31 August 2011

Nimm von uns, Herr (Repost)

Here is another repost of a hymn appropriate to this week, a hymn of repentance by Moller, based on the Wittenberg hymn Aufer immensam (1541).


REMOVE FROM us, O faithful God,
Thy dreadful and avenging rod,
Which all our foul and countless crimes
Have well deserved a thousand times.
Prevent by Thy good providence

Sad famine, war, and pestilence,

2. Have mercy on Thine heirs untrue:
We pray for grace, not judgment due,
Which Thou, Lord, art full right to give
According to the way we live,
For all the earth would pass away
Nor might one man before Thee stay.

3. Oh Lord God, by Thy faithfulness
With salve and help our sighings bless,
Give us an instance of Thy grace
And turn to us Thy kindly face;
By true repentance bring us home
And save us from the wrath to come.

4. Why wilt Thou raise Thy dreadful storms
Against so vile and feeble worms?
Thou Author of our being know'st
That this our frame is filth and dust;
Our best endeavors are but frail,
If Thou dost search we greatly fail.

5. Sin still corrupts us everywhere,
And Satan lays us many a snare,
The wicked world, our flesh and blood
Conspire to rob us of all good.
O Lord, this is not hid from Thee,
Have mercy on our misery!

6. Look on Thy Son’s most bitter death,
His holy wounds, His parting breath,
For all the world these do atone
For every sin, unknown and known,
Our comfort this: Thou wilt forgive,
And for His sake let sinners live.

7. O Lord, conduct us by Thy hand,
And bless these realms by sea and land;
Preserve Thy Word amongst us pure,
Keep us from Satan’s wiles secure;
Grant us to die in peace and love,
And see Thy glorious face above.

Tr. 1, 3b-7, C.S. Terry, 1917, alt.
Tr. stanza 2, 3a © Matthew Carver, 2009.

An Wasserflüssen Babylon (Repost)

This hymn with its famous tune borrowed by "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth," used to be sung on the 10th Sunday after Trinity and its following week, in remembrance of the destruction of Jerusalem. Valerius' Herberger's father Martin used to sing it while working. Here is my translation, a supplement to the first stanza translated by Henry Drinker.


I N Babylon by water-streams
We sat in sorrow reeling;
As Zion filled our thoughts and dreams,
We wept with heartfelt feeling;
We hanged aloft with heavy heart
The harp and organ's goodly art,
Upon the willows mournful
That in that people's country stand;We suffered daily at their hand Abuse and slander scornful.

2. There they who took us cruèlly,
And carried us to prison,
Required of us a melody,
With words of pure derision,
Demanding in our sad estate
A song of gladness to relate:
“Oh, let us hear thee render
Some merry tune. Some anthem sweet
Of Zion’s poetry repeat,
With echoes glad and tender.

3. “How can we thus, as captives long
Beset by griefs and dangers,
Sing to the Lord His rightful song
In lands where we are strangers?”
Should I forget thee, Salem mine,
May my Right Hand, my Lord divine,
Forget me, too, forever,
And should I bear thee not in mind,
May tongue to palette firmly bind,
And break its silence never,—

4. Yea, should I not, Jerusalem,
Above all joys adore thee,
As I compose thy joyful hymn
And sing it sweetly for thee.
Remember Edom’s children, Lord
When Salem fell beneath their sword
And wicked exclamation:
“Oh raze it, raze it, let it die,
Until its walls in ruins lie,
And shatter its foundation!”

5. Foul daughter thou of Babylon,
In wreck and devastation;
What blessings shall attend the one,
Who gives thee compensation
For all thy pride and villainy,
And meteth also unto thee,
As thou thyself hast meted!
Blest he who takes thine infant stock
And dasheth it against the rock,
Till thy name is depleted.

Translation  © Matthew Carver, 2009–11.

30 August 2011

** Memorizing Hymns **

Helping my wife take care of our son while she works part-time has taken up a lot of hours that would otherwise (probably) be spent on translating hymns or other frivolous pursuits, but it has also had a side-benefit. I have been availing myself of our afternoon walks for the memorization of core Lutheran hymns, a thing that I had long wanted to do but for which I only found sporadic inspiration. Before these strolls, I had only these hymns fully memorized (except as noted) since my earliest familiarity with them (ca. 2001-2005):
  1. The Gloria (DSIII)
  2. God the Father, Be Our Stay (easy after you get the first verse)
  3. O Lord, We Praise Thee (stanza 1)
  4. Of the Father's Love Begotten (now partly forgotten)
  5. The Te Deum (only to the Gregorian tune as found in BPB)
  6. Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy/Your Word (could switch between versions)
  7. A Mighty Fortress (sort of confused between the old and new versions)
  8. Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart

Now, after doing walks at least 3 days a week for a month, I have added these to my repertoire:
  1. Salvation unto Us Has Come (14 stanzas - TLH supplemented from ELHB)
  2. Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice (10 stanzas)
  3. We All Believe in One True God (old melody)
  4. In the Very Midst of Life
  5. In Peace and Joy I Now Depart
  6. That Man a Godly Life Might Live
  7. Wilt Thou, O Man, Live Happily
  8. O Lord, Look Down from Heav'n, Behold


This looks like more than it actually is. Most of these hymns are only 3-5 stanzas. "In the Very Midst…," like "God the Father, Be Our Stay," has mostly the same words in each stanza with only a few lines differing. The long ones I did first and took a few days for each one to sink in, with lots of repetition and mnemonic reasoning and attention to alliterations and assonance to help remember. Since then I have alternated singing at least one of these on each walk so that I never forget.

The easiest hymns to memorize for me seem to be those like these first two, with interlocking rhymes (ABAB) and/or irregular line lengths (like "In Peace and Joy…"), while the hardest are those with couplets (AABB etc.) and lines all the same or about the same length; examples of the latter are "That Man a Godly Life…" and "Wilt Thou, O Man…" Perhaps it is the repetitive "Law"-element in these which adds to the difficulty to let them sink in, or perhaps it is the stilted quality in the translation.

This has been an easy and enjoyable way to learn Scripture, doctrine, and readily accessible prayers, as well as to learn "from the masters" so to speak, of English hymn translation. Seeing the possibilities of how things can be expressed clearly in English I expect will really me in future translation projects. Another benefit is that the joyful expectation of learning more hymnody by heart encourages me to stretch my legs when I don't otherwise feel like it.

Here are some I'm planning on learning in the near future, by God's help:
  1. In Thee Alone, O Christ, My Lord
  2. From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee
  3. The Mouth of Fools Doth God Confess
  4. If God Had Not Been on Our Side
  5. Jesu, dulcis memoria (or some version thereof)
  6. To Jordan Came Our Lord the Christ
  7. Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands (or the other version?)
  8. Grant Peace, We Pray, in Mercy, Lord
  9. Our Father, Thou in Heav'n Above
  10. Kyrie, God Father in Heav'n Above
  11. A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth (maybe - Gerhardt is so hyperpolystanzaic)
  12. How Blest Are They Who Hear God's Word
  13. Built on the Rock the Church Doth Stand
  14. Lord, Hear the Voice of My Complaint
  15. In Jesus' Name Our Work Must All Be Done (ELH)
  16. By Adam's Fall Is All Forlorn (ELH)
  17. Lord, to Thee I Make Confession
  18. etc.!

29 August 2011

Psallite Regi nostro (Latin only, for now)

Here is Gottschalk's Sequence for the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, as found in Lossius' Psalmodia, hoc est…. I am too busy right now to translate it, but hope to before this time next year! Note the only difference between the melody lines 2a and 2b is that the first two notes of the latter form a neume on one syllable (Na-to); between 6a and 6b, that one note has a virga-double in the former. Brackets enclose original readings from Patrologia Latina.

In die decollationis Johannis Baptistae Sequentia

1. Psallite Regi
nostro, psallite,
psallite prudenter. [= …sapienter]

2a. Nam psalterium
est jucundum cum cithara,
2b. Na-to virginis,
quo psallans [= psallens] natus sterilis.

3a. Citharam carnis
in domo Domini.
3b. Dum, quod sonabat
docuit vivendo,

4a. Mortificando,
quae super terram
sunt, membra
et hoc alios docendo,
4b. Praeparans Christo
plebem perfectam
vox clamantis in deserto.

5a. Sed vox haec impium
Herodem, quem corripit,
minimo [-e] corrigit.
5b. Haud tamen tacuit,
sed ad usque sanguinem
sceleri restitit.

6a. Non licet, inquit, te
fratris tui
habere conjugem,
raptam ei: [=sibi]
sic praecepit Dominus.
6b. Vocem incantantis
Herodes, ut aspis
surda, spernit:
ut justum,
ut [=et] sanctum
Johannem timet,
quem vinxit in carcere.

7a. Sedet in tenebris
lucerna, lucis
amicus omnipotentis.
7b. Studet deliciis
mundi principis
filius perditionis.

8a. Meretrix suadet,
puella saltat,
Rex jubet, sanctus
8b. Dat Rex saltanti
caput Johannis,
qui sanctus ante
fit, quam natus.

9a. En quomodo
perit justus,
quasi non sit Deo
9b. Cum sit ejus
mors haec in conspectu

10a. Nos corde percipimus,
qualis et quantus est,
quia vicinus dignitate [= convicinus…]
Christo fit et morte.
10b. Nam morte turpissima
damnatur sponsus,
et sponsi amicum damnant
recte morte turpissima.

11a. Carcere carnis
ductum, quem ferunt
coelis Angeli Angelum.
11b. Et nos in terris
tibi psallere
fac, Christe,
in memoriam Baptistae.

