BWV 173a Durchlauchster Leopold

Birthday of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen (10 December).

Poet unknown.

10 December 1717-1722?, Cöthen; Parody: 1-5, 8 → BWV 173; 7→  BWV 175/4.

BG 34; NBA I/35.

1. Recit. (S)

Illustr'ous Leopold,
Now singeth Anhalt’s world
Again with glad contentment,
Thy Cöthen comes to thee
To bow the knee before thee,
Illustr'ous Leopold!

2. Aria (S)

Golden sunlight’s happy hours,
Those which heav'n itself doth gather,
Make again now their appearance;
Praising, singing, tuning lyres,
That his fame may be extended!

3. Aria (B)

Leopold’s most splendid virtues
Give to us now much to do.
    Mouth and spirit, ear and vision
    Cannot now midst his good fortune,
    Which doth gladly tend him, rest

4. Aria (B, S)

Here beneath his purple hem
Is great gladness
Born of sadness;
Each one gives he ample room
Blessing’s riches to enjoy here,
Which like fertile streams are flowing.

And as a country’s father should,
He sustaineth,
Harm averteth;
Therefore now the hope is born
That he shall soon Anhalt’s country
Bring into good fortune’s station.

Yet we’ll let our duty not
In our pleasure
Now escape us,
This day, when e’en heaven’s light
Doth its servant fill with gladness
And upon his scepter smileth.

5. Recit. (S, B)

Illustrious thou, whom Anhalt “Father” calls,
We will in turn our hearts to thee now offer;
From these our breasts, which full with worship burn,
Shall rise our sighing’s fire to heaven soaring.

6. Aria (S)

Behold this lovely day's bright light
Still many, many times yet.

    And just as now attend it
    High well-being and good fortune,
    So may it see, when it breaks forth
    In future years no trouble here.

7. Aria (B)

Thy name shall like the sun go forth,
E're whiling midst the stars shall stand!
Leopold in Anhalt's borders
Shall in princely fame be glorious.

8. Chorus (S, B)

Lift us, O great Prince, as well,
And all those who for thine honor
Here most humbly raise their voices!
Happy be thy life's full course,
May thy people have such blessing
As upon thine head we're laying!

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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