In sin’s dark dungeon lying

In sin’s dark dungeon lying
A helpless captive I,
My conscience crucifying,
Heave sigh on weary sigh.
My mortal wound no balm can find,
No help I see around me,
Or solace for my mind.

The Law with heavy lashes
Chastised me for my sin,
Brought me to dust and ashes
With cruel discipline.
No hope I saw; my case was lost,
My heart was bowed with sorrow;
My spirit tempest-tossed.

But Thou dist hear my groaning
And hasting to my aid,
For Thy poor child atoning
Thy sacrifice was made.
The spotless soul was chastened sore
That I should be delivered –
Reclaimed forevermore.

My pains by Thee were taken,
That healing might be mine.
In darkness Thou, forsaken,
Gav’st light on me to shine.
The chastisement on Thee was laid,
Wounded for my transgressions,
And thus my debt was paid.

My heart with grief is stricken
When I survey Thy woes.
Oh! That my love may quicken
To guage how much it owes!
The grief I caused Thee I lament,
My sin has brought Thee sorrow.
Oh! How I now repent.

Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614–1674), Hymns of the Passion: Meditations on the Passion of Christ (translated by Arthur C. Gook, 1978).

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