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 heart,
    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 heart,
This is such an evil age!

2. Recit. (B)

If thee pursue the wicked world,
Yet hast thou even God as ally,
Who shall, thy foes opposing,
E'er cover thy retreat.
And when the raging furious Herod
The sentence of a death most dreadful
At once upon our Savior laid,
There came an angel in the night
Who said to Joseph dreaming,
That he the strangler should be fleeing
And off to Egypt leaving.
God hath a word which thee with trust doth fill.
He saith: If hill and mountain fall in ruin
If e'er the flooding waters seek to drown thee,
Yet will I still thee not abandon 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
Me to pursue and also 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 thy blood hast paid.
Overcometh every sorrow.
Just take heart, take heart, ye hearts,
Here is fear, there glory reigns!

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

Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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