O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight

O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight

Author: Joseph Swain (1791)
Tune: MEDITATION (Lewis)
Published in 459 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Representative Text

1 O Thou, in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call;
My comfort by day, and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.
Where dost thou at noon-tide resort with thy sheep,
To feed them in pastures of love?
For why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in the wilderness rove?

2 O why should I wander an alien from thee,
Or cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice, when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed
Ye daughters of Zion, declare, have ye seen
The Star that on Israel shone?
Say, if in your tents my beloved has been,
And where with his flocks he is gone?

3 This is my beloved, his form is divine,
His vestments shed odors around;
The locks on his head are as grapes on the vine,
When autumn with plenty is crowned.,
The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow
In vales on the banks of the streams;
On his cheeks, in the beauty of excellence blow,
And his eyes are as quivers of beams!

4 His voice as the sound of a dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at his feet,
The air is perfumed with his breath.
His lips as a fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace;
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of his face.

5 Love sits on his eye-lids and scatters delight
Through all the bright mansions on high;
Their faces the cherubim veil in his sight,
And tremble with fullness of joy.
He looks, and ten thousand of angels rejoice,
And myriads wait for his word;
He speaks--and eternity, filled with his voice,
Re-echoes the praise of the her voice.

6 His vestments of righteousness who shall describe!
Its purity words would defile;
The heavens from his presence fresh beauties imbibe,
And earth is made rich by his smile.
Such is my beloved in excellence bright,
When pleased he looks down from above;
Like the morn, when he breathes from the chamber of light,
And comforts his people with love.

7 But when armed with vengeance, in terror he comes,
The nations' rebellions to tame,
The reins of omnipotent power he assumes,
And rides in a chariot of flame.
A two edged sword from his mouth issues forth,
Bright quivers of fire are his eyes;
He speaks, the black tempests are seen in the north,
And storms from their caverns arise.

8 The thousand destructions, that wait for his word,
And ride on the wings of his breath,
Fly swift as the winds at the nod of their Lord,
And deal out his arrows of death,
His cloud-bursting thunders, their voices resound
Through all the vast regions on high;
Till from the deep center loud echoes rebound,
And meet the quick flames in the sky.

9 The portals of heaven at his bidding obey,
And expand ere his banners appear;
Earth trembles beneath, till her mountains give way,
And hell shakes her fetters with fear.
When he treads on the clouds as the dust of his feet,
And grasps the storm in his hand;
What eye the fierce glance of his anger shall meet,
Or who in his presence shall stand?

Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the use of Christians, 1803

Author: Joseph Swain

Swain, Joseph, was born at Birmingham in 1761, and after being apprenticed to an engraver, removed to London. After a time he became a decided Christian, and being of an emotional poetic temperament, began to give expression to his new thoughts and feelings in hymns. In 1783 he was baptized by the Rev. Dr. Rippon, and in 1791 became minister of a Baptist congregation in East Street, Walworth. After a short but popular and very useful ministry, he died April 16, 1796 Swain published the following:— (1) A Collection of Poems on Several Occasions, London, 1781; (2) Redemption, a Poem in five Books, London, 1789; (3) Experimental Essays on Divine Subjects, London, 1791; (4) Walworth Hymns, by J. Swain, Pastor of the Baptist Church Meeting… Go to person page >



Instances (1 - 12 of 12)

African American Heritage Hymnal #422

Hymnal #559


Hymns of Faith #439

TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #331

Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #36

The Baptist Hymnal #389


The Cyber Hymnal #5386

The Shenandoah Harmony #18B


The United Methodist Hymnal #518


The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #46

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #47


Timeless Truths #427

Include 447 pre-1979 instances
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