Sweetest Fount of holy gladness

Representative Text

Sweetest Fount of holy gladness,
Fairest light was ever shed,
Who alike in joy and sadness
Leavest none unvisited;
Spirit of the Highest God,
Lord, from whom is life bestow'd,
Who upholdest ev'rything,
Hear me, hear me, while I sing.

Thou art shed like gentlest showers
From the Father and the Son,
Bringing to us quicken'd powers,
Purest blessing from their throne;
Suffer then, O noble Guest,
That rich gift by Thee possest,
That Thou givest at Thy will,
All my being now to fill.

Thou art ever true and holy,
Sin and falsehood Thou dost hate;
But Thou comest where the lowly
And the pure Thy presence wait;
Wash me then, O well of grace,
Every stain and spot efface,
Let me flee what Thou dost flee,
Grant me what Thou lov'st to see.

Well content am I if only
Thou wilt deign to dwell with me;
With Thee I am never lonely,
Never comfortless with Thee;
Thine for ever make me now,
And to Thee, my Lord, I vow
Here and yonder to employ
Every power for Thee with joy,

When I cry for help, oh hear me
When I sink, oh haste to save;
When I die, be inly near me,
Be my hope e'en in the grave;
Bring me when I rise again
To the land that knows no pain,
Where Thy followers from Thy stream
Drink for ever joys supreme!

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #73

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… 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 >

Text Information

First Line: Sweetest Fount of holy gladness
German Title: O du allersĂĽsste Freude
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English



Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
TextPage Scan

Chorale Book for England, The #73

Page Scan

Christian Chorals, for the Chapel and Fireside #108

Page Scan

Songs of the Soul #67

Songs of the Spirit #d393

Unitarian Service Book, and Hymns for Church and Home. Abridged ed. #d396

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us