Pleasant are Thy courts above

Full Text

1 Pleasant are thy courts above
In the land of light and love;
Pleasant are thy courts below
In this land of sin and woe.
O, my spirit longs and faints
For the converse of thy saints,
For the brightness of thy face,
For thy fullness, God of Grace!

2 Happy birds that sing and fly
Round thy altars, O most High;
Happier souls that find a rest
In a heavenly Father's breast.
Like the wandering dove that found
No repose on earth around,
They can to their ark repair
And enjoy it ever there.

3 Happy souls, their praises flow
Even in this vale of woe;
Waters in the desert rise,
Manna feeds them from the skies:
On they go from strength to strength
Till they reach thy throne at length,
At thy feet adoring fall,
Who hast led them safe through all.

4 Lord, be mine this prize to win;
Guide me through a world of sin;
Keep me by thy saving grace;
Give me at thy side a place.
Sun and shield alike thou art;
Guide and guard my erring heart;
Grace and glory flow from thee;
Shower, O shower them, Lord, on me!


Source: Service Book and Hymnal of the Lutheran Church in America #184

Author: Henry Francis Lyte

Lyte, Henry Francis, M.A., son of Captain Thomas Lyte, was born at Ednam, near Kelso, June 1, 1793, and educated at Portora (the Royal School of Enniskillen), and at Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was a Scholar, and where he graduated in 1814. During his University course he distinguished himself by gaining the English prize poem on three occasions. At one time he had intended studying Medicine; but this he abandoned for Theology, and took Holy Orders in 1815, his first curacy being in the neighbourhood of Wexford. In 1817, he removed to Marazion, in Cornwall. There, in 1818, he underwent a great spiritual change, which shaped and influenced the whole of his after life, the immediate cause being the illness and death of a brother cler… Go to person page >

Text Information


Pleasant are Thy courts above. H. F. Lyte. [Ps. lxxxiv.] Published in his Spirit of the Psalms, 1834, in 4 stanzas of 8 1ines and again in later editions. Its use in all English-speaking countries is extensive, and it is usually given in an unaltered form, as in Hymns Ancient & Modern, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, &c . In the S. P. C. K. Hymns, 1852, No. 162, a portion of this hymn was given in 4 st. of 41., as "Happy they that find a rest."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)




George J. Elvey (PHH 48) composed ST. GEORGE'S WINDSOR as a setting for James Montgomery's text "Hark! The Song of Jubilee," with which it was published in Edward H. Thorne's Selection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1858). The tune has been associated with Alford's text since publication of the hymn in th…

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