30 March 2010

Vergebens ist all Müh und Kost

Here is my translation of the hymn “Vergebens ist all Müh und Kost” (L. Spengler) a straightforward paraphrase of Ps. 127 appropriate for Epiphany II and for Trinity V & VIII; Ludecus (1598) appoints it for Trinity V. The proper tune I give here from the tenor line of Senfl's setting.

IN VAIN is all thy toil and pain,
Unless thy house be built by God;
So, too, man’s hope is all in vain
When founded on his powers flawed.
Except thy place
By God’s good grace
Be propped up and protected,
No waking would
Do any good
For what thou hast erected.

2. What profits us ere dawn to rise,
And multiply our fruitless pains?
So all our efforts fail likewise,
And all must go as God ordains.
And though we might
Win bread despite,
And through much grief and trouble;
If God deign not
To bless this lot,
What use if it were double?

3. Alone our heav’nly Father’s might
Can bless the people, rule the plot,
This truth is daily in our sight,
For if this Shepherd kept us not,
All rule would fall
Though built so tall,
And seemingly abiding;
What misery
We people see,
For not in God confiding.

4. If God to man some children cedes
He gives them only out of grace,
He is the One who keeps and feeds,
Though much a man may sweat and pace.
Without God’s will
’Tis futile still,
All paths His pow’r may alter,
Just as by haste
The strong men waste
And make their arrows falter.

5. How blessed, then, that place must be
Which God Himself by rule sustains;
And such a house that man will see
Whom God upon his pathway trains.
Wherefore make sure
Thy trust be pure
And on Him solely grounded.
Without whose hand
The strongest land
Must surely be confounded.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Vergebens ist all Müh und Kost
wo nicht das Haus Gott selber baut.
Also ist auch der Mensch trostlos
wo er sein engen Kräften traut.
Denn wo die Statt
Gott mit seim Rath
nicht selbst erhält, und schützet,
man wach und hüt
ohn Gottes Güt,
fürwahr daß solchs nicht nützet.

2. Was hilfts, daß wir vor Tags aufstehn,
und auf uns laden Sorgen viel.
So doch all unser Anschläg gehn,
allein wie Gottes Ordnung will.
Und ob den Brot
gleich wird mit Rath
und Kummer überkommen,
wenn Gott dir nit
solchs segnet mit,
was reicht dir das zu Frommen?

3. Der himmlische Vater thuts allein,
daß Land und Leut wird wohl regiert.
Wir sehens täglich als ich meint
und wenn nicht hütet dieser Hirt
all Regiment
nähm bald ein End,
wers noch so fest erbauet,
wie elend Leut
sind wir denn heut,
daß wir ihm nicht vertrauen.

4. Daß GOtt den Menschen Kinder bschert,
das ist allein sein Gnad und Güt.
Er ists der sie erhält und nährt,
wenn sich der Mensch am höchsten müht,
so ists umsonst
ohn Gottes Gunst,
er kann ihr Fußsteig wenden,
gleich wie in Eil
umtreibt ein Pfeil
ein Starker in sein Händen.

5. Wie selig ist nun diese Statt,
die von Gott selber wird regiert.
Das Haus so ein Vorsteher hat
den Gott in seinen Wegen führt.
Darum so schau,
daß dein Vertrau
auf ihn allein werd gstellet.
Dem ohn sein Hand
ein jedes Land
gewiß zu Boden fället.

29 March 2010

Fröhlich wollen wir Alleluja singen

Here is my translation of the Easter hymn “Frölich wollen wir Alleluja singen” (J. Agricola, 1524), a paraphrase of Psalm 117. It first appeared following Luther’s order for a Christian Mass (Witt. 1524). The first proper tune associated with it dates at latest to 1535, having the incipit: afgadfga. The one more commonly found later, such as in 766 Geistliche Psalmen, I reproduce here as given by Praetorius.

We with jubilation.
Fervently hearts spring
In such exultation :
By grace God hath unbound
All our transgressions,
In Him we have found
Richest of possessions.

2. Praise your God, all ye
In the earth residing!
Rich His grace shall be
On us all abiding :
Life, vigor, and delight
To us are given,
Hell, death, and the might
Of the foe are riven.

3. God speaks grace to all
On His grace depending
Help and comfort true
To His children sending :
Is faithful, changes not,
And shall not fail us,
As His Word hath taught,
He cannot beguile us.

4. Praise to God alone
With His Son be given,
And the Spirit, One,
Throned in highest heaven :
As was eternally
And shall be ever;
Whom all clearly see:
Lord, forsake us never.

Translation © 2010, 2015 Matthew Carver.

1. Fröhlich wollen wir
Alleuja singen,
Aus hiztiger Gier
unsers Herzen springen.
Sein Gnad vertilget hat
all unser Sünden,
in ihm haben wir
reiche Schätz gefunden.

2. Alls, was lebt auf
Erden, soll Gott loben.
Reichlich ist sein Gnad
über uns erhoben.
Freud, Leben, Stärk und Kraft
habn wir ererbet,
Höll, Tod, des Teufels
Macht hat er verderbet.

3. Gott sagt Gnad zu
Alln, die ihm vertrauen;
Trost, Hilf schick er zu
den, so auf ihn bauen;
- Fest steht, treulich hält
ohn List und Trügen,
Wie sein Wort vermeldt;
denn er kann nicht lügen.

4. Gott sei Lob gesagt
und seinem ein’gen Sohne,
heil’gem Geist, Gott von Art,
mächtig in eim Throne.
Von Anbeginn er war,
bleibt auch bis ans Ende.
All Welt sieht ihn klar.
Herr, von uns nicht wende. Amen.

Freuet euch, alle Christenheit

Here is my translation of the old 15th c. Easter hymn “(Nun) Freuet euch, alle Christenheit!” which is both an early example of vernacular hymnody and the basis of the great “Nun freut euch lieben Christen gmein.” My source is the Wicelii Psaltes eccl. 1550, the shorter version. There is also a 7-stanza form which is, however, slightly problematic due to some late medieval Mariolatry. In the shorter version, the second stanza indicates a vernacular response to the traditional sequence Salva festa dies, which was also known in various German versions through the Reformation period (e.g. “Also Heilig ist der Tag”). The melody is a predecessor to that used now with “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her.” You can see by the German version that there was a variation of stress in the last line. In the event of a final stress, the last syllable rhymed with the previous two lines. In the event of a final unstress (a fall), the last syllable was unrhymed, as in “Es ist das Heil.” I follow this.

1. All Christians, sing out joyfully!
God triumphed through affliction,
And loosed us by His victory
From out of hell’s constriction.
[Great] torment did our souls await,
But now our sorrow must abate,
Great bliss on us is risen.

2. This is the festive Easter Day,
None can enough adore it,
Our God holds all things in His sway,
And we must bless Him for it.
[O] Christians, lift your joyful song
And sing with all the angel throng,
For heaven’s sun shines brightly

3. O Jesus Christ, our Lord most blest!
For Thee are we rejoicing,
And all that has faith in its breast,
All Christians, now are voicing
[Glad] songs of praise and jubilee,
So sing we now right joyfully:
All praise to Thee, Christ Jesus!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Freuet euch, alle Christenheit!
Gott hat nu[n] überwunden.
Die große Marter die er leidt, [Die Marter groß war uns bereit]
die hat uns nu entbunden. [die ist nu all dahin geleit.]
Große Sorge war uns bereit,
welch ist nun alle gar hingeleit,
erstanden ist uns groß Seligkeit.

2. Es ist ein osterlicher Tag, [Diesen osterlichen Tag]
den mag kein man gnug ehren. [gnug loben] [kann neimand gnug verehren]
Gott der alle Ding vermag,
sein Lob soll man gemehren.
Christen nehmen des Tags wahr
und gehen samt zu der Engel Schar,
da scheinet die liebe Sonne klar.

3. Ei du hochgelobter Jesu Christ
mit dir freun wir uns heute
und alles was da gläubig ist
das sind wir Christenleute
Mit dir so wolln wir werden froh,
frisch, fröhlich solln wir singn also:
Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ.

27 March 2010

Von allen Menschen abgewandt

Here is my translation of “Von allen Menschen abgewandt” (A. Knöpken, 1527), a fairly straight-ahead paraphrase of Psalm 25. Below, I have included the only prior published translation in English that I know of, viz., that of Coverdale. Besides liberties taken with the meter, he has, you will notice, reduced the stanzas to eleven, hardly a significant reduction. Ludecus appoints this hymn especially for Trinity V and XXIV. The tune shown here is the proper from the first publication in Riga, 1527: “Von allen Menschen abgewandt” (1527); or else “An allen Menschen gar verzagt” (1553), or (as in Nürnberg, 1607): “Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir” [From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee] (see LSB 607).

BY ALL MANKIND cast off, I groan,
And lift my soul, forsaken,
O Lord my God, to Thee alone!
Let not my stance be shaken.
My faith is firmly set on Thee,
Oh, let me not confounded be,
Give not my foes the pleasure.

2. In shame shall none be made to stand
Who hope in Thee are setting.
They walk securely in Thy hand,
Their service not regretting.
All those who do Thy children ill,
Accusing them with evil will,
Shall end in devastation.

3. So point me, Lord, upon Thy way
Teach me to find Thee ever,
And lead me in Thy truth, I pray,
Thou art my Lord and Savior
My God, my confidence, my rock,
In which I trust where’er I walk,
And so defy all danger.

4. Lord, let Thy mercy move Thy heart,
And suffer love to guide Thee,
Because Thou dost Thy grace impart
To Thine who sit beside Thee,
Elected from eternity,
Preserved within Thy wise decree,
And blest thereby forever.

5. The faults of youth, in days long gone,
And all my errors ever,
I pray Thee, Lord, look not upon,
But only on Thy favor
Have mercy on me, grant Thy peace,
And from transgression, full release,
Because of Thy great goodness.

6. The Lord is good and will display
Love to His own adhering,
Though they may wander from the way,
He will receive them cheering,
And teach them all His will aright
And on their hearts His precepts write,
According to His pleasure.

7. The pathways of the Lord are truth,
And grace and mercy purely.
He keeps His covenants forsooth,
And fills their purpose early
To those who seek His Word so fair,
Believing in His pledges there,
As Holy Scripture shows us.

8. Lord, for Thy name’s sake, mercy show
On all my sins unceasing
I tremble at how much they grow,
Each passing hour increasing,
So teach me in Thy law, I pray,
That I may take that blessed way
Alone which gives Thee pleasure.

9. The soul of him who fears His God,
God’s riches shall inherit.
Those who by faith keep to His road,
Shall no destruction merit.
The Lord shall be their secret shield,
His cov’nant to them be revealed,
And they shall have His Spirit.

10. Mine eyes are set, O Lord, on Thee,
And fixed on God in heaven,
For Thou hast set my spirit free,
The nets of sin hast riven.
Have mercy now, behold my sight,
For I am wretched, poor, and quite
By every man forsaken.

