26 March 2012

Det hellige Kårs vor Herre selv bar

Here is my translation of the Passion hymn “Det hellige Kårs vor Herre selff bar” (in Tausens Salmebog, 1553), a hymn predating the Reformation era and, unlike most others in Danish hymnals, not a translation or reworking of another hymn, but apparently of Danish origin. Hans Thomissøn calls it “the old popish song corrected and set aright.”  It occupied the section “Christ’s Suffering and Death” and bore the title “the old song of the people… improved by M. Morten Hegelund.” The melody seems to be of  Danish origin as well.

THE SACRED old cross our Savior once bore,
With blood freely running from many a sore,
For us His toil and task fulfilling,
In which we trust with spirit willing;
— Salvation we find in none other than Jesus. —

2. Saint Mary with God now surely doth dwell,
And all the true saints surely dwell there as well,
Through Christ alone they heav’n inherit,
And not for their own works or merit.
— Salvation we find in none other than Jesus. —

3. All Christian men do confess it and know,
The Scriptures this truth manifestly do show,
That if a man would have salvation
Christ only must be his foundation.
— Salvation we find in none other than Jesus. —

4. O Counselor Spirit, be Thou our Guide;
Teach us Thy poor Christians in Christ to confide
And lead us out the way to heaven,
From heresies and human leaven.
— Salvation we find in none other than Jesus. —

5. To th’ only true God be glory and praise,
Who sent down His Son, heaven’s kingdom to raise,
May He direct and rule us wholly,
That we may fear and love Him solely.
— Salvation we find in none other than Jesus. —

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2012.

1. Det hellige Kårs vor Herre selff bar
met blodige vunder oc dødelige sår;
for oss han plict oc bod fuldgiorde,
at wi skulde oss dertil forlade;
wi vorde ey salige i andre maade.

2. Sancta Maria, moder at Christ,
oc alle Helgen hoss Gud ære de nu vist,
for Christi skyld skede det all eniste
oc icke for nogen deris egen fortieniste.

3. Alle gode Christne menniske,
vider, i scrifften findis det,
at ville i nogen salighed vinde,
for Christi skyld alleniste monne i det finde.

4. Du verdige Helligånd ver vor tolck,
och lærer oss arme Christne folck
oc leed oss alle at den rette Bane
fra Menniskens lære oc vor egen vane.

5. All ære oc priss vere eniste Gud,
som sende sin Søn til Jorderige ud,
han styre oc regere oss alle sammen,
ath wi hannem frycte oc elske. Amen.

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