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The following are links to English translations for Bach's cantatas and other works rendered in Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. We are pleased for you to peruse these translations for your own enjoyment, but please respect the artistic product they represent and reprint only by permission. Contact office@bachvespersnyc.org for more information.

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Text for Cantata 46  
Schauet doch und sehet
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


1. CORO
Schauet doch und sehet,
     Do look and see
ob irgendein Schmerz sei
     whether any a pain exists
wie mein Schmerz, der mich troffen hat.
     like my pain which has afflicted me.
Denn der Herr hat mich voll Jammers gemacht
     For the Lord has caused me to be full of lament
am Tage seines grimmigen Zorns.
     on the day of his grim wrath.

2. RECITATIVO TENORE
So klage du, zerstörte Gottesstadt,
     Wail then, you devastated city of God,
du armer Stein- und Aschenhaufen!
     you meager pile of stone and ash!
Laß ganze Bäche Tränen laufen,
     Let flow streams brimming with tears
weil dich betroffen hat ein unersetzlicher Verlust
     for you are confronted with an irrecoverable loss,
der allerhöchsten Huld,
     that of the Most High’s favor,
so du entbehren mußt durch deine Schuld.
     so you must do without, by your own fault.
Du wurdest wie Gomorra zugerichtet,
     You have been ravaged like Gomorrah
wiewohl nicht gar vernichtet.
     though not completely annihilated.
O besser! wärest du in Grund verstört,
     O better! were you leveled to the ground
als daß man Christi Feind jetzt in dir lästern hört.
     than one hear Christ’s foes blaspheme within you.
Du achtest Jesu Tränen nicht,
     You do not heed Jesus' tears,
so achte nun des Eifers Wasserwogen,
     so heed now the surging waters of fervor
die du selbst über dich gezogen,
     which you have brought upon yourself
da Gott, nach viel Geduld,
     for God, after great forbearance,
den Stab zum Urteil bricht.
     wields the scepter of judgment.

3. ARIA BASSO
Dein Wetter zog sich auf von weiten,
     Your storm is brewing in the distance,
doch dessen Strahl bricht endlich ein
     indeed its bolts will eventually strike
und muß dir unerträglich sein,
     and will be unendurable for you
da überhäufte Sünden
     as the glut of sin
der Rache Blitz entzünden
     kindles the lightning of vengeance
und dir den Untergang bereiten.
     and ruin is brought upon you.

4. RECITATIVO ALTO
Doch bildet euch, o Sünder, ja nicht ein,
     Yet do not indeed suppose, O sinner,
es sei Jerusalem allein
     it is Jerusalem alone
vor andern Sünden voll gewesen!
     which was full of others' sins!
Man kann bereits von euch dies Urteil lesen:
     One can pass this judgment on you as well:
weil ihr euch nicht bessert
     for you do not improve yourselves
und täglich die Sünden vergrößert,
     and daily sin increases,
so müßet ihr alle so schrecklich umkommen.
     thus you all must perish so dreadfully.

5. ARIA ALTO
Doch Jesus will auch bei der Strafe
     Yet Jesus will, even midst this sentence,
der Frommen Schild und Beistand sein,
     be shield and advocate to the devout,
er sammelt sie als seine Schafe,
als seine Küchlein liebreich ein;
     he will herd them in like his sheep,
     like his chicks, abounding in love;
wenn Wetter der Rache die Sünder belohnen,
     when the storm of vengeance requites sinners
hilft er, daß Fromme sicher wohnen.
     he avails that the devout dwell secure.

6. CORALE
O großer Gott von Treu,
     O great God of faithfulness,
weil vor dir niemand gilt
     since before you no one counts
als dein Sohn Jesus Christ,
     other than your Son Jesus Christ
der deinen Zorn gestillt,
     who appeased your wrath,
so sieh doch an die Wunden sein,
     so do consider these wounds of his,
sein Marter, Angst und schwere Pein;
     his torment, anxiety and grave pain;
um seinetwillen schone,
     for his sake spare us,
uns nicht nach Sünden lohne.
     do not reward us according to sin.


___________________________________________________________
COMPOSED: August 1, 1723 (Leipzig) for the 10th Sunday after Trinity
LIBRETTIST: unknown; Mvt. 1. Lamentations 1:12; Mvt. 6. Johann Matthäus Meyfart, an added stanza to Balthasar Schnurr's O großer Gott von Macht (1633)
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck 2013 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only please.  office@bachvespersnyc.org