A pilgrim here I wander

Full Text

A pilgrim here I wander,
On earth have no abode,
My fatherland is yonder,
My home is with my God,
For here I journey to and fro,
There in eternal rest
Will God His gracious gift bestow
On all the toil-oppress'd.

For what hath life been giving,
From youth up till this day,
But constant toil and striving?
Far back as thought can stray,
How many a day of toil and care,
How many a night of tears,
Hath pass'd in grief that none could share,
In lonely anxious fears!

How many a storm hath lighten'd
And thunder'd round my path!
And winds and rains have frighten'd
My heart with fiercest wrath:
And cruel envy, hatred, scorn,
Have darken'd oft my lot,
And patiently reproach I've born,
Though I deserved it not.

Then through this life of dangers
I onward take my way;
But in this land of strangers
I do not think to stay.
Still forward on the road I fare
That leads me to my home,
My Father's comfort waits me there,
When I have overcome.

Ah yes, my home is yonder,
Where all the angelic bands
Praise Him with awe and wonder,
In whose Almighty hands
All things that are and shall be, lie,
By Him upholden still,
Who casteth down and lifts on high
At His most holy will.

That home have I desired,
'Tis there I would be gone;
Till I am well-nigh tired,
O'er earth I've journey'd on;
The longer here I roam, I find
The less of real joy
That e'er could please or fill my mind,
For all hath some alloy.

The lodging is too cheerless,
The sorrow is too much;
Ah come, my heart is fearless,
Release it with Thy touch,
When Thy heart wills, and make an end
Of all this pilgrimage,
And with Thine arm and strength defend,
When foes against me rage.

Where now my spirit stayeth
Is not her true abode;
This earthly house decayeth,
And she will drop its load,
When comes the hour to leave beneath
What now I use and have;
And when I've yielded up my breath
Earth gives me but a grave,

But Thou, my Joy and Gladness,
O Thou, my Life and Light,
Wilt raise me from this sadness,
This long tempestuous night,
Into the perfect gladsome day,
Where bathed in joy divine,
Among Thy saints, and bright as they,
I too shall ever thine.

There shall I dwell for ever,
Not as a guest alone,
With those who cease there never
To worship at Thy throne;
There in my heritage I rest,
From baser things set free,
And join the chorus of the blest
For ever, Lord, to Thee!



Source: Chorale Book for England, The #148

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gr√§fenhaynichen, 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: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation." --Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: A pilgrim here I wander
German Title: Ich bin ein Gast auf Erden
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1650)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English

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