O God, I long Thy Light to see

Representative Text

O God, I long Thy Light to see,
My God, I hourly think on Thee;
Oh draw me up, nor hide Thy face,
But help me from Thy holy place.

As toward her sun the sunflower turns,
Towards Thee, my Sun, my spirit yearns!
Oh would that free from sin I might
Thus follow evermore Thy light!

But sin hath so within me wrought,
Such deadly sickness on me brought,
My languid soul sits drooping here
And cannot reach the heavenly sphere.

Ah how shall I my freedom win?
How break this heavy yoke of sin?
My fainting spirit thirsts for Thee,
Come, Lord, to help and set me free.

My heart is set to do Thy will,
But all my deeds are faulty still;
My best attempts are nothing worth.
But soil'd with cleaving taint of earth.

Remember that I am Thy child,
Forgive whate'er my soul defiled,
Blot out my sins, that I may rise
Freely to Thee beyond the skies.

Help me to love the world no more,
Be Master of my house and store,
The shield of faith around me throw,
And break the arrows of my foe.

Fain would my heart henceforward be
Fix'd, O my God, alone on Thee,
That heart and foul, by Thee possest,
May find in Thee their perfect rest.

Begone, ye pleasures false and vain,
Untasted, undesired remain!
In heaven alone those joys abound,
Where aII my true delight is found.

Oh take away whate'er has stood
Between me and the Highest Good!
I ask no better boon than this,
To find in God my only bliss.

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #118

Author: Anton Ulrich

Anton Ulrich of Brunswick, born Oct. 4, 1633, at Hitzaeker, on the Elbe above Lauenburg, the portion as younger son of his father, Duke August, who three years afterwards succeeded to the Dukedom of Wolfenbuttel. He was the only child of the Duke's second marriage. In 1635 the Duke contracted a third marriage with Sophie Elisabethe of Mecklenburg. Father and stepmother alike were pious and fond of music and poetry, and their children were trained with a simple home life, in Lutheran orthodox ; and, under J. G. Schottelius and Sigismund v. Birken, instructed in all the learning of the time. Under these influences, supplemented by a residence at the University of Helmstädt, 1650, Anton Ulrich grew up a lover of his mother tongue and of poetr… 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: O God, I long Thy Light to see
German Title: Nach dir, o Gott verlanget mich
Author: Anton Ulrich (1667)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Nach dir, 0 Gott! Verlanget mich. [Thirsting for God.] One of his best hymns. Appeared in 1665, p. 21, 1667, p. 28, as above (ed. Wendebourg, 1856, p. 8), in 11 stanzas of 4 lines. Included as No. 1129 in the Leipzig Vorrath, 1673, and as No. 1259 in Burg's Breslau Gesang-Buch, 1746. Translated as:—
0 God, I long Thy Light to see. A good translation by Miss Winkworth in the 1st Series, 1855, of her Lyra Germanica, p. 145, omitting stanzas ii., iii., vi. In the second ed. p. 146, translation of stanzas ii., iii were added. Repeated thus as No. 118 in her Chorale Book for England, 1863.
Other translations are, all omitting stanzas ii., iii., vi., (1)"0 Lord! I long Thy face to see," by Miss Cox, 1841, p. 97 (1864, p. 115); (2) "My soul is thirsting, Lord, for Thee," by Lady Eleanor Fortescue, 1843 (1847, p. 38); (3) "Call me, O God; I come; for I," by Dr. G. Walker, 1860, p. 77.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 8 of 8)
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Children's Praise #90

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Chorale Book for England, The #118

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Hymns for All Christians #H72

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Hymns for all Christians #72

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Hymns for the use of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, by the Authority of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania #482

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Lyra Germanica #145


Lyra Germanica #61

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Lyra Germanica #S1-61

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