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Begrabt den Leib in seine Gruft

Language: German (Deutsch)

Begrabt den Leib in [seine]1 Gruft,
Bis ihm des Richters Stimme ruft!
Wir säen ihn; einst blüht er auf,
Und steigt verklärt zu Gott hinauf!

Grabt mein verwesliches Gebein,
O ihr noch Sterblichen, nur ein!
Es bleibt, es bleibt im Grabe nicht!
Denn Jesus [kömmt]2, und hält Gericht!

Aus Staube schuf ihn einst der Herr!
Er war schon Staub; und wirds nur mehr! 
Er liegt, er schläft, verwest, erwacht 
Dereinst aus dieses Todes Nacht! 

Du wirst mein aufgelöst Gebein,
O du Verwesung, weit verstreun!
Allein gezählt ist, wie mein Haar,
Mein Staub! Gott weckt mich wunderbar!

Des Frommen Seele lebt bey Gott,
Der sie aus aller ihrer Noth,
Aus aller ihrer Missethat,
Durch seinen Sohn erlöset hat!

Gott ist barmherzig, und verstößt
Im Tode nicht, die er erlöst,
Die nicht, für deren Missethat,
Sein Mittler sich geheiligt hat!

Er wandelt' hier im finstern Thal!
Er duldete viel Schmerz und Qual!
Du trugest Jesu Christi Joch!
Entschlummertest; und lebest noch!

Bey euch hat Trübsal mich gedrückt!
Nun hat mich Gottes Ruh erquickt!
Im finstern Thale wandelt' ich;
Doch führte Gottes Rechte mich!

Er litt vielmehr, der uns versöhnt,
Und himmlisch seine Sieger krönt!
O Lohn! o Lohn für wenig Pein!
Dann wirds wie Träumenden uns seyn!

Ich trug sein Joch bis an mein Grab!
Nun wischt er meine Thränen ab!
Was sind die Leiden jener Zeit,
Gott, gegen deine Herrlichkeit!

Du Todter Gottes! schlummr’ in Ruh! 
Wir gehn nach unsern Hütten zu, 
Und machen zu der Ewigkeit,
Mit Freud und Zittern uns bereit! 

Ja, lasset mich in meiner Ruh,
Und geht nach euren Hütten zu!
Schaft, daß ihr selig werdet! ringt, 
Bis ihr euch auch der Erd entschwingt! 

Ach, Gottgeopferter! dein Tod
Stärk uns in unsrer lezten Noth!
Laß unsre ganze Seele dein,
Und freudig unser Ende seyn!

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE

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Confirmed with Klopstock, Geistliche Lieder. Erster Theil. Kopenhagen und Leipzig, bey Friedrich Christian Pelt, 1758, pages 216-219; and with Klopstocks Werke. Siebenter Band. Oden, Geistliche Lieder, Epigramme. Leipzig bey Georg Joachim Göschen. 1804, pages 237-239.

1 Klopstock (Wien 1784 edition), and Schubert: "seiner"
2 Schubert: "kommt"

Note: The Neue Gesamtausgabe revealed that Schubert set all 13 stanzas of Klopstock's poem, repeating the music of the double stanza 1-2 five times, ending with the single stanza 13 as a musical coda.

Submitted by Caroline Diehl and Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , no title, copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2019-02-05 02:50:32
Line count: 52
Word count: 297

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Bury the body in its vault

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Bury the body in its vault,
Until the voice of the judge calls him!
We are sowing him; he will in time bloom
And climb, enlightened, up to God!

Bury my decaying body,
O you who are also mortal!
It will not remain or stay in the grave!
For Jesus is coming to sit in judgement!

The Lord once created him out of dust!
He was already dust and will be more of it!
He is lying, asleep, rotting, but he will wake
One day out of this night of death!

This liberated corpse, you are going to
Scatter it widely, o you decay!
As with my hair, you have counted out
My dust! God will awaken me strangely!

The soul of the pious one lives with God.
From all of his crises
And all of his misdeeds
God has redeemed him through his Son!

God is merciful, and does not disown
In death those he has redeemed
Or those whose misdeeds have been
Forgiven by his mediation!

He wandered here in a dark valley!
He suffered great pain and agony!
You carried Jesus Christ's yoke!
You have fallen asleep; you are still alive!

Afflictions do not oppress you!
God's peace has now given me life!
I wandered in the dark valley;
But God's righteousness guided me!

He who redeemed us suffered much more, 
He who is crowned victor in heaven!
O reward, reward for a little suffering!
Then it will belong to us and the mourners!

I carried his yoke as far as my grave!
Now he wipes away my tears!
What are the sufferings of this age,
God, in comparison with your majesty!

You who have died in God, rest in peace!
We are going off to our huts,
To make preparations for eternity,
Getting ready with joy and trembling!

Yes, leave me to my rest,
And go off to your huts!
Act so that you are happy! wrestle
Until you shake off the world!

Oh, sacrificed God! May your death
Strengthen us in our last crisis!
Let our whole soul be yours,
And let our end be joyful!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translation of title "Nun laßt uns den Leib begraben" = "Let us now bury the body"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Malcolm Wren, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Text added to the website: 2016-09-10.
Last modified: 2016-09-10 12:14:57
Line count: 52
Word count: 351