BWV 135 Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder

Third Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown.

1. Cyriakus Schneegass, verse 1 of the hymn, 1597; the cantus firmus in the bass is the melody of "Herzlich thut mir verlangen" (cf. BWV 161/1); 2-5. based freely on verse 2- 5, respectively; 6. verse 6 of the hymn.

25 June 1724, Leipzig.

BG 28; NBA I/16.


1. Chorus [Verse 1] (S, A, T, B)

Ah Lord, me a poor sinner
Blame not within thy wrath;
Thy solemn rage yet soften,
Else is my hope forlorn.
Ah Lord, may'st thou forgive me
My sin and mercy send,
That I have life eternal
And flee the pain of hell.

2. Recit. (T)

Ah, heal me now, thou soul's physician,
I am so ill and weak;
One could in truth my bones all number,
So grievously have this my toil and woe,
My cross and sorrow dealt with me;
My countenance
Is full of tears and now all swollen;
Like rapid streams they are, which down my cheeks are rolling.
My soul is now with terror torn and anxious;
Ah, thou Lord, why this waiting? (1)

3. Aria (T)

Comfort me, Jesus, in my spirit,
Or I'll sink now into death;
Lift me, lift me through thy dear kindness
From my spirit's great distress.
For in death is nought but stillness,
Where for thee no thought is given.(2)
Dearest Jesus, if it please thee,
Fill with joy my countenance!

4. Recit. (A)

I am from sighing weary,(3)
My soul hath neither strength nor might,
For I the whole night through,
Oft lacking peace of mind and calmness,
In copious sweat and tears am lying.
I fear nigh unto death and am with mourning old,
For my great fear is manifold.

5. Aria (B)

Yield, all ye evildoers,(4)
My Jesus comforts me!

    He brings, when past are tears and weeping,
    The sun of joy once more its radiance;
    The storms of sadness are transformed,
    The enemy must sudden perish
    And their own darts recoil against them.

6. Chorale [Verse 6] (S, A, T, B)

In heaven's throne be glory
With lofty fame and praise
To Son and to the Father
As well in equal wise
To Holy Ghost with honor
For all eternity,
Who shall us all let share in
Eternal blessedness


1. This line is verbatim from verse 2 of the hymn.

2. Cf. Ps. 6:6. This line is verbatim from verse 3 of the hymn.

3. This line is verbatim from verse 4 of the hymn.

4. This line is verbatim from verse 5 of the hymn.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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