Heyr himna smiður

This 13th-century devotional poem from Iceland is also the country’s favorite choral work, thanks to music added to it in a more recent century.

Hear, smith of heavens.
The poet seeketh.
In thy still small voice
Mayest thou show grace.
As I call on thee,
Thou my creator.
I am thy servant,
Thou art my true Lord.

God, I call on thee;
For thee to heal me.
Bid me, prince of peace,
Thou my supreme need.
Ever I need thee,
Generous and great,
O’er all human woe,
City of thy heart.

Guard me, my savior.
Ever I need thee,
Through ev’ry moment
In this world so wide.
Virgin–born, send me
Noble motives now.
Aid cometh from thee,
To my deepest heart.

Its text and a translation and the colorful story of its writing are on-line. Not many hymn-writers wage war on their bishops and die from a rock-blow to the head.

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