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Be thou content; be still before

Full Text

Be thou content; be still before
His face, at whose right hand doth reign
Fulness of joy for evermore,
Without whom all thy toil is vain.
He is thy living spring, thy sun, whose rays
Make glad with life and light thy dreary days.
Be thou content.

In Him is comfort, light and grace,
And changeless love beyond our thought;
The sorest pang, the worst disgrace,
If He is there, shall harm thee not.
He can lift off thy cross, and loose thy bands,
And calm thy fears, nay, death is in His hands.
Be thou content.

Or art thou friendless and alone,
Hast none in whom thou canst confide?
God careth for thee, lonely one,
Comfort and help will He provide.
He sees thy sorrows and thy hidden grief,
He knoweth when to send thee quick relief;
Be thou content.

Thy heart's unspoken pain He knows,
Thy secret signs He hears full well,
What to none else thou dar'st disclose,
To Him thou mayst with boldness tell;
He is not far away, but ever nigh,
And answereth willingly the poor man's cry.
Be thou content.

Be not o'er-mastered by thy pain,
But cling to God, thou shalt not fall;
The floods sweep over thee in vain,
Thou yet shalt rise above them all;
For when thy trial seems to hard to bear,
Lo! God, thy King, hath granted all thy prayer:
Be thou content.

Why art thou full of anxious fear
How thou shalt be sustained and fed?
He who hath made and placed thee here,
Will give the needful daily bread;
Canst thou not trust His rich and bounteous hand,
Who feeds all living things on sea and land?
Be thou content.

He who doth teach the little birds
To find their meat in field and wood,
Who gives the countless flocks and herds
Each day their needful drink and food,
Thy hunger too will surely satisfy,
And all thy wants in His good time supply.
Be thou content.

Sayst thou, I know not how or where,
No help I see where'er I turn;
When of all else we most despair,
The riches of God's love we learn;
When thou and I His hand no longer trace,
He leads us forth into a pleasant place.
Be thou content.

Though long His promised aid delay,
At last it will be surely sent:
Though thy heart sink in sore dismay,
The trial for thy good is meant.
What we have won with pains we hold more fast,
What tarrieth long is sweeter at the last.
Be thou content.

Lay not to heart whate'er of ill
Thy foes may falsely speak of thee,
Let man defame thee as he will,
God hears, and judges righteously.
Why shouldst thou fear, if God be on thy side,
Man's cruel anger, or malicious pride?
Be thou content.

We know for us a rest remains,
When God will give us sweet release
From earth and all our mortal chains,
And turn our sufferings into peace.
Sooner or later death will surely come
To end our sorrows, and to take us home:
Be thou content.

Home to the chosen ones, who here
Served their Lord faithfully and well,
Who died in peace, without a fear,
And there in peace for ever dwell;
The Everlasting is their joy and stay,
The Eternal Word Himself to them doth say,
Be thou content!

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #66

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, 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: Be thou content; be still before
German Title: Gieb dich zufrieden
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1670)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Meter: 8.8.8.8.10.10.4
Language: English

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 3 of 3)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Hymns for the Church on Earth: being three hundred and sixty-six hymns and spiritual songs. (For the most part of modern date.) (New Ed.) #269Page Scan
Lyra Germanica: hymns for the Sundays and chief festivals of the Christian year #156Page Scan
Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #66Text
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