O Ewigkeit! O Ewigkeit. [Eternity.] Wackernagel v. p. 1258, gives this as an anonymous hymn (in 18 stanzas of 6 lines and the refrain, "Betracht o Mensch die Ewigkeit"), from the Catholische Kirchen-Gesäng, Cologne, 1625 (Bäumker, ii. p. 304, says it is in the Ausserlesene Catholische geistliche Kirchenge-sang, Cologne, 1623). In Daniel Wülffer's Zwölff Andachten, Nürnberg, 1648. p. 536, in 16 stanzas considerably altered. Wülffer's text is in the Nürnberg Gesang-Buch, 1690; Schöber's Liedersegen, 1769, and others; and is followed by Bunsen in his Versuch, 1833, No. 839. Bunsen's stanzas correspond to stanzas i.-iv., viii., xi., xii., xiv.-xviii. of the 1625 text, some being considerably altered. As in almost all the trs. the second line is "How long art thou, Eternity," we employ in the following notes —, to show this. Translated as:—
1. Eternity! Eternity!—Yet onward. In full from Bunsen, by Miss Cox, in her Sacred Hymns from the German, 1841, p. 187 (1864, p. 139). Included, more or less altered and abridged, in Alford's Psalms & Hymns, 1844, and his Tear of Praise, 1867; Holy Song, 1869; the American Hymns for the Church of Christ, 1853; Plymouth Collection, 1855; Dutch Reformed, 1869; and others.
2. Eternity! Eternity!—And yet. A good and full translation from Bunsen by Miss Winkworth, in her Lyra Germanica, 1st Ser., 1855, p. 24. It is repeated abridged in the Cumbrae Hymn Book, 1863; and in America in the Hymns for Church & Home, 1860; Robinson's Songs for the Sanctuary, 1865, and the Church Praise Book, 1882.
Other trs. Are: (1) " Eternity! Eternity!—For still," by C. T. Brooks, in his Schiller's Homage of the Arts, &c, 1847 (Boston, U. S.), p. 146. (2) "Eternity! Eternity!—Yet hasteth," by Dr. H. W. Dulcken, in his Book of German Songs, 1856, p. 285. (3) "Eternity, how long! how vast," by Dr. G. Walker, 1860, p. 115. (4) " Eternity! how long art thou," by Dr. J. Guthrie, 1869. p. 128. (5) "Eternity! Eternity!—Life hasteth," signed "M. M." in the Monthly Packet, vol. xii., 1871, p. 413. (6) "Eternity! Eternity!—Swiftly," dated 1866, by J. H. Hopkins, in his Carols, Hymns & Songs, 3rd edition, 1882, p. 90. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)