A pilgrim and a stranger

Full Text

1 A pilgrim and a stranger,
I journey here below;
Far distant is my country,
The home to which I go.
Here I must toil and travail,
Oft weary and opprest,
But there my God shall lead me
To everlasting rest.

2 I've met with storms and danger
E'en from my early years,
With enemies and conflicts,
With fightings and with fears.
There's nothing here that tempts me
To wish a longer stay,
So I must hasten forward,
No halting or delay.

3 It is a well-worn pathway;
A host has gone before,
The holy saints and prophets,
The patriarchs of yore.
They trod the toilsome journey
In patience and in faith;
And them I fain would follow,
Like them in life and death.

4 Who would share Abraham's blessing
Must Abraham's path pursue,
A stranger and a pilgrim,
Like him, must journey thro'.
The foes must be encountered,
The dangers must be passed;
A faithful soldier only
Receives the crown at last.

5 So I must hasten forward--
Thank God, the end will come!
This land of passing shadows
Is not my destined home.
That evermore abideth,
The everlasting city,
Jerusalem above,
This evermore abideth,
The home of light and love.

6 There still my thoughts are dwelling,
'Tis there I long to be;
Come, Lord, and call Thy servant
To blessedness with Thee.
Come, bid my toils be ended,
Let all my wand'rings cease;
Call from the wayside lodging
To Thy sweet home of peace.

7 There I shall dwell forever,
No more a parting guest,
With all Thy blood-bought children
In everlasting rest,
The pilgrim toils forgotten,
The pilgrim conflicts o'er,
All earthly griefs behind me,
Eternal joys before.


Source: The Lutheran Hymnal #586

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Translator: Jane Borthwick

Miss Jane Borthwick, the translator of this hymn and many others, is of Scottish family. Her sister (Mrs. Eric Findlater) and herself edited "Hymns from the Land of Luther" (1854). She also wrote "Thoughts for Thoughtful Hours (1859), and has contributed numerous poetical pieces to the "Family Treasury," under the signature "H.L.L." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: A pilgrim and a stranger
German Title: Ich bin ein Gast auf Erden
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1666)
Translator: Jane Borthwick (1858)
Meter: D
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain




William Lloyd (b. Rhos Goch, Llaniestyn, Caernarvonshire, Wales, 1786; d. Caernarvonshire, 1852) composed MEIRIONYDD, which was first published in manuscript form with the name BERTH in Caniadau Seion (Songs of Zion, 1840, ed. R. Mills). The tune is named after the Welsh county Meirionydd in which L…

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