Behold, behold what wonders here

Representative Text

1 Behold! behold! what wonders here!
The gloomy night turns bright and clear,
A brilliant light dispels the shade,
The stars before it pale and fade.

2 A wondrous light it is, I trow,
And not the ancient sun shines now;
For, contrary to nature, night
Is turned by it to day so bright.

3 What means He to announce to us,
Who nature’s course can alter thus?
A mighty work designed must be,
When such a mighty sign we see.

4 To us vouchsafed can it be
The Sun of Righteousness to see,
The Star from Jacob’s stem so bright,
The Woman’s Seed, the Gentiles’ Light?

5 ’Tis even so--for from the sky
Heaven’s hosts with joyful tidings hie,
That He is born in Bethlehem’s stall,
Who Savior is and Lord of all!

6 Oh blessedness! the goodly throng
Of sainted fathers waited long
To see this day, with hope deferred,
As we may learn from God’s own Word.

Source: Evangelical Lutheran hymnal: with music #25a

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 >

Translator: John 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: Behold, behold what wonders here
German Title: Schaut! Schaut! was ist fuer Wunder dar?
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: John Kelly
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

LIGHT OF THE NATIONS


CANONBURY

Derived from the fourth piano piece in Robert A. Schumann's Nachtstücke, Opus 23 (1839), CANONBURY first appeared as a hymn tune in J. Ireland Tucker's Hymnal with Tunes, Old and New (1872). The tune, whose title refers to a street and square in Islington, London, England, is often matched to Haver…

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Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #12359
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  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #12359

Include 5 pre-1979 instances
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