Staub
mit einem grünen Kleide.
Narcissen und die Tulipan,
die ziehen sich viel schöner an,
als Salomonis Seide.
3 Die Lerche schwingt sich in die Luft;
das Täublein fliegt aus ihrer Kluft
und macht sich in die Wälder.
Die hochbegabte Nactigall
ergötzt und füllt mit ihrem Schall
Berg, Hügel, Tal und Felder.
4 Die Bächlein rauschen in dem Sand
und malen sich in ihrem Rand
mit schattenreichen Myrten.
Die Wiesen liegen hart dabei
und klingen ganz von Lustgeschrei
der Schaf und ihrer Hirten.
5 Ach, denk ich, bist du hier so schön,
und läßt dus uns so lieblich gehn
auf dieser armen Erden:
was will doch wohl nach dieser Welt
dort in dem festen Himmelszelt
und güldnen Schlosse werden!
Suggested tune: KOMMT HER ZU MIR
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)