Why Art Thou Heavy Hearted?

Representative Text

1 Why art thou heavy hearted?
Why is thy soul weighed down?
Cast off thy painful burden
And cease to fret and frown.
Thou art not he that ruleth
O'er heaven, earth and hell;
'Tis God whose throne endureth,
Who doeth all things well.

2 Let Him the nations govern
As Lord of land and sea;
Then at His rule and guidance
Thou shalt astonished be.
Far, far above thy thinking
His counsel shall appear
When He the work hath finished
That caused thee needless fear.

3 His love at times may try thee
And naught of comfort lend,
As if His help and solace
He nevermore would send;
But if despite thy trials
Thou true to Him remain,
He will reveal His power
And show His grace again.

4 All hail, thou who art faithful,
The day will soon draw near
When with a crown of glory
Thou shalt in heav'n appear;
When God Himself shall give thee
The victor's wreath and palm,
And thou in yonder mansions
Shalt sing a joyful psalm.

Source: American Lutheran Hymnal #270

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: Herman H. Brueckner

Born: March 11, 1866, Grundy County, Iowa (birth name: Herman Heinrich Moritz Brueckner). Died: January 25, 1942, Hebron, Nebraska (funeral held in Beatrice, Nebraska). Buried: St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Waverly, Iowa. After ordination in 1888, Brueckner pastored in Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. He later moved to Iowa City, Iowa, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University in 1917. In 1926, he joined the faculty of Hebron College in Nebraska. In 1938, Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on him. He retired as professor emeritus from Hebron College in 1941. Sources: Erickson, p. 254 Findagrave, accessed 14 Nov 2016 Hustad, p. 213 Stulken, p.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Why art thou heavy hearted
Title: Why Art Thou Heavy Hearted?
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: Herman H. Brueckner
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzl…

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Instances (1 - 3 of 3)
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American Lutheran Hymnal #270

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Hymnal for Church and Home #211

TextPage Scan

Hymnal for Church and Home (2nd ed.) #211

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