Scripture Verse

O Lord, how long? Return, O Lord. Psalm 6:3–4


John Newton (1725–1807)

Words: John New­ton, Ol­ney Hymns (Lon­don: W. Ol­iv­er, 1779), Book 3, num­ber 31. Re­turn, O Lord. How long?

Music: Re­turn (Squires) Will­iam H. Squires, 1895 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Squires (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Return to bless my waiting eyes,
And cheer my mourning heart, O Lord!
Without Thee, all beneath the skies
No real pleasure can afford.

When Thy loved presence meets my sight,
It softens care, and sweetens toil;
The sun shines forth with double light,
The whole creation wears a smile.

Upon Thine arm of love I rest,
Thy gracious voice forbids my fear;
No storms disturb my peaceful breast,
No foes assault when Thou art near.

But ah! since Thou hast been away,
Nothing but trouble have I known;
And Satan marks me for his prey
Because he sees me left alone.

My sun is hid, my comforts lost,
My graces droop, my sins revive;
Distressed, dismayed, and tempest tossed,
My soul is only just alive!

Lord, hear my cry and come again!
Put all mine enemies to shame,
And let them see, ’tis not in vain
That I have trusted in Thy name.