11.The troubles of my heart are vast,
Oh, save me from affliction,
Behold, In pain I cannot last,
Caught in my toil’s constriction.
So let my sins in grace be drowned,
Consider how my foes abound,
Who persecute me wrongly.

12. Preserve my soul, deliver me
Lest I should be confounded,
My hope is set alone on Thee,
O source of joy unbounded!
Therefore, O God, save Israel
Thy needy flock, from grief and hell.
We cling to Thee, Lord, only.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Von allen Menschen abgewandt,
zu dir mein Seel erhaben
Hab ich allein, mein Herr mein Gott;
laß mich nicht werdn bewegen!
All mein Vertrauen steht auf dich;
laß nicht zu Schanden werden mich,
daß sich mein Feind nicht freuen.

2. Es wird niemand beschämet stehn,
von den’n, die auf dich bauen.
In deiner Hand sie sicher gehn;
der Kauf wird sie nicht reuen.
Verschämet müssen all die sein,
die Leid anthun den Armen dein,
ohn Recht und alle Sachen.

3. Weis deine Weg, O Herre, mir,
zu dir den Steig mich lehre.
In deiner Wahrheit leite mich,
denn du bist Gott mein Herre,
mein Heil und Trost, mein Hülf und Rath,
darauf ich mich allzeit verlaß,
und nur stets poch und trotze.

4. Laß dir, mein Herr, zu Herzen gehn,
und wöllst daran gedenken.
Weil all die deinen mit dir stehn,
den du dann Gnade schenkest,
von Ewigkeit sie ausersehn,
bewahret in dem Rathe dein,
durch den sie selig werden.

5. Meiner Jugend unwissenheit,
und aller meiner Schulde,
wöllst, Herr Gott, je gedenken nicht,
sondern nach deiner Hulde
Meiner erbarmen wöllst je dich,
von allen Sünden freien mich
um deiner Güte willen.

6. Der Herr ist süß und aufgericht,
allen die an ihm hangen.
Wenn sie all in dem Weg fehlen,
wird er sie doch empfangen,
und lehren für den Willen sein,
geschrieben in ihr Herz hinein,
nach seinem Wohlgefallen.

7. All Weg des Herren sind Wahrheit,
Güt und bloße Genade.
Seine Gelübd hält er treulich,
und gibt sie den gar balde,
die fragen nach dem Worte sein,
und glauben was er g’lobt darin,
als uns die Schrift abmahlet.

8. Um deines Namens willen, Herr,
Genade meiner Sünde.
Ich fürchte mich ihr ist gar viel,
und wachsen alle Stunde,
darum mich dein Gesetze lehr,
daß ich den Weg auserwähle,
der dir ist wohlgefällig.

9. Des Menschen Seel die Gott fürchtet,
wird seine Güter erben.
All die im Glauben ihm folgen nach,
die werden nicht verderben.
Der Herr ist ihr verborgen Schild,
sein Testament ihn öffnen willt,
und seinen Geist ihn geben.

10. Meine Augen stets sind zu dir,
O Herre Gott, gerichtet,
daß du helfst aus dem Netze mir,
darinn ich bin verstricket,
erbarm dich meinr und sieh mich an,
denn arm bin ich, von jedermann
steh auch ganz und gar verlassen.

11. Meins Herzen Weh ist mancherlei,
aus meiner Noth mich rette.
Schau an wie ich vernichtet bin,
von Arbeit ganz lieg nieder,
darum vergib die Sünde mein,
sieh an wie viel der Feinde sein,
die mich ohn Sach verfolgen.

12. Beschütz mein Seel und rette mich,
daß ich nicht werd beschämet.
Mein Hoffnung steht allein auf dich,
des freuen sich die Frommen,
so hilf nun Gott aus aller Noth
Israel dem armen Haufen,
der dir allein anhanget.

(13. Ehr sei dem Vater und dem Sohn, etc.)

1. I lift my soul, Lord, up to Thee,
My God, I trust on Thee alone;
Let me never confounded be,
My enemies else will mock me soon.
They shall not be shamed that trust on Thee;
But they that scornful despisers be,
Those shalt be put to confusion.

2. Shew me, O Lord, Thy godly ways,
And learn me the right paths to Thee;
In Thy verity lead me always:
Thou art God my Savior truly.
Learn me, for in Thee is all my trust,
My hope, my belief, and comfort most,
All the day long continually.

3. Remember, Lord, Thy great mercy,
And Thy great plenteous kindness.
Call to Thy mind, Lord, we pray Thee,
Thy gracious favor and gentleness:
For in these things Thou excellest greatly,
Even from the beginning eternally;
Thou art so rich in mercifulness.

4. My faults and my ungodliness,
My sinful youth and cruel bearing,
As Thou art, Lord, full of goodness,
Remember not this my evil living;
But after Thy mercy think on me,
And after Thy great benignity
Forgive Thou all my misdoing.

5. The Lord is just, full of goodness
To sinners that leave their cruel living:
For though they fall oft through weakness,
Yet to His way He will them bring.
He shall learn meek men His gracious will;
And teach them His way to come theretill,
And set their feet fast for slipping.

6. All ways of the Lord are full truly
Both of mercy and faithfulness.
For as He promiseth mercifully,
So payeth He all without doubleness
To such as regard His word and will,
And are ever ready to fulfill
Their covenant with Him and their promise.

7. For Thy name’s sake, Lord, I pray Thee,
Forgive me my great wickedness.
The Lord shall learn that man truly,
That feareth Him with all lowliness:
He shall be teaching him ever the way,
That pleaseth him both night and day;
His conscience shall be in quietness.

8. His children shall possess the land;
It shall be their heritage and right:
They shall never want by sea nor land,
The Lord will feed them through His might.
He is a defense both loving and dear,
For every man tha’ th him doth fear,
Shewing them His covenant day and night.

9. Mine eyes shall on the Lord be set,
Till He see His time and season
To draw my feet out of this net,
That holdeth me so fast in prison.
Behold Thou, and have mercy on me;
For I am forsaken in misery,
And full of great affliction.

10. The cares of my heart and sorrowfulness
Increase ever daily more and more.
Lead me out of my heaviness,
And my poor state behold therefore:
Forgive Thou all my sins, and see,
How many they are that trouble me,
And persecute me with furiousness.

11. Preserve my soul, and deliver me,
Lest I be brought to confusion;
For I have put my trust in Thee.
Let godliness keep me all season;
My hope is in Thee, and shal be still.
Oh God, deliver poor Israel
From all their trouble and affliction.

26 March 2010

Gott lob, daß uns jetzt wird verkundt

Here is my translation of “Gott lob, daß uns jetzt wird verkundt” (B. Waldis, 1554?), a paraphrase of Ps. 19. The tune is the proper, here as given in 766 Geistliche Psalmen (Nürnberg, 1607).

TO GOD be praise, for now we know
The Gospel’s precious teaching.
And heav’n and earth His glories show
In anthems widely reaching,
By night and day with rich display
O’er every earthly dwelling.
In every tongue the song is sung,
All yield to hear its telling,
None hind’ring, none compelling.

2. Forth breaks th’ Apostles’ doctrine blest,
O’er all that earth comprises,
Its joyous standard far expressed,
As fast as sun arises.
Its beam is sent from Orient
To Occident low-burning,
Makes all things bright with wondrous light,
Their hearts to joy returning,
Fills all with righteous yearning.

3. New life is brought by Gospel pure,
Through working of the Spirit,
Where’er its testimony sure
Is taught, and people hear it:
It shatters lies, makes simple wise
The poor gives consolation,
To failing heart doth joy impart,
Enlightens each creation,
That hears its sweet oration.

4. For he shall live who fears the Lord,
Yea, he shall reign in heaven
Who hearkens to His holy Word,
The Scriptures God hath given.
More dear than gold this Word we hold;
All sweetness it surpasses,
Makes servants true to will and do,
From death the body raises,
Hides sin beneath its graces.

5. The faults of man are manifold.
We pray Thee, Lord, forgive us.
In doctrines true our church uphold,
And in Thy grace receive us,
That, free of ill and sinful will,
Thy name we may be praising
By word and deed, so grant us speed,
And speak on us Thy blessing,
Who are Thy name confessing.

6. We thank Thee, dearest Father, God,
With ceaseless jubilation
For all Thy grace so rich and broad
On us, so low of station.
Through Jesus Christ, whose life so prized,
For all our sins was given,
And by His blood for all our good
Hath won us life in heaven,
Else we to hell were driven.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Gott lob, daß uns jetzt wird verkundt
die Evangelisch Lehre.
Himmel und Erd mit vollem Mund
erzählen Gottes Ehre.
Bei Tag und Nacht, mit grossem Pracht
An allem Ort auf Erden,
ein jede Sprach gibts selber nach,
daß mög gepredigt werden
ohn Hindern und Geferden.

2. Die apostolisch Lehr herbricht,
reicht bis an der Welt Ende.
Ihr Richtschnur hats dahin gericht,
lauft wie die Sonn behende,
Die sich entbrennt in Orient
und geht den Abend nieder,
mit ihrem Glanz erleuchtet ganz,
Ihr Herz erfreuets wieder,
machts fromm, gerecht, und bieder.

3. So thut das Evangeli auch,
wenns die Seelen erquicket.
Wo sein Zeugnis geht recht im Brauch
und man sich fein drein schicket.
Macht weis und klug mit gutem Fug
die Albern und Elenden,
erfreut das Herz, und bringts Fürwerz,
erleucht an allen Enden,
all die sich zu ihm wenden.

4. Denn wer recht hat des Herren Furcht,
der wird wohl ewig bleiben.
Und seinem heilgen Wort gehorcht
welches er ihm läßt schreiben.
Deß han wir hold, besser denn Gold,
gar süß wie Honig schmecket,
macht all sein Knecht fromm und gerecht,
auch von dem Tod erwecket,
mit Gnad all Sünd bedecket.

5. Der Menschen Fehl sind manigfalt,
die wöllst uns Herr, verzeihen.
Uns bei der rechten Lehr erhalt,
und Gnad darzu verleihen.
Von falschem Rath und Missethat
unschuldig mögen leben,
laß gfallen dir Wort, Werk und Begier,
dein Segen darzu geben,
daß wir dich hoch erheben.

6. Wir danken dir, Gott Vater werth,
und wölln dich immer loben,
der du uns arme hi auf Erd
gar reichlich thust begaben.
Durch Jesum Christ, der selber ist
für unser Sünd gestorben,
und durch sein Blut uns alln zu gut
den Himmel hat erworben,
sonst wärn wir all verdorben.

7. Gott Vater der unsichtbar ist, etc. (x.2.)

25 March 2010

Ich harre Tag und Nacht des Herrn

Here is my translation of the hymn, “Ich harre Tag und Nacht des Herrn” (Nürnberg, 1607), a paraphrase of Psalm 40. The appointed tune is “Es spricht der Unweisen Mund.” Other options are “Nun freut euch lieben Christen; or: “Es ist das Heil uns kommen her.”

