Sunday, 4 March 2018

How great, how beautiful that Sabbath rest - Peter Abelard

How great, how beautiful that Sabbath rest,
Kept in the court eternal of the blest!
Repose for weary souls! for brave reward!
For there our all in all shall be the Lord.

What King! what holy court! what palace fair:
What peace! what solace! what rejoicing there
Ye glorious dwellers! your own joy reveal.
If ye can utter all your spirits feel.

The true Jerusalem! that state above!
Whose peace unending is our highest love;
Where longing hope cannot true joy forerun;
Where perfect happiness and hope are one!

There shall our sorrowings forever cease,
And Zion's lofty songs we sing in peace;
Thy happy people, Lord, before Thy face,
Pay gracious offerings for Thy gifts of grace.

There still a Sabbath new on Sabbath rolls,
An endless holy day of holy souls,
Those chants ineffable rise evermore.
Which saints in glory with the angels pour.

Thither we lift, God, our waiting eyes,
And see our fatherland in hope arise;
Homeward from Babylon we fondly yearn,
After long, weary exile, to return.

Peter Abelard (1079 - 1142) France
Translated by Edward A. Washburn
Source: Great hymns of the middle ages, compiled by Eveline Warner Brainerd, The Century co., 1909

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