Prairie Flowers

Have we once, just once at least
Brought some comfort to your heart,
Have we once your joy increased
On a day with a bad start,
For our thinking, for our striving
Have we then the highest pay,
'Cause your joy rings as reviving
As a golden lyre's play.
Based on a poem by M. Lentz


Preface (by N.S. Gonner)

They say that America is the land of the almighty dollar; in Europe they believe that the people out here don't think of anything other than dollars and cents. With these Prairie Flowers, a collection of Luxembourg German poems, we aim to show that this is not always so. Though some of them have already been published in a little booklet which I edited (Onserer lidder a gedîchter an onserer létzebûrgerdeitscher sprôch. Dubuque 1879) and others printed in the Luxemburger Gazette, most of them have not yet been released, and in Luxembourg very few of them are known anyway. So we have put this collection together in order to introduce them to the readers over there. You will find some good things in this booklet, some average too. Not all flowers are equally pretty. Some will sound new to you, no doubt about it, but when new things are pretty, we like them all the more.
Maybe you'll be astonished to find that our language is different from the one spoken in Luxembourg City; this is but natural: Beckesch Klos hails from the Moselle region, Nau is from Tetange and I myself am from Pfaffenthal, and in Pfaffenthal they do not speak like those in the city. But Luxembourg German it is, nonetheless – not half and half mixed with French.
The glossary which translates some words into High German is more extensive than is customary. I've also included the past participles of many irregular verbs. For linguists, this could be a major point of interest.


Our Bouquet of Flowers

We have here a bouquet for you my old friends,
A bouquet of flowers, the best to be found,
They may not be many, but gay all around,
And over the ocean to you they are sent.
Between the high mountains and deepest blue sea
Where thousands of years the buffaloes grazed,
The waters have run and the Indians have chased,
Our flowers have sprouted and blossomed with glee.
To you some are foreign in shape and in hue,
't is natural they're coming from far-away lands,
But others appear to be very old friends,
Their relatives bloom in a city near you.
Just look at the flowers and study our bunch,
You'll find some of red, some of white, some of blue,
But some are with stars and with stripes as well too,
Among all the others they're packing a punch.
We give you these flowers, they come from the heart,
They show that we haven't forgotten you all,
Our standards are different, not smaller or tall,
Don't think it's all wasteland out here in these parts.
And if you grow fond of their looks and their smell,
We might just be sending some more on their way,
We pluck them and send them way over the sea,
If 't makes you right happy, we're happy as well.