1 Enthroned amid the seraphim,
Where countless roll the wheels of time,
Celestial light, almighty power!
Burst forth in this afflictive hour!
Effulgent, shine upon our race!
Thy ancient mercies, Lord, retrace!
2 From superstition’s dark domain,
From persecution’s cruel reign,
When erst a tender vine was brought,
With joys exuberantly fraught;
In regions wrapped in destiny,
It rose and bloomed, a lovely tree!
3 Its shade the mountains overspread;
Its root, by bubbling fountains fed,
Nor drought, nor desert, could arrest;
Its branches filled the farthest west:
Beside a thousand flowery banks,
Its clusters swelled in glowing ranks.
4 Now torn and prostrate its defense,
Despoiled of its magnificence,
The savage hunter treads it down;
It fades beneath a tyrant’s frown;
The sword destroys, the fire devours,
The Deity in darkness lours!
5 Ah! why deserted of our God?
His vineyard, why a field of blood?
Return, O God of hosts, return!
Thy ravaged, slaughtered church discern!
Behold, and victory impart!
Thine, ever Thine, shall be our heart!
The original chant melody associated with this text [i.e., "Eternal Father, strong to save"] is found in most hymnals of denominations where chant has played a role, including the Lutheran tradition, which has produced much organ music on this well-known chant.
The setting here is by John B. Dykes (…