IV (BWV Anh. 12) Frohes Volk, Vergnügte Sachsen

Nameday of Augustus III (3 August).

Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander), Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte, Teil IV (Leipzig, 1737); Facs: Neumann T, p. 352.

3 August 1733, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 <--- III (BWV Anh. 18).

NBA I/36, Krit. Bericht.


1. Aria

Happy folk, contented Saxons,
See your health and rapture prosper,
See your common welfare bloom.
Your bright light will darken never,
Time and fortune to thy glory
Everlasting life have lent.

Da Capo.

2. Recit.

O happy land, what dost thou lack?
If thine August sank in the grave
To thy great grief this moment,
Yet would thine August still live further.
The flood of tears, the cry of fear
Which thee did once alarm
Are past and gone.
For on this very day August
Did o'er thee place a rainbow's glory,
A symbol of untroubled joy
Unerring set aloft,
And of contentedness the portals opened wide.
Rise and be glad in all of this.

3. Aria

Gracious and most charming light!
Thy bright radiance, thy far glances
Are the cause of our good fortune.
As the flowers and the croplands
Through the sunlight come to flourish
And through its great strength succeed,
So must, too, thy nature be.

Da Capo.

4. Recit.

Illustrious August,
Thou, too, shouldst take delight
In this thy faithful land's great joy,
And witness how thy loyal subjects
Each other now,
To pay thee honor, have exhorted.
Yet Sire, their rev'rence not alone,
But love would be their crowning work.
And it is not
Because it was within us born;
No, but because thy gov'rnance
To us conviction daily brings
That thy devotion to this land is true.
And all those who to thee belong
And thy command revere and heed
Will nothing else but this refrain be singing:

5. Tutti

How peaceful, how steadfast is our prosp'rous fortune,
Augustus himself hath his very own ear.
He cometh amongst us, he biddeth the torments
Of those having grievance with patience be told him,
Extinguisheth evil's accursed generations,
Provideth, protecteth, promoteth the righteous,
And raiseth all honest folk's virtue aloft.

Da Capo.

6. Recit.

Sire, envious neighbors now
Cry out from ev'ry side to us:
"Enthroned is here true righteousness,
Here is its very property.
Where is a prince of such repute,
Who is as prudent, as upright, as gen'rous as thyself?"

7. Aria

Fare and splendid sprouts the rue-leaf
Over Court and armor's pow'r.
Can we then in hope be lacking
When we count so many branches?
No, ah! No, so great a growth
Hath no set-back to be fearing.(1)

Da Capo.

8. Recit.

O happy land, illustrious age!
When virtue, when true godliness
The scepter wield incarnate,
How can such blessing ever vanish?
Upon true righteousness
Hath our authority been built.
See, townsmen, see
This firm security,
This calm, serene protection;
Who would assail so strong a fortress?

9. Aria

Comfort take, thou godly throng,
Think but on thy loyalty,
Lead a life unvexed by worry.
All the other things thou need'st,
And through which thy fortune blooms,
Will thee God and August offer.

Da Capo.

10. Recit.

The Lord, who princes takes and gives,
And who thee, mighty August, loves,
Establish firm thy house,
Endowing thee in ev'ry journey
With long-life's blessing, health and fortune,
With richest store of excellence!
And thy belove'd spouse, the gem of Austria,
Thy crown prince, princes, ev'ry princess,
Whom heaven, time and luck hold fondly to their bosom,
Be quickened with such health and happiness
As palms are wont which stand by welling brooks.

11. Tutti

Mighty sustainer, creator of all,
Send from above now thy blessing and strength,
Bless now this nation's most generous father,
Further what wisdom and prudence resolve,
Grant him what hope and desire portend,
Crown all his armies with vict'ry triumphant,
Cede to the ages a steadfast contentment.

Da Capo.


1. The rue, represented on the Saxon coat of arms, is a symbol of Augustus' authority. Its growth over the Electoral Domains (Chur) is probably an etymological play on the name Augustus (from Latin augeo 'increase').


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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