Immanuel! to Thee we sing,
The Fount of life, of grace the Spring,
Than fairest lily fairer far,
Lord of all Lords, the morning Star!
With all Thy people, Lord, we raise
To Thee our heart-felt songs of praise,
That Thou, O long-expected Guest!
Hast brought us our desirèd rest.
Since the Creator said—“Light be!”
How many a heart hath watch’d for Thee!
Of Fathers, Prophets, Saints the throng
With ardent hope have waited long.
Than others more, the Shepherd King
Belov’d by Thee, and wont to sing
Thy praise on sounding harp, inspir’d
By deeper longing, Thee desir’d.
Ah Zion! that thy Lord to thee
Would come and set thy captives free;
Ah! that our help would now arise
And gladden Jacob’s waiting eyes.
There art Thou now, Thou ever-bless’d!
There dost Thou in the manger rest;
The world Thou deck’st, all things hast made—
Thou’rt naked there, in weakness laid.
A stranger art Thou here below,
To whom the Heav’ns allegiance owe;
A mother’s milk dost not despise,
Who art the Joy of angels’ eyes.
The bounds of ocean fix’d hast Thou,
Who art a swaddled infant now;
Thou’rt God—a bed of straw Thou hast.
Thou’rt man—yet art the First and Last.
Of every joy Thou art the spring,
Yet sorrow oft Thy heart doth wring.
The Gentiles’ Light and Hope Thou art,
Yet findest none to soothe Thy heart.
The sweetest Friend of man Thou art,
Though many hate Thee in their heart!
The heart of Herod loathèd Thee,
Yet what art Thou? Salvation free!
Thy meanest servant, Lord! am I,
I say it in sincerity;
I love Thee, but not half so well
As I should love,—more love I’d feel.
My pow’r is weak, though will be there,
But my poor heart against Thee ne’er
Shall rise t’ oppose,—Thou wilt receive
By grace the little I can give.
Thou to be weak dost not disdain,
Dost choose the things the world deems vain,
Art poor and needy, and dost come,
By love impell’d, to want’s drear home!
Thou sleepest on the lap of earth,
The manger where Thou at Thy birth
Wast laid to rest, the hay, the stall
Were mean, were miserable all.
And therefore doth my courage rise,
Thy servant wilt Thou not despise;
The gracious mind that dwells in Thee
Fills me with hope and gladdens me.
Lord! though I’ve pass’d in sin my days,
And wandered far from wisdom’s ways,
Yet therefore Thou to earth hast come,
To bring the wand’ring sinner home.
Had I no debt of sin to face,
How could I ever share Thy grace?
In vain for me Thine advent here,
Had I no wrath of God to fear.
Lord, fearlessly I come to Thee,
Thou keep’st my soul from anguish free;
Thou bear’st the wrath, dost death destroy,
And sorrow turnest into joy.
My Head Thou art, Thy member I
In turn am, and Thy property;
Lord, I will serve Thee while I live
With all the grace Thou deign’st to give.
Loud hallelujahs here I’ll sing,
With joy that from my heart doth spring,
And when I reach yon mansions fair
I will repeat them ever there.
Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs, 1867