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27 December 2014


Oh child, we can not help but see
these holy days your agony,
which in this night so late we wrought,
by our own guilt upon you brought.
Lord, have mercy.

This day the world sounds rapture's cry
yet in a lowly barn you lie.
Your sentence has long been prepared,
the cross is ready, for you reared.
Lord, have mercy.

This day the world basks in joy's light,
yet for you waits the court room's blight.
Your misery no one can doom.
Before your manger gapes the tomb.
Lord, have mercy.

This day the world is rich with chant,
yet no one will a bed you grant
and sing you into tender sleep.
Our penance we did on you heap.
Lord, have mercy.

When we some day with you will rise
and see your face without disguise,
at last without a bitter word
our heart is wide, its song is heard.
Come, Lord, save us. 

German by Jochen Klepper 1938. English by Fritz Wendt 1996. Tune: DU KIND, ZU DIESER HEILGEN ZEIT; Meter: LM (8888) and Refrain.

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