Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Ich hab in guten Stunden
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
   Ich hab in guten Stunden
Des Lebens Glück empfunden
Und Freuden [ohne]1 Zahl;
So will ich denn gelassen
Mich auch in Leiden fassen;
[Welch Leben hat nicht seine]2 Qual?
   Ja, Herr, ich bin ein Sünder,
Und stets strafst du gelinder,
Als es der Mensch verdient.
[Will]3 ich, beschwert mit Schulden,
Kein zeitlich Weh erdulden,
Das doch zu meinem Besten dient?
   Dir will ich mich ergeben,
Nicht meine Ruh, mein Leben
Mehr lieben, als den Herrn.
Dir, Gott, will ich vertrauen
Und nicht auf Menschen bauen;
Du hilfst, und du errettest gern.
   Laß du mich Gnade finden,
[Mich]4 alle meine Sünden
Erkennen und bereun.
Jetzt hat mein Geist noch Kräfte;
Sein Heil laß mein Geschäfte,
Dein Wort mir Trost und Leben sein.
   Wenn ich in Christo sterbe,
Bin ich des Himmels Erbe;
Was schreckt mich Grab und Tod?
Auch auf des Todes Pfade
Vertrau ich deiner Gnade;
Du, Herr, bist bei mir in der Noth.
   Ich will dem Kummer wehren,
[Gott]5 durch Geduld verehren,
Im Glauben zu [ihm]6 flehn.
Ich will den Tod bedenken.
[Der Herr wird]7 Alles lenken,
Und was mir gut ist, wird geschehn.

C. Bach sets stanzas 1, 5

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Confirmed with Gellert’s [sic] geistliche Oden und Lieder, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1859, pages 142-143.

1 Lang (on one manuscript): "sonder", but correct when the text is repeated
2 Lang: "Ist denn ein Leben ohne"
3 Lang: "Sollt'"
4 Lang: "Und"
5 Lang: "Dich"
6 Lang: "dir"
7 Lang: "Du Herr! wirst"


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] , Martin Jahn

This text was added to the website: 2016-06-06
Line count: 36
Word count: 186

In happy times I felt
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
   In happy times I felt
The joy of life
And pleasures without number;
Therefore I shall calmly
Submit to suffering;
[What life does not have its]1 agony?
   Yes, Lord, I am a sinner,
And You always punish more gently
Than a person deserves.
[Shall]2 I, weighed down by transgressions,
Not suffer earthly woes,
Which, after all, are to my benefit?
   To You I shall dedicate myself,
Shall not love my peace,
My life, more than the Lord.
In You, God, I shall trust
And not place my faith in people;
You help and You save gladly.
   Let me find grace,
[Let me]3 recognize and regret
All my sins.
Now my spirit still has strength;
Let my salvation be my main concern,
Let Your Word be my comfort and my life.
   When I die in Christ,
I shall be an heir of Heaven;
What should death and the grave alarm me?
Even upon the pathway of death
I trust in Your Grace;
You, Lord, are with me in adversity.
   I shall resist sorrowfulness,
Through patience I shall honour [God]4,
In faith address my pleas to [Him]4.
I shall consider my mortality.
[The Lord]5 shall direct everything,
And that which is for my benefit shall come to pass.

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Translated titles:
"In Krankheit" = "In sickness"
"Ich hab' in guten Stunden" = "In happy times I felt"

1 Lang: "Is there a life then without"
2 Lang: "Should"
3 Lang: "And"
4 Lang: "You"
5 Lang: "You, Lord!"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Sharon Krebs, (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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This text was added to the website: 2017-01-29
Line count: 36
Word count: 207