was a Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...
and writer of hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...
s, born in Memel
Klaipėda is a city in Lithuania situated at the mouth of the Nemunas River where it flows into the Baltic Sea. It is the third largest city in Lithuania and the capital of Klaipėda County....
(now Klaipėda) in the Duchy of Prussia.
Although brought up in humble circumstances, (his father was a poorly-paid court interpreter in Lithuania), he received a classical education in the Domschule of Königsberg
Königsberg was the capital of East Prussia from the Late Middle Ages until 1945 as well as the northernmost and easternmost German city with 286,666 inhabitants . Due to the multicultural society in and around the city, there are several local names for it...
, and in the Latin schools of Wittenberg
Wittenberg, officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a city in Germany in the Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, on the river Elbe. It has a population of about 50,000....
, and Magdeburg
Magdeburg , is the largest city and the capital city of the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Magdeburg is situated on the Elbe River and was one of the most important medieval cities of Europe....
, and entered the University of Königsberg
The University of Königsberg was the university of Königsberg in East Prussia. It was founded in 1544 as second Protestant academy by Duke Albert of Prussia, and was commonly known as the Albertina....
in 1626 where he was a student of theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...
. In 1626, he left Magdeburg to escape both the plague and the 30 Years War, and returned to his Prussian homeland, settling in Königsberg, where he remained for the rest of his life.
After earning his degree, Dach was a private tutor for a time, then was appointed Kollaboralor
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...
) in 1633 and co-rector of the Domschule
(cathedral school) in Königsberg in 1636. In 1639 he was appointed by Adrian Brauer to the Chair of Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...
at the Albertina University in Königsberg. This was a post he held until his death. Also, in 1640 he received a doctorate from the University.
Part of his official duties as Chair of Poetry was to create poems for various University celebrations, programs, debates and funeral services of his colleagues - all of these written either Latin or Greek. In 1644, he wrote the Play Sorbuisa
which celebrated the centennial of the University of Königsberg.
Dach became one of the prominent heads of the musical Kürbishütte, a group that included, among others, George Weissel, Valentin Thilo and Johann Franck
Johann Frank was a German lyric poet and hymnist.-Life:Franck was born in Guben, Margraviate of Brandenburg. After visiting the Latin school in Guben, he attended schools in Cottbus and Stettin, as well as the gymnasium in Thorn...
. The summer-house of organist and composer Heinrich Albert
Heinrich Albert, also Heinrich Alberti, was a German composer and poet of the 17th century. He was member of the Königsberg Poetic Society . As a song composer, he was strongly influenced by Heinrich Schütz.- Biography :Heinrich Albert was born in Lobenstein, principality of Reuss...
became the meeting place of this group of poets, hymnists and musicians, who met in to create new hymns as well as to give readings of their own poetry. This group published eight books of poems and songs from 1638 to 1650, the books meeting with great success. Of the approximately 200 poems and songs contained within the books, Dach had the lion's share, with 125 being his compositions. The songs and hymns contained in these books, especially those of Dach, were sung throughout Germany and frequently appeared in pirated editions.
Later life and Poetic Success
In Königsberg he became friends with and collaborated with Heinrich Albert
Heinrich Friedrich Albert was a German lawyer who served as commercial attaché to the Imperial German Ambassador to the United States Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff during World War I. He was also the paymaster for German espionage and sabotage operations in the United States...
(1604–1651), Robert Roberthin (1600–1648) and Sibylla Schwarz
Sibylla Schwarz, also known as Sibylle Schwartz was a German poet of the Baroque era.-Life :Sibylla Schwarz was the daughter of Christian Schwarz, mayor of Greifswald, and Regina Schwarz....
(1621–1638), and with them formed the Königsberger Dichtergruppe
(loosely translated as the "Königsberg Poets' Association"). In 1639 he was appointed professor of poetry at Königsberg through the influence of his friend Roberthin. He sang the praises of the house of the Electors of Brandenburg in a collection of poems entitled Kurbrandenburgische Rose, Adler, Lowe und Scepter
(1661), and also produced many occasional poems, several of which became popular; the most famous of them is "Anke von Tharaw öss, de my geföllt" http://wikisource.org/wiki/Anke_van_Tharaw
(rendered from Low Saxon
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...
