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Herr, du erforschest meinen Sinn



Lord, Thou my heart dost search and try,

And what is hidden from mine eye

Thou seest, all I am and own

To Thine omniscient mind is known.

Whene’r I sit, lie down, or stand,

Or walk, or run, on ev’ry hand

Thy presence doth encompass me,

At all times I am hard by Thee.

And all the thoughts that stir my heart,

That lurk in its most secret part,

Thy searching eye doth scrutinize

Ere they to consciousness arise.

And never from my tongue a word

Escapes, by Thee, O Lord, unheard;

Thou order’st all I speak or do,

And guidest me life’s journey through.

’Tis true, I know, but must remain

A knowledge I can ne’er attain,

A mystery beyond the ken

Of feeble and short-sighted men.

Where shall I from Thy Spirit fly,

Escape from Thine omniscient eye?

Where shall I from Thy presence hide,

And where remote from Thee abide?

If I ascend the utmost height

Of heav’n, there art Thou, thron’d in light;

Or should I down to hell repair

And make my bed, I’d find Thee there.

Should I on morning’s pinions ride,

As far as ocean’s empire wide

Of stormy waves breaks on the land,

I’d be upheld by Thy right hand.

Or if the help of night I sought,

No change by darkness would be wrought,

For let the night be as it may,

With Thee is ever cloudless day.

’Mid darkest shadows Thou canst see,

The darkness is a light to Thee,

Thy glance is ever clear and bright,

From sun and moon Thou need’st no light.

My reins Thou ever hast possess’d,

For in Thy hand they ever rest,

From infancy Thou hast me led,

With daily blessings crown’d my head.

Thou hast, who’rt greatly to be fear’d,

My frame with cunning hand uprear’d;

Thy works, Thy wondrous pow’r forth tell,

And that my soul doth know right well.

My substance was not hid from Thee,

When I in secret curiously

Was fashion’d in the depths of earth,

From whence Thy pow’r hath brought me forth.

Before my time, my times for me

Determin’d were by Thy decree,

The tale of years and days I’d see,

Hours, moments, all were fix’d by Thee.

My God, how precious, sweet, and fair,

I see array’d before me there

The thoughts of wisdom of Thy heart,

In all Thy bounty doth impart.

The sum of these so high doth mount,

That when their number I would count,

I find them infinitely more

Than dust or sand, on field or shore.

How doth the bold blaspheming band

Thee vilify on every hand,

O God of wonders! and Thy name

Despise and treat with open shame.

Their scornful mouths, Lord, close and seal,

Against them speedily reveal

Thy wrath! against Thy foes arise,

Thy foes are hateful in mine eyes.

Though in return, their hatred sore

Against Thee burn, I do no more

Amid the rage of angry foes,

Than ’neath Thy shelt’ring wings repose.

Lord, search and know my heart and mood,

See if my way be right and good,

The everlasting joyful road

Lead me that brings me home to God.

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