Ah wounded Head! Must Thou

Representative Text

Ah wounded Head! Must Thou
Endure such shame and scorn!
The blood is trickling from Thy brow
Pierced by the crown of thorn.
Thou who wast crowned on high
With light and majesty,
In deep dishonour here must die,
Yet here I welcome Thee!

Thou noble countenance!
All earthly lights are pale
Before the brightness of that glance,
At which a world shall quail.
How is it quenched and gone!
Those gracious eyes how dim!
Whence grew that cheek so pale and wan?
Who dared to scoff at Him?

All lovely hues of life,
That glowed on lip and cheek,
Have vanished in that awful strife;
The Mighty One is weak.
Pale Death has won the day,
He triumphs in this hour
When Strength and Beauty fade away,
And yield them to his power.

Ah Lord, Thy woes belong,
Thy cruel pains, to me,
The burden of my sin and wrong
Hath all been laid on Thee.
Behold me where I kneel,
Wrath were my rightful lot,
One glance of love yet let me feel!
Redeemer, spurn me not!

My Guardian, own me Thine;
My Shepherd, bear me home:
O Fount of mercy, Source Divine,
From Thee what blessings come!
How oft Thy mouth has fed
My soul with angels' food,
How oft Thy Spirit o'er me shed
His stores of Heavenly good!

Ah would that I could share
Thy cross, Thy bitter woes!
All true delight lies hidden there,
Thence all true comfort flows.
Ah well were it for me
That I could end my strife,
And die upon the cross with Thee,
Who art my Life of life!

My soul is all o'erfraught,
O Jesus, dearest Friend,
With thankful love to Him who sought
Such woe for such an end.
Grant me as true a faith,
As Thou art true to me,
That so the icy sleep of death
Be but a rest in Thee.

Yes, when I must depart,
Depart Thou not from me;
When Death is creeping to my heart,
Bear Thou mine agony.
When faith and courage sink,
O'erwhelmed with dread dismay,
Come Thou who ne'er from pain didst shrink,
And chase my fears away.

Come to me ere I die,
My comfort and my shield;
Then gazing on Thy cross can I
Calmly my spirit yield.
On Thee, when life is past,
My darkening eyes shall dwell,
My heart in faith shall hold Thee fast;
Who dieth thus, dies well.

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #34

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. GraEenhainichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was re… Go to person page >

Author: 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 wounded Head, must Thou
Title: Ah wounded Head! Must Thou
German Title: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1659)
Author: Catherine Winkworth (1861)
Meter: 6.6.8.6
Language: English

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Lyra Germanica #80

Text

Lyra Germanica #34

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The Catholic Hymnal #50

The Complete Sodality Manual and Hymn Book #d3

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