The Friend

Full Text

It thus befell me on a day
When gladsome was the month of May,
I sat alone in pleasant thought
Beside the fish-pond in the court;
Above me spread the lindens tall,
And deep-blue heavens were over all,
How dear is that old court to me!
So sunny, still, and fair to see—
The water flowing clear and bright,
And many a tree with blossoms dight,
And singing birds, and doves that fly
All white across the summer sky;
And there, of all delights the best,
The blessed stillness and the rest.

Then thought I, “All is fair and sweet—
What need I more in my retreat,
In sooth that this still hour may be
As dew from Heaven that falls on me?
So were it, if there came from Heaven
A faithful friend and dear,
Whose words should be a dew to me
Of comfort and of cheer.
Then I should grow as lilies sweet
That in God’s garden are,
Whose strange and wondrous odours greet
Some wandering soul afar.”

Then answered, ere I was aware,
The Voice beloved and true—
The blessed Friend from Heaven was there,
My Sunshine and my Dew;

The Fountain for the souls that thirst,
The cup that runneth o’er—
The Lord Who gives the longing first,
Then stills it evermore—

He told me of the River bright
That flows from Him to me,
That I might be for His delight
A fair and fruitful tree.

He told me that as doves that rise
Far through the golden light,
So He would lead me through the skies
In raiment pure and white.

That as the still fair court to me
Afar from strife and din,
So unto Him my heart should be,
And He would rest therein.

And when the evening shadows fell,
And all was silent in my cell,
And on my knees I knelt and prayed
To Him Who is my Sun and Shade,
There came to me that saying deep,
“Who loveth Me, My words will keep.
And him My Father loveth well,
And We will come with him to dwell.”
Yea, Lord, through Thy most precious Blood,
Am I the resting-place of God.

Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899

Author: Gertrude, of Hellfde

(no biographical information available about Gertrude, of Hellfde.) Go to person page >

Translator: Frances Bevan

Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856. Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: It thus befell me on a day
Title: The Friend
Author: Gertrude, of Hellfde
Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Language: English