Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower

Melody - "Ich will dich lieben", from the Harmonischer Liederschatz, Frankfurt, 1733; Seq. by Richard Jordan

Johann Scheffler, 1657; German text

Thee will I love, my Strength, my Tower;
Thee will I love, my Hope, my Joy;
Thee will I love with all my power,
With ardor time shall ne'er destroy.
Thee will I love, O Light Divine,
So long as life is mine.

2. Thee will I love, my Life, my Savior,
Who art my best and truest Friend;
Thee will I love and praise forever,
For never shall Thy kindness end;
Thee will I love with all my heart,
Thou my Redeemer art.

3. Alas! that I so late have known Thee,
Who art the Fairest and the Best;
Nor sooner for my Lord could own Thee,
Our highest Good, our only Rest!
Now bitter shame and grief I prove
O'er this my tardy love.

4. I wandered long in willing blindness,
I sought Thee, but I found Thee not,
For still I shunned Thy beams of kindness;
The creature-light filled all my thought.
And if at last I see Thee now,
'Twas Thou to me didst bow!

5. I thank Thee, Jesus, Sun from heaven,
Whose radiance hath bro't light to me;
I thank Thee, who hast richly given
All that could make me glad and free;
I thank Thee that my soul is healed
By what Thy lips revealed.

6. Oh, keep me watchful, then, and humble
And suffer me no more to stray;
Uphold me when my feet would stumble,
Nor let me loiter by the way.
Fill all my nature with Thy light,
O Radiance strong and bright!

7. Oh, teach me, Lord, to love Thee truly
With soul and body, head and heart,
And grant me grace that I may duly
Practice fore'er love's sacred art.
Grant that my every thought may be
Directed e'er to Thee.

8. Thee will I love, my Crown of gladness;
Thee will I love, my God and Lord,
Amid the darkest depths of sadness,
Not for the hope of high reward
For Thine own sake, O Light Divine,
So long as life is mine.

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