I have made this translation and you may use it as you please. (Also see collected Gerhardt translations here.)
1. Go forth, my heart, and seek joy in this beautiful summertime, enjoying the gifts of your God; look, see the beauty of the delightful gardens and see how they have decked themselves out for you and for me.
2. The trees stand full of leaves and similarly the earth is covering itself in green dress; the narcissus and the tulips are attired more beautifully than Solomon in silk.
3. The lark is swinging itself into the air, the little dove flies out of its habitation and flies into the forests; the nightingale delights and fills the mountains, hills, valleys and fields with her song.
4. The hen leads forth her little folk, the stork builds and inhabits his house, the swallow feeds her young. The fast stag and the light deer are glad and come from their heights jumping down into the deep grass.
5. The creek is rustling in the sand, and paints itself into the border with the shadows of the myrtles. The meadows lie next to it and resound with the joyful cry of the sheep and their shepherds.
6. The undeterred swarm of bees flies back and forth, and seeks here and there the noble food of honey; the strong juice of the grapevines is bringing daily further strength into its tender shoots.
7. The wheat is growing with power. About this rejoice the young and the old, praising the great goodness of the One who feeds with such abundance and gives so many good gifts to the soul of man.
8. I, myself, can't and don't want to keep quiet. The great deeds of the great God enliven all my senses; I sing along as everything sings, and let flow out of my heart what resounds to the Highest.
9. Ah, I think, if you are so beautiful here and show us such lovely sights on this poor earth, how wonderful it will be, after this world, there in the rich heavens and life in the golden palace.
10. Oh, what a high pleasure and bright light there will be in Christ's garden! How will it sound when so many thousand seraphim will sing their Halleluia with a firm voice and sound.
11. Oh, that I were there, oh, to stand there, already, ah, sweet God before your throne, and carrying my palm: I would adore your name in the manner of the angels with a thousand beautiful psalms.
12. But at the same time, while I am still here and am bearing the yoke of this body, I do not want to remain silent; my heart shall, as time goes on, bow itself, here and in all places, to your praise.
13. Help me and bless my spirit with blessings that flow from heaven, so that I blossom to you; grant that the summer of your grace will produce much fruit of faith in my soul.
14. Make room in me for your Spirit, so that I will become for you a good tree and let me grow deep roots. Grant that I might be for your glory a beautiful flower or plant in your garden.
15. Elect me to your paradise and let me green for you into the least and furthest branches, in body and soul, so that I shall serve you here now and there in eternity--you alone and no other.
Happy birthday, Joseph!
9 hours ago