Ah God, my days are dark indeed

Representative Text

1 Ah God, my days are dark indeed,
How oft this aching heart must bleed!
The narrow way how filled with pain,
That I must pass ere heav'n I gain!
How hard to teach this flesh and blood
To seek alone th'eternal good!

2 Ah whither now for comfort turn?
For Thee, my Jesus, do I yearn;
In Thee have I, howe'er distrest,
Found ever counsel, aid, and rest;
I cannot all forsaken be
While still my heart can trust in Thee.

3 Jesus, my only God and Lord,
What sweetness in Thy name is stored!
So dark and hopeless is no grief
But Thy sweet name can bring relief,
So keen no sorrows' rankling dart
But Thy sweet Name can heal my heart.

4 Jesus, my Boast, my Light, my Joy,
The Treasure nought can e'er destroy,
No words, no song that I can frame
Speak half the sweetness of Thy Name:
They only all its power shall prove
Whose hearts have learnt Thy faith and love.

5 Jesus, my Bridegroom and my Crown,
If Thou but smile the world may frown,
In Thee lie depths of joy untold,
Far richer than her richest gold;
Whene'er I do but think of Thee,
Thy dews drop down and solace me;

6 Let me this flesh and blood control,
From sin and shame preserve my soul,
And keep me steadfast in the faith,
Then I am Thine in life and death:
Jesus, Consoler, bend to me!
Ah would I were e'en now with Thee!

Source: Evangelical Lutheran hymnal: with music #416

Author: Conrad Hojer

(no biographical information available about Conrad Hojer.) Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ah God, my days are dark indeed
German Title: Ach Gott, wie manches Herzelied
Author: Conrad Hojer (1584)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid. Martin Moller? [Cross and Consolation.] First appeared in the 2nd ed., Gorlitz, 1587, of Moller's Meditationes Sanctorum Patrum, entitled "A consoling prayer wherewith a troubled soul, amid all the crosses and tribulations of these last troublous times, can sweetly comfort itself and longingly delight itself in the Sweet Name of Jesus Christ. From the Ancient hymn 'Jesu dulcis memoria.'" It is a very free paraphrase of the Rhythm in 12 stanzas of 6 lines. Lauxmann, in Koch, viii. 466-468, says stanzas i., iv., v., x. have been special favourites in Germany, and inclines to ascribe the hymn to Moller.
Ah God, my days are dark indeed, a very good translation, omitting stanzas iii., v., in the 2nd Ser. 1858, of Miss Winkworth’s Lyra Germanica p. 185, and repeated, as No. 136, in her Chorale Book for England , 1863. In the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal, 1880, stanzas i., ii., iv., vii., ix., xii., are given as No. 416. Her translation of stanzas iv., vi., vii., ix.-xi., beginning, "Jesus, my only God and Lord," were included as No. 215, in the Methodist New Congregational Hymn Book, 1863, and the same, omitting stanza vi., as No. 300 in Holy Song, 1869. Her translations of stanzas vii., viii., xi., xii., slightly altered and beginning "Jesu, my boast, my light, my joy," were given as No. 507, in Kennedy, 1863.

-- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 7 of 7)
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Chorale Book for England, The #136

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #335

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal #416

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Evangelical Lutheran hymnal #416

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal. 9th ed. #a416

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnbook (Lutheran Conference of Missouri and Other States) #d8

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Lyra Germanica #S2-100

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