On the Peaceful Night-Time

This week we post Sarah’s translation of “Auf die ruhige Nacht-Zeit,” one of Greiffenberg’s lyric poems. Swiss composer Klaus Huber (1924-2017) set this poem to music in 1958. You’ll find a link to a concert video of this work below the translation. You can also find an audio recording on Apple Music.


Star-spangled throne of Heaven
and you, moon, the night’s crown!
Shine while earth’s orb
conceals from us the sun’s bright rays.


Stillness, the grave of thought!
Set worry and fretting aside
and still, still, still in me
every heart-stirring desire.


Now music in the air
sleeps in the cleft of a hollow tree.
Resting, it does not disturb
God-hon’ring desire in me.


Sweet nectar of God-given grace
that blesses me while I sleep!
Let fortune’s light and being
flow and fill me while I’m dreaming.


Shadow, friend of restfulness!
Night—refreshment after labour!
Let not darkness be so deep
it hides the noble light of heaven.


And you, source of serenity,
Lord of my heart, come near
and be my resting place. Even asleep,
I will keep true watch with you.


Close tight, my eyes,
be rich in restfulness.
But you, my spirit, stay awake
to praise your God at midnight.

Click here to read this poem in the original German.

Click here to see a concert video of Klaus Huber’s musical setting.

Spiritual Word-Thunder: in a thunderstorm in the garden

By PROPOLI87 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91220236

Mighty, thundering God! Give thunder-power
to your heart-penetrating Word, so that we see
the Spirit-Lightning, and feel its heat-strike
that snatches all our hearts’ pride away.
This thunder-rumbling has power to transform:
God’s presence reigns in times of terror.
This dreadful cannon-blast is fruitful,
just as God’s zeal is charged with grace.
That wonder-flash, God’s Word, will neither wound the soul
nor weaken the body; to strengthen is his only goal.
His Spirit-subtlety can penetrate unnoticed.
At times, he is pleased to overwhelm with sound.
Protect us, O God, from the clouds’ thunderclaps:
your Word, although it strike us, will transform us.

Click here to read this sonnet in the original German.