Christ My Song - 1562
Be thou my Friend, and look upon my heart - Be thou my Friend
(Johann Peter Lange/Sarah Laurie Borthwick Findlater/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Be thou my Friend.
"Henceforth, I call you not servants, but I have called you friends." (John 15,15)
1. Be thou my Friend, and look upon my heart,
Lord Jesus, Son of man!
Each seed of good or ill that there has part
do thou in mercy scan.
The burning springs there lurking,
O Lord, thou canst control,
and each wild passion, working
within my sinful soul.
2. In mortal weakness, once was veiled thy might,
Light of Eternal Day!
Before thee lay temptation's dreary fight,
and yet, – thou went'st that way!
And thou couldst weep with sorrow,
or share our bridal mirth,
and yet no tarnish borrow
from this polluted earth.
3. Beneath thy feet the realms of earth were spread,
all bathed in golden gloss;
one word had laid their crowns upon thy head,
yet, – thou couldst choose the cross!
And from thy throne descending,
couldst take the pilgrim's path,
and with thy hosts attending,
couldst die a murderer's death!
4. How the world hated thee, and vengeance hurled
against thee, – great Unknown!
How thou didst love this poor and blinded world,
and bought her for thine own!
Her arrows piercèd through thee,
from cruel, willing hands;
yet thou wouldst draw her to thee
with loving, gentle bands.
5. Thou hast returned, all pure and holy, home,
my Brother, and my Lord!
And when with trembling to thy throne I come,
my Refuge is thy word.
There, by thine arm fast holding,
and hidden, by thy grace,
within thy robe's deep folding,
let me behold God's face.
6. Yes! be my Friend, and look upon my heart,
on all that's hidden there;
the deeper guilt that stings me with its dart,
the unknown sins I bear;
the passions that distress me,
let thy pure presence slay;
the sorrows that oppress me
before thee flee away.
7. Oh, shine upon me with thy holy light,
when gathering gloom I see,
and leave me not in tribulation's night,
but send sweet peace to me!
The chains of sin dissever,
bind fancy's wildest play;
then, then, my Lord, for ever
take grief and sin away!
Sarah Laurie Borthwick Findlater, Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1862, 212-215.
Translated from the German Sei du mein Freund, und schau in meine Brust - Gebet
of Johann Peter Lange.