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Gar mancher Weg, gar manche Bahn

Gottfried Arnold

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1869

Full many a way, full many a path,

The all-encircling Ocean hath,

Let each man only see to this,

That his own course he do not miss.

Or long or devious be thy way,

What matter, if thou do not stray?

Or lead it thee by east or west,

What matter, if thou reach thy rest?

The ways are countless, none the same,

Yet each one hath its proper aim,

Only forget not aye to heed

If to the haven thine will lead.

For there are currents undiscerned,

As many a ship too late hath learned,

That deemed itself full safe to be,

Yet sank upon the open sea.

Another's course may not be thine,

But Christ on all alike will shine;

Leave thou thy brother where he is,

Pursue thy way in quietness.

One is the haven;--let there be

In us who seek it, unity;

Vast is the ocean, surely there

Is room for all men and to spare.

Then heedfully go on thy way,

Care only that on that great Day,

Whether thy course be long or short,

Thy vessel may be found in port.

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