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

Paul Gerhardt (b. Gräfenheinichen, Saxony, Germany, 1607; d. Lubben, Germany, 1676), famous author of Lutheran evangelical hymns, studied theology and hymnody at the University of Wittenberg and then was a tutor in Berlin, where he became friends with Johann Crüger. He served the Lutheran parish of Mittenwalde near Berlin (1651-1657) and the great St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin (1657-1666). Friederich William, the Calvinist elector, had issued an edict that forbade the various Protestant groups to fight each other. Although Gerhardt did not want strife between the churches, he refused to comply with the edict because he thought it opposed the Lutheran "Formula of Concord," which con­demned some Calvinist doctrines. Consequently, he was r… 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: Sweetest Fount of holy gladness
German Title: O du allersüsste Freude
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
TextPage Scan

Chorale Book for England, The #73

Page Scan

Christian Chorals, for the Chapel and Fireside #108

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Songs of the Soul #67

Songs of the Spirit #d393

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

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