Spitta, Carl Johann Philipp, D.D., was born Aug. 1, 1801, at Hannover, where his father, Lebrecht Wilhelm Gottfried Spitta, was then living, as bookkeeper and teacher of the French language. In his eleventh year Spitta fell into a severe illness, which lasted for four years, and so threw him back that his mother (the father died in 1805) abandoned the idea of a professional career, and apprenticed him to a watchmaker. This occupation did not prove at all congenial to him, but he would not confess his dislike, and his family were ignorant of it till an old friend, who was trying to comfort him after the death of a younger brother, discovered his true feelings. The younger brother had been preparing for ordination, and so Carl was now invited… Go to person page >
Es zieht ein stiller Engel. C. J. P. Spitta. [Cross and Consolation.] In the 1st Series, 1833, of his Psalter und Harfe (p. 116), in 5 stanzas of 8 lines, entitled "Patience." This beau¬tiful little poem appears in many recent collections of German Sacred Poetry, often en¬titled “The Angel of Patience," and is included in J. Sturm's Hausandacht, 1868, p. 465. The only translation in common use is:—
To weary hearts, to mourning homes. By J. G. Whittier, in 4 stanzas of 6 lines. Mr. Whittier informs us that it was written in 1845 and first published in his Poems, Boston, U.S., 1849, p. 262.
In his Poetical Works, Lond., Macmillan & Co., 1874, p. 121, it is correctly described as "A Free Paraphrase from the German." It has been included in full in The South Place Collection, 1873, Dr. Martineau's Hymns of Praise and Prayer, 1873, and Horder's Congregational Hymnal, 1884; and in America, omitting stanza ii., in Hedge & Huntington's Collection, 1853, Plymouth Collection, 1855, and Baptist Praise Book, 1871.
Other translations are—(l) "A gentle angel walketh," by Miss Borthwick in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1855, p. 19 (1884, p. 84); repeated in the Schaff-Gilman Library of Religious Poetry, ed. 1883, p. 836. (2) "Lo, passed through Heaven's portals," in Sacred Poems by the Hon. S. R. Maxwell, 1857, p. 123. (3) "There goes a noiseless angel," by Miss Fry, 1859, p. 159. (4) "A gentle angel wendeth," by R. Massie, 1860, p. 20. (5) " A stilly angel wanders," by Miss Manington, 1863, p. 47. (6) "On silent wings an angel," in Dr. H. W. Dulcken's Golden Harp, 1864, p. 68. (7) "Throughout this earth in stillness," by Miss May in Christian Lyrics, Norwich and London, 1860, p. 123. (8) "A silent angel wanders," by S. A, Storrs, 1857, p. 63. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Es zieht ein stiller Engel, p. 355, i. This hymn was written in Feb., 1820. Another translation is "A silent angel wanders here," in J. P. Hopps's Hymns, Chants, and Anthems, 1877.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)