Jerusalem, thou city fair and high,
Would God I were in thee!
My longing heart to thee would gladly 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.
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.
A moment’s space, and gently, wondrously,
Released from earthly ties,
Elijah’s chariot bears her up to thee,
Through all these lower skies
To yonder shining regions,
While down to meet her come
The blessèd angel legions
And bid her welcome home.
O Zion, hail! Bright city, now unfold
The gates of grace to me.
How many͜ a time I longed for thee of old
Ere yet I was set free
From yon dark life of sadness,
Yon world of shad’wy naught,
And God had giv’n the gladness,
The heritage, I sought!
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 sent to meet me,
As in the far-off years
Their words oft came to greet me
In yonder land of tears.
The patriarchs’ and prophets’ noble train,
With all Christ’s foll’wers 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 faileth never,
Their perfect freedom won.
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 alleluias ringing
Around me evermore!
Unnumbered choirs before the shining throne
Their joyful anthems raise
Till heav’n’s glad halls do echo with the tone
Of that great hymn of praise
And all its host rejoices,
And all its blessèd throng
Unite their myriad voices
In one eternal song.
Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt
Johann Matthaeus Meyfart, 1626
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1858, alt.
Source: The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, No. 619, alt.
German Text (coming soon)