Anonymous Dutch Hymn
Translated by Theodore Baker
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.
He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His name; He forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine.
So, from the beginning the fight we were winning.
Thou, Lord, were at our side; all glory be Thine!
We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation.
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing was first published in Dutch, in 1626. Shortly before publication, some Puritans came to the Netherlands from England to escape religious persecution. 102 set sail on the Dutch ship Mayflower, arriving at Plymouth Rock in December 1620. After surviving a harsh and deadly winter with the aid of native Americans, these pilgrims celebrated a bountiful harvest. Today, we call this the first thanksgiving feast. The anonymous Dutch hymn remained unknown to English-speaking people until its translation and republication in the late nineteenth century. Now, it is particularly connected to the Thanksgiving holiday celebration in the United States—another Dutch connection to this important holiday.