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76

Was traurest du, mein Angesicht.--(Goed. 289.)

Appeared in Ebeling, 1666, 2, 24.

Of Gerhardt's hymns treating of Death, the Last Day, and Eternal Life, this is one of the least well known, and has not been retained in many German hymn books, mainly because of the mixed metaphor and the many unpoetic lines. It is translated in full by J. Kelly, 1867, no. 322, in stanzas of 7 lines, the long fifth line with the double rhyme being written as two short lines,

Stanza 1. My face, why should'st thou troubled be
When thou of death art hearing?
Know it, it cannot injure thee,
Contemplate it, ne'er fearing.
      When thou dost know
      Death, all its woe
Will soon be disappearing.

In stanza 19 Kelly has made the first personal pronoun predominant with the result that greater smoothness is obtained. He has, however, been obliged to omit what in the German are the best touches, namely the thoughts contained in "mein Hirt," "leiten" and "immergrün":

O süsze Lust, o edle Ruh,
O fromme Seelen Freude,
Komm, schleusz mir meine Augen zu,
Dasz ich mit Fried abscheide
Hin, da mein Hirt mich leiten wird
Zur immergrimen Weide.
  O sweetest joy, O blessed rest!
To all true-hearted given,
Come, let mine eyes by Thee be pressed,
In peace take me to heaven.
      May I roam there
      'Mong pastures fair
Where day ne'er knoweth even.
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