Woman: Completely, more than completely have we been devastated!
The maddened clarion, the bold invaders’ horde,
The mortar thunder-voiced, the blood anointed sword
Have all men’s sweat and work and store annihilated.
The towers stand in flames, the church is violated,
The strong are massacred, a ruin our council board,
Our maiden’s raped, and where my eyes have scare explored
Fire, pestilence, and death my heart have dominated.
Rider: Why are you singing a mourning song? Have faith, good woman, peace is almost there!
Woman: I don’t dare believe that! This war has raged on for 30 years in all of Germany. Even longer for us, who are living close to the border! Again and again, Spanish and Dutch mercenaries came and brought misery over us! Without mercy they took and destroyed the little we had, everything we had struggled to build. Once, we believed the trade along the river “Ems” could mean modest prosperity for us. Prosperity, ha! This dream is long over.
Rider: But consider this now: Spain and the Netherlands have already made peace! It has been ceremoniously proclaimed in the townhall of Münster!
Woman: Just take a look at our church St. Martinus. Ever since the mercenaries of the Duke of Saxony-Weimar made trouble around here, its tower lays in ruins. Symbolic for our entire village. Just like the toll castle “Schöneflieth” on the other riverside of the Ems. It was supposed to protect us! Now it’s nothing but a bunch of ruins.
Rider: And yet, I wish to encourage you, the worst is over!
Woman: People have been saying that for a while! I can’t believe it anymore. Just last year the Swedes under command of General “Königsmarck” came and plundered everything to the gates of Münster. And everyone thought they wanted to make peace!
Rider: Be of good cheer, the next time I come riding through Greven, I will be carrying the one message, everyone has been waiting for! Giddyup!
Woman: I wonder if I have the strength to wait that long…