Christ My Song - 129
Ask not why my soul doth languish - My soul thirsteth for the Living God (Carl Johann Philipp Spitta/Emily Augusta Durand/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
My soul thirsteth for the Living God.
1. Ask not why my soul doth languish; –
ask not why the sad tears start:
thirst for God hath filled my spirit;
yearning love consumes my heart.
Give me all that earth can offer;
nought this craving void shall fill:
without God, all poor and empty,
through the world I wander still.
2. Glory, beauty, wealth, abundance,
art, and science – none can give
stillness to the spirit's yearning: –
none can give it strength to live.
Strength for life, for love, for sorrow,
patient faith when joy is gone,
joyful courage in life's partings,
gives the Living God alone.
3. Human Art's imaginations,
like to heathen fancies vain,
are but vapour; and their workings
cannot ease the spirit's pain.
So all fancy-painted symbols,
drawing thought and mind abroad,
set no barrier to the longing
that cries out alone for God.
4. Ah, when shall I reach the Country
where, no more in vision dim,
God's own Face at last beholding,
I may rest alone in him?
When shall I possess him wholly;
into him engrafted be,
so that nought shall tear me from him,
as his Word hath promised me?
5. When shall his blessed Spirit's fullness
all my living energies
consecrate to his own service,
blending all my will with his?
When shall all my eager longings.
sink and merge into the one
that his Work may stand and prosper,
to his glorious praise alone?
6. Ah, I know the once-roused yearning
shall not always grief remain!
He, who set the spirit thirsting,
will at last relieve its pain.
When it leaves this dreary desert
for the blessed Eden Shore,
where Life's stream for ever floweth; –
then shall all its thirst be o'er.
Emily Augusta Durand, Imitations from the German of Spitta and Terstegen, By Lady Durand, 1873, 8-10.
Translated from the German Fraget doch nicht, was mir fehle - Durst nach Gott
of Carl Johann Philipp Spitta.