A Mother’s Poem for the Bride

Mueller Hoehne

On May 2, 1849, the newly ordained Rev. J.A.F.W.Mueller married Johanna Hoehne in Altenburg, with Rev. Gotthold Loeber officiating just a few months before his death.  Rev. Loeber managed to file a record with Perry County concerning the wedding, but no marriage records are included in the Trinity church books for the year 1849.

A member of the Mueller family has managed to preserve a poem which was written by Johanne’s mother, Concordia Hoehne, on the occasion of this wedding.  Arnold Mueller translated the poem into English in 1969.  He was not able to preserve the rhyming words while translating from German to English.  I will list the stanzas of this poem in alternating fashion:  German verse, then English translation.

Ich soll Euch ien Gedicht machen,
Dass Ihr koennt darueber lachen.
Ich will Euch ein Gedicht machen,
Dass Ir nicht sollt darueber lachen.

I am to write a poem for you
That you may be able to laugh over it.
I will write a poem for you
That you shall not laugh over it.

Ach! ih klage meinen Schmerz
Und in Jammer fliesst mein Herz,
Dass die einzig Tochter mein
Soll so ferne von mir sein.

Ah, I do lament my pain
And in misery my heart flows,
That the only daughter of mine
Shall be so far away from me.

Ach! ich stehe hier alleine
Jammer, klage und beweine,
Dass die einzig Tochter mein
Will so ferne von mir sein.

Ah, I do stand all by myself,
And lament, complain and weep,
That the only daughter of mine
Wants to be so far away from me.

Ach! ich werd nun alt und Schwach
Doch befehlen Gott die Sach,
Da die eiznige Tochter mein
Soll ja doch recht gluecklich sein.

Ah, I now grow old and weak,
But commit it all to God,
Since the only daughter of mine
Is to be real happy now.

Nun ich schliesse meine Klagen
Und will darum nicht verzagen,
Dass die einzige Tochter mein
Will so ferne von mir sein.

Now I end my sad complaints,
And will therefore not despair
That the only daughter of mine
Wants to be so far away from me.

Ich will nun fangen an zu danken
Und von meinem Gott nicht wanken,
Da die einzige Tochter mein
Wird ja nun so gluecklich sein.

I will now begin to offer thanks
And from my God not go astray,
Since the only daughter of mine,
Is to be so happy now.

Ich will Dir geben den Mutter Segen
Gott! der Vater woll ihn legen
Auf dich die einzige Tochter mein
So wird sie recht gesegnet sein.

I will give you the mother’s blessing,
May God the Father lay it
On the only daughter of mine
Then she will truly blessed be.

Zieh nun hin in Jesu Namen,
Der Heilige Geist sprech auch das Amen
Dass die liebe Tochter mein
Hier und auch dort soll selig sein.

Then go your way in Jesus’ name,
The Holy Spirit also speak the Amen,
That the only daughter of mine
Will be blessed here and also there.

Du mein lieber Schwieger Sohn,
Gott schenkt Dich mir zum Gnadenlohn
Und dass die einzige Tochter mein
Wird bei Dir so gluecklich sein.

You, my dear son-in-law,
God gives you to me as a reward of grace,
And that the only daughter of mine
Will with you so happy be.

Reichthum ist nicht unser Orden,
Das sieht man wohl an allen Orten,
Doch lass das Herz der Tochter mein
Dir einen kleinen Reichthum sein.

Riches are no badge of ours
One can see that where’er one looks.
Albeit, let my daughter’s heart
Be a little treasure for you.

Wenn Anfechtung geht daher
Lass Du Wort Gottes Prediger
Auch wenn die liebe Tochter mein
Nicht so recht ist, wie sie soll sein.

When afflictions come along,
Let God’s Word preacher … (?)
Even when the dear daughter of mine,
Is not everything she should be.

Nun ich wuensche dem Brautpaare
Recht sehr viele Jahre
Dass der Dreieinige Gott ihr Schuz und Shirm moeg sein
Und sie auch Ihm ihr ganzes Leben weih’n.

Now I wish the bridal pair
Very many, many years
That the Triune God may be their Keeper and Shield,
And they also give all their life to Him.

After this wedding, the couple departed for St. Louis where Rev. Mueller was serving three different preaching stations.  Later they would spend time in Chicago, Pittsburgh (and other areas of Pennsylvania), and finally end up across the river from Perry County in Chester, Illinois.  You can understand Mother Hoehne’s mixed feelings about sending her daughter off with a man who is going to lead her to so many destinations so far away from home.

We leave you with these thoughts as we head into a Mother’s Day weekend.

 


2 thoughts on “A Mother’s Poem for the Bride

  1. The ? above next to the word Preacher seems to be the correct translation. Prediger means preacher, from Predigtampt “preaching office” and the word is capitalize which in German should mean it is a noun. But, I’m thinking the line should probably read “Let the Word of God be preached.”

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