This is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. Song of Solomon 5:16
Words: Wolfgang C. Dessler, 1692, cento (Wie wohl ist mir, O Freund der Seelen); composite translation.
If you know where to get a good picture of Dessler (head & shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels),
My soul’s best friend, what joy and blessing
My spirit ever finds in Thee!
From gloomy depths of doubt distressing
Into Thine arms for rest I flee.
There will the night of sorrow vanish
When from my heart Thy love doth banish.
All anguish and all pain and fear.
Yea, here on earth begins my heaven;
Who would not joyful be when given
A loving Savior always near!
For though the evil world revile me
And prove herself my bitter foe
Or by her smile seek to beguile me,
I trust her not; her wiles I know.
In Thee alone my soul rejoices,
Thy praise alone it gladly voices,
For Thou art true when friendships flee.
The world may hate but cannot fell me;
Would mighty waves of trial quell me
I anchor in Thy loyalty.
Thro’ deserts of the cross Thou leadest;
I follow, leaning on Thy hand.
From out the cloud Thy child Thou feedest
And givest water from the sand.
I trust Thy ways, howe’er distressing;
For I know my path will end in blessing;
Enough that Thou wilt be my stay.
For whom to honor Thou intendest
Oft into sorrow’s vale Thou sendest;
The night must e’er precede the day.
My soul’s best friend, how well contented
Am I, reposing on Thy breast;
By sin no more am I tormented
Since Thou dost grant me peace and rest.
Oh, may the grace that Thou has given
For me a foretaste be of Heaven,
Where I shall bask in joys divine!
Away, vain world, with fleeting pleasures;
In Christ I have abiding treasures.
O, comfort sweet, my friend is mine!