1 Zion mourns in fear and anguish,
Zion, city of our God.
"Ah," she says, "how sore I languish,
Bowed beneath the chast'ning rod!
For my God forsook me quite
And forgot my sorry plight
Mid these troubles now distressing,
Countless woes my soul oppressing.
2 "Once," she mourns, "He promised plainly
That His help should e'er be near;
Yet I now must seek Him vainly
In my days of woe and fear.
Will His anger never cease?
Will He not renew His peace?
Will He not show forth compassion
And again forgive transgression?"
3 "Zion, surely I do love thee,"
Thus to her the Savior saith,
"Though with many woes I prove thee
And thy soul is sad to death.
For My troth is pledged to thee;
Zion, thou art dear to Me.
Deep within My heart I've set thee,
That I never can forget thee.
4 "Let not Satan make thee craven;
He can threaten, but not harm.
On My hands thy name is graven,
And thy shield is My strong arm.
How, then, could it ever be
I should not remember thee,
Fail to build thy wall, My city,
"And look down on thee with pity?
5 "Ever shall Mine eyes behold thee;
On My bosom thou art laid.
Ever shall My love enfold thee
Never shalt thou lack Mine aid.
Neither Satan, war, nor stress
Then shall mar thy happiness:
With this blessed consolation
Be thou firm in tribulation."
Johann Heermann's (b. Raudten, Silesia, Austria, 1585; d. Lissa, Posen [now Poland], 1647) own suffering and family tragedy led him to meditate on Christ's undeserved suffering. The only surviving child of a poor furrier and his wife, Heermann fulfilled his mother's vow at his birth that, if he lived, he would become a pastor. Initially a teacher, Heermann became a minister in the Lutheran Church in Koben in 1611 but had to stop preaching in 1634 due to a severe throat infection. He retired in 1638. Much of his ministry took place during the Thirty Years' War. At times he had to flee for his life and on several occasions lost all his possessions. Although Heermann wrote many of his hymns and poems during these devastating times, his persona… 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 >
Display Title: Zion Mourns in Fear and AnguishFirst Line: Zion mourns in fear and anguishTune Title: ZION KLAGTAuthor: Catherine Winkworth; Johann HeermannMeter: 188.8.131.52Source: Devoti Musica Cordis, second edition,1636