Joseph Barnby, 1872
Jane Borthwick, 1859
Thou knowest, Lord, the weariness and sorrow
Of the sad heart that comes to thee for rest;
Cares of today, and burdens of tomorrow,
Blessings implored, and sins to be confessed;
We come before thee at thy gracious word,
And lay them at thy feet: thou knowest, Lord.
Thou knowest all the past; how long and blindly
On the dark mountains the lost wanderer strayed;
How the Good Shepherd followed, and how kindly
He bore it home, upon his shoulders laid;
And healed the bleeding wounds, and soothed the pain,
And brought back life, and hope, and strength again.
Thou knowest all the present; each temptation,
Each toilsome duty, each foreboding fear;
All to each one assigned, of tribulation,
Or to belovèd ones, than self more dear;
All pensive memories, as we journey on,
Longings for vanished smiles and voices gone.
Thou knowest all the future; gleams of gladness
By stormy clouds too quickly overcast;
Hours of sweet fellowship and parting sadness,
And the dark river to be crossed at last.
O what could hope and confidence afford
To tread that path, but this? Thou knowest, Lord.
Thou knowest, not alone as God, all-knowing;
As Man, our mortal weakness thou hast proved;
On earth, with purest sympathies o'erflowing,
O Savior, thou hast wept, and thou hast loved;
And love and sorrow still to thee may come,
And find a hiding-place, a rest, a home.
Therefore we come, thy gentle call obeying,
And lay our sins and sorrows at thy feet;
On everlasting strength our weakness staying,
Clothed in thy robe of righteousness complete:
Then rising and refreshed we leave thy throne,
And follow on to know as we are known.