Friday 22 May 2015

An Evening Song from Thomas Kingo

the fourth evening song

The bright sun starts to set, soon evening will be here,
Each labourer is tired and hopes that rest is near:
To death I am yet one day closer than before,
Time for me
Is opening death’s door.

Here time is interchanged, with day replaced by night,
A shadow only of the sun is still in sight!
And finally the world has lost its gloriousness,
Grave’s black maw
And worms that gnaw
Is all that we’ll possess.

Then think, o think again, my soul, your rest don’t seek
Within the world, in faith and fortitude so weak!
A moment since the sun was here, now all is dark,
With the night
The world once bright
Turns desert-like and stark.

I make my way through grass that’s hung with drops of dew
And nature says: Just stop and ponder what’s in view:
The morning’s blossoming, how sadly it has pined!
What once thrived
Has not survived,
Ah! Bear all this in mind.

Be calm, my soul, for on this thought I need to brood:
How patient my God is with me, how mild and good,
I see my striking likeness in the hay and flowers,
Day and night
Teach me aright
The briefness of my hours.

A thousand thanks, o God, who from eternity
Have even so for me in time cared constantly!
Right from the instant that I here on earth did dwell
Of my clay
You have alway
Made more than I can tell.

Of sinful human blood you washed me white as snow,
And in your Son gave me a root on which to grow,
Have raised and nurtured me with your true word as bread,
Yea, my soul
Is oft made whole
When by your food it’s fed.

By your great mercy I’ve been spared all dire
Misfortune until now, in spite of Satan’s ire,
My daily bread on me you also have bestowed
In the cup
From which I sup
Have grace and mercy flowed.

But, o my God, forgive the wrongs I would disown,
Ignore the shoots that from the root of sin have grown,
And my bad conscience from its bonds of sin set free,
Cast them down
And let them drown
For ever in the sea.

Install a watch of guardian angels round my bed,
Let Satan never in my house one footstep tread,
Bring heaven to my mind, make pure my head and heart
May my soul
Remain quite whole,
Unpierced by flesh’s dart.

Your church enlighten, let your glory spread out wide,
Embrace with godly love your spiritual bride
Which in the North you’ve nurtured to your praise,
Vengeance wreak
On those who seek
Her harm or some malaise.

Lord, let your blessedness before the king’s face go,
And all his enemies like scythed corn be brought low
Increase his earthly glory, let his life be long
May his line
With virtues fine
Know power both great and strong.

O Father, in your mercy, down from heaven gaze
On all your Christendom, all misery erase!
I now am almost ready to retire to bed,
Grant that I
In you may lie
And safely rest my head.

Come, mighty angel host, on soul and body shed
God’s rest and peace, and on what else that lies ahead!
Go sleep now, sack of worms, God’s waking call shall be
Here anon,
But later on
To his eternity.

Sunday 17 May 2015

A spring poem from Morten Nielsen (1922-44)

Night-walk in nature

Say, can you hear the
bright chorus’ sound
over the May night’s now
twilight ground?

Midst green branches
the nightingales sing
warmly and wondrously –
solely regaling ...

... Nothing stops –
no, not anything –
small throats from quivering

a night in spring.

Thursday 14 May 2015

A poem by Werner Aspenström

The inchworm

I stretch out full length from my cherry-leaf
and gaze toward eternity:
eternity is altogether too large today
altogether too blue and endlessly vast.
I think I’ll stay on my cherry-leaf
and take the measure of my green cherry-leaf.

Litania (1952)

Friday 8 May 2015

Another song from 'Fridas Visor'

She's spring-cleaning this time. Please go to here.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

And here the emasculated Kingo Second Morning Song

624. God is God before Creation

God is God before Creation,
ere the mountains had their start;
ere in Adam came damnation,
he inscribed me on his heart;
in his Son did he love me,
so that I with him might be
ever as joint-heir included,
such a pact with me concluded.

Help me, God, to always arm me
so I Satan keep at bay,
that he falsely cannot charm me
with the world’s so bright array!
Pray, o Jesus, pray for me
when he draws near secretly
and like wheat would seek to sift me,
so my faith may still uplift me.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

'Du est Gud før Joorden skabtis' - a long, full-bloodied Kingo hymn

The second morning-song

Soul and heart and mind and senses
Wake, awake in joy and praise
Round God’s Ark commence your dances
Faith and spirit now ablaze!
Thank the Lord that night is passed,
Early morn is in your grasp,
See, the day grows ever lighter,
And your mood grows ever brighter.

I lay down and sleep came quickly,
Over me though God stood guard,
Would have died had Satan pricked me
With his sin-envenomed dart,
Had, o God, thine angel throng
Not stood by me all night long,
Dark all else would have excluded
And me on death’s list included.

Praise and glory while I’m living
I would utter unto thee,
Proffer unto thee thanksgiving
While this day is fresh to me.
Touch me with thy spirit’s fire
For I’m burning with desire!
Let thy glow my lips inform
And with joy thy law perform.

Let me now the air be rending
With my shouting, with my heart
To thine altar now be wending,
Faith and solace there impart!
Take it, Jesus, fire it well
In my sluggish earthly shell,
May the sacrifice be pleasant,
And no taste of earth be present.

Thou art God before Creation,
Ere the mountains did exist
Ere in Adam came damnation
I was written on thy list!
In thy son didst thou love me,
So that I with him might be
Ever as joint-heir included,
Hast a pact with me concluded.

As a keepsake I’ll enshrine it
Every day that I see dawn,
Round my heart I will entwine it,
Sewn around my arm have worn!
Jesu’s love to all below,
Is the only thing I know
Which can stop my soul from aching,
Though my heart is almost breaking.

I the angel host resemble
Not in all points I confess,
Though I sin imbibe and tremble
In my flesh so weak (alas)
Grant me, God, the strength to win
O’er the poisoned juice of sin,
In the egg can it be killing
Ere it Basilisks starts spilling.

May I always seek to arm me,
Satan’s wiles to leave untried,
So he falsely cannot charm me
With his lust-inducing bride:
Pray, o Jesus, pray for me
When he draws near secretly
And like wheat would seek to sift me,
So my faith may still uplift me.

Grant me fortune that I, even
Though I fear, ask thee for bread,
Not be grieving like some heathen
Though the path of need I tread:
Bless my house and home and wife,
Help my children on in life,
Let all in thy shadow purely
Live both calmly and securely.

Dwell in us, o God, preserve us
With thy truly saving word,
Guide the shepherds who shall serve us
At the table of Our Lord.
Give our king both strength and health,
Grant his land both peace and wealth,
May from wisdom’s spring his steady
And shrewd counsel aye be ready.

Make our land like Sion’s mount
Full of fruit and rich delight,
All calamity surmount,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let no fire or flood demand
Mastery of this our land,
Let no pestilence or hunger
Shorten our days’ measured number.

If misfortune would enslave me
Fill this day with gloom apace,
Thou, o God, alone canst save me,
Thou canst help in such a case,
So my foot can surely tread
On the rightful path ahead,
Satan from all glee be keeping
If despondently I’m weeping.

May I days of peace be spending
Till my final goal draws near,
Grant me, God, a blessed ending,
May death’s cup to me bring cheer!
In death’s midst may I stand glad,
In my Saviour’s armour clad,
Full of faith, with joyful spirit

That great other world inherit.