There was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Genesis 1:5
Words: Paul Gerhardt (1607–1676). First published in the third set of Ebeling’s Pauli Gerhardi Geistliche Andachten in 1666 under the title Morning Blessing. The original German had 12 verses; the verses we are familiar with are the original verse 4 (Evening and morning) and 9 (Father, oh, hear me).
The translation below, by Richard Massie (1800–1887), appeared in the 1857 edition of William Mercer’s The Church Psalter and Hymn Book. Other translators of this hymn include John Kelly, who translated all 12 verses in his Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs (London, 1867) and Herman H. M. Brueckner, whose translation appeared in the American Lutheran Hymnal, 1930. Ironically, Brueckner’s translation did not include the original verse 4 (Evening and Morning), the most familiar beginning verse.
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Evening and morning, sunset and dawning,
Wealth, peace and gladness, comfort in sadness,
These are Thy works; all the glory be Thine!
Times without number, awake or in slumber,
Thine eye observes us, from danger preserves us,
Causing Thy mercy upon us to shine.
Father, O hear me, pardon and spare me;
Calm all my terrors, blot out my errors,
That by Thine eyes they may no more be scanned.
Order my goings, direct all my doings;
As it may please Thee retain or release me;
All I commit to Thy fatherly hand.