How pleased and blest was I
To hear the people cry,
“Come, let us seek our God today!”
Yes, with a cheerful zeal
We haste to Zion’s hill,
And there our vows and honors pay.
Zion, thrice happy place,
Adorned with wondrous grace,
And walls of strength embrace thee round;
In thee our tribes appear
To pray, and praise, and hear
The sacred Gospel’s joyful sound.
There David’s greater Son
Has fixed His royal throne,
He sits for grace and judgment there:
He bids the saint be glad,
He makes the sinner sad,
And humble souls rejoice with fear.
May peace attend thy gate,
And joy within thee wait
To bless the soul of every guest!
The man that seeks thy peace,
And wishes thine increase,
A thousand blessings on him rest!
My tongue repeats her vows,
“Peace to this sacred house!”
For there my friends and kindred dwell;
And since my glorious God
Makes thee His blest abode,
My soul shall ever love thee well.
This is an Isaac Watts text, a metrical version of Psalm 122 (A song of ascents). It is set to DALSTON, by Aaron Williams. In American Baptist hymnody neither this text nor this tune is very widely used – 197 instances in the Dictionary of North American Hymnology, but only 1 (from 1883) in the hymnals I have indexed. DNAH reports two other tunes associated with the text, AMITY (in the Southern Harmony) and ASCALON (better known as CRUSADERS’ HYMN, the tune most commonly recognized as “Fairest Lord Jesus”. Here is the MIDI of DALSTON from the Cyber Hymnal.
I intend to produce PDF pages of this hymn, in Sgaw Karen, in English, and in a bilingual arrangement.
It would be useful to know how widely sung and how well-liked this hymn is in Sgaw Karen congregational worship, so as to evaluate whether to retain it in the next edition, and if so, whether to retain its position as hymn number 1 in the book. It would also be helpful (especially for the PDFs) to know which of the five English stanzas could best be dropped to match the English to the four Karen stanzas.