28 December 2009

Alternate tune for "All Glory, Laud, and Honor"

Below is my tentative proposal for an alternate melody for the palmarum processional All Glory Laud and Honor (transl. of the "Gloria, laus, et honor"), mainly to avoid stealing a tune from another hymn (i.e. Herberger's "Farewell I Gladly Bid Thee"), mutilating it to fit it into another hymn, and possibly renaming something like it St. Theodulph after casting said blessed saint's tune to the wind. I have attempted to turn the original tune into a more congregational style tune, preserving the same structure of refrain and verse. Retaining the lyric's translation as-is should assist congregations in learning it with the new (old) tune. Following my tune I include an example of how a similiar thing was done long ago for the German vernacular version. I am no musician, so I welcome corrections and suggestions. Since it is used for the processional, it might be better to make it rhythmic as below.


Work in progress version:


Here is the music for the old German vernacular version. Note that the melody is somewhat expanded. The verses here (Israel es tu Rex) use what appears to be another melody from that in Liber Usualis.


22 December 2009

Kehr um, kehr um, du junger Sohn

Here is my translation of the repentance hymn “Kehr um, kehr um, du junger Sohn” (M. Weiße, 1531) based on Luke 15:11–32. Ludecus (1589) appoints the hymn for Trinity III (where the Gospel is Luke 10:1–15), the Conversion of St. Paul, and the Feast of St. Matthew. The lyric alternates biblical and expositional language. I give two melodies for it, the first by the Bohemian Brethren (1531) and the second first appearing in a book by Praetorius (1609), which requires six lines (thus rearranging the stanzas, and leaving 4 left over). I would be interested in finding out which four lines were omitted (or which two added?) in Lutheran hymnals when this tune was used.



Here is another melody at one time loaned to this hymn (from J. Horn, Boh. Br. Hymnal 1544), variously referred to as the proper melody for the hymns "Zu Gott heben wir Herz und Sinn" or "O Mensch betracht wie dich dein Gott":


And a last melody, apparently borrowed from a Silesian folksong of the 16th century, thus finding its way into the Bohemian Brethren Hymnal for the text "Der Tag bricht an und zeiget sic":

RETURN, return, thou youthful son,
Who such a wicked thing hast done,
To spurn thy Father God’s command
And leave Him for a foreign land.

2. There didst thou squander what was thine,
And now art fed among the swine,|
Their husks have naught to satisfy,
With hunger-pain thou faintest nigh.

3. False worship and idolatry
No saving grace can offer thee,
Thou wouldest fain, but know’st not whence
To glean there any confidence.|

4. How well thy Father’s servants fare!
His house hath plenty and to spare;
The people who His will employ
Unnumbered blessings there enjoy.

5. Arise, go home repentantly,
In sorrow seek God’s clemency;|
With open heart and lips unpent
Be joined unto His covenant.

6. Say: “Father, now Thy mercy show,
For heavy debts to Thee I owe;
Accept me only as Thy slave;
To be Thine heir no right I have.”|

7. Thy Father waiteth to enfold
Thy limbs with robes and ring of gold,
The fatted calf is slain and dressed,
He wills for thee the very best.

8. He gives thee Jesus’ righteousness,
His saving merits, and His grace,|
And heaven which thou squandered hast,—
All this by His own mercy vast.

9. Acknowledge but thy sinful lack,
Return, repent, and stay not back,
For if thou tarry till thy death,
What grace will find thy lack of faith?|

10. O Father God, on heaven’s throne,
Embrace again thy wand’ring son,
And keep the church, Thy heav’nly race,
With blessings of Thy boundless grace.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Kehr um, kehr um du junger Sohn,
der du sehr übel hast gethan,
von Gott deim Vater dich gewandt,
bist kommen in ein fremdes Land.

2. Da du schändlich dein Gut verzehrt,
und nun bei den Schweinen genährt,
der Treber nicht kannst werden satt,
derhalben hungrig bist und matt.

3. Die abgöttische Geistlichkeit,
dienet dir nicht zur Seligkeit,
du wolltest gern, kannst aber nicht,
ihr genießen mit Zuversicht.

4. Deins Vatern Knechte leben wohl,
denn sein Haus ist der Güter voll,
das Volk so seinen Willen thut,
hats bei im aus der Maßen gut.

5. Geh wieder heim in Reu und Leid,
und suche Gottes Gütigkeit,
eröffne dein Herz durch dein Mund,
und gib dich wieder in sein Bund.

6. Sprich: “Vater, hab mit mir Geduld,
denn ich hab wider dich Verschuld,
o nimm mich an für einen Knecht,
denn zu deim Gut hab ich kein Recht.”

7. Dein Vater hat für dich bereit,
ein Fingerreif und neues Kleid,
dazu ein gutes Kalb gemeßt,
er wird dir thun das Allerbest.

8. Wird dir Gnad und Gerechtigkeit,
Christi Verdienst zur Seligkeit,
das Heil welchs du verloren hast,
wiederschenken nach aller Lust.

9. Erkenne nur was dir gebricht,
geh heim, thu Buß und säum dich nicht,
säumest du aber bis zum Tod,
so kämst du schwerlich zu Genad.

10. O Gott, Vater im höchsten Thron,
nimm an deinen verlornen Sohn,
und den Einheimischen behüt,
durch dein unaussprechliche Güt.

21 December 2009

Morning Prayer

O MERCIFUL, gracious God, Thou Father of eternal light and consolation, whose goodness and faithfulness are new every morning, praise, honor, and thanks be to Thee for the blessed light of day, and for so graciously preserving me through the darkness of night and granting me a calm slumber and rest. Now let me rise joyfully again in Thy grace and love, protection and keeping, and make profitable and gladsome use of the precious light of day. But above all, shine on me with the eternal light which is my Lord Jesus Christ, that I may be enlightened with His grace and the knowledge of Him. Guard within my breast the lamp of faith, stoke and strengthen it, stir up Thy love within me, confirm my hope, grant me true humility and gentleness that I may walk in the footsteps of my Lord Jesus Christ, and let Thy godly fear be always before mine eyes in all my doings. Drive out of my heart all spiritual darkness and blindness. Keep me this day and always from superstition and idolatry, from pride, from blasphemy of Thy name, from contempt of Thy Word, from disobedience, and from violent wrath, that this day the sun may not go down in mine anger. Keep me from hostility, from hatred and envy, from immorality, from unrighteousness, from falsehood and lying, from shameful greed, and from the willing and doing of all that is wicked. Stir up within me a hunger and thirst for Thyself and Thy righteousness. Teach me to do according to Thy pleasure; let Thy good Spirit guide me upon the level way. Let me behold the host of Thine holy angels, even as Jacob; give them charge over me, to keep me in all my ways, to bear me up in their hands, lest I dash my foot against a stone; that I may be strong to tread upon the lion and adder, and to trample under feet the young lion and the dragon. Unto Thee I commend this day my thoughts, heart, mind, sense, and all mine endeavors. Unto Thee I commend my lips and all my words. Unto Thee I commend all my works; let them redound to the glory of Thy name and to the service of my neighbor. Make me a vessel of Thy mercy and an instrument of Thy grace. Bless all my doings, give me success in my calling, and curb all those who would hinder it. Keep me from the slander and poisonous darts of the deceiver. Unto Thee I commend my body and soul, my honor and property; let Thy grace and goodness be my constant companion. Keep Thine hand upon me when I sit or stand, when I wait or wander, when I rise up or lie down. Keep me from the arrow that flieth by day, from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and from the destruction that wasteth at noonday. Bless the source of my livelihood; give to me in my need whatever is Thy will, neither let me misuse Thy gifts. Defend us all from war, hunger, and pestilence, and from an evil and sudden death. Defend my soul, my going out and my coming in, from henceforth and forevermore. Bestow on me a blessed end, and let me await with longing and joy the blessed Last Day. Now God the Father bless me and keep me, God the Son make His face to shine upon me and be gracious unto me, and God the Holy Ghost lift up His countenance upon me and give me peace. Amen.

Prayer for Christian preparation

O HEAVENLY, faithful God, dear Father! I am a poor, miserable sinner, conceived and born in sin, and therefore not worthy that I should lift mine eyes and hands to Thee, or open my heart and mouth to Thee, or even be called Thy child. But since Thou hast not only bidden us, Thy poor creatures, to pray earnestly to Thee in all our cares, but also richly pledged and promised Thy gracious hearing, and furthermore shown and taught us through Thine elect in the Old and New Testament, yet chiefly through Thine only and most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, both the words and the means whereby to obey Thee in these Thy biddings, I come now, O God and Father, relying on Thy gracious pledge and promise, to call to Thee in my cares, and pray Thee in the name and merit of Thy dear and only-begotten Son graciously and tenderly to hear me. Amen.

15 December 2009

Als Adam im Paradies

Here is my translation of “Als Adam im Paradies” (M. Weisse, 1531). Ludecus appoints it for Purification, and stanza 4 for the feast of St. John the Baptizer. As noted below, stanzas 11 through 14 may be sung as a separate hymn for the Visitation, and stanzas 15 through 18 for Advent (at vigils). I present it here with the Bohemian Brethren melody from Kirchengeseng (1580). It is found in Weischen Cantional (1531) with a melody from Dies est Laetitiae; in the Cantional (1544) there is an original melody “gggahcag.” It was set by Klug (1535) with the tune “der Tag der ist so Freudenrich” (i.e., the German version of Dies est laetitiae), and in later Lutheran hymnals with the tune “Hallelujah! denn uns ist heut.”


1. When in Eden Adam was
By the snake deluded,
Spurning God and all His laws,
Anxiously he brooded,
For God’s wrath he did behold,
In the grip of death twofold,
By all grief surrounded,
Trembling at God’s judgment just,
In whose presence soon he must
Sorely be confounded.

2. God pledged him a woman’s Seed,
For his consolation,
To redeem him from his need,
And bring him salvation.
Adam did this news receive
And his children bade believe
Without hesitating:
Even though in death they slept
They by God were safely kept,
For their Savior waiting.

