26 December 2010

Der eingeborne Gottes Sohn,

Here is my translation of a carol on the nativity of Jesus, “Der eingeborne Gottes Sohn” (P. Herbert, 1531), based on “Vecny syn jednorozeny, Buh pravy,” the old Bohemian rendering of “En trinitatis speculum.” A three-stanza English carol from the Latin was done by G.R. Woodward, found in “The Cambridge Carol-book” (1924) with the title “The Mirrour of the Father’s Face.”

THE SOLE begotten Son of God
Very God from heav’n’s abode,
Came in flesh and gave us
His own life to save us:
Very low He humbled was,
The Lord and King of heav’nly hosts—
Through His incarnation
Brought us all salvation.

2. The Son whose Father is Most High
Chose a maiden meek and shy
Who by grace consented,
Thus in flesh presented
Him who would in Adam’s place
Repay our debts and win God's grace,
That He us might cherish,
And we never perish.

3. The One whom earth and heav’n obey
In a tender virgin lay,
Whom He had created
As in Scripture stated:
In but lowly rags is furled
The One who holdeth all the world,
Bedded in a manger,
Safely kept from danger.

4. Our human nature God put on,
His work did the Maker don,
And our flesh invested
With Godhead unbested:
He hath laid the devil low,
And let His chosen children go
Free from sin’s dark prison,
From new birth arisen.

5. For Adam’s sin and deadly fall
God forsook His heav'nly hall
With our grief was stricken
That He might us quicken.
Sin had cast us in the grave,
And no one else could help or save,
But the Seed that Mary
In God's grace did carry.

6. His name is called Immanuel,
As we hear from Gabriel:
God would dwell among us,
And from death would spare us.
That is why He sorely pined,
For great and small, yea, all mankind,
In death our willing Savior,
Bought us grace and favor.

7. By dying Christ our case has won,
Reconciled both God and man,
Raised us up in splendor;
So our praise we render:
Jesus Christ, all laud to Thee,
For Thou a man didst deign to be,
Our salvation willing,
All God’s anger stilling.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Der eingeborne Gottes Sohn,
wahrer gott vom höchsten Thron,
ist auf Erd erschienen,
uns allen zu dienen:
Er hat sich geniedert sehr,
der Herr und König aller Heer,
und wollen Menschen werden
hie auf dieser Erden.

2. Der Gott zu einem Vater hat
ist von einer armen Magd,
die er hat erkoren,
wahrer Mensch geboren.
Aufdaß er es Adams Schuld
bezahlen möcht, und Gottes Huld,
uns allen erwerben,
und nicht ließ verderben.

3. Dem alle Ding gehorsam sein,
hat ein zartes Jungfräulein
in ihrm Leib getragen,
wie die Schrift thut sagen:
Und geborn in Armut groß,
der alle Ding in sich beschloß
in ein Kripp geleget,
sein fleißig gepfleget.

4. Gott nahm an sich unser Natur
der Schöpfer ein Kreatur,
und verfügt die Menschheit,
mit der hohen Gottheit:
Der hat den Teufel gefellt,
daß er nicht mehr gefangen hält
Gottes Auserkorne,
in ihm neugeborne.

5. Um Adams Sünd und schweren Fall
mußt Gott vom himmlischen Saal
sich herunter geben,
daß wir möchten leben:
Denn die Sünd hat all verwundt,
darum auch niemand helfen kunnt,
ohn des Weibes Samen,
der aus Gnad ist kommen.

6. Sein Namen heißt Immanuel,
wie uns saget Gabriel,
Gott werd mit uns wohnen,
und unser verschonen:
Drum er auch sehr grosse Pein
gelitten hat für groß und klein,
ist willig gestorben,
hat uns Gnad erworben.

7. Mit seinem Tod hat er verricht
unser Sach bei Gott geschlicht,
uns herzlich erhaben,
dafür wir ihn loben:
Lob sei dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
daß du für uns Mensch worden bist,
uns dir hast erkoren,
gestillt Gottes Zoren. Amen.

23 December 2010

Allein nach der Herr Jesu Christ verlanget mich

Here is my translation of the prayer hymn, "Allein nach dir, Herr Jesu Christ, verlanget mich" (N. Selneccer, ?1568), not to be confused with "Allein zu dir." The hymn was written in one long, interestingly structured stanza (with many repeats) to be sung in Passiontide, especially Holy Week. It is even listed in Bach's notebook, suggesting that he planned to compose a cantata on it (none exists, unfortunately). I include a translation of the original stanza, and the notation as given in Das Deutsche Kirchenlied, III, 2. Special thanks to Dr. J. Herl for locating it.

ALONE for Thee, Lord :: alone for Thee, Lord::
Jesus Christ, I'm longing, :: Lord Jesus Christ, I am longing ::
While here on earth ::while here on earth::
Within this world I wander.
Alone in Thee, Lord ::alone in Thee, Lord::
Jesus Christ, I'm trusting ::Lord Jesus Christ, I am trusting
With hope assured ::with hope assured::
That heav’n awaits me yonder,
Won by Thy merit and ::won by Thy merit and:: Thy bloody passion,
This I inherit for salvation.
O Lamb of God, hear ::O Lamb of God, hear:: this my heartfelt crying,
As I look to heaven, sighing ::as I look to heaven, sighing::
Lord God, Thy Comforter now send me,
In grief Thine aid lend me,
Till death, when I am sleeping,
My spirit in Thy keeping.
To Thee my soul have I commended
In life, and when ended,
Oh Lord Jesus, Christ, my soul keep safe forever,—
Keep it safe forever.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

Allein nach dir, Herr :/: Jesu Christ, verlangt mich, :/: [Herr Jesu Christ, verlanget mich]
Weil ich hie leb, :/: in dieser Welt auf Erden.
Allein an dich Herr, :/: Jesu Christe, glaub ich, :/: [Herr Jesu Christe, glaube ich]
hoffend gewiß, :/:, der Himmel soll mein werden,
den du erworben hast :/: mit deinem Blute,
am Kreuz gestorben mir zu gute.
O du Lamm Gottes, :/: erhör mein herzlichs Flehen;
Mein Augen gen Himmel sehen. :/:
Tröst mich mit deinem Geist, O Herre Gott,
hilf mir in meiner Noth
wann ich von hinnen fahre;
meine Seele wöllst du bewahren,
dann in dem Tod und auch im Leben
hab ich mich dir ergeben.
O Herr Jesu Christe, nimm mein Seel in deine Hände,
Nimms in deine Hände.

21 December 2010

Christe sanctorum (= Clare sanctorum, correcta)

Here is my translation of Bonnus' correcta of Notker's Sequence for Apostles, as given in Magdeburg 1613. Some of the accents are off, but then, Bonnus' version is slightly adapted from the original melody, not to mention the text, of course. Note that toward the end, the line structure has been adapted, which required departing from the numbering system employed by James Erb for the analysis of the original text, in his Recent Researches… Thanks to Rev. Weedon for the copy of the original (see this blog post.)

1. CHRIST, the Instructor of all Thine holy Apostles,
Prince of all things created, and Ruler of kingdoms:
2a. Direct, guide, and strengthen the ways and life of the churches.
2b. At first Thou didst summon fishermen, simple and common,
3a. And on them confer royal thrones and dominions across earth’s distant boundaries,
3b. By warfare to bring to an end sin and Satan’s twin tyranny,
4a. Not by the flesh’s poor weapons, but by the mighty Word of Thy ministry,
4b. Than which there is no office more worthy and dignified.
5. Peter Cephas, Paul, Matthew,
6a. Thomas, John, and Bartholomew, Philip, Simon, and James, both “Less” and of Zebedee.
6b. Andrew and Thaddeus, God’s faithful soldiers most luminous—
7. These men are they whom the whole world, from the dawn of the sun to its setting, acclaims as its fathers in doctrines of Christendom,
8. And therefore, we pray Thee, O Christ, that in their scriptural dogma we all may stand firm and unshaken forever.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

LATIN (correcta by H. Bonnus)
1a. Christe sanctorum Præceptor Apostolorum,
1b. Princeps orbis terrarum, Rectorque regnorum:
2. Ecclesiarum mores et vitam moderare
3. Tu primum rudes piscatores evocasti.
4. Illisque per totum orbem terrarum commisisti regni solium
5. Tyrannidem ut Satanae et peccati debellarent.
6. Non per arma carnalia: sed per Verbi tui ministerium.
7. Quo non est aliud munus sublimius atque dignius.
8. Petrus, Paulus, Matthæus, Thomas, Bartholomæus, Johannes, Philippus, Simon, et uterque; Jacobus,
9. Andreas, Thaddæus, Dei bellatores inclyti.
10. Hi sunt quos Oriens et Occidens, et totus mundi circulus se Patres habere gaudet, in doctrina Fidei.
11. Et idcirco omnes, ut in ipsorum dogmate sinceri permaneamus, te Christe precamur.

LATIN (original, by Notker Balbulus):
1a. Clare sanctorum senatus apostolorum,
1b. Princeps orbis terrarum, rectorque regnorum,
2. Ecclesiarum mores et vitam moderare,
3. Quae per doctrinam tuam fideles sunt ubique.
4. Antiochus et Remus concedunt tibi, Petre, regni solium.
5. Tyrannidem tu, Paule, Alexandriuam invasisti Graeciam.
6. Aethiopes horridos, Matthace, agnelli vellere.
7. Qui maculas nesciat aliquas, vestisti candido.
8. Thoma, Bartholomaee, Ioannes, Philippe, Simon Iacobique pariles,
9. Andrea, Thaddaee, Dei bellatores inclyti,
10. En vos oriens et occidens, immo teres mundi circulus se patres habere gaudet et expectat iudices.
11. Et idcirco mundus omnis laudes vobis et honorem sanctis debitum supplex impendit.

