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Language: German (Deutsch)

Frisch auf, ihr Jäger frei und flink!
   Die Büchse von der Wand!
Der Muthige bekämpft die Welt!
Frisch auf den Feind! [Frisch in das Feld!]1
   Fürs deutsche Vaterland!

Aus Westen, Norden, Süd und Ost
   Treibt uns der Rache Strahl.
Vom Oderflusse, Weser, Main,
Vom Elbstrom und vom Vater Rhein
   Und aus dem Donauthal.

Doch Brüder sind wir [allzusammen]2,
   Und das schwellt unsern Muth.
Uns knüpft der Sprache heilig Band,
Uns knüpft  e i n  Gott,  e i n  Vaterland,
   E i n  treues deutsches Blut.

Nicht zum Erobern zogen wir
   Vom väterlichen Heerd,
Die schändlichste Tyrannenmacht
Bekämpfen wir in freud’ger Schlacht,
   Das ist des Blutes werth.

Ihr aber, die uns treu geliebt,
   Der Herr sey euer Schild,
Bezahlen wir's mit unserm Blut,
Denn Freiheit ist das höchste Gut,
   Ob's tausend Leben gilt.

Drum [muntre Jäger, frei und flink]3,
   Wie auch das Liebchen weint,
Gott hilft uns im gerechten Krieg!
Frisch in den Kampf! - Tod oder Sieg!
   Frisch, Brüder, auf den Feind!

Translation(s): DUT ENG FRE

List of language codes

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-4, 6
J. Lang sets stanza 1
F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy sets stanza 1

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Leyer und Schwerdt von Theodor Körner Lieutenant im Lützow'schen Freikorps. Einzig rechtmäßige, von dem Vater des Dichters veranstaltete Ausgabe. Berlin, 1814. In der Nicolaischen Buchhandlung, pages 43-44; with Theodor Körner's Gedichte. [Erster Theil.] Neueste Auflage. Wien 1815. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 130-132; and with Zwölf freie deutsche Gedichte von Theodor Körner Nebst einem Anhang. 1813, pages 7-8.

1 In the Mendelssohn arrangement, these words are replaced with a repetition of "Frisch auf den Feind!"
2 Körner (1813 edition): "allzusamm'"
3 Körner (1813 edition): "wackre Jäger, flink und frey"; Schubert (Alte Gesamtausgabe): "wackre Jäger, frei und flink"

Submitted by Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Jagerslied", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Song of the hunters", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant de chasse", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2007-09-27.
Last modified: 2018-06-23 07:46:02
Line count: 30
Word count: 162

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Song of the hunters

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Briskly, ye hunters, free and fleet!
   [Take] the musket from the wall!
The courageous one fights the world!
Briskly upon the enemy! [briskly into the field!]1
   For the German fatherland!

From the west, the north, south and east,
   We are driven by the ray of revenge:
From the Oder River, Weser, Main,
From the flowing Elbe and from Father Rhine,
   And from the Danube Valley.

But comrades, we are all in this together;
   And that increases our courage.
We are united by the holy bonds of [a common] language,
We are united by one God, one fatherland,
   A faithful German blood.

Not in order to conquer did we leave
   Our father’s hearth;
The most despicable tyrannical power
We battle in joyful combat.
   That is worth our blood.

Those of you who loved us faithfully,
   May the Lord be your shield,
Should we pay [for victory] with our blood;
For freedom is the greatest possession,
   Even if it requires a thousand lives.

Thus, [merry hunters, free and fleet,]2
   However much your beloved weeps!
God will help us in the righteous war!
Briskly into battle! -- death or victory!
   Briskly, comrades, upon the enemy!

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 In the Mendelssohn arrangement, these words are replaced with a repetition of "Briskly upon the enemy!"
2 Körner, 1813 edition: "valiant hunters, fleet and free"; Schubert: "valiant hunters, free and fleet,"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2015 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by (Karl) Theodor Körner (1791 - 1813), "Jägerlied", subtitle: "Nach der Weise: Auf, auf, ihr Brüder und seid stark", written 1813, appears in Leier und Schwert, first published 1813 DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Josephine Lang, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2015-01-10.
Last modified: 2017-06-03 14:44:30
Line count: 30
Word count: 191