BWV 58 Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid II (Dialogus)

New Year's Day (Feast of the Circumcision).

Poet unknown.

1. Martin Moller, verse 1 of the hymn, 1587, after "Jesus dulcis memoria" of Bernard of Clairvaux (Wackernagel, I, #38); 5. Martin Behm, verse 2 of "O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht," 1610.

5 January 1727, Leipzig; again in 1733 or 1734.

BG 12, 2; NBA I/4.


1. Chorale (B) and Aria (S)

Ah God, how oft a heartfelt grief

Just forbear, forbear, my spirit,
Confronteth me within these times!
This is such an evil age!
The narrow path is sorrow-filled
Yet the road to blessedness
Which I to heaven travel must.
Leads to pleasure after sorrow.
Just forbear, forbear, my spirit,
This is such an evil age!

2. Recit. (B)

Pursue thee though the wicked world,
Yet thou hast even God as ally,
Who shall, thy foes opposing,
E'er cover thy retreat.
And when enraged the furious Herod
The judgment of a death most scornful
Upon our Savior once pronounced,
There came an angel in the night
Who sent a dream to Joseph,
That he the strangler should be fleeing
And Egypt's refuge seeking.
God hath a word which thee with trust doth fill.
He saith: Though hill and mountain fall in ruin,
E'en though the bloodshed's waters seek to drown thee,
Yet will I still not e'er forsake thee or neglect thee.(1)

3. Aria (S)

I am content in this my sorrow,
For God is my true confidence.

    I have a certain seal and charter,
    And this abides a mighty barrier,
    Unrest in truth by hell itself.

4. Recit. (S)

E'en though the world refrain not
To pursue me and to hate me,
God's hand doth show to me
Another land.
Ah, could today it only happen
That I my Eden might behold yet!

5. Chorale (S) and Aria (B)

I stand before a toilsome road

Just take heart, take heart, ye spirits,
To thee in heaven's paradise;
Here is fear, there glory reigns!
There is my proper fatherland,
And the pleasure of that day
For which thou thine own blood hast shed.
Overcometh ev'ry sorrow.
Just take heart, take heart, ye spirits,
Here is fear, there glory reigns!

1. Cf. Is. 54:10 and Heb. 13:5.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

Back to top