Continuing the Miserere series for Lent, here is a repost of my translation of "Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott." (E. Hegenwalt, 1524), a paraphrase on Psalm 51, and probably the version that gained the widest acceptance in 16th century hymnals. Terry and Coverdale are included below for comparison.
HAVE MERCY on me, Lord my God,
Of kindness Thou hast ever more,
Cleanse my offenses with Thy blood,
I own my sin, it grieves me sore.
I've sinned against Thy whole command,
This truth confronts me constantly;
Before Thee evil cannot stand,
And Thou art just to punish me.
2. Behold, Lord, I was born in sin,
In sin conceived with great distress,
Truth Thou desirest deep within,
Lay bare Thy wisdom's graciousness.
With hyssop, Lord, asperge my flesh,
If washed by Thee, then I am pure,
More white than snow, more glad and fresh,
My bones rejoice to find their cure.
3. O Lord, view not my sin obscene;
Remove all my unrighteousness,
And make my heart within me clean,
A spirit new within me dress.
From out Thy presence cast me not,
Thy Holy Ghost do not decline,
Salvation's joy, O Lord, allot,
And let the Spirit keep me Thine.
4. I'll teach ungodly men Thy way,
Thy truth by sinners will be learn'd,
That from the wicked paths that stray
To Thee, by Thee, they may be turn'd,
Protect me, Savior, God alone,
From guilt of blood deliver me!
Thy justice let my tongue make known,
Unlock my lips to worship Thee.
5. Thou wouldst no fleshly gift from me
Else had I quickly given it:
So take this spirit crushed to Thee,
This sad and contrite heart admit.
Do not, O God, this gift reject,
But show Thy kindness graciously
To Zion's hill, Thy saints elect,
Who offer righteousness to Thee.
Translation © Matthew Carver, 2009, 2012.