O that I had a thousand voices, A mouth to speak with thousand tongues!

O that I had a thousand voices, A mouth to speak with thousand tongues!

Translator: Henry Mills; Author: Johann Mentzer
Published in 26 hymnals

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Full Text

1 O that I had a thousand voices!
A mouth to speak with thousand tongues!
My heart, which in the Lord rejoices,
Then would proclaim in grateful songs
To all, wherever I might be,
What great things God hath done for me.

2 O that my voice might high be sounding,
Far as the widely distant poles;
My blood run quick, with rapture bounding,
Long as its vital current rolls.
And every pulse thanksgiving raise,
And every breath a hymn of praise!

3 O all ye powers that God implanted,
Arise, keep silence thus no more,
Put forth the strength that He hath granted,
Your noblest work is to adore;
My soul and body, make ye meet
With heartfelt praise your Lord to greet!

4 Ye forest leaves so green and tender,
That dance for joy in summer air;
Ye meadow grasses, bright and slender,
Ye flowers so wondrous sweet and fair;
Ye live to show His praise alone,
Help me to make His glory known!

5 O all things that have breath and motion
That throng with life earth, sea, and sky,
Now join me in my heart's devotion,
Help me to raise His praises high;
My utmost powers can ne'er aright
Declare the wonders of His might.

6 Dear Father, endless praise I render
For soul and body strangely joined;
I praise Thee, Guardian kind and tender,
For all the noble joys I find
So richly spread on every side,
And freely for my use supplied.

7 What equal praises can I offer,
Dear Jesus, for Thy mercy shown?
What pangs, my Savior, didst Thou suffer,
And thus for all my sins atone!
Thy death alone my soul could free
From Satan, to be blest with Thee.

8 Honor and praise, still onward reaching,
Be Thine too, Spirit of all grace,
Whose holy power and faithful teaching
Give me among Thy saints a place:
Whate'er of good in me may shine
Comes only from Thy light divine.

9 Who grants abundant gifts to bless me?
Who, but Thyself, O God of love?
Who guards my ways lest fears oppress me?
'Tis Thou, Lord God of hosts, above!
And when my sins Thy wrath provoke,
Thy patience, Lord, forbears the stroke.

10 I kiss the rod, too, unrepining,
When God His chastening makes me feel,
My graces call for His refining,
The trial works no lasting ill:
It purifies and makes it known
That He regards me as a son.

11 In life I often have discovered,
With gratitude and glad surprise,
When clouds of sorrows o'er me hovered,
God sent from them my best supplies:
In troubles He is ever near,
And shows me all a Father's care.

12 Why not, then, with a faith unbounded,
Forever in His love confide?
Why not, with earthly griefs surrounded,
Rejoicing still in hope abide?
Until I reach that blissful home
Where doubt and sorrow never come?

13 No more low vanities regarding,
To Thee, in whom I find my rest,
I cry--my inmost soul according,--
"My God, Thou art the Highest, Best;
Strength, honor, praise, and thanks, and power
Be Thine, both now and evermore!"

14 Lord, I will tell, while I am living,
Thy goodness forth with every breath,
And greet each morning with thanksgiving,
Until my heart is still in death;
Yea, when at last my lips grow cold,
Thy praise shall in my sighs be told.

15 O Father, deign Thou, I beseech Thee,
To listen to my earthly lays;
A nobler strain in heav'n shall reach Thee,
When I with angels hymn Thy praise,
And learn amid their choirs to sing
Loud hallelujahs to my King.

Source: Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-book #62

Translator: Henry Mills

Mills, Henry, D.D., son of John Mills, was born at Morriston, New Jersey, March 12, 1786, and educated at the New Jersey College, Princeton, where he graduated in 1802. After being engaged in teaching for some time at Morristown and elsewhere, he was ordained Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Woodbridge, New Jersey, in 1816. On the opening of the Auburn Theological Seminary in 1821, he was appointed Professor of Biblical Criticism and Oriental Languages, from which he retired in 1854. He died at Auburn, June 10, 1867. In 1845 he published Horae Germanicae; A Version of German Hymns. This was enlarged in 1856. The translations are not well done, and very few are now in common use, although 18 and 9 doxologies were given in the Lutheran Ge… Go to person page >

Author: Johann Mentzer

Mentzer, Johann, was born July 27, 1658, at Jahmen, near Rothenburg, in Silesia, and became a student of theology at Wittenberg, In 1691 he was appointed pastor at Merzdorf; in 1693 at Hauswalde, near Bischofswerda; and in 1696 at Kemnitz, near Bernstadt, Saxony. He died at Kemnitz, Feb. 24, 1734 (G. F. Otto's Lexicon . . . Oberlausizischer Schriftsteller, ii., 581; ms. from Pastor Richter of Kemnitz, &c). He was a great friend of J. C. Schwedler, of Henrietta Catherine von Gersdorf, and of N. L. von Zinzendorf, all hymnwriters, and all his near neighbours. He was himself greatly tried in the furnace of affliction. He wrote a large number of hymns, over 30 of which appeared in the various hymnbooks of his time. Many of them, especially t… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O that I had a thousand voices, A mouth to speak with thousand tongues!
Translator: Henry Mills
Author: Johann Mentzer
Publication Date: 1913
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.



Johann Balthaser König (b. Waltershausen, near Gotha, Germany, 1691; d. Frankfurt, Germany, 1758) composed this tune, which later became associated with Johann Mentzer's hymn "O dass ich tausend Zungen hätte" (Oh, That I Had a Thousand Voices). The harmonization is from the Wurttembergische Choral…

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