Thank God it hath resounded,
The blessed voice of joy and Peace!
And murder's reign is bounded,
And spear and sword at last may cease.
Bright hope is breaking o'er us,
Arise, my land, once more,
And sing in full-ton'd chorus
Thy happy songs of yore;
Oh raise thy heart to God and say:
Thy covenants, Lord, endure,
Thy mercies do not pass away,
Thy promises are sure.
O welcome day, that brought us
This precious noble gift of Peace!
For war hath deeply taught us
What sorrows come where she doth cease;
In her our God now layeth
All hope, all happiness;
Who woundeth her, or slayeth,
Doth, like a madman, press
The arrow to his own heart's core,
And quench with impious hand
The golden torch of Peace once more,
That glads at last our land.
This ye could teach us only,
So dull and hard these hearts of ourse,
Ye homes, now stripp'd and lonely,
Ye wasted cities, ruin'd towers;
Ye fields, once fairly blooming,
With golden harvest graced,
Where forests now are glooming,
Or spreads a dreary waste;
Ye graves, with corpses piled, where lies
Full many a hero brave,
Whose like no more shall meet our eyes,
Who died, yet could not save.
O man, with bitter mourning
Remember now the by-gone years,
When thou hast met God's warning
With careless scoff, not contrite tears;
Yet like a loving father
He lays aside His wrath,
And seeks with kindness rather
To lure thee to His path;
He tries if love may yet constrain
The heart that hath withstood
His rod,--oh let Him not in vain
Now strive with Thee for good.
Thou careless world, awaken!
Awake, awake, all ye that sleep,
Ere yet ye be o'ertaken
With ruin sudden, swift, and deep!
But he who knows Christ liveth,
May hope and fear no ill,
The Peace that now He giveth
Hath deeper meaning still,
For He will surely teach us this:
"The end is nigh at hand,
When ye in perfect rest and peace
Before your God shall stand."
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: 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 >