3. God pledged Abraham as well
That this Seed was coming,
Isaac of this word heard tell,
Jacob heard its humming:
He foresaw the Savior’s birth,
When all nations on the earth
Would be rescued by Him,
And great Judah’s rule be gone,—
Splendor, scepter, prince and throne,—
All that would defy Him.

4. Oft did many a chosen throng
Hear of this Salvation,
Oft did king and prophet long
For His visitation;
Heartily to God they cried,
By distresses terrified,
Praying that the Savior
Might at last be quickly sent,
And from guilt and sin’s lament,
Rescue them forever.

5. Then did God His grace reveal
At the meet occasion,
Making humble souls to feel,
Touch and see salvation.
First He sent His angel forth
To a virgin, great of worth,
Yet of station lowly:
Mary, born of David’s clan;
Never had she known a man,
But was chaste and holy.

6. True was her betrothed indeed,
Who her cause defended:
Joseph, who of David’s seed
Was, like her, descended.
And united were they both
Joined by God in spousal oath,
And by Him selected,
That in such security
And concealèd purity,
Christ might be expected.

7. Bright the angel brought apace
News of friendly savor:
“Hail thou, Mary, full of grace
Thee the Lord doth favor,
And shall lie beneath thy heart,
O’er all women blest thou art
Throughout all creation:”
Mary’s heart with awe was blent,
Wondering what might be meant
By such salutation.

8. Wonders did the angel tell:
God would soon betide her
And the Holy Ghost indwell,
Working life inside her:
Pow’r divine would her sourround,
Maidenhood kept safe and sound
For God’s incarnation:
Son of God would be His name;
And by her, unstained by blame,
God would bring salvation.

9. Of Elizabeth he told,
Long her barren cousin,
Who conceived a child when old,
Herald to the chosen.
Mary all these words did hear
And replied with heart sincere
“I serve God in heaven:
As thou sayest, let it be
Ever also unto me,
Praise to Him be given!”

10. Then befell a thing unknown,
Promised by a token:
For the virgin had a Son,
Word made flesh, as spoken:
By the work and potency
Of the Spirit, wondrously,
Christ took human fashion,—
Deftly formed by sculpture fine,
Who with pow’r and strength divine
Governs all creation.

[Visitation]

11. When with child was Mary made,
And with love bethought her,
How she might her cousin aid,
And in earnest sought her:
To the house she sped away
Of dear Zacharias gray
With a gladsome greeting;
Yet as she her greeting spoke,
Novel things again awoke
At their joyous meeting:

12. Unto dear Elizabeth
Came the Holy Spirit,
Who did grace her fruit with faith,
And His saving merit:
For the babe with joy received
Its dear Savior, and believed,
With great gladness leaping,
Trusting Christ for all its life
With great labor, toil, and strife,
Faith steadfastly keeping.

13. And Elizabeth did cry
To the virgin lowly:
“God hath blest and made thee high
O’er all women wholly.
Blessed is thy body’s Fruit,
Whom both I and mine salute,
At thy present bringing:
For the fruit that lives in me
Knows and owns the Lord in thee,
And with joy is springing.”

14. “Blest art thou who hast believed,
In all mankind’s Savior,
And His healing hast received:
Praise we Him forever:
What was told thee shall be done,
We shall live in this thy Son,
God with us residing.”
Mary magnified her God,
For His works with worthy laud,
There three months abiding.

[Advent in vigiliis]

15. When dear Mary came again
To her Joseph plighted,
Since he was a faithful man,
Who in God delighted,
Well he marked her pregnancy,
Knowing not how it might be,
Yet did not accuse her,
But would let the matter stand,
Privately release her hand,
Nor with scorn abuse her.

16. As he lay upon his bed,
Thinking thus to leave her,
Came an angel bright and said:
“Fear not to receive her!
Tend the bride of God divine,
for He hath betrothed her thine;
There is knit within her
By the Holy Ghost a Son,
By whom wonders shall be done
For earth’s every sinner.”

17. “Jesus shalt thou call His name,
At His circumcision.
He shall save men from their shame,
And from all transgression.”
Hearing this, then Joseph woke,
Doing as the angel spoke,
Every doubt dispelling,
Taking her in purity,
Caring for her faithfully,
Chastely with her dwelling.

18. Oh, Lord Christ, how many a year
Hast Thou been expected!
Since as Man Thou dost appear,
We shall be protected.
Let in us Thy power dwell,
And Thy word be planted well,
That in faith believing,
We may all partakers be
Of Thyself, salvation free
By Thy hand receiving.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Als Adam im Paradies,
verführt durch die Schlange
Gott und seinen Bund verließ,
ward ihm trefflich bange,
denn er kam in große Not,
fiel in zweifältigen Tod,
ward mit Furcht umfangen,
bebet vor Gottes Gericht,
möcht vor seinem Angesicht,
für Angst sein vergangen.

2. Und Gott verhieß ihm zu Trost,
von dem Weib ein Samen,
und daß er durch ihn erlöst,
sollt zu Gnaden kommen.
Adam gläubts aus Herzengrund,
thäts auch seinen Kindern kund,
und die es umarmen,
und bewahrten bis in Tod,
die entschliefen all in Gott,
wartend auf den Samen.

3. Auch schwur Gott dem Abraham,
den Samen zu geben,
welches Isaac wohl vernam,
und Jacob gar eben.
Und dieser deutet die Zeit,
in welcher gebenedeit,
all Geschlecht auf Erden,
von Juda das Königreich,
Meister, Fürst, und Pracht zugleich
sollt genommen werden.

4. Dieses Heil ward oft verklärt,
vielen auserwählten,
darum haben sein begehrt
König und Propheten;
herzlich gerufen zu Gott,
ihm geklaget ihre Not,
und fleißig gebeten,
daß er Christum senden wollt,
der sie mit seiner Unschuld
ewig sollt vertreten.

5. Da die Zeit erfüllet war,
wollt sich Gott erbarmen,
sein Heil machen offenbar,
Hülfe thun den Armen;
Sendet seinen Engel aus,
gen Nazareth in ein Haus,
zu einer Jungfrauen,
die Maria ward genannt,
hätte keinen Mann erkannt,
daß sie nie berauen.

6. Doch hät sie ein frommen Mann,
Joseph war sein Namen,
derselb nahm sich ihrer an,
war von Davids Samen.
Und die beid von eim Geschlecht,
vertraut nach göttlichem Recht,
hät ihm Gott erkoren,
daß also in Sicherheit,
und verborgener Keuschheit,
Christus würd geboren.

7. Als der Engel für sie trat,
sprach er ganz einbrünstig:
“Sei gegrüst, holdselig Art,
der HERR ist dir günstig!
Und Gott mit dir allezeit,
O du hoch gebenedeit,
unter allen Frauen.”
Die Jungfrau erschrak der Wort,
fing an ihren Sinn und Ort
traurig zu beschauen.

8. Der Engel sie unterweist,
es würd in sie kommen,
und wirken der heilig Geist,
ohn männlichen Samen;
sie umgeben Gottes Kraft,
bewahren ihr Jungfrauschaft,
und sie ward geberen:
ihr Frucht heißen Gottes Sohn,
und daß Gott solchs möchte thun,
thät er ihr bewehren.

9. Sagt ihr von Elisabeth
dem unfruchtbarn Weibe,
Daß ein Sohn empfangen hät
ging mit schwerem Leibe.
Da Maria diß verstund,
sprach sie bald aus Herzengrund,
Sieh, ich bin des HERREN;
mir gescheh nach seiner Lust,
wie du mir gesaget hast,
seim Namen zu Ehren.

10. Da geschah ein neues Ding,
ein verheißen Zeichen:
die Jungfrau ein Sohn empfing,
Gottes Wort ward fleischen.
Durchs heiligen Geistes Werk,
der in ihr mit seiner Stärk
das Kindlein formieret,
ganz subtil und wohlgestalt,
welchs in göttlicher Gewalt
alle Ding regieret.

11. Als sie nun empfangen hät,
und mit Fleiß bedächte,
Wie sie der Elisabeth
billich dienen möchte,
stund sie auf, ging eilends aus,
kam in Zacharias Haus,
grüßet sie im HERREN,
und als sie den Gruß gesprach,
so bald ein neu Ding geschah,
wünderlich zu hören.

12. Elisabeth ward besucht
vom heiligen Geiste.
Der begabt auch ihre Frucht
wie sichs denn beweiste,
in diesem, daß sie zuhand
ihren Heilmacher erkannt
mit Freuden empfingen,
diesem auch ihr lebenlang
in viel Arbeit, Müh und Zwang
gar treulich anhingen.

13. Und Elisabeth rief laut,
und sprach zur Jungfrauen:
Gott hat dir groß ding vetraut,
unter allen Frauen.
Gesegnet ist deine Frucht,
mit der ich heut werd besucht,
davon mirs gelinget,
deßgleichen die Frucht in mir,
die den HERRN erkennt in dir,
hüpft für Freud und springet.

14. Selig, die du gläubet hast,
und also empfangen
aller Völker Heil und Trost,
drum wir billich prangen.
Denn es wird sich als ergehn
und wir werden wohl bestehn,
weil Gott bei uns wohnet:
und Maria lobet Gott,
preiset seine Wunderthat,
und blieb da drei Monet.

15. Da Maria wieder kam
zu ihrem Vertrauten,
welcher war ein frommer Mann,
vor Gott und den Leuten,
merkt er daß sie schwanger ging,
wußte nicht um diese Ding,
wollt sie nicht verklagen,
sonder alles lassen stehn,
also heimlich von ihr gehn,
seine Schmachheit tragen.

16. Als bald er aber schlief ein,
mit solchem Fürnehmen,
Sprach zu ihm ein Engel rein,
Fürcht dich nicht zu nehmen
und zu pflegen Gottes Braut,
denn Gott hat sie dir vertraut
und sie hat empfangen
vom heiligen Geist ein Sohn,
der wird große Wunder thun,
laß dich nicht verlangen.

17. Jesus solls ein Name sein,
wenn er wird beschnitten.
Denn er wird ein Heiland sein,
seinem Volk in Nöten.
Da Joseph die Red vernahm,
nahm er bald Mariam an,
ließ sein Zweifel fahren;
blieb bei ihr in Reinigkeit,
thät Fleiß, Lieb, und Einigkeit,
allzeit zu bewahren.