IN FAITH I waited day and night,
And then the Lord, low kneeling,
Received my cry with great delight,
His gracious help revealing.
He pulled me from the mirey pit,
And on a high rock made me sit,
And thus my way established.

2. He taught my silent mouth to sing
And with His praise revere Him:
In many ears new songs shall ring,
That they might rightly fear Him,
And trust in Him, for they are blest
Whose confidence in Christ doth rest,
The proud and false forsaking.

3. My God, how great Thy wonders are
Thy thoughts, too deep to mention,
Which prove Thy grace to us, by far
Surpassing comprehension!
There is none like Thee, yet I dare
Thy works to preach of and declare,
Though none can count their number.

4. Burnt offerings Thou soughtest not,
No sacrifice could cheer Thee,
But from my ear hast pulled the clot,
That I might rightly hear thee,
Then said I, Here I come, my Lord,
Thy will to do with glad accord,
Lo, in the book ’tis written.

5. Thy law, O Lord, is in my heart
And I will e’er proclaim it
And to Thy church Thy truth impart,
Nor with falsehood defame it.
Nor seal my lips: Lord, Thou dost know:
‘Tis said, the mouth doth overflow
Out of the heart’s abundance.

6. Thy righteousness I will not hide,
Thy grace and truth not bury
Nor in my heart hold deep inside,
But tell the churches clearly,
I ever will proclaim and praise
Thy truth, salvation, help, and grace,
Within Thy holy gath’ring.

7. O Lord my God, Thy mercy lend,
Take not Thy grace unbounded,
With love and truth my soul defend,
See how I am surrounded
By sin and grief, which round me wreathe,
And I can scarcely live or breathe,
And by them am sore blinded.

8. More than my hairs their number is
My fainting heart must waver.
Dear Lord, be pleased from the abyss
My spirit to deliver;
Make haste to save me from this hell,
That those who sought my soul to quell
In shame may lie confounded!

9. They all must surely be ashamed,
And back in terror routed,
Destroyed, who once their pride proclaimed
And their own glory touted,
Who on my head derision poured,
“Aha! This is thy just reward,”
With naught but evil wishes.

10. They shall rejoice who Thee adore
And love Thy great salvation,
With gladness saying evermore,
“The Lord of all creation
Be blest, for He hath rescued me,
So poor and full of misery,
O tarry not, my Savior!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.


1. Ich harre Tag und Nacht des Herrn
und er sich zu mir neiget.
Mein Klag und Schreien hört er gern,
mir gnädig Hülf erzeiget.
Er zog mich aus dem Schlamm und Loch,
stellt mich auf einen Felsen hoch,
daß ich gewiß kan treten.

2. Hat mir gegeben in mein Mund
ihn unsern gott zu loben
Ein neues Lied wird vielen kund,
daß sie ihn fürchten droben,
und hoffen auf ihn, selig ist,
der sein Vertrauen setzt auf Christ,
hälts nicht mit Stoltz und Lügen.

3. Mein Gott, groß sind dein Wunderthat,
und dein göttlich Gedanken,
die uns beweiset deine Gnad,
wir könnens nicht ausdenken,
dir ist nichts gleich, doch will ich sie,
verkündigen und predigen hie,
wiewohl sie sind unzähllich.

4. Und Brandopfer in gemein,
kein Opfer dir gefallen
Hast aber mir die Ohren mein
weit aufgethan für allen.
Da sprach ich, sieh, ich komm, mein Herr
dein Willen thu ich herzlich gern,
im Buch ist von mir gschrieben.

5. Im Herzen hab ich dein Gesetz,
Gerechtigkeit will lehren.
In der gemein und Kirchen stets,
laß mit den Mund nicht schmieren
noch stopfen Herr, das weißt du wohl,
man saget, was das Herz ist voll,
des geht der Mund flugs über.

6. Drum ich nicht dein Gerechtigkeit,
noch Güt und Treu verhäle,
Verberg sie nicht im Herzen weit
der Kirchen ichs erzähle
Ich red von deiner Wahrheit viel
von deiner Gnade Hülf und Heil,
für deiner großen Kirchen.

7. Du aber dein Barmherzigkeit,
Herr Gott nicht von mir wende,
dein Güt und treue mich behüt,
es haben mich meine Sünde,
und Leiden groß ohn zahl umgebn,
ergriffen, daß ich kaum kan lebn,
ich kann nicht sehen für Sünden.

8. Ihr ist nicht denn meines Haupts Haar,
mein Herz hat mich verlassen.
Laß dirs gefallen, lieber Herr,
zu retten mich dermassen,
mit Eil zu helfen, daß doch sich
mit Schänden schämen müssen gleich,
die meiner Seel nachstehen.

9. Zurücke müssen fallen sie,
und gar zu Schanden werden.
In ihrer Schand erschrecken je,
die grimmiglich gebärden,
und schreien über mich, Da, da,
so sollt man dich empfangen so,
di mir groß Unglück gönnen.

10. Es müssen fröhlich freuen sich,
die dich und dein Heil lieben.
Und müssen sagen ewiglich,
stets hochgelobt muß bleiben.
Der Herr, er sorgt, hilft, rettet mich,
dann gar elend und arm bin ich,
verzeuch du nicht mein Herre.

Missing Lyrics for Annunciation

Happy Annunciation! I would be marking this day with a translation of the 38-stanza hymn "O starker Gott, Herr Zebaoth," which is supposed to be "the Bible in a hymn," i.e., one stanza each for all the chief patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and of course for Christ—but I can't find the lyrics in any of the usual sources. Wackernagel skips it completely, and Fischer, almost as a consolation, gives us 3 stanzas from the Low German only. For anyone interested in helping and able to do so, here is the pertinent information:

Title (High German): O starker Gott, Herr Zebaoth, (du Gewaltiger deines Volks Israel)
Alt.: O starcker Got, Herre Sabaot
Title (Low German): O stercke Godt, Herre Zebaoth, (du Gewaldiger dynes Volckes Israel)
Stanzas: 35 or 38 sts., 8 lines each.
Melody: "Rex Sanctorum" (des anders Verß.)

(Low German):

Lübeck (1545) "Enchiridion. Geistliche Lede und Psalmen, uppet nye gebetert…"
Magdeburg/Magdeborch (1551) "Ein Bedebökelin, nye uth der hilligen schrifft…"
Magdeburg/Magdeborch (1561, 1567, 1584)

(High German):

Broadsheet: "Ein Lobgesang von den Geschichten der altuätter und der Propheten aus der heyligen Schrifft gezogen Im thon des Hymni Rex sanctorum, des andern Verß." (8 Bl. 12. Titel mit einem Holzschnitt.)
Erfurt (1550)
Eichhorn / Frankfurt a.d.O. (1561)
Magdeburg (1583 & thereafter)
Nürnberg (1618) "Geistliche Lieder vnd Psalmen: auch Hymni und Kirchengesäng…"

24 March 2010


Dear Hymnoglypt reader(s),

Because of a certain obscene spam poster, I had since some time in February set my comments to moderate, but the notices were not sent to my email. Now everything should be working fine. Thanks to all who offered comments, critiques, and encouragement to which I was not immediately able to respond!


22 March 2010

Als Jesus Christus unser Herr

Here is my translation of the passiontide hymn, “Als Jesus Christus unser Herr” (S. Heyden). The melody is “Es sind doch selig alle die” (M. Greiter, 1525), i.e., that of the the more well known “O Mensch bewein dein Sünde groß.”

1. When Jesus Christ, our Savior dear,
Saw that th’ appointed time was near
To give His life an off’ring,
With His disciples He reclined
As on the Easter meal they dined,—
His last before His suff’ring,—
And said, “I greatly have desired
Before My life should be retired,
To eat with you this supper,
For I say unto you, I will
Not eat again thereof until
Shall come God’s kingdom proper.

2. As Christ with His disciples ate,
He gave them all a comfort great
Lest heart or faith be straying,
Ordained His Supper for their sake,
And giving thanks, took bread and brake,
And gave it to them, saying:
“Take, eat, this is My Body true,
Which on the cross of shame for you
Shall into death be given.
This do, that ye remember may,
I am your Lord and Savior aye,
As here ye hope in heaven.

3. And after the same manner, He,
When He had supped, and fain would be
His fellows’ doubts allaying,
Thus made His Sacrament complete
And took the cup with blessing meet,
And gave it to them, saying:
“Take, drink ye all, this is My Blood,
Of My New Testament, a flood
To wash your sins in number,
As deathwards on the cross I sink:
This do, as oft as this ye drink,
That ye may me remember.”

4. Thus did the Lord in Egypt, too
When all the firstborn sons He slew,
And Egypt’s pride diminished,
And stubborn-hearted Pharaoh drowned
With all his chariots sinking round,
And all his forces finished.
Then God the paschal feast ordained,
That memory might be retained,
Of all the mighty wonders,
By which these people, led by God
From slav’ry’s house, dry-footed trod
Amid the waters sundered.

5. Thus by His blood in Baptism’s sea
Christ drowned all our iniquity,
And hallowed our repentance,
Put death to death, destroyed hell’s pow’r,
And nailed upon the noontide hour
Within Himself our sentence:
And that we e’er might have His aid,
This holy Testament He made,
Our paschal Lamb preparing:
His body given in the bread,
Within the cup, the blood He shed,
By pow’r of His declaring.

6. All those who, thus invited, think
This bread to eat, this cup to drink,
Proclaim Christ’s death and passion,
Assenting that God’s Son has paid,
And on the cross atonement made,
For all mankind’s transgression;
That God is gracious to us now,
Who in true faith this truth avow,
Our Baptism spurning never:
Thus we are God own children true,
And heirs of heaven, born anew,—
May God grant this forever.

7. Let all appraise what they believe,
Ere they this Sacrament receive,
Let all their hearts be testing,
In them the true faith to approve,
That they might come in heartfelt love,
Nor in their sin be resting,
Nor to their judgment take this meal,
Discerning not the body real
Of Christ who reigns in heaven;
But to the glory of the Lamb
By God the Spirit purge the shame
Of sin and error’s leaven.

8. So let us all united bring
To God the Father, Heaven’s King
Our heartfelt pray’r, imploring,
Through Jesus Christ, His only Son,
Who for us all salvation won,
A shameful death enduring,
That through His Holy Ghost He might
Grant grace, our faith to strengthen quite,
To live as He hath told us,
In very love and unity;
And then with Him eternally
In gladness to enfold us.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Als Jesus Christus unser Herr
wußt daß sein Zeit nu kommen wär,
daß er von hinn sollt scheiden,
zu Tisch er mit sein Jüngern saß
mit ihn das Osterlämmlein aß,
zuletzt für seinem Leiden.
Er sprach, ich hab herzlich begehrt,
mit euch eh ich getötet werd,
essen diß Osterlamme,
denn ich sag euch, daß ich hinfür
von diesem nicht mehr essen wür,
bis das Reich Gottes komme.

