All ye Gentile lands awake!
Thou, O Salem, rise and shine!
See the day spring o'er you break,
Heralding a morn divine,
Telling, God hath called to mind
Those who long in darkness pined.
Lo! the shadows flee away,
For our Light is come at length,
Brighter than all earthly day,
Source of being, life, and strength!
Whoso on this Light would gaze
Must forsake all evil ways.
Ah how blindly did we stray
Ere shone forth this glorious Sun,
Seeking each his separate way,
Leaving Heaven, unsought, unwon;
All our looks were earthward bent,
All our strength on earth was spent.
Earthly were our thoughts and low,
In the toils of Folly caught,
Tossed of Satan to and fro,
Counting goodness all for nought!
By the world and flesh deceived,
Heaven's true joys we disbelieved.
Then were hidden from our eyes
All the law and grace of God;
Rich and poor, the fools and wise,
Wanting light to find the road
Leading to the heavenly life,
Wandered lost in care and strife.
But the glory of the Lord
Hath arisen on us today,
We have seen the light outpoured
That must surely drive away
All things that to night belong,
All the sad earth's woe and wrong.
Thy arising, Lord, shall fill
All my thoughts in sorrow's hour;
Thy arising, Lord, shall still
All my dread of Death's dark power:
Through my smiles and through my tears
Still Thy light, O Lord, appears.
Let me, Lord, in peace depart
From this evil world to Thee;
Where Thyself sole Brightness art,
Thou hast kept a place for me:
In the shining city there
Crowns of light Thy saints shall wear.
Rist, Johann, son of Kaspar Rist, pastor at Ottensen, near Hamburg, was born at Ottensen, March 8, 1607, and from his birth was dedicated to the ministry. After passing through the Johanneum at Hamburg and the Gymnasium Illustre at Bremen, he matriculated, in his 21st year, at the University of Rinteln, and there, under Josua Stegmann (q. v.), he received an impulse to hymn-writing. On leaving Rinteln he acted as tutor to the sons of a Hamburg merchant, accompanying them to the University of Rostock, where he himself studied Hebrew, Mathematics and also Medicine.
During his residence at Rostock the terrors, of the Thirty Years War almost emptied the University, and Rist himself also lay there for weeks ill of the pestilence. After his r… 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 >