O Lord, the most fair, the most tender,
My heart is adrift and alone;
My heart is aweary and thirsty—
Athirst for a joy unknown.
From a child I have followed it—chased it,
By wilderness, wold, and hill—
I never have reached it or seen it,
yet must I follow it still.
In those olden years did I seek it
In the sweet fair things around,
But the more I sought and I thirsted,
The less, O my Lord, I found.
When nearest it seemed to my grasping,
It fled like a wandering thought;
I never have known what it is, Lord—
Too well know I what it is not.
"It is I, it is I, the Eternal,
Who chose thee Mine own to be—
Who chose thee before the ages—
Who chose thee eternally.
I stood in the way before thee,
In the ways thou wouldest have gone;
For this is the mark of My chosen,
That they shall be Mine alone."