In the midst of life, behold

Representative Text

In the midst of life, behold
Death has girt us round.
Whom for help then shall we pray,
Where shall grace be found?
In Thee, O Lord, alone!
We rue the evil we have done,
That Thy wrath on us hath drawn.
Holy Lord and God!
Strong and Holy God!
Merciful and Holy Saviour!
Eternal God!
Leave us not to sink beneath
These dark pains of bitter death;
Kyrie eleison!

In the midst of death the jaws
Of hell against us gape.
Who from peril dire as this
Openeth us escape?
'Tis Thou, O Lord, alone!
Our bitter suffering and our sin
Pity from Thy mercy win,
Holy Lord and God!
Strong and Holy God!
Merciful and Holy Saviour!
Eternal God!
Let not dread our souls o'erwhelm
Of the dark and burning realm,
Kyrie Eleison!

In the midst of hell would Sin
Drive us to despair;
Whither shall we flee away?
Where is refuge, where?
With Thee, Lord Christ, alone!
For Thou hast shed Thy precious blood,
All our sins Thou makest good,
Holy Lord and God!
Strong and Holy God!
Merciful and Holy Saviour!
Eternal God!
Leave us not to fall in death
From the hope of Thy true Faith,
Kyrie Eleison!

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #94

Author: Balbulus Notker

Notker Balbulus, so called from his slight stuttering, was born in Switzerland about 840. Ekkehard V. in the 2nd Chapter of his Vita Sancti Notkeri (written about 1220), says he was born at Heiligau, now Elgg, in the Canton of Zurich; but Meyer von Knonau, seeing that his family were closely connected with Jonswil in the Canton of St. Gall, thinks that Notker was probably born at Jonswil. He entered the school of the famous Benedictine Abbey of St. Gall at an early age, and spent the rest of his life there. In due course he was admitted as one of the brethren of the monastery; in 890 is marked as librarian, and in 892 and 894 as guestmaster (hospitarius); his principal employment being in scholastic and literary work. He became eventually o… Go to person page >

Translator (from Latin): Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Translator (from German): 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: In the midst of life, behold
German Title: Mitten wir im Leben sind
Translator (from Latin): Martin Luther (1524)
Translator (from German): Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Author: Balbulus Notker
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
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Lyra Germanica #235


Lyra Germanica #94

Page Scan

Lyra Germanica #S1-94

The Garland of Praise #d63

The Garland of Praise. 2nd ed. #ad63

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