The city paved with gold

Representative Text

1. The city paved with gold,
Bright with each dazzling gem!
When shall our eyes behold
The new Jerusalem?
Yet lo! e’en now in viewless might
Uprise the walls of living light!

2. The kingdom of the Lord!
It cometh not with show;
Nor throne nor crown nor sword
Proclaim its might below;
Though dimly scanned through mists of sin,
The Lord’s true kingdom is within!

3. The gates of pearl are there
In penitential tears;
Bright as a jewel rare
Each saintly grace appears;
We track the path saints trod of old,
And lo! the pavement is of gold!

4. The living waters flow
That fainting souls may drink;
The mystic fruit trees grow
Along the river’s brink;
We taste e’en now the waters sweet,
And of the tree of life we eat.

5. Not homeless wanderers here
Our exile songs we sing;
Thou art our home most dear,
Thou city of the King!
Thy future bliss we cannot tell,
Content in thee on earth to dwell.

6. Build, Lord, the mystic walls!
Throw wide the unseen gates!
Fill all the golden halls,
While yet Thy triumph waits!
Make glad Thy church with light and love,
Till glorified it shines above!

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #879

Author: William Walsham How

William W. How (b. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, 1823; d. Leenane, County Mayo, Ireland, 1897) studied at Wadham College, Oxford, and Durham University and was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. He served various congregations and became Suffragan Bishop in east London in 1879 and Bishop of Wakefield in 1888. Called both the "poor man's bishop" and "the children's bishop," How was known for his work among the destitute in the London slums and among the factory workers in west Yorkshire. He wrote a number of theological works about controversies surrounding the Oxford Movement and attempted to reconcile biblical creation with the theory of evolution. He was joint editor of Psalms and Hymns (1854) and Church Hymns (1871). While rec… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The city paved with gold
Author: William Walsham How
Copyright: Public Domain


The city paved with Gold. Bishop W. W. How. [The New Jerusalem.] "Written for Church Hymns, 1871. Designed specially as a counteractive to the merely materialist and futurist tone of many of the ordinary 'Jerusalem' hymns.” This is attempted to be accomplished by giving a spiritual meaning to the “gold "and "gates of pearl," &c, of the New Jerusalem, as for instance:—

"The gates of pearl are there
In penitential tears,
Bright as a jewel rare
Each saintly grace appears:
We track the path saints trod of old,
And lo! the pavement is of gold!"

is said of the "true kingdom" within the man. Although well conceived, and executed in good style, it has failed to gain attention, and is very limited in its use.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)





Composed by John Darwall (b. Haughton, Staffordshire, England, 1731; d. Walsall, Staffordshire, England, 1789), DARWALL'S 148TH was first published as a setting for Psalm 148 in Aaron William's New Universal Psalmodist (1770) with only soprano and bass parts. The harmonization dates from the ninete…

Go to tune page >



The Cyber Hymnal #879
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #879

Include 10 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support