1797-1876
portrait

April 6, 1797, Hirzel (near Zürich), Switzerland.

January 2, 1876, Hirzel, Switzerland.

Meta’s father was Diethelm Schweizer, pastor of the Reformed Church in Hirzel. In 1821, she married Johann Jakob Heusser, a physician in Hirzel; Johanna Spyri, author of the famous novel Heidi, was their daughter.

She was of true poetic genius, and may fairly be regarded as the most important of modern German female sacred poets. The Holy Scriptures and the mountain scenery of her lonely home were the chief sources of her poetic inspiration. She was trained in the school of affliction, and her poems breathe the spirit of deep and sincere piety and childlike dependence, are free from all affectation, and speak from the heart to the heart. Her first poems appeared at intervals in Albert Knapp’s Christoterpe. The first series of them were published at Leipzig in 1858 as Lieder einer Verborgenen; reprinted with her name as her Gedichte at Leipzig, 1863. A second series was published at Leipzig in 1867. A large number of her hymns are found in Knapp’s Evangelischer Lieder-Schatz, 1850 and 1865; and in the Deutsches Gesang Buch, 1860, of her friend Dr. Schaff, afterwards adopted as the official book of the American Reformed Church. A full selection of her poems was translated by Miss Jane Borthwick, and was published by Nelson in 1875 as Alpine Lyrics, and included as part of the new edition of Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1884.

Allgemeine Deutsche Biographien, xii, 339, 340, quoted in Julian, p. 519

  1. Danket um alles
    • Give Thanks for All Things
  2. Der du trugst die Schmerzen aller
    • Thou Hast Borne Our Sins and Sorrows
  3. Dunkel ists! des Lebens laute Töne
    • Darkness Reigns—The Hum of Life’s Commotion
  4. Endlich, Endlich, wirst auch du
    • Doubt It Not—Thou Too, Shalt Come
  5. Herz, du hast viel geweinet
  6. Hör ich euch wieder, ihr Töne des Frühlings erklingen
    • Lamb, That Has Suffered, and Lion of Judah Victorious
    • Lamb, the Once Crucified!
    • Voices of Spring, with What Gladness I Hear You Again
  7. Ich weiss, dass mein Erlöser Lebet
    • Yes! My Redeemer Lives, to Save Us
  8. Ich weiss was mich erfreuet
    • I Know What Bringeth Gladness
  9. Noch ein wenig Schweiss und Thränen
    • A Few More Conflicts, Toils, and Tears
  10. O Jesus Christ, mein Leben
    • O Christ, My Life, My Savior
  11. Schweige still
    • Heart, Be Still
    • Peace, Be Still! In This Night
    • Peace, Be Still, Through the Night
  12. So zieh in Gottes Frieden denn
    • Now, in the Peace of God
  13. Theuer ist der Tod der deinen
    • Dear to Thee, O Lord, and Precious
  14. Über ein Kleines
    • A Little While! So Spake Our Gracious Lord
  15. Wilkommen, lieber, lieber Tag
    • We Welcome Thee, Dear Easter Day
  16. Wir werden bei dem Herrn sein allezeit
    • O Blessed Voice—That Voice from Home
    • O Sweet Home Echo on the Pilgrim’s Way
  17. Zu deinen Füssen lass mich liegen
    • Low at Thy Feet My Spirit Lies

Heusser-Schweizer’s burial place