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I Will Not Let Thee Go

Representative Text

I will not let Thee go; Thou Help in time of need!
Heap ill on ill
I trust Thee still,
E'en when it seems that thou wouldst slay indeed!
Do as Thou wilt with me,
I yet will cling to Thee,
Hide Thou Thy face, yet, Help in time of need,
I will not let Thee go!

I will not let Thee go; should I forsake my bliss?
No, Lord, Thou'rt mine,
And I am Thine,
Thee will I hold when all things else I miss.
Though dark and sad the night,
Joy cometh with Thy light,
O Thou my Sun; should I forsake my bliss?
I will not let Thee go!

I will not let Thee go, my God, my Life, my Lord!
Not Death can tear
Me from His care,
Who for my sake His soul in death outpoured.
Thou diedst for love to me,
I say in love to Thee,
E'en when my heart shall break, my God, my Life, my Lord,
I will not let Thee go!

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #25

Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler

Dessler, Wolfgang Christoph, son of Nicolaus Dessler, jeweller, at Nürnberg, was born at Nürnberg, Feb. 11, 1660. His father wished him to become a goldsmith, but, as he was not physically suited for this, he was permitted to begin the study of theology at the University of Altdorf. His poverty and bodily weakness forced him to leave before completing his course, and, returning to Nurnberg, he supported himself there as a proof reader. Becoming acquainted with Erasmus Finx or Francisci, then residing in Nürnberg, he was employed by Finx as his amanuensis, and at his request translated many foreign religious works into German. In 1705 he was appointed Conrector of the School of the Holy Ghost at Nürnberg, where he laboured with zeal and… 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: I will not let Thee go; Thou Help in time of need!
Title: I Will Not Let Thee Go
German Title: Ich lass dich nicht, du Hülf in alien Nothen
Author: Wolfgang Christoph Dessler (1692)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Ich lass dich nicht, du musst mein Jesus bleiben. [Constancy to Christ.] Founded on Genesis xxxii. 36. First published 1692 along with Meditation xviii., which is entitled "The striving love." Wetzel (A. H., vol. i., pt. iv., p. 20) says it was sung, at her request, Sept. 5, 1726, at the deathbed of Christiana Eberhardina, a pious Queen of Poland. In the Berlin Geistlich Lieder, edition 1863, No. 728, in 9 stanzas of 10 lines. Translated as:—
I will not let Thee go, Thou Help in time of need, a fine translation, beginning with stanza iv. ("Ich lass dich nicht, du Hülf in alien Nothen"), and adding translations of stanzas v., ix., by Miss Winkworth, in the 1st ser., 1855, of her Lyra Germanica, p. 59. Thence as No. 851 in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1875; No. 205 in the Scottish Presbyterian Hymnal, 1876; No. 139 in the Canadian Presbyterian Hymn Book 1880.

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 12 of 12)
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Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada #139

Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada with Accompanying Tunes #d137

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Hymns for the Church on Earth #248

Hymns of the Ages #d53

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Lyra Germanica #59


Lyra Germanica #25

Sunshine for Sunday Schools #d38

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The Catholic Hymnal #237

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The Christian Hymn Book #798

The Christian Hymnal #d319

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The Christian Hymnal #574

The Methodist Hymn-Book with Tunes #523

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