When the deaf hear the song of the new-born swan
and the lame go dancing on gold;
When the pauper raises his cheerful glass,
And the blind exclaim at the bright green grass,
And the hills bow down for the Lamb to pass,
Then the tale will at last be told.
It's a tale of a world put right at last,
it's the news of justice done;
It's the story the dead are eager to learn,
it's the song of the hedgerow, the stream and the fern,
it's the whisper of a long-lost Lord‟s return,
Of heaven and earth made one.
When the axe is laid to the root of the tree
(As the Baptist saw long ago);
When the greedy are blamed, and the violent tamed,
and the liars are named and the lustful ashamed,
and the rights of the poor are at last proclaimed,
Then the River of Life will flow.
And the Tree will grow its healing leaves,
and the Advent bell will ring;
And the stars will sparkle their glad applause,
and the seas will lend their voice to the cause,
while the angels unlock the ancient doors,
To welcome the coming King.
Come, Lord, and cleanse us from our sin;
Your new, glad work in us begin.
Remove our idols from our sight;
Let us in you alone delight.
Prepare us for your coming reign
By washing us from every stain;
Make known to us your holy Name;
Let us no more turn back to shame.
Call us to you from every land,
And guide us with your powerful hand;
Show us the path that we must tread,
Let us by you with joy be led.
Implant your Spirit in our heart,
That, with your Breath, new life may start;
Take from our flesh the heart of stone,
Let us rejoice in you alone.
For your own sake your love display,
That we may worship and obey;
Rebuild the wild and desert place;
Let us acclaim your sovereign grace.
- From Advent Oratorio by NT Wright