With her cruse of alabaster,
Filled with ointment rare and sweet,
Came the woman to the Master,
Knelt contritely at His feet,
Feeling with unfeigned contrition
How unfit was her condition
To approach the Holy One.
Like this woman, I contritely
Often must approach the Lord,
Knowing that I cannot rightly
Ask a place beside His board.
Sinful and devoid of merit,
I can only cry in spirit:
Lord, be merciful to me.
Lord of Grace and Mercy, harken
To my plea for grace and light.
Threatening clouds and tempests darken
Now my soul with gloomy night.
Let, despite my guilt and error,
My repenting tears still mirror
Thy forgiving smile, O Lord.
Nicolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig was the son of a pastor, and was born at Udby, in Seeland, in 1783. He studied in the University of Copenhagen from 1800-1805; and, like some other eminent men, did not greatly distinguish himself; his mind was too active and his imagination too versatile to bear the restraint of the academic course. After leaving the university he took to teaching; first in Langeland, then (1808) in Copenhagen. Here he devoted his attention to poetry, literature, and Northern antiquities. In 1810 he became assistant to his father in a parish in Jutland. The sermon he preached at his ordination, on the subject "Why has the Lord's word disappeared from His house," attracted much attention, which is rarely the case with "pro… Go to person page >
Translator: J. C. Aaberg
Jens Christian Aaberg (b. Moberg, Denmark, 1877; d. Minneapolis, MN, 1970) immigrated to the United States in 1901. Educated at Grand View College and Seminary in Des Moines, Iowa, he entered the ministry of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and served congregations in Marinette, Wisconsin; Dwight, Illinois; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Aaberg wrote Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark (1945), translated at least eighty hymns from Danish into English, and served on four hymnal committees. In 1947 King Frederick of Denmark awarded him the Knight Cross of Denmark.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987
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