18. Ei, nun, HERRE Jesu Christ,
vor langest begehret:
weil du nun Mensch worden bist,
dein Volk hast gewehret,
durchdring uns mit deiner Kraft,
auf daß dein Wort in uns haft,
und wir wirklich glauben,
uns deiner Theilhaftigkeit,
und verheißner Seligkeit
selbest nicht berauben.

08 December 2009

Komm, Heiden Heiland, Lösegeld

Here is my translation of the Advent hymn “Komm, Heiden Heiland, Lösegeld” (J. Franck) after Ambrose, Veni redemptor gentium, which after a suggestion I now present as an alternative to Miss Winkworth’s abbreviated translation.


1. Come, Savior, Price of heathendom,
Earth’s fairest Lily, hither come!
Send down Thy radiant flame, for thus
God wishes to be born to us.

2. Not by a husband’s pow’r and love
But by the Spirit from above
The maiden pure conceives our cure,
Divine salvation dwells in her.

3. O wonder deep, O mystery,
That virgin chaste with child should be!
Her womb to godly pow’r is wed,
Yet whole remains her maidenhead.

4. Come down, for Thee a virgin throne
Awaits, O Jesus, God’s true Son;
Come down, Thou Lord of natures two,
This earthly vale go boldly through.

5. Thou mad’st a leap to earth below
And back to heaven then didst go,
Thou mad’st a leap to hell’s abyss,
And once again to heaven’s bliss.

6. Most noble Prince, with Father one,
Make this domain of flesh Thine own,
For here our bodies, sick and slight,
Aspire to know Thy heav’nly might.

7. There shines within Thy manger frail
A lamp to light this gloomy vale:
It fills the night with such a glow
That never any end shall know.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Komm, Heiden-Heiland, Lösegeld,
Komm, schönste Lilie dieser Welt!
Laß abwärts flammen deinen Schein,
Denn so will Gott geboren sein.

2. Nicht von des Mannes Kraft und Lieb’,
Ach nein, blos durch des Geistes Trieb
Empfängt die keusche Jungfrau hier;
Es wohn ein göttlich Heil in ihr.

3. O Wunder, das kein Mensch versteht,
Daß eine Jungfrau schwanger geht!
Der Leib wird schwer durch Gottes Kraft,
Doch unverletzt der Jungrauschaft.

4. Komm an, dir steht der Keuschheit Thron
Schon offen, Jesu, Gottes Sohn,
Komm an, du zweigestammter Held,
Geh muthig durch dies Thal der Welt.

5. Du nahmest erdwärts deinen Lauf
Und stiegst auch wieder himmelauf,
Dein’ Abfahrt war zum Höllenthal,
Die Rückfahrt in den Sternensaal.

6. O höchter Fürst, dem Vater gleich,
Besieg’ hier dieses Fleischesreich,
Denn unsres sichen Liebes Haft
Sehnt sich nach deiner Himmelskraft.

7. Es glänzet deiner Krippen Strahl,
Ein Licht leucht’t durch dies finstre Thal,
Es giebt die Nacht so hellen Schein,
Der da wird unverlöschlich sein.

07 December 2009

Question for a Theologian

QUESTION FOR A THEOLOGIAN
In response to Mr. M. Preus on re-reading A Hymn I Have Not Heard, vis à vis See the Angel in the Heavens.

Shall every hymn wherein the devil’s name is named
Be purged away with sin, and he the more ashamed,
Or pregnant portals show like wounds in holy limbs,
And praise with brighter glow the Bearer of those hymns?


Here is M. Preus’ response.

04 December 2009

Hilf Gott, wie geht das immer zu

Here is my translation of the hymn “Hilf Gott, wie geht das immer zu” (A. Köpken, 1528), a paraphrase of Quare Fremuerent (psalm ii). Ludecus appoints it for Trinity X, as well as for the feasts of apostles and of St. Lawrence. The Wedderburns’ old Scots translation may be found here. The tune may be “Ach, Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein,” or this proper tune, given here in the form found in Geistliche Lieder (Nuremberg, 1580):


OH, HELP us, God! Why must it be
That heathens all should thunder,
And prince and king unitedly
Conspire against Thy wonder?
Thy gracious hand they do offend,
Despising Christ, whom Thou didst send
To bring the world salvation.

2. No penalty they think to pay
As their own fancies lead them;
Thy counsels wise they cast away
And never wish to heed them.
Their foolish heart they follow e’er,
Each wandering he knows not where,
Refusing all correction.

3. But Thou, O God, in heaven high,
Shalt have them in derision,
And laugh at all their counsels sly,
Deriding each decision.
Thou shalt address them furiously,
And punish all their errancy,
And frighten them with fury.

4. The Lord hath set as sov’reign king
The Christ, whom ye rejected,
On Zion’s holy hill, to bring
True justice to th’ elected,
And in His church to spread abroad
The will and pleasure of our God,
And teach us His commandments.

5. He said to Him, Thou art My Son:
All those, whose firm foundation
Is in Thy name, and trust alone
Through Thee to have salvation,—
This day I’ve made by Thee reborn,
And raised in Thee from death forlorn,
To be Mine heirs and children.

6. The heathen for Thine heritage
To Thee I will be granting,
Indwell them with Thy Word, their rage
And fleshly lust supplanting,
A new-made people shalt Thou claim,
Enabled to adore My name,
From earth’s remotest stretches.

7. Therefore, ye kings, be wise and hear,
Do not resist this teaching:
Attend this King and so revere,
His holy Word and preaching,
That ye the fear of God may learn,
Your hearts to trust in Him discern,—
This is God righteous service.

8. Leave not the way with eager will,
Cause not the Lord to scold you
And keep your eyes upon Him still,
And live as He hath told you.
For when His wrath is kindled hot,
Those souls are blest and perish not
Whose trust in Him is grounded.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Hilf Gott, wie geht das immer zu,
daß alles Volk so grimmet,
Fürsten und König allgemein
mit eins seind sie gesinnet:
Wider zustreben deiner Hand,
und Christo, den du hast gesandt,
der ganzen Welt zu helfen.

2. Sie wollen ganz sein ungestraft [Sie wollen ungestraffet sein]
und leben nach ihrm Sinne,
und werfen von sich deinen Rath
und was du lehrest drinne.
Sie gehn nach ihres Herzens Wahn
ein jedermann auf seiner Bahn
und lassen ihn nicht wehren.

3. Du aber in dem Himmel hoch
würst sie, o Gott verlachen, [o Gott, wirst sie belachen]
verspotten ihren besten Rath
und ihrn Anschlag verachten.
Du würst mit Zorn sie sprechen an, [Du wirst]
und strafen was sie han gethan,
mit Grimm würstu sie schrecken. [wirst du]

4. Der HErr hat zum König gesetzt
Christum, den ihr verkleinet,
Auf Zion seinen heilgen Berg,
das ist über sein Gmeine,
daß er soll kund thun überall,
des Vaters Sinn und Wohlgefall,
und lehren sein Gesetze.

5. Er sprach zu ihm, Du bist mein Sohn,
heut hab ich dich gezählet.
Und von dem Tod erwecket schon,
und in dir auserwählet.
Für Erben und für Kinder mein,
die Glauben an den Namen dein,
daß sie all durch dich leben.

6. Die Heiden will ich schenken dir,
mein Kind, zu einem Erbe,
daß du mit deinem Wort in ihn’n
des Fleisches Lust verderbest.
Ein neu Volk sollt du richten an,
das meinen Namen preisen kann,
an allem Ort auf Erden.

7. Darum ihr König merket nun,
ihr sollt euch lassen lehren,
und diesem König hören zu
sein Wort halten in Ehren:
daß ihr Gott lernen fürchten wohl
und wie ein Herz ihm trauen soll,
das heißt recht Gott wohl dienen.

8. Nehmt auf die Strasse williglich,
daß nicht erzürn der HErre;
halt ihn für Augen stetiglich,
und lebt nach seiner Lehre.
Wenn sein Zorn als ein Feur aufgeht,
wohl ist dem der für ihm besteht,
das sind die auf ihn trauen.

03 December 2009

Heermann on the 2nd Sunday of Advent

Heermann on the Second Sunday of Advent:

Non procul est extrema Dies, Mundique ruina.
Ante Deum ut possis stare, precare Deum.

THE JUDGE of all the earth with Judgment Day is nearing,
With vengeance for His foes He soon shall be appearing
So stay awake and pray, that thou be steadfast then,
To see thy God, and with Thy Lord to gladness enter in.

NIGH DRAWS the final day, the world must soon be past,
Oh, pray to God, that thou may’st stand before Him at the last.

Improvisa dies venit ultima: vive paratus!
Condemnat reprobos ad styga, quando venit.

THE FINAL Day comes quick: he’s blest who sleepeth never,
But by repentance true stands ready, watching ever:
For he who meets that Day in guilt and sin’s offense,
Shall have the guilty verdict: hell’s sufferings immense.

THE FINAL Day comes quick: O mortal, ready be:
The godless shall be damned to hell eternally.

Anxietas homines quatit undique maxima, finem.
Fac, ô fac reditu, mi pie Christe, tuo.

THE TIME is grievous now, and daily is increasing
In grievousness by sore afflictions never-ceasing.
O come, Lord Jesus Christ, and cause this world to end,
And by that greatest Day our sorrows great amend.

MAN SEEMS, O Christ, in every place nigh dead:
Save us, by Thy return, from all our woe and dread!

Ecce! venit, mundum qui judicat: Esto paratus!

THE JUDGE draws nigh to judge the world with judgments just,
O blest is he who waits in readiness and trust.