2. Als er nun also mit ihn’n aß,
er sonderlich betrachtet, daß
ihr Herz und Glaub nicht zaget.
Setzt darum ein das Sakrament,
nahm das Brot mit Dank in sein Händ,
brachs, gab ihn das und saget:
“Nehmt hin, eßt, das ist mein Leichnam,
der für euch an des Kreuzes Stamm
soll dargegeben werden,
solchs thut daß ihr mein denkt darbei,
daß ich eur Herr und Heiland sei,
all die ihr glaubt auf Erden.”

3. Desselben gleichen als nun gar
solchs Abendmahl vollendet war,
stärkt er sein Jünger Schwache,
und machet ganz dies Sakrament,
nahm auch den Kelch in seine Händ,
Dankt, gab ihn’n den, und sprache:
Nehmt hin, trinkt all, das ist mein Blut,
des neuen Testamentes Gut,
welchs ich ans Kreuz gehenket,
vergiessen werd für euer Sünd:
solchs thut, so oft ihr davon trinkt,
daß ihr mein dabei denket.

4. Gleich wie Gott in Egypten that,
da er all erst Geburt ertod,
im Land in einer Nachte,
den König Pharao ertränkt,
im rothen Meer zugrund versenkt,
mit aller seiner Machte.
Da setzt er ein das Osterfest,
daß sein Volk dabei dächt und wüßt
sein große Wunderthaten,
durch welche sie geführet aus,
mit starker Hand aus dem Diensthaus
durchs Roth Meer trocken traten.

5. Also auch, da Christus der Herr
durch sein Blut in der Taufe Meer
all unser Sünd versenket,
den Tod erwürgt, die Höll zerstört,
die Handschrift, die das Gwissen mördt,
mit sich ans Kreuz gehenket:
daß sein Kirch solchs allzeit betracht,
er selbst zum Osterlamm sich macht
im Testament, und schaffte,
sein Leib zu essen in dem Brod,
im Wein zu trinken sein Blut roth,
durch seines Wortes Krafte.

6. Wer nun dies Brot nach dem befelch
ißt und trinkt von des Herren Kelch,
der soll sein Tod verkünden:
Nämlich, daß Christus, Gottes Sohn
am Kreuz bezahlt, und gnug gethan
für unser aller Sünden:
Und daß uns Gott nun gnädig sei,
so wir solchs glauben, und darbei
uns an die Tauf stark halten,
so soll’ wir Gottes kinder sein,
und das himmlisch Erb nehmen ein.
Das will Gott ewig walten.

7. So prüf nun der Mensch sich selbst recht,
Eh er dies Sakrament empfäht,
Daß er sein Herz erkenne,
Ob er im rechten Glauben steh,
Und in wahrer Lieb hinzugeh,
Daß ihn kein Unbuß trenne;
Daß er ihm nicht eß das Gericht,
Drum daß er unterscheidet nicht
Den Leib Christi des HErren:
Daß er der Sünden Sauerteig
Durch Hülf des heil'gen Geists ausfeg,
Christo dem Lamm zu ehren.

8. Darum, so laßt uns allegleich
Gott den Vater im Himmelreich
Von ganzem herzen bitten,
Durch Jesum Christum seinen Sohn,
Weil der für uns all gnug gethan,
Den Tod für uns gelitten,
Daß er uns durch den heil'gen Geist
Sein Gnad zu starkem Glauben leist,
Nach seinem Wort zu leben,
In rechter Lieb und Einigkeit,
Und daß er uns nach dieser Zeit,
Die ewig Freud woll geben.

16 March 2010

Christus der uns selig macht

Here is my composite of previous translations with my own corrections, and my translation of st. 8, of the Passion hymn “Christus der uns selig macht” (M. Weisse, 1531), a German translation of the 14th c. Latin hymn “Patris Sapientia,” for the Canonical Hours of Good Friday, using their traditional names: (Lauds, i.e., before sunrise), (Prime, 6 AM), Terce (9 AM), Sext (12 PM), Nones (3 PM), Vespers (at sunset), Compline (at bedtime). If you wish to include the terms Lauds and Prime, you can use these alternate lines: stanza 1, line 3: "At the hour of Lauds for us"; stanza 2, line 1: "Then at Prime, the morning hour." Ludecus appoints it under the section from Palmarum through Good Friday. It takes the melody of the Latin hymn, as found in the hymnals of the Bohemian Brethren. Here is Bach's take.

CHRIST, WHO saves us by His cross,
And no sin committed,
In the dark of night for us
Was with shackles fitted,
Brought before a wicked court
Falsely charged, and smitten,
Spit upon, and mocked in sport,
As in Scripture written.

2. At the morning’s dawning hour,
As a rogue depicted,
Christ was under Pilate’s pow’r
Brought to be convicted:
Though he judged Him innocent
Of the charge of treason,
Yet to Herod was He sent
Urged by murd’rous reason.

3. Then at Terce His flesh was torn,
And by scourges furrowed
And a cruèl crown of thorn
In His brow deep-burrowed;
Mocked with robes of purple rich,
On all sides was chastened,
Made to bear the cross to which
He would soon be fastened.

4. Then at Sext the Son of God
In His crucifixion,
Naked but for the streams of blood,
Prayed with great affliction,
Those who hung or stood in view
Had Him in derision,
Till the sun her beams withdrew
From so sad a vision.

5. Then at Nones did Jesus call,
“How I am forsaken!”
Having vinegar and gall
Tasted but not taken,
Then His ghost to God He sent,
Shook the earth with wonder,
Gave the temple vail a rent,
Cleft the rocks asunder.

6. At the hour of Vesper-tide,
Robbers’ shins were broken,
But a spear pierced Jesus’ side,
For a lasting token:
Thence both blood and water flows,
To fulfill the Scriptures,—
As John’s holy Gospel shows —
All for us poor creatures.

7. When the hour of Compline came,
And the day was ended,
Joseph took His savior’s frame
From the cross suspended,
Laying it with custom grace
In his stony chamber,
Where guards kept it safe three days,
As Matthew remembers.

8. Grant, O Christ, God’s very Son,
By Thy bitter Passion
That all evils we may shun,
As Thy faithful nation;

Grant us fruitfully to think
On Thy death and suff’ring,
And for that, though oft we sink,
Bring Thee thankful off’ring!

Translation sts. 1–7 composite (ed. © M. Carver, 2010).
st. 8, © M. Carver, 2009.

1. Christus der uns selig macht,
kein Bös hat begangen,
der ward für uns in der Nacht
als ein Dieb gefangen,
geführt vor gottlose Leut,
und fälschlich verklaget,
verlacht, verhöhnt und verspeit,
wie denn die Schrift saget.

2. In der ersten Tagesstund
ward er unbescheiden
als ein Mörder dargestellt
Pilato, dem Heiden,
der ihn unschuldig bestand,
ohne Sach des Todes,
ihn derhalben von sich sandt
zum König Herodes.

3. Um drei ward der Gottessohn
mit Geißeln geschmissen
und sein Haupt mit einer Kron
von Dornen zerrissen;
gekleidet zu Hohn und Spott
ward er sehr geschlagen,
und das Kreuz zu seinem Tod
mußt er selber tragen.

4. Um sechs ward er nackt und bloß
an das Kreuz geschlagen,
an dem er sein blut vergroß,
betet mit Wehklagen:
die Zuseher spotten sein,
auch die bei ihm hingen,
bis die Sonn auch ihren Schein
entzog solchen Dingen.

5. Jesus schrie zur neunten Stund,
klaget sich verlassen;
bald ward Gall in seinen Mund
mit Essig gelassen;
da gab er auf seinen Geist,
und die Erd erbebet,
des Tempels Vorhang zerreißt,
und manch Fels zerklöbet.

6. Da hat man zur Vesperzeit
die Schächer zerbrochen,
ward Jesus in seiner Seit
mit eim Speer gestochen,
daraus Blut und Wasser rann,
die Schrift zu erfüllen,
wie Johannes zeiget an,
nur um unsertwillen.

7. Da der Tag sein Ende nahm,
der Abend war kommen,
ward Jesus vons Kreuzes Stamm
durch Joseph genommen,
herrlich, nach Jüdischer Art,
in ein Grab geleget,
allda mit Hütern verwahrt,
wie Matthäus zeiget.

8. O hilf, Christe, Gottes Sohn,
durch dein bitter Leiden,
daß wir stets dir unterthan
all Untugend meiden,
deinen Tod und sein Ursach
fruchtbarlich bedenken,
dafür, wiewohl arm und schwach,
dir Dankopfer schenken. (Amen.)
1. Christ, through whom we all are blest,
Knew no evil doing.
Him at night did they arrest,
Like a thief pursuing.
Led before the godless throng
And falsely convicted.
Laughed at, scoffed at, spat upon,
As the Word predicted.

1. Christ, who saves us by His cross,
Who in naught offended,
He was in the night for us
Betrayed, apprehended,
Led before a wicked race,
Falsely was accusèd,
Laughed at, mocked, spit in the face,
Shamefully abusèd.

2. In the morn, at the sixth hour,
He was led with fury,
As a foe of civil pow’r,
’Fore a heathen jury,
Who him tried, but found him free
Of th’ imputed treason;
Herod mockèd Him, yet He
Found for death no reason.

3. At nine was the Son of God
By the scourges furrowed,
And the thorny crown forc’d blood
From His sacred forehead.
With a purple garment mocked,
On all sides assailèd,
He must bear the cross to which
He was to be nailèd.

4. He at noon was on the cross
Reared for our transgression,
Where He prayed and bled for us,
To procure salvation:
The spectators shook their heads,
Had Him in derision,
Till the sun His beams withdrew
From so sad a vision.

5. At three Jesus cried, “My God,
Why am I forsaken?”
Having vinegar and gall,
Which was offered, taken,
He then yielded up the ghost!
Pause, my soul, and wonder;—
Then the temple’s vail was rent,
Rocks were cleft asunder.

6. When the Lord of glory died,
Not a bone was broken,
But a soldier pierced His side
For a lasting token:
From thence streamed a double flood
Of a cleansing nature;
Both the water and the blood
Wash the guilty creature.

7. Joseph, having leave obtained,
And got spices ready,
From the cross (by love constrained)
Took our Savior’s body:
Had it, with all decent grace,
To His own tomb carried;
Where the keepers for three days
To secure it tarried.

8. Grant, O Christ, Thou Son of God,
Through Thy bitter passion,
That we, as Thy smart’s reward,
Joy in Thy salvation:
That we ever weigh the cause
Of Thy death and suff’ring,
Yea for this, though poor we are,
Bring thee our thank-off’ring!

JACOBI (1725)
1 Christ, by Whose all-saving Light
Mankind benefited,
Was for Sinners in the Night
As a Thief committed.
Dragged before a wicked Court
Of the Jewish Clergy ;
Where they tried their worst Effort
'Gainst the Lord of Mercy.

2. Sentenced early by this Crew,
As the worst of Sinners,
Came to Pilate, who foreknew
This Tumult's Beginners :
Though he judged Him innocent
Of their Accusation,
Yet to Herod He was sent
For his Arbitration.

