17 September 2012

O Gott, ich tu dirs klagen

Here is my translation of the repentance & confession hymn “O Gott, ich tu dirs klagen” (David Spaiser, 1609), originally titled “A dialogue of the poor Sinner with God.” It is to be distinguished from the similarly titled “Ach Gott, ich muß dirs klagen” or “Ach Gott, wem soll ichs klagen” by Franciscus Rhodius. The appointed melody, a contrafact on a secular melody, made its first appearance for sacred use in Spaiser’s Vier und Zwainzig Geistliche Lieder (1609) in conjunction with this text; the tune is more widely known as “Ist Gott für mich, so trete,” though this is an anachronism, since that text was not published until much later. Therefore the proper name of the tune should be “O Gott, ich tu dirs klagen.”

(Sinner:) O GOD, my plaint I bring Thee,
My heart is full of pain.
(Father:) Then let not doubting sting thee,
But tell thy sorrow plain.
(Sinner:) My conscience is offended,
It pricks me grievously!
(Father:) Thy breach may yet be mended,
Take heart, nor timid be.

2. (Sinner:) Alas, the dread conviction
Of all my sins I see!
(Father:) Speak forth, though much affliction
And pain it causes thee.
(Sinner:) Dear Lord, what grief I’ve brought Thee,
My heart’s remorse but view!
(Father:) Then keep what I have taught Thee;
My grace each day is new.

3. (Sinner:) Ah! Lord, in grace behold me,
Have mercy now on me!
(Father:) Come let My arms enfold thee;
My dear child thou shalt be.
(Sinner:) My heartfelt thanks I give Thee,
My Strength, my Rock in need!
(Father:) ’Tis well, then cease to grieve Me,
And to My Word give heed.

4. This lead thy way and guide it,
Until thy life shall close,
Flee all things else beside it
Which do its truth oppose;
And with thy mouth confess it,
Let nothing frighten thee;
With all My heart I’ll bless it,
So well it pleases Me.

5. (Sinner:) Therefore I pray Thee, Father,
Through Jesus Christ my Lord,
My Help above all other;
Give me thy Spirit good,
That I may do this ever
Until my dying day.
Grant nothing us to sever!
Amen, I duly say!

Translation © 2012 Matthew Carver.

1. O Gott, ich tu dirs klagen,
mein Herz steckt voller Pein.
Darum wollst nicht verzagen,
Sag an, was mag es sein?
Mein Gwissen tut aufwachen,
das macht mir großen Schmerz.
Es ist wohl rath der Sachen,
hab nur ein gutes Herz.

2. Sünder.
Ja, wenn ich hinterdenke
der großen Sünden mein--
Sag an, ob dich die kränke
und herzlich leid laßt sein.
Ja freilich, lieber Herre,
hab ich herzliche Reu.
So folge meiner Lehre,
mein Gnad ist all Tag neu.

3. Sünder.
Ach Herr, tu dich erbarmen
wohl über mich gar fein.
Komm her an meine Armen,
mein liebs Kind sollt du sein.
Deß dank ich dir von Herzen,
mein Stärk und auch mein Hort.
Doch mach mir nicht mehr Schmerzen,
Sonder merk auf mein Wort.

4. Dasselbig laß dich leiten
die Zeit des Lebens dein,
fleuch alle Nebenseiten,
die dem zuwider sein;
bekenns auch mit dem Munde,
laß dich nicht schrecken ab:
aus meines Herzen Grunde
ich gfallen an dir hab.

5. Sünder.
So bitt ich dich, mein Vater,
durch Christum allermeist,
der du bist mein Wohltater:
Gib mir dein guten Geist,
damit ichs mög vollenden
bis an das Ende mein,
laß mich nichts von dir wenden;
Amen, sprich ich gar fein.

13 September 2012

O lieber Gott in höchsten Thron

Here is my translation of “O lieber Gott in höchsten Thron” (David Spaiser, ca. 1608),  hymn of thanksgiving for deliverance during the epidemic of 1607. Not much is known about Spaiser himself, and he is generally only known for the first stanza of Ach lieben Christen, seid getrost, which Johann Heune (Gigas) later adapted for his own hymn. We know that Spaiser lived in Augsburg, was a "bader" ("bather", or therapeutic physician) by trade, and was an important member of the Meistersinger guild. While we don't have his birth or death year, we know that he had possession of the Augsburg "Rappenbad" (Rappen baths) from 1581 to 1627, and we also have two of his publications: Vier und zwainzig Geystliche Lieder [24 Spiritual Songs]… (1609), and Vierzig schöne geystliche Lieder… (1621).

DEAR GOD upon Thy highest the highest throne,
True praise to Thee be given,
Through Jesus, Thy beloved Son,
The Lord of earth and heaven,
That Thou, with love and mercy mild,
Hast guarded me, my wife, and child
And all my house from danger.

2. From sickness Thou didst rescue us,
When plagues o’er us impended;
Yet would this judgment have been just
For we have Thee offended
By sin and gross iniquity,
And wicked lives opposed to Thee,
So that Thy rod we merit.

3. In no small peril then I lay
Within my rank and station,
But through the year God was my stay
In working and vocation;
So many men can well attest:
The hand of God hath held me fast,
And sent His blessed angel.

4. I thank Him for His gracious will,
The mercy which He gave me,
Beseeching Him to keep me still
And in all things to save me
And guard me, and my wife, and child,
And all my house with mercy mild,
Through Jesus Christ my Savior.

Translation © 2012 Matthew Carver.

1. O lieber Gott im höchsten Thron,
herzlich tu ich dich loben
durch deinen allerliebsten Sohn
im Himmel hoch dort oben,
daß du mich samt meim Weib und Kind
wie auch mein ganzes Hausgesind
so väterlich behütet.

2. Vor der Seuchen der Pestilenz,
so über uns tat schweben
durch deinen gerechten Sentenz,
so du verhenkt gar eben
wegn  unser Sünd und Missetat,
so jeder wider dich tan hat
mit unserm bösen Leben.

3. Dann ich war nit in gringer Gfahr
in meinem Amt und Wandel
in dem nächsten verschienen Jahr [1607]
mit meinem Tun und Handel,
wie männiglichen ist bekannt,
daß ob mir ghalten Gottes Hand
mit sienem lieben Engel.

4. Ich dank seiner Barmherzigkeit
für diese große Güten;
der wölle mich in Lieb und Leid
hinfüro auch behüten
samt meinem lieben Weib und Kind,
wie auch mein ganzes Hausgesind
durch Jesum Christem. Amen.

10 September 2012

O Gott, mein Herre, mein Glauben mehre

Here is my translation of the supplication hymn for faith, “O Gott, mein Herre, mein Glauben mehre” (David Spaiser, 1509), set to Gastoldi’s (†1609) tune, “A lièta vita,” which in 1594 had been published in conjunction with the text “In dir ist Freude.” The tune has obvious attractions to such a Meistersinger as David Speiser with its bright romantic tone and joyful lilt (there is evidence the tune is based on a German dance form). With only eight lines of text per stanza, It seems that the first three lines of each stanza are meant to be repeated in accordance with the oriignal tune, though since the publication of “In Dir ist Freude,” texts set to this tune normally provide new lines for both sections being repeated. I have followed Spaiser’s construction here, though three extra lines per stanza would probably give the English more room to breathe, so to speak. I have assumed that the second section is not repeated musically. Unlike Spaiser, I rhyme the third line with the final line in each stanza; Spaiser himself rhymes the final accented syllable of the first two lines with the final syllable of the third, and likewise, the final accented syllables of the sixth and seventh lines with the final syllable of the eighth.

LORD GOD, I bid Thee,
Of doubting rid me,
Thy pure Word increase my faith. (x2)
When death must take me,
Do not forsake me;
Grant, I beseech Thee,
That I may reach Thee,
Through Thy beloved Son passing from death.

2. If I have solely
Thy Word so holy,
Hope and comfort my heart fill. (x2)
What higher glory,
God, is before Thee?
Thou, God, art in me,
And I am in Thee;
What can be better than Thine to be still?

3. What of possessions,
Rich acquisitions?
They but for this age remain. (x2)
Thy words of wonder
Shall here and yonder
Stand firm forever
Though men endeavor
Their course to hinder with scorn and disdain.

