Verse > Anthologies > Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans. > A Harvest of German Verse
Margarete Münsterberg, ed., trans.  A Harvest of German Verse.  1916.
To the Face of the Lord Jesus
By Paulus Gerhardt (1607–1676)
OH, wounded head and bleeding,
By pain and scorn bowed down!
Oh head, the gibes unheeding,
Bound with a thorny crown!
Oh head, once decorated        5
With honours gloriously,
Now tortured so and hated,
I greet and worship Thee!
The pain Thou hast been winning
Should all my burden be:        10
’Tis all through my own sinning—
The torture borne by Thee.
Look, here I stand before Thee,
A sinner in his plight;
Forgive me, I implore Thee,        15
Grant me Thy mercy’s light.
Undaunted I stand by Thee.
Lord, my repentance take!
I’ll tarry when they try Thee,
And when Thy heart must break;        20
When death at last doth hold Thee,
And makes Thy face turn white,
My loving arms shall fold Thee,
Upbear Thee in Thy plight.
This is my consolation,        25
And gives me joyfulness:
Myself and my salvation
I find in Thy distress.
Ah, fain I would be leaving
My life upon Thy tree.        30
Thou art my life: no grieving,
But sweetness that would be!
I thank Thee in my blindness,
Oh Jesus, dearest friend,
For Thy good-will and kindness,        35
Thy suffering to the end.
Oh, let me not forsake Thee,
Not Thee, Thou Faithful One,
When death shall overtake me,
My life in Thine be done.        40
Draw nigh, Thy servant shielding,
A comfort in my death,
Let me behold Thee, yielding
Upon the cross Thy breath:
Aye, long I will behold Thee,        45
Faith in my soul shall dwell,
When to my heart I fold Thee:
Who thus may die, dies well.

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