3. Then His holy Flesh was torn
With inhuman Lashes,
And His blessed Head in Scorn
- Crowned of sinful Ashes :
Cloathed in a Purple Dress,
Mocked, and beat, and bruised ;
Thus the Source of Holiness
Was by Sin misused.

4. Then at Noon the Son of God
To the Cross was nailed.
Where His fervent Prayer and Blood
For our Sins prevailed :
The Spectators shook their Head,
Had Him in derision,
Till the Sun-light mourning fled
From so sad a Vision.

5. When at Three they heard Him call :
“Why am I forsaken ?”
Strait was Vinegar mixed with Gall
Offered, but not taken :
Then to God His Spirit went,
Shaking the Earth with Wonder,
Gave the Vail a thorough Rent,
Cleft the Rocks asunder.

6. At the approaching Evening Tide,
Criminals Bones were broken ;
But the Spear pierced Jesus' Side,
For a lasting Token :
Which poured forth a double Flood
Of a cleansing Nature.
Both the Water and the Blood
Wash the guilty Creature.

7. Joseph, when the Eve was come,
Took his dearest Master,
Laid Him in his Stately Tomb,
Hewn in Alabaster ;
Nicodem, now void of Fear,
Brought the richest Spices :
Thus these holy Men paid here
Their last Sacrifices.

8. Grant, O Jesu, blessed Lord,
By Thy Cross and Passion,
Thy blest Love may be adored
By the whole Creation :
Hating Sin, the woful Cause
Of Thy Death and Suffering,
Give our Heart to_obey Thy Laws
As the best Thanks-offering.

1. Circled by His enemies,
By His own forsaken,
God made Man, at time of LAUDS,
For our sakes was taken:
Very Wisdom, Very Light,
Monarch long expected,
In the garden by the Jews
Bought, betrayed, afflicted.

2. See them, at the hour of PRIME,
Unto Pilate leading
Him, ‘gainst Whom with lying tongues
Witnesses are pleading;
There with spitting and with shame
Ill for good they render,
Marring of That Face which gives
Heav’n Eternal splendour.

3. “Crucify Him!” for His love
Is their bitter payment,
When they lead Him forth at TERCE,
Clad in purple raiment;
And a Crown of woven thorns
On his Head He weareth,
And the Cross to Calvary
On His Shoulders beareth.

4. He upon the Cross at SEXT
for man’s sake was mounted,
By the passers-by reviled,
With transgressors counted:
Mocking, vinegar, and gall
To His thirst they proffer:
To the Holy Lamb of God
Such taunts they offer.

5. At the hour of NONE the strife
Long and sharp was ended,
Gently to His Father’s Hands
He his soul commended:
And a soldier pierced His Side
With a spear unbidden,
While earth quaked exceedingly,
And the sun was hidden.

6. When it came to VESPER-time,
From the Cross they take Him,
Whose great Love t bear such woes
For our sakes could make Him:
Such a death He underwent,
Our alone Physician,
That of everlasting Life
We might have fruition.

7. At the holy COMPLINE-tide,
Holy hands array Him
In the garments of the grave,
Where the mourners lay Him:
Myrrh and spices have they brought,–
Scripture is completed;
And by death, the Prince of Life,
Death and hell defeated.

8. Therefore these Canonical
Hours my tongue shall ever
In thy praise, O Christ, recite
With my heart’s endeavour:
That the Love, Which for my sake
Bore such tribulation,
In mine own Death-agony
May be my Salvation.
TROUTBECK (st. 1 only):
1. See the Lord of Life and Light,
Savior meek and lowly,
Taken like a thief at night,
Bound by hands unholy,
See the sinless Son of God
Shameful mockings bearing,
Bitter taunts, a cruèl rod,
Doom of sinners sharing.

  • The wisdom of the Father, and truth divine beside (Primer 1604)
  • As night departing brings the day (Primer, 1706)
  • The wisdom of the heavenly Father (D. French 1839)
  • Christ the Author of our peace (Burlingham 1866)
  • ‘Twas at the solemn Matins’ hour (Aylward, in Shipley’s Annus Sanctus, 1884).

15 March 2010

Christus wahrer Gottes Sohn

Here is my translation of the narrative Lenten hymn “Christus wahrer Gottes Sohn” (M. Weiße, 1531), on the life of Jesus Christ, especially the events leading up to the Passion, and is perhaps most appropriate for Palmarum or Holy Wednesday. It is probably originally devised as a prequel to “Christus der uns selig macht” [Christ, Who Saves Us By His Cross]. Ludecus appoints the hymn under the section covering Palmarum through Good Friday. The melody is that of the original Latin hymn “Patris sapientia, veritas divina” (14th c.).

CHRIST, THE very Son of God,
In His incarnation
Merited great praise and laud
For His deeds so gracious:
In Judæa He began
Doing works of wonder,
Envious scribes there, too, did plan
Him of life to plunder.

2. He revealed their wickedness
And their fame subsided,
So they hated his success,
And His works derided,
Claiming that His doctrines came
From the devils doing,
And that in Him was the same,
Evil pow’r imbuing.

3. Lazarus, a godly man
Soon grew sick and perished,
Jesus then came to His aid,
So His heart him cherished,
Working wonders, raised him up,
Four days after dying
And he was restored in whole,
Gone the mourners’ sighing.

4. When those hypocrites had learned
Of this resurrection
They conspired, for so they burned
With great disaffection,
Saying, “All shall go awry
If we stop Him never!
Let us sentence Him to die
And ourselves deliver.

5. “It is right,” the high priest said,
“Needful and most fitting,
That this teacher’s blood we shed,
Him to death committing!
Better far that He should fall,
By our wrath expended,
Than that all men, great and small
Should with us be ended.

6. Jesus knew their murd’rous scheme,
And went into hiding,
In the village Ephraim,
Briefly there abiding
With His twelve apostles dear,
Safe from every plotter.
Till the paschal tide drew near,
And the time for slaughter.

7. When at last the time had come
For our Lord and Savior
To be slain, a spotless lamb,
And win life forever,
Jesus swiftly set His path
To the Jews, to offer
His own body to their wrath,
Openly, to suffer.

8. As He traveled with His fold,
Christ His twelve called to Him,
And all things to them foretold:
That one would betray Him,
And He would derided be,
Spit on, persecuted,
Whipped, and sentenced jealously
To be executed.

9. He the Scriptures thus fulfilled,
O’er the earth was lifted,
Without drop of poison killed,
With a rich tomb gifted,
On the third day fully healed,
Back to life returning—
All this He to them revealed,
Without their discerning.

10. As from Jericho he went,
Two men, plagued with blindness
Urgently cried in lament,
Moving Him to kindness:
When He touched their eyes, they saw
Instantly and clearly,
Praising God with thanks and awe,
Vexing scribes so dearly.

11. Easter was six days away
When the Lord and Savior
Reached the town of Bethany.
Was received with favor:
Martha readied for her Lord
Food, with the intention,
That with Lazarus He might
Feast in Simon’s mansion.

12. At the meal did Christ recline,
Filled with grief and worry,
Mary came with ointment fine,
For her misdeeds sorry,
Poured it freely o’er His feet,
And His head so holy,
And He saw her faith was sweet,
Humble, true, and lowly.

13. Thieving Judas, filled with greed,
When he saw this action,
Cried, “Oh what a wasteful deed,
What a great infraction!
Costly was this ointment rare,
It would have been proper
To exchange it, and to share
Wealth with many a pauper.”

14. All the others were with him
One of mind and body,
But their Master said to them,
Do not chide this lady!
Rightly hath she done to Me,
For I shall be buried,
With you shall the poor e’er be,
I shall hence be carried.

15. Though He thus th’ Eleven stilled,
Judas’ heart was ever
Fixed to have his purse be filled,
And to this endeavor
Rising, fled, the scribes to meet,
And betray His Master,
By a commerce of deceit,
To his own disaster.

16. “Ay!” thought he, “What wealth I’ll gain!
He’ll escape as ever,
Lo, for all the traps they’ve lain,
They have caught Him never.
Handed over by my hand,
He, their hands confounding,
Safe will fly; safe, too, I’ll stand,
Wealth in hand abounding!”

17. When the very Son of Man
To the town was nearing,
Multitudes to meet Him ran,
Of His wonders hearing,
How dead Lazarus He raised,
No more could be hidden:
Both to see, they came, amazed,
Though they were forbidden.

18. As because of Lazarus
Crowds to Christ proceeded
And the hearts of many thus
Soon His teachings heeded,
So the scribes as one to kill
Lazarus intended,
But God thwarted all their will
And His own defended.

19. Next day came that time by law,
When each house selected
Lambs without all stain or flaw,
For the feast expected;
Therefore Jesus took the road
With His twelve beside Him,
And was chosen by a crowd
That to death would guide Him.

20. Christ, to Salem’s gates received
With loud jubilation,
Stood before the Temple, grieved,
And with holy passion
Chased the merchants, booths o’erturned,
And the scribes did punish,
So their hate against Him burned,
Nor would soon diminish.

21. Hard they sought from that time on
Jesus’ condemnation,
And on Wednesday at the dawn,
In collaboration,
Judas came for His reward
Nor was it denied him:
In two days they took the Lord
And they crucified Him.

22. Christ, Thou very Paschal Lamb,
For our sake selected,
And to shameful death condemned,
For Thy church elected,
Let Thy blood upon us pour,
Save us from all evil,
Let God’s vengeance pass us o’er,
And destroy the devil. (Amen.)

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Christus, wahrer Gottes Sohn,
auf Erden leibhäftig
erschien in all seinem Thun
gütig, mild, und kräftig;
In Judäa fing er an
sein Werk zu beweisen,
da er auch ums Leben kam
durch Neid der Schriftweisen.

2. Er zeigt ihre Bosheit an
und drucket sie unter,
darum worden sie ihm gramm,
spotten seiner Wunder,
gaben für das seine Lehr
vom Satan herkäme,
das derselb auch in ihm wär
und böses vornehme.

3. Lazarus, ein frommer Mann,
ward krank und ging unter,
und des nahm sich Jesus an,
that an ihm ein Wunder,
erweckt ihn am vierten Tag,
da er ward begraben,
daß er lebt ohn alle Klag,
möcht sich wohl gehaben.

4. Da diß vor die Heuchler kam
ließen sie zusammen,
sprachen, Laßt uns diesen Mann
zu dem Tod verdammen!
wird es aber nicht geschehn,
so sein wir verloren,
denn wir werden Jammer sehn:
besser nie geboren!

5. Caiphas sprach, Es ist gut
und trefflich vonnöthen,
daß wir vergießen sein Blut
un diesen Mensch töten!
Viel besser, er sterb allein
und leid unsern Zoren,
denn daß alles, groß und klein,
sammt uns werd verloren.

