Thou art, and, therefore, Thou art near, oh God!
Thick darkness covers me, I cannot see;
Is this the Shepherd's crook, or the correcting rod,
And by Thy hand, O Father, laid on me?
I cry to Thee, and shall I cry in vain?
My soul looks up as if through prison bars,
Up through the silent Heaven, ah, turn again
Thy face to me, hide not behind the stars.
Thy presence hath been with me in the past,
Where "heaps of witness" mark out all the way;
Thy years change not, Thy love is still as vast,
I look to Thee, I trust Thee though Thou slay.
My friends walk on the hills the sun hath kissed,
Flowers at their feet, their sky is blue and fair;
I'm prisoned in this vale of tearful mist,
Shut in with sorrow, darkened by despair.
I, too, once walked with footsteps glad and free,
Light round my head, and in my mouth a song;
Manna fell round my dwelling-place for me.
For me the living waters flowed along.
Thy hand had set my feet upon a rock,
That Rock stands fast, why then this loss and harm?
I cannot find the footsteps of the flock,
I cannot feel the Well-Beloved's arm.
They hold me in derision, for they say,
Where is the God in whom you seemed to trust!
Righteous art Thou O Lord! and if I may
But find Thee I will lay me in the dust.
Saying, awake, arise my God, to me
Turn in Thy love the mercy of Thy face;
Then shall the day break, and the shadows flee,
And I will sing of Thy sufficient grace.