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Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist
Text and Translation of Chorale

EKG: 24
Author: Johann Rist (1641)
Chorale Melody: Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist | Composer: Johann Schop (1641)

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

9

BWV 248

Mvt. 12

1734

9
360

361

80

107
119

D7:12

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

1-9

BWV 454

All

1736

-

-

-

-

F230

Sacred Song

 

BWV 454: NBA No. 12; Schemelli No. 187.
BWV 248/12: Both Breitkopf and Dietel incorrectly identify this chorale as Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ. It is of interest, however that both Breitkopf and Dietel also repeat the same harmonization with the correct identification of the original setting by J.S. Bach
.

 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist,
Und trage groß Verlangen,
Ein kleines Kind, das Vater heißt,
Mit Freuden zu empfangen!
Dieß ist die Nacht, darin es kam
Und menschlich Wesen an sich nahm,
Dadurch die Welt mit Treuen
Als seine Braut zu freien.

Take courage, my weak spirit
And endure great desire
Joyfully to embrace
A little child who is called Father!
This is the night in which he came
And took on human form
So That he might take the world
Faithfully as his bride.

2

Willkommn, o süßer Bräutigam,
du König aller Ehren,
willkommn, o Jesu, Gottes Lamm,
ich will dein Lob vermehren,
ich will dir all mein Leben lang
von Herzen sagen Preis und Dank,
dass du, da wir verloren,
für uns bist Mensch geboren.

Welcome, o sweet bridegroom.
You king of all honour,
Welcome, O Jesus, God's lamb,
I want to increase your praise,
I want throughout my life
To utter for you praise aand thanks from my heart,
Because when we were lost
You were born as a man for our sake.

3

O großer Gott, wie könt' es sein,
Dein Himmelreich zu lassen,
Zu springen in die Welt hinein,
Da nichts denn Neid und Hassen,
Wie köntest du die große Macht,
Dein Königreich, den Freuden-Pracht,
Ja, solch ein herrlichs Leben
Für deine Feind' hingeben?

O great God, how is it possible
To leave your heavenly kingdom
To descend to the world,
Where there is nothing but envy and hate?
How can you give up your great power
Your royal kingdom,the joyous splendour,
Indeed such a magnificent life
For those who are your enemies?

4

Ist doch, Herr Jesu, deine Braut
Ganz arm und voller Schanden;
Noch hast du sie dir selbst vertraut
Am Kreuz in Todesbanden.
Ist sie doch nichts als Úberdruß,
Fluch, Unflat, Tod und Finstern;s,
Noch darfst du ihrentwegen
Den Scepter von dir legen!

Even if , Lord Jesus, your bride is
Quite poor and ignominious,
You have still kept your trust to her
On the cross in the bonds of death.
Even if she is nothing but satiety,
Curse, rubbish,death and darkness,
You still for her sake may
Put aside your sceptre.

5

Du Fürst und Herscher dieser Welt,
Du Friedens Wiederbringer,
Du kluger Rat und tapfrer Held,
Du starker Hellen zwinger,
Wie war es müglich, daß du dich
Erniedrigtest so jämmerlich,
Als wärest du im Orden
Der Bettler Mensch geworden?

You Prince and ruler of this world,
You who bring peace again,
You wise counsellor and bold hero,
You whose strength prevails against hell,
How is it possible that you
Humble yourself so piteously
As if you had become
A beggar among men.

6

O Freudenzeit, o Wundernacht,
Dergleichen nie gefunden!
Du hast den Heiland hergebracht,
Der alles überwunden.
Du hast gebracht den starken Mann,
Der Feur und Wolken zwingen kan,
Für dem die Himmel zittren,
Und alle Berg erschüttren.

O joyous time, o wonderful night,
Such as has never been before.
You have brought the saviour here
Who has overcome all.
You have brought the strong man
Who can compel fire and clouds,
For whom the sky trembles
And all the mountains are shaken

7

Du bleicher Mond, halt eiligst ein
Den blassen Schein auf Erden,
Wirf deinen Glanz zum Stall hinein,
Gott sol gesäuget werden.
Ihr helle Sternlein, stehet stil
Und horcht, was euer Schöpfer wil,
Der schwach und ungewieget
In einem Kripplein liget.

You pale moon, hurry as quickly as possible
To keep your wan light on earth,
Cast your light down in the stable,
God must be suckled.
Your bright stars, stand still
And hear what your creator wants
Who weak and unrocked
Is lying in a little cradle.

