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Note: The following poem was written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Tegal prison where he had been imprisoned for opposing the Nazi's in Germany. Bonhoeffer was a dedicated German Pastor and Theologian who became involved in an attempt to assassinate Hitler.
If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things
to govern your soul and your senses, for fear that your passions
and longing may lead you away from the path you should follow.
Chaste be your mind and your body, and both in subjection,
obediently steadfastly seeking the aim set before them,
only through discipline may a man learn to be free.
Daring to do what is right, not what fancy may tell you,
valiantly grasping occasions, not cravenly doubting -
freedom comes only through deeds, not through thoughts taking wing.
Faint not nor fear, but go out to the storm and the action,
trusting in God whose commandments you faithfully follow;
freedom, exultant will welcome your spirit with joy.
A change has come indeed. Your hands, so strong and active,
are bound, in helplessness no you see your action
is ended, you sigh in relief, your cause committing
to stronger hands, so now you may rest contented.
Only for one blissful moment could you draw near to touch freedom,
then, that it might be perfected in glory, you gave it to God.
Come now, thou greatest of feasts on the journey to freedom eternal,
death, cast aside all the burdensome chains, and demolish
the walls of our temporal body, the walls of our souls that are blinded,
so that at last we may see that which here remains hidden.
Freedom, how long we have sought thee in discipline, action, and suffering, dying, we now may behold thee revealed in the Lord.
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