Sunday, March 28, 2010

Swiss Psalm

The Swiss Psalm is the national anthem of Switzerland. It replaced Rufst Du, Mein Vaterland in 1961. The Psalm, as you might expect, is quite religious. One of the church members that I visited a lot while I was in Switzerland gave me a copy of the lyrics. Here is the unofficial English translation. I think it's quite appropriate for a Sunday.

When the morning skies grow red
And o'er us their radiance shed,
Thou, O Lord, appearest in their light.
When the Alps glow bright with splendour,
Pray to God, to Him surrender,
For you feel and understand,
That He dwelleth in this land.
In the sunset Thou art night
And beyond the starry sky,
Thou, O loving Father, ever near.
When to Heaven we are departing,
Joy and bliss Thou'lt be imparting,
For we feel and understand
That Thou dwellest in this land.
When dark clouds enshroud the hills
And gray mist the valley fills,
Yet Thou art not hidden from Thy sons.
Pierce the gloom in which we cover
With Thy sunshine's cleansing power
Then we'll feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.
Towards us in the wild storm coming,
You yourself give us resistance and stronghold,
You, almighty ruling, rescuing!
During horror and nights of thunderstorms
Let us childlike trust Him!
Yes, we feel and understand;
Yes, we feel and understand
That God dwelleth in this land.
 Isn't is neat that they made it rhyme in English? Click HERE to read the lyrics in German, French, Italian, and Romansh (the four official languages of Switzerland). I tried learning Romansh while I was there. It's closest equivalent is Latin, actually.


Kathy Haynie said...

I do like the rhyme scheme. That takes some real translating skill. I think the 4th verse is my favorite.

And is Romansh the language the gypsies speak? Or is it spoken in a certain region?

Bryan said...

Romansh is spoken by the people who live in the mountains in south-east Switzerland. I think there are only a thousand or two native speakers. I only met maybe three native speakers because I never served in that area.