Nicolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig

My spirit opened its eyes,

Saw itself on the brink of the abyss,

Searched with trembling and fear

Everywhere for a power to save,

And found God in all things,

Found Him in the songs of the poets,

Found Him in the work of the sages,

Found Him in the myths of the North,

Found Him in the records of history,

But clearest of all it still

Found Him in the Book of Books.

~~~

Jesus, the name without compare;

Honored on earth and in heaven,

Wherein the Father’s love and care

Are to His children now given.

Saviour of all that saved would be,

Fount of salvation full and free

Is the Lord Jesus forever.

Jesus, the name alone on earth

For our salvation afforded.

So on His cross of precious worth

Is in His blood it recorded.

Only in that our prayers are heard,

Only in that when hearts are stirred

Doth now the Spirit us comfort.

Jesus, the name above the sky

Wherein, when seasons are ended,

Peoples shall come to God on high,

And every knee shall be bended,

While all the saved in sweet accord

Chorus the praise of Christ, the Lord,

Savior beloved by the Father.

~~~

Hail Thee, Savior and Atoner!

Though the world Thy name dishonor,

Moved by love my heart proposes

To adorn Thy cross with roses

And to offer praise to Thee.

O what moved Thee so to love us,

When enthroned with God above us,

That for us Thou all wouldst offer

And in deep compassion suffer

Even death that we might live.

Love alone Thy heart was filling

When to suffer Thou wert willing.

Rather givest Thou than takest,

Hence, O Savior, Thou forsakest

All to die in sinner’s place.

Ah, my heart in deep contrition

Now perceives its true condition,

Cold and barren like a mountain,

How could I deserve the fountain

Of Thy love, my Savior dear.

Yet I know that from thy passion

Flows a river of salvation

Which can bid the mountain vanish,

Which can sin and coldness banish,

And restore my heart in Thee.

[135]

Lord, with tears I pray Thee ever:

Lead into my heart that river,

Which with grace redeeming cleanses

Heart and soul of all offences,

Blotting out my guilt and shame.

Lord, Thy life for sinners giving,

Let in Thee me find my living

So for Thee my heart is beating,

All my thoughts in Thee are meeting,

Finding there their light and joy.

Though all earthly things I cherish

Like the flowers may fade and perish,

Thou, I know, wilt stand beside me;

And from death and judgment hide me;

Thou hast paid the wage of sin.

Yes, my heart believes the wonder

Of Thy cross, which ages ponder!

Shield me, Lord, when foes assail me,

Be my staff when life shall fail me;

Take me to Thy Paradise.

Of all the Danish hymnwriters I encountered in this brief study, Grundtvig is my favourite. I will never be able to pronounce his name but I can sing his hymns with joy:

So for Thee my heart is beating

Oh to be able to write like that!

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