How shall I meet Thee? How my heart

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How shall I meet Thee? How my heart Receive her Lord aright? Desire of all the earth Thou art! My hope, my sole delight! Kindle the Lamp, Thou Lord, alone, Half-dying in my breast, And make thy gracious pleasure known How I may greet Thee best. Her budding boughs and fairest palms Thy Zion strews around; And songs of praise and sweetest psalms From my glad heart shall sound. My desert soul breaks forth in flowers, Rejoicing in Thy fame; And puts forth all her sleeping powers, To honour Jesus' name. In heavy bonds I languished long, Thou com'st to set me free; The scorn of every mocking tongue-- Thou com'st to honour me. A heavenly crown wilt Thou bestow, And gifts of priceless worth, That vanish not as here below, The fading wealth of earth. Nought, nought, dear Lord, had power to move Thee from Thy rightful place, Save that most strange and blessed Love Wherewith Thou dost embrace This weary world and all her woe, Her load of grief and ill And sorrow, more than man can know;-- Thy love is deeper still. Oh write this promise in your hearts, Ye sorrowful, on whom Fall thickening cares, while joy departs And darker grows your gloom. Despair not, for your help is near, He standeth at the door Who best can comfort you and cheer, He comes, nor stayeth more. Nor vex your souls with care, nor grieve And labour longer thus, As though your arm could ought achieve, And bring Him down to us. He comes, He comes with ready will, By pity moved alone, To soothe our every grief and ill, For all to Him is known. Nor ye, O sinners, shrink aside, Afraid to see His face, Your darkest sins our Lord will hide Beneath His pitying grace. He comes, He comes to save from sin, And all its pangs assuage, And for the sons of God to win Their proper heritage. Why heed ye then the craft and noise, The fury of His foes? Lo, in a breath the Lord destroys All who His rule oppose. He comes, He comes, as King to reign! All earthly powers may band Against Him, yet they strive in vain, His might may none withstand. He comes to judge the earth, and ye Who mocked Him, feel His wrath; But they who loved and sought Him see His light o'er all their path. O Sun of Righteousness! arise, And guide us on our way To yon fair mansion in the skies Of joyous cloudless day.

Source: Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year #3

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: How shall I meet Thee? How my heart
German Title: Wie soll ich dich empfangen
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1855)
Language: English



Thought by some scholars to date back to the Middle Ages, KINGSFOLD is a folk tune set to a variety of texts in England and Ireland. The tune was published in English Country Songs (1893), an anthology compiled by Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland. After having heard the tune in Kingsfold,…

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The Cyber Hymnal #2585
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