O World, Behold Upon The Tree

Representative Text

1 O world, behold! upon the tree
Thy Life is hanging now for thee:
Thy Savior yields His dying breath.
The mighty Prince of glory now
For thee doth unresisting bow
To cruel stripes, to scorn and death.

2 Alas! my Savior, who could dare
Bid Thee such bitter anguish bear?
What evil heart ill-treat Thee thus?
For Thou art good, hast wrongéd none,
As we and ours too oft have done;
Thou hast not sinner, dear Lord, like us.

3 My grievous sins, the number more
Than yonder sands upon the shore,
Have brought to pass this agony:
'Tis I have caused the floods of woe
That now Thy soul in death o'erflow,
And those sad hearts that watch by Thee.

4 'Tis I to whom these pains belong;
'Tis I should suffer for my wrong,
Bound hand and foot in heavy chains:
Thy scourge, Thy fetters, whatsoe'er
Thou bearest, 'tis my soul should bear,
For I have well deserved such pains.

5 Lord, from Thy sorrows I will learn
How fiercely wrath divine doth burn,
How terribly its thunders roll;
How sorely this our loving God
Can smite with His avenging rod;
How deep His floods o'erwhelm the soul.

6 And I will nail me to Thy cross,
And learn to count all things but dross,
Wherein the flesh doth pleasure take;
Whate'er is hateful in thine eyes,
With all the strength that in me lies,
Will I cast from me and forsake.

7 Thy heavy groans, Thy bitter sighs,
The tears that from Thy dying eyes
Were shed when Thou wast sore oppressed,
Shall be with me, when at the last
Myself on Thee I wholly cast,
And enter with Thee into rest.

Source: The Lutheran Hymnary #317

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 >

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. GraEenhainichen, 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 re… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O world, behold upon the tree
Title: O World, Behold Upon The Tree
German Title: O welt, sich hier dein Leben
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

VATER UNSER

Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSE…

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EISENACH (Gesius)

MACHS MIT MIR was first published in the collection of music Das ander Theil des andern newen Operis Geistlicher Deutscher Lieder (1605) by Bartholomäus Gesius (b. Münchenberg, near Frankfurt, Germany, c. 1555; d. Frankfurt, 1613). A prolific composer, Gesius wrote almost exclusively for the churc…

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Timeline

Media

The Cyber Hymnal #8978
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  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)

Instances

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The Cyber Hymnal #8978

Include 10 pre-1979 instances
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