Be Thou Contented

Be thou contented! aye relying

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

Be thou contented! aye relying
On thy God, who life is giving,
For He hath joys soul satisfying,
Wanting Him—in vain thy striving.
Thy Spring is He,
Thy Sun that ever
Rejoiceth thee,
And setteth never.
Be thou contented!

He lightens, comforts, and supports thee,
True in heart, by guile unstainèd;
When He is near nought ever hurts thee,
E’en when smitten sore and painèd.
Cross, need, and woe
He soon averteth,
O’er the last foe
His pow’r asserteth.
Be thou contented!

How it fareth with thee and others,
Truly none from Him concealeth,
He ever from on high discovers
Burden’d hearts, and for them feeleth.
Of weeping eyes
The tears He counteth,
The pile of sighs
’Fore Him high mounteth.
Be thou contented!

When not another on earth liveth,
To whom safe thou may’st confide thee,
He’ll faithful prove, who ne’er deceiveth,
And to happiest end will guide thee.
The secret grief
Thy soul that boweth,
And when relief
To give, He knoweth.
Be thou contented!

The sighing of thy soul He ever,
And thy heart’s deep plaint is hearing;
What to another thou wouldst never
Tell, reveal to God, ne’er fearing.
He is not far,
But standeth near thee,
Who poor men’s pray’r
Marks, soon will hear thee.
Be thou contented!

To God cleave, He’ll salvation show thee,
Let not anguish then depress thee;
Although devouring floods o’erflow thee,
Rise above it, He will bless thee.
When ’neath the load
Thy back low bendeth,
Thy Prince and God
Soon succour sendeth.
Be thou contented!

Why for thy life should care so grieve thee,
How to nourish and sustain it?
Thy God, who ever life doth give thee,
Will provide for and maintain it.
He hath a hand
With gifts o’erflowing,
On sea and land
For aye bestowing.
Be thou contented!

Who for the forest songsters careth,
To their daily portion leads them,
For sheep and ox enough prepareth,
Slakes their thirst, with plenty feeds them;
He’ll care for thee,
Thee, lone one! filling,
So bounteously
Thy hunger stilling.
Be thou contented!

Say not, the means nowhere appeareth,
Where I seek, my effort faileth;
God this high name of honour beareth,
Helper, when no help availeth!
When thou and I
Fail to discover
Him, speedily
He’ll us recover.
Be thou contented!

Although away thy help is staying,
He will not for ever leave thee;
Tho’ anxious makes thee His delaying,
’Tis for thy greater good, believe me.
What on the way
To come ne’er hasteth,
Doth longer stay,
And sweeter tasteth.
Be thou contented!

Though ’gainst thee hosts of foes are scheming,
Let not all their lies affright thee;
Still let them rage against thee, deeming
God will hear it and will right thee.
Doth God support
Thee and thine ever?
The foe can hurt
Or ruin never.
Be thou contented!

To each his share of ill is given,
Would he only see and know it;
No course on earth so fair and even,
That no trouble lurks below it.
Who can declare,
“My house was ever
All free from care,
And troubled never?”
Be thou contented!

So must it be, in vain our grieving,
All men here must suffer ever,
Whate’er upon the earth is living,
Evil days avoideth never.
Affliction’s blow
Doth oft depress us,
And lays us low,
And death then frees us.
Be thou contented!

A day will dawn of rest and blessing,
When our God will come and save us
From the vile body’s bands depressing,
And the evils that enslave us.
Death soon will come,
From woe deliver,
And take us home
Then all together.
Be thou contented!

He’ll bring us to the hosts in glory,
To the chosen and true-hearted,
Who when they clos’d this life’s sad story,
Hence in peace to joy departed,
And on the shore,
The ever-vernal,
Hear evermore,
The voice eternal.
Be thou contented!

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

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: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Be thou contented! aye relying
Title: Be Thou Contented
German Title: Gib dich zufrieden, und sei stille
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1929.


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs #43

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