Ah wounded Head that bearest

Representative Text

Ah wounded Head that bearest
Such bitter shame and scorn,
That now so meekly wearest
The mocking crown of thorn!
Erst reigning in the highest
In light and majesty,
Dishonour'd here Thou diest,
Yet here I worship Thee.

Thou noble Face, whose anger
Shall make a world to quail,
That glance is quench'd in languor
To which the sun were pale;
How hath its brightness vanish'd!
Those gracious eyes how dim!
What foe their light hath banish'd,
Who dared to scoff at Him?

All lovely hues have faded
That glow'd with warmth and life
As He endures unaided
The last and mortal strife;
The Mighty One of valour
Must yield Him as a prey,
Death triumphs in his pallour
O'er all His strength to-day.

Ah Lord, this cruel burden
Of right belongs to me;
Of my misdeeds the guerdon
Hath all been laid on Thee;
I cast me down before Thee,
Wrath were my rightful lot,
Yet hear me, I implore Thee,
Redeemer, spurn me not!

My Guardian, deign to own me,
My Shepherd, I am Thine;
What goodness hast Thou shewn me,
O Fount of Love Divine!
How oft Thy lips have fed me
On earth with angels' food!
How oft Thy Spirit led me
To stores of heavenly good!

Ah would that I were bidden
To share Thy cross and woes!
There all true joy lies hidden,
Thence all true comfort flows.
Ah well for me, if lying
Here at Thy feet, my Life,
I too with Thee were dying,
And thus might end my strife!

My soul doth melt within me,
O Jesus, dearest Friend,
That Thou shiouldst bear to win me
Such woes, for such an end!
Ah make me cling the firmer
To One so true to me,
And sink without a murmur
To sleep at last in Thee.

Yes, when I hence betake me,
Lord, do not Thou depart;
Oh I never more forsake me
When death is at my heart,
And faith and hope are sinking,
O'erwhelm'd with dread dismay;
Thou barest all unshrinking,--
Oh chase my fears away!

Appear then, my Defender,
My Comfort, ere I die!
This life I can surrender
If but I see Thee nigh;
My dim eyes shall behold Thee,
Upon Thy cross thall dwell,
My heart by faith enfold Thee
Who dieth thus, dies well!

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #51

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gr√§fenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ah wounded Head that bearest
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English


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Chorale Book for England, The #51

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