Monday 3 March 2014

Mit hierte altid vanker - Brorson's wonderful 'heart in the stable/stable in the heart' hymn - now in English


My heart is always roaming
Where once the Christ child lay,
And on that stable homing
My thoughts collect each day.
A refuge for soul’s fretting,
My faith’s most treasured seat,
I’ve no way of forgetting
You Christmas night so sweet.

My heart’s delight and palace
Shall you, dark stable, be,
Where each day I gain solace
From earth’s cruel mockery,
Best weigh there free from danger
The nature of my praise
When thoughts of Jesu’s manger
So set my heart ablaze.

But, ah! What shall I utter
When thinking with a sigh
That heaven’s Lord in but a
Poor manger had to lie,
That heaven’s joy and splendour,
God’s word of precious worth,
Derision now engender
Upon this wretched earth!

A pearl that’s lost with zeal is
Sought out until it’s found,
The diamond’s bright appeal is
Best seen atop a crown,
No grape is thrown down surely
’Mongst branches that are dry:
Shall I see God then poorly
In some mean stable lie?

Why not in halls appointed
With all that’s fine and grand?
(They had, if you’d but pointed,
Been decked at your command)
Why would you not be swathed in
Bright light that formed a band,
And let earth’s kings come craving
To kiss you by the hand?

Why did you keep from raising
A welkin as your tent,
And have star-torches blazing,
Oh hero, heaven-sent?
Why was not on display too
A guardian angel host,
That in silk quilts would lay you,
As did befit you most?

No! Jesu’s bed’s a stable
At this good Christmastide,
Where beggars if they’re able
From winter’s cold will hide,
And all the hay he lay in
Was meant for beasts alone,
He did not have a say in
A thing to call his own.

It is beyond all reason
That Jesus, God and man
This vale of woe as prison
Must suffer for a span,
He, who will judge for ever
The living and the dead,
Has got no place whatever
Where he can lay his head.

A nest has e’en the sparrow,
A safe place to call home,
Nor needs the fleeting swallow
For night-time shelter roam.
Nor does a lion know anguish,
Its cave has rest in store;
Shall then my Saviour languish
On some strange stable’s straw?

Ah! Come! I will throw open
My heart, my soul and mind,
A thousand sighs have spoken,
Come, Jesus, come and find!
It is no unknown chamber,
You bought it with your blood!
Here will you sweetly slumber
In my heart swathed for good.

Your resting-place so holy
Shall strewn with palm-sprigs lie,
My bridegroom, for you solely
I will both live and die.
Come! let my soul find bliss in
The fount to which it’s wed,
A thousand times be kissing
Your sweet mouth rosy red.

1 comment:

David C Brown said...

Thanks for these - I have enjoyed them all.