Christ My Song - 716
Lord, thou knowest that I love thee! - The Penitent
(John S. B. Monsell/Johannes Thomas Rüegg)
Third Sunday after Easter.
Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. (John 21,15)
1. 'Lord, thou knowest that I love thee!'
'Whom have I in Heaven but thee?'
None on earth I prize above thee:
O be gracious unto me!
For my heart is sad and broken,
sins of old my sorrows move;
and I want some kindly token
of thine all-forgiving love. (PDF - Midi)
2. Sorely have I spent and squandered
precious gifts by thee bestowed,
heart, and footsteps, both have wandered
often from the narrow road;
heedless of thy silent finger
pointed upward, I have strayed –
where earth-lights delusive linger –
from the path thy footsteps made.
3. Draw me, draw me gently nigh thee,
let me see again thy face,
yes! tho' I did once deny thee,
and tho' still my heart can trace
in those eyes the soft dejection,
slighted love and grief impart,
that sad look, whose hurt affection
almost broke my coward heart.
4. Yet forgive, and draw me near thee,
tho' it be to probe and prove;
tho' it be, alas! to hear thee
doubt and question of my love!
Can I wonder, whose denial
thrice disowned thee in thy need,
if thy Love, with gentle trial,
three times make my heart to bleed?
5. O my Saviour! from the sorrow
which I feel at doubt of thine,
teach me some faint thought to borrow
of thy grief at doubt of mine;
show me what it is to grieve thee,
or to cloud that loving face;
take me back – I'll never leave thee,
with the help of thy good grace.
6. O the bliss of the parental
watch, which thou didst o'er me keep;
O the comfort of the gentle
restoration – 'feed my sheep!'
Three times lost, thou thrice hast found me,
three times fallen, thrice restored;
O how threefold thou hast bound me
unto thee, my loving Lord!
7. Henceforth, all my life's devotion
I shall deem too poor to prove
with that trembling fond emotion
I repent, and trust, and love:
thankful even if my falling
may to others warning be,
and thy gentle kind recalling
draw some wand'rer back to thee.
John S. B. Monsell, 'Spiritual Songs', 1864, 87-89.