12. Herodis spreta
quo mensa,
altaris tui mensa * [not in orig.]
ipsum te, dum sumimus,
semper tibi psallamus.

23 August 2011

Hör mein Gebet, O Herr und Gott

Here is my translation of the hymn “Hör mein Gebet, O Herr und Gott” (Anon. 16th c.) a paraphrase, apparently from the Strassburg Hymnal, of Exaudi Deus orationem (Ps. LV), the psalm for the X. Sunday after Trinity. The appointed tune is “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir.”

GIVE EAR, O God, my pray’r receive
To Thee I mourn, afflicted,
For so the wicked me aggrieve,
Fear hath my heart constricted,
Death’s terrors make me shake and sigh,
Oh, as a dove I fain would fly,
And in the wild find respite!”

2. O Lord, divide the villains’ tongues,
Which fill with strife the city,
Upon the walls they work their wrongs,
And show no love or pity.
With guile and greed they fill the streets.
Yet were these but my foes’ deceits,
Then might I well have borne them;

3. But ’twas my friends that did me wrong,
And they whom I did cherish,
Yea, they who joined the temple throng—
O Death, take them to perish,
Let hell be theirs for endless days,
I’ll call on God, who helps always,
At evening, noon, and morning.

4. My soul in peace He doth redeem
From battle nigh impending:
Though foes may seethe and furious seem,
Good soon will bring their ending.
They fear Him not, nor will repent,
But boldly break His covenant,
No friendship finding ever.

5. Their mouth is slippery and smooth,
But war their senses filleth,
Their speech like oil would seem to sooth,
Yet as a sword it killeth.
Oh, on the Lord thy burden cast,
He shall not let thee fall at last,—
He leaves the righteous never.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.

1. Hör mein Gebet, O Herr und Gott,
ich klag es dir mit Schmerzen,
der Gottlos machet mir viel Not,
Todsfurcht seind mir im Herzen,
ein grausam Zittern kommt mich an,
ich flög gern wie ein Taub darvon,
daß ich käm in ein Wüste.

2. O Herr, ihr Zungen trenn und teil,
voll Bosheit ist die Stätte,
sie laufen auf der Mauren geil,
viel Schalkheit bei ihn gähte,
voll Trug und Wuchr die Gassen sein,
wenn mich doch Schmahen meine Feind,
ich könnt mich vor ihn hüten.

3. Mein Gsell, Mitgnoß und Freunde tuts,
und die mir freundlich waren;
mit ihn ging ich ins Hause Gotts,
O Tod, nimms, daß sie fahren
in d’ Höll, dann Bosheit bei ihn ist,
ich ruf, Gott hilft zu aller Frist,
abends, mittags und morgens.

4. Mein Seel erlöset er im Fried,
von den so an mich wöllen,
und wüten auf Erd wie ein Feind,
Gott dämpft allweg solch Gsellen,
weil kein Gottsfurcht noch Buß da sein,
Gott bricht sein Bund, schlägt dapfer drein,
sie haben auch kein Freundschaft.

5. Ihr Mund ist schmalzig, sanft und hähl,
und haben Krieg im Sinne;
Ihr Wort seind glätter dann ein Öl,
bloß Schwerder sein darinne,
drum laß die Sorg aufm Herren stahn,
der wird dich gwißlich nicht verlan,
den Frommen läßt er nimmer.

21 August 2011

Wir glauben an Gott den Vater

Here is my translation of "Wir glauben an Gott den Vater" (M. Weisse, 1531), a paraphrase of the Creed set by Geistliche Psalmen to the tune "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" (but Weisse appoints "Die Sonne wird mit ihrem Schein").

IN GOD the Father we believe,
By whose strong Word all life receive,
Who spoke, and heav’n and earth became,
And by His Word upholds the same;

2. And in Christ Jesus, God’s true Son,
Our Lord, alike in pow’r and throne
With God the Father, whence is He
Begotten from eternity;

3. Who, by the Spirit, without shame,
In chastity true Man became,
When Mary did herself bequeath
And yet retained her virgin wreath.

4. Who, our atonement to obtain
Did suffer under Pilate’s reign,
Was truly crucified and dead
And in a tomb of stone was laid;

5. Who then ascended into heav’n,
And was as King all glory giv’n,
Was seated at God’s own right hand,
And reigns o’er every race and land;

6. Who shall from heaven come again,
Descending with His glorious train,
To judge the living and the dead
When every sentence shall be said;

7. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord,
By whom men did God’s Word record
With heav’nly wisdom to direct,
For benefit of the elect;

9. In God’s one holy Church and true,
And by His Spirit born anew,
One blest communion of the saints,
The heirs of God’s inheritance;

10. In sin’s remission, found alone
In flocks which Christ their Savior own,
Imparted through His Sacraments,
A gift that God from heaven sends;

11. The resurrection we await,
When all the dead from sleeping state
Shall rise and full accounting give
Of how on earth they willed to live;

12. And we await the life to come,
Prepared with joy for Christendom,
But hell's eternal woe awaits
The devil and his reprobates.

13. God, help us by this solid ground,
Thy cov’nant where all grace is found,—
Yea, Christ, Thy Sun and Glorious Word,—
Of bliss with Thee to be assured.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.

1. Wir glauben an Gott den Vater,
allmächtigen Herrn und Schöpfer,
der im Anbeginn ließ werden
durch sein Wort Himmel und Erden.

2. Und in seinen Sohn Jesum Christ,
unsern Herren der ihm gleicht ist,
in der Gottheit und Herrlichkeit,
aus ihm geborn von Ewigkeit.

3. Der vom heiilgen Geist allein,
empfangen ist heilig und rein,
von Maria Mensch geboren,
die ihr Zucht nit hat verloren.

4. Der auch alle Sünd vermitten,
unter Pilato gelitten,
gekreuziget und gestorben,
darnach begraben ist worden.

5. Darnach gen Himmel gefahren,m
als ein König der Heerscharen,
er sitzet zur Gottes Rechten,
und herrschet allen Geschlechten.

6. Von dannen er auch offenbara
am letzten Tag mit seiner Schar
herrlichen hernieder steigen,
richten wird und nichts schweigen.

7. Glauben auch in Heiligen Geist,
von welchem die Schrift allermeist
und alle Weisheit ist kommen,
den Auserwählten zu Frommen.

8. Eine Kirch von Gott auserkorn
und durch seinen Geist neugeborn,
eine heilige Gemeinschaft
und Ordnung zu Gottes Kindschaft.

9. Vergebung der Sünden allein,
in der Auserwählten Gemein,
durch Genießung aller Gaben,
welche ihr Gott schenkt von oben.

10. Auferstehung alles Fleisches,
am letzten Tag des Gerichtes,
da es von seim ganzen Leben
Rechenschaft wird müßen geben.

11. Ewig Leben, Freud und Klarheit,
allen Auserwählten bereit,
auch ewige Pein der Hellen
dem Satan und seinen Gsellen.

12. Hilf, Gott, daß wir durch diesen Grund,
den neun Gnadenrichen Bund,
die Sonn und Ordnung der Wahrheit,
gewiß werden deiner Klarheit.

18 August 2011

Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott

Here for my next instalment in the Benedictus hymn series is my translation of “Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott (E. Alberus, 1561). The tune is “Erbarm dich mein, O Herre Gott.”

BLEST BE Israel’s God, the Lord,
Who in our need His love outpoured
And visited with boundless grace
His people cursed with sin’s disgrace,
Redeemed us lest in death we die,
And raised salvation’s horn on high
Within His servant David’s house
To save alive the Church, His spouse.

2. This wondrous love, this gracious hour,
Came not by our own fallen pow’r,
But God declared since days of old
And by His prophets’ mouths foretold
The tidings of His promise dear,
That He in grace would draw us near
Deliv’ring us from every foe
That we to Him in heav’n might go.

3. ‘Twas naught but God’s mercifulness
That He showed us in our distress
Remembering His cov’nant sure,
The oath that long ago He swore
With holy lips that cannot lie,
To him on whom He cast His eye:
Our faithful father Abraham,
Through whom our true salvation came.

4. God’s heart was moved with pity great
When He beheld the wretched state
In which the world a pris’ner lay
Afflicted by the devil aye,
Oh everlasting, gracious God!
How great Thy love, how deep and broad,
When Thou didst pledge th’ eternal crown
To sinners through Thine only Son!

5. Now since Christ our redemption gains
From sin and death and countless pains,
We need not fear the devil’s pow’r,
For he is judged and bides his hour.
Now God will be our Father dear
Him only let us serve and fear,
With service that well pleases Him
While yet we walk earth’s valley dim.

6. Yet, dearest child, regarding thee,
The Most High’s prophet shalt thou be!
To cry His advent is thy part,
To preach the Lord with all thy heart,
His way to ready smooth and straight,
That every man may Him await;
And needful knowledge to afford
Of man’s salvation: Christ our Lord.

7. This shall thy teaching be, that men
Forgiveness find for all their sin
By tender mercy of our God,
Who evermore shall spare the rod.
This is a gift surpassing all
Come down to us from heaven’s hall—
Here brightly shines Christ’s Godhead high,
As doth the Sunrise in the sky.

8. He is the Father’s Radiance true,
Who doth our heart with light imbue
And by His arm of boundless might
Delivered us from sin’s dark night,
Which did o’er every man impend,
Who were by Satan e’er condemned,—
The straying of our foot to cease
And guide us in the way of peace.

9. O gracious Holy Trinity,
Hear us, Thy church, which praises Thee,
And cannot give Thee thanks enough
That Thou, Our Father, full of love,
Hast given us Thine only Son
Who our release from Satan won,
And sent the Holy Ghost below
That we Thy Son might truly know.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.

1. Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott
Israel, der in dieser Not
sein Völklein, das da war verflucht,
mit Gnaden hat daheim gesucht
und uns erlöst vom ewigen Zorn,
und aufgericht ein heilsam Horn
in seines Dieners David Haus!
es war sonst ewig mit uns draus.

2. Solch überschwenklich groß Genad
kommt uns nicht her aus unserm Rath,
sie ist vorzeiten worden kund
durch seinr hehilgen Propheten Mund,
durch welche Gott verheissen hat,
er wöll von Sünden, Hell, und Tod
und allen Feinden gnädiglich
sein Volk erlösen ewiglich.

3. Es ist eitel Barmherzigkeit,
die Gott in unserm Herzen Leid
erzeigt und denkt an seinen Bund,
wie er mit seinem heilgen Mund
ein Eid vorzeiten hat geschworn,
eim mann, den er hat auserkorn,
unserm Vater, dem Abraham:
das Heil kommt uns aus seinem Stamm.

4. Gott seines Herzen Grund aufschloß,
da er ansah das Elend groß
darin die WElt gefangen lag
und hat vom Teufel ewig Plag!
Ach lieber Gott in Ewigkeit,
wie groß war dein Barmherzigkeit,
da du verheißt die ewge Kron
durch deinen eingebornen Sohn!

5. Dieweil wir nu erlöset sein
von Sünden, Tod und ewger Pein,
so sollen wir uns fürchten nicht
vorm Teufel: er ist schon gericht.
Gott will nu unser Vater sein,
dem wöllen wir auch dienen allein
weil wir leben in dieser Welt
mit solchem Dienst der ihm gefällt.

6. Und du, mein liebes Kindelein,
wirst ein Prophet des Höchsten sein!
Du wirst von unserm lieben Herrn
verkündigen von Herzen gern
und seinen Weg bereiten wohl,
daß jedermann sein warten soll;
du wirst das Volk erkennen lehrn
das ewig Heil Christi unsers Herrn.

7. Das wird die Lehr sein, daß man könnt
Vergebung haben aller Sünd
durch herzliche Barmherzigkeit
unsers Gottes in Ewigkeit.
Das ist ein überschwenklich Gab,
die kommt uns aus der Höh herab,
die Gottheit Christi leucht herein,
gleichwie der Sonnen Aufgang fein.

8. Er ist allein des Vaters Glanz,
der unser Herz erleuchtet ganz,
er hat uns durch sein grosse Macht
errettet von der finstern Nacht
darin wir sassen allesamt,
von Satan ewiglich verdammt,
daß unser Füß aufrichtig stehn
und auf dem Weg des Friedes gehn.

9. Du heilige Dreifaltigkeit,
dein auserwählte Christenheit
kann nicht genug voll loben dich,
daß du, ihr Vater, gnädiglich
dein eingen Sohn gegeben hast,
der sie vom Teufel hat erlöst,
und auch den heilgen Geist gesendt,
dadurch sie deinen Sohn erkennt.

15 August 2011

Gebenedeit sei Gott der Herr

Here is my translation of one of the older German Benedictus hymns, “Gebenedeit sei Gott der Herr,” (J. Englisch, 1530) a staple of the early Straßburg hymnals. The proper tune is by the author; note the striking similarity between its opening line and that of Luther’s own canticle-based hymn, “Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin” published only 6 years earlier in Wittenberg.

BLEST be the God of Israel,
Who visited and sought us,
His lowly flock in sin that fell,
And true redemption brought us:
Of David’s seed / Raised high indeed
The Horn of heav’nly blessing:
And sent His call / To sinners all,
Both near and far addressing.

2. In days of yore this oath He swore
And through His prophets gave us
The promise of His plan before
From every ill to save us,
Yea, from all foes / And mortal woes,
And hands of those that hate us.
His gracious word / The fathers heard
That He would not forget us.

3. His covenant with Abraham
He hath remembered ever,
Which He gave us, our own to claim,
That, rescued by our Savior
From out the hands / Of hostile bands,
We might serve and adore Him
In godly fear,  / To Him draw near,
And dwell as saints before Him.

4. Thy name, O blessed child, shall be
God’s prophet to His nation,
For thou shalt speak to man, that he
May find in Christ salvation,
And shalt prepare  / A pathway fair
Of sorrow and repentance
That he, forgiv’n  / Of all his sin,
May hear a gracious sentence.

5. He by His mercy wrought all this,
And so the Dayspring lighted,
Wherein we find our hope and bliss
Who once had been benighted
In error’s gloom  / And pangs of doom,
Nor could relieve our sadness:
Now on the way  / We shall not stray
But walk in peace and gladness.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.

1. Gebenedeit sei Gott der Herr
des Israels der höchste!
Der hat besucht und gschicket her,
das er sein Volk erlöste,
hat aufgericht,
wie man jetzt siecht,
von Davids Haus das Horen
der Seligkeit
den Sündern breit,
die darzu sind erkoren.

