Tuesday, December 29, 2015

But Mary's Arms Contain Thee Now (Day Five)

All praise to thee, O Jesus Christ,
Clothed in a garb of flesh and blood;
Choosing a manger for thy throne,
While worlds on worlds are thine alone.

Once did the skies before thee bow;
But Mary’s arms contain thee now,
While angels, who in thee rejoice,
Now listen for thine infant voice.

A little child, thou art our guest,
That weary ones in thee may rest;
Humble and lowly is thy birth;
That we may rise to heav'n from earth.

Thou comest in the lonely night
To make us children of the light;
To make us, in the realms divine,
Like thine own angels round thee shine.

All this for us thy love hath done;
By this to thee our love is won;
For this we tune our cheerful lays,
And sing our thanks in ceaseless praise.

Martin Luther, 1535; tr. anonymous, 1858; alt.
Tune: MAINZER (L.M.)
Joseph Mainzer, 1845

This translation of Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ by Martin Luther first appeared anonymously in the Sabbath Hymn Book (1858), published in Massachusetts by Lowell Mason's firm.  Though found in 88 (mostly American) hymnals at the Hymnary.org site, only two of those appear to be Lutheran collections.  Lutheran editors seem to have preferred another translation, All praise to Jesus' hallowed name, by Richard Massie, from his collection titled Martin Luther's Spiritual Songs (1854).

I like this one better, even as a former Lutheran.

P.S. The art above is from a larger painting, William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Song of the Angels (1881)

Six Years Ago: Go, tell it on the mountain

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