A virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Words: Paul Gerhardt, 1650 (Wir singen dir, Immanuel). Translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, Lyra Germanica (London & New York: George Newnes & Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1855), pages 18–19.
Thee, O Immanuel, we praise,
The Prince of Life and Fount of Grace,
The Morning Star, the Heav’nly Flower,
The virgin’s Son, the Lord of Power.
With all Thy saints, Thee, Lord, we sing,
Praise, honor, thanks to Thee we bring,
That Thou, O long expected guest,
Hast come at last to make us blest!
Since first the world began to be,
How many a heart hath longed for Thee;
Long years our fathers hoped of old
Their eyes might yet Thy light behold.
The prophets cried,
Ah, would He came
To break the fetters of our shame;
That help from Zion came to men,
Israel were glad, and prospered then!
Now art Thou here; we know Thee now,
In lowly manger lieth Thou;
A child, yet makest all things great,
Poor, yet is earth Thy robe of state.
From Thee alone all gladness flows,
Who yet shalt bear such bitter woes;
Earth’s light and comfort Thou shalt be,
Yet none shall watch to comfort Thee.
All heav’ns are Thine, yet Thou dost come
To sojourn in a stranger’s home;
Thou hangest on Thy mother’s breast
Who art the joy of spirits blest.
Now fearless I can look on Thee,
From sin and grief Thou sett’st me free;
Thou bearest wrath, Thou conquerest death,
Fear turns to joy Thy glance beneath.
Thou art my Head, my Lord divine,
I am Thy member, wholly Thine,
And in Thy Spirit’s strength would still
Serve Thee according to Thy will.
Thus will I sing Thy praises here
With joyful spirit year by year;
And they shall sound before Thy throne,
Where time nor number more are known.