For such a time as this: Zwingli’s Song or Prayer of the Plague 1519

At the Beginning of the Illness

Help, Lord God, help

In this trouble!

I think Death is at the door.

Stand before me, Christ;

For Thou hast overcome him!

To Thee I cry:

If it is Thy will,

Take out the dart,

Which wounds me

Nor lets me have an hour’s

Rest or repose!

Will’st Thou however

That Death take me

In the midst of my days,

So let it be!

Do what Thou wilt;

Me nothing lacks.

Thy vessel am I;

To make or break altogether.

For, if Thou takest away

My Spirit

From this earth,

Thou dost it, that it may not grow worse,

Nor spot

The pious lives and ways of others.

In the Midst of the Illness

Console me, Lord God, console me!

The illness increases,

Pain and fear seize

My soul and body.

Come to me then,

With Thy grace, O my only consolation!

It will surely save

Everyone, who

His heart’s desire

And hopes sets

On Thee, and who besides

Despises all gain and loss.

Now all is up.

My tongue is dumb,

It cannot speak a word.

My sense are all blighted.

Therefore it is time

That Thou my fight

Conductest hereafter;

Since I am not

So strong, that I

Can bravely

Make resistance

To the Devil’s wiles and treacherous hand.

Still will my spirit

Constantly abide by Thee, however he rages.

At the End of the Sickness

Sound, Lord God, sound!

I think I am

Already coming back.

Yes, if it please Thee,

That no spark of sin

Rule me longer on earth.

Then my lips must

Thy praise and teaching

Bespeak more

Than ever before,

However it may go,

In simplicity and with no danger.

Although I must

The punishment of death

Sometime endure,

Perhaps with greater anguish

Then would now have

Happened, Lord!

Since I came

So near;

So will I still

The spite and boasting

Of this world

Bear joyfully for the sake of the reward

By Thy help,

Without which nothing can be perfect.

Zwingli, Huldreich. The Latin Works and The Correspondence of Huldreich Zwingli: Together with Selections from His German Works. Edited by Samuel Macauley Jackson. Translated by Henry Preble, Walter Lichtenstein, and Lawrence A. McLouth. Vol. 1. New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1912.