13 December 2010

Omnis mundus jocundetur (new translation)

As you may or may not have realized, the first day of Christmas is only a Christmas feast (12 days) away, so here is my translation of the old pia cantio for the nativity, "Omnis mundus jocundetur." An earlier "translation" — really a new creation— appeared by J.M. Neale in the Carols for Christmas-Tide. The only part I could not quite work in is "by the mouth of Gabriel." There is, it seems, a more faithful translation by Willis Wager, to whom I owe the first line, but I have been unable to find any more of his version. If found and acceptable, I withdraw mine. Here's another Latin version. The music I have transcribed from the white mensural notation in Piae Cantiones.

LET ALL earth ring out with gladness
To the new-born Savior;
For the Virgin's Son our sadness
Takes away forever.
Pure in tone lift your voice;
Pure in heart, now rejoice.
Let us celebrate this day with glad acclaim! (glad acclaim!)
By the Virgin Mary, Christ a man became. (man became.)
To the Virgin Christ is born so praise His name! (praise His name!)
Therefore let us all rejoice and praise His name! (praise His name!)
Therefore let us all rejoice and praise His name!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

Omnis mundus jocundetur nato salvatore
casta mater quae concepit Gabrielis ore.
Sonoris vocibus
sinceris mentibus,
exsultemus et laetemur hodie. ::
Christus natus ex Maria virgine, ::
[Christus natus ex Maria] gaudete. ::
Gaudeamus et laetemur itaque. ::
Gaudeamus et laetemur itaque.

12 December 2010

Gläubige Seel, schau dein Herr

Here is my translation of the Advent hymn “Gläubige Seel, schau dein Herr” (M. Weiße, 1531), from the Bohemian Brethren. The tune is proper. I assume the strange meter is due to its lyrics being originally written Czech. Here is an audio sample of M. Praetorius' version of the tune (demo).

FAITHFUL soul, behold! your Master and King is nearing,
For your comfort appearing.
His heralds have His advent sounded;
Let in Him your hope be founded,
Heartily seek His peace unbounded.

2. Long the prophets of His advent sang forth and warned us,
And in writing informed us,
How, when the age at last was ending
He would to His folk be wending,
Them as their champion king defending.

3. He is gracious, full of mercy beyond all telling,
In all pow-er excelling:
Of hearts and minds the firm foundation,
Naught is hidden from His vision;
All His foes will fall in derision.

4. Only Jesus has the pow-er to rule forever,
And crush the deceiver;
To extinguish in us sin’s reigning,
Grace and truth for us ordaining,
And His glory eternal gaining.

5. Faithful heart, rejoice this day in the Lord your Savior,
Your glorious King forever:
Your redemption, His gracious calling—
Like the rain of evening falling,
Cleansing you from your filth appalling.

6. Not because of your own merit stoops He to meet you,
But in mercy would greet you:
He would show you His love unfailing,
Feed your soul with food availing,
That you His praise be e’er exhaling.

7. Deck with beauty your heart and dress it for His dwelling,
Do the works of His telling:
In His pleasure thusly reclining,
In His light you will be shining,
With Him ever, free from all pining.

8. O Christ Jesus, our dear Savior, our Hope unshaken,
Leave Your Church not forsaken!
Make her ready with joy to hail You,
Let her never fall nor fail You,
But with praises greet and regale You.

9. Grant Your Church Your Holy Spirit, faith, and hearts willing,
With Your strength her limbs filling,
That to do Your will she endeavor,
And, when death her cord shall sever,
She may sing Your praises forever.

Translation: © 2010 Matthew Carver.

1. Glaubige Seel, schau, dein Herr und König will kommen
dir zu Trost und zu Frommen,
er läßt sich dir vorhin ansagen;
sieh daß du ihm wirst behagen,
und seim Fried von Herzen nachjagen.

2. Die Propheten han von seiner Zukunft prophezeit,
geschrieben vor langer Zeit,
wie er hie in den letzten Zeiten,
für sein Volk auf allen Seiten
als ein Held und König sollt streiten.

3. Er ist freundlich, sänftmütig, lieblich und wohlgestallt,
von sehr großer Kraft und Gwalt:
er durchgründt aller Herzen und Sinn,
es ist nichts verborgen vor ihm,
wer ihn veracht hat sein kein Gewinn.

4. Er ist dieser, der frei in Ewigkeit kann herrschen,
der Schlangen Kopf zerknirschen,
sein Volk freien von Sünd und Thorheit,
ihm mittheilen Gnad und Wahrheit,
zu erlangen ewige Klarheit.

5. Glaubig Herze, freu dich heut Gottes deines Herren,
und des Königs der Ehren:
denn er kommt nur von deinetwegen:
als ein gnädig Abendregen,
dich von all deim Unflat zu fegen.

6. Er kommt zu dir, nicht von wegen deiner Frömmigkeit,
sonder aus Barmherzigkeit:
er will dir seine Treu beweisen,
dich geistlicher Weise speisen,
daß du ihn ewig mögest preisen.

7. Schmück ihm dein Haus und gib ihm stets in deim Herzen Ruh,
und was er dich heißt, das thu:
so wirst du sein allerliebste sein,
in heiliger Zierd geben Schein,
und mit ihm ewig sein ohne pein.

8. O Jesu Christ, unser Heiland, Trost und Zuversicht,
verlaß dein armes Volk nicht,
verleih, daß es nach dir arbeite,
sein Herz dir mit Fleiß bereite,
und seine Werk dir unterbreite.

9. Gib ihm dein Geist, ein glaubig Herz und freiwillig Gmüt,
Kraft und Macht durch deine Güt,
daß es dein Willen hie verbringen,
von dem Tod ins Leben dringen,
und dir mög ewiglich lobsingen. Amen.

06 December 2010

The Second Major Revision of Walther’s Hymnal (Part 2 Cont.)

The following is translated from Lehre und Wehre, vol. 54, pp. 500–506.

II. Index of Authors

Ludämilie Elisabeth, countess of Schwarzburg-Rudolsadt, born 1640, died 1672 as wife of the count Christian Wilhelm von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. #253, 372, 394.

Luther, Dr. Martin, founder and master of German hymnody, born in Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483, died in the same place, Feb. 18, 1546. He formed his hymns partly in a free manner, partly by translation of Latin hymni or integration of old German stanzas or borrowing of biblical excerpts. # 15, 21, 36, 41, 42, 60, 65, 99, 110, 132, 134, 136, 142, 143, 145, 147, 158, 159 (sts. 1–3), 162, 166, 170, 171, 177, 180, 181, 183, 185, 186, 195, 205, 214, 243, 328, 337, 368, 399, 416.

Magdeburg, Johann, born 1525, Gardelegen in the Altmark, evangelical preacher in Esserding, Austria, exiled thence in 1583, pastor in Essen until 1587. #381 (st. 1), the first words of which used to be inscribed on many houses.

Mathesius, Johann, born 1504, Rochlitz, Saxony; a companion at Luther’s home and table while studying in Wittenberg, worked as pastor of the German Lutheran church in Joachimstal, Bohemia, where he died in 1565. His homiletic biography of Luther is among the popular books of our church. #361.

Mentzer, Johann, born 1658, Jahma, Lusatia; died 1734 as pastor in Chemnitz in the same region. His magnificent psalm of jubilation, #349, is a brilliant demonstration of his pious Christian outlook in all his afflictions.

Meyfart, Dr. Johann Matthäus, born 1590, Walwinkel, Gotha; died 1642, as professor of theology and pastor in Erfurt. During the oppression of the Thirty Years’ War he composed his hymn of longing for the heavenly Jerusalem, #443.

Möckel, Johann Friedrich, born 1661, Kulmbach; died 1729, as pastor of Steppbach in Bayreuth. #302.

Molanus, Dr. Gerhard Walther, born 1633 Hameln; died 1722, as abbot of Loccum cloister in Hannover. #203.

Moller, Martin, born 1547 in Kroppstädt by Wittenberg; died 1606 as senior pastor in Görlitz; was a man practiced in suffering, who in the letters of his name M. M. left the constant warning, “Memento mori” (Remember thou shalt die). #225, 258, 342, 352, 362.

Möller, Johann Joachim, born 1660, Sommerfeld; died 1733 as archdeacon in Krossen. #108, 235.

Mühlmann, Dr. Johann, born 1573, Pegau; died 1613 as professor of theology and archdeacon at St. Nikolai, Leipzig; fought the papists and Calvinists with great zeal from both the pulpit and the teacher’s lectern.

Mylius, Johann, from Themar, 1596, in Thuringia. #62.

Nachtenhöfer, Kaspar Friedrich, born 1624, Halle; died 1685 as pastor of Koburg. #27.

Neander, Joachim, the most important poet of the Reformed church in the age of Pietism; born 1650, Bremen; died 1680 as morning preacher at St. Martini, Bremen, wrote the popular, fervent hymn of praise #341.

Neumann, Kaspar, born 1648, Breslau; died 1715 in the same place as pastor of St. Elisabeth, professor, and inspector of the church. Among his 39 hymns, three have become common property of the singing Church: # 109, 268, 316.

Neumark, Georg, born 1612, Langesalza; died 1681 as librarian and archivist in Weimar. His worldly hymns are forgotten, but not his hymn of comfort, # 382, and his responses in hymn #417.

Neumeister, Erdmann, born 1671, Üchteritz by Weißenfels; died 1756 as head pastor at St. Jacobi in Hamburg; was an opponent of Pietism and Unionism. #222, 241.

