Wherefore dost Thou longer tarry

Representative Text

Wherefore dost Thou longer tarry,
Blessed of the Lord, afar?
Whoud it were Thy will to enter
To my heart, O Thou my Star,
Thou my Jesus, Fount of pow'r,
Helper in the needful hour!
Sharpest wounds my heart is feeling,
Touch them, Saviour, with Thy healing!

For I shrink beneath the terrors
Of the law's tremendous sway;
All my countless crimes and errors
Stand before me night and day.
Oh the heavy, fearful load
Of the righteous wrath of God!
Oh the awful voice of thunder
Cleaving heart and soul asunder!

Would I then, to soothe my sorrow,
And my pain awhile forget,
From the world a comfort borrow,
I but sink the deeper yet,
She hath comforts that but grieve,
Joys that stinging memories leave,
Helpers that my heart are breaking,
Friends that do but mock its aching.

All delight, all consolation
Lies in Thee, Lord Jesus Christ,
Feed my soul with Thy salvation,
O Thou Bread of Life unpric'd.
Blessed Light, within me glow,
Ere my heart breaks in its woe;
Oh refresh me and uphold me,
Jesu, come, let me behold Thee.

Joy, my soul, for He hath heard thee,
He will come and enter in;
Lo! He turns and draweth toward thee,
Let thy welcome-song begin!
Oh prepare thee for such guest,
Give thee wholly to thy rest,
With an open'd heart adore Him,
Pour thy griefs and fears before Him.

What would seem to hurt or shame thee
Shall but work thy good at last;
Since that Christ hath deign'd to claim thee,
And His truth stands ever fast;
And if thine can but endure,
There is nought so fixed and sure,
As that thou shalt hymn His praises
In the happy heavenly places.

Source: Chorale Book for England, The #153

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gr√§fenhaynichen, 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: Wherefore dost Thou longer tarry
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)
Language: English


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Chorale Book for England, The #153

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