O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

Tune: Herzlich tut mich verlangen

  1. O sacred Head, now wounded,
    With grief and shame weighed down,
    Now scornfully surrounded
    With thorns, Thine only crown.
    O sacred Head, what glory,
    What bliss, till now, was Thine,
    Yet, though despised and gory,
    I joy to call Thee mine.
  2. O noblest brow, and dearest,
    Though judges of the world
    All feared, when Thou appeared’st,
    What shame on Thee is hurled!
    How art Thou pale with anguish,
    With sore abuse and scorn;
    How does that visage languish,
    Which once was bright as morn.
  3. Now from Thy cheeks has vanished
    Their color, once so fair;
    From Thy red lips is banished
    The splendor that was there.
    Pale Death, with cruel rigor,
    Bereaveth Thee of life;
    Thus losest Thou Thy vigor
    And strength in this sad strife.
  4. My burden, in Thy Passion,
    Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
    For it was my transgression
    Which brought this woe on Thee.
    I cast me down before Thee,
    Wrath were my rightful lot;
    Have mercy, I implore Thee,
    Redeemer, spurn me not!*
  5. My Shepherd, now receive me!
    My Guardian, own me Thine!
    Great blessings Thou didst give me,
    O Source of gifts divine!
    Thy lips have often fed me
    With milk and sweetest food;
    Thy Spirit oft hath led me
    To stores of heav’nly good.
  6. Here will I stand beside Thee,
    From Thee I will not part;
    O Savior, do not chide me!
    When breaks Thy loving heart,
    When soul and body languish
    In death’s last fatal grasp,
    Then, in Thy deepest anguish,
    Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.
  7. Naught ever so much blesses,
    So much rejoices me,
    As when in Thy distresses
    I take a part with Thee.
    Ah, well for me if lying
    Here at Thy feet, my Life,
    I, too, with Thee were dying
    And thus might end my strife!
  8. Thanks from my heart I offer
    Thee, Jesus, dearest Friend,
    For all that Thou didst suffer;
    My good didst Thou intend.
    Ah! grant that I may ever
    To Thy truth faithful be;
    When soul and body sever,
    May I be found in Thee!*
  9. When hence I must betake me,
    Lord, do not Thou depart!
    O nevermore forsake me
    When death is at my heart!
    When soul and body languish,
    O leave me not alone,
    But take away mine anguish
    By virtue of Thine own!
  10. Be Thou my Consolation
    And Shield when I must die;
    Remind me of Thy Passion
    When my last hour draws nigh.
    Mine eyes shall then behold Thee,
    Upon Thy cross shall dwell,
    My heart by faith enfold Thee.
    Who dieth thus dies well!

O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden
Paul Gerhardt, 1652
Tr. composite
Sources: Sts. 1–2, James Waddel Alexander, 1861, alt.
Sts. 3–10, Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, 1912

* Alternate Stanzas:

  1. What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered
    Was all for sinners’ gain;
    Mine, mine was the transgression,
    But Thine the deadly pain
    Lo! Here I fall, my Savior,
    ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
    Look on me with Thy favor,
    Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.
  1. What language shall I borrow
    To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
    For this Thy dying sorrow,
    Thy pity without end?
    Oh, make me Thine forever!
    And should I fainting be,
    Lord, let me never, never,
    Outlive my love for Thee.