21 November 2015

Ich denk an dein Gerichte

Here is my translation of the Judgment Day hymn “Ich denk an dein Gerichte” (B. Schmolcke, †1737) for Trinity XXVI (Next Last Sunday). The appointed tune is “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” / “Herzlich tut mich verlangen.” The cento is that often found in 19th c. American hymnals, with exception that the wording of the 3rd stanza is restored after the original text, and the 4th stanza is reincluded. The numbering represents the original stanzas (out of 12 total). It is really a wise cento; the omitted stanzas are a little repetitive and 2nd-tier compared to the ones selected.

THY Judgment Day I ponder,
Who all the world shalt judge;
While men this season squander
Nor will Thy truth begrudge.
Yet I am shown too clearly
By conscience and Thy Word!
That Thou shalt judge most surely
What every man has done.

2 E’en now the trumps are blowing,
And to my wond’ring eyes
The judgment throne is glowing—
The great and dread assize:
There Thou in glory seated
Wilt send Thy lightnings forth
Declaring time completed,
The end of heav’n and earth!

3 I see Thy bench surrounded
By countless throngs of men–
All who since earth was founded
Upon this earth have been.
All must behold that vision:
Thy word can none reverse;
All must bear Thy decision,
Thy blessing or Thy curse.

4 Then comes the separation,
When those upon Thy right,
Thy lambs, will know elation
In pastures of delight;
The goats shall leftward wander,
Out of Thy visage dread,
Sent forth to perish yonder
Where hope and light are dead.

5 Ye on the right! How sweetly
Your Jesus calls to you:
Come blessed ones! And meetly
Receive your right and due:
My Father’s realm inherit;
To saints your charity
I count all to Thy merit,
And all as done to Me.

6 But on Thy left, what lightning
They’ll meet that dreadful day!
To flames of fire most fright’ning
The wicked shall away,
Where none can quench the burning;
For Jesus will not know
Those souls, who though discerning
The faith, no love would show.

8 That judgment, Jesus, ever
Before my eyes maintain,
That one day fuller savor
Of gladness I may gain;
Grant me a conversation
In which faith’s fruit is borne;
Let me seek that salvation
In what Thy mouth has sworn.

10 And when the blast is sounded,
The end of days made known,
Then leave me not confounded
Before Thy solemn throne!
Thy precious blood let free me
From ev’ry punishment;
A dwelling guarantee me
Within Thy heavn’ly tent!

Translation © 2015 Matthew Carver.



vergilius said...

Hi, Matt,

I enjoy your translations. I find them accessible to the layman and nicely poetic. How can I contact you about your translation of "Unser Kirchengesangbuch?" I have a couple of books from my hymnal collection that you might want to borrow in regards to that project. You can find me on the LC-MS worker directory.

In Christ,
Pastor Bruce Lucas

Anonymous said...

Wonderful work ! Please don't forget to put original German text. Best regards.

Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Anonymous, did you try clicking on the word "GERMAN"? It should take you to a book with the German text. If it doesn't work, let me know. Sorry for the late reply.