2. Vor langer Zeit hats zugeseit
durch den Mund der Propheten,
zu retten sie ist er bereit
von den Feinden aus Nöten,
vons Hassers Hand,
sie allesamt,
wie er dann hat v[er]heissen,
weit ausgebreit,
den Vätern ists geleistet.

3. Er hat gedacht an seinen Bund
dem Abraham geschworen,
dadurch dann auch ein jed kund,
von Gott aus Furcht erkoren
von Feindes Kraft,
an Gott behaft,
mit heilger Furchte streben
in grechtem Sinn
ganz frei dahin,
dieweil er hat das Leben.

4. Und du, viel seligs Kindelein,
wirst Gotts Prophet genennet,
dann sein Vorgänger sollt du sein,
aufdaß er werd erkennet,
zur Seligkeit
auch werd bereit,
sein Volk dahin die Stroße,
wenn er hinlat
ihr Missethat,
mach sie so quitt und lose.

5. Durch sein Barmherzigkeit das gschicht,
die Obenrab sich leitet,
Darin gar bald den Trost ersiecht,
der jämmrlich lag gespreitet,
in Finsternis
und Todes Biß,
darin so gar ohn Müte,
drum unser Füß
nimm schlüpfen müß
aus Friedens Strassen Güte.

12 August 2011

Gelobt sei Gott mit Freuden

Next in the series on Benedictus-hymns is my translation of “Gelobt sei Gott mit Freuden” (J. Rist). A cento combines 2–4, 6–8, & 12, with the first line sometimes being that of the first original stanza (ignoring the rhyme). Tune: “Von Gott will ich nicht laßen.”

BLEST BE our God with gladness,
Who to our mis’ry came,
When we in grief and sadness
No remedy could name:
No wisdom, wealth, or might
In our poor state could aid us;
Hell’s captives sin had made us;
No rescue was in sight.

2. Blest be our God forever
Who came in season due
And by His gracious favor
Brought us redemption true,
Who in His Word hath proved
A Light of light unbounded,
In which, our hearts, well grounded,
Shall nevermore be moved.

3. Blest be our God and Father,
Who gave us His own Son,
Who as our elder Brother,
His Father’s heart made known;—
This our poor heart empow’rs!
When fears and trials face us
The plagues of hell it chases.
The highest Good is ours!

4. Blest be our God who brought us
Release from hell’s dark hole,
And from the fiend who caught us,
Redeem’d our wretched soul.
The weight of sin severe,—
Oh God—had sore oppressed us;
Death in its bonds possessed us,
Our hearts knew naught but fear.

5. Our will in bondage languished
In all unrighteousness,
Sin had our senses vanquished,
Our mind it did oppress;
In prison chained we lay,
The Law stood fierce before us,
The Father’s wrath hung o’er us,
Hell filled us with dismay.

6. No pow’r in all creation,
Could break sin’s awful cords,
And bring us true salvation,
Save He, the Lord of lords:
Christ Jesus, who alone
Hath died and ris’n to save us,
And thus our freedom gave us,
Our liberty He won.

7. Avenged He thus hath made us,
His people thus made great,
Thus broke the yoke that weighed us
Gained us a free estate;
He by His mighty hand
Chased off the foes o’erbearing,
That now, of all despairing,
None can against us stand.

8. This work was not effected
By any earthly good,
But Christ, to death subjected,
Poured out His precious blood,
By which alone man gains
Forgiveness and remission
For all of his trangression:—
This blood removes all stains.

9. Blest be our God most truly,
Who by a mighty Horn
Hath quelled sin’s sorrows fully
And His own wrath and scorn.
This Horn salvation brings,
Which mightily avails us,
Nor as an armor fails us
To foil the devil’s stings.

10. This Horn with speed subdueth
And lays the tyrant low,
Who in the fight pursueth
And threatens with his bow.
This Horn by faith we wield
Where troubles would annoy us;
Though all seek to destroy us,
This Horn shall hold the field.

11. Where’er this Horn is sounded
And Christ’s redemption taught,
The devil is astounded,
His fury comes to naught.
This Horn a salve contains
Which, Satan disappointing,
Makes kings by its anointing,
Yea, body and soul sustains.

12. Blest be our God and Savior
Who by Christ’s blood and pain
Hath blotted out forever
Our every sin and stain.
May He our tongue inspire
E’ermore to praise His merit,
And fervent make our spirit
In heavenly desire.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.

1. Gelobt sei Gott mit Freuden,
der uns besuchet hat,
als wir in Angst und Leiden
doch funden nirgends Rat,
da niemands Witz noch Pracht
uns arme konnte schützen,
noch aus der Höllen Pfützen
erlösen uns mit Macht.

