Hans Sachs (5 November 1494 – 19 January 1576 / Nuremberg)
A Fair Melody: To Be Sung By Good Christians
Awake, my heart's delight, awake
Thou Christian host, and hear
These tones that lovely music make,
God's Word most pure and clear,
That now is sweetly sounding,
While dawn is piercing through the night
Through God's dear love abounding.
The prophets' message now at last
Our ears may hear again,
Locked up therewith in silence fast
Long had the Gospel lain;
But now we hear their voices,
And many an anxious burdened soul
In freedom now rejoices.
For conscience lay oppressed and bound
By bans and men's commands,
Soul-traps and nets were all around;
But now our German lands,
Behold the sun is risen,
And those foul shapes were ghosts and lies,
And dare to burst their prison.
Christ sends us many messengers
His gospel to proclaim,
And all the realm of darkness stirs
To work them death or shame,
And quench the Truth in error;--
O Christendom, thou Bride of God,
Fear not for all their terror!
Trust thou in flattering tongues no more,
Though many they may be;
All human teachings dread thou sore,
Though good they seem to thee;
But put thy whole affiance
In God's good-will and holy Word,
There is our one reliance.
There yield thy heart and soul entire,
What it commands is good;
Where it forbids let no desire
E'er stir within thy blood;
Where it allows, maintain thou
Thy Christian freedom as Paul saith,
Yet from offence refrain thou.
The Word will save thee from the smart
Of sin and pains of hell,
If thou believe it with thy heart
No evil there can dwell;
'Twill make thee pure and holy,
And teach thee that in Jesus lies
Our hope and comfort solely.
Blest be the day and blest the hour
When thou didst see revealed
The Word of God in all its power,
The soul's true strength and shield;
Let nought to thee be dearer
In heaven or earth, no creature-love
E'er to thy heart be nearer.
O Christendom, here give thou heed,
By no false lore perplexed,
Here seek and find true life indeed
For this world and the next;
For he who dies believing
In Christ alone, shall live with Him,
His heavenly joys receiving.
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