by Robert Southwell (1561? - 1595)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

This little babe
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): FRE
This little Babe so few days old 
is come to rifle Satan's fold;
all hell doth at his presence quake 
though he himself for cold do shake;
for in this weak unarmèd wise 
the gates of hell he will surprise.

With tears he fights and wins the field, 
his naked breast stands for a shield;
his battering shot are babish cries, 
his arrows looks of weeping eyes,
his martial ensigns Cold and Need 
and feeble Flesh his warrior's steed.

His camp is pitchèd in a stall, 
his bulwark but a broken wall;
the crib his trench, haystacks his stakes; 
of shepherds he his muster makes;
and thus, as sure his foe to wound,
the angels' trump alarum sound.

My soul, with Christ join thou in fight, 
stick to the tents that he hath pight.
Within his crib is surest ward, 
this little Babe will be thy guard.
If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy, 
then flit not from this heavenly Boy.

Authorship

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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Dies kleine Kind", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Ce petit bébé", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Tom White

Text added to the website: 2007-10-01 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-07-26 10:45:45
Line count: 24
Word count: 162

Dies kleine Kind
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Das kleine Kind, erst Tage alt,
erscheint, zu brechen Satans G’walt;
die Hölle zitternd vor ihm fällt,
obwohl es selbst erbebt vor Kält’;
schwach, ohne Waffen wie es ist,
bezwingt die Hölle es mit List.

Die Tränen sind sein siegreich’ Heer,
die bloße Brust ist seine Wehr;
mit Schreien es die Mauern bricht
und Pfeile schickt sein Tränenblick;
seine Paniere: Not und Kält’,
und schwaches Fleisch sein Streitross stellt.

Sein Lager ist in einem Stall,
die Schutzwehr ein durchbrochner Wall;
die Kripp’ sein Schutz, Heuhaufen Wehr,
und Hirten sind sein stehend’ Heer;
dem Feind zu bringen bittern Harm,
trompeten Engel laut Alarm.

Mein Seel’, zieh’ mit, wenn Christus ficht,
bleib bei dem Zelt, das er erricht’;
bei seiner Kripp’ du sicher bist,
dies Kindlein dein Beschützer ist.
Willst deine Feind’ besiegt du sehn,
dann bleib’ beim Himmelsknaben stehn.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.de

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:

Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2015-07-26 00:00:00
Last modified: 2015-07-26 10:46:02
Line count: 24
Word count: 138