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.
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)