21 September 2010
O Thou, In Whose Presence
O Thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
On whom in affliction I call,
My comfort by day, and my song in the night,
My hope, my salvation, my all.
Where dost Thou at noontide resort with Thy sheep,
To feed on the pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in the wilderness rove?
O, why should I wander an alien from Thee,
And cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed.
Ye daughters of Zion declare, have ye seen
The Star that on Israel shone?
Say, if in your tents my Belovèd has been,
And where, with His flocks, He is gone.
This is my Belovèd; His form is divine;
His vestments shed odors around:
The locks of His head are as grapes on the vine,
When autumn with plenty is crowned.
The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow
In vales, on the banks of the streams:
On His cheeks, all the beauties of excellence glow,
And His eyes are as quivers of beams.
His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at His feet,
The air is perfumed with His breath.
His lips as a fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace,
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of His face.
Love sits on His eye-lids, and scatters delight
Through all the bright mansions on high;
Their faces the cherubim veil in His sight,
And tremble with fullness of joy.
He looks, and ten thousands of angels rejoice,
And myriads wait for His word;
He speaks, and eternity, filled with His voice,
Re-echoes the praise of her Lord.
Dear Shepherd, I hear and will follow Thy call;
I know the sweet sound of Thy voice.
Restore and defend me, for Thou art my All,
And in Thee I will ever rejoice.
Paraphrase of Psalm 23
Words: Joseph Swain (1791)
Tune: DAVIS 18.104.22.168, Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second (1813)