and desirous of heaven
You souls who as did Simeon
heaven so are yearning,
Take leave of this world’s Babylon,
sin-cacked prison spurning,
Refuse not from this deep abyss
In peace to journey unto bliss,
God’s hour is approaching.
We are like some poor flock of owls
places of confusion,
Laboriously we roam and prowl
rest is but illusion;
Here on this earth is no sure rest,
Nor is there any feathered nest.
Meshech we are strangers.
Oft must our life, so full of care,
the cross be bowing,
Delight that once has been our share
woe is disendowing;
Change after happiness would spy
Where tares among the wheat do lie
put a stop to gladness.
Some lustful souls do well withal,
life a bed of roses,
While others are but sorrow’s thralls,
crowns of thorns, not posies;
Complaint, constraint and wounds full sore
Do through their restless skin now bore
death the knot’s untying.
All sin and sorrow pass away,
grave has proof that’s soothing,
When finally the earth and clay
diggers’ spades are smoothing;
For then the body’s found its nest,
For then the soul at last knows rest,
all feuds have their ending.
So now, earth that laments and grieves,
is a trap of evil,
Good night! For heaven I now leave,
at this upheaval.
There shall eternal joy be mine,
There shall Hosannahs sweetly chime
the hosts of angels.
In sin and grief mankind you chain,
cause the soul’s frustration
Begone! Limed grave, stronghold of pain!
palace is my station.
By harmful sinful deeds dismayed,
The many stumbling blocks arrayed
block my pathway forwards.
Come, longed-for Death! Cut through life’s straw,
as your Lord’s gatekeeper
Shall open heaven’s mighty door
you are too life’s reaper;
If God deems that my time is come,
That sufferings enough are done,
I can cease my weeping.
Almighty God! I cry aloud,
time here you’ve allotted,
By blessed hour and burial shroud
agony is blotted;
From thralldom’s yoke by mercy freed,
With life’s course fully run indeed,
comes a final treasure
Help’s granted him who to the end
the world’s beguiling.
A trustful helmsman will e’er fend
the ocean’s wiling,
He’d rather drown in his dire need
Than let his hand the storm-waves heed
would the helm be seizing.
Oh, Jesus, by your death may I
this world now be leaving,
Let my soul to your bosom fly
sin and days of grieving;
My corpse grant space within my grave,
So I, without my pilgrim’s stave
at your side be resting.
When you on Judgment Day shall fetch
dead to life eternal,
Touch my grave too with
grant me grace supernal,
May the last trump wake me from sleep
And you my body safely keep
the blessèd chosen.