The duteous day now closeth, BWV 244.10 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

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Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2020-11-04).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 56 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn with four-part harmony and underlaid words in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2020-11-04).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 113 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in Hymns Ancient & Modern New Standard, melody with words.

General Information

Title: The duteous day now closeth
Composer: Georg Forster
Arranger: Johann Sebastian Bach
Tune: Innsbruck
Lyricist: Robert Bridges

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredChorale   Meter: 776. 778

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or keyboard

First published: 1539
  2nd published: 1785 in Vierstimmige Choralgesänge, Teil 2, no. 117
  3rd published: 1894 in Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe, Band 41
  4th published: 1898 in 389 Choralgesänge, no. 294
  5th published: 1983 in Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard, no. 17
Opus: BWV 0244 , mvt. 10

Description: The words are based on Nun ruhen alle Wälder, the setting is taken from the St Matthew Passion.

External websites: https://embassysingers.de/scores/hymns.html

Original text and translations

English.png English text

The duteous day now closeth,
each flower and tree reposeth,
shade creeps o’er wild and wood:
let us, as night is falling,
on God our Maker calling,
give thanks to him, the giver good.

Now all the heavenly splendour
breaks forth in starlight tender
from myriad worlds unknown;
and man, the marvel seeing,
forgets his selfish being,
for joy of beauty not his own.

His care he drowneth yonder,
lost in the abyss of wonder;
to heaven his soul doth steal:
this life he disesteemeth,
the day it is that dreameth,
that doth from truth his vision seal.

Awhile his mortal blindness
may miss God’s loving-kindness,
and grope in faithless strife:
but when life’s day is over
shall death’s fair night discover
the fields of everlasting life.