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The following are links to English translations for Bach's cantatas and other works rendered in Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. We are pleased for you to peruse these translations for your own enjoyment, but please respect the artistic product they represent and reprint only by permission. Contact office@bachvespersnyc.org for more information.

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Text for Cantata 13
Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen 
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)


1. ARIA TENORE
Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen
     My sighs, my tears
können nicht zu zählen sein.
     cannot be numbered.
Wenn sich täglich Wehmut findet
     If melancholy is to be found daily
und der Jammer nicht verschwindet,
     and lament will not diminish,
ach! so muß uns diese Pein
schon den Weg zum Tode bahnen.
     alas! then this pain must
     pave the path to death.     

2. RECITATIVO ALTO
Mein liebster Gott lässt mich
     My dearest God allows me
annoch vergebens rufen
     still to cry in vain
und mir in meinem Weinen
     and unto me in my weeping
noch keinen Trost erscheinen.
     no comfort yet appears.
Die Stunde lässet sich zwar wohl von ferne sehen,
     The hour in fact can be seen in the distance,
allein ich muß doch noch vergebens flehen.
      but I must still ever plea to no avail.
 
3. CORALE ALTO
Der Gott, der mir hat versprochen
     This God, who has promised me
seinen Beistand jederzeit,
     his assistance at any time,
der lässt sich vergebens suchen
     he lets [me] search in vain
jetzt in meiner Traurigkeit.
     now during my sadness.
Ach! Will er denn für und für
     Alas! Will he then forever and ever
grausam zürnen über mir,
     cruelly rage before me,
kann und will er sich der Armen
itzt nicht wie vorhin erbarmen?
     can and will he now have
     no mercy on the poor as previously. 
 
4. RECITATIVO SOPRANO
Mein Kummer nimmet zu
     My troubles are mounting
und raubt mir alle Ruh,
     and rob me of all rest,
mein Jammerkrug ist ganz mit Tränen angefüllet,
     my jar of lament is completely filled by tears,
und diese Not wird nicht gestillet,
     and this agony will not be stilled
so mich ganz unempfindlich macht.
     thus making me utterly apathetic.
Der Sorgen Kummernacht
     The troubled night of worry
drückt mein beklemmtes Herz darnieder,
     presses down my oppressed heart,
drum sing ich lauter Jammerlieder.
     thus I sing songs of pure lament.
Doch, Seele, nein,
     Yet, soul, no,
sei nur getrost in deiner Pein:
     just take comfort in your pain:
Gott kann den Wermutsaft gar leicht in Freudenwein verkehren
     God can transform the wormwood’s sap easily into wine of joy,
und dir alsdenn viel tausend Lust gewähren.
     and thereupon impart to you thousand-fold delight.
 
5. ARIA BASSO
Ächzen und erbärmlich Weinen
     Groaning and abject weeping
hilft der Sorgen Krankheit nicht;
     do not help the ailment of worry.
Aber wer gen Himmel siehet
     But whoever looks toward heaven
und sich da um Trost bemühet,
     and ventures there for comfort
dem kann leicht ein Freudenlicht
in der Trauerbrust erscheinen.
     in him is easily apparent a lamp of joy
     within the grieving breast.
 
6. CORALE
So sei nun, Seele, deine
     So now soul, be your own
und traue dem alleine,
     and trust in only him
der dich erschaffen hat;
     who has created you;
es gehe, wie es gehe,
     whatever will be, will be,
dein Vater in der Höhe,
     your Father on high
der weiß zu allen Sachen Rat.
      knows council in all matters.


___________________________________________________________
COMPOSED: January 20, 1726 (Leipzig) for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
LIBRETTIST:  Georg Christian Lehms (1711);  Mvt. 3. Johann Heermann, stanza 2 of Zion klagt mit Angst und Schmerzen (1636); Mvt. 6. Paul Fleming, stanza 9 of In allen meinen Taten (1642)
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck, 2012 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only, please. office@bachvespersnyc.org

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