169 O sacred head, sore wounded

The Hymnal 1982 169

O sacred head, sore wounded

herzlich tut mich verlangen (passion chorale)
Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676; Robert Seymour Bridges, 1844-1930; James Waddell Alexander, 1804-1859
Hans Leo Hassler, 1564-1612
Meter D

1. O sacred head, sore wounded, defiled and put to scorn; O kingly head, surrounded with mocking crown of thorn: what sorrow mars thy grandeur? Can death thy bloom deflower? O countenance whose splendor the hosts of heaven adore!

2. Thy beauty, long-desired, hath vanished from our sight; thy power is all expired, and quenched the light of light. Ah me! for whom thou diest, hide not so far thy grace: show me, O Love most highest, the brightness of thy face.

3. In thy most bitter passion my heart to share doth cry, with thee for my salvation upon the cross to die. Ah, keep my heart thus moved to stand thy cross beneath, to mourn thee, well-beloved, yet thank thee for thy death.

4. What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? Oh, make me thine for ever! and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never,never, outlive my love for thee.

5. My days are few, O fail not, with thine immortal power, to hold me that I quail not in death's most fearful hour; that I may fight befriended, and see in my last strife to me thine arms extended upon the cross of life.

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