FLEMING (less correctly Flemming), PAUL: German poet; b. at Hartenstein (9 m. s.e. of Zwickau) in the Saxon Vogtland, Oct. 5, 1609 (old style); d. at Hamburg Apr. 2, 1640. When about twelve years of age, he entered the Thomasschule at Leipsic, and in 1628 began his studies at the university. Along with his professional course in medicine, he occupied himself with dialectics, rhetoric, and poetics; and in 1633 became doctor of philosophy. In 1633-39 he made a journey to Persia, as attaché of an embassy despatched by Duke Frederick III. of Holstein. The travelers' remarkable experiences were described by Olearius in his Beschreibung der neuen orientalischen Reise (Sleswick, 1647). After his return, Fleming was graduated in Leyden as doctor of medicine. On the way thence to Reval, where he was intending to settle as physician, he fell ill and died at Hamburg, probably in consequence of hardships endured on the journey. He is buried in St. Catherine's Church at Hamburg.
Fleming is one of the most noteworthy German poets. His style is influenced by Opitz (whom he knew personally at Leipsic), but he is perfectly independent in the contents of his poems. These refer, for the most part, to his personal experiences, and are the natural expression of his deep and genuine sensibilities. They enable us to accompany him through his brief and stirring life, and reveal him as a believing Christian and highly cultivated noble man. He wrote in the Latin language quite as aptly and freely as in his mother tongue. The best known of his poems is the hymn, In allen meinen Thaten lass ich den Höchsten rathen (Eng. transl. by Miss Winkworth, "Where'er I go, what-e'er my task), which he composed prior to departing for Persia. The edition of Fleming's poems prepared, at his own request, by Olearius after his death (Hamburg, 1641) contains only a small selection of the German poems. So, too, an edition that appeared at Lübeck in 1642 is very defective. The first accurate edition is by J. M. Lappenberg, Paul Flemings lateinische Gedichte (Stuttgart, 1863). and Deutsche Gedichte (2 vols., 1865).