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A Pilgrim and a Stranger

Paul Gerhardt

A Pilgrim and a Stranger,
I journey here below;
Far distant is my country,
The home to which I go.

Here I must toil and travail,
Oft weary and opprest;
But there my God shall lead me
To everlasting rest.

* * * * *

I've met with storms and danger
E'en from my early years,
With enemies and conflicts,
With fightings and with fears.

There's nothing here that tempts me
To wish a longer stay,
So I must hasten forward,
No halting or delay.

* * * * *

It is a well-worn pathway;
A host has gone before,
The holy saints and prophets,
The patriarchs of yore.

They trod the toilsome journey
In patience and in faith;
And them I fain would follow,
Like them in life and death.

* * * * *

Who would share Abraham's blessing
Must Abraham's path pursue,
A stranger and a pilgrim,
Like him, must journey through.

The foes must be encountered,
The dangers must be passed;
A faithful soldier only
Receives the crown at last.

* * * * *

So I must hasten forward,
Thank God, the end will come!
This land of passing shadows
Is not my destined home.

The everlasting city,
Jerusalem above,
This evermore abideth,
The home of light and love.

* * * * *

There still my thoughts are dwelling,
'Tis there I long to be;
Come, Lord, and call Thy servant
To blessedness with Thee.

Come, bid my toils be ended,
Let all my wanderings cease;
Call from the wayside lodging
To Thy sweet home of peace.

* * * * *

There I shall dwell forever,
No more a parting guest,
With all thy blood-bought children
In everlasting rest,

The pilgrim toils forgotten,
The pilgrim conflicts o'er,
All earthly griefs behind me,
Eternal joys before.

Transl. from the German by Jane Borthwick.

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