6. Da Jesus den Rath erkannt,
wich er zu der Wüsten,
in die Stadt, Ephrem genannt;
davon sie nicht wußten.
Allda blieb er kleine Zeit
mit seinen Zwölf Boten,
denn Ostern waren nicht weit,
das Lämmlein zu braten.

7. Da die Zeit kam, daß er sollt
angenommen werden
als ein Lämmlein ohne Schuld
zum Opfer auf Erden,
macht sich Jesus auf die Bahn
eilend und behende,
sich zu opfern auf den Plan
vor der Jüden Hände.

8. Weil nun viel Volk mit ihm ging,
ruft er sein Zwölf Boten,
sagt ihn heimlich alle Ding,
wie daß er verrathen,
veracht, verhöhnt, und verspeit,
mit geißeln geschmissen,
verurteilt aus Haß und Neid,
sein Blut würd vergießen.

9. Also erfüllen die Schrift
erhöht von der Erden,
verscheiden ohn alle Gift,
und begraben werden,
Auferstehn vons Todes Noth
an dem dritten Morgen,
aber der sein dieser Wort
war ihn noch verborgen.

10. Da er von Jericho kam,
sassen zwene Blinden;
dieser Augen rührt er an,
denn sie ruften gschwinde;
bald sahen sie hell und klar,
lobten Gott von Herzen!
das war der Schriftklugen Schar
nicht ein kleiner Schmerzen.

11. Sechs Tag vor dem Osterfest
kam Jesus gegangen
und ward zu Bethania
von Martha entfangen;
die richtet ihm fleißig aus
ein schön Abendessen,
daß er sollt in Simons Haus
mit Lazaro essen.

12. Da er nu am Tische saß,
sehr müd allenthalben,
kam Maria, bracht ein Glas
vol köstlicher Salben,
goß sie auf sein heiligs Haupt
und auf seine Füße,
und weil sie von Herzen glaubt,
ward ihr das Werk süße.

13. Da diß der Dieb Judas sah,
mit dem Geiz beladen,
redet er darum und sprach,
warum thut man schaden?
Was für Unrath nimmt man vor?
die Salb ist sehr teuer!
Es wär besser Geld darfür,
den Armen zu Steuer!

14. Und die andern fielen zu
diesem bösen Gliede;
aber Jesus redt ihn’n zu,
sprach, Laßt sie zufrieden!
Sie hat wohl an mir gethan,
eh ich werd begraben,
denn ihr werdet mein Person
nicht stets bei euch haben.

15. Die elf wurden bald gestillt;
Judas aber trachtet,
daß sein Beutel würd gefüllt;
da er sich aufmachet,
ging in der Schriftklugen Rath,
Jesum zu verrathen,
dieweil sie nach seinem Tod
sogar töblich thaten.

16. Ey, dacht er, ich will an ihm
ein gut Geld gewinnen!
Er wird ihn’n wohl wie vorhin
meisterlich entrinnen,
so er von mir dargestellt
entgeht ihren Händen,
dennoch bleibet mir das Geld
an mein’n Nutz zu wenden.

17. Da aber viel Volk vernahm,
daß Jesus war kommen,
macht sichs eilend auf die Bahn,
denn es hat vernommen
das Zeichen, von ihm geschehn
Lazaro dem toten,
kamm aushin, sie beid zusehn,
obs wohl war verboten.

18. Da viel Volk zu Jesu ging
um Lazarus willen,
und manch frommes Herz anfing,
sein Wort zu erfüllen,
trachtet der Schriftlklugen Rath,
Lazarum zu töten:
es kam aber nicht zur That,
denn Gott hilft in Nöthen.

19. Am morgen, als man nu sollt
nachs Gesetzes Sitten
Lämmlein nehmen ohne Schuld,
auf Ostern zu töten,
macht sich Jesus auf die Bahn
mit seinen zwölf Boten,
und ein groß Volk nahm ihn an
als ein Lamm zu braten.

20. Als er, von Jerusalem
fröhlich angenommen,
zu predigen der Gemein
in Tempel war kommen,
Trieb er die Handtierer aus,
straffet die Schriftklugen,
die Neid und Haß überaus
wider ihm stets trugen.

21. Auf das trachten sie mit Müh,
Jesum zu verdammen,
Gingen an der Mittwoch früh
bald darnach zusammen;
da kam Judas und nahm Geld,
und nach zweien Tagen
ward der Herre dargestellt
und ans Kreuz geschlagen.

22. Christe, wahres Osterlamm,
der du ausgeschossen
und darnach zum Tod verdammt,
dein Blut hast vergossen:
wasch dein Armes Volk damit,
daß der Feind nicht fälle,
sonder thu ein Überschritt
zu seinen Gesellen. (Amen.)

11 March 2010

O Herr, wend deinen Zorn von mir

Here is my translation of the psalm paraphrase “O Herr, wend deinen Zorn von mir” (J. Geletzki, 1566), really a paraphrase rather than a metrical version of Psalm 6, with some fairly clear references to Christ. The melody is the proper hypodorian one, here as found in the Boh. Breth. Kirchengeseng (1580). I include a second version which I have transposed down a couple steps to avoid the high g (and f).

LORD, TURN Thy wrath away from me!
A sinner poor, I cry Thee,
Rebuke me not in anger’s heat,
Console me with Thy message sweet,
Have mercy, Lord my God, and heed
My anguish in this hour of need,
And hearken to my feeble song:
Alas, my Lord, my God, how long?
Oh, hasten to heal my soul,
And through Thy Son, Lord, make me whole.

2. Return, O Lord, Thy grace betide,
See how my soul is terrified:
Deliver me, Thy life impart,
And quicken my afflicted heart.
For who in death recalls Thy name,
Or rightly can Thy praise acclaim?
And who gives thanks to Thee in hell,
When torments round about him swell?
Have mercy, O Lord, on me!
And free me from hell’s agony!

3. With weariness I fail and faint
From ceaseless groaning and complaint,
I have in sorrow drowned my bed,
My couch is wet with tears of dread.
My body is consumed away,
With grief it waxes old and gray.
My soul by wrath is torn and tossed:
Except God save me, all is lost.
Fly, all ye who work your ill!
The Lord Himself my need shall fill.

4. For He received my earnest plea,
And turned His wrath away from me.
An answer to my pray’r He gave,
Through Jesus Christ, my soul to save,
And made my every foe to be
Turned back and frightened suddenly,
They lie confounded and undone
By God’s right hand, His dearest Son.
Eternal God, to Thee be praise,
For all the riches of Thy grace!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. O HErr, wend deinen Zorn von mir,
ich armer Sünder schrei zu dir,
ach, straf mich nicht in deinem Grimm,
tröst mich durch deines Wortes Stimm.
Sei mir gnädig, O Herre Gott,
in dieser meiner Angst und NOth,
darin ich lieg ganz schwach und krank,
ach, mein Herr und mein Gott, wie lang?
O heil mich zu dieser Stund,
mach mich durch deinen Sohn gesund.

2. Wend dich zu mir, o lieber Herr,
denn mein Seel ist erschrocken sehr,
errette sie durch deine Güt,
erquicke mein betrübt Gemüt.
Denn im Tod denkt man deiner nicht,
auch lobt man dich nicht im Gericht:
wer will dir danken in der Höll,
und wo man leidet grosse Quäl?
O mein Herr, erbarm dich mein,
erlös mich von der Höllen Pein.

3. Ich bin ganz müd und ohne Macht,
von großen Seufzen Tag und Nacht,
ich schwemm in solchen Leid mein Bett,
und nätz mit ihrn meins Legers Stätt.
Verfallen ist meins Leibs Gestalt,
für Trauern ist sie worden alt,
ich werd geängst von Gottes Zorn,
wo Gott nicht hilft, so ists verlorn.
Weicht all die ihr übels thut,
Gott macht selbst meine Sachen gut.

4. Denn er hört meines Weinens Stimm,
und wendet von mir seinen Grimm:
er nimmt mein Bitt und Flehen an,
durch Christum seinen lieben Sohn.
Daher werden all meine Feind
erschreckt und plötzlich abgeleint,
sie werden allesamt zu Schand
durch Gottes meines HErren Hand.
Lob sei dir, ewiger Gott,
für solche Hilf und reiche Gnad. (Amen.)

09 March 2010

Die Propheten han prophezeit

Here is my translation of the hymn on the Passion, “Die Propheten han prophezeit” (M. Weisse, 1531). It was included in Babst (1545: II, no. 34), and appointed in Ludecus (1589) for Judica through Good Friday. The melody is that of “Vexilla Regis prodeunt” (plainsong mode i), i.e., “The Royal Banners Forward Go.” In addition to the Gregorian notation, I include an early attempt by the Weisse (orig. 1531) to adapt the melody for congregational use. A simplified version of the melody by Paul Weber is found in LSB #455.

THE PROPHETS prophesied of old,
And in their holy books foretold
How Jesus Christ would, suff’ring, bear
Our guilty burdens, grief, and care.

2. In Spirit borne, they saw His frame—
Long ere in flesh fulfilment came—
For our transgressions wounded, slain,
As old Isaiah’s words make plain.

3. Ah! wondrous vision, like to none:
God spareth not His only Son.
Chastisement for our peace doth fall
On Him who, patient, suffers all.

4. As sinners, in God’s wrath we lay,
We all like sheep had gone astray:
God’s wrath upon His Son is poured,
And thus are we to life restored.

5. The sun her glory hastes to hide,
And rock and stone are cleft awide,
The earth recoils that blood to take,
And maketh many a tomb to break.

6. So let us weep, as Jesus saith,
For us ourselves, not for His death:
Because of us, so poor and frail,
He goes to see His soul’s travail.

7. Behold our Bishop, who alone
Could for our wretched sins atone,
Who brings us heaven’s realm to see,
Whose like was not, nor e’er shall be.

8. Not by the blood of goat and calf
Doth He appease in our behalf
The Father’s heart, but parts His veins
And by His blood our pardon gains.

9. He is a priest forevermore,
As God on oath confirmed and swore:
And, like Melchizedek, doth feed
The hungry soul with meat indeed.

10. This Bishop did we all require,
Who feared not death nor deathless fire,
In all points tempted, like as we,
Yet without sin’s impurity.

11. O Christ, Thy bitter death let be
Instead of our iniquity,
Therewith before Thy Father deign
Our Reconciler to remain.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Die Propheten han prophezeit,
und geschrieben vor langer Zeit,
wie Jesus Christus leiden würd,
und auf sich laden unser Bürd.

2. Sie haben ihn im Geist gesehn,
eh es hie leiblich ist geschehn,
für unser Missethat geplagt,
wie Jesaias klar hat gesagt.

3. Ey, welch ein wunderlich Geschicht!
Gott schonet seines Sohnes nicht;
er strafet ihn für unser Schuld,
und er leidets alls mit Geduld.

4. Wir waren all in Gottes Zorn
und als irrende Schaf verlorn:
nun wird sein Sohn für uns verwundt,
und unser Seel dadurch gesund.

