303. I cannot tell

1 I cannot tell how he whom angels worship
should stoop to love the peoples of the earth,
or why as shepherd he should seek the wand'rer
with his mysterious promise of new birth.
But this I know, that he was born of Mary
when Bethl'em's manger was his only home,
and that he lived at Nazareth and laboured,
and so the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is come.

2 I cannot tell how silently he suffered,
as with his peace he graced this place of tears,
or how his heart upon the cross was broken,
the crown of pain to three and thirty years.
But this I know, he heals the broken-hearted,
and stays our sin, and calms our lurking fear,
and lifts the burden from the heavy laden,
for still the Saviour, Saviour of the world is here.

3 I cannot tell how he will win the nations,
how he will claim his earthly heritage,
how satisfy the needs and aspirations
of east and west, of sinner and of sage.
But this I know, all flesh shall see his glory,
and he shall reap the harvest he has sown,
and some glad day his sun will shine in splendour
when he the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is known.

4 I cannot tell how all the lands shall worship,
when, at his bidding, ev'ry storm is stilled,
or who can say how great the jubilation
when ev'ry heart with perfect love is filled.
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
and myriad, myriad human voices sing,
and earth to heav'n and heav'n to earth, will answer:
'At last the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is King!'

Text Information
First Line: I cannot tell how he whom angels worship
Title: I cannot tell
Author: William Young Fullerton, 1857-1932 (alt.)
Meter: 11 10 11 10 11 10 11 12
Language: English
Publication Date: 2000
Scripture: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Topic: Hope and Consolation; Redemption and Salvation; Year A: Lent 2 (10 more...)
Copyright: © Copyright Control
Notes: Now Public Domain
Tune Information
Arranger: Noel Rawsthorne
Meter: 11 10 11 10 11 10 11 12
Key: C Major
Source: Traditional Irish melody
Copyright: Arr. © 1996 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.

More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us