(from Exercitium Pietatis, p. 4)

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

02 December 2009

Es wird schier der letzte Tag

Here is my translation of the hymn “Es wird schier der letzte Tag herkommen” (M. Weisse, 1531). The bracketed stanza are lines omitted by Johann Horn, as found in Bohemian Brethren hymnals, including the revised Kirchengeseng of 1580 (see Wackernagel, p. 253). Hence there are 20 stanzas in total, though I have given the omitted stanza the name 9b here and preserved the numbering from the Horn version. Ludecus appoints this hymn for use on Advent II, Trinity XXV–XXVI, and St. Catherine. The tune, later known as the proper for this hymn, in the aforementioned hymnal is named “Ach, Gott, man mag wohl in diesen Tagen.”


LO, THE final day is fast approaching,
Sin increasing, wickedness encroaching:
Now with grieving we behold
What the Christ foretold.

2. Now we see the many quickly falling
From the faith, that prophecy apalling
Which Saint Paul, God’s servant true,
Clearly had in view.

3. Long enough the son of foul perdition
Has called God’s own house his due position,
Claiming both the crown and rod,
As though he were God.

4. Many lying prophets have arisen,
Causing factions, sects, and great division,
Who with words and deeds that charm,
Do the world great harm.

5. Since the Antichrist’s abomination
By God’s Word is clear to all creation,
Therefore let us flee his lies,
And his ways despise.

6. In the Lord’s assembly keep thy station,
Wake and pray with earnest supplication,
For the final day draws near;
Soon it will be here.

7. How this world abounds in sin and folly!
Truth divine it seeks to crush and sully,
Christ our Lord will let it be,
Only watch and see.

8. Yet when they believe they have no master,
Thinking that they have escaped disaster,
Then He’ll come with forces bold,
Striking hundredfold.

9. Heavy plague will suddenly surround them,
And creation battle and confound them,
[Till in anguish and distress
They seek death’s egress.

9b. Sun and moon shall be obscured in heaven
And the earth with lamentation riven.]
For the Christ will then be known,
Judge upon His throne.

10. He shall send His chief of angels, making
All who ever died to be awaking,
From their tombs to take their place,
Judgment then to face.

11. Then shall He address His angels, saying:
“Now shall My despisers all be paying,
And all those who fought their Lord
Find their just reward.

12. “Gather Mine elect from all the nations,
All believers, born as new creations,
Who My covenant of grace,
Held with firm embrace.”

13. At His right the angels then shall place them,
As the Judge’s clement verdicts grace them,
Bearing them beyond the sky,
To their home on high.

14. Then shall He the godless firmly beckon
“Now then,’tis the time with you to reckon,
Why called ye My grace a shame,
And despised My name?”

15. “Hear ye, all who godliness rejected,
And alone the wicked way selected:
I was silent, and ye thought
That I must be naught.

16. “Go from Me, ye cursèd generation,
To the fiery lake of condemnation,
Built for you and all the foe,
Countless years ago.

17. Then below they shall be made to travel,
There to pay the price for all their evil,
Suff’ring pain no tongue can tell
In eternal hell.

18. But God’s holy people shall be given
Joys undreamt when, carried up to heaven,
Glorious sunshine they shall see
For eternity.

19. Come, then Lord, to help and stand beside us,
With all needful worthiness provide us,
That we may eternally
See Thy majesty.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Es wird schier der letzte Tag herkommen
denn die Bosheit hat sehr zugenommen,
was Christus hat vorgesagt,
das wird jetzt beklagt.

2. Der Abfall vom Glauben wird erfahren:
daß er sei geschehn vor langen Jahren:
wie Paulus der fromme Mann,
klärlich zeiget an.

3. Der verdammte Sohn hat lang gesessen
in dem Tempel Gottes hoch vermessen,
sich gerühmt und sein Gebot,
gleich als wär er Gott.

4. Viel falsche Propheten sind erstanden,
ja noch Rotten und Sekten vorhanden,
die mit ihrer That und Lehr,
der Welt schaden sehr.

5. Weil uns nun der antichristich Orden,
durch Gottes Wort offenbar ist worden:
so laßt uns fliehen mit Fleiß,
seine Lehr und Weis.

6. Laßt uns in den Bund des HErren treten,
und darinnen stets wachen und beten:
denn der letzte Tag geht her,
kömmt uns immer näh’r.

7. Die Welt mehret sich in Sünd und Thorheit,
und trachtet zu dämpfen Gottes Wahrheit,
der HErr wirds lassen geschehn,
ihr also zusehn.

8. Aber wenn sie meint, sie hab gewonnen,
und sei allem Ungelück entronnen,
wirds ihr erst mit aller Macht,
kommen hundertfach.

9. Große Plag wird sie plötzlich umgeben,
und ihr alle Schöpfung widerstreben,
[daß sie auch für Angst und Noth
wünschen wird den Tod.

9b. Sonn und Moned wird verfinstert werden
und ein groß verklagen sein auf Erden,]
denn wird Christus kommen frei,
daß er Richter sei.

10. Und er wird einen Erzengel schicken,
und alle verstorbne lassen wecken,
daß sie allsamt auferstehn,
und zum Richtstuhl gehn.

11. Als denn wird er zu sein Engeln sprechen,
“Nun will ich mich an mein Feinden rächen,
wer wider mich hat gethan,
wird nehmen sein Lohn.”

12. “Versammlet mir her mein Auserkornen,
alle Gläubigen und Neugebornen,
die meinen Bund wohl bedacht,
treulich han verbracht.”

13. Und die werden sie zur Rechten stellen,
wo der HErr ein lieblich Urtheil fellen,
sie wird setzen gwaltiglich,
in die Luft bei sich.

14. Aber zum Gottlosen wird er sprechen,
“Nu wohlan, ich werde mit euch rechnen,
warum habt ihr meinen Bund,
genommen in Mund?”

15. “So ihr doch Gottseligkeit verachtet,
und nur nach Untugend habt getrachtet:
ich schweig und da meinet ihr
es wär nichts für mir.”

16. “Weicht von mir all ihr vermaledeiten,
in das Feuer welchs vor langen Zeiten,
allen Teufeln ist bereit,
für ihre Bosheit.”

17. Als denn werden sie zur Höllen müssen,
und daselbst ihr Untugend büssen,
in unaussprechlicher Pein,
der kein End wird sein.

18. Aber sein Volk von diesen gescheiden,
wird er führen zur himmlischen Freuden,
wo es wie der Sonnenschein
ewiglich wird sein.

19. Ei, nun HErre, steh uns bei auf Erden,
und bereit uns, daß wird würdig werden,
zu schauen in Ewigkeit,
deine Herrlichkeit.

30 November 2009

Ihr lieben Christen, freut euch nun

Here is my translation of the Advent hymn “Ihr lieben Christen, freut euch nun” (E. Alber, 1546). It is appointed by Ludecus for Advent II, Trinity XXV, Trinity XXVI, and the Feast of St. Catherine. A number of stanzas containing references to the Pope, the Turk, and the imminent end of the world appear to have been generally omitted from later hymnals (e.g., EGB has stanzas 1, 2, 4, 13, and 18). One or two lines which have alternate versions are noted in brackets to the right of the line. The melody is “Nun freut euch Gottes Kinder all,” here from Geistliche Lieder (Nuremb. 1580).


1. Rejoice, rejoice ye Christians dear,
For God’s own Son shall soon appear,
Our Brother He hath come to be:
Christ Jesus, our dear Lord is He.

2. The Final Day is drawing near.
Come, Jesus Christ, our Lord most dear!
Each day we wait expectantly
And sorely long to be with Thee.

3. The Antichrist hath been exposed,
His blasphemy and lies disclosed,
And set beneath the shadeless light
Wherefore he daily rues his plight.

4. O Jesus Christ, our Savior true,
The time of fullnes now we view
Of which we have heard Daniel tell,
So come, O dear Immanuel!

5. Saint Simeon did wait for Thee,
O’erjoyed at Thy proximity,
His pray’r its answer did acquire,
When he beheld his heart’s desire.

6. He said, “With joy I now can die,
For here Salvation greets mine eye,
I need not have a grieving heart:
In peace, not pain, I now depart.”

7. So also we abide the hour
And pray to Thee with all our pow’r,
No longer Thy return forestall,
But shut for good the serpent’s maul.

8. The murderer of all mankind
His fill of lies can never find,
So take him and his sland’rous school
And cast them in the fiery pool

9. Thy children all await the day
When all the world must pass away,
And Satan’s reign is crushed at last
And in eternal shame is cast.

10. The devil on Thy name hath hurled,
Such foul abuse, and blinds the world
He builds a crown of deaf and dumb,
And wills not that Thy kingdom come

11. What Thou commandest, he reviles,
And fiercely plots with all his wiles,
And all Thy gen’rous hand bestows
He seeks to steal from ‘neath our nose.

12. So hard a war doth Satan wage
That few repent, and many rage
Against Thy Word; he doth incite
Great envy, murder, wrath, and spite.

13. The devil seeks to make us fall
Deceive, devour and strip us all
Of body, soul, good name, and gold,
Lord Christ, restrain that dragon old!

14. The world is in its last travail,
’Tis old and weak, and soon must fail,
It groans and sighs beneath its load
And makes as if ’twill soon implode.

15. Creation can no longer be
Subjected to such vanity,
It longs for freedom from the Turk, [It longs to snap the vicious cord]
His blasphemy and bloody work. [Of Satan’s tyranny and sword]

16. The pope hath crushed it with such guilt,
And wrecked the order that was built,
The world, with us, would fain be free,
And thus we wait Thy help to see!

17. The fathers all abode the day
When Thou wouldst come with loud array,
WIth all Thy heav’nly company,—
They waited many a century.

18. Ah! dearest Lord, Thy judgment speed,
And show Thy glorious face, we plead,
The presence of the Trinity!
God help us all eternally. Amen.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Ihr lieben Christen, freut euch nun,

bald wird erscheinen Gottes Sohn,

der unser Bruder worden ist,

das ist der lieb Herr Jesus Christ.

2. Der Jüngste Tag ist nun nicht fern.

Komm, Jesu Christe, lieber Herr!

Kein Tag vergeht, wir warten dein

und wollten gern bald bei dir sein.

3. Verraten ist der Widerchrist,
sein Heucheli und arge list,
sind offenbar und gar am Tag,
deß führt er täglich große klag.

