Monday, May 19, 2008

The Shoemaker Poet

Hans Sachs was a shoemaker in Nuremberg and a contemporary of Martin Luther. He was also a poet, playwright, and singer, crafting over 6,000 pieces. In 1523 he wrote a poem in honor of Martin Luther, which is a beautiful summary of Luther's theology called "The Nightingale of Wittenberg." My hat's off to Hans Sachs, the shoemaker poet:

Luther teaches that we all
Are involved in Adam's fall.
If man beholds himself within,
He feels the bite and curse of sin.
When dread, despair, and terror seize,
Contrite he falls upon his knees.
Then breaks for him the light of day.
Then the Gospel may have sway.
Then sees he Christ, of God the Son,
Who for us all things has done.
The Law fulfilled, the debt is paid,
Death overcome, the curse allayed.
Hell destroyed, the devil bound,
Grace for us with God has found.
Christ, the lamb, removes all sin.
By faith alone in Christ we win.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

A very wonderful poem, indeed! I have found the same in the original German, if anyone cares to read it. It is much longer than this selection, but it is beautiful nonetheless.

You can find the poem, entitled as "Die Wittembergisch Nachtigall," at: