Christ My Song - 1978
Stars of the silent night - Under the stars
(Meta Heusser-Schweizer/Jane Laurie Borthwick/
Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Under the stars.
2. But comes the crushing thought –
I am a thing of nought,
I seem so feeble, worthless, small; –
who thinks of care or grief
for a pale autumn leaf,
when he beholds it fade and fall?
3. Why do these longings vain
ever return again?
Why should my weak and wayward soul
strive in her narrow grasp
eternity to clasp,
and the Almighty Ruler of the whole?
4. O thou Unseen, Divine!
I long to find thee mine,
but all my search and labours fail; –
and to my yearning cry
fair Nature makes reply
with echoes sad, from hill and vale.
5. Is it an angel's voice
bidding my soul rejoice?
My weary heart has heard of One,
whose unexampled love
led him, in heaven above,
to leave for earth his glory-throne.
6. Wearing the humble veil
of manhood weak and frail,
the lowly paths of earth he trod;
yet would a light divine
through all his actions shine,
the Son of man, yet Son of God.
7. Our fallen race to save,
his own life-blood he gave,
dying in agony and shame; –
and now, set free from fear,
the sinner may draw near
to the great God, in Jesus' name.
8. My longing eyes I raise –
ah, I can bear to gaze
on this mild Form of Majesty!
In him I dare to trust;
on me, low in the dust,
I feel he looks with pitying eye.
9. And of this blissful faith,
this hope for life and death,
philosophy would rob my hold!
You strike his staff away,
and reach no better stay
to the blind wanderer on the wold!
10. What comfort can you boast
to give, when mine is lost,
from your own cold and shadowy creed?
Not such as Christ imparts
to lonely, breaking hearts,
crying to him for help in need.
11. To rebel thought and will
he whispers, "Peace, be still!"
leading the way to home and rest:
for every cross and care
gives strength to do or bear, –
in joy or sorrow, I am blessed!
12. And in this vale of tears,
of nameless doubts and fears,
errors and falls on every side,
shall my soul turn away
from the celestial ray
of Light from heaven, my Hope, my Guide?
13. Ah no! this loving One,
sinless himself alone,
whose life for sinners once was given,
who journeyed through the grave,
the lost to seek and save –
he is my God, for earth and heaven!
H.L.L., alias Jane Laurie Borthwick, Alpine Lyrics, ca. 1874, 18-21.
Translated from the German Dort zieht ihr goldnen Sterne - Nach einem Gespräch unterm Sternenhimmel of Meta Heusser-Schweizer.