1 Encompassed with clouds of distress,
Just ready all hope to resign,
I pant for the light of Thy face,
And fear it will never be mine;
Disheartened with waiting so long,
I sink at Thy feet with my load;
All plaintive I pour out my song,
And stretch forth my hands unto God.
2 Shine, Lord, and my terror shall cease;
The blood of atonement apply;
And lead me to Jesus for peace,
The Rock that is higher than I;
Speak, Savior, for sweet is Thy voice,
Thy presence is fair to behold;
Attend to my sorrows and cries,
My groanings that cannot be told.
3 If sometimes I strive as I mourn,
My hold of Thy promise to keep,
The billows more fiercely return,
And plunge me again in the deep;
Harassed and cast out from Thy sight,
The tempter suggests with a roar,
"The Lord has forsaken thee quite;
Thy God will be gracious no more."
4 Yet, Lord, if Thy love hath designed
No covenant blessing for me,
Ah, tell me, how is it I find
Some pleasure in waiting for Thee?
Almighty to rescue Thou art;
Thy grace is my only resource:
If e’er Thou art Lord of my heart,
Thy Spirit must take it by force.
Source: The Cyber Hymnal #12076
Encompass'd with clouds of distress. A. M. Toplady. [The struggles of Faith.] No. 18 of Toplady's series of hymns in the Gospel Magazine, Feb., 1772, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. Although not included in his Psalms & Hymns, 1776, it is given in several modern hymn-books, as Spurgeon's Our Own Hymn Book 1866, and others. Also in the Sedgwick reprint of Toplady's Hymns, 1860. [William T. Brooke]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)