A pilgrim here I wander

Representative 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

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… 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
Copyright: Public Domain

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Chorale Book for England, The #148

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Hymns for the Church on Earth #237

The Sunday School Hymnal #d5

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