A safe stronghold our God is still
A safe stronghold our God is still. Martin Luther* (1483-1546), translated by Thomas Carlyle* (1795-1881).
This is a translation of Luther’s magnificent hymn based on Psalm 46, ‘Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott’*, the date of which is uncertain (perhaps 1529). Carlyle had been studying German literature during the 1820s, and was supporting himself in part by publishing essays on German authors and by translating. This translation appeared in Fraser’s Magazine in 1831, entitled ‘Luther’s Psalm’. In it Carlyle said that he thought that the words had never before been printed in England, and that Luther was ‘a Man… not only permitted to enter the sphere of Poetry, but to dwell in the purest...
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