Of all the joys earth possesses,
None the gladness fine surpasses
Which I give you with my singing,
And with much harmonious ringing.
An evil spirit cannot dwell
Where companions are singing well;
Here strife, wrath, envy, hate, are not;
Every heartache must leave the spot:
Greed, care, all things that hard oppress
Troop off with great unwillingness.
Also each man is free to this--
For such a joy no trespass is,
God himself pleasing better far
Than all the joys on earth that are;
It breaks the toils by Satan spun,
And many a murder keeps undone.
Of this, King David is the proof,
Who often Saul did hold aloof,
All with his harping sweet and well,
That he not into murder fell.
For God's own truth, in word and will
It makes the heart ready and still;
That knew Elisha well, I wot,
When he the Spirit by harping got.
The best time of the year is mine,
When all the little birds sing fine,
Fill heaven and earth full of their strain:
Much good singing is going then;
The nightingale the lead she takes,
And everything right merry makes
With her gladsome lovely song,
For which great thanks to her belong.
But more to our dear Lord God, much,
Who has created the bird such,
A songstress of the true right sort,
A mistress of the music-art:
She sings and springs, both nights and days,
To him, not weary of his praise.
Him lauding come my songs as well,
My everlasting thanks to tell.