2. Gelobt sei Gott mit Schalle,
der uns zur rechten Zeit
von dem so schweren Falle
gar gnädig hat befreit;
der ein so klares Licht
im Wort uns angezündet,
worauf das Herz sich gründet,
so daß es wanket nicht.

3. Gelobt sei Gott mit Singen,
der uns sein Kind geschenkt,
das uns vor allen Dingen
des Vaters Herz zulenkt,
ja stärket unsern Mut
in Trübsal, Angst und Zagen,
vertreibt der Höllen Plagen
bring uns das höchste Gut.

4. Gelobt sei Gott mit Danken
der aus der finstern Höhl
und des Versuchers Schranken
erlöset unsre Seel.
Ach Gott, es hat uns sehr
der Sünden Last gedrücket,
der Tod hielt uns verstricket
und schreckt uns mehr und mehr.

5. Der Wille war gebunden
mit Ungerechtigkeit,
die Sinnen überwunden
durch Bösheit weit und breit;
wir saßen in der Haft,
da das Gesetz uns plagte,
des Höchsten Grimm uns nagte,
die Höll uns Zittern schafft.

6. Aus solchen Marterketten
vermocht in dieser Welt
uns kein Geschöpf zu retten
als bloß der starke Held,
der Heiland Jesus Christ,
der hat uns Fried erworben,
nachdem er erst gestorben,
hernach erstanden ist.

7. Der hat sein Volk gerochen,
der hat uns groß gemacht,
der hat das Joch zerbrochen,
die Freiheit wiederbracht,
der hat mit starker Hand
die Feind hinweggejaget,
so daß sie ganz verzaget,
nicht hielten Fuß noch Stand.

8. Doch dieses ist geschehen
durch kein vergänglichs Gut;
zur Marter mußt er gehen
und stürzen selbst sein Blut,
durch welches wir allein
mit Freudigkeit empfinden
Vergebung unsrer Sünden;
dies Blut macht alles rein.

9. Gelobt sei Gott von Herzen,
der durch ein starkes Horn
gedämpft der Sünden Schmerzen,
auch seinen eignen Zorn.
Dies Horn ist unser Heil,
das uns kann trefflich nützen,
ja Leib und Seel beschützen
vor manchem Satanspfeil.

10. Dies Horn kann die Tyrannen
bald legen in den Staub,
wenn sie den Bogen spannen,
zu ziehen auf den Raub.
Dies Horn ergreifen wir
auch in den höchsten Nöten;
will uns die Welt gleich töten,
so siegts doch für und für.

11. Dies Horn wird stark geblasen
durch alle Teil der Welt,
wodurch des Satans Rasen
zu Boden wird gefällt.
Dies Horn begreift ein Öl,
das (trotz dem alten Drachen)
kann Könge aus uns machen,
ja stärken Leib und Seel.

12. Gelobt sei Gott mit Freuden,
der unsre Mißethat
durch Christi Blut und Leiden
nun ganz getilget hat;
der laß uns für und für
dies große Werk erkennen,
und unsre Seelen brennen
in himmlischer Begier.

10 August 2011

Da Israel aus Egypten zoh

Here is my translation of the paraphrase “Da Israel aus Egypten zoh” (M. Greiter), after In exitu Israelis (Psalm CXIV). The tune is apparently the proper, here from Geistliche Lieder (1580), where it is also given to Greiter’s paraphrase of Non nobis, Domine (Ps. CXV).

WHEN ISRAEL out of Egypt went,
And Jacob’s House from that land was sent,
From foreign peoples driven:
In Judah their sanctuary stood,
In Israel, their dominion good,
Beneath the clouds of heaven.
The sea beheld and fled in haste,
The Jordan’s flood was backward chased,
The mountains skipped upon the height
Like rams to see the joyful sight,
The hillocks, too, like yearling sheep
Assayed their joyful course to keep,
Alleluia, Alleluia!

2. What ailed thee, Sea, that thou fleddest so,
And, Jordan, thee, that thou back didst go,
as if by Isr’el smitten?
And mountains, you, that ye skipped like rams,
And hillocks, you, foll’wing like young lambs?
As we have heard it written?
Before the Lord of fearsome pow’r,
And Jacob’s God and mighty Tow’r,
With trembling all the earth was filled,
And all the solid rock distilled
To wat’ry pools before the Lord,
And from the stone were fountains poured.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.
1.Da Israel aus Egypten zoh
und das Haus Jacob von dannen floh,
von diesem fremden Volke
Da ward Juda jetzt sein Heiligthum,
und Israel auch sein Herrschaft fromm,
unter des Himmels Wolke.
Das Meer sah das und floh zuhand,
der Jordan auch zurucken wand,
die Berg die sprungen auch daher,
in aller Höh wie die Widder,
die Hügel wie die jungen Schaaf,
erfreu[t]en sich mit solchem Lauf,
Halleluja, Halleluja.

