by Johann Peter Uz (1720 - 1796)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Gott im Ungewitter
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Du Schrecklicher, wer kann vor dir
Und deinem Donner stehn?
[Der Herr ist groß! Was]1 trotzen wir?
Er winkt, und wir vergehn.

Er lagert sich in schwarzer Nacht;
Die Völker zittern schon:
Geflügeltes Verderben wacht
Um seinen furchtbarn Thron.

Rothglühend schleudert seine Hand
Den Blitz aus finstrer Höh:
Und Donner stürzt sich auf das Land,
In [einer]2 Feuersee:

Daß selbst der Erde fester Grund
Vom Zorn des Donners bebt,
Und was um ihr [erschüttert]3 Rund
Und in der Tiefe lebt.

Den Herrn und seinen Arm erkennt
Die zitternde Natur,
Da weit umher der Himmel brennt
Und weit umher die Flur.

Wer schützt mich Sterblichen, mich Staub,
Wenn der im Himmel wohnt,
Und Welten pflückt, wie dürres Laub,
Nicht huldreich mich verschont?

Wir haben einen Gott voll Huld,
Auch [wann]4 er zornig scheint:
Er herrscht mit schonender Geduld,
Der große Menschenfreund.

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Sämtliche Poetische Werke von J. P. Uz. Erster Band. Leipzig in der Dykischen Buchhandlung. 1768, pages 333-334; and with Poetische Werke von Johann Peter Uz. Zweyter Band. Nach seinen eigenhändigen Verbesserungen herausgegeben von Christian Felix Weisse. Wien. Bey J. V. Degen, Buchdrucker und Buchhändler. 1805, pages 265-266.

1 Schubert: "Groß ist der Herr, was"
2 Uz/Weisse (1805 edition): "einem"
3 Schubert: "erschütternd"
4 Schubert: "wenn"

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , "Déu en la tempesta", copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "God in het onweer", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "God in the storm", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Dieu dans la tempête", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 28
Word count: 140

God in the storm
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You who instil terror, who can 
Stand before you and your thunder?
The Lord is great! How can we defy him?
He makes a sign, and we become nothing.

He lies down in the darkness of the night;
The peoples of the world are already trembling:
Winged destruction is on the look-out
Around his terriflying throne.

His hand, glowing red, hurls
The lightning from the dark heights:
And thunder is poured over the land
Into a sea of fire:

With the result that the fixed foundation of the earth
Shakes with the thunder's wrath,
All around trembles
As does everything that lives in the deep.

The Lord and his arm are acknowledged
By trembling nature,
Since far into the distance the sky is burning
Along with the meadows all around.

Who is going to protect me, mere mortal, mere dust,
When he who lives in heaven
And who plucks worlds as if they are dry leaves,
When he refuses to spare me despite his mercy?

We have a God of mercy,
Even when he appears to be wrathful:
He reigns with forgiving patience,
The great friend of human beings.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 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.
    Contact: 

Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2020-12-28
Line count: 28
Word count: 189