Nicolai, Dr. Philipp, born 1556 in Mengeringhausen, Waldeck, where he assisted his father in the preaching office; in 1583 became pastor in Hardeck an der Ruhr, and in 1586, of the secret Lutheran congregation in Cologne; 1587 court preacher in Wildungen, and from 1596, in Unna, where, during the time of the plague, he wrote his Joyous Mirror of Eternal Life, as well as both of his famous hymns, #261 and 436; from 1601 head pastor at St. Katharine, Hamburg, where he died in 1608.

Niedlung, Johann, born 1602, Sangerhausen; 1626 was teacher at the college in Altenburg, where he died in 1668 as Scholae senior. #106, 125.

Olearius, Dr. Johann, hymnologist of our church, born in Halle, 1611; general superintendent and senior court preacher of duke August of Saxony in Halle; later in the same position in Weißenfels, where he died in 1684. His hymn #5 serves as a silent prayer upon entering church. #35, 63, 68, 137 (?), 144, 204, 232, 275, 327, 380, 391.

Olearius, Dr. Johann Gottfried, nephew of the preceding, born 1635, Halle, died 1711 as superintendent and consistory advisor in Arnstadt. #26, 151.

Öler, Ludwig, lived around 1530, canon of the St. Thomasstift, Strasbourg. #12.

Opitz, Martin, born 1597, Bunzlau; died 1639, Danzig, as secretary and historian of the King of Poland. It is to his efforts for the German poetic artform that our current hymns owe their greater smoothness. #57.

Pfeffer, Paul, born 1651, Neustadt, Principality of Glogau; died after 1710 as mayor of Budissin (Bautzen). #424 (the responding stanzas).

Pfefferkorn, Georg, born in the village of Iffta outside Eisenach; tutor to the prince at the court of Duke Ernst the Pious; died 1732 as superintendent and consistory assessor of Gräfentonna by Gotha. #285.

Prätorius, Benjamin, born 1636, Obergreislau by Weißenfels; died 1674 as pastor in Großlissa by Delitzsch. #283.

Quirsfeld, Johann, born 1642, Dresden, died 1686 as deacon in Pirna. #422.

Reimann, Georg, born 1570, Leobschütz, Upper Silesia; died 1615 as professor of rhetoric in Königsberg. #114, 155.

Reusner, Adam, (Reißner), born 1496 in Windelsheim, Bavarian Swabia; student of Reuchlin; private secretary of field commander Georg von Frundsberg; follower of Schwenkfeld; died ca. 1575 in the place of his birth.

Rinckart, Martin, born 1586, Eilenburg, Saxony, where he died in 1649; like Herberger and Heermann, he was a faithful leader of his flock during the appalling tribulations visited upon it the Thirty Years’ War. He probably wrote his hymn of thanks, #346, in the year 1630. Hymn #146 can also be trace back to a composition of Rinckart.

Ringwald, Bartholomäus, born 1530, Frankfurt an der Oder; died 1599 as pastor in Langenfeld, Neumark; a zealous defender of Lutheran doctrine and a faithful witness of the truth, who unflinchingly chastised the immorality of his day. #138, 216, 433.

Rist, Johann, writer of many splendid hymns; born 1607, Ottensen by Hamburg; died 1667 as pastor in Wedel, Holstein. Through his hymns he comforted and edified many thousands during the difficult times of the Thirty Years’ War, and continues to do so. # 13, 52, 67, 88, 120, 194, 207, 221, 238, 321, 434.

Rodigast, Samuel, born 1649, Gröben by Jena, died 1708 as headmaster of the Gray Cloister college in Berlin. His only hymn, #376, which however is heard in the whole singing Church, based on Deut. 32:4, was written in 1675 in Jena, for the consolation of an ailing cantor.

Rosenmüller, Johannes, from electoral Saxony, music director in Leipzig and Wolfenbüttel; died 1686. #397 (?).

Rothe, Johann Andreas, born 1688, Lissa by Görlitz; [Count] Zinzendorf’s pastor in Berthelsdorf; died 1758 as Lutheran pastor in Thommendorf in Upper Lusatia; was a powerful preacher of great pastoral faithfulness. He lives on in the Church through his hymn, #240.

Ruopp, Johann Friedrich, a native of Strasbourg; died 1708 as adjunct of the theological faculty in Halle. #266.

Sacer, Dr. jur. Gottfried Wilhelm, born 1635 in Naumburg, Saxony; died 1699 as private attorney in Wolfenbüttel. #14, 82, 121, 131, 425.

Saubert, Dr. Johann, the younger; born 1638 in Nürnberg; died 1688 as professor of theology and superintendent in Altdorf; published the Nürnberg Hymnal, which included his hymn, #393.

Schade, Johann Kaspar, born 1666, Kühndorf by Meiningen, from 1691 deacon at St. Nikolai, Berlin, a fellow minister with Spener; died in that place 1698. #81, 369.

Schalling, Martin, born 1532, Straßburg, died 1608 as pastor in Nürnberg; for his own consolement wrote hymn #271.

Scheffler, Johann, born 1624 in Breslau, from 1649 physician of the Duke of Öls; 1653 deserted to the Roman church under the name Angelus Silesius and became a vehement opponent of the Lutheran church. #72, 250, 280.

Scheidt, Dr. Christian Ludwig, born 1709, Waldenburg by Schwäbisch-Hall; died 1761 as court advisor and librarian in Hannover; was well known for his hymn, #234, which first appeared in 1743.

Schenk, Hartmann, born 1634, Ruhla by Eienach; died 1681 as pastor in Ostheim vor der Rhön. #9.

Schirmer, Michael, born 1606, Leipzig; a friend of Paul Gerhardt; died 1673 as joint headmaster of the Gray Cloister college in Berlin; a hymn-writer much used to bearing his cross, called the “German Job.” #418. Hymn #140 is a reworking of one of his hymns.

Schlicht, Levin Johann, born 1681 in Kalbe in the Altmark; teacher at the paedogogium in Halle; died 1723 as a pastor in Berlin; was able to speak Latin and understand Greek and Hebrew as early as ten years old. #311.

Schmidt, Christian, born 1683, Stolberg in Misnia; died 1754 as pastor at the Bergkirche outside Eilenburg. #332.

Schmolck, Benjamin, born 1672 in Brauchitschdorf by Liegnitz; died 1737 as senior pastor and inspector in Schweidnitz; known as a publisher of devotional literature. Of his 1,200 hymns, our hymnal has #190, 247, 267, 331.

Schneegaß, Cyriakus, born 1546, Busleben by Gotha; died 1597 as pastor in Friedrichroda by the Thuringian Forest; had a thorough knowledge of music; his spouse was a grandniece of Luther’s. #49, 51, 388.

Schröder, Johann Heinrich, born 1667 in Springe by Hannover; died 1699 as pastor in Meseburg by Magdeburg. #249.

Schütz, Johann Jakob, born 1640 in Frankfurt am Main; practiced law; died 1690 in the same place; at the end of his life fell under the influence of the Enthusiasts and renounced the Lutheran church. #350.

Selnecker, Dr. Nikolaus, born 1530 in Hersbruck by Nürnberg; studied under Melanchthon; died 1592 as professor of theology, superintendent, and pastor at St. Thomas in Leipzig; co-author of the Formula of Concord; a much-persecuted, steadfast confessor, whose prayer for constancy, so poignant in its simplicity, was granted by God. #193, 298, 420. Hymn # 165 was partly written by him.

Sonnemann, Ernst, 1608 became joint headmastor of Celle; 1661 pastor in Eimbeck; died there in 1670. #117 (?), reworked after Wegelin.

Spengler, Lazarus, supporter of the Reformation, born 1479, Nürnberg; councilor and jurist in his native city, where he died in 1534. His hymn #236 was once of similar meaning for the Reformation as the hymn of the following author.

Speratus, Dr. Paul, born 1484 in Rötlen, Swabia; was already openly preaching the Gospel from 1519 in Würzburg and Salburg; 1522 in Stephans cathedral in Vienna and in Iglau, for which he was put in prison in Olmütz in 1523, where he wrote his hymn, #237, which he sent to his congregation; the same year came to Wittenberg, at Luther’s recommendation became court preacher of Duke Albert of Prussia; was especially active there in the introduction of the Reformation; died 1551 as Lutheran bishop of Pomesania in Marienwerder.

Stegmann, Dr. Josua, born 1588 in Sulzfeld by Meiningen; died 1632 as professor of theology and superintendent in Rinteln; was force to endure great affliction during the time of the Thirty Years’ War, moving from placed to place as an exile. #2.

Stockmann, Ernst, born 1634 in Lützaen, died 1712 as senior consistory advisor and church advisor in Eisenach. #356.

Thebesius, Adam, born 1596 in Seifersdorf in the principality of Liegnitz; died 1652 as pastor in Liegnitz. #83.

Thilo, Valentin, the Elder, born 1579 in Zinten, East Prussia; died 1620 from the plague as deacon in Königsberg. #33 (sts. 1–3).

Tietze, Christoph (Titius), born 1641 in Wilkau by Breslau; died 1703 as pastor in Hersbruck, Nürnberg. #218, 371, 427.

Walther, Johann, the old Luther-cantor, became court cantor in Torgau around 1520; Luther’s assistant in the institution of the German mann and in the shaping of the evangelical church melodies; died after 1566 as kapellmeister in Dresden. His hymn on eternity, #16, shows that Walther was not only a musician, but also a poet of God’s grace.

Wandersleben, Martin, born 1608 in Wassertalheim, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen; died 1668 as superintendent of Waltershausen in the Gothaischen. #299.

Weidenheim, Johann; the personal details of this man who lived around the turn of the 17th century are unknown. #215.