4. Du treuer Heiland Jesu Christ,

dieweil die Zeit erfüllet ist,

die uns verkündet Daniel,

so komm, lieber Immanuel.

5. Sankt Simeon wart’t auch aufdich,
und deiner Zukunft freuet sich,
er ward auch seiner Bitt gewehrt,
da er sah was sein Herz begehrt.

6. Er sprach, Nun willi ch sterben gern,
weil ich gesehn hab meinen HErrn,
doch soll es nicht gestorben sein,
sondern im Friede fahr ich fein.

7. So warten wir nun auch der Stund,
und bitten dich von Herzengrund,
du wollest nicht ausbleiben lang,
und strafn einmal die alte Schlang.

8. Der alle Welt ermördet hat,
und kann nicht liegens werden satt,
den nimm sammt seiner Lesterschul,
und wirf sie in den feuring Pfuhl.

9. Dein liebe Kinder warten all,
wenn doch einmal die Welt zerfall,
und wenn des teufels Reich zergeh
und er in ewign Schaden steh.

10. Er ist der deinen Namen schändt,
und der die armen Leut verblendt,
der böse Geist sucht seinen Ruhm,
und hindert daß dein Reich nicht komm.

11. Was du befehlst das lästert er,
und tobt dawider greulich sehr,
was uns beschert dein milde Hand,
das nehm uns gern der Höllenbrand.

12. Der Satan hört nicht auf zu wehrn,
daß sich so wenig Leut bekehren,
er wendt die Leut von deinen Wort,
und richtet an Haß, Neid, und Mord.

13. Der Teufel brächt uns gern zu Fall

und wollt uns gern verschlingen all;

er tracht' nach Leib, Seel, Gut und Ehr.

Herr Christ, dem alten Drachen wehr.

14. Die Welt kann nun nicht länger stehn,
ist schwach und alt sie muß vergehn,
sie kracht an allen Orten sehr,
und kann die Last nicht tragen mehr.

15. Die Kreatur nicht länger kann,
der Eitelkeit sein unterthan,
und wollt gern werden wieder frei,
vons Türken Mord und Heuchelei. [vons Teufels Mord und Tyrannei]

16. Der Babst hat sich so hart beschwert, [Der Papst hat sie...]
und all gute Ordnung verkehrt,
drum wär sie gern sammt uns erlöst,
wir hoffen all auf deinen Trost.

17. Die alten Väter warten all,
wenn du erscheinst mit großen Schall
mit aller lieben Engel Schar,
drauf warten sie manch hundert Jahr.

18. Ach lieber Herr, eil zum Gericht! [Eil, lieber...]

Laß sehn dein herrlich Angesicht,

das Wesen der Dreifaltigkeit.

Das helf uns Gott in Ewigkeit. Amen.

Es sind doch selig alle, die

Here is my translation of “Es sind doch selig alle, die” (M. Greiter, 1525), usually given as a paraphrase of the 119th psalm, though it only goes through verse 17 really. It is appointed by Ludecus (1589) for Advent I, Epiph. 5, Trinity IV, and All Saints. The melody, which is proper to the present text, later acquires many other names, such as “Ach unser Vater, der du bist,” “Komm, heilger Geist, o Gottes Salb,” and most famously, “O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß.”


HOW BLEST are all the souls that stay
Upon the true and faithful way,
In God’s commands abiding;
They all are blest that truly fear
And keep His testimonies near,
With longing and confiding.
For workers of iniquity
Walk not as God’s true progeny,
But stray from His direction
Oh, Lord our God, Thou hast decreed
That we must keep Thy law indeed
With pious recollection.

2. O God, direct me every day
That by Thy providence I may
Keep all Thy statutes rightly!
Then shall I never be ashamed
When Thy commands are clearly framed
Before my vision brightly.
Thee will I therefore thank and bless
For all Thy truth and righteousness,
Which ever wiser make me;
For I will keep Thy statutes still,
Nor wander from Thy gracious will,
O Lord, do not forsake me!

3. How shall the tender youth improve
The way upon which he doth move?
I seek, pursue, and ponder,
With all my heart Thine every word
So let me not, O God my Lord,
From Thy commandments wander
For whatso words Thy lips impart
I’ve safely hidden in my heart,
Lest I by sin deny Thee,
How blest art Thou, O Lord my God!
Instruct me by Thy grace unflawed,
That I may glorify Thee.

4. I have with lips accordingly
Declared Thy law’s entirety,
With loud and clear confession,
And I rejoice to walk the road
Of all Thy testimonies, God,
Far more than rich possession.
Thy precepts are my utt’rance sure,
When laws of men are all impure;
Thy ways precede and guide me
Thy justice is my true delight,
Thy Word will never leave my sight;
Oh, with Thy grace provide me!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1.Es sind doch selig alle, die
Im rechten Glauben wandlen hie,
Im Gsetze Gottes HErren.
Sie sint doch selig alle-sand,
Die sein Zeugnüs vor angen Hand,
Von Herzen ihn begehren.
Dann welches Übeltäter sind,
Die wandlen nit als Gottes-Kind,
Auf seinem Weg nit walten.
Ach, HErre Gott von Himmelreich,
Du hast geboten fleißigleich,
Deine Gebot zu halten.

2. O Gott, das alles Leben mein
Gerichtet würd nach Gfallen dein,
Zu halten deine Rechte!
Denn wurd ich nit zu Schanden gahn,
Wen ich ganz fleissig schauet an
Deine Gebot gar schlechte.
So dank ich dir mit Herzlichkeit
Deine Gerichte und Wahrheit,
die du mich lehrst mit massen.
Dann deine Recht ich halten will
Mit deiner Gnade in der Still.
Herr, thu mich nit verlassen!

3. Wo bessert sich ein Jungling zart
Sein Weg, den wo er sich bewahrt?
Nach deinen Worten allen
Hab ich von ganzem Herzen mein
Gesucht, o HErr Gott, laß mich sein
Nit von dein Gboten fallen,
So hab ich doch die Rede dein
Verborgen in mein Herz hinein,
Das ich vor dir nit sünde.
Gebenedeit du HErre Gott!
Lehr mich durch dein Gnet ohne Spott,
Daß ich dein Recht verkünde.

4. Nun hab ich mit den Lefzen mein
Alle Gericht des Mundes dein
Bekennet und erzählet.
Im Weg deiner Zeugnüs, o HErr,
mit Lust zu wandlen hab ich mehr
Denn all Reichtum erwählet.
In deim Befehl red ich allein.
Wann Menschen Gsetz sint gar nit rein;
Ich schau auf deine Pfade.
Nach deinem Rechten luest mich vil,
Dein Wort ich nit verlassen wil.
Verleih mir dein Genade.

28 November 2009

Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott*

Here is my revised translation of “Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott.” (E. Hegenwalt, 1524), a pœnitential hymn upon Psalm 51. I have looked at the German more closely, rather than simply try to update Coverdale’s translation, which, as usual, follows the psalm and his own English bible more closely than Hegenwalt’s text. Yet neither is the latter’s version a vigorous paraphrase as much as a strophic translation.


1. Have mercy on me, Lord my God,
Of kindness Thou hast ever more,
Cleanse my offenses with Thy blood,
I own my sin, it grieves me sore.
I’ve sinned against Thy whole command,
This truth confronts me constantly;
Before Thee evil cannot stand,
And Thou art just to punish me.

2. Behold, Lord, I was born in sin,
In sin conceived with great distress,
Truth Thou desirest deep within,
Lay bare Thy wisdom’s graciousness.
With hyssop, Lord, asperge my flesh,
If washed by Thee, then I am pure,
More white than snow, more glad and fresh,
My bones rejoice to find their cure.

3. O Lord, view not my sin obscene;
Remove all my unrighteousness,
And make my heart within me clean,
A spirit new within me dress.
From out Thy presence cast me not,
Thy Holy Ghost do not decline,
Salvation’s joy, O Lord, allot,
And let the Spirit keep me Thine.

4. I’ll teach ungodly men Thy way,
Thy truth by sinners will be learn’d,
That from the wicked paths that stray
To Thee, by Thee, they may be turn’d,
Protect me, Savior, God alone,
From guilt of blood deliver me!
Thy justice let my tongue make known,
Unlock my lips to worship Thee.

5. Thou wouldst no fleshly gift from me
Else had I quickly given it:
So take this spirit crushed to Thee,
This sad and contrite heart admit.
Do not, O God, this gift reject,
But show Thy kindness graciously
To Zion’s hill, Thy saints elect,
Who offer righteousness to Thee.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott,
nach deiner großn Barmherzigkeit.
Wasch ab, mach rein mein Missethat,
ich kenn mein Sünd und ist mir leid.
Allein ich dir gesündigt hab,
das ist wider mich stetiglich;
das Bös vor dir mag nicht besta[h]n,
du bleibst gerecht, ob urtheilst mich.

2. Sieh, Herr, in Sünd bin ich geborn,
in Sünd empfing mich mein Mutter;
die Wahrheit liebst, thust offenbarn
deiner Weisheit heimlich Güter.
Bespreng mich, Herr, mit Isopo,
rein werd ich, wo du wäschest mich,
weißer denn Schnee, mein Ghör wird froh,
alls mein Gebein wird freuen sich.

3. Herr, sieh nicht an die Sünde mein,
thu ab all Ungerechtigkeit,
und mach in mir das Herze rein;
ein neuen Gesit in mir bereit.
Verwirf mich nicht von deim Angsicht,
dein Heilig Geist wend nicht von mir;
die Freud deins Heils, Herr, zu mir richt,
der willig Geist enthalt mich dir.

4. Die Gottlosn will ich deine Weg,
die Sünder auch dazu lehren,
daß sie vom bösen falschen Steg
zu dir durch dich sich bekehren.
Beschirm mich, Herr, meins Heils ein Gott,
vor dem Urtheil durchs Blut bedeut.
Mein Zung verkünd dein rechts Gebot;
schaff, daß mein Mund dein Lob ausbreit.

5. Kein leiblich Opfer von mir heischst,
ich hätte dir das auch geben:
so nimm nun den zerknirschten Geist,
betrübts und traurigs Herz darneben.
Verschmäh nicht, Gott, das Opfer dein,
thu wohl in deiner Gütigkeit
dem Berg Zion, da Christen sein,
die opfern dir Gerechtigkeit.


C.S. TERRY
1. Have mercy, Lord, my sin forgive;
For Thy long-suffering is great!
O cleanse and make me fit to live,
My sore offence do thou abate
With shame do I my fault confess,
Gainst Thee alone, Lord, have I sinned.
Thou art the source of righteousness,
And I the sinner just condemned.


COVERDALE
1. O God, be mercyfull to me,
Accordynge to Thy great pitie;
Washe of, make clene my iniquite:
I knowlege my synne, and it greveth me
Agaynst The, agaynst The only
Have I synned, which is before myne eye:
Though Thou be judged in man’s syght,
Yet are Thy wordes founde true and ryght.

2. Beholde, I was all borne in synne,
My mother conceaved me therin:
But Thou lovest treuth, and haste shewed me
Thy wysdome hyd so secretly.
With fayre ysope, Lorde, sprenkle Thou me;
Washe Thou me clean; so shall I be
Whyter than snowe: cause me reioyse,
Make my bones mery, whom Thou madest lowse.

3. Lorde, turne Thy face from my wickednesse;
Clense me from all unryghteousnesse:
A pure harte, Lorde, make Thou in me,
Renewe a ryght spirite in my body:
Cast me not out away from The,
Nor take Thy Holy Goost from me;
Make me reioyse in Thy savynge health,
Thy myghty Spirite strength me for my wealth.

4. Thy waye shall I shewe to men full of vyce,
And enstructe them well in Thy service;
That wicked men and ungodly
May be converted unto The.
O God, O God, my Savioure,
Delyver me from the synne of murther:
My tonge shall reioyse in Thy mercye;
Open my lippes, and my mouth shal prayse The.

5. Thou wylt have no bodely offrynge;
I thought them els to The to brynge.
God’s sacrifice is a troubled spirite;
Thou wylt not dispise a harte contrite.
With Sion, O God, deale gently,
That Hierusalem walles may buylded be:
Then shalt Thou delyte in the ryght offrynge,
Which men shall with theyr calves brynge.

19 November 2009

Heermann on the 26th Sunday after the Feast of Holy Trinity

Here are some more Heermann translations from The Practice of Piety.

On the 26th Sunday after the Feast of Holy Trinity.

Ecce! venit Judex, ut justè judicet Orbem:
Qui malus es, vitam corrige, pœna propè est.

THE DAY hath been arranged when flesh shall all be leaving
Its mirky graves of death and judgment be receiving,
Arise, O Man, therefore, from sin and every evil,
Lest thou be found in hell as kindling for the devil.

THE JUDGE draws nigh with judgment just, wherefore repent;
Beware, O wicked man, soon comes Thy punishment.

Ad dextram mihi, Christe, locum concede reversus,
Cælum designat dextra: sinistra Erebum.

O FAITHFUL Savior, help me on the Final Day
To stand upon Thy right, when Thou with dread array
Shalt judge the wicked souls who at Thy left are set
And say: “Depart from Me, I never knew you yet!”

THAT Day, O Lord, allot me at Thy right a station,
For those upon Thy left shall go to condemnation.

Christi meditare tribuna!

THAT Christ Himself shall judge the world is cause for gladness
To godly souls, but to the wicked, fright and sadness.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

18 November 2009

Heermann on the 23rd Sunday after the Feast of Holy Trinity

Here is a translation of an excerpt from Heermann's "Practice of Piety," being a collection rhymes for youths based on the Church Year.

Callida sit, velut est, inimica Caterva; quid ad nos?

Christe, tui verbi robore victa perit.

VAST are the rivals’ tricks by which they e’er attack
Thine holy Word, O Lord, yet never press it back;
It hath the pow’r to put all those who it despise
To shame before world, though be they e’er so wise.

THE RIVALS’ wiles are vast, Lord Christ, but I care not,
They’re crushed if but Thy lips pronounce the littlest jot.

Cura tibi sit prima Deus: Rex altera, pœnas,
Qui Majestatem lædit utramque, dabit.

ABOVE all, first thy God and then thy ruler honor,
Attending every word, as is most fit and proper.
But he who doth despise the majesty of both
Shall not escape God’s punishment and righteous wrath.

GIVE honors first to God, and then thy rulers prize;
The wrath of God is nigh to those who dare this rule despise.

Census, amor, Regi debetur, honorque precesque,
Danda sed est mens & vita fidesque Deo.

PROVIDE thy rulers all, who for thy needs provide,
With prayers, taxes, love, esteem, and all that’s dignified;
But give to God thy heart and soul and conscience willingly,
O’er which He willeth not that man should master be.

THY TAXES, love, esteem, and pray’rs to Cæsar be consigned,
But unto God, thy faith and soul and life and heart and mind.

Tandem Deus opprimet hostes.

THE FOES, O God, afflict us sore, yea, us, Thy chosen nation!
But they shall not escape Thy wrath and righteous condemnation.

11 November 2009

An Wasserflüßen Babylon*

Here is my supplement to Mr. Drinker's translation of “An Wasserflüßen Babylon” (W. Dachstein, 1525), a hymnic version of the 137th psalm. Coverdale translated it, but his product lacks the particular nuances of the understanding found in the bible as translated by Luther. Ludecus (1589) appoints this hymn for Septuagesima and Trinity X. The proper tune of the same name is familiar as the one now used for “Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld.”


BESIDE the streams of Babylon
Our weary vigil keeping
When we remember Zion yon,
We never cease from weeping.
We hang our harps, in our despair,
Upon the weeping willows there
And mourn our degradation.
All we hold dear our foes defame
And we must suffer slur and shame
In daily tribulation.

2. There they who took us cruèlly,
And carried us to prison,
Required of us a melody,
With words of pure derision,
Demanding in our sad estate
A song of gladness to relate:
“Oh, let us hear thee render
Some merry tune. Some anthem sweet
Of Zion’s poetry repeat,
With echoes glad and tender.

3. “How can we thus, as captives long
Beset by griefs and dangers,
Sing to the Lord His rightful song
In lands where we are strangers?”
Should I forget thee, Salem mine,
May my Right Hand, my Lord divine,
Forget me, too, forever,
And should I bear thee not in mind,
May tongue to palette firmly bind,
And break its silence never.

4. Yea, if I not, Jerusalem,
Above all joys adore thee,
As I begin thy joyful hymn
And sing it ever for thee.
Remember Edom’s children, Lord
When Salem fell beneath their sword
And wicked exclamation:
“Oh raze it, raze it, let it die,
Until its walls in ruins lie,
And shatter its foundation!”

5. Foul daughter thou of Babylon,
In wreck and devastation;
What blessings shall attend the one,
Who gives thee compensation
For all thy pride and villainy,
And meteth also unto thee,
As thou thyself hast meted!
Blest he who takes thine infant stock
And dasheth it against the rock,
Till thy name is depleted.

Translation st. 1, Henry S. Drinker, 1941.
Translation sts. 2–5 © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. An Wasserflüßen Babylon
da saßen wir mit Schmerzen:
als wir gedachten an Zion,
da weinten wir von Herzen;
wir hängten auf mit schweren Muth
die Harfen und die Orgeln gut
an ihre Bäum der Weiden,
die drinnen sind in ihrem Land;
da mußten wir viel Schmach und Schand
täglich von ihnen leiden.

2. Die uns gefangen hielten lang
so hart an selben Orten,
begehrten von uns ein Gesang
mit gar spöttlichen Worten,
und suchten in der Traurigkeit
ein fröhlich Gsang in unserm Leid:
Ach lieber, thut uns singen
ein Lobgesang ein Liedlein schon
von den Gedichten aus Zion
das fröhlich thut erklingen!

3. Wie sollen wir in solchem Zwang
und Elend, itzt vorhanden,
dem Herren singen sein Gesang,
sogar in fremden Landen?
Jerusalem, vergeß ich dein,
so wolle Gott der Rechten mein
vergessen in meim Leben:
wenn ich nicht dein Leib eingedenk,
mein Zung sich oben angehenk
und bleib am Rachen kleben!

4. Ja, wenn ich nicht mit ganzem Fleiß,
Jerusalem, dich ehre,
im Anfang meiner Freuden Preis, (Im Anfang deiner…)
von itzt und immermehre!
Gedenk der Kinder Edom sehr
am Tag Jerusalem, o Herr,
die in ihr Bosheit sprechen:
Reiß ab, reiß ab zu aller Stund,
vertilg sie gar bis auf den Grund,
den Boden wolln wir brechen.

5. Du schnöde Tochter Babylon,
zerbrochen und zerstöret!
Wohl dem, der dir wird gebn den Lohn
und dir das wiederkehret,
dein Übermuth und Schalkheit groß,
und mißt dir auch mit solcher Maß,
wie du uns hast gemessen!
Wohl dem, der deine Kinder klein
erfaßt und schlägt sie an den Stein,
damit dein werd vergessen!

05 October 2009

Grates nunc omnes

Here is my translation of the old Latin sequence for Christmas midnight mass, "Grates nunc omnes reddamus," (which has an old traditional German version that served as the basis for Luther's "Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ." It has an expanded form, though that form may not have been used in German churches (Luther commends its retaining, and calls it a short sequence). Here is a list of early paraphrases, in Danish, with parenthetical references to the agents referred to in the first stanza (some say "Who by His word…and His birth…" or "by His blood" or "by His death").

There is some mention of antiphonal singing and repititions of the part beginning "Huic oportet…" which may refer to this longer form. Stanzas of Latin alternated with the German hymnic version, as is done for the sequence of the high feast of Easter, Victimae paschali, with which "Christ ist erstanden" was song responsively. Here is a translation of Bäumker's comments:
Wackernagel wrongly classifies the Christmas sequence “Grates nunc omnes” among the songs of St. Gregory I. This great bishop may have composed hymns, but no sequences.
Schubiger (Sängerschule, p. 52) gives the song from the St. Gallen codex (1507) with the title “Auctore incognito.” [Author unknown]. According to the aforesaid Ordinarium for the church in Schwerin (1519), it was performed thus: a few singers first intoned the sequence, i.e., sang the first part three times up to the word “potestate.” Then the choir, kneeling, continued with “Huic oportet,” etc. At this, the congregation thrice sang “All Praise to Thee, O Jesus Christ.” This German hymn is thus closely related with the sequence; even certain melodic passages share similarities. In the Andernach Hymnal of 1608, the 3-stanza hymn “All Praise to Thee, O Jesus Christ” concludes each time with the final words of the sequence: “Gloria in excelsis (Deo).” In this hymnal, the greatest similarities with the sequence’s contents are found in the second stanza:

“All praise to Thee, O Virgin mild,
Through whom Christ became a child,
Us wretched sinners to sustain
That through Him we might freedom gain.
So let us now sing gloria in excelsis Deo.”



The melody given below shows the parts for the regular stanzas (a), and the refrain or final, shorter stanza (b). A normal use is shown entirely in the notation, using stanza 1a and 4, probably also with an Alleluia in the proper mode. The original Gregorian notation is followed by my setting into modern notation.


1a. Thanks let us render
All to the Lord God, our Master,
Who by His chaste incarnation
Hath redeemed and released us from the devil’s
Domination

(1b. Thanks let us render
All to the Father eternal,
Who by His faithful devotion
Hath brought the world by His virginal mother
Full salvation.

2a. Thanks let us render
All to the Most Holy Fire-
Who by His great lovingkindness
Hath purified us of our idol-worship
And our blindness.

2b. Thanks let us render
All to our God, one in substance
And three of person forever,
Kindest Redeemer, our gracious and gentle
Lord and Savior.

3a. Thanks let us render
All to the virginal mother,
By whose most fertile submission
Redemption’s Author in very Godhead
Came to fruition.

3b. Thanks ever render
All the angelic dominions
And all the virtues celestial
To the Almighty, who saved and rescued
Mankind terrestrial.)

Refrain
4. Thus it behooves us
To sing to Him
With the angels forever:
"Glory in the highest."

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN TRANSLATIONS
Dank sagen wir alle Gott, unserm Herrn Christo,
Der uns mit seiner Geburt hat erleuchtet,
Und uns erlöset mit seinem Blute von des Teufels Gewalt.
Den solln wir alle
Mit seinen Engeln loben mit Schalle,
Singen: Preis sey Gott in den Höchsten!


LATIN
1. Grates nunc omnes
reddamus Domino Deo,
qui sua nativitate
nos liberavit
de diabolica
potestate.

1b. Grates nunc omnes
reddamus aeterno patri,
pro sua qui pietate
mundo salutem
de matris contulit
puritate.

2a. Grates nunc omnes
reddamus flamini sancto,
pro sua quod bonitate
mundum lustravit
ab idolatrica
vanitate.

2b. Grates nunc omnes
reddamus simplici Deo
et trino liberatori
clementissimo
nostroque benigno
salvatori.

3a. Grates nunc omnes
reddamus virgini matri,
de cujus fecunditate
auctor salutis
cum vera prodiit
deitate.

3b. Grates nunc reddant
angelicae potestates
et coelestium virtutes
omnipotenti
pro liveratis at-
que salvatis.

4. Huic oportet,
ut canamus
cum angelis semper:
gloria in excelsis.

11 August 2009

O Jesu! meine Wonne

Here is my translation of O Jesu! meine Wonne (Johann Rist, 1662). There is still an open debate on the first 2 lines of stanza 1. I originally had "O Jesus, Joy and Pleasure / Thou Sun, my spirit's Treasure," then I changed it to the present form, then to "O Jesus, my Elation / Thou Sun, my soul's Salvation," then of course back to the second form as you see below. You choose—and tell me what you prefer, or if you have a better idea. The melody is "Nun laßt uns Gott dem Herren" (Selnecker, 1587). It helps to listen to the Crüger setting, which is somehow a great improvement:


1. O Jesus, Thou my Blessing
Thou Sun, my soul caressing,
Thou Kindest of the living,
Receive, Lord, my thanksgiving!

2. How can full worth be given
To these sweet flow'rs of heaven,
These gifts beyond affording
New strength to us according?

3. How can I thank Thee rightly
Who to my heart unsightly,
Hast food and drink imparted
Yea, giv'n Thyself whole-hearted.

4. My heartfelt thanks I offer
For all that Thou didst suffer
For all Thy wounds and bleeding
For all Thy pain exceeding.

5. Be thanked for Thine affliction
My source of benediction,
Be thanked for all Thy yearning,
Thy tears outpoured and burning.

6. Be thanked for Thine affection,
Thy constant predilection,
And for Thy death and merit
By which I heav'n inherit.

7. My heart enjoys Thy treasure
Of goodness without measure,
This pledge, Thy mercy-bearer,
Blots out all sins and error.

8. Lord! fix my vision ever
On Thee, both Gift and Giver,
This food of heav'n conveys Thee,
For which my heart shall praise Thee.

9. The sins that still attend me
Thou wilt drive out, to mend me,
My flesh wilt cleanse and scour-,
And dwell in me with power-.

10. Redeemed from judgment dreaded,
To Thee I now am wedded;
O Life beyond assessing!
Where is a better blessing?

11. Permit, O Jesus Fairest,
My soul for which Thou carest
While in its fleshly cover
To hang on Thee, my Lover.

12. Grant pow'r against temptations,
In all affliction, patience,
In prayer-, true devotion,
And peace from world's commotion.

13. In what so task I find me,
Forever, Lord, remind me—
What splendid celebration,
Yea, heav'nly restoration!

14. I've joined the blessèd number
And shall not die but slumber,
O Christ, till, glad, Thou raise me,
And by Thy light amaze me.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. O Jesu! meine Wonne,
du meiner Seelen Sonne,
du freundlichster auf Erden,
laß mich dir dankbar werden.

2. Wie kann ich gnugsam schätzen
dies himmelsüß Ergötzen,
und diese theure Gaben,
welch' uns gestärket haben?

3. Wie soll ich dir's verdanken,
o Herr! daß du mich kranken
gespeiset und getränket,
ja selbst dich mir geschenket?

4. Ich lobe dich von Herzen
für alle deine Schmerzen,
für deine Schläg und Wunden,
der'r du so viel empfunden.

5. Dir dank ich für dein Leiden,
den Ursprung meiner Freuden,
dir dank ich für dein Sehnen
und heiß vergoss'ne Thränen.

6. Dir dank ich für dein Lieben,
das standhaft ist geblieben.
Dir dank ich für dein Sterben,
das mich dein Reich läßt erben.

7. Jetzt schmecket mein Gemüthe
dein' übergroße Güte:
dies theure Pfand der Gnaden
tilgt allen meinen Schaden.

8. Herr! laß mich nicht vergessen,
daß du mir zugemessen
die kräftig' Himmelspeise,
wofür mein Herz dich preise.

9. Du wollest ja die Sünde,
welch' ich annoch befinde,
aus meinem Fleische treiben,
und kräftig in mir bleiben.

10. Nun bin ich losgezählet
von Sünden und vermählet
mit dir, mein liebstes Leben!
was kannst du werthers geben?

11. Laß, Schönster! meine Seele
doch stets in dieser Höhle
des Leibes mit Verlangen
an deiner Liebe hangen.

12. Laß mich die Sünde meiden,
laß mich geduldig leiden,
laß mich mit andacht beten,
und von der Welt abtreten.

13. Im Handeln, Wandeln, Essen,
Laß nimmer mich vergessen,
wie trefflich ich beglücket,
ja himmlisch hin erquicket.

14. Nun kann ich nicht verderben:
drauf will ich selig sterben,
und freudig auferstehen,
O Jesu! dich zu sehen.

07 May 2009

Hilf Gott, wie ist der Menschen Noth

Here is my translation of the old hymn "Hilf Gott, wie ist der Menschen Noth" (P. Speratus, 1524). This lesser known hymn is somewhat complex in structure in comparison with hymns of the latter centuries. It boasts of two internal rhymes in lines 1 and 3 which all match, making a sum of four syllables sharing the same rhyme, (stanza 1: God - broad; body - flawed) besides the end rhymes (grim - dim). It is essentially a paraphrase of Psalm 2, with much the same spirit as Luther's paraphrase of Psalm 46. It is especially fit for Reminiscere. Ludecus appoints it for Septuagesima, Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, Lætare, and Trinity XX. The melody is the proper as found in Babst (1545) and Layriz' Kern... (Thanks to Sean Daenzer).


Another melody, here as it is given in the Nurnberg hymnal (1580):
1. Oh, God, man’s ruin is so broad and grim!
Who can its limits measure?
His body dead, his thinking flawed and dim;
His ignorance his pleasure.
His heart and mind / Are bound and blind,
His members all infected,
And ever misdirected;
No good he knows, / Much less he does,
As God commands; / Stiff-necked, he stands
Fighting God’s good pleasure blindly:
O Lord and God, from this sorrow save us kindly!

2. No rest he finds on earth; this quest of his
Can garner no salvation.
Oppressed by sin’s great weight, hell’s guest he is;
God, end his tribulation!
We all cry out / In pain and doubt
To Thee of greatest merit,
Thou canst lift up our spirit
And grant Thy grace, / Ere death we face—
Our common fate, / Then ’tis too late,
Thy good favor for to cherish;
O Lord and God, do not leave us thus to perish.

3. Oh how irate Thou wast, Thy brow, how dark,
When here Thy Word lay hidden!
Yet now will men not heed, avow or mark
Thy voice as Thou hast bidden,—
But fling it back! / Though churches lack
Not ears enough to hear it:
Thy plaint is that none fear it:
Far better ‘twere / If none did hear,
Than that they heard / And spurned the Word:
Oh what bitter castigation!
O Lord and God, make in us Thy new creation.

4. Oh shun us not, but through Thy Son grant grace,
On Whom Thy pleasure stayeth,—
The One who righteously hath run our race,
Who all our debt repayeth:
That we, set free / From misery,
And sprinkled by our Savior,
May ever find Thy favor:
Let anger go, / To judge be slow;
Our guilt efface, / And grant us grace:
We confess our errors! Take us,
O Lord and God, and Thy very children make us.

5. Because Thou hast with scarce a pause restored
Thy word to earth, to bless us,
Heal us anew whom Satan’s jaws have gored,
And of Thy love possess us;
All hangs on Thee, / This much we see;
Our own attempts are futile:
Thy wrath on us were brutal.
Behold us not, / Nor what we’ve wrought,
But in their place / Thy Word of grace:
Therefore He in flesh did hail us;
O Lord and God, let His saving death avail us.

6. O ye, His people, joyful be, and know
Ye are not thrust from heaven.
But see that ye not wantonly forego
This treasure He hath given.
It is His Word: / There stand assured;
This naught shall ever alter,
His might and wealth ne’er falter:
Who hath but Him / Shall all be giv’n ;
Do thou but trust, / Leave doubt in dust,
Hope in Him who rules the ages,
O Lord and God, ever let us sing Thy praises!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN
1. Hilf Gott, wie ist der Menschen Noth so groß:
wer kann es alls erzählen!
Ganz todt liegt er, ohn allen Rath, weislos;
er kennt auch nicht sein Elend.
Herz, Muth und Sinn / ist gar dahin,
verderbt mit allen Kräften,
weiß nicht, wo ers soll heften;
kennt nicht das Gut, / noch minder thut,
was Gott gefällt / hat sich gestellt
wider allen Gottes Willen:
o Herre Gott, hilf uns diesen jammer stillen.

2. Nicht Rast findt er auf Erd; wie fast er sucht,
kein Macht will ihn doch retten.
Sein Last ihn als der Höllen Gast verflucht
ach Gott, hilf ihm aus Nöthen!
Wir rufen all aus diesem Qual
zu dir dem höchsten Gute:
du kannst uns geben Muthe
zu deiner Gnad, eh kommt der Tod,
der alls hin nimmt; da nicht mehr ziemt,
deiner Gnaden Huld erwerben.
o Herre Gott, laß uns nicht alsó verderben.

3. Ach, wie war nun dein Zoren hie so grimm,
da dein Wort lagn verborgen!
Nun sie wieder geben zu früh ihr Stimm;
denn niemand will ihr sorgen!* (achten)
man hört sie wohl, die Kirch ist voll;
noch wil sich niemand maßen:
der Zorn ist noch so große!
Viel besser wär gehört nimmer,
denn so man hört und nicht nach fährt:
ach, es ist ein grausam Strafe!
O Herre Gott, mach uns wieder neu erschaffen.

4. Sieh nun durch deinen lieben Sohn auf uns,
in dem dein Wohlgefallen;
der schon für uns hat gnug gethan, umsonst,
hat reichlich wollen zahlen,
daß wir gefreit von allem Leid
deinr Gnaden möchten gnießen;
sein Blut sollt uns entsprießen.
Laß Zoren nach, richt nicht so jach;* (schnell)
vergiß der Schuld, gieb uns dein Huld:
wir erkennen doch die Sünde.
O Herre Gott, nimm uns an für deine Kinder.

5. Dieweil du hast so kurzer Eil dein Wort
wieder gesandt auf Erden:
uns heil, von neu durchs Teufels Pfeil ermordt;
gieb, daß wir frömmer werden.
Es liegt an dir, das kennen wir;
mit uns ists gar verloren:
wir stehn in deinem Zoren.
Nicht sieh uns an, noch unser Thun;
sieh an dein Wort der Gnaden Hort:
darum ist es Mensch geworden.
O Herre Gott, für uns laß es sein gestorben.

6. Freu dich mit großer Zuversicht, sein Volk:
er wird dich nicht verschmähen.
Nur sieh, wie du nicht gar vernichten sollt
den Schatz, den er hat geben.
Es ist sein Wort: darauf steh hart;
es mag uns nicht ausweichen,
sein Kraft ist also reiche:
wem ers beschert, da wirds gemehrt;
nur glaub daran, laß Zweifel stan,
hoff in den, der ist dort oben.
O Herre Gott, von uns sei dir ewig Lobe!


JOHN WEDDERBURN’s “Translation” (Really just a translation of Psalm 2; Normalized spelling):
1. What is the cause, O God omnipotent,
That all nations commoved are so sore?
The kings and the people with one consent,
Resist Thee, Thy power and Thy glory. (gloire)
That strive again Thy law aye more and more,
And contrare Christ Thy Son whom Thou hast sent
To save all men that will on Him depend.

2. They will not be reformed from their sin,
But will remain blinded in ignorance,
And will not thole to lock Thy law within,
But cast it away with great grievance:
Thy counsel they refuse and governance,
And following their own heart’s conceit,
Every man draws a sundry gate.

3. But Thou, O God, in heaven into Thy ring,
Thou makest all their counsels every one,
What they intend, that shall they never bring
To final end; for Thy wisdom alone
Their pregnant wits shall scorn, and anon,
In Thy great ire, Thou shalt them sore reprove,
And from Thy face Thou shalt them quite remove.

4. For God hath set a captain stark and wight,
Christ His own Son, God and man natural,
On Mount Zion to rule it just and right,
That is to say, His Church universal,
To teach His Father’s Word celestial:
His godly will and pleasure for to show,
Instructing all the world into His law.

5. God said to Him, “Thou art my Son and heir,
I Thee begat, forever and this day,
Thy death purchased victory preclair,
Since from the dead Thou ris’t, to ring for aye,
My chosen in Thee shall not come to decay,
Who truly trusts in Thy godly name,
Shall never die eternally I plane.

6. My Son, I will Thee give all nations
In heritage, and put them in Thy cure: (care)
To rule them with Thy ministrations,
And prove them with the Cross at Thy pleasure,
To purge their fleshly lust, and make them pure,
And for to raise their minds spiritual,
To praise Thy name now and perpetual.

7. Herefore Kings and Rulers now beware,
Advert till God’s Word and discipline.
Receive His Son, above all things prefer
His godly Word, and keep well His doctrine:
Learn Him to dread, and trust in till Him sine,
Which is the true worship and righteousness,
That God requires of mankind more and less.

8. Receive therefore His sweet correction,
That He no more with you offended be;
Before your eyes with true affection,
And in your heart ye have Him idently.
Obey His law, for when grieved is He,
Then who dare His just judgment abide
Blessed are they, which on Him do confide.

03 May 2009

Freuet euch im Herren allewege!

Here is my translation of the wedding-hymn "Freuet uch im Herren allewege!" (J. Klepper, 1941), based on Philippians 4 and found in ELK as #485. There it is given with a new melody by Otto Kaufmann (© 1983); what tune was used before, I cannot tell, but the meter and purpose fits with the Swedish melody "Blott en dag" (O. Ahnfelt, 1882) as well.

1. In the Lord rejoice with joy unceasing!
Once again to you, Rejoice, I say!
For to join your hands with love increasing,
God bends down from heaven’s throne today.
Your affection which you here are binding,
In His loving grace is glorified.
Where in God one soul its match is finding,
There His blessing surely will reside.

2. Let the gentleness which is upon you
Be made known to all, as you have power,
Spread abroad the wonders that are done you
And that truly dwell in you this hour.
God is with you, working out His mission,
On your hearts He's poured His blessings true,
Every worthy action and petition
Is a witness of His work in you.

3. Be not anxious in your tribulation,
But the cares that plague you as you live
Bring to Him with pray’r and supplication:
God as Father hears, as King will give.
Be not anxious! trust in your Creator!
Well He knows your every hope and fear!
In your prayers, lesser proves the greater
When with joy and thanks it meets God’s ear.

4. May God’s peace which passes understanding
And transcends all wisdom men have prized,
In your union daily be expanding,
And preserve you both in Jesus Christ.
May He keep your hearts and minds from sinning,
May His peace your guest forever be,
May He join you now at the beginning,
And perfect you in eternity.

5. Oh rejoice! the joy of all the pious
Also knows their joy’s unfailing base:
Christ shall come again to glorify us,
And fulfill His covenant of grace:
He who once was nigh again shall tarry,
When His majesty shall have no end,
And to those who did His kingdom carry,
Heaven’s King His welcome will extend.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009.

GERMAN (© Luther-Verlag, 1941).
1. Freuet euch im Herren allewege!
Abermals vernehmt es: Freuet euch!
Daß er Hand in Hand zum Bund euch lege,
neigt sich Gott zu euch vom Himmelreich.
Eure Liebe, die euch hier verbindet,
ist von seiner Liebeshuld verklärt.
Wo in Got der Mensch zum Mesnchen findet,
ist der Segen stets noch eingekehrt.

2. Laßt die Lindigkeit, die ihr erfahren,
kund sein allen Menschen, die ihr zählt.
Kündet fortan von dem Wunderbaren,
das in dieser Stunde euch beseelt.
Euer Gott ist under euech getreten!
Sgenend war er euren Herzen nah!
Ja, in euren taten und Gebeten
sei bezeugt was euch von ihm geschah.

3. Sorget nichts. Vielmehr in allen Dingen
dürft ihr alles, was euch je bedrängt,
in Gebet und Flehen vor ihn bringen,
er als Vater hört, als König schenkt.
Sorget nichts! Ihr kennt den Wundertäter!
Er weiß alles, was ihr hofft und bangt!
Der Mensch tritt vor Gott als rechter Beter,
der im Bitten schon voll Freude dankt.

4. Und der Friede Gottes, welcher höher
als Vernunft und Erdenweisheit ist,
sei in eurem Bund euch täglich näher
und bewahre euch in Jesus Christ.
Er bewahre euer Herz und Sinne!
Gottes Friede sei euch zum Geleit!
Er sei mit euch heute zum Beginne;
er vollende euch in Ewigkeit!

5. Freut euch! Doch die Freude aller Frommen
kenne auch der Freude tiefsten Grund.
Gott wird einst in Christus wiederkommen!
Dann erfüllt sich erst der letzte Bund!
Er, der nah war, wird noch enimal nahen.
Seine Herrschaft wird ohn Ende sein.
Die sein Reich schon hier im Glauben sahen,
holt der König dann mit Ehren ein.