The Bereaved Father Comforts Himself Concerning his Now Sainted Son

Mine art thou still, and mine shalt be

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

Mine art thou still, and mine shalt be,
Who will be this denying?
Not only thou belong’st to me,
The Lord of Life undying
The greatest right hath aye in thee;
He taketh, He demands from me
Thee, O my son, my treasure,
My heart’s delight and pleasure!

If wish avail’d, my soul’s sweet star!
My free choice would I make thee,
Than earth’s fair treasures rather far,
I evermore would take thee.
Would say to thee, Abide with me,
The joy of all my dwelling be,
I ever more shall love thee,
Till death itself remove me.

Thus saith my heart, and meaneth well,
But God doth mean still better;
Great love doth in my bosom dwell,
In God there dwelleth greater.
I am a father, nothing more,
Of fathers God’s the crown and pow’r,
The fountain who is giving
Their being to all living.

I long and yearn for my dear son;
God, by whom he was given,
Wills he should stand beside His throne,
Should live with Him in heaven.
I say, Alas! my light is gone!
God saith, “I welcome thee, my son,
I’d have thee ever near me,
With endless joys would cheer thee!”

O lovely word! O sweet decree!
More holy than we ever
Can think; with God no ill can be,
Mischance, or sickness never,
No care, no want, no oversight,
With God no sorrow e’er can blight;
Whom God cares for and loveth
No trouble ever moveth.

We men much thought and time expend
On our dear ones’ adorning;
Our thoughts and efforts ever bend,
Are planning night and morning
To gain for them a happy place;
And yet how seldom ’tis the case
They reach the destination
We had in contemplation.

How oft a young and hopeful one
From virtue’s path far roameth,
By him through ill example’s done
What Christians ne’er becometh.
Then God’s just anger doth he earn,
On earth he meeteth scoffs and scorn,
His father’s heart he filleth
With pain that nothing stilleth.

Now such can never be my case,
My son is safely yonder,
Appeareth now before God’s face,
Doth in Christ’s garden wander,
Is fill’d with joy, is ever bless’d,
And from heart-sorrow doth he rest,
Sees, hears the hosts so glorious
Who here are watching o’er us.

He angels yonder hears and sees,
Part in their songs he taketh,
And knows all wisdom’s mysteries;
His high discourse he maketh
What none of us can ever know
With all our searching here below,
To none on earth ’tis given,
Reserv’d it is for Heaven.

Ah! could I even draw so near,
Could it to me be given
The faintest sounds of praise to hear
That fill the courts of Heaven,
When prais’d is the thrice holy One,
Who thee hath sanctified, my son!
Joy would my heart be swelling,
Tears from mine eyes be welling.

Would I then say, Stay with me here,
Henceforth I’ll murmur never;
Alas! my son! wert thou but near!
No, but come quickly hither
Thou fiery car, and take me where
My child and all the blessèd are,
Who speak of things so glorious,
O’er every ill victorious.

Now be it so, I’d have it so,
I’ll never more deplore thee;
Thou liv’st, pure joys thy heart o’erflow,
Bright suns shine ever o’er thee,
The suns of endless joy and rest.
Live then, and be for ever bless’d,
I shall, when God wills, yonder
In bliss hereafter wander.

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, 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 r… Go to person page >

Translator: J. 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: Mine art thou still, and mine shalt be
Title: The Bereaved Father Comforts Himself Concerning his Now Sainted Son
German Title: Du bist zwar mein und bleibest mein
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs #72

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