1 O that I had a thousand voices
And with a thousand tongues could tell
Of Him in whom the earth rejoices,
Who all things wisely does and well!
My grateful heart would then be free
To tell what God has done for me.
2 O all ye pow'rs that He implanted,
Arise, and silence keep no more;
Ye senses all that He has granted,
Awake, the Lord of hosts adore--
My soul and body, make ye meet,
The Lord with hymns of praise to greet.
3 Ye forest leaves, so green and tender,
That dance for joy in summer air;
Ye meadow grasses, bright and slender,
Ye flow'rs, so wondrous sweet and fair,
That live to show His praise alone,
Help me to make His glory known.
4 Ye creatures that have breath and motion,
That fill with life, earth, sea and sky,
O join me in my heart's devotion,
As I exalt the Lord most high:
My utmost pow'rs can ne'er aright
Declare the wonders of His might.
5 But I will tell, while I am living,
His tenderness with every breath
And come before Him with thanksgiving
Until my heart is still in death:
Nay, when at last my lips grow cold,
His praise shall in my sighs be told.
6 O Father, deign Thou, I beseech Thee,
To listen to my earthly lays;
A nobler strain in heaven shall reach Thee
When I with angels hymn Thy praise
And learn amid their choirs to sing
Loud hallelujahs to my King.
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 >
Author: J. Mentzer
Mentzer, Johann, was born July 27, 1658, at Jahmen, near Rothenburg, in Silesia, and became a student of theology at Wittenberg, In 1691 he was appointed pastor at Merzdorf; in 1693 at Hauswalde, near Bischofswerda; and in 1696 at Kemnitz, near Bernstadt, Saxony. He died at Kemnitz, Feb. 24, 1734 (G. F. Otto's Lexicon . . . Oberlausizischer Schriftsteller, ii., 581; ms. from Pastor Richter of Kemnitz, &c).
He was a great friend of J. C. Schwedler, of Henrietta Catherine von Gersdorf, and of N. L. von Zinzendorf, all hymnwriters, and all his near neighbours. He was himself greatly tried in the furnace of affliction. He wrote a large number of hymns, over 30 of which appeared in the various hymnbooks of his time. Many of them, especially t… Go to person page >
Johann Balthaser König (b. Waltershausen, near Gotha, Germany, 1691; d. Frankfurt, Germany, 1758) composed this tune, which later became associated with Johann Mentzer's hymn "O dass ich tausend Zungen hätte" (Oh, That I Had a Thousand Voices). The harmonization is from the Wurttembergische Choral…