For Thee, O Dear, Dear Country

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Melody - "Bona patria", 1876
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Bernard of Morlas, c. 1140, cento, tr. by John M. Neale, 1849

For thee, O dear, dear country,
Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding
Thy happy name, they weep.
The mention of thy glory
Is unction to the breast
And medicine in sickness
And love and life and rest.

2. O one, O only mansion,
O Paradise of joy,
Where tears are ever banished
And smiles have no alloy!
The Lamb is all thy splendor,
The Crucified thy praise;
His laud and benediction
Thy ransomed people raise.

3. With jasper glow thy bulwarks,
Thy streets with em'ralds blaze;
The sardius and the topaz
Unite in thee their rays;
Thine ageless walls are bonded
With amethyst unpriced;
The saints build up thy fabric,
The cornerstone is Christ.

4. Thou hast no shore, fair ocean;
Thou hast no time, bright day,
Dear fountain of refreshment
To pilgrims far away!
Upon the Rock of Ages
They raise thy holy tower;
Thine is the victor's laurel
And thine the golden dower.

5. O sweet and blessed country,
The home of God's elect!
O sweet and blessed country
That eager hearts expect!
Jesus, in mercy bring us
To that dear land of rest,
Who art, with God the Father
And Spirit, ever blest.


Melody first published in Sacred Hymns and Tunes, Bristol, 1876.

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