Without thee, what were life or being!
Without thee, what had I not grown!
From fear and anguish vainly fleeing,
I in the world had stood alone;
For all I loved could trust no shelter;
The future a dim gulf had lain;
And when my heart in tears did welter,
Tom whom had I poured out my pain?
Consumed in love and longing lonely
Each day had worn the night’s dull face;
With hot tears I had followed only
Afar life’s wildly rushing race.
No rest for me, tumultuous driven!
A hopeless sorrow by the hearth! —
Who, that had not a friend in heaven,
Could to the end hold out on earth?
But if his heart once Jesus bareth,
And I of him right sure can be,
How soon a living glory scareth
The bottomless obscurity!
Life grows a twilight softly stealing;
The world speaks all of love and glee;
For every wound grows herb of healing,
And every heart beats full and free.
I, his ten thousand gifts receiving,
Humble like him, his knees embrace;
Sure that we share his presence living
When two are gathered in one place.
Forth, forth to all highways and hedges!
Compel the wanderers to come in;
Still standeth, in his wondrous glory,
The holy loved one with his own;
His crown of thorns, his faithful story
Still move our hearts, still make us groan.
Whoso from deadly sleep will waken,
And grasp his hand of sacrifice,
Into his heart with us is taken,
To ripen a fruit of Paradise.
Friedrich von Hardenberg