Thy Manger Is

Thy manger is
My paradise,
O Jesus Christ!
Where feeds my soul delighted.
There ‘fore mine eyes
The Word now lies,
Who to our flesh
In person is united.

Whom wind and sea
Obey, e’en He
In servant’s form
And place for men’s appearing.
God’s own Son, Thou
Assumest now
Clay weak and mean,
Such as our own, art wearing!

Thou, highest Good!
Dost raise our blood
Up to Thy throne,
High o’er all heights whatever!
Pow’r endless, Thou
Art brother now
To us who like
The grass and flowers, wither!

What harm can do
Our soul’s dread foe
To us at all,
Though full of gall his spirit?
The things that he
Accuseth me
And others of,
From Adam we inherit.

Be silent, fiend!
There sits my Friend,
My flesh and blood,
High in the heav’ns enthroned:
What Thou dost smite
The Prince of might
From Jacob’s stem
With honours high hath owned.

His health and light,
Heal and give sight,
And heaven’s Joy
All earthly ill undoeth.
Of joy the Well,
The devil, hell,
And all their pow’r subdueth.

Believing heart,
Whoe’er thou art,
Be of good cheer,
Let nothing e’er depress thee;
Because God’s Son
Makes thee God’s own,
God must prove true
To thee, and ever bless thee.

Now think and see
How gloriously,
He over all
Distress hath thee uplifted.
He who reigns o’er
The angels, more
Than thou art, is
With blessedness not gifted.

Lo! seest thou
Before thee now,
Thy flesh and blood,
Who air and clouds rules ever.
What can there be
(I ask of thee)
That can arise,
To fear thee to deliver?

Things oft affright
Thy feeble sight
And make thee sigh,
Thy consolations vanish:
Come hither, then,
Behold again
Christ’s manger here,
And all misgivings banish.

Though plagued with care,
Yet ne’er despair!
Thy Brother ne’er
Thy misery disdaineth;
His gracious heart
Feels every smart,
Nor when He sees
Our woe, from tears refraineth.

To Him now go,
He’ll help bestow
And rest, and thou
Good cause shalt have for blessing.
Full well He knows
What burns and glows,
What on the heart
Of each sick one is pressing.

He therefore bore
The wrath so sore
Of the dread cross
In His flesh, shrinking never,
That through His pain
He might retain
The memory
Of our distresses ever.

The gate is He
That leadeth me
To present joy,
And to eternal blessing.
He soon doth send
A happy end
To all the grief
On pious heart that’s pressing.

The world’s base pelf
Leave to itself,
And make thou sure,
This treasure thine remaineth.
It firmly keep
Nor let it slip,
It there a crown
For soul and body gaineth!

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs,