Komm, Jesu, komm,
Come,, Jesus . come
Mein Leib ist müde,
My body is weary,
Die Kraft verschwindt je mehr und mehr,
My strength fails me more and more,
Ich sehne mich
I am longing
Nach deinem Friede;
For your peace ;
Der saure Weg wird mir zu schwer!
The bitter way is becoming too difficult for me!
Komm, ich will mich dir ergeben;
Come,I shall give myself to you;
Du bist der rechte Weg, die Wahrheit und das Leben.
You are the right way, the truth and the life.
Drum schließ ich mich in deine Hände
Therefore I put myself in your hands
Und sage, Welt, zu guter Nacht!
And bid goodnight to the world!
Eilt gleich mein Lebenslauf zu Ende,
If my life's course hastens onto the end,
Ist doch der Geist wohl angebracht.
My soul is then well-prepared.
Er soll bei seinem Schöpfer schweben,
It will rise up to be with its creator
Weil Jesus ist und bleibt
For Jesus is and remains
Der wahre Weg zum Leben.
The true way to life.
The text of BWV 229 is unusual for a motet since it is not based on a biblical quotation or a chorale. Bach has used the first and last stanzas of an 11 stanza hymn by Paul Thymich (1656-1694), who belonged to the Thomasschule in Leipzig and wrote this hymn for the funeral of the Rector Jacob Thomasius in 1684. Originally five stanzas from the text were set for five voices by the Thomaskantor Johann Schelle (1648-1701). It is uncertain whether Bach knew this setting, but the text was available in the Wagner hymnal (Andächtiger Seelen geistliches Brand und Gantz-Opfer, Leipzig 1697) which he certainly possessed.
The work is known from a score copied by Christoph Nichelmann, a pupil of Bach. The score is datable to about 1731-2, and probably was written Bach's time in Leipzig. However since its exact date and purpose are unknown many questions to which we would like an answer remain uncertain
(I have not been able to locate the complete text, but the five stanzas set by Schelle with translation can be found out: Hyperion Records)