BWV 199 Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity.

Georg Christian Lehms, Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer (Darmstadt, 1711); Facs: Neumann T, p. 260.

6. Johann Heermann, verse 3 of "Wo soll ich fliehen hin," 1630 (Fischer-Tümpel, I, #322).

12 August 1714, Weimar; several performances after 1714.

NBG XIII, 2; NBA I/20.


1. Recit. (S)

My heart is bathed in blood,
For now my sins' great brood
Within God's holy vision
A monster makes of me.
And now my conscience feels the pain:
For me my sins can nought
But hell's own hangmen be.
O hated night of sin!
Thou, thou alone
Hast brought me into such distress;
And thou, thou wicked seed of Adam,
Dost rob my soul of all its peace
And shuts to it the heav'nly gate!
Ah! What unheard-of pain!
My dried and wasted heart
Will after this no comfort moisten,(1)
And I must hide myself before him
Before whom very angels must conceal their faces.

2. Aria and Recitative (S)

Silent sighing, quiet mourning,
Ye may all my pains be telling,
For my mouth is tightly closed.

    And ye humid springs of weeping
    Could a certain witness offer
    To my sinful heart's remorse.

My heart is now a well of tears,
My eyes are heated sources.
Ah God! Who will give thee then satisfaction?

3. Recit. (S)

But God to me shall gracious be,
For I my head with ashes,
My countenance with tears am bathing,
My heart in grief and pain am beating
And filled with sadness say now:
God be this sinner gracious!
Ah yes! His heart shall break
And my own soul shall say:

4. Aria (S)

Deeply bowed and filled with sorrow
I lie, dearest God, 'fore thee.

    I acknowledge all my guilt,
    But have patience still with me,
    Have thou patience still with me!

5. Recit. (S)

Amidst these pains of grief
To me comes now this hopeful word:

6. Chorale (S)

I, thy sore-troubled child,
Cast ev'ry sin of mine,
All ye which hide within me
And me so fiercely frighten,
Into thine own deep wounds now,
Where I've e'er found salvation.

7. Recit. (S)

I lay myself into these wounds now
As though upon a very crag;
They shall be now my resting place.
Upon them will I firm in faith be soaring,
In them content and happy singing:

8. Aria (S)

How joyful is my heart,
For God is reconciled
And for my grief and pain
No more shall me from bliss
Nor from his heart exclude.


1. Instead of befeuchten 'moisten' NBG XIII, 2 reads befruchten 'make fertile.'


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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