Ye Heavens, O Haste Your Dews to Shed

Representative Text

Ye heav'ns, oh haste your dews to shed,
Ye clouds, rain gladness on our head,
Thou earth, behold the time of grace,
And blossom forth in righteousness!

O living Sun, with joy break forth,
And pierce the gloomy clefts of earth;
Behold, the mountains melt away
Like wax beneath Thine ardent ray!

O Life-dew of the Churches, come,
And bid this arid desert bloom!
The sorrows of Thy people see,
And take our human flesh on Thee.

Refresh the parch'd and drooping mind,
The broken limb in mercy bind,
Us sinners from our guilt release,
And fill us with Thy heavenly peace.

O wonder! night no more is night!
Comes then at last the long'd-for light?
Ah yes, Thou shinest, O true Sun,
In whom are God and man made one!

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #20

Author: Johann Campanus

Campanus, Johann, was born on June 24, c. 1565, at Wodnian in Bohemia. At the Uni¬versity of Prag (Prague), he graduated b.a. 1592, M.A. 1596. In 1592 he became master at Iglau, thereafter at Teplitz, and then professor at Königingratz. He was in 1596 appointed Rector of the St. Heinrich school, in the Neustadt, Prag, and in 1600 Rector at Kuttenberg. Ultimately he became Professor of Greek and Latin and of Bohemian History in the University of Prag, where he was some time Dean of the Philosophical Faculty, and in 1612 Rector of the University. He died at Prag, Dec. 13, 1622. Brought up at Wodnian as a Hussite, he became a Lutheran; then a Calvinist; was in 1619 assessor of the Utraquist Consistory of the Teynkirche in the Altstadt, Prag… Go to person page >

Author: Johann Franck

Johann Franck (b. Guben, Brandenburg, Germany, 1618; d. Guben, 1677) was a law student at the University of Köningsberg and practiced law during the Thirty Years' War. He held several positions in civil service, including councillor and mayor of Guben. A significant poet, second only to Paul Gerhardt in his day, Franck wrote some 110 hymns, many of which were published by his friend Johann Crüger in various editions of the Praxis Pietatis melica. All were included in the first part of Franck’s Teutsche Gedichte bestehend im geistliche Sion (1672). Bert Polman… 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 >



Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…

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The Cyber Hymnal #7758
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The Cyber Hymnal #7758

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