My Saviour, what Thou didst of old,
When thou wast dwelling here,
Thou doest yet for them, who bold
In faith to Thee draw near.
As thou hadst pity on the blind,
According to Thy Word,
Thou sufferedst me Thy grace to find,
Thy Light hast on me poured.
Mourning I sat beside the way,
In sightless gloom apart,
And sadness heavy on me lay,
And longing gnawed my heart;
I heard the music of the psalms
Thy people sang to Thee,
I felt the waving of their palms,
And yet I could not see.
My pain grew more than I could bear,
Too keen my grief became,
Then I took heart in my despair
To call upon Thy name;
"O Son of David, save and heal,
As Thou so oft hast done!
O dearest Jesus, let me feel
My load of darkness gone."
And ever weeping as I spoke
With bitter prayers and sighs,
My stony heart grew soft and broke,
More earnest yet my cries.
A sudden answer stilled my fear,
For it was said to me,
"O poor blind man, be of good cheer,
Rejoice, He calleth thee."
I felt, Lord, that Thou stoodest still,
Groping Thy feet I sought,
From off me fell my old self-will,
A change came o'er my thought.
Thou saidst, "What is it thou wouldst have?"
"Lord, that I might have sight;
To see Thy countenance I crave:"
"So be it, have thou Light."
And words of Thine can never fail,
My fears are past and o'er;
My soul is glad with light, the veil
Is on my heart no more.
Thou blessest me, and forth I fare
Free from my old discrace,
And follow on with joy where'er
Thy footsteps, Lord, I trace.
Author: Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Freiherr de La Motte-Fouqué
Fouqué, Friedrich Heinrich Carl de la Motte, was born Feb. 12,1777, at Brandenburg on the Havel, where his father, of an ancient and noble Huguenot family, was a retired officer of dragoons. Educated under the training of the French Reformed Church, it was intended that he should enter the University of Halle as a student of law. By his own preference however he entered the army, and in 1794 was appointed cornet in the Duke of Weimar's regiment of cuirassiers. In 1803 he married and retired to Nennhausen near Rathenow, Brandenburg. When, in March, 1813, the King of Prussia invited his people to arm against France, Fouqué offered himself as a volunteer and served as a lieutenant of cavalry till he was disabled at the battle of Lützen, May… Go to person page >
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Catherine Winkworth is "the most gifted translator of any foreign sacred lyrics into our tongue, after Dr. Neale and John Wesley; and in practical services rendered, taking quality with quantity, the first of those who have laboured upon German hymns. Our knowledge of them is due to her more largely than to any or all other translators; and by her two series of Lyra Germanica, her Chorale Book, and her Christian Singers of Germany, she has laid all English-speaking Christians under lasting obligation."
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872… Go to person page >