For Thee, Lord, pants my longing heart

For Thee, Lord, pants my longing heart

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Published in 1 hymnal

Representative Text

For Thee, Lord, pants my longing heart,
My hope and confidence Thou art;
My hope can never shaken be,
Nor e’er be put to shame by Thee.

Whoe’er he be that scorns Thy name,
And turns from Thee, shall come to shame;
But he who ever lives to Thee,
And loves Thee, shall untroubled be.

Accept my soul, O Lord! by grace,
And keep me right in all my ways,
And let Thy truth illumine me
Along the path that leads to Thee.

Thou art my only light below,
No other helper here I know;
I wait on Thee both night and day,
Why dost Thou, then, O Lord, delay?

Ah, Lord! now turn Thine eyes away
From paths where I have gone astray;
Of my ill ways what thinkest Thou,
That I’ve pursued from youth till now?

Remember, Thou my Guardian Lord!
Thy loving-kindness and sweet word,
Whereby Thou giv’st them comfort sweet
Who lay themselves low at Thy feet.

Who prove themselves, and sin confess,
The Lord in mercy rich will bless;
Who keep His testimonies all,
The Lord will hold them when they fall.

The heart that with the Lord is right
In grief He’ll gladden with His light,
When sunk in need, weigh’d down by loss,
Shall triumph e’en beneath the cross.

Ah! Lord, full well thou knowest me,
My spirit lives and moves in Thee;
Thou seest how my bleeding heart
Longs for the help Thou canst impart.

The griefs that now my heart oppress,
The griefs my heavy sighs express
Are great and sore, but Thou art He
To whom nought e’er too great can be.

To Thee I therefore raise mine eyes,
To Thee mine ardent longings rise—
Ah! let Thine eye now rest on me
As Thou wast wont, Lord, graciously.

And when I need supporting grace,
Turn not away from me Thy face;
May what Thou deignest to impart
Of my desires be counterpart.

The world is false, it acts a part,
Thou art my Friend, sincere in heart;
Man’s smile is only on his mouth,
Thou lovest us in deed and truth.

Foil Thou the foe, his nets all tear,
And baffle every wile and snare;
When all with me once more is well,
May gratitude my bosom swell.

Still may I in Thy fear abide,
And go right on nor turn aside;
Give single aim that honours Thee,
Smarts rather than a burden be.

Rule, Lord, and bring me unto Thee,
And other saints along with me;
Remove whate’er of ill dost find,
Renew and cleanse each heart and mind.

Wash Thou away each sinful stain,
Deliver from all grief and pain,
And lead us soon by heav’nly grace
To realms of endless joy and peace.

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, 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: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: For Thee, Lord, pants my longing heart
German Title: Nach dir, O Herr, verlanget mich
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Meter: 8.8.8.8
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.
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