Wessobrunn Prayer

Wessobrunn Prayer

(Wessobrunner Gebet). Wessobrunn is a Bavarian village in which, according to documentary evidence, duke Thassilo established a monastery in 760; others say 740. Certain remnants of the studies of the monks there domiciled, upon geography, weights and measures, and also certain important glosses of the 8th century, have been preserved, and particularly this prayer, which exists in a codex now at Munich, and which antiquarians assign to the 8th century. The entire piece, as given in Wackernagel's Altdeutsches Lesebuch, 3d ed. page 61, reads:

Dat gefregin ih mit firahim This learned I among men firiuuizzo meista, As the greatest of wisdoms, dat ero ni uuas That earth was not noh ufhimil, Neither the heaven above, noh paum noh pereg Nor tree nor hill ni uuas, Was not, ni nohheinig, Neither was any [star], noh sunna ni scein, Nor the sun shone not, noh mano ni liuhta Nor the moon gave no light, noh der mareo seo. Nor the high sea. Do dar niuuiht ni uuas When there was nothing enteo ni uunteo Of ends and bounds enti do uuas der eino And there was the one almahtico Cot, Almighty God, manno miltisto; The mildest of men; enti dar uuarun auh ma- And there were also with make him mit inan cootlthhe geista. Many godlike spirits.

Enti Cot heilac, Cot almah- And God holy, God Al tico mighty, du himil enti erda gauuo- Who hast made heaven and rahtos, earth, enti da mannun sa manac And who hast given to men coot, so many a good; forgapi, forgip mir in dino Give me true confidence in ganada rehta galaupa enti thy grace cotan And good nuilleon, uutstom, enti spa- Will, wisdom, and judg- hida, ment enti craft tiuflun za uuidar- And hope to withstand dev- stantanue ils enti arc za piuuisanne enti And throw off the evil and dinan thy uuilleon za ganurchanne. Will to perform.

Rettberg argues (2:781) from the superscription to the first part of the piece (De Poeta) that it was taken from some other source by the author, who appended to it the second part containing his prayer for faith and strength. Part first seems to be designed for a hymn on the creation, which, however, is not carried beyond the stage of God's premuudane existence. Part second is almost word for word the same as a prayer in St. Emmeraus manuscript, with Latin translation, which was closed in 821. Grimm (Geschichte d. deutschen Sprache, page 484 sq.) states that the dialect in which the entire piece is written is genuine old High-German.

See Pertz, Monum. Germ. 11:215 sq.; Monum. Boica. Mon. (1766), 7:327; Mabillon, Annales Benedict. 2:153; Hund, Metropolis Salisburg. Ratisp. (1719), 3:335 sq.; Zedler, Universal-Lexikon (Leips. 1748), 45; Geograph.-Lexikon (ibid. 1749), 12; Wiltsch, Handb. d. kirchl. Geogr. u. Statistik (Berl. 1846), 1:380; Rettberg, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands, 2:166; the brothers Grimm, Die beiden altesten deutschen Gedichte

(Cassel, 1812); Massmann, Erlauterungen zum Wessobr. Gebet; Wackernagel, Das Wessobr. Gebet u. d. Wessobr. Glossen (Berl. 1827): — id. Auswahl deutsch. Gedichte, 4th ed. page 228; Feussner, Die altesten alliterirenden Dichtungsreste in hochdeutscher Sprache (Hanau, 1845); Kehrein, Proben d. deutsch. Poesie u. Prosa, 1:18; Putz, Altdeutsches Lesebuch (2d ed. Coblentz, 1863), page 15, etc. See also Herzog, Real- Encyklop. s.v.

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