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Guter Hirt, du hast gestillt

Guter Hirt, du hast gestillt. Johann Wilhelm Meinhold* (1797-1851). Written by Meinhold on the death of his 15 month-old son, Joannes Ladislaus, in 1833. It was published in his Gedichte (‘Poems’) in 1835. It was translated by Catherine Winkworth* in Lyra Germanica II (1858) as ‘Gentle Shepherd, thou hast still’d’, and headed ‘The Death of a little Child’. It was included in the Appendix (1868) to the First Edition of A&M. In the days when infant mortality was common, it must have been a hymn of comfort to many, although it speaks of a grief that is almost unbearable:  Guter Hirt, du hast gestillt                              Gentle Shepherd, Thou hast still’d Deines Lämmschens...

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