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HEAVEN.

5,7,5,7,5,5

Schöner Himmelssaal

Simon Dach

trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1869

O ye halls of Heaven,

Where the holy have their home,

They whose hearts were riven,

But through faith have overcome;

They who here on earth

Knew not joy or mirth:

Thee I greet, fair Home,

Thee o'er all things else I seek;

For o'er earth I roam

Desolate, and sad, and weak,

Never free below

From some cross or woe.

Only for thy sake

Have I strength not to despair,

But my heart's long ache

Willingly, nay gladly, bear;

Sweet when I look up

Grows my bitter cup.

186

Did not my poor heart

Cherish yearning hope for thee,

Long ago its smart

Had been all too sore for me;

Never can my breast

Find elsewhere a rest.

God, Thou knowest well

What the pain that hurts me sore,

Where my thoughts must dwell,

Grieving hourly o'er and o'er;

Thou and I alone

Hear that inner moan.

But if I not yet

Bear a pilgrim's chastened soul,

If I could forget,--

Let fresh trials o'er me roll;

Thou, my God, wilt bear

More than half my care.

Let this life to me

Ever grow more waste and drear,

If that so to Thee

I may cling more firm and near,

And no dread of death

Shake or chill my faith.

Ah! in that fair place

Shall I not drink deep of joy,

When I see Thy face,

When I meet Thy loving eye,

When, like angels bright,

I am clothed in light!

O ye halls of Heaven,

Where the holy have their home!

Be the signal given,

End my griefs and bid me come;

All I long for is

Soon to see thy bliss.

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