Who are those that, fare before me,
Round the throne of God I see,
Shining as the stars in glory,
Crown'd with light and purity?
Hallelujahs, hark! they sing,
Solemn praise to God they bring.
Who are those array'd in brightness,
Clothed in righteousness divine,
Wearing robes of dazzling whiteness,
That unstain'd shall ever shine,
And can never more decay,--
Whence came all this fair array?
They are those whose hearts were riven
Here with sorrow, grief, and care,
Who by day and night have striven
With the mighty God in prayer;
Now their warfare finds its close,
God hath ended all their woes.
They are those who, daily serving
Here as priests before their Lord,
Offer'd up with faith unswerving
Soul and body at His word;
Now within the Holy place
They behold Him face to face.
As the hunted hart hath panted
For the river fresh and clear,
So their hearts with longing fainted
For the Living Fountain here.
Now their thirst is quench'd, they dwell
With the Lord they loved so well.
I too stretch my hands with longing
Thither, Jesus, day by day,
While my foes are round me thronging,
In Thy house on earth I pray,--
Let me sink not in the war,
Drive for me my foes afar.
Thus, O Lord, in earth and heaven
With Thy servants cast my lot,
Let my sins be all forgiven,
In my need forsake me not;
Near the throne where Thou dost shine
May a place at last be mine!
Source: Chorale Book for England, The #77