2. Was war dir, Meer, daß du also flohst?
und du Jordan, daß du zrucken zohst,
da Israel that kommen?
Ihr Berg, daß ihr springet als Widder,
ihr Hügel, wie junge Schaf daher,
so haben wir vernommen.
Für dem HERRN dem gewaltigen
für Gott Jacob allmächtigen,
webet die ganze Erden schon,
der die Felsen verwandlen kann,
in Wassersee zerfliessen thut,
und Stein in Wasserbrunnen gut,
Halleluja, Halleluja.

09 August 2011

Gelobet sei Israels Gott (Rev.)

As the first post in a series on the historical Lutheran Benedictus hymns (which were by no means “substitutes” for the Benedictus at matins, but rather were sung as the chief hymn for the Nativity of John the Baptist on June 24), I am offering a revision of my own translation of Johann Heermann’s straightforward paraphrase of the Luke text from 1647. The prescribed melody was “Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir.”

BLEST BE the God of Israel
Who saved us from the woes of hell,
And with great mercy visited
His people once who lay in dread.

2. His precious Son to us He sent
All wrath and anger to prevent,
And for His great deliv’rance now
His people glad before Him bow.

3. When hope was hidden from our view,
In David’s house, His servant true,
He raised salvation’s mighty horn
To comfort Christendom forlorn.

4. This on their lips so long ago
The holy prophets made us know,
As God instructed them to cry
How He would bring salvation nigh.

5. From foes’ despite and haters’ hands,
From those who rage like burning brands,—
He who has pow’r o’er Satan, grave,
And sin and death—our life shall save.

6. His heart with mercy’s fire was stirred
To speak a good and gracious word:
Upon His covenant He thought
That with our fathers once He wrought:

7. Fresh in His mind His oath He bore,
Which unto Abraham He swore,
To keep unto those hearts that heard
And to their offspring afterward:

8. To grant us by deliverance
From Satan, death and hell’s torments
That we might serve Him all our life,
Released from terror, sin, and strife,

9. Upright and pure on earth bestowed,
In manner pleasing unto God,
Not as by human mind devised,
Which works are vainly realized.

10. This name, O child, shall be thine own:
The Prophet of the Highest One,
The Master’s advent to declare,
His way to straighten and prepare,

11. Through God’s most tender mercy shown
To us poor men, in sin who groan,
For whom the Dayspring from on high,
The Gift and Fruit of love, drew nigh,

12. To lighten all in darkness wrapped
And in the shade of death entrapped,
That they may be the sons of light,
By virtue of His radiance bright:

13. Their feet the level ground to show,
And in the way of peace to go,
That all at last may come as one
In bliss before God’s golden throne.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2008, 2011.

1. Gelobet sei Israels Gott,
der Herr, der sein Volk in der Not,
und da es gänzlich war verflucht,
mit großen Gnaden hat besucht.

2. Er hat uns seinen Sohn gesandt,
der allen Zorn ganz abgewandt,
und uns erlöset kräftiglich,
deß wird Israel freuen sich.

3. Da es mit uns war alles aus,
in seines Dieners Davids Haus,
hat er ein Horn der Seligkeit
gesetzt zum Trost der Christenheit.

4. Als uns vor Zeiten machte kund
der heiligen Propheten Mund,
dadurch er uns hat angemeldt,
er woll' uns retten als ein Held.

5. Der Feinde Trutz, des Hassers Hand,
ob sie für Zorn gleich sind entbrannt,
woll er uns brechen als der Mann,
der Tod und Teufel zwingen kann.

6. Hierzu hat ihn sein Herz bewegt,
das sich mit Gnad und Güte trägt:
er hat an seinen Bund gedacht,
vorlängst mit Abraham gemacht.

7. Wie auch an dieses, was er hat
geschworen ihm an Eides statt,
zu geben denen, die da sind
von ihm gezeugt auf Kindes Kind.

8. Auf daß, wenn wir erlöset sein
vom Teufel, Tod und Höllenpein,
ihm dieneten sein lebelang
ein jeder ohne Furcht und Zwang.

9. Gerecht und heilig in der Welt,
nach solcher Art, die ihm gefällt,
nicht wie es Menschenwitz erdenkt,
damit man sich vergebens kränkt.

10. Du Kindlein, du wirst ein Prophet
des Höchsten heißen, der da geht
vor seinem herren fein voran,
und macht ihm richtig seine Bahn.

11. Aus herzlicher Barmherzigkeit,
Kraft derer uns in unserm Leid
der Aufgang aus der Höh besucht,
das ist der Liebe Gab' und Frucht.

12. Auf daß, die er im Finstern findt,
und die im Todesschatten sind,
des Lichtes Kinder können sein,
durch seinen hellen Glanz und Schein.

13. Daß ihre Füße richtig stehn,
und auf dem Weg des Friedens gehn,
ja endlich allesammt zugleich
mit Freuden gehn in's Himmelreich.