5. Die Sonne verbirgt ihren Schein,
es spalten auf Felsen und Stein,
die Erd erbebt vor seinem Blut,
davon sich auch manch Grab aufthut.

6. Beweinen wir nach seinem Rath
uns selbest, und nicht seinen Tod;
denn wir, so ganz elend und schwach,
sind ihm des Leidens ein Ursach.

7. O schauen wir den Bischof an,
der unser Sünd versöhnen kann,
und uns führen ins Himmelreich,
denn ihm ist, noch wird niemand gleich.

8. Nicht mit Bocks oder Kälber Blut
versöhnet er des Vatern Muth:
sondern mit seinem eignen Blut,
macht er all unser Sachen gut.

9. Bleibet Priester in Ewigkeit,
bestätiget mit Gottes Eid,
und gibt nach Melchizedechs Weis
den hungrigen geistliche Speis.

10. Ein solcher Bischof war uns Noth,
der nicht mehr fürchten darf den Tod,
der auch unser Schwachheit versucht,
unschuldig sei und unverflucht.

11. O Christe, setz dein bittern Tod
für unser Sünd und Missethat,
sei mit deinem Opfer vor Gott
unser Versöhner früh und spat. (Amen.)

Not a hymn

This is a folk song about Lutheran hymns. It's to warm you up for singing a Lutheran hymn, but it is not a hymn, so you must be sure to finish singing it before church. If you're unfamiliar with folksong style, you have to adjust the notation slightly as you go along to fit the syllables. In this respect instinct is more practical than analysis. Note: slight bit of irony included. I'D RATHER be singing a Lutheran hymn Than any earthly thing. All poetry else is paltry and thin, And so I'd rather sing… Refrain: :: A Lutheran hymn, a Lutheran hymn, that's what I'd rather sing! :: 2. I'd rather be singing a Lutheran hymn Than any earthly thing. A Lutheran hymn is filled to the brim With Christ's own comforting. Refrain 3. So why am I wasting my time with this song? My vocal cords are cold! So warm up yours, too, and follow along, We'll sing with voices bold… Refrain x 2.

05 March 2010

Hilf, Gott, daß mir gelinge

Here is my translation of “Hilf, Gott, daß mir gelinge” (H. Müller, 1524) which, originally appearing as a broadsheet, is really a ballad in form, especially with its opening and closing stanzas with their transparent singer or narrator. In borrowing such a form, it recalls some of the earlier hymns of the Reformation, such as “Ein neues Lied wir heben an” [A New Song Here Shall Be Begun]. It was Heinrich Müllers prison-confession, as made clear in the last stanza, and underlined by the fact that the stanzas form an acrostic on his name (HEINRICH MULER), which I have attempted to reproduce. The balladic hymn enjoyed great popularity during the Reformation era (see Julian) when, because of its concise recounting of the Passion events, it was sung around Passion-week (so e.g. Ludecus appoints it), though it gradually fell out of use sometime during the 18th century. I include, after the German, a stanza very loosely translated by C.S. Terry, and the only other complete English (or more precisely, old Scots) translation, from Wedderburn.

The melody in Babst (1545) is one of several, most of which seem to be derived from earlier folk-melodies (see Kümmerle). One of its melodies was eventually attached to the hymn “Wenn meine Sünd mich kränken” [When o’er My Sins I Sorrow]. I include all those found in Kümmerle:

ASSIST me, great Creator!
That I may undertake
In measure and in meter
Thy glories to awake!
That I may now with joyful heart
Sing out Thy Holy Scripture:
O Lord, Thine aid impart!

2. E’ermore Thy Word remaineth,
So doth Isaiah say,
All things Thy Hand sustaineth,
Yet earth shall pass away,—
Yea, all that God Himself did make,
And all of man’s endeavor:—
Still naught His Word can shake.

3. Into this world descended
The Father’s Word eterne,
Great wonders Him attended,
But many Him did spurn,
By Judas was He sold away,
The Lamb of God was given
To death, for sin to pay.

4. Now, when His Twelve had eaten
Their paschal lamb, but look!
With comfort all to sweeten,
Bread in His hand He took,
And blessed, and said: “Eat ye of this:
For you My body given
To pardon sin this is.”

5. Red blood He then did offer
In wine, that drink they might:
“Proclaim how He did suffer
And die,” Saint Paul did write;
“Whoever shall in worthy faith
This bread and cup be taking
Shall nevermore see death.”

6. In meekness, downward reaching
With tow’l, He washed their feet,
And taught with godly preaching
From lips without deceit:
“Oh, love each other ceaselessly:
That ye are My disciples,
Men thus shall certain be.”

7. Christ, having prayed, awaited
In dark Gethsemane
The Jews who, full of hatred,
Did bind Him viciously
And sought their judge His soul to try,
With mocks they scourged and crowned Him,
And sentenced Him to die.

8. High on a cross they hanged Him,
The Highest with the worst:
His thirst for us constrained Him,
And so He said: “I thirst”
With thirst to save us men forlorn,
Who to a virgin maiden
Was truly human born.

9. Man’s Maker, head bowed lowly,
As in John’s words disclosed,
Gave up the ghost so holy,
Was from the cross deposed,
Inside a tomb was gently laid,
And on the third day rising,
Fulfilled what He had said.

10. Unto the world’s far limit
Christ His disciples sent
To bear His Word, proclaim it,
And preach its true intent:
He who believes and is baptized
Possesses life eternal
Obtained by Jesus Christ.

11. Luke tells of Christ’s ascension
With words of comfort fair,
And doth Christ’s promise mention,
To be with us fore’er:
For, lo, His Word can never fail,
Nor ’gainst it can the forces
And gates of hell prevail.

12. Earth was the Helper given,
From God He doth proceed,
By Christ sent forth from heaven
Into all truth to lead.
So let our groans to God be made,
Who never shall forsake us,
But gives us constant aid.

13. Right rulers may God send us,
And turn our every foe,
And on those who offend us,
May He His grace bestow—
For all their sake, to Christ we pray!
So sang old Heinrich Müller,
In prison as he lay.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Hilf, Gott, daß mir gelinge,
du edler Schöpfer mein,
die Silben reimen zwingen
zu Lob den Ehren dein!
Daß ich mag fröhlich heben an
von deinem Wort zu singen,
Herr, wöllest mir beistahn!

2. Ewig dein Wort thut bleiben,
wie Esaias meldt,* *Jes. 40, 8.
In seinem Buch thut schreiben:
eh wird vergehn die Welt
und was Gott selber je beschuf, [erschuf,]
Sollt es alles verderben,
er thut kein Widerruf.

3. Iesus, das Wort des Vaters,
ist kommen in die Welt
mit großen Wunderthaten,
verkauft um schnödes Geld
durch Judam, seiner Jünger ein
ward er in Tod gegeben,
Jesus, das Lämmelein.

4. Nachdem sie hatten gessen,
vernehmt, das Osterlamb,
da thät er nicht vergessen,
das Brod in sein’ Hand nahm,
sprach: Eßt, das ist mein Leichnam lind,
der für euch dar wird [g’]geben [euch wird gegeben]
zu Vergebung der Sünd. [zur Vergebung euer Sünd.]

5. Reicht ihn’n auch dar zu trinken
in Wein sein Blut so roth:
“Sein Tod sollt ihr verkünden,”
Paulus beschreiben hat:
“Wer würdig ißt von diesem Brod
und trinket von dem Kelche,
wird nicht sehen den Tod.”

6. Jesus wusch ihn ihr Füße
wohl zu der selb’gen Stund, [derselben Stund]
Lehrt sie mit Worten süße
aus seim göttlichen Mund;
“Liebet einander allezeit,
dabei wird man erkennen
das ihr mein Jünger seid.”

7. Christus der Herr im Garten,
da er gebetet hat,
der Jüden thät erwarten,
von ihn gebunden hart,
sie führten ihn zum Richter dar,
gegeißelt und gekrönet,
zum Tod verurtheilt ward.

8. Hoch an ein Kreuz gehangen,
der hochgeborne Fürst;
nach uns thät ihn verlangen,
darum sprach er: “Mich dürst!”
Vernimm: nach unser Seligkeit,
darum ein Mensch geboren
von einer reinen Meid.

9. Mit seinem Haupt geneiget
er seinen Geist aufgab,
als uns Johannes zeiget,
er ward genommen ab
vom Kreuz, ins Grab ward er gelegt,
am dritten Tag erstanden,
wie er vor hat gesagt.

10. Und in denselben Tagen
Jesus sein Jünger lehrt,
allein sein Wort zu tragen,
predigen aller Welt: [predigen in aller]
Wer glaube thut und wird getauft,
der hat das ewig leben,
ist ihm durch Christum kauft. [erkauft.]

11. Lukas thuts gar schön schreiben [thut]
von seiner Himmelfahrt
doch allweg bei uns bleiben,
wie er versprochen hat,
vernimm: Durch sein göttliches Wort;
wider das kann nicht siegen
kein Gwalt der Höllen Pfort.

12. Ein Tröster thät er senden
das war der heilig Geist,
von Gott thät er sie lenden
in Wahrheit allermeist.
Denselben wolln wir rufen an,
der wird uns nicht verlassen
und uns treulich beistahn.

13. Recht laßt uns alle bitten
Christum für [die] Obrigkeit
ob wir schon von ihn litten
Gwalt, auch für alle Feind,
daß ihn Gott woll genädig sein:
hat Heinrich Müller gesungen
in dem Gefängnis sein.


1. O help me, Lord, to praise Thee,
Great Shepherd of Thy sheep,
In grateful phrases worthy
Of Thee Who watch dost keep!
Help me in song my voice upraise
For Thy blest Word so holy,
And guide my feeble praise!

1. Helpe, God, the Former of all thing,
That to Thy gloir may bee my dyte:
Be baith at end and beginning,
That I may make my song perfyte,
Of Jesus Christes passioun,
Sinnaris onely saluatioun,
As witnesse is thy word in write.

2. Thy word for euer sall remaine,
As in his buke wrytes Esay,
Baith heuin and eird sall turne againe,
Or thy trew word cum to decay.
Thou cannot like ane man repent,
To change thy purpose or intent,
Bot steidfast is thy word for ay.

3. Jesus, the Father’s Word alone,
Discendit in an Virgine pure,
With meruellis greit and mony one;
And be Judas that fals tratour,
That Lambe for sober summe was sauld,
And gaif his lyfe, for cause hee wald
Redeme all sinfull creature.

4. When eitin was the Paschall Lambe,
Christ tuke the breid his handis within,
Blyssing it, brake it, gaif the sume
Till his apostles mair and min,
Eit that, for my body is this,
Quihilk for your sakis geuin is,
Intill remissioun of your sin.

5. Siclyke hee gaif them for to drinke
In wyne his blude the quhilke was sched,
Upon his precious deid to thinke,
On hiom remembrance to be made.
Quha eitis this blissit sacrament,
Worthelie with trew intent
Sall neuer see eternall deid.
6. Jesus wusche his apostlis feit,
Schawand exempil of lowlynesse,
And chargit them with wordis sweit,
That lufe amang them suld incres.
For thairby suld it cum to licht,
That ye are my disciplis richt,
Gif ye amang you lufe possesse.

