Ere yet the dawn hath filled the skies

Representative Text

1 Ere yet the dawn hath filled the skies,
Behold my Savior Christ arise;
He chaseth from us sin and night
And brings us joy and life and light.

2 O stronger Thou than death and hell,
Where is the foe Thou canst not quell,
What heavy stone Thou canst not roll
From off the prisoned, suff'ring soul?

3 If Jesus lives, can I be sad?
I know He loves me and am glad:
Tho' all the world were dead to me,
Enough, O Christ, if I have Thee.

4 He feeds me, comforts and defends,
And when I die, His angel sends
To bear me whither He is gone;
For of His own He loseth none.

5 No more to fear or grief I bow,
God and the angels love me now;
The joys prepared for me today
Drive fear and mourning far away.

6 Strong Champion! For this comfort, see,
The whole world bringeth thanks to Thee!
And once we too shall raise above
More sweet and loud the song we love:

Source: American Lutheran Hymnal #437

Author: Johann Heermann

Johann Heermann's (b. Raudten, Silesia, Austria, 1585; d. Lissa, Posen [now Poland], 1647) own suffering and family tragedy led him to meditate on Christ's undeserved suffering. The only surviving child of a poor furrier and his wife, Heermann fulfilled his mother's vow at his birth that, if he lived, he would become a pastor. Initially a teacher, Heermann became a minister in the Lutheran Church in Koben in 1611 but had to stop preaching in 1634 due to a severe throat infection. He retired in 1638. Much of his ministry took place during the Thirty Years' War. At times he had to flee for his life and on several occasions lost all his possessions. Although Heermann wrote many of his hymns and poems during these devastating times, his persona… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Ere yet the dawn hath filled the skies
German Title: Fr├╝hmorgens da sie Sonn' aufgeht
Author: Johann Heermann (1630)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…

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BROOKFIELD (Southgate)



The Cyber Hymnal #1355
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The Cyber Hymnal #1355

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