09 February 2010

Schau, Sündiger Mensch, wer du bist

Here is my translation of “Schau, Sündiger Mensch, wer du bist” (M. Weiße, 1566), which is supposed to be based on Rex Christe factor omnium. The hymn had 13 stanzas, but there are two versions, the older going by the first line “Sündiger Mensch, schau wer du bist,” which is the version of the title Ludecus specifies for Judica, Palmarum, and Good Friday. The melody is that used for Rex Christe.

“O SINNER, see thy wretched case,”
Saith Jesus Christ, our Lord of grace:
“Take thought, how God doth rage at thee,
How all thy works are vanity.”

2. “Behold what mercies in Me swell,
I spare no good, I love thee well;
Thy fear and anguish I have known
For they have pierced Me to the bone.”

3. “I suffered much distress for thee,
Was scorned and mocked most grievously,
That by Myself thou might’st be graced,
And I by thee forever praised.”

4. “I suffered beatings, wounds and pain,
That I might make thee well again.
And that thou mayst thy sins deplore,
Nor need to suffer evermore.”

5. “I was for thy sake made a curse
To crown thee with a blessed verse,
And fixed in thee My doctrine pure,
Thy sanctifying to ensure.”

6. “I let My wrists in bonds be bruised,
That thou from error’s bonds be loosed,
And, wholly trusting to My grace,
At last behold My joyous face.”

7. “I took their scorn, and beaten down,
Was dressed with mocking robe and crown,
And, fastened to the cross with nails,
I died amid the mournful wails.”

8. “There for thy good I freely spilt
My precious blood, unflecked by guilt,
Thy sinful bondage to dispell,
Subduing devil, death and hell.”

9. “Sin, hell, and death through Adam came,
But grace and heaven through My name,
Eve went where she was not allowed,
But I to God My Father bowed.”

10. “Eve gave occasion to the foe,
And took and ate the fruit of woe,
While I, with arms outstretched, had naught
But gall and vinegar unsought.”

11. “In Adam, not one thing was meet,
Wherefore My wounding was complete:
In full I paid with patience mild
The debts that Adam’s sin compiled.”

12. “Repent, O man, and change thy way,
Make Me by faith thy hope and stay,
And thou wilt find from sin release,
And for thy soul, eternal peace.”

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Schau Sündiger Mensch wer du bist
spricht unser HErre Jesus Christ,
gedenk du seist in Gottes Zorn,
mit deim Thun ewiglich verlorn.

2. Sieh an, Ich von großer Geduld,
gönn dir guts und bin dir sehr Hold,
dein Angst und Noth ist mir bewußt,
denn ich habs rechtschaffen gekost’t.

3. Ich leid um deinetwegen Noth,
großen Kummer, viel Hohn und Spott,
aufdaß du wohl würdest begabt
und ich ewig von dir gelobt.

4. Ich ward geschlagen und verwundt,
aufdaß ich dich ganz macht gesund,
und du alle Sünd vermiedest
hie, und dort nicht ewig liedest.

5. I ward für dich vermaledeit,
daß du würdest gebenedeit,
und in dir haftet meine Lehr,
dir also alles heilig wär.

6. Ich ward gebunden und verspeit,
aufdaß du von Irrthum gefreit,
mir gänzlich möchtest vertrauen,
und mein fröhlich Antlitz schauen.

7. Ich ward gegeißelt und verhöhnt,
spöttisch gekleidet und gekrönt,
darnach an ein Kreuz geschlagen,
an dem ich starb mit wehklagen.

8. Allda vergoß ich dir zu gut
mildiglich mein unschuldig Blut,
daß ich dich von Sünden entbünd
Teufel, Tod und Höll überwind.

9. Durch Adam kam Sünd, Höll und Tod,
und durch mich kömmt Leben und Gnad:
Heva ging wohin sie nicht sollt,
ich aber wo mein Vater wollt.

10. Heva gab dem Verführer raum,
nahm und aß vom verbotnen Baum:
ich aber am Kreuz ausgestreckt
hab nur Gall und Essig geschmeckt.

11. Der ganz Adam war ungesund,
derhalb mein ganzer Leib verwundt:
Ich hab bezahlet mit Geduld,
alles was Adam hat verschuldt.

12. Thu Buß, o Mensch, und besser dich,
bau dich durch den Glauben auf mich,
so wirstu los deiner Sünden,
und Ruh deiner Seel erfinden.


singlutheranchorales said...

Another wonderfully didactic hymn by M. Weisse! This one reminds me of "Christus, der uns selig macht," a chorale that, along with its tune, is so strong it seems hewn out of solid rock. Your work on these hymns is much appreciated.


Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Indeed, and thank you! "Christus, der uns selig macht" is a strong German version of a Latin hymn appointed for Good Friday, with very similar themes, with one stanza for each of the Canonical hours, and a concluding stanza. Jacobi has a good, if slightly archaic, translation of Weisse's German under the title "Christ, By Whose All-Saving Light." The Latin original was translated by J.M. Neale, most commonly found in a version I believe edited by Chalmers(?). I think it starts "Circled By His Enemies…"