Mennonite Poetry Home | Elmer Wiens


Great grandfather Gerhard Wiensz was born in Steinbach, South Russia on March 19, 1844. In September, 1869 he married Katarina Reimer (born 1848). After a difficult life in Russia, he immigrated to Canada in 1924 in his 80th year. He lived in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan for two years, before moving to Dallas, Oregon where he died in January, 1930. He left the following poem to be read after his death to sum up his life. (excerpted from Wiens, Esther, Tina Wiens, and Victor Wiens. Our Wiensz Heritage).


Gerhard G. Wiensz

When you carry out my corpse
Finally put it in the grave
Let your mouth be filled with praises
And your heart be full of thanks

Praise the Lord the faithful Shepherd
He's longsuffering, full of patience
And I always felt repentance
Of my everyday transgressions

If you need to speak of me
Only let your words be few
For there's none that really knew me
Save for God and me alone

Men perceive what eyes behold
God alone the heart can see
Base desires filled my heart
With resulting agony

One thing can be said of me
I was weak, with blemishes
Now I'm spotless since my Jesus
Washed me clean and cov'red my sin

Now don't sorrow, don't lament
Join with me in heartfelt thanks
Soon, so soon, we'll see each other
Healthy body, joyful heart

All the heartache overcome
All the sorrow, battle scars
Gone forever; No more longing
Waiting for the morning star

Never more will there be parting
From my precious Lord of glory
Hallelujah! Peace and grace
Light and love eternally.

Translated from German by his
great granddaughter Martha Wiensz.




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