Comfort, comfort, ye my people (Louis Bourgeois)

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  • (Posted 2022-01-01)  CPDL #67309:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2022-01-01).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 55 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn with harmony and underlaid words in the version published in The Hymnal 1982
  • (Posted 2022-01-01)  CPDL #67308:       
Editor: Andrew Sims (submitted 2022-01-01).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 92 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The hymn in the version published in The Hymnal 1982, melody with words.
  • (Posted 2005-12-11)  CPDL #10399:       
Editor: Don Blaheta (submitted 2005-12-11).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 86 kB   Copyright: CC BY-NC 2.5
Edition notes: English text from Catharine Winkworth on German hymn melody

General Information

Title: Comfort, comfort, ye my people
Composer: Louis Bourgeois, 1551
Tune: Psalm 42

Translation by Catherine Winkworth

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: S
Genre: SacredHymnCarol   Meter: 87. 87. 77. 88

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella or keyboard

First published: 1860
Description: Translation of a German text by Johannes Olearius, on the melody of Freu dich sehr, oh meine Seele (Genevan psalter, psalm 42). The Hymnal 1982 attributes the melody to Claude Goudimel. The harmony is "from The Hymnal 1982", but there is no copyright acknowledgement.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English translation

(a translation of Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben (Johannes Olearius))

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning 'neath their sorrow's load;
speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

For the herald's voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
bidding all men to repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain:
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign,
For the glory of the Lord
now o'er earth is shed abroad,
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.

German.png German text

Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben,
Tröstet mein Volk, spricht mein Gott;
Tröstet, die sich jetzt betrüben
Über Feindes Hohn und Spott.
Weil Jerusalem wohl dran,
Redet sie gar freundlich an;
Denn ihr Leiden hat ein Ende,
Ihre Ritterschaft ich wende.

Ich vergeb' all ihre Sünden,
Ich tilg' ihre Missetat,
Ich will nicht mehr sehn noch finden,
Was die Straf' erwecket hat;
Sie hat ja zweifältig Leid
Schon empfangen; ihre Freud'
Soll sich täglich neu vermehren
Und ihr Leid in Freud' verkehren.

Eine Stimme läßt sich hören
In der Wüste weit und breit,
Alle Menschen zu bekehren:
Macht dem Herrn den Weg bereit,
Machet Gott ein' ebne Bahn;
Alle Welt soll heben an,
Alle Tale zu erhöhen,
Daß die Berge niedrig stehen.

Ungleich soll nun eben werden
Und, was höckricht, gleich und schlecht;
Alle Menschen hier auf Erden
Sollen leben schlecht und recht;
Denn des Herren Herrlichkeit,
Offenbar zu dieser Zeit,
Macht, daß alles Fleisch kann sehen,
Wie, was Gott spricht, muß geschehen.

Johannes Olearius (1611-1684)