Sunday, 31 January 2021

I leave thee not - Wolfgang Christoph Dessler

I leave thee not, thou art my Jesus ever,
Though earth rebel,
And death and hell
Would, from its steadfast hold, my faith dissever;
Ah! no. I ever will
Cling to may Helper still,
Hear what my love is taught,
Thou art my Jesus ever,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not!

I leave thee not, O Love, of love the highest,
Though doubt display
Its battle-day;
I own the power which thou my Lord appliest,
Thou didst bear guilt and woe;
Shall I to torment go
When into judgment brought?
O Love, of love the highest,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

I leave thee not, O thou who sweetly cheerest,
Whose fresh supplies
Cause strength to rise,
Just in the hour when faith’s decay is nearest.
If sickness chill the soul,
And nights of languor roll,
My heart one hope hath caught,
O thou who sweetly cheerest,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

I leave thee not, thou help in tribulation;
By stroke on stroke,
Though almost broke,
I hope, when all seems near to desolation.
Do what thou wilt with me,
I still must cling to thee;
Thy grace I have besought,
Thou help in tribulation,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

I leave thee not, shall I forsake salvation?
No, Jesus, no!
Thou shalt not go;
Mine still thou art, to free from condemnation.
After this fleeting night,
Thy presence brings me light,
Whose ray my soul hath sought;
Shall I forsake salvation?
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

I leave thee not, thy word my way shall brighten.
With thee I go
Through weal and woe,
Thy precept wise shall every burden lighten.
My Lord, on thee, I hang,
Nor heed the journey’s pang,
Though thorny be my lot.
Let but thy word enlighten,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

I leave thee not, even in the lap of pleasure,
For when I stray
Without thy ray,
My richest joy must cease to be a treasure.
I shudder at the glee,
When no delight from thee
Has heartfelt peace begot;
Even in the lap of pleasure,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

I leave thee not, my God, my Lord, my Heaven,
Nor death shall rend
From thee, my Friend,
Who for my soul thyself to death hast given.
For thou didst die for me,
And love goes back to thee:
My God, my Life, my Heaven,
I leave thee not, I leave thee not.

Wolfgang Christoph Dessler (1660-1722) Germany
Translated by James W. Alexander
Source: The Breaking Crucible and other Translations of German Hymns, selected and translated by James W. Alexander, Randolph, 1861

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