One such was a poem that Bonhoeffer composed while imprisoned for his conspiring against Hitler:
Stations on the Road to Freedom
If you set out to seek freedom, then learn above all things to govern your soul and your senses, for fear that your passions and longing may lead you away from the path you should follow. Chaste be your mind and your body, and both in subjection, obediently steadfastly seeking the aim set before them; only through discipline may a man learn to be free.
Daring to do what is right, not what fancy may tell you, valiantly grasping occasions, not cravenly doubting—freedom comes only through deeds, not through thoughts taking wing. Faint not nor fear, but go out to the storm and the action, trusting in God whose commandment you faithfully follow; freedom, exultant, will welcome your spirit with joy.
A change has come indeed. Your hands, so strong and active, are bound; in helplessness now you see your action is ended; you sigh in relief, your cause committing to stronger hands; so now you may rest contented. Only for one blissful moment could you draw near to touch freedom; then, that it might be perfected in glory, you gave it to God.
Come now, thou greatest of feasts on the journey to freedom eternal; death, cast aside all the burdensome chains, and demolish the walls of our temporal body, the walls of our souls that are blinded, so that at last we may see that which here remains hidden. Freedom, how long we have sought thee in discipline, action, and suffering; dying, we now may behold thee revealed in the Lord.
After reading my spirit is roused and desirous to serve; encouraged to press on and to "go out to the storm and the action..." This cloud of witnesses cheers me on in my work and prods me on to greater and riskier things for the glory of God. Help me, Lord!
Longfellow's words come to mind: "Let us then be up and doing. With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, Still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait."