05 October 2010

Gib Fried zu unsrer Zeit, o Herr

Here is my translation of the German Da pacem “Gib Fried zu unsrer Zeit, o Herr” by Wolfgang Köpfel (Capito), 1533, which was translated early on by the English minister Edmund Grindal, 1561, who preached some time in Germany. The melody is the contemporaneous “Durch Adams Fall.”

GRANT PEACE in our time, Lord, we pray;
By threats we are surrounded;
The foe longs only for the day
When Christ’s name is confounded,
And fain would chase from every place
O Lord, Thy worship wholly.

Thy Church sustain by might and main:

In need Thou helpest solely.

2. Grant peace, for we by faithless will
And wicked life have lost it.

Thy Word Thou hast bestowed, and still

We fight it and accost it:

For some would chase this saving grace,

And some, through senseless motion,
With lips confess its truthfulness,
Yet lack all true devotion.

3. Grant peace! To us Thy Spirit send,
To work remorse and sorrow
For all our sin; our heart amend
In Christ to rise each morrow,
So that Thy grace may rout and chase
All shame and desecration,
All strife put down, Lord, and Thy crown
Be owned by every nation.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Give peace in these our days, O Lord,

Great dangers are now at hand;

Thine enemies with one accord

Christ’s Name in every land

Seek to deface, root out and rase,

Thy true right worship indeed.

Be Thou the Stay, Lord, we Thee pray.

Thou helpest alone in all need.

2. Give us that peace that we do lack,

Through misbelief, and in ill life.

Thy Word to offer Thou dost not slack,

Which we unkindly gainstrive.

With fire and sword, this healthful Word

Some persecute and oppress.

Some with the mouth confess the truth

Without sincere godliness.

3. Give peace and us Thy sprite down send

With grief and repentance true;

Do piece our hearts our lives to amend,

And by faith Christ renew;

That fear and dread, war and bloodshed,

Through Thy sweet mercy and grace,

May from us slide, Thy truth abide,

And shine in every place.

1. Gib Fried zu unsrer Zeit, o Herr,
groß Noth ist jetzt vorhanden;
der Feind begehrt nichts anders mehr
denn daß er bring zu Schanden
den Namen Christ und dämpf mit List
wahrn Gottesdienst auf Erden.
Solchen erhalt durch dein Gewalt;
du hilfst allein in Gfährden.

2. Gib Fried, den wir verloren han
durch Unglaub und bös Leben.
Dein Wort hast uns geboten an,
dem wir all widerstreben.
Denn wir zum Theil dies unser Heil
mit frevler Gwalt austreiben,
zum Theil ohn Grund—bekennens rund—
ohn hertzlich Frommsein bleiben.

3. Gib Fried, auch deinen Geist uns send,
der unser Herz durch Reue
und herzlich Leid um unsre Sünd [und Leid um unsre Sünd behend]
in Jesus Christ erneue,
aufdaß dein Gnad all Schand und Schad,
all Furcht und Kriegsgefährde
von uns abkehr, dadurch dein Ehr
bei allem Volk groß werde.

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