Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Geisli

To see the entire English translation of the Norwegian translation of the medieval Norse lay in Flatøybok, Bind I, go to here

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Rejoice! Another collection of poems by Klaus Høeck is out!


an old arabic
saying goes like this: death is
just a grain of sand

it’s as lovely as
a siberian crab in
flower but true it

is not – it is life
that is a grain of sand – ne
gatively just a

grain of sand and in
a positive sense that grain
SATAN never finds

Thursday, 30 July 2015

This Kingo hymn actually only ever contained four verses!


Mighty God and Saviour mine

Mighty God and Saviour mine,
Who is there with power divine
That with thine can be compared?
No one has from Adam shared
Such a father, or such kin,
Such a mother free from sin,
That a virgin son has born.

John the Baptist, O great Lord,
Who so early walked abroad,
To proclaim thee to the world,
Stated clearly, so folk heard,
He was but a voice that called,
Preaching solace unto all
Who by sin were worn and torn.

He felt quite unworthy too
Thy shoe’s latchet to undo!
What am I then, Adam’s child,
Nought but dust, dirt, filth reviled!
I lack every shred of worth
To walk where thou trodst on earth,
Or within thy courts to bide.

Root of Jesse, Jesu sweet,
I by prayer and penance meet
Will for thee a place prepare
In my soul and heart to share:
Visit it and shape it best,
Enter in and be my guest,
Grant a blessed Christmastide.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Easter morning hymn from Thomas Kingo

Like the sun in golden splendour

Like the sun in golden splendour
Breaks through clouds as black as night,
Forcing dark and gloom’s surrender
With its radiant shafts of light,
So did Jesus from his grave
And death’s sea’s abysmal cave
Rise in glory, death now scorning
At first blush of Easter morning.

Thanks to thee, from death arisen
And that thou its hold couldst quell
Since it thee could not imprison,
In its tent pitch-black as hell.
Thanks to thee, victorious lord,
Heaven’s hero, much adored.
Proper joy one can but stutter,
For no tongue full praise can utter.

Deep within my heart is something,
Solace which the soul can find,
Which can soothe the pain forthcoming
When thy grave just fills my mind,
And reflect on where thou layst
In death’s endless empty space,
And rose up in power and splendour,
What can greater joy engender?

Should I lie in sin’s foul fetters,
Should I lie by sickness spent,
Should I lie midst worldly debtors
Should I lie by sorrows pent,
Should I lie despised, distressed,
By the world so sore oppressed,
In the grave I’ll make my dwelling,
There’s still hope beyond all telling.

For man’s sin thou paidst most dearly,
Death for me thou hast endured;
I, once wretched, poor and weary,
Also sick, by thee am cured.
I through thee from death’s dark vale
Shall be raised up, whole and hale,
Hold my head erect, unfearing,
All distress see disappearing.

Sin and death and every arrow
Which foul Satan can let fly
Since death’s dark land thee would harrow
Broken and defeated lie!
Thou didst bury them, and give
Me a staff to surely live
So when thou shalt come in glory
I’ll wave victor’s palms fronds for thee.

As God’s Son I now do own thee,
Thy omnipotence perceive,
Your defeat of death has shown me
What I know and I believe,
Blessedness and hope for me,
My baptism’s certainty,
In thy death are like an image
And thy resurrection’s message.

Thou one day to life willst raise me
By thy resurrective power
Let the earth conceal, erase me,
Worms my very juice devour,
Fire and water me consume!
I lie trusting in my tomb
That to life I shall be taken,
In death’s realm not lie forsaken.

Jesus, thy sweet mercy show me,
By thy holy spirit bred,
So my life’s course I can show thee,
When it by thy hand is led,
So I shall not fall again
Into death’s abyss of pain,
Out of which you once retrieved me,
Where you death suppressed completely.

For the joy thy birth’s professing
For your Godhead’s healing word,
For baptism’s holy blessing,
For communion’s joy conferred,
For the quelling of death’s dread,
For thy rising from the dead,
Lord, I thank thee unconfinedly
That in heaven I shall find thee.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A poem from 'Hsieh' by Klaus Høeck


i write poems for
     many reasons part
     ly because i can
not help myself partly out
of vanity but mostly
in order to avoid them
     and thereby achieve
     a temporary
     emptiness that is
not empty (and i’m not jug
gling with the concepts) but pre
cisely full of emptiness

Thursday, 23 July 2015

One of the best-known Kingos - in this hymn-book version


Morning Song

From eastern skies I now
See sunlight streaming,
It gilds the rockface brow,
Sets hillside gleaming,
Rejoice, my soul, and let your praise be ringing,
From earthly home set free,
Through thanks and faith now be
To heaven winging.

Like countless grains of sand,
And without measure,
Like ocean depths unspanned,
Is mercy’s treasure
Which daily God upon my head is spilling:
His boundless grace I sup
Each morning from the cup
He’s bent on filling.

He has throughout the night
With hosts of angels
My house and home sealed tight
So that no danger
Could threaten me and mine and cause to languish:
I’m saved eternally,
From death’s dark path set free
And soul’s keen anguish.

My soul, be of good cheer,
Cast out all weeping,
Your body’s petal here
Is in God’s keeping:
He will today give me the strength and power
My calling to pursue,
To give my God His due
At every hour.

Let God join hands with me,
Fill me with Spirit
So trusting I may be,
My calling merit!
O bless me from on high, Lord God, I pray thee!
May constant faith in thee
And my own industry
Suffice me daily.

Today let no sin seize
My mind and blind me,
So what my God would please
I can gauge finely:
But should I go astray and chance to falter,
O God, set me aright,
Don’t punish me outright
As a defaulter.

Thou best my wants and needs,
O Lord, discernest,
And fortune too concedes
What thou affirmest,
And what would serve me best need not be asked for,
Thou knowst it long before!
My soul, why wish for more?
Let God be Master.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Tightly crafted heartfelt sigh from Kingo

Hierte-Suk om Hiertelig Andagt

Steenig Hierte, gid du kunde
     Blødne udi HErrens Haand,
Blive fuld til Bredd og Bunde
     Udaf Andagt ved hans Aand!
Kolde Hierte, Iise-kule,
     Bunde-frøsne Synde-søe,
Gid din dybe Froste-hule
     Op ved Aandens varme Tøe!
Dovne Hierte, Søvne-pryne,
     Dorsk og død i Kiød og Krop,
JEsu Sool og Øyenbryne
     Vække dig til Andagt op!
JEsu, lad dog Aandens Gløder,
     Rense Hiertet op og ned,
At de brekker, demper, døder
     Steen og Kuld, og Dovenhed.


Heartfelt sigh on cordial devotion

Stony heart, could you but merit
     Softening by God’s mighty hand,
And devotion to his spirit
      Swell the heartstrings’ every strand!
Icy heart, so cold and barren,
     Frozen-solid lake of sin,
Could your deep and frosty cavern
     Thaw from spirit’s warmth within!
Slothful heart, benumbed from sleeping,
     Dull and dead in flesh and thew,
Jesu’s sun ’neath eyelids peeping
     To devotion quicken you!
JEsus, let the spirit’s embers
     Cleanse the stubborn heart, no less,
Let them break, subdue, dismember
     Stone and cold, and slothfulness.

Friday, 17 July 2015

A pilgrim's 'heartfelt sigh' from Kingo


Heartfelt Sigh

Poor pilgrim am I here below,
In Adam’s rags of sin must go!
E’er since I got my staff on earth,
A few steps from my place of birth,
You, infant Jesus, know full well
How oft I nearly slipped and fell.
Throughout my youth I always tried
To make my pathway fine and wide,
And felt this globe on which I fared
Was smooth and neither caught nor snared,
I often thought that honey flowed
Where soft and greenest was my road,
But it was treacherous and foul,
A quagmire that would snatch my soul,
Though I at this did take alarm,
Christ’s strait path kept me safe from harm.
And still I wander, day by day,
That path which pleases God alway,
And seek my fortune where I can,
Support myself as is God’s plan!
May I, by no sin’s path misled,
In Jesu’s footsteps daily tread,
And from misfortune’s bitter pain
My own true calling still retain,
O Jesus, let your angel host
Be always kind to me and close,
May all things go as God’s ordained
Until my passport I have gained
From here unto my heavenly home,
And I no more shall have to roam!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

'Zero Hour' by Martinus Nijhoff

To see the English translation, go to here.

'Up slothful hearts!' - Kingo in great form again


Up, slothful hearts, without delay

Up, slothful hearts, without delay –
Asleep, secure, but drifting,
You worldy children, who on clay
Do build and sands fast shifting –
Look all around, the last trump’s sound
And Doomsday end life’s story,
God will his bride not here let bide,
But fetch to endless glory.

But ah! though all of nature be
In motion widely ranging,
Though sun and moon perceptibly
Their signs are always changing,
Though stars might fall, e’en so we all
In our old ways still wallow,
Though earth and sea did warn us, see
We still sin’s orbit follow.

One hears most everywhere of dread,
Of trials, sighs, tribulation,
All joy and pleasures killed stone dead,
And daily tears our station:
This world below’s like well-lit tow
Whose flame flares ere it’s falling,
Yet only few have heard the cue:
For betterment God’s calling.

Our sin and our indecency
To such a pitch have risen
That Heaven’s powers do shake, for we
Would treat God with derision:
We won’t begin to quit all sin,
Though threats from God are dire,
Act stubbornly, until we see
Our whole world is on fire.

What use is worldly splendour then?
All riches, glory, treasure?
What use is power o’er other men?
Wherein will we find pleasure?
Where is the nook to block each look
When Christ makes his appearing
High in the skies, us to apprise
Of judgments we are fearing?

True limbs of Christ, rejoice and smile,
Your hearts lift in elation,
Who under worldly might and guile
Have known such tribulation,
On Judgment Day God will repay,
Reward your firm endeavour,
Take you from woes, and earth’s hard blows
To heav’nly joy for ever.

O Jesus, o’er my heart stand guard,
So pleasures don’t pervert me,
So worldly lusts from me are barred,
Their venom fail to hurt me:
Help, Christ, I pray, on Judgment Day
That from you nought can sever,
Through your wounds’ pain I mercy gain
And sing your praise for ever.