Saturday, February 18, 2012

Die gueldne Sonne

    The sun, ascending,
    To us is lending
    Bliss, joy, and gladness,
    Cure for all sadness,
    Filling the world with its rich, golden light.
    I was reclining
    When no light was shining;
    But the sun's beauty
    Now calls me to duty,
    As I behold it so fair and so bright.

    Mine eye beholdeth
    What God unfoldeth:
    Heaven's bright glory
    Tells me the story
    Of His unlimited power and love,
    And how the sainted
    In beauty untainted,
    Free from things mortal,
    Beyond death's dark portal,
    Dwell in the heavenly mansions above.

    To God in heaven
    Be praises given;
    Come, let us offer
    And gladly proffer
    To the Creator the gifts that we prize.
    He well receiveth
    A heart that believeth,
    Hymns that adore Him
    Are precious before Him
    And to His throne like sweet incense arise.

    At the day's ending
    Sweet slumbers sending,
    And in the morning
    All things adorning,
    These are His works and His blessings so true.
    When night descendeth
    Protection He lendeth
    When morn appeareth
    Our spirits He cheereth,
    Causing His mercy to crown us anew.

    Father above me,
    Thou who dost love me,
    Bless my beginning,
    Keep me from sinning,
    Move ev'ry hindrance well out of my way.
    Strength ever lend me,
    From Satan defend me,
    Spare me temptation,
    So that in my station
    I may Thy holy commandments obey.

    Let me with pleasure
    See the full measure
    Which upon others,
    Who are my brothers,
    Thou of Thy blessings dost richly bestow.
    Bid envy vanish!
    All greediness banish!
    Make me Thy dwelling,
    Sin's darkness dispelling.
    Grant that in virtue I daily may grow.

    What is man's being?
    It is like seeing
    Autumn's bleak shadows
    Sweep o'er the meadows
    When the cold winds drive the clouds on their way.
    All that we cherish
    Must crumble and perish.
    Plants must stop growing,
    And stars must cease glowing;
    Heaven and earth are not destined to stay.

    All else decayeth,
    God only stayeth,
    He of creation
    Is the foundation.
    His will and word must forever abide.
    His grace endureth
    And for us secureth
    Comfort in sorrow
    And help for the morrow,
    Keeping us cheerful, whate'er may betide.

    God of creation,
    Be my salvation!
    Calm all my terrors,
    Blot out my errors,
    Grant that Thy pardon I fully may share;
    Withal attend me,
    Rule, guide, and defend me
    In mercy tender,
    Because I surrender
    Soul, will, and all to Thy fatherly care.

    Whilst Thou art giving
    What for a living
    Seems very needful,
    Oh, make Thou me heedful
    Of this great truth and commendable thought:
    God, like a tower,
    Transcends all in power;
    Good beyond telling,
    In beauty excelling,
    He doth suffice me, all else counts for naught.

    If grief and sadness
    Temper my gladness
    If for the morrow
    Thou send me sorrow
    Do as Thou wilt, for my trust is in Thee.
    Thou surely knowest
    That what Thou bestowest,
    E'en though distressing,
    Must bring me a blessing;
    Thou wilt not deal too severely with me.

    Ills that still grieve me
    Soon are to leave me;
    Though waves may tower
    And winds gain power,
    After the storm the fair sun shows its face.
    Joys e'er increasing,
    And peace never ceasing,
    These I shall treasure
    And share in full measure
    When in His mansions God grants me a place.

                                                    Paul Gerhardt, 1666.
                                                 Tr. H. Brueckner, 1918.

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