04 March 2013

O Jesu, mein Vergnügen

Here is my translation of the hymn “O Jesu, mein Vergnügen” (Zach. Hermann, †1716), as given in J.F. Burg’s Hymnal (#1694), under the rubric Holy Supper, with the title “After the Holy Supper.” Acording to Kümmerle in the 19th c., the hymn was still in use in Silesia.

The German lyrics especially seem to suggest the Incarnation (“Du bist herabgestiegen,”  — not only of course the incarnation but also in the Supper — “Jesulein,” “Mein Mund an deinem Kleben,” — Kiss the Son, lest He be angry…, but also, partake of the Supper — “Schönstes Menschenkind” — Thou art fairer than the children of men — “Eya, ich habe funden…”,— Eya recolamus, the cradle-songs; as shepherds we have found the newborn King in the manger, i.e., on the altar…”), , and so would suggest this hymn as especially appropriate during Christmas, Epiphany, and the Annunciation. There is also the suggestion of a Purification context here, from the perspective of Simeon: “Nun ist mir nicht mehr bange…”, “Ich halte Jesum feste,” and generally in stanzas 8–11, with the perspective of the saint in heaven, we can imagine Simeon continuing his blessed speech after death. “Wohl dem der Jesum schaut.” As if he were saying, “Blessed are they who see the light of the Lord and Savior as I have seen Him, and looked to and believed in Him.”

The appointed melody is the “proper,” or the usual melody which I provide below from Kümmerle, after the version appearing in Kühnau. A.G. Ritter remarks that it was [originally] to be sung to the tune “O quando te videbo,” which, however, he could never ascertain. The usual melody was known in Silesia at least from 1782, as evidenced by a handwritten chorale-book of that date.

O JESUS, how contented,
How rich Thou makest me!
That Thou hast here consented
To be so lowly-tented
That I might dwell with Thee.

2. Thou Blessing without measure,
Thou bringest naught but good:
Now every goodly pleasure
Is made my endless treasure,
My soul’s availing flood.

3. Though many griefs oppress me
While in this body bent,
The hardships that distress me
Must all be made to bless me
Since God His Son has sent.

4. All doubts about salvation
Are hereby chased away!
I know my future station
Is heaven’s sweet elation
With Jesus as my Stay.

5. O Son of God, I bless Thee
Thou Lifeblood of my heart:
Wherein I’ll keep and dress Thee,
With kiss of faith caress Thee,
And ne’er from Thee depart.

6. O Jesus, Source of gladness,
Thou Child of man most fair,
Thou art my Hope in sadness;
Thou wilt o’er worldly madness
Grant worlds without compare.

7. There with all admiration
Upon Thy face I’ll gaze;
Here faint is my confession,
Yet there with jubilation
Thee, Jesus, I will praise.

8. Lo, here my quest is finished,
I’ve found whom I adore!
Dark hours of woe are banished
And with them all is vanished
That caused me grief before.

9. No sorrow hath my dwelling,
Where Christ my soul adorns,
In gladness beyond telling,
All countries else excelling,—
A rosebed free from thorns.

10. To Jesus clinging ever,
I will not from Him go.
His comforts most I favor,
His treasures all I savor
Who Manna doth bestow.

11. My Jesus cannot grieve me,
Cannot His bride detest,
No might can make Him leave me,
Nor from His love deceive me—
Who looks to Him is blest.

Translation © 2013 Matthew Carver.

1. O Jesu, mein Vergnügen,
wie reich werd ich in dir.
In Himmel mich zu kriegen
bist du herabgestiegen
und holest mich zu dir.

2. Du bist der edle Segen,
du bringest lauter Guts.
Nun werd ich Güter hegen,
nun werd ich Schätze legen
zu meiner Seelen Nutz.

3. Ob mich gleich hier auf Erden
manch herber Jammer drückt,
doch müssen die Beschwerden
gar bald erleichtert werden,
weil mir Gott Jesum schickt.

4. Nun ist mir nicht mehr bange
um meine Seligkeit;
Ich weiß daß ich erlange,
wenn ich mit Jesu prange,
die süße Himmelsfreud.

5. O Jesu, liebstes Leben,
du werter Gottessohn,
mein Herz soll dich umgeben,
mein Mund an deinem kleben,
ich lasse nicht davon.

6. O Jesu, Brunn der Freuden,
du schönstes Menschenkind,
du bist mein Trost im Leiden,
du wirst mich künftig weiden,
wo lauter Rosen sind.

7. Da wird für allen Dingen
dein Antlitz mich erfreun.
Hier muß ich um dich ringen,
dort werd ich fröhlich singen
von dir, o Jesulein.

8. Eya, ich habe funden,
den meine Seele liebt.
Die finstern Jammerstunden
sind weg, es ist verschwunden,
was mich zuvor betrübt.

9. Ich lebe voller Freude
bei meinem Seelenschatz;
ich weiß von keinem Leide,
ich geh in süßer Weide
auf einem Rosenplatz.

10. Ich halte Jesum feste,
ich laß ihn nicht von mir.
Er tröstet mich aufs Beste,
wie seine Himmelsgäste:
er setzt mir Manna für.

11. Mein Jesus muß mir bleiben,
denn ich bin seine Braut;                  [var. “ihm hab ich mich vertraut”]
mich kann von ihm nichts treiben,
nichts kann mein Glück zerreiben:
wohl dem der Jesum schaut.

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