First of all, I hope it's not verboten to post Ostpreußen's anthem here. Lately, I've been fascinated with this region's history (where my dad's best friend's mom was born), and this song has become a bit of an ear worm.

But I can't quite figure out what some of the words mean, and I haven't been able to find a full English translation anywhere.

Below are excerpts of the anthem I find difficult to translate (full text can unfortunately not be published due to copyright):

Über Ackerbreiten
streicht der Vogelzug
Elche stehn und lauschen
in die Ewigkeit

Heimat wohlgeborgen
blühe heut und morgen
unterm Friedensdom

To the best of my (limited) knowledge, this means:

Land of dark forests
And crystal lakes
Over wide fields
Clear miracle goes

Strong farmers stride
Behind horse and plow
Over broad fields (lit. "acres")
Stretches the migration [of birds]

Day has dawned
Over lagoon and bog
Light has started
Rising in the east

And the seas roar
The song of time
Elk stand and listen
Into the ages (or "eternity")

Homeland is well (or "probably") safe
Between beach and stream
Flourish today and tomorrow
In peace (lit. "under peacedom")

In addition to these the following also confuse me:

  1. What is "lichte Wunder gehn"? "A clear miracle goes?" "A light miracle goes?" Is this an idiom?
  2. What is "wohlgeborgen"?
  • 1
    The text is still copyrighted in many countries, until end of 2015 in all EU member states at least (possibly until 2038 if text and tune are considered one work). In the U.S., if copyright has been properly renewed, it may be copyrighted until about 1925; if not renewed, copyright in the U.S. has expired. Long story short, I'm not sure it's a good idea to include the full text here.
    – chirlu
    Jul 26 '13 at 5:20
  • Removed parts of the anthem but left the translation.
    – Takkat
    Jul 26 '13 at 7:19
  • @chirlu: who holds such a copyright? Wouldn't it be free stuff since the people involved have been dead for over 70 years?
    – Emanuel
    Jul 26 '13 at 7:40
  • 1
    @Emanuel: That's the point, they haven't been dead for over 70 years. The lyricist died in 1945, the composer in 1968.
    – chirlu
    Jul 26 '13 at 8:42
  • @chirlu: oh wow... I expected the period to be longer ago :)
    – Emanuel
    Jul 26 '13 at 22:22

"licht" is obsolete as an adjective, but, exactly as you might expect, it used to mean simply "bright".

"Wohlgeborgen" is an inflected, compounded form of "wohl" (well) and "bergen". The classical sense of "bergen" is "protect" (and it can mean either through concealment or through physical cover).

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