Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65:17
Words: Johann Walther, Wittenberg, Germany, 1552 (Herzlich tut mich erfreuen). Translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, Lyra Germanica, second series (London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts, 1858), pages 223–24.
Now fain my joyous heart would sing
That lovely summer time,
When God reneweth everything
In His celestial prime;
When He shall make new heav’ns and earth,
And all the creatures there
Shall spring from out that second birth
All glorious, pure, and fair.
The perfect beauty of that sphere
No mortal tongue may speak,
We have no likeness for it here,
Our words are far too weak;
And we must wait till we behold
The hour of judgment true,
That to the soul shall all unfold
What God is, and can do.
For God ere long will summon all
Who e’er on earth were born;
This flesh shall hear the trumpet’s call
And live again that morn;
And when in Christ His Son we wake,
These skies asunder roll,
And all the bliss of Heav’n shall break
Upon the raptured soul.
And He will lead the white robed throng
To His fair paradise,
Where from the marriage feast the song
Of endless praise shall rise;
And from His fathomless abyss
Of perfect love and truth,
Shall flow perpetual joy and bliss,
In never ending youth.
Ah God, now lead me of Thy love
Through this dark world aright;
Lord Christ, defend me lest I rove
Or lies delude my fight;
And keep me steadfast in the faith
Till these dark days have ceased,
And ready still in life or death
For Thy great marriage feast.
And herewith will I end the song
Of that fair summer time;
The blossoms shall burst out ere long
Of Heav’n’s eternal prime;
The year begin, for ever new
God grant us then on high
To see our vision here made true,
And eat the fruits of joy!