Johann Gottfried von Herder was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the periods of Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and Weimar Classicism.-Biography:...
into modern German as "Ännchen von Tharau"), http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/herder/gedichte/annchen1.htm
composed in 1637 in honor of the marriage of a friend.
Among Dach's best-known hymns, many of which are still sung, are the following: "Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht"
, "Ich bin bei Gott in Gnaden durch Christi Blut und Tod"
, and "O, wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen."
In all, he wrote over 150 hymns, and a number of poems, and was considered the leading figure of the hymnists and poets of Königsberg.
- Handbuch des Kantorendienstes: Einf. u. Handreichung zu einem wiederentdeckten Dienst in d. Gemeinde ISBN 3-87088-144-5
Poems of Note
- Ueber den Eingang der Schloßbrücke (1641)
- Du Seule Brandenburgs, du Preussens Sicherheit,
- O Fridrich Wilhelm, Trost und Hoffnung vieler Lande,
- Sey willkomm deinem Volck hie an des Pregels Rande!
- Des Höchsten Ehrendienst ist wegen dein erfreut.
Verspricht Uns unter Dir die alte güldne Zeit;
Gerechtigkeit und Fried in jedem Ort und Stande
Verknüpffen dir sich fest mit einem güldnen Bande.
Du machst, daß alles wil genesen weit und breit.
In dem dein Eintzug Uns die Hoffnung aber giebet,
So wirstu billich nie von uns auch gnug geliebet;
O leb Uns werthes Haupt, sey Uns ein Sonnenschein,
Der nimmer untergeht! schon jetzt mit deiner Jugend
Dringt Fama durch die Welt, du wirst bey solcher Tugend
Nicht hie nur, sonder auch im Himmel Hertzog seyn.
- Lied der Freundschaft
- Der Mensch hat nichts so eigen,
- So wohl steht ihm nichts an,
- Als daß er Treu erzeigen
- und Freundschaft halten kann;
- Wann er mit seinesgleichen
- Soll treten in ein Band,
- Verspricht sich nicht zu weichen,
- Mit Herzen, Mund und Hand.
- Was kann die Freude machen,
- Die Einsamkeit verhehlt?
- Das gibt ein doppelt Lachen,
- Was Freunden wird erzählt.
- Der kann sein Leid vergessen,
- Der es von Herzen sagt;
- Der muß sich selbst zerfressen,
- Der in geheim sich nagt.
- Die Red' ist uns gegeben,
- Damit wir nicht allein
- Für uns nur sollen leben
- Und fern von Leuten sein;
- Wir sollen uns befragen
- Und sehn auf guten Rat,
- Das Leid einander klagen,
- So uns betreten hat.
- Gott stehet mir vor allen,
- Die meine Seele liebt;
- Dann soll mir auch gefallen,
- Der mir sehr herzlich gibt;
- Mit diesen Bundsgesellen
- Verlach' ich Pein und Not,
- Geh' auf den Grund der Höllen
- Und breche durch den Tod.
- Ich hab', ich habe Herzen
- So treue, wie gebührt,
- Die Heuchelei und Schmerzen
- Nie wissentlich berührt;
- Ich bin auch ihnen wieder
- Von Grund der Seelen hold,
- Ich lieb' euch mehr, ihr Brüder,
- Als aller Erden Gold.
- Alexander J. Birt: Simon Dach. Gräfe & Unzer, Königsberg i.P. 1905
- Bruno Nick: Das Naturgefühl bei Simon Dach. - Greifswald, Univ. Diss., 1911
- August Gebauer (Hrsg.): Simon Dach und seine Freunde als Kirchenlieddichter. Osiander, Tübingen 1828
- Heinrich Stiehler: Simon Dach. Hartung, Königsberg i.P., 1896
- Hermann Österley: Simon Dach; Tübingen 1876
- Alfred Kelletat (Hrsg.): Simon Dach und der Königsberger Dichterkreis. Stuttgart: Reclam 1986. ISBN 3-15-008281-1
- Alfred Kelletat: Simon Dach und der Königsberger Dichterkreis, P. Reclam jun., 1986, ISBN 3-15-008281-1
- Barbara Sturzenegger: Simon Dach und Paul Fleming: Topoi der Freundschaft im 17. Jahrhundert. Diss. Bern 1996.
This article uses material from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica