Sunday 7 November 2021

Thomas Kingo: 'Dend klare Sool gaar ned'


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.


No comments: