Jerusalem, Thou City Fair and High

Jerusalem! High Tower Thy Glorious Walls

Melody - "Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt", Melchior Franck, 1663; Seq. by Richard Jordan

Johann M. Meyfart, 1626,
Left: tr. by Catherine Winkworth, 1858; German text
Right: tr. by William R. Whittingham, 1860

Jerusalem, thou city fair and high,
Would God I were in thee!
My longing heart fain, fain to thee would fly,
It will not stay with me.
Far over vale and mountain,
Far over field and plain,
It hastes to seek its Fountain
And leave this world of pain.

2. O happy day and yet far happier hour,
When wilt thou come at last,
When fearless to my Father's love and pow'r,
Whose promise standeth fast,
My soul I gladly render?
For surely will His hand
Lead her with guidance tender
To heav'n, her fatherland.

3. A moment's space, and gently, wondrously,
Released from earthly ties,
Elijah's chariot bears her up to thee,
Thro' all these lower skies
To yonder shining regions,
While down to meet her come
The blessed angel legions
And bid her welcome home.

4. O Zion, hail! Bright city, now unfold
The gates of grace to me.
How many a time I longed for thee of old
Ere yet I was set free
From yon dark life of sadness,
Yon world of shadowy naught,
And God had given the gladness,
The heritage, I sought.

5. What glorious throng and what resplendent host
Comes sweeping swiftly down?
The chosen ones on earth who wrought the most,
The Church's brightest crown,
Our Lord hath set to meet me,
As in the far-off years
Their words oft came to greet me
In yonder land of tears.

6. The partiarchs' and prophets' noble train,
With all Christ's followers true,
Who bore the cross and could the worst disdain
That tyrants dared to do,
I see them shine forever,
All-glorious as the sun,
Mid light that fadeth never,
Their perfect freedom won.

7. And when within that lovely Paradise
At last I safely dwell,
What songs of bliss shall from my lips arise,
What joy my tongue shall tell,
While all the saints are singing
Hosannas o'er and o'er,
Pure hallelujahs ringing
Around me evermore!

8. Unnumbered choirs before the shining throne
Their joyful anthems raise
Till heaven's glad halls are echoing with the tone
Of that great hymn of praise
And all its host rejoices,
And all its blessed throng
Unite their myriad voices
In one eternal song.

Jerusalem! high tower thy glorious walls,
Would God I were in thee!
Desire of thee my longing heart enthralls,
Desire at home to be:
Wide from the world outleaping,
O'er hill, and vale, and plain,
My soul's strong wing is sweeping,
Thy portals to attain.

2. O gladsome day and yet more gladsome hour!
When shall that hour have come,
When my rejoicing soul its own free power
May use in going home?
Itself to Jesus giving
In trust to his own hand,
To dwell among the living
In that blest Fatherland.

7. Great fastness thou of honour! thee I greet:
Throw wide thy gracious gate,
An entrance free to give these longing feet,
At last released, though late,
From wretchedness and sinning,
And life's long, weary way;
And now, of God's gift, winning
Eternity's bright day.

8. Unnumbered choirs before the Lamb's high throne
There shout the jubilee,
With loud resounding peal and sweetest tone,
In blissful ecstasy
A hundred thousand voices
Take up the wondrous song;
Eternity rejoices
God's praises to prolong.


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