Go and dig my grave today!

Representative Text

Go and dig my grave today!
Weary of my ceaseless roaming,
Now from earth I pass away,
Heav'nly peace awaits my coming,
Angel voices from above
Call me to their rest and love.

Go and dig my grave today!
Homeward now my journey tendeth,
And I lay my staff away
Here where all earth's labour endeth,
And I lay my weary head
In the only painless bed.

What is there I yet should do
If in this dark vale I linger?
Proud our schemes, and fair to view,
Yet they melt beneath Time's finger
Like the sand before the wind,
That no power of man can bind.

Farewell, earth, then! I am glad
That I now in peace may leave thee,
For thy very joys are sad,
And thy hopes do but deceive thee;
Fleeting is thy beauty's gleam,
False and changing as a dream.

Sun and moon and stars so bright,
Farewell all your golden splendour!
Here I loved you, but your light
Gladly will I now surrender,
For the glories of that day
Where ye all must fade away.

Farewell, O ye friends I love!
Though awhile ye journey grieving,
Comfort cometh from above
To the hearts in Christ believing;
Weep not o'er a passing show,
To th' eternal world I go.

Weep not that the world I leave,
Mourn not that I am exchanging
Errors that here closely cleave,
Empty ghosts and shadows ranging
Through this world of nought and night,
For a land of truth and light.

Weep not! dearest to my heart
Is my Saviour, He doth cheer me;
And I know that I have part
In his pains, and He is near me;
For He shed His precious blood
For the whole world's highest good.

Weep not, my Redeemer lives!
From the dust, Hope ever vernal
Looks to Heaven and upward strives;
Fearless Faith and Love eternal
Now are softly whispering nigh,
"Child of God, fear not to die!"

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #188

Author: Ernst Moritz Arndt

Arndt, Ernst Moritz, son of Ludwig Nicolaus Arndt, estate manager for Count Putbus, in the island of Rugen, was b. at Schoritz in Rugen, Dec. 26, 1769. After studying at the Universities of Greifswald and Jena, where he completed his theological course under Paulus, he preached for two years as a candidate, but in 1798 abandoned theology. After a pedestrian tour through South Germany, Hungary, Northern Italy, France, and Belgium, he became, at Easter 1800, lecturer at the University of Greifswald, and in 1805 professor of history there. But in 1806, lamenting over the tyranny of France, he wrote his fiery Gent der Zeit (pt. ii. 1809, iii. 1813, iv. 1818) which awakened the patriotism of his countrymen, but drew on him the hatred of Napoleon… 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: Go and dig my grave today!
German Title: Geht nun hin und grabt mein Grab
Author: Ernst Moritz Arndt
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Geht nun hin und grabt mein Grab. [Burial of the Dead.] Written in 1818, and first published 1819 (No. 19) as above in 9 stanzas of 6 lines, and included in Bunsen's Versuch, 1833, and since in many other collections, e.g. Unverfalschter Liedersegen. 1851, No. 815. It is the most popular of his hymns and was sung at his own funeral at Bonn, Feb. 1, 1860 (Koch, vii. 147). The translations. in common use are:—

    (1 )Go and dig my grave today! A good and full translation in the 1st Series, 1855, of Miss Winkworth's Lyra Germanica, p. 241 (ed. 1856, p. 243), and repeated as No. 188 in her Chorale Book for England, 1863. In Schaff's Christ in Song, ed. 1879, p. 536.

    - John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


ARFON (Minor)

ARFON is originally a six-phrase Welsh folk tune in minor tonality entitled 'Tros y Garreg." Named for a district on the mainland of northern Wales opposite Mon and Anglesey, the tune was published in Edward Jones's Relicks of the Welsh Bards (1784). In the later nineteenth century ARFON was associa…

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The Cyber Hymnal #10089
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The Cyber Hymnal #10089

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