8

Du tummes Vieh, was blökest du
Dort bei des Herren Mutter?
Immanuel hält seine Ruh
Allhie auf dürrem Futter,
Dem alle Welt sol dienstbar sein,
Ligt hier, hat weder Brot noch Wein,
Die Wärme muß er meiden,
Frost, Blöß' und Hunger leiden.

You dumb cattle, why do you low
There by the Lord's mother?
Immanuel takes his rest
Here on the hard fodder,
He to whom all the world should serve
Is lying here, he has neither bread nor wine
he must avoid the warmth,
Suffer cold, nakedness and hunger

9

Brich an, du schönes Morgenlicht,
Und laß den Himmel tagen!
Du Hirtenvolk, erstaune nicht,
Weil dir die Engel sagen,
Daß dieses schwache Knäbelein
Sol unser Trost und Freude sein,
Dazu den Satan zwingen
Und alles wiederbringen.

Break out, O beautiful light of morning,
and let the heavens dawn!
You shepherd folk, do not fear
because the angels tell you
that this weak baby boy
shall be our consolation and joy,
subdue Satan
and bring peace at last!

10

O liebes Kind, o süßer Knab,
Holdselig von Geberden,
Mein Bruder, den ich lieber hab'
Als alle Schätz auf Erden,
Kom', Schönster, in mein Herz hinein,
Kom' eiligst, laß die Krippen sein,
Kom', kom', ich wil bei Zeiten
Dein Lager dir bereiten.

Oh dear child, sweet boy.
Lovely in your gestures
My brother, whom I hold dearer
Than all earthly treasures
Come, beautiful one, into my heart
Come most quickly, leave your crib
Come, come I shall in time
Make ready where you shall lie '

11

Sag' an, mein Herzensbräutigam,
Mein' Hoffnung, Freud' und Leben,
Mein edler Zweig aus Jacobs Stamm,
Was sol ich dir doch geben?
Ach nim von mir Leib, Seel und Geist,
Nim alles, was Mensch ist und heißt,
Ich wil mich ganz verschreiben,
Dir ewig treu zu bleiben!

Tell me, bridegroom of my heart,
My hope, joy in life
My noble branch from Jacobs root
What should I then give to you?
Ah, Iaccept from me body, soul and spirit
Take all that is and is called human,
I will dedicate myself wholly
To always be true to you

12

Lob, Preis und Dank, Herr Jesu Christ,
Sei dir von mir gesungen,
Daß du mein Bruder worden bist
Und hast die Welt bezwungen;
Hilf, daß ich deine Gütigkeit
Stets preis' in dieser Gnadenzeit
Und mög' hernach dort oben
In Ewigkeit dich loben!

Let praise, glory and thanks, Lord Jesus Christ
Be sung to you by me
Tbecause you have become my brother
And have overcome the world;
Help so that I may value your goodness
Always in this time of grace
And so that I may hereafter in heaven
Praise you For eternity.

--

English Translation by Francis Browne (May 2009)
Contributed by Francis Browne (May 2009)

Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248: Details
Recordings: Until 1950 | 1951-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1980 | 1981-1990 | 1991-2000 | From 2001 | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
Systematic Discussions:
Cantata 1 | Cantata 2 | Cantata 3 | Cantata 4 | Cantata 5 | Cantata 6 | Part 7: Summary
Individual Recordings:
BWV 248 - Collegium Aureum | BWV 248 - H. Christophers | BWV 248 - J.E. Gardiner | BWV 248 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 248 - R. Jacobs | BWV 248 - N. McGegan | BWV 248 - R. Otto | BWV 248 - K. Richter | BWV 248 - H. Rilling | BWV 248 - P. Schreier | BWV 248 - M. Suzuki | BWV 248 - K. Thomas | BWV 248 - J.v. Veldhoven
Articles:
A Bottomless Bucket of Bach - Christmas Oratorio [D. Satz]
BWV 248:
J.S. Bach - Weinachtsoratorium (Texte) | English-5 | Hebrew-1 | Hebrew-2 | Spanish-2
BWV 248/2:
German-1 | Translations: English-1 | English-3 | English-6 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Hebrew-2 | Hungarian-1 | Indonesian | Russian-1

Geistliche Lieder und Arien BWV 439-507: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Songs | General Discussions | Georg Christian Schemelli - Short Biography

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
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Last update: ýMay 17, 2009 ý23:59:38