Be thou content; be still before

Representative 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

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, 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 r… 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: 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
Copyright: Public Domain

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
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Hymns for the Church on Earth #269

Page Scan

Lyra Germanica #156

Text

Lyra Germanica #66

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The Churchman's Treasury of Song #73

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