4. Death, hell, and devil,
All worldly evil,
By Thee, God, confounded be. (x2)
Thy grace I cherish,
And I’ll not perish,
To everlasting
Life I’ll be hasting,
Ever to sing praise and glory to Thee.

Translation © 2012 Matthew Carver.

1. O Gott, mein Herre,
Mein Glauben mehre
durch dein reine güte Lehr.
Wann ich muß scheiden,
wollest mit Leiden
abkürzen schone
in deinem Throne
durch deinen allerliebesten Sohn.

2. Wann ich nur habe
dein Wort vorabe,
gibts meim Herzen Trost und Kraft.
Was will ich mehre,
mein Gott, der Ehre,
weil du bist meine
und ich bin deine?
Wie kann und mag mir doch baß gesein?

3. Güt und auch Gelte
dein Stich nicht hälte,
sonder bleibt alles in der Welt,
aber dein Worte
bleibt hie und dorte
in Ewigkeit,
wer es auch leide
allen, die es verhassen aus Neid.

4. Teufel und Todte
werden zu Spotte
bei meim lieben treuen Gott.
Drum wenn ich sterbe,
Ich nicht verderbe,
das ewig Leben
tust du mir geben:
Sing ich dir allzeit zu Lob und Ehr.

06 September 2012

"Ach lieben Christen, seid getrost" (Spaiser)

Here is my translation of the supplication hymn, “Ach lieben Christen, seid getrost (warum wollt ihr verzagen” (David Spaiser, 1521). The first stanza was later adopted by Johann Heune (Gigas) in 1561 and five new stanzas added to it along the same theme. That hymn can be found in Walther’s Hymnal (KELG) #353. The appointed tune is "Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält."

DEAR CHRISTIANS, put away your fears!
Why would ye be despairing
That now God’s hand so harsh appears?
Our hearts should be declaring
That we these scourges merited,
The guilt hangs over every head,
And none may claim exception.

2. But as Saint Paul doth us implore,
Let us mark well and ponder
That all this world’s afflictions sore,
As long as here we wander,
Must pale before that glory fair
Which Christ already doth prepare
For us in life eternal.

3. Therefore I pray Thee now, O Lord,
In these last times escort us,
And keep us steadfast in Thy Word,
In warfare good support us!
Against the devil, world, and sin
We e’er must take up arms again
And so we pray Thee, hear us.

4. Thou say’st Thyself, Come unto Me,
Ye weary, heavy-laden!
For I will always be with thee,
To ward each peril sudden,
Lest e’er the foe thy soul offend.
All graciously I will thee tend,
I am Thy Lord and Maker.

5. Why should we then be fearful now,
Though death have us surrounded,
Since God our Lord will not allow
That we should be confounded?
Ah! then come soon, Lord Christ, we pray,
And usher in Thy glorious Day;
For Thou art our Deliv’rer.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011–2012.

1. Ach liebe Christen, seid getrost,
warum wollt ihr verzagen,
weil uns der Herr heimsuchen thut?
Laßt uns von Herzen sagen:
Die Straf wir wohl verdienet han,
das muß bekennen jedermann,
niemand darf sich ausschliessen.

2. Dann wie uns S. Paulus vermeidt,
das wollet merken eben,
daß alles Leiden in der Welt
in unserm ganzen Leben
Nit werth sei der schön Herrlichkeit,
die uns Christus hat schon bereit’t
in dem ewigen Leben.

3. Darum so bitt ich dich, O Herr,
zu diesen letzten Zeiten,
erhalt uns nur bei deiner Lehr,
hilf uns ritterlich streiten;
wider Sünd, Teufel und die Welt
müssen wir stetigs sein im Feld,
darum wöllst uns erhören.

4. Du sprichst ja selbst: Kommt her zu mir,
die ihr mühselig bladen,
dann ich ja stetigs bin bei dir,
will wenden euren schaden,
daß euch der Feind nit schaden soll:
Ich bin allein der Gnaden voll,
darzu dein Gott und Herr.

5. Was wölln wir uns dann fürchten sehr
dn Tod auf dieser Erden,
Dieweil uns dann will Gott der Herr
nit lassen zu Schanden werden?
Darum komm bald, Herr Jesu Christ,
der du unser Erlöser bist,
mit deinem Jüngsten Tage.