O Head Once Filled with Bruises

Representative Text

1 O Head so full of bruises,
So full of pain and scorn,
Midst other sore abuses,
Mock'd with a crown of thorn!
O hear, e'er now surrounded
With brightest majesty,
In death now bow'd and wounded,
Saluted be by me!

2 O Lord, what thee tormented,
Was my sins, heavy load,
I had the debt augmented,
Which thou did'st pay in blood.
Here am I, blushing sinner,
On whom wrath ought to light:
O thou, my health's beginner!
Let thy grace cheer my sight.

3 Own me, Lord, my salvation!
Receive, my Shepherd, me!
I know, thy bitter passion
Is a rich treasury;
And that thou, man of sorrows!
Hast by thy death and blood
Procur'd a new heart for us,
And everlasting good.

4 Humbly I will stand by thee,
Thou deign'st at me to look;
In Spirit let me eye thee
So as thy heart-strings broke,
And as thy limbs extended
In death grew stiff and cold,
Might I thy corpse expanded
Within my arms infold.

5 It yields me consolation,
When I can feed by faith,
My Saviour, on thy passion
And meritorious death;
O what am I enjoying,
Thy flesh and bone, when I
With thee, my Lord, am dying,
What peace divine, what joy!

6 Endow me with good courage,
When yielding up my breath,
And let me see thy image,
Thy lovely form in death;
To thee my eyes I'm raising,
And my election see,
Thee in my heart embracing,
I'd so it constantly.

7 I give thee thanks unfeigned,
O Jesus, friend in need,
For what thy soul sustained,
When thou for me did'st bleed;
Thou wilt preserve me ever,
Till I before thee stand;
Can ought on earth me sever
From thy most faithful hand?

8 With awe I see thee languish,
And watch thy latest breath,
Upon thy tears and anguish
I fix the eye of faith;
Where sight of him allowed,
I then should know; 'Twas He,
My flesh and bone avowed,
My Lord God certainly.

9 When in the arms of Jesus
My lips shall pallid grow,
Then shall that blood so precious,
Which from his wounds did flow,
Anoint my body dying,
My soul will join the blest,
Eternal bliss enjoying;
My flesh in hope shall rest.

Source: Church Hymn Book: consisting of newly composed hymns with the addition of hymns and psalms, from other authors, carefully adapted for the use of public worship, and many other occasions (1st ed.) #CLXXXVIII

Translator (into German): Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >

Translator: John Gambold

Gambold, John, M.A., was b. April 10, 1711, at Puncheston, Pembrokeshire, where his father was vicar. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1730, M.A. in 1734. Taking Holy Orders, he became, about 1739, Vicar of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, but resigned his living in Oct. 1742, and joined the United Brethren [Moravians], by whom lie was chosen one of their bishops in 1754. He d. at Haverfordwest, Sept. 13, 1771. He published an edition of the Greek Testament; Maxims and Theological Ideas; Sermons, and a dramatic poem called Ignatius. About 26 translations and 18 original hymns in the Moravian Hymn Books are assigned to him. One or two of his hymns, which were published by the Wesleys, have been claimed for them, bu… Go to person page >

Author (attributed to): Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard of Clairvaux, saint, abbot, and doctor, fills one of the most conspicuous positions in the history of the middle ages. His father, Tecelin, or Tesselin, a knight of great bravery, was the friend and vassal of the Duke of Burgundy. Bernard was born at his father's castle on the eminence of Les Fontaines, near Dijon, in Burgundy, in 1091. He was educated at Chatillon, where he was distinguished for his studious and meditative habits. The world, it would be thought, would have had overpowering attractions for a youth who, like Bernard, had all the advantages that high birth, great personal beauty, graceful manners, and irresistible influence could give, but, strengthened in the resolve by night visions of his mother (who had died in 1… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O head, so full of bruises, So full of pain and scorn
Title: O Head Once Filled with Bruises
German Title: O Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden
Translator: John Gambold
Author (attributed to): Bernard of Clairvaux
Translator (into German): Paul Gerhardt
Language: English
Notes: Paul Gerhardt translated "Salve caput cruentaturn," the seventh section of the Latin poem "Salve mundi salutare," into German as "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden." John Gambold appears to have translated "O head, so full of bruises" from the German text.
Copyright: Public Domain




The tune HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN has been associated with Gerhardt's text ["O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"] since they were first published together in 1656. The tune's first association with a sacred text was its attachment in 1913 [sic: should read 1613] to Christoph Knoll's funeral text "Herzl…

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Instances (1 - 16 of 16)
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Church Hymn Book #CLXXXVIII

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Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #216

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Hymns of Grace and Truth. 2nd ed. #d245

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Hymns of Worship and Remembrance #d197

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Offices of Worship and Hymns #66

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