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We have a testimony to the use of Easter hymns in church in the following poem by Conrad von Queinfurt, belonging to the fourteenth century (he died in 1382 in Silesia), which is quite in the style of the Minne-singers both in thought and the carefully varied metre.


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Du lenze gut, des jares teureste quarte

Fair Spring, thou dearest season of the year,

Thou art brimful of sweet delights;

The creatures robbed of joy by winter drear

Thou dost repay for cold and gloomy nights.

I feel thy airs are soft and mild,

Thy winds are balmy and not wild,


O how unlike the wintry blast!

What Frost had bound in fetters fast,

Now feels the prison-time gone by,

For 'tis unbound and free;

Whether it climb or swim or fly,

Whatever kind it be,

Whether of water, earth, or sky,

'Tis happy now we see.

The sun smiles with his lovely rays,

And sing, dear little birds, sing out your Maker's praise!

So many joys hath Spring, but most of all

She hath one day above the rest,

That Christendom with one glad voice doth call

Of all bright days the first and best.

We hail thee, then, O chosen Day,

With many a loud and gladsome lay,

Thou art the day that God hath made

Well may our joy be now displayed!

Thou art the Pascha to the Greek,

And still we hear the Jew

Of thee as Passover doth speak,

And Latins know thee too

As Transitus, that crowns the Holy Week;

But thou, where'er is heard the German tongue,

Art holy Easter-tide, when life from Death hath sprung.

We hail thee, blessed Day, we greet thee well,

We praise thee ever, we adore

The Christ who triumphed over death and hell,

Whose death slew Death for evermore.

O sweetest day, that saw'st Thee rise,

Our Paschal Lamb, our Sacrifice,

Our Brother who hath won for us

A heritage most glorious!


Forest and foliage, corn and grass and flowers,

Would show their love to Thee!

The birds sing in the greening bowers,

Christ, they are praising Thee!

Thou wouldst not lack, had they our powers,

A song more worthy Thee!

For Thou art Conqueror, O Christ, to-day,

Who madest Death's great power itself give way.

So Christians triumph as your heart desires

In chorus sweet and clear and strong,

Ye laymen in the church, ye priests in choirs,

Answer each other in your song.

Sing, "Christ the Lord is risen again,

Christ hath broken every chain."

The year of jubilee He bringeth in,

True freedom for all faithful hearts to win;

So to His table go thou solemnly,

Where in His flesh and blood

The Paschal Lamb itself is offered thee--

The Lamb slain on the rood.

Praise the true Christ with happy hearts and free,

Praise Him, for He is good!

Thus, Spring, thou well may'st speak of joy to man,

Thou hast the Easter Day that ended Death's dark ban.

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