RIST, JOHANN VON (1607-1667), German poet, was born at Ottensen in Holstein on the 8th of March 1607; the son of the Lutheran pastor of that place. He received his early training in Hamburg and Bremen; after studying theology at Rinteln and Rostock, he became in 1633 private tutor in a family of Heide, and two years later (1635) was appointed pastor of the village of Wedel on the Elbe, where he laboured until his death on the 31st of August 1667. Rist first made his name known to the literary world by a drama, Perseus (1634), which he wrote while at Heide, and in the next succeeding years he produced a number of dramatic works of which the allegory Das friedewünschende Teutschland (1647) and Das friedejauchzends Teutschland (1653) (new ed. of both by H. M. Schletterer, 1864) are the most interesting. Rist soon became the central figure in a school of minor poets, and honours were showered upon him from every side. The emperor Ferdinand III. crowned him laureate in 1644, ennobled him in 1653, and invested him with the dignity of a Count Palatine, an honour which enabled him to crown, and to gain numerous poets for the Elbschwanen order, a literary and poetical society which he founded in 1656. He had already, in 1645, been admitted, under the name “Daphnis aus Cimbrien,” to the literary order of Pegnitz, and in 1647 he became, as “Der Rüstige,” a member of the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft. It is, however, as a writer of church hymns (see Hymns) that Rist is best known to fame. Among these several are still retained in the evangelical hymn book: e.g. O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort and Ermunt're dich, mein schwacher Geist. Collections of his poems appeared under the titles Musa Teutonica (1634) and Himmlische Lieder (1643).
Selections of Rist's writings have been published by W. Müller in vol. viii. of his Bibliothek deutscher Dichter des 17. Jahrh. (1822-1838), and by K. Goedeke and E. Goeze (1885). See T. Hansen, Johann Rist und seine Zeit (1872); K. T. Gaedertz, J. Rist als niederdeutscher Dramatiker (Jahrb. f. niederdeutsche Sprache, vol. vii., 1881); and M. von Waldberg's article in the Allg. deutsche Biographie.