If you do not follow Matthew Carver’s blog, you are really missing out on a lot of great translations of classic treasures of Lutheran hymnody. Today, for example, this one came across my RSS reader. Check it out. Notice the richness of the Christ-centered, Law and Gospel, deeply Biblically based text.
Lässet Gottes Sohn sich taufen?
from HYMNOGLYPT by Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes)
Here is my translation of the Epiphany hymn, “Lässet Gottes Sohn sich taufen?” (S. von Birken). Many thanks to Armin Wenz for pointing out and providing the words. The appointed melody is “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele.”
ART THOU baptized, God most holy?
Art Thou bathed in Jordan thus?
Though in sin we sank so lowly,
Thou the Clean One cleansest us.
All earth’s waters as a flood
Thou wouldst purple with Thy blood
Making robes of royal station
For the heirs of Thy salvation.
2. Now this flood for us is given
By the Clean One pow’r to cleanse;
All the wounds by Adam riven
Now this fount of life amends.
Jesus, oh! to Thee I look;
Thou the Jordan, Thine the brook
Which upon my soul hath showered,
Washed me, and all filth devoured.
3. Wide the heavens opened o’er me,
Even as they did o’er Thee,
When Thy Word and water bore me
To God’s cov’nant family:
“This is My beloved child,
With whom I am reconciled.
In whom I take all My pleasure.”—
This is mine in fullest measure.
4. From above the Dove, descending,
Also to my cleansing came,
Thus the Holy Ghost attending,
Did my soul for heaven claim,
As Thy crimson ink, Thy blood
Reconciled me to my God,—
With Thy friends a place awarded—
In Thy book my name recorded.
5. Lamb of God, then didst Thou bind me
To Thy service as Thy knight;
Of Thy very wool consigned me
Warrior’s robes of purest white.
This fair garment, O my groom!
Is my bride-gift from Thy loom;
That my soul, to Thee united,
May be Thine, as Thou hast plighted.
6. Though Thy hellish competition
Ever still doth me pursue,
Makes my fall His constant mission,
Coaxing me to be untrue.
Oh! if once he tempted Thee,
Will he stay away from me?
Nay, at peace he’ll leave me never:
With the head the limbs go ever.
7. When in grief I seem to lose Thee,
Satan says, “Art thou God’s child?
Why then doth He thus abuse thee?
When have fathers e’er beguiled,
Giving stones instead of bread?
Hath He left thee then for dead?
If His pow’r hath not deserted,
Have this stone to bread converted!”
8. Soon would Satan, thus deceiving,
Turn to pride my trust in Thee,
Of Thy help my soul bereaving;
Make me thrall to vanity,
To the world would lure my soul,
Glory, lust, and wealth extol,
Till I sell Thee for the famine
Of his empty lies and Mammon.
9. Dearest Jesus! Make me stronger,
That, as Thou hast done, I too
May the devil crush and conquer;
With resolve my faith endue.
Let Thy Word my weapon be,
And Thine angels be with me.
Though I suffer, let him sever
Me from my dear Jesus never.
Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.
Read the extended entry for the German text. Read more…