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Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier.--(Goed. 158.)

[Christmas.]141141This is Gerhardt's third Christmas hymn (cf. also Goed. 150, 153, 155, 310, 312). It is very probable that in composing it the poet had in mind the words of St. Jerome of Strido, abbot of a monastic brotherhood in Bethlehem 386-420: "As often as I gaze on this place (the manger at Bethlehem), so often does my heart converse with the Infant Jesus which lay there in the manger . . . I say . . . "I must give Thee something, Dear Child! I will give Thee all my wealth," and the child answered--"Give it to the poor, I will accept it as if it were given me."--cf. Koch IV, p. 137.

Included in Crü. Praxis: 1653, no. 105, 1656, no. 105, in 15 stanzas of 7 lines; Wackernagel: no. 9; Bachmann: no. 45; Berlin G. L. S.: 1863, no. 167.

This is a beautiful hymn in which the poet puts himself in the place of the shepherds and the wise men visiting Bethlehem; and in praise and adoration tenders his devotion, his love and his all to the Infant Savior in the manger.

English Versions:

1. Stanzas I, IV, VII, XV, have been translated by Rev. A. T. Russell in his Ps. and Hys., 1851, no. 57. His translation of stanza I is as follows:

My faith Thy lowly bed beholds,
My Life and my Salvation;
Thee in my heart my faith enfolds,
And brings Thee her oblation.
My heart and soul, will, spirit, mind,
Oh, take them all, to Thee resign'd:
Make all to Thee well-pleasing.
2. I stand beside Thy manger-bed.

Miss Manington, 1864, p. 38.

3. Now at the manger here I stand.

J. Kelly, 1867, p. 32.

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