O would, my God, that I could praise Thee

Representative Text

1 O would, my God, that I could praise Thee
With thousand tongues by day and night!
How many a song my lips should raise Thee,
Who order'st all things here aright!
My thankful heart would ever be
Telling what God hath done for me.

2 O all ye powers that He implanted,
Arise, keep silence thus no more;
Put forth the strength that He hath granted,
Your noblest work is to adore;
O soul and body, make ye meet
With heartfelt praise your Lord to greet.

3 O Father, deign Thou, I beseech Thee,
To listen to my earthly lays;
A nobler strain in heaven shall reach Thee,
When I with angels hymn Thy praise,
And learn amid their choirs to sing
Loud hallelujahs to my King.


Source: The Hymnal and Order of Service #178

Author: Johann Mentzer

Mentzer, Johann, was born July 27, 1658, at Jahmen, near Rothenburg, in Silesia, and became a student of theology at Wittenberg, In 1691 he was appointed pastor at Merzdorf; in 1693 at Hauswalde, near Bischofswerda; and in 1696 at Kemnitz, near Bernstadt, Saxony. He died at Kemnitz, Feb. 24, 1734 (G. F. Otto's Lexicon . . . Oberlausizischer Schriftsteller, ii., 581; ms. from Pastor Richter of Kemnitz, &c). He was a great friend of J. C. Schwedler, of Henrietta Catherine von Gersdorf, and of N. L. von Zinzendorf, all hymnwriters, and all his near neighbours. He was himself greatly tried in the furnace of affliction. He wrote a large number of hymns, over 30 of which appeared in the various hymnbooks of his time. Many of them, especially t… Go to person page >

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O would, my God, that I could praise Thee
German Title: O dass ich tausend Zungen hätte
Author: Johann Mentzer
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



Johann Balthaser König (b. Waltershausen, near Gotha, Germany, 1691; d. Frankfurt, Germany, 1758) composed this tune, which later became associated with Johann Mentzer's hymn "O dass ich tausend Zungen hätte" (Oh, That I Had a Thousand Voices). The harmonization is from the Wurttembergische Choral…

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Instances (1 - 14 of 14)
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Chorale Book for England, The #5

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Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #3

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Offices of Worship and Hymns #697

Songs and Hymns for Children's Voices #d26

Songs of Devotion #d14

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The Evangelical Hymnal with Tunes #108

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The Hymnal and Order of Service #178


The Hymnal and Order of Service #178

The Hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. Text ed. #d452

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The Liturgy and the Offices of Worship and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church #697

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The Lutheran Hymnary #443

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The New Alleluia #207b

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Wartburg Hymnal #329

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