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A REST HERE HAVE I NEVER.—PS. CXIX.

Ich bin ein Gast auf Erden

7,6,7,6,7,6,7,6

318320

A rest here have I never,

A guest on earth am I,

Heav’n will be mine for ever,

My Fatherland’s on high.

Here up and down I’m driven;

In rest eternal there,

God’s gift of grace is given

That endeth toil and care.

What hath my whole life ever

From youth been to this hour,

But labour ceasing never,

As long as I have pow’r

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To tell of; days of anguish

I’ve past, and oft the night

In sorrow did I languish

Until the morning light.

And on the ways I’ve wander’d

What storms have terrified,

It blew, rain’d, lighten’d, thunder’d,

Fear was on every side.

Hate, envy, opposition

Rag’d, undeserv’d by me,

This was the sad condition

I must bear patiently.

So liv’d the honour’d fathers

In whose footsteps we tread,

From whom the saint oft gathers

The wisdom he may need

Of trial what full measure

Had father Abraham,

Ere he attain’d his pleasure,

To his right dwelling came.

How rough too and uneven

The way that Isaac trod,

And Jacob, who had striven

And had prevail’d with God;

What bitter grief and wearing

Felt he, what woe and smart;

In fear and in despairing

Oft sank his fainting heart.

The holy souls and blessèd

Went forward on their race,

They chang’d with hearts distressèd

Their wonted dwelling-place:

They hither went and thither,

Great crosses bore each day,

Till death came to deliver,

Them in the grave to lay.

In patience am I giving

Myself to just such woe?

Could I be better living

Than such have liv’d below?

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Here must we suffer ever,

Here must we upwards strive;

Who fights not well shall never

In joy eternal live.

While on the earth I’m staying,

My life shall thus be spent,

I would not be delaying

For aye in this strange tent.

Along the paths I wander

That lead me to my home,

God boundless comfort yonder

Will give me when I come.

My home is high above me,

Where angel hosts for aye

Praise Him whose heart doth love me,

Who ruleth all each day,

Who aye preserves and beareth

All in His hand of might,

Who orders and prepareth

What good seems in His sight.

For home my tir’d heart yearneth,

I’d gladly thither go,

From earth away it turneth

From all I’ve here pass’d through.

The longer here I’m staying

I less of pleasure taste,

My spirit’s thirst allaying,

The world’s an arid waste.

The dwelling is unholy,

The trouble is too great.

Why com’st Thou, Lord, so slowly

To free me from this state?

Come, make a happy ending

Of all my wanderings,

Relief by Thy pow’r sending,

From all my sufferings.

Where I’ve so long remainèd

Is not my proper home;

When my life’s end is gainèd,

Then forth from it I’ll come,

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What here I’ve needed ever

I’ll put it all away;

When soul and body sever,

Me in the grave they’ll lay.

Thou, who my Joy art ever,

And of my life the Light,

When death life’s thread doth sever,

Bring’st me to heav’n so bright,

To mansions everlasting,

Where I shall ever shine,

E’en as the sun, while tasting

Of pleasures all divine.

There I’ll be ever living

Not merely as a guest,

With those who crowns receiving

From Thee are ever bless’d;

I’ll celebrate in glory

Thine ev’ry mighty deed,

My portion have before Thee,

From every evil freed.

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