Jesus, while [whilst] this rough desert soil. H. Bonar. [Jesus' presence desired. ] Published in his Hymns of Faith and Hope, 1st series, 1857, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Strength by the way." In Kennedy, 1863, it reads, "Jesus, whilst this rough desert soil."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)