7. Efter this prayer passit he,
And met the Jewis quhilk him socht;
When they had bound him cruellie,
Before the judges they him brocht.
First they him scurgit, and for scorne
Him crownit with ane crowne of thorne,
Syne dampnit him to deid for nocht.

8. That Prince on croce they lift on hicht,
For our redemptioun that thocht lang;
Hee said, I thirst with all my micht
To saif mankynde fra painis strang.
Hee that all warldis was beforne,
Came doun of Marie to be borne,
For our trespasse on croce hee hang.

9. Then hee his heid culd incline,
As wryttis John, and gaif the gaist,
And off the croce tane was syne,
And laid in grave; but soone in haist,
Leuand, he rais on the thrid day,
And to his apostles did say,
To them appeirand maist and leist.

10. And syne he did his apostillis teiche,
Throw all the warlde for to passe,
And tell all creature for to preich,
As they of him instructit was:
Quha baptist is, and will beleeue,
Eternall deid sall not them greeue,
Bot salbe sauit mair and lesse.

11. Sanct Luke writtin in his ascention,
Thocht present aye with vs hee bee,
The Scripture makis mention,
That is to say with us is hee,
Be his sweit word steidfast but faill,
Contraire the quhilk can not preuaill
Sathan nor hellis tyranie.

12. Ane comfortour to vs hee did send,
Quhilke from the Father did proceide,
To gyde us trewly to the end,
In inward thocht and outwart deid,
Call on the Lord, our gyde and licht,
To leid vs in his law full richt,
And be our helpe in all our neid.

13. Pray for all men in generall,
Suppose they wirk vs richt or wrang;
Pray for our prince in speciall;
Thocht they be just, or tyrans strang,
Obey, for sa it aucht to bee.
In presoun for the veritie,
Ane faythfull brother made this sang.

02 March 2010

Ehre sei dir, Christe

Here is my translation of “Ehre sei dir, Christe” (H. Bonnus, 1540). The first stanza is a traditional hymn, Laus tibi Christe qui pateris. It was originally sung in Latin between stanzas of Rex Christe factor omnium, on Good Friday. The stand-alone version here has two added stanzas identical to stanzas 3 and 6 of "Ach, wir armen Sünder," q.v. The hymn is called "Lob sei dir Christe" in Ludecus (1589) and appointed under the section Judica, Palmarum, and Good Friday. A variety of German translations exist. Our seemingly anomalous title perhaps arose from the influence of the Gospel acclamation Laus tibi Christe, “Lob sei dir [O] Christe,” from the ordinary of the Mass. The melody is the traditional one associated with this series of texts, probably from 15th c., though the title starting with the word Lob suggests that perhaps the Latin melody was used with a form of the German title.

1. Christ, to Thee be glory,
For Thy bitter pain,
On the cross of suff’ring,
Dying for our gain.
Now with God the Father
Reigning without end:
Help us wretched sinners!
Thy salvation send!
Kyrie eleison,
Christe Eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

2. Had Christ not descended
To this world of shame
And upon Him taken
Our own humble frame,
And for our transgressions
Died most willingly,
We in hell would suffer
For eternity.
Kyrie, etc.

3. Let us altogether
Sing our joyful boast,
Thanking God the Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost,
Praying for protection,
From offenses here,
And our preservation
In His Word so dear.
Kyrie, etc.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Ehre [Lob] sei dir, Christe,
der du littest Not,

an dem Stamm des Kreuzes
für uns bittern Tod,

herrschest mit dem Vater
in der Ewigkeit:

hilf uns armen Sündern
zu der Seligkeit.

Kyrie eleison,

Christe eleison,

Kyrie eleison.

2. Wäre nicht gekommen
Christus in die Welt

und hätt angenommen
unser arm Gestalt

und für unsre Sünde
gestorben williglich,

so hätten wir müssen
verdammt sein ewiglich.

Kyrie, usw.

3. Darum wolln wir loben,
danken allezeit

dem Vater und Sohne
und dem Heilgen Geist;

bitten, daß sie wollen
behüten uns hinfort,

und daß wir stets bleiben
bei seinem heilgen Wort.

Kyrie, usw.

Lob sei dir, Jesu Christe

Here is my translation of the cross and comfort hymn “Lob sei dir, Jesu Christe” (H. Vogtherr the elder, 1526). The original title read: “A new evangelical hymn in every cross, wholly comforting for every Christian, taken from divine Scripture,” esp. from Matt. 10 and 1 Peter 2. The first few stanzas especially would also be appropriate for the Festival of the Reformation. Note that this is one of the few translations that turned out easier to translate with You rather than with Thee, though I'll probably have a traditional language version completed in the near future. Though the melody is not specified in Wackernagel, “Herr Christ, der einig’ Gotts Sohn” fits very well.

PRAISE BE to You, Lord Jesus,
And to Your mighty name!
Your pow’r from darkness frees us,
Man’s craft it puts to shame.
You bring us Christians to Your Word:
Now everywhere shines brightly
What was so long obscured.

2. O Helper of the lowly,
Without You, help is lost!
Have mercy, Savior holy!
See what a heavy cost
We paid to wear the murd’rous snares
Of Rome’s deceitful merchants,
With all their hellish wares.

3. As holy Peter warned us,
They made us merchandise,
And stole Your Word, and scorned us,
By tricks and cunning lies.
And now that You have brought it back,
They call it devils’ doctrines,
And wage their grim attack.

4. They fain would terrify us
With papal bull and sword,
The Spirit’s aim deny us,
And keep His Word unheard:
Oh, let their legions be deployed:
God still shall be the victor,
And all His foes destroyed.

5. So fear not, faithful Christians,
Take comfort in Your Lord:
See how Christ’s ammunitions
Are trampling Baal’s horde!
See how His line cannot be breached:
Despite their every effort,
His Word is freely preached!

6. But, hearing our confession
Of Christ the Savior true,
The world, with great aggression,
Makes scorn and shame ensue,
And so we soon must bear the cross,
And here is its beginning,
In God’s most holy House.

7. So lift your voices loudly,
March gladly to the plain,
Proclaim your Savior proudly
Heed neither life nor pain.
For Jesus Christ must be confessed:
Through death and dread affliction
We pass to life and rest.

8. Search not for words of merit,
When to their courts conferred,
For in that day God’s Spirit
Will teach your tongue the word;
And none this Word can contradict.
So stand with spirit ready
When they your flesh afflict.

9. If we with God would glory
And high in heaven reign,
His cross we here must carry
And wear His crown of pain.
No servant is above his lord,
And so is gone before us
Our Savior Christ adored.

10. From morn to eve God chastens
The souls that He holds dear,
And on His children hastens
What first as griefs appear:
Yet by the cross He proves us true,
Like gold within a furnace,
And, faithful, leads us through.

11. Thus did the earliest Christians
Pass on through blood to life:
God grant us the provisions
To join them in the strife!
The martyrs’ bodies merely show
That foes can kill the body—
The soul no death shall know.

12. Yea, let us fear and bless Him
Who body_and soul can kill
Before the world confess Him,
Though we be slaughtered still,
For He alone can be our stay
Who grants us bliss or judgment
Upon that final day.

13. May we for Him surrender
to death our life and all,
And find through our Defender
True life in heaven’s hall.
Oh, may He make us bold to fight,
For all is lost without Him,
And vict’ry hid from sight.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Lob sei dir, Jesu Christe,
in deinem Himmelsthron,
der du der Menschen Liste
zu Boden lassest gahn,
uns Christen führst zu deinem Wort
welch’s lang tief ist verschwiegen.
jetzt leichts an allem Ort

2. Du bist das Heil der Armen,
ohn dich kein Hilf nicht ist:
Laß dich, o Gott, erbarmen
den großen Mord und List
darmit wir waren gfangen gar
von den falschen Papisten
mit ihrer Kaufmannswaar’.

3. Mit uns ha’n sie g’hantieret,
wie denn Sankt Peter schreibt,
mit falscher Lehr verführet,
dein Wort vom Erdreich g’reit:
So du s nun wieder bringst auf Bahn,
so heißt mans Ketzereie,
will uns den Tod an thon.

4. Sie wollen uns erschrecken
mit Briefen und mit dem Schwert,
Gotts Geist sein Ziel verstecken,
das sein Wort nicht werd g’lehrt:
Und hieltens noch so heftig drob,
so würd jedoch Got siegen,
sein Feinden liegen ob.

5. Darum, ihr frommen Christen,
habt Trost und fürcht’t euch nit,
Seht, wie die Baalisten
Christus zu Haufen tritt,
wie er uns wohnt so kräftig bei,
daß allenthalb sein Worte
jedoch wird [g]predigt frei.

6.So wir nun werden g’führet
zu Christo dem Heiland,
zuhand die Welt einrühret,
damit uns folg Schmach und Schand,
auf daß das Kreuz nicht lang b[e]leib aus,
welchs erstlich muß anfahen
wohl an dem Gottes Haus.

7. Darum hebt auf eur Stimme,
trett fröhlich auf den Plan,
redt frei wie sich’s gezieme,
Setzt Leib und Leben dran.
Denn Christus muß bekennet sein;
Durch Tod und große Marter
gehn wir ins Leben ein.

8. Sorgt nicht, was ihr wollt sagen,
so man euch vor Gricht führt:
Gotts Geist auf diesem Tagen
euch eure Zungen rührt.
Niemand euch widersprechen kann
übt man an euch dann Gwalte,
so nehmets herzlich an.

9. Woll’ wir mit Gott glorieren
und herrsch’n im Himmelsthron,
muß’ wir uns ihm gleich zieren
mit Kreuz und Marterkron:
der Knecht nicht übern Herren ist,
vor uns ist auch eingangen
der Heiland Jesu Christ.

10. Wen Gott der Herr thut lieben,
den geißelt er früh ‘nd spat,
all sein thut er betrüben
die er aufg’nommen hat:
wir werden all durchs Kreuz probiert,
recht wie das Gold im Ofen,
durch Hoffnung durchhing’führt.

11. Also die ersten Christen
durchs Blut sind gangen ein:
Bitt Gott, das er uns rüste,
ihr Mitgesellen sein;
den Leib der Marter geben dar:
sie töten nur den Leibe,
die Seel wird’ß nicht gewahr.

12. Laßt uns viel mehr ansehen
der Leib und Seel töt’n kann,
ihn vor der Welt verjähen
und sollt wir zu Trümmer gahn:
er ists, der uns erhalten mag,
verdammt und selig machet,
so kommet jener Tag.

13. Dem woll’ wir frei ergeben
all unser Leib und Gut,
zum Tod, und auch zum Leben
befehlen in sein Hütt.
Der helf uns mutig streiten mit,
ohn Ihn ists ganz verloren,
kein Sieg beim Menschen nit.