How shall I meet Thee? How my heart

Representative Text

How shall I meet Thee? How my heart
Receive her Lord aright?
Desire of all the earth Thou art!
My hope, my sole delight!
Kindle the Lamp, Thou Lord, alone,
Half-dying in my breast,
And make thy gracious pleasure known
How I may greet Thee best.

Her budding boughs and fairest palms
Thy Zion strews around;
And songs of praise and sweetest psalms
From my glad heart shall sound.
My desert soul breaks forth in flowers,
Rejoicing in Thy fame;
And puts forth all her sleeping powers,
To honour Jesus' name.

In heavy bonds I languished long,
Thou com'st to set me free;
The scorn of every mocking tongue —
Thou com'st to honour me.
A heavenly crown wilt Thou bestow,
And gifts of priceless worth,
That vanish not as here below,
The fading wealth of earth.

Nought, nought, dear Lord, had power to move
Thee from Thy rightful place,
Save that most strange and blessed Love
Wherewith Thou dost embrace
This weary world and all her woe,
Her load of grief and ill
And sorrow, more than man can know; —
Thy love is deeper still.

Oh write this promise in your hearts,
Ye sorrowful, on whom
Fall thickening cares, while joy departs
And darker grows your gloom.
Despair not, for your help is near,
He standeth at the door
Who best can comfort you and cheer,
He comes, nor stayeth more.

Nor vex your souls with care, nor grieve
And labour longer thus,
As though your arm could ought achieve,
And bring Him down to us.
He comes, He comes with ready will,
By pity moved alone,
To soothe our every grief and ill,
For all to Him is known.

Nor ye, O sinners, shrink aside,
Afraid to see His face,
Your darkest sins our Lord will hide
Beneath His pitying grace.
He comes, He comes to save from sin,
And all its pangs assuage,
And for the sons of God to win
Their proper heritage.

Why heed ye then the craft and noise,
The fury of His foes?
Lo, in a breath the Lord destroys
All who His rule oppose.
He comes, He comes, as King to reign!
All earthly powers may band
Against Him, yet they strive in vain,
His might may none withstand.

He comes to judge the earth, and ye
Who mocked Him, feel His wrath;
But they who loved and sought Him see
His light o'er all their path.
O Sun of Righteousness! arise,
And guide us on our way
To yon fair mansion in the skies
Of joyous cloudless day.


Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #3

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt (b. GraEenhainichen, 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 re… 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: How shall I meet Thee? How my heart
German Title: Wie soll ich dich empfangen
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Tune

KINGSFOLD

Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs [sic: English County Songs] (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2585
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The Cyber Hymnal #2585

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