Jerusalem the Golden




JERUSALEM the golden,
With milk and honey blest!
Beneath thy contemplation
Sink heart and voice opprest
I know not, O I know not,
What joys await us there;
What radiancy of glory,
What bliss beyond compare.

2 They stand, those halls of Zion,
All jubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel,
And all the martyr throng.
The Prince is ever in them,
The daylight is serene;
The pastures of the blessed
Are decked in glorious sheen.
3 There is the throne of David;
And there, from care released,
The song of them that triumph,
The shout of them that feast;
And they, who with their Leader
Have conquered in the fight,
For ever and for ever
Are clad in robes of white.

4 O mine, my golden Zion !
O lovelier far than gold !
With laurel-girt battalions,
And safe, victorious fold :
O sweet and blessed country,
Shall I ever see thy face ?
O sweet and blessed country,
Shall I ever win thy grace ?

5 Exult, O dust and ashes,
The Lord shall be thy part:
His only and for ever,
Thou shalt be, and thou art.
Exult, O dust and ashes,
The Lord shall be thy part:
His only and for ever,
Thou shalt be, and thou art

In the 12th century Bernard, a monk in the French Abbey of Cluny, wrote a long Latin poem which contrasted the evils of the world with the happiness and beauty of heaven. An English clergyman, Dr. John Mason Neale, in 1851 published a translation of 400 lines of the poem, and from this the verses are taken which make up our hymn. Dr. Neale lived to see the hymn become the most popular of all hymns about heaven. But what pleased him most was to be told that a little child, who was a great sufferer, became so fond of the verses that he would lie " without a murmur or motion, while the whole 400 lines were read to him." [NOTES.—Verse 1, line 1. The golden. See Revelation xxi, 18. Verse 1, line 2. See Exodus iii, 8. Verse 1, line 6. Neale wrote it," What social joys are there." Verse 1, line 8. What Hiss. Neale wrote it, " what light." Verse 2, line 2. All jubilant. Neale wrote it, " conjubilant." (None of these changes is an improvement over what Neale wrote, but they are generally accepted now.) Verse 3, line 1. See Isaiah ix, 7. Verse 5, line 1. Dust and ashes, that is, man, who was formed out of the dust and whose body shall be left like ashes when the fire is out. See Genesis xviii, 27.]