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O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

a hymn in German by
Paul Gerhardt
based on a Latin hymn attributed to
Bernard of Clairvaux
translated from German into English by
James W. Alexander

O Sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and pain weighed down,
How scornfully surrounded,
With thorns Thine only crown!
How pale Thou art with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!

O Lord of Life and Glory,
What bliss till now was Thine!
I read the wondrous story,
I joy to call Thee mine!
Thy grief and Thy compassion
Were all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.

What language shall I borrow
To praise Thee, heavenly Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
Lord, make me Thine forever,
Nor let me faithless prove;
O let me never, never
Abuse such dying love!

Be near me, Lord, when dying;
O, show Thyself to me;
And for my succour flying,
Come, Lord, to set me free:
These eyes, new faith receiving,
From Jesus shall not move;
For he who dies believing
Dies safely through Thy love.


To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.

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