Weise, Christian, born 1642 in Zittau; from 1676 professor of politics, rhetoric, and poetry in Weißenfels; died 1708 as headmaster of the college in his native city. #231.

Weiße, Michael, born in Neiße, Silesia; 1531 became priest and representative of the German congregation of the Bohemian Brethren in Landeskron, Bohemia; in the same year published the first German hymnal of the Bohemian Brethren; died in that place in 1534, a little over 40 years old. #22, 29, 32, 43, 100, 417, 440.

Weissel, Georg, born 1590 in Domnau, East Prussia; died 1635 as pastor in Königsberg; #31, 58, 148, 245. Hymn #112 is a reworking of one of his hymns.

Werner, Georg, born 1589 in Preußisch-Holland; died 1643 as deacon in Königsberg. #55, 101, 128.

Wiesenmeyer, Burkhard, ca. 1640 teacher at the Gray Cloister college in Berlin; reworker of older hymns; #305.

Zehner, Dr. Samuel, born 1594 in Suhl; died 1635 as superintendent in Schleusingen; wrote hymn #211 in the year 1633 while the Croats were laying siege to the place of his residence.

Zesen, Philipp von, born 1619 in Priorau by Dessau; led the life of a man of letters without a permanent position; died 1689 in Hamburg. #38.

Ziegler, Dr. jur. Kaspar, an authority on law of the first degree, born 1621 in Leipzig; died 1690 in Wittenberg as professor of law. #25.

Zihn, Johann Friedrich, born 1650 in Suhl; died 1719 as archdeacon in his native city. #359.

Zwick, Johannes, born in Constance ca. 1496; died 1542 as an evangelical pastor of his native city in Bischofszell, which he had committed himself to serve for the sake of the local congregation during the time of the plague. #118.

The authors of the following hymns and stanzas are unknown:

Hymns: # 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 17, 28, 34, 43, 69, 74, 78, 87, 92, 96, 98, 104, 107, 111, 115, 119, 123, 126, 127, 133, 146, 154, 165, 172, 173, 201, 209, 220, 226, 227, 233, 276, 239, 292, 295, 301, 306, 307, 313, 323, 324, 325, 333, 343, 344, 345, 357, 353, 363, 377, 386, 389, 395, 400, 404, 408, 411, 412, 415, 423, 439.

Stanzas: # 8 (st. 4), 10 (st. 7), 21 (st. 1), 33 (st. 4), 50 (st. 7), 35 (st. 7), 83 (st. 1), 136 (st. 1), 174 (sts. 2–3), 177 (st . 2), 195 (st . 1), 213 (st . 4), 320 (st . 10), 348 (st . 5), 381 (st . 2. 3), 417 (st . 8), 423 (st . 5).

The Commission on the Hymnal:
A. Crull.
O. Hattstädt.
J. Schlerf.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

03 December 2010

Gloria (Spangenberg 1545)

I realize this is ill-timed, since the Church omits the Gloria during Advent, but perhaps this will be a good setting to think about using when the Gloria returns, especially for Christmas. This is the way the ELHB set the alternate Gloria in excelsis in the back of the hymnal (#568). It is adapted from the Spangenberg Cantional (1545) setting, which is represented in Layriz' Choralbuch (liturgy, part 10). One departure you will note is that the "et in terra" ("and on earth") here begins on A rather than on D. It uses the words of the Common Service, with one exception: In the Domine addresses (line 6), it says "O Lord God, Thou Lamb…" which we are used to singing without "Thou." This could be easily be harmonized by slurring A-G on "God" and omitting "Thou." Another change from the ELHB which might be advisable (and familiar) is to amend the rubric, so that we have the celebrant sing the Gloria in excelsis "Glory be to God…", and the congregation and choir respond beginning with the Laudamus Te, "We praise Thee."

02 December 2010

O Gud, efter dig mig forlænger

Here is my translation of “O Gud, efter dig mig forlænger” (H.C. Sthen, 1589), a prayer and confession hymn inspired by Rom. 8:19. Below I include an earlier hetero-metrical English paraphrase by Tait, the original Danish version by Sthen (with stress-based rather than metrical lines), and finally the later normalized, altered version by Ingemann. The melody is “O Welt, ich muß dich lassen” (H. Isaac, 1539, after a sec. mel., 15th c.).

O GOD, for Thee I’m longing,
When sins my heart are thronging,
My trust is all in Thee.
Thy Word and grace so holy
Are all my refuge solely,
O Lord, be gracious unto me!

2. My heart, with fear encumbered,
Is pierced by sins unnumbered,
Yet Christ is my abode.
He only shall avail me,
Nor will He leave or fail me,
For He hath bought me with His blood.

3. If I should meet temptation,
Bound tight in my transgression,
O God, Thy help then lend!
In death and life, Lord, never
Leave me to perish ever.
So shall I praise Thee without end.

4. O Jesus, Lord and Savior,
Be Thou my Jesus ever,
Sweet, Jesus, is Thy name;
Thine, Jesus, kindly make me,
Oh Jesus, ne’er forsake me!
In Jesus I my harbor claim.

5. O Father, keep and cherish
Thy creature, lest I perish,
In hope I cling to Thee;
O Son, my sole salvation,
Grant help and consolation,
Build up what Thou beganst in me.

6. O Holy Ghost, most precious,
Thy grace and wisdom gracious,
Thy peace and counsel, give,
To manage my vocations
And bear my cross with patience,
Till I my heav’nly share receive.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

TAIT’S VERSION (After Ingemann’s version):
1. My God, my God, for Thee I pine! 

A heritage of woe is mine;
In Thee alone is all my trust;
A bulwark is Thy Word to me;
Thy grace can make me glad and free :
Compassionate the child of dust.

2. Before temptation I am frail;

Me sins, a countless host, assail.
O Father, succour and sustain,—
In life, in death Thy help I need;
Be Thou my God, my God indeed,—
I praise Thee, Healer of my pain.

3. Fainteth my weak and burdened heart,- 

Transgression's terrors through it dart;
But Holy Jesus died to save; 

On Him, the Mighty, I rely, 

Who gave me back the vanished sky,
By vanquishing the awful grave.

4. Although all life obeys Thy rule, 

Mine shalt Thou be, Thou Beautiful,
Blessed be my Redeemer's name !

Thou Merciful, oh, sever not 

The bond that binds Thee to my lot;
For ever shield, Thou valiant Flame.

5. Thou, Father, God, didst me create; 

Cry not to me, Too late, too late,—
My hope is in Thee evermore.

Thou, Son of God, didst me redeem; 

Enrich, enliven with Thy gleam ;
Perfect the work begun before.

6. Thou, Holy Spirit, counsel, guide, 

As wisdom, joy, and power abide
In my renewed, adoring breast;
Earth's labours may I cheerful share !
My cross with patience may I bear!
Then gain the everlasting rest.

DANISH (Original)
1. O Gud, efter dig mig forlænger,
naar Synden mit Hjærte trænger,
til dig staar al min Lid;
paa dit Ord og hellige Naade
vil jeg mig altid forlade,
o Herre, vær mig mild og blid!

2. Mit Hjærte gjøres mig ret bange,
det volde mine Synder saa mange,
Jesus er dog min Trøst;
jeg tror hannem vel for alle,
han vil mig aldrig undfalde,
han haver mig med sit Blod forløst.

3. Stor Fristelse monne jeg finde,
mine Synder de mig hart binde,
o Gud, hjælp mig derfra;
lad mig fortabt ej blive,
hverken i Død eller Live,
evig jeg dig vil prise da.

4. O Jesu, Livsens Herre!
vilde du min Jesus være,
Jesus er et sødt Navn;
min Frelser er Jesus lille,
o Jesu, dig ej fra mig skille,
Jesus han er min trygge Havn.

5. Gud Fader, som mig haver skabt,
lad mig aldrig blive fortabt,
mit Haab sætter jeg til dig;
Guds Søn, som mig haver forløst,
du være altid min Hjælp og Trøst,
styrke det du haver begyndt i mig!

6. Den Helligaand i lige Maade
forlæne mig Visdom og Naade,
giv Lykke og gode Raad
i mit Kald saa flittig at være,
og mit Kors taalmodelig bære,
siden fange i Himmerig Del og Lod!

DANISH (Reworked by Ingemann, 1854)
1. Gud, efter dig jeg længes,
når jeg af synden trænges,
til dig står al min lid:
Jeg på dit ord, o Fader,
på nåden mig forlader,
o Herre, vær mig mild og blid!

2. Mit hjerte gøres bange
for mine synder mange,
dog Jesus er min trøst:
jeg tror ham vel for alle,
han vil mig ej undfalde,1
han har mig med sit blod forløst.

3. Stor fristelse jeg finder,
og hårdt mig synden binder,
Gud, hjælp derfra mig ud!
I døden som i live
lad mig fortabt ej blive,
og evig priser jeg min Gud!

4. Du livsens Herre kære,
min Jesus vil du være,
livsaligt er dit navn.
Min frelser, Jesus milde,
du ej fra mig dig skille,
du altid er min trygge havn!

5. Gud Fader, som mig skabte,
tæl ej mig blandt fortabte,
mit håb er sat til dig:
Guds Søn, som mig forløste,
din hjælp mig altid trøste,
styrk det, du har begyndt i mig!

6. Du, Helligånd, mig råde,
giv visdom mig og nåde,
giv lykke, gode råd:
I kaldet flittig være,
mit kors tålmodig bære,
giv mig i Himlen del og lod!

30 November 2010

Wacht auf, ihr Christen alle

“Wacht auf, ihr Christen alle” (in Low German: Enchiridion Geilstiker Gesenge unde Leder… Lübeck, 1556; Enchiridion Hamburg, J. Wickradt 1558; in High German: Greifswald 1597, etc.). The melody is the proper, adapted from an older Dutch song tune for use in a Low German Psalter; here in the form given by Eler (1588). The looser High German rendering of the Low German text is appointed in Nürnberg (1599/1607) for Advent II.

WAKE, CHRISTIANS, ere the morrow,
Awake with eagerness,
Here in this vale of sorrow,
Awake! The time it is.
The Lord will soon be coming,
The day its eve shall have,
And sinners, their condemning:
Who then their soul may save?

2. Our wealth will not avail us,
Nor pompous thing of pride,
These all too soon shall fail us,
And fade ere we have died.
Art thou too fair and tender,
Art thou too rich, ye think?
Thine end God soon could render,
Before thine eye would blink.

3. So to your knees be sinking,
Ye Christians gathered here,
Put off your prideful thinking
And watch till Christ appear.
With God would ye be living,
Then seek th’ eternal good;
To you He will be giving
Great help in every need.

4. God’s Word to us is given
By bounteous, gracious love,
That we might walk in heaven,
Prepare, and watchful prove.
So let us gladly take it,
And tightly cling thereto;
If we should e’er forsake it.
Then are we done and through.

5. Who God’s Word will not cherish,—
Oh, would he ne’er were born!
He’s lost and He will perish,
He goes in night forlorn,
With shame and vices burdened,
He mocks the Word of God—
Alas, that soul unpardoned
Shall know eternal death!

6. The poor, by need surrounded,
Behold with pitying eyes,
For ye shall be confounded
When judgment on you lies:
Know that, when God most holy,
Shall judge, and all repay,
Then those who helped the lowly,
Will find reward that day.

Translation © 2010 Matthew Carver.

1. Waket up, gy Christen alle,
Wakt up mit grotem vlyt.
In düssen jamerdalen!
Wakt up! Tis mehr denn tyd!
De Here wert balde kamen,
De Dach will ein Avent han,
De Sünders wert he verdömen:
wohl mach vor eem bestan?

2. Geld, Gud kann eem nicht baten,
uns helpt noch hoge Mod:
Du moest it korts vorlaten,
Went dar kumt de bitter dod.
All bistu schön van varwen,
all bistu jung und rick:
God kan dy balde vorderwen,
in einem Ogenblik.

3. Darumme, gy Christen alle
de hyr thosammende syt,
Latet juwen hohmod fallen
unde wachet up juwe tid!
Wille gy by Gade leewen,
So söket dat Ewige gud!
He wert juw ricklick gewen
unde helpen ut aller Nod.

4. Gads Word is uns gegewen
ut groter Barmherticheit,
dat wy darna schölln lewen
unde maken unsen Wech bereid:
So lat uns dat nu vaten
und klewen mit dem Herten dran!
Will wy dat nu vorlaten,
so ist mit uns gedan!

5. Och, wär he nicht gebaren,
de Gades Word voracht.
It is mit em vorlaren,
he wandert all in der Nacht
vull Laster und vull Schande
und spottet mit Gades Word.
O wee dem groten Elende,
syn Seel werd ewig vormordt.

6. De armen, de by iuw wanen,
wilt dar juw Ogen upflan,
se werden juw vorschamen,
wenn gy vor dem strengen Ordel stan.
Dat werde gy seker woll weten,
dat God nicht toworgelden steit,
unde de dem Armen heft gud gedan,
de wert syn Lon entfahn.

1. Wacht auf, ihr Christen alle,
wacht auf und seid bereit
in diesem Jammertale,
wacht auf, es ist schon Zeit!
Der Herr wird nun bald kommen
und zum Gerichte gehn,
die Sünder all verdammen;
wer wird vor ihm bestehn?

2. Geld, Gut kann da nicht raten,
es hilft nicht hoher Mut,
du mußt es kurz verlassen,
wenn kommt der bittre Tod.
Bist du gleich schön von Farben,
bist du gleich jung und reich,
Gott kann dich bald verderben
im Augenblick der Zeit.

3. Darum, ihr Christen alle,
die hier beisammen seid,
laßt euren Hochmut fallen
und wartet auf die Zeit.
Wollt ihr bei Jesu leben,
so sucht das ewge Gut,
er wirds euch reichlich geben
und helfen aus der Not.

4. Gotts Wort ist uns gegeben
aus groß´r Barmherzigkeit,
daß wir darnach solln leben
und machen uns bereit;
so laßt uns das nun fassen
und halten fest daran;
wolln wir das nun verlassen,
so ist´s mit uns getan.

5. Ach wär der nicht geboren,
der Gottes Wort veracht!
Es ist mit ihm verloren,
der wandert ganz in Nacht,
voll Laster und voll Schande
und spottet Gottes Wort:
o weh, die Höllenbande
erwarten ihn schon dort.

6. Der Armen Not und Grämen
laßt euch zu Herzen gehn,
daß sie euch nicht beschämen,
wenn ihr vor G´richt sollt stehn;
denn wer den Armen gibet,
erlangt den Gnadenlohn;
den, der sie hier betrübet,
verdammt einst Gottes Sohn.

29 November 2010

Elias der prophetisch Mann

Here is my translation of the final judgment hymn “Elias der prophetisch Mann” (G. Engelhardt, 1599?), which appears in Nürnberg 1599 and 1607, and in an undated pamphlet, "Four Beautiful New Hymns." It is based on an apocryphal prophecy of the school of Elias (Elijah), i.e., not the prophet Elijah of the Old Testament, but the rabbi Elijah or Elias who lived ca. 200 B.C. The Nürnberg hymnals appointed it for Advent II as well as Trin. XXVI.

The melody is “In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr” (pre-Reform. / Straßb. 1560). The second melody by this name (most popular in American hymnals) would not seem to match the tone quite as well. The third, attr. to B. Gesius, works well.

ELIAS, MAN and prophet bold,
His pupils of a vision told:
How long the world would yet endure
Before it met destruction sure.
O Lord have mercy on us!

2. Six thousand years he did allot
Before the world would fall to naught:
Yet Christ our Lord did us assure,
That it would not so long endure.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

3. Yea, for the sake of the elect
The days would be cut short and checked;
Much longer may this world not stand,—
Its final end is nigh at hand.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

4. The Son of God will soon be here,
With glory and pow’r, inspiring fear,
With angels circling east to west,
And prophets and apostles blest–
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

5. They come upon the trumpet’s blast,
In Josaphat’s deep vale at last
The final judgment to decree.
And all shall rise that Judge to see.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

6. Then all the dead shall rise again
And every soul with eye be seen,
In flesh and bone once more arrayed,
As ’twas before their life decayed.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

7. With limbs and body brought to life
Rich, poor, great, small, child, man and wife
Shall go to face that solemn court,
Where every soul must give report
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

8. He shall account for each vain word,
And many a wondrous thing be heard,
Exposing all in earth and heav’n,
And then the verdict shall be giv’n.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

9. To those who stand upon His right:
Come forth, ye blessed in My sight,
To heaven’s kingdom, and to Me!
There shall ye dwell eternally.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

10. O God, what shall those numbers face
That on His left hand find their place!
With trembling limbs and fearful stare,
They hear the Lord their doom declare:
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

11. “Ye never feared Me all your days!
Go forth, ye cursed, to the blaze
of deathless fire in deepest hell,
There evermore in pain to dwell.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

12. A piteous cry shall fill the land
Among the masses of the damned—
A noise of nashing ring abroad:
“Alas, alas, Almighty God!”
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

13. Alas, if but a sparrow might
In myriad eons here alight
And take from all our agony
A mustard-seed in quantity!
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

14. And every thousand years it came,
And ever only took the same,
Then would our hope be well increased
That we might someday be released.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

15. Alas, Oh God, it may not be,
For endless is our agony,
Eternal God’s hot wrath and scorn—
Oh, would we never had been born!
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!

16. Six thousand years shall soon be past,
Too quickly shall we see the last,
The final days must shortened be,
So bring forth fruit repentantly.
Oh God, have mercy on us!

17. That also ye may then belong
To God’s elect and chosen throng,
And so escape the pains of hell—
George Engelhardt doth wish it well! [alt. Pray Christ with Him to let us dwell]
Oh God, have mercy on us!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Elias, der prophetisch Mann,
hat seinen Schülern zeiget an,
wie lang die Welt soll bleiben stehn,
eh daß sie werd zu Boden gehn.
Ach, Herr, erbarm dich unser!

2. Spricht, sie werd stehn sechs tausend Jahr,
dann werd sie vergehn ganz und gar;
der Herr Christus hat aber gmeldt,
es werd nicht so lang stehn die Welt.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

3. Um der auserwählten Willn auf Erdn,
müße die Zeit verkürzet werdn;
drum kann die Welt nicht lang mehr stehn,
sie wird gar bald zu Boden gehn.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

4. Der Sohn Gottes der wird gar bald
in seiner Herrlichkeit und Gwalt,
mit allen lieben Engeln rein,
Propheten und Aposteln sein,
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

5. Kommen mit einer Posaunen Schall,
zu halten in Josaphats Tal
ein jüngst Gericht; merkt eben,
ein jedes muß wieder leben.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

6. Die Toten werden auferstehn,
ein jeder wird wieder gesehn
mit Bein und Haut umgeben rein,
wie er war in dem Leben sein–
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

7. Mit eim Klarifizierten Leib,
reich, arm, klein, groß, Kind, Mann und Weib,
und erscheinen fürs jüngst Gericht,
da muß ein jedes tun Bericht,
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

8. Von eim jeden unnützen Wort.
Da wird viel seltsam Dings erhört.
Wann nun dies alles ist geschehn,
wird endlich das Urteil ergehn.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

9. Zu den auf der rechten Seitn:
Kommt her, ihr gebenedeitn,
zu mir ins Himmelreiche mein!
Darin sollt ihr nun ewig sein.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

10. O Gott, wie wird es denen gehn,
die auf der linken Seiten stehn!
Sie werden zittern und zagen;
Christus, der Herr, wird ihn sagen:
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

11. Ihr fürcht mich zu keinen Zeitn,
geht hin, ihr vermaledeitn,
in die ewig höllische Pein!
Darin müßt ihr nun ewig sein.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

12. Dann wird sich da ein Gschrei anhebn,
ein Zittern, Zähnklappern und Bebn
wohl unter der verdammten Rott;
O weh, o weh, allmächtger Gott!
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

13. O weh, o weh, o daß nur käm
ein kleines Vögelein und nähm
in tausend Jahrn von unser Pein
so groß als ein Senfkörnelein!
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

14. Und über tausend Jahr wieder käm,
und allweg nur so viel hinnäm,
so hätten wir ein Hoffnung groß,
daß wir einmal würden erlost.
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

15. Aber, ach Gott, das mag nicht sein,
ewig müßen wir leiden Pein
und auf uns tragen Gottes Zorn.
Wär besser, wir wärn nie geborn!
Ach Herr, erbarm dich unser!

16. Sechs tausend Jahr verlassen sein
schier gar! drum kanns nicht weit mehr sein,
die Zeit verkürzet werden muß;
drum tut rechtschaffne Frücht der Buß.
Ach Gott, erbarm dich unser!

17. Aufdaß ihr auch werdet gezählt
zu den, die Gott hat auserwählt,
und vertritt höllischen Schmerzen,
wünscht Görg Engelhart von Grund seins Herzen.
Ach Gott, erbarm dich unser! Amen.

17 November 2010

Als der gütige Gott vollenden wollt (Mittit ad Virginem)

Here is my translation of the sequence “Als der gütige Gott vollenden wollt” (M. Weiße, 1531), a vernacular, Christian revision of Abelard’s “Mittit ad Virginem” and appointed for Advent by, i.a., Geistliche Psalmen… (Nürnberg), also appropiate (indeed, proper) for Annunciation.

WHEN GOD, with gracious love,
His promise true would prove,
He sent strong Gabriel
His angel swift and fell,
From heav’n to Galilee; :
To Nazareth came he,
Yea, to a virgin came,
And Mary was her name,
Whom Joseph, pledged by vow,
Had not yet come to know.

2. The messenger began
His errand to explain,
And with great joy and cheer,
Made all to Mary clear,
With words of tenderness :
Hail, Mary, full of grace;
The Lord and God most high
Is with thee now and nigh,
And blest, O blest, art thou
Among all women now.

3. When blessed Mary heard
This strange and wondrous word,
Then was she troubled quite
And wondered with affright,
What could this greeting mean? :
He said: Be not dismayed
On thee God’s grace is laid;
Thou shalt conceive and bear
His Son, true God fore’er,
And Jesus call His name.

4. The virgin answered then,
My heart has known no men,
And none to me yet cleave,
Nor can I now conceive
How else this thing shall be. :
He said: Behold, in thee
This wondrous mystery
The Holy Ghost shall do
And thou conceive the true
And very Son of God.

5. Then Mary faith expressed,
And with her mouth confessed:
I am the Lord’s true maid;
Let be as thou hast said;
My will in His is stayed.
The pow’r of God her graced
In maidenhead all chaste,
Conceived in chamber new,
The Christ, our Savior true,
And Gabriel then withdrew.

6. All glory, majesty
And thanks eternally
Be given unto Thee
Christ Jesus, Lord and God,
Who took’st our flesh and blood!
Now also by Thy grace
Take in our hearts a place;
Our souls with sainthood bless;
Make Thou our glorious dress
Thy perfect righteousness.

7. Supply us with Thee,
That we may sing Thy praises for eternity.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Als der gütige Gott
vollenden wollt sein Wort,
sandt er ein Engel schnell
des Namen Gabriel
ins Galilesche Land :
in die Stadt Nazareth,
da er ein Jungfrau hätt,
die Maria genannt,
Joseph nie hätt erkannt,
dem sie vertreuet war.

2. Als der Bot vor sie kam,
fing er mit Freuden an,
machet ihr offenbar,
was ihm befohlen war,
sprechend freundlich zu ihr :
Sei gegrüßt holdselig;
Gott der Herr allmächtig
ist mit dir allezeit,
O du gebenedeit
unter allen Frauen.

3. Als die Jungfrau erhort
so wünderliche Wort,
ward sie bald Traurens voll
und bedacht sich gar wohl,
was sie drauf sagen sollt. :
Er sprach: Ei, sei getrost,
denn Gott hat zu dir Lust,
und du wirst empfangen
und gebären einn Sohn
und den nennen Jesum.

4. Maria antwort ihm:
Ist doch mein Herz und SInn
auf keinen Mann gewandt,
ist mir auch unbekannt,
wie sichs sonst sollt ergehn.
Der engel sprach zu ihr:
Der heilig Geist in dir
wird so groß Wünder thun,
und du wirst Gottes Sohn
unverruckt umfangen.

5. Maria glaubet ihm
und sprach: Wohlan, ich bin
willig des Herren Magd,
er thu, wie du gesagt,
mit mir, was ihm behagt.
Bald wirket Gottes Kraft
in ihrer Jungfrauschaft
und sie empfing zu Hand
Christum der Welt Heiland,
und der Engel verschwand.

6. Preis, Lob, und Herrlichkeit,
Danksagung und Klarheit
sei dir in Ewigkeit,
o Herre Jesu Christ,
der du Mensch worden bist.
O komm durch deine Güt
auch in unser Gemüth
und verleih Heiligkeit
in der Theilhaftigkeit
deiner Gerechtigkeit.

7. Verfüg uns mit dir,
aufdaß wir dich loben mögen für und für.

1. Mittit ad Vírginem
Non quemvis Angelum,
Sed Fortitudinem,
Suum Archangelum
Amator hominis.
2. Fortem expediat
Pro nobis nuntium,
Naturæ faciat
Ut præjudicium
In partu virginis.
3. Naturam superet
Natus Rex gloriæ
Regnet et imperet,
Et zyma scoriæ
Tollat de medio.
4. Superbientium
Terat fastigia,
Colla sublimium
Calcans vi propria,
Potens in prælio.
5. Foras ejiciat
Mundanum principem,
Matremque faciat
Secum participem
Patris imperii.
6. Exiqui mitteris,
Hæc dona dissere;
Revela veteris
Velamen litteræ,
Virtute nuntii.
7. Accede, nuntia:
Dic, Ave, cominus;
Dic, plena gratia;
Dic, tecum DOminus;
Et dic, ne timeas.
8. Virgo suscipias
Dei depostium,
In quo perficias
Castum propositum,
Et votum teneas.
10. Consiliarium
Humani generis,
Et Deum fortium,
Et patrem posteris,
In pace stabilem.
11. Sic nobis oritur
Lumen de lumine:
Sic homo nascitur
Factus ex Virgine,
Indultor scelerum.
12. Qui nobis tribuat
Peccati veniam,
Reatum diluat,
Et donet patriam
In arce siderum. Amen.

14 November 2010

Ach wie elend ist unsre Zeit* (update)

Here is my updated (You) form of my own translation of the hymn, “Ach wie elend ist unsre Zeit” by Johannes Gigas, based on Psalm 90, first appearing in Nürnberg 1566 (where it is titled "a summary of Moses' prayer") and later in the author’s own catechism of 1577. While appointed to be sung to "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" in the Nürnberg hymnal (to be sung, int. al., on the XXIV. Sunday after Trinity), it would also be fittingly sung to “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir.” Also there appears to be a proper tune composed later (see below):

HOW wretched is this life, alas!
How soon our soul is wearied!
How quickly mortal men must pass
From hence, and low be buried!
Here in this vale of tears we see,
E’en in our brief prosperity,
That all is toil and trouble.

2. Through Adam’s fall and sinful deed
Do we this all inherit.
God, grant us aid in time of need:
Your help alone has merit.
It fills Your heart with pity sure,
To see us blind and self-secure
Amid such pain and sorrow.

3. Lord, You our refuge are alone;
Send us Your help forever,
For You do not forget Your own,
Who trust in Your good favor:
Your Spirit send, our way to tend,
And grant us all a blessed end;
Through Jesus Christ we pray You.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

Ach wie elend ist unsre Zeit
allheir auf dieser Erden,
Gar bald der Mensch darnieder leit,
wir müssen alle sterben.
Allhier in diesem Jammerthal
ist Müh und Arbeit überall,
auch wann es wohl gelinget.

2. Ach, Adams Fall und Missethat
solchs alles auf uns erben,
O Gott, gib du uns guten Rath,
daß wirs erkennen lernen.
Daß wir so blind und sicher sein
mitten in Trübsal und in Pein,
das ist ja zu erbarmen.

3. Herr Gott, du unser Zuflucht bist,
Dein Hülfe thu uns senden,
der du der deinen nicht vergißt,
die sich zu dir nur wenden.
Mit deinem Geiste steh uns bei,
ein selges Stündlein uns verleih,
durch Jesum Christum, Amen.

13 November 2010

O Gott, verleih mir dein Genad* (update)

Here is my updated version of my translation of “O Gott, verleih mir dein Genad” (J. Sanffdorffer) orig. appearing in Schumann (1539), and then Babst (1545) with the melody from “Mag ich Unglück nicht widerstahn,” and the title: Wider die drei Erzfeinde der Seelen [“Against the Three Arch-Enemies of the Soul”]. Ludecus (1589) appoints it for Septuagesima and Sexagesima, and for the feasts of the apostles and of St. Lawrence; Nürnberg also appoints it for the II. and XXV. Sunday safter Trinity, as well as Epiphany I & V and the feast of St. Thomas.

O GOD, Your grace on me bestow,
Your wisdom show,
Or else I soon must stumble.
How many fearsome foes abound,
My step to hound
And from You make me tumble!
The world would cast / Its net so vast,
The sinful flesh / Would tempt afresh:
Lord, hear my groaning humble!

2. The devil is the grimmest foe,
He works great woe
With countless crafts and cunning,
And if a man not flee away,
The rogue can play
A friend of semblance stunning:
Thus robed in guile / Of many a style
He steals the life / Of sinners rife,
Who blind from heav’n are running.

3. Defend me from the murd’rer’s ways,
Lord, in Your grace,
Let not my heart be taken!
Unless You build the house, it must
Soon fall to dust
When by his volleys shaken!
O Christ, unless / You deign to bless
My soul with aid / When thus waylaid,
Then I must be forsaken.

4. Therefore, O Lord, beside me stay,
From day to day,
Until I down have laid me,
And I will barter life and blood,
And every good,—
Send but Your balm to aid me,
And I will stand, / Though every land
Desert its Lord; / The devil’s horde
Will not from You dissuade me.

5. Though world and devils all unite
Their force and might
And mass their fearsome nation,
Yet Yours are peace and comforts prized,
Lord Jesus Christ,
And theirs but devastation;
In death I’ll fly / To You on high;
Refuse me not! / But make my lot
Your blessed habitation!

6. Near draws the day of great distress,—
How close it is!
When those who spurn Your favor,
And do not now in grief repent—
Shall loud lament;
Exposed, their foul behavior
Shall pay them sore / Forevermore,
By Your decree: / O God, make me
To wake in Christ my Savior!

7. Your Israel You shall set free
From misery
When comes Your Day of splendor;
And justly to that godless race
That spurns Your grace,
A hellish sentence render.
O mighty God, / Of Sab’oth Lord,
To You I cry! / Lord, hear my sigh,
And be my true Defender!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. O Gott, verleih mir dein Genad,
gib Hilf und Rath,
ich muß sonst gar verzagen.
Es seind der Feind’ so grausam viel
in diesem Ziel,
die mich von dir wölln jagen.
Mir hat die Welt ihr Netz gestellt,
das sündlich Fleisch mich von dir heischt:
O Herr, dir thu ichs klagen.

2. Der Teufel ist der ärgste Feind,
er reißt und greint
und treibt viel böser Tücken;
Und hat doch niemand Scheuen dran,
das macht, er kann
den Schalk gar höflich schmücken;
In gleißnerei so mancherlei
er sich verbirgt, viel Volks erwürgt,
wenn ers von dir thut zücken.

3. Vor diesem Mörder mich behüt,
Herr, durch dein Güt,
in mir mach rein das Herze!
Wo du nicht selber baust das Haus,
vor diesem Graus
so fällts mit grossem Schmerze.
Wo du nicht bist, Herr Jesu Christ,
selbst Helfer groß für diesem Stoß,
so ists um mich ein Scherze.

4. Darum, o Herr, thu bei mir stahn,
von jetzund an
bis an mein letztes Ende!
So will ich frischlich wogen dran
als was ich han,
dein Trost thu mir nur senden:
So bleib ich fest, und das zerbrest
die Welt all gar, der Teufel Schar
soll mich von dir nicht wenden.

5. Wenn schon die Welt und Teufel all
in diesem Thal
auf einen Haufen stunden,
so ist doch bei dir Trost und Frist,
Herr Jesu Christ,
du kannst sie überwinden.
Ich fahr daher, und wenns leid wär
auch jedermann, leit mir nicht dran:
bei dir laß ich mich finden.

6. Es kommt der Tag, und ist nicht weit,
der bringt groß Leid
den, die sich jetzt kann schrecken,
und glauben nicht in dieser Noth
in dich, o Gott!
wirst ihr Schalkheit aufdecken,
und straffen sie immer und je
auch ewiglich: O Gott, thu mich
in Christo auferwecken!

7. Du wirst helfen aus aller Quäl
dem Israel,
wenn kommen wird dein Tage,
und wirst verdammen durch dein Recht
das gottlos Gschlecht,
die jetzt an dir verzagen.
O starker Gott, Herr Zebaoth,
ich tritt zu dir, o Herr, hilf mir:
ich wills frei tapfer wagen!

10 November 2010

Den Kristelig Kirkes skønne navn

Here is my translation of the hymn “Den Kristelig Kirkes skønne navn” (H. Thomissøn, 1569), before it was reworked by Grundtvig in the 19th century, though I include his first stanza, both for comparison and for the same reaosn that “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort” was reworked in later times. The tune is originally from Strassburg 1525, and was only used in Thomissøn, other tunes being later appointed to it in various works.

FAIR is the Christian Church’s name,
All men on earth would bear it,—
And for themselves that title claim,
But God will never share it
With Papist or with warlike Turk,
With Russ, or Jew with doctrine dark,—
God’s Church they claim but falsely.

1 (Grundtvig, 1836/1845):
Fair is the Christian Church’s name,
All men on earth would bear it,
Yet our Lord’s people have that claim—
These few His grace inherit.
The precious name of Christendom
Is made by many a whitewashed tomb,
But dead men’s bones concealing.

2. By rights the Church, God’s realm of grace,
Is known as Universal,
Found in each people, time, and place
Though wide be their dispersal;
As long as earth hath stood and stands
Christ gathers sheep within His hands,
Nor is He ever hindered.

3. In all the earth, it is that place,
Which Christ’s own pledges christen,
Where scattered stand God’s chosen race,
And to the Gospel listen,
Where men are called from sin’s dark haze,
And all the devil’s works and ways,
That they might know salvation.

4. Therefore, the Church’s mark is, first,
As Holy Scripture teaches,
God’s Word, which, in its every verse,
Bears witness to Christ Jesus;
Where it is taught in purity,
God’s flock is found assuredly;
Fruit there cannot but flourish.

5. And where Christ’s good baptismal flood
as He ordained is given,
And His true testament of blood
And body for us riven;—
Where both are taken properly,
And found without all heresy,
God’s Church is surely present.

6. In their obedience to God’s Word
We also find God’s people,—
The mighty limbs of Christ on earth,
God’s temple, house, and steeple.
God hears their prayr’s with certainty,
And they return thanks fittingly,
Confess, and serve Him truly.

7. The cross, His heavy coat of arms,
Christ gives His bride, to wear it,
But by a pledge her heart He charms,
That she shall heav’n inherit.
From Satan’s craft, and works of sin,
Th’ offensive world, and flesh within,
He shall be her protection.

8. Still weeds and tares among the grain
Must here on earth be growing;
False Christians, who in shame remain,
To judgment must be going;
The saints of God one Baptism have,
One faith, one hope, one Lord to save;
To heav’n shall they be gathered.

9. O Jesus Christ, all thanks to Thee,
For each assuring token
By which Thy Holy Church we see,
As in Thy Scripture spoken:
Thy doctrine, brought to light again
By Luther, may Thou pure retain
In this our land forever.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

Den Kristelig Kirkes skønne navn
vil hver på Jorden bære,
Guds Folk sig kalde og gjøre af savn
do de det ej monne være;
Papister og den grumme Tyrk
rydser, jøder met Lærdom mørk
Guds kirke sig falsklig kalde.

1. alt. (Grundtvig)
Den kristne kirkes skønne navn
vil overalt man bære,
men Herrens folk, til evigt gavn,
det vil dog få kun være;
sig kirkens navn med uret gav
og giver mangen kalket grav,
som dødningben kun gemmer.)

2. Den Kristelig Kirke kaldes ret
almindelig, tag det vare;
tid, sted, folk, lærdom ikke forgæt,
disse fire det forklare.
Så længe som Verden stod og står,
Guds Søn sig samler lydige får;
hvo vilde hannem det forhindre.

3. Al verden er forvist denne sted,
som Kristus selv kundgjører
i hvilken Guds folk ere atspred
og it [??] Evangelium høre.
Alle menneske kaldes og her til
fra Djævelens gavn og syndsens spil,
at de kunde salig blive.

4. Den Kristelig Kirkes rette tegn,
som Skriften klarlige lærer,
er først Guds ord, som alle vegn
om Jesu vidnesbyrd bærer.
Hvor som det prædikes uden al tant,
Guds menighed findes der forsandt;
uden frugt kan det ej være.

5. Hvor dåbsens Sacrament så god,
som Kristus monne indskikke,
og hans Testamentes Legem og Blod,
som vi skulle æde og drikke;
hvor disse to, de bruges ret
foruden all kætters fund’ og sæt’,
Guds kirke uden tvivl der kjendes.

6. På lydighed imod Guds ord
kan vi og Guds folk mærke,
som ere Guds tempel her på jord
og Kristi lemmer stærke.
Gud hører visselig deres bøn,
og de give hannem taksigelse skøn,
de hannem ret kjende og tjene.

7. Kårset og modgang er for vist
og Kristi bruds hoffarve;
dog trøster du hende, O Jesu Krist
at hun skal himmerig arve;
mod djævelens list og grumme mord,
mod verdsens børns forargelse stor
og kjødet du hende beskærmer.

8. Ukrud og klinte der findes fast
blandt hveden her på jorden;
mundkristne leve i skam og last,
på dommen de afskild vorde.
Guds helgen de have en kraftig dåb,
en Gud, en Herre, en tro, et håb;
i himmerig skulle de samles.

9. Thi takke vi dig, O Jesu Krist,
at på disse tegn og flere
den hellige Kirke kan forvist
bevises blandt os at være.
Din lærdom, som ved Luther igen
til ljuset kom, lad blive ren
altid i disse lande.

06 November 2010

Herr, ich habe mißgehandelt (suppl.)

Here is my supplement of the hymn "Lord, to Thee I Make Confession" (tr. Winkworth, 1862), a translation of Johann Franck's "Herr, ich habe mißgehandelt" (1649). I also include Winkworth's stanza 2, omitted from, e.g., ELHB#416, TLH#326, etc., the translation of which obscures somewhat the reference to Psalm 139, though the sense is sufficiently conveyed. Additionally, I have provided an alternate stanza 7 for comparison. As usual, Miss Winkworth has shied away from speaking of Christs wounds directly. While one may agree with her distaste for the maudlin sentiments conveyed by stanzas 4–6, I would think that one should be less inclined to do so especially with regard that stanza. I also suggest an amendment to make the sense flow better; the sense of "hiding," (and what the right Place to "hide" is) runs through the whole hymn and is seen better this way. It is interesting to note that the hymn was not included in Walther's Hymnal (the St. Louis hymnal), though Crüger's great tune was specified for #264, "Ach! was sind wir ohne Jesum?" (Oh, What Are We Without Jesus), translated in 2009.

LORD, to Thee I make confession;

I have sinned and gone astray,

I have multiplied transgression,

Chosen for myself my way.

Led by Thee to see my errors,

Lord, I tremble at Thy terrors. [or I would hide me Thy terrors.]

2. But from Thee how can I hide me?
Thou, O God, art everywhere.
Refuge from Thee is denied me,
Or by land or sea or air;
Nor death's darkness can enfold me
So that Thou shouldst not behold me.

3. Yet, though conscience’s voice appall me,

Father, I will seek Thy face;

Tho’ Thy child I dare not call me,

Yet receive me to Thy grace.

Do not for my sins forsake me;

Do not let Thy wrath o’ertake me.

4. Though a man the sands may number
Bounding all the earthly seas,

Still the weights that me encumber—

Yea, my vast iniquities,

Would, O Lord, be higher mounting

Then man hath the pow’r of counting.

5. Weep, oh, weep at God’s displeasure,

Ye mine eyes, a river broad!

Oh, that I had tears in measure

To bemoan my shameful load;
Oh, that from these wells unwilling

I might stronger streams be spilling!

6. Oh, if but more bitter torrents
Might o’erflow my stony face,

And mine eyes with crimson currents

These dry fountains might replace!

Oh, if only as the ocean

They might billow with devotion.

7. For Thy Son did suffer for me,

Gave Himself to rescue me,
Died to heal me and restore me,
Reconciled me unto Thee.

’Tis alone His cross can vanquish

These dark fears and soothe this anguish.

7 (more literal). Yet, O Christ, Thy bloody members,—
Yea, one drop thereof abounds

With the pow’r to snuff the embers

Of my sins, and mend my wounds.

Therefore I, to quench my anguish

Hide me in Thy wounds that vanquish.

8. Then on Him I cast my burden,

Sink it in the depths below.

Let me know Thy gracious pardon,

Wash me, make me white as snow.

Let Thy Spirit leave me never;

Make me only Thine forever.

Translation sts. 4, 5, 6, and 7 (alternate) © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Herr, ich habe mißgehandelt,
Ja, mich drückt der Sünden Last
Ich bin nicht den Weg gewandelt,
den du mir gezeiget hast.
Und ich woll jetzt gern aus Schrecken
Mich vor deinem Zorn verstecken.

2. Doch wie könnt' ich dir entfliehen?
Du wirst allenthalben sein.
Wollt ich über See gleich ziehen,
Stieg' ich in die Gruft hinein,
Hätt' ich Flügel gleich den Winden,
Gleichwohl würdest du mich finden.

3. Drum, ich muß es nur bekennen,
Herr, ich habe mißgethan,
Darf mich nicht dein Kind mehr nennen;
'Ach, nimm mich zu Gnaden an!
Laß die Menge meiner Sünden
Deinen Zorn nicht gar entzünden.

4. Könnt' ein Mensch den Sand gleich zählen
An dem weiten Mittelmeer,
Dennoch würd' es ihm wohl fehlen,
Daß er meiner Sünden Heer,
Daß er alle mein' Gebrechen
Sollte wissen auszusprechen.

5. Wein', ach, wein' jetzt um die Wette,
Meiner beiden Augen Bach,
O daß ich güug Zähren hätte,
Zu betrauern meine Schmach.
O daß aus dem Thränenbronnen
Kam' ein starker Strom geronnen!

6. Ach, daß doch die strengen Fluthen
Ueberschwemmten mein Gesicht,
Und die Augen möchten bluten,
Weil mir Wasser sonst gebricht!
Ach, daß sie wie Meereswellen
Möchten in die Höhe schwellen.

7. Jedoch, Christe, deine Beulen,
Ja, ein einzig Tröpflein Blut,
Das kann meine Wunden heilen,
Löschen meiner Sünden Glut.
Drum will ick, mein' Angst zu stillen,
Mich in deine Wunden hüllen.

8. Dir will ich die Last aufbinden,
Wirf sie in,die tiefste See;
Wasche mich von meinen Sünden,
Mache mich so weiß als Schnee.
Laß den guten Geist mich treiben,
Einzig stets bei dir zu bleiben.

Was gibst du denn, o meine Seele (st. 2)

Ever wonder why some hymns in our hymnals appear as "centos" or "abbreviated" and not in full? Is it always only to save space? Sometimes, perhaps, but sometimes not. Sometimes there are just weak stanzas of paltry (or bad) doctrinal substance—shades and shells, if we can borrow Lochner's language. They throw the conscience into doubt, and obfuscate pure doctrine. In some cases, one wonders, then, why the whole hymn is not omitted, if a part of it is patently weak, and space thereby made for other good hymns to be more fully represented. Here is one case, ELHB #345, TLH #404. See if you can guess which words and thoughts are missing:

Soul, What Return Has God, Thy Savior (st. 2)

What are those works of form external,
Which have no substance inwardly?
Mere shades, and shells without a kernel―
Begone such vain hypocrisy!
The devil after such enquires,
But God the heart alone desires.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

2. Was sind die bloße aussen-Werke,
Wann sie dem Herzen unbekandt?
Nur Wolken, Spruer, Schalen, Quärke,
Weg mit dem öden Heucheltand!
Der Satan wählet solchen Schein:
Gott aber will das Herz allein.

04 November 2010

O Gott, mein Herr, sei mir gnädig (Ps. LVI)

Here is my translation of the psalm paraphrase “O Gott, mein Herr, sei mir gnädig” (H. Sachs), titled, The LVI. Psalm, Miserere mei Deus quoniam. It is a more or less plain rendering of the text without any overt Christological exposition. The melody seems to have been “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her” or “Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein,” though I think the 1537 tune for Psalm 124, “Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit,” would work well, too.

O GOD, show me Thy graciousness,
For men would soon destroy me;
All day my foes my soul oppress,
They vex me and annoy me!
They wage their war with pride and lust;
When I’m afraid, in Thee I trust,
O God, Thy Word extolling.

2. To God my hope is clinging tight;
What harm can flesh do to me?
All day against my words they fight,
Their thoughts always pursue me,
To do me evil, as they lurk,
Conspiring in some wicked work,
My every step attending.

3. They lie in wait, my soul to fell,
Their strife has no abating.
In wrath, O God, cast down to hell
This people without waiting!
Count up my wand’rings, Lord, and keep
My tears within Thy bottle deep,
Then will my foes be turning.

4. When I shall call on Thee in need,
My grief I’ll be dismissing
For Thou wilt be my God indeed!
God’s Word I will be praising,
That Word, the Lord’s, I do adore,
In God I trust and fear no more.
Oh, what can man do to me?

5. My vows I must perform to Thee,
O God, and thanks will render!
For Thou from death hast rescued me,
Thou hast been my Defender,
And kept my feet from falling aye,
That in the light of life I may
Before my God walk ever.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. O Gott, mein Herr, sei mir gnädig!
die Menschen mich versenken,
Streiten täglich und drängen mich,
mein Feind mich täglich kränken!
Viel streiten stöltzlich wider mich,
wenn ich mich fürcht, hoff ich auf dich,
Gottes Wort will ich rühmen.

2. Auf Gott so will ich hoffen tun,
was sollt dann Fleisch mir schaden?
Täglich mein Wort sie fechten an,
ihr Gemüt ist beladen,
Daß sie mir übels tun darauf,
lauren und halten sie zuhauf,
haben Acht auf mein Fersen.

3. Aufdaß sie erhaschen mein Seel,
man hilft ihn ihr Untate:
Gott, stoß solch Leute in die Höll,
zornig hinunter drate!
Zähl meine Flucht und fasse auch
meine Zeher in deinen Schlauch,
dann wärn mein Feind umkehret.

4. Wenn ich dich anruf in der Not,
so will ich Sorgen nimmen,
dann du bist wahrhaftig mein Gott!
Gottes Wort wil ich rühmen,
Ich will rühmen des Herren Wort,
auf Gott hoff ich und fürcht nicht fort,
was will ein Mensch mir tune?

5. Ich hab gelübt dir tan, mein Gott,
die ich mit Dank bezahle!
Dann du hast mein Seel von dem Tod
erretted überalle,
und mein Füß vom Schlüpfen alltag,
aufdaß ich fröhlich wandern mag
vor Gott im Licht des Lebens.