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O Herrscher in dem Himmelszelt.--(Goed. 15.)

Appeared in Crü.--Runge, 1653, no. 315.

This poem and "Nun ist der Regen hin" (cf. Goed. 17, below) were both written during the Thirty Years' War and inspired by the same occasion. Gerhardt in two instances uses the same set of rhymes:

Goed. 15 Goed. 17
l. 1 zelt l. 31 feld
2 feld 32 zelt
51 bekehrt 5 gekehrt
52 erhört 6 erhöret

The long metre lends itself well to English translation, and Kelly in his English version has observed with precision the pleading and melancholy tone of the original.

Stanza 1. O God! who dost Heav'n's sceptre wield,
What is it that now makes our field,
And everything that it doth bear,
Such sad and ruined aspect wear?123123On the pessimistic tone in this stanza cf. p. 24.
J. Kelly, 1867, p. 294.

His last stanza forms by its fervor an even stronger conclusion than Gerhardt's. The alteration from "bis in unsern Tod" to "as long as we may live" is a decided improvement, and more consistent with the thought of the context:

Verleih uns bis in unsern Tod
Alltäglich unser liebes Brot
Und dermaleins nach diser Zeit
Das süsze Brot der Ewigkeit!
    And, Lord, as long as we may live
Our daily bread in bounty give
And when